My first UTDX dog! Jet did it on her first try!
I will be adding pictures and detailed descriptions to the Tracking Coach Blog soon, stay tuned!
June 26, 2012
May 27, 2012
Come visit me on my two new blogs! Click on the pictures to get there.
Your Tracking Coach - Audra lays a blind track for Jet. A few thoughts on progressing to neutral, pre-plotted and blind tracks.
Ted shows off his diving skills!
March 31, 2012
Ben's second time on sheep - on the new blog~!
March 30, 2012
It seems fitting to note on this blog that I lost my father on March 15. I posted a short remembrance of him here: http://blackthornworkingdogs.blogspot.ca/2012/03/missing-my-dad-every-day.html
There are so many posts about my father on this blog. He was a huge part of my new life here in Alberta. I miss you Dad.
March 2, 2012
February 23, 2012
I'm going for fire up a new blog shortly for the next chapter of my life with working dogs. Putting this blog to rest also means I am closing a chapter in my life. It makes sense to start fresh. I have a new kennel name - Blackthorn - with the Canadian Border Collie Association. Ben carries that name, which comes from my GSD Thorn who died at Christmas 2007, right before I moved to Alberta. I think it is a great name that honours the past and heralds the future.
Once I have a new blog up and running, I will post the link here. My Your Tracking Coach blog will house all tracking instruction posts in the future. The new blog will describe my personal journey!
Thanks to everyone who has followed this blog over so many years. It has truly been a labour of love, passion and dedication. It is nearly as hard to end the blog, as it is for me to go back and look at posts from what seems like another lifetime ago.
Please join me on the new blog - stay tuned for the link!
Formerly Spiritance Tracking & Herding
Soon to be - Blackthorn Working Dogs
February 20, 2012
|At the crossroads... where are we heading from here?|
Caden has also experienced a lack of herding opportunities. When he was two, I visited Shelley in BC and she observed that he showed natural herding - tending - behaviours. However, if there is a lack of places to work Border Collies in Alberta, you can imagine how hard it is to find tending training! If only I could win that lottery and have a big farm and training arena. Oh, but if I did win that lottery, it would be on Maui - not here :)) ... and you would all have a long way to go, to come train at my place!
|Cadan's bloodlines make him want to work sheep.|
|River, my BFF and a Tracking Champion - in my heart :))|
|Calgary on the horizon as we drove north to our new home in Penhold|
My first home-bred pup (pedigree)
At Scott and Jenny Glen's January 31
There could not be a better name for Ted! I got Ted as a started dog from Scott Glen. I thought about changing his name to Tweed or Teag but Ted stuck. Then one day I heard Scott call him Theodore and I knew I made the right decision. Ted came to me the same year my GSD Thorn left due to hemangiosarcoma. In the months they were together I marvelled at how similar they are. I called Ted "Thorn's little buddy."
As I am working so hard this year, determined to work my dogs and trial more, I feel like I am getting to know them again. I have been blessed with very good dogs and am having a wonderful journey with them and with the people they've introduced me too as well!
The pictures in this post are of Ted working at Louanne Timmons Twa's Phantom Ridge Ranch yesterday. We are working in a smaller area to get my handling in shape as it is rusty, and my timing is so slow! Ted moves FAST and he is a big boy so he needs to listen to stops, lie down and time commands or the sheep blow by where they should have stopped or turned. So here we are, working on things - and as Ted gets happier and more settled, my mind also calms down so I can enjoy the work.
|That'll Do Ted, Good Boy|
Ted is not only handsome, he is a kind-hearted dog who really just wants to please and to be loved. He is everyone's favourite, and one of those "ambassador dogs" that helps you make friends wherever you go. I can't imagine a dog more suited to me and thank Scott so much for making this match!
As I wrote in the blog post yesterday, Ted has suffered the same lack of work as Jet due to life changes and big moves and getting off the path - but we are now sorting this out. All of my dogs track, but Ted has never been keen on it - he only wants to work sheep, and I respect that. Lately he has been in "Ted Heaven" as we focus on getting out as often as possible. I did try to trial Ted last summer, but we had not had enough practice and everyone with sheep was off trialing, so I just decided I would go "wild west" and do my best with him despite it all. He ran his heart out for me and I know we looked as green as I felt. I still felt proud of him, and got my feet wet! Anything good he did in that trial was a testament to the foundation put on him by Scott. Now it's up to me to build on that, and we are working hard at it!
I can't thank Louanne enough for the training opportunity and help.
Ted is the sire of my Blackthorn Ben pup. Ted's father is Scott's Pleat, and his mom is a dog named Tess, a working cow dog who is owned by Brad Brechley in Big Valley east of Innisfail. You can see the pedigree here.
Ted is such an athletic dog, I look forward to trialing with him for years to come.
A little bit about little Jet, my first Border Collie - with pictures of Jet working at Louanne's today
I may have dozens more Border Collies in my lifetime. But none will be as special as Jet to me. She was the gift I gave myself after recovering from Cancer, when I decided to change my life and focus on my two loves - herding and tracking. Here is a bit about our journey together...
|Jet drives the sheep along the fence line|
I don't even know where to start when I write about Jet. She is brilliant. My first Border Collie. Amazing tracking dog. Wonderful companion. And loves to work. When I first got Jet my intentions were to get her into stockdog trials. She was a LOT of dog for a beginner to stockdogs. Up to 2005 I had worked with my Rough Collie, Shaman, and my very sweet GSD Thorn. I remember my "friends" in all-breed herding saying I just wanted a Border Collie so I could win CKC herding trials. I am not even interested in CKC herding anymore! Though I did try one with Jet when she was very young and within the first minute she gripped and was out! She is a LOT of dog.
|Nice wide outrun, right through the panels|
Somehow, I drifted off my path for awhile, getting my feet under me in this new life. Jet has carried on in tracking, and in 2010 became the first Border Collie to earn an Urban Tracking title - and she is on her way to a tracking championship. But if you see her working sheep there is no doubt this is her true love. Thankfully - in spring 2011 - I entered the clinic with Calvin Jones, completely on a whim. Calvin re-ignited my passion for herding and I've been working towards my goals ever since.
|Getting the sheep off the fence|
It's hard to believe that my hot-headed puppy Jet is now 6 years old. She had one puppy last summer by Ted - my little Blackthorn Ben. And now she and I are suddenly coming together as a team! The theory is that having had a pup, she may view me more as a partner. She wants to help me now, and we aren't fighting all of the time.
|Outrun (sheep are coming to me)|
|Louanne Timmons Twa really helped me with both dogs today|
February 19, 2012
Yesterday we had a 2 hour seminar over breakfast, and 4 hours of urban tracking! Here is the new post - over on Your Tracking Coach Blog - - and stay tuned for more updates now that spring tests are around the corner!
|Ben did a little demo|
|Here is baby Ben - 7 months old nearly - at an article and jackpot|
|We attemped a group shot... we're missing a couple of people here. See pics of the dogs tracking on Your Tracking Coach!|