Monday, December 2, 2013

It's been a very LONG time...

Hi everyone!

It's been a very LONG time since I've written a blog entry and a lot has happened! We've gone to several trials, competed for the 3rd time in USDAA Cynosport World Games and the puppy is growing up - she's huge now! Also, we spayed Inara. We hadn't planned on breeding her but I kept her in tact so she would develop properly for performance sports.

We're slowly learning agility and so far she absolutely loves the game. Here's a quick preview on how she's doing:

It's taking me a while to figure out how to train a sheltie and I've learning it's very different from a Klee Kai. Not to mention it's becoming harder and harder to travel to the agility field (40 minutes away) when it starts getting dark around 5 pm.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving feasts. The girls love it because we have visitors!

Well - bye bye for now, expect some more posts in the future with videos from our trials this past fall.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Nari goes to another USDAA Regional!

Well, Nari went to her second USDAA Regional this past weekend. We flew all the way to Kansas City to compete. Normally I wouldn't go that far for USDAA except that we had an awesome DAM team lined up with TWO World Team members - my good friend Jean and her sheltie Cheer and Cassie with her poodle Bliss!! We were '16s In Cheerful Bliss' :) Sweet! Our team was in first place through pretty much the whole weekend but our team had one little off course so we dropped down to 8th. Still super impressive considering all of the talented teams there and that our whole goal for the weekend was simply not to be an asshole to anyone. Seriously, that was our goal :)

Nari also took 1st place in the local Grand Prix tournament and made it to both the Grand Prix and Steeplechase finals! She ran clean in Grand Prix finals and was in 5th place with a bye. It was actually a crazy experience because someone forgot to set the timer so we had to re-run for time. Of course our second time through we were tired so we weren't as fast but we were happy to get another run for free!

Oh - and we also made it to the 'podium' for the Master Challenge Biathlon Tournament. This time we took 3rd place!

See that little BC who took 1st? That's Smitten and she's AMAZING!!

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A schutzhund sheltie pup?

Yep, sounds crazy doesn't it - a sheltie in a schutzhund class. But that's my little Battle, AKA The Beast:

Better look out, The Beast will paw you! 

You may wonder just what is she doing in that picture - well, she was doing 'bite work'. She had the whole gang watching her and laughing at a little sheltie wrestling with the guy who gets bit. 

Tackled!! Watch out for the mighty Beastie grip!

And here is the only picture where she looks remotely vicious:

Look out toy, I bite you!! 

So far Battle is liking the class. We're just doing it for fun, just something out of the ordinary for me. I really like learning new things and meeting new people so it's been great. And this is one of the few schutzhund clubs that only uses positive reinforcement. So lots of treats and toys :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Any dog friendly places?

Happy Sunday everyone!

BattleStar had quite the day yesterday - a little agility at what we call her 'battle field' :), brunch at our favorite restaurant, and an afternoon hanging out at the salon while Aaron got his hair cut.

Here she is - looking cute at the salon:

Apparently looking cute is hard work :)

So, how about y'all - any cool dog friendly places where you live? 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Puppy Shower

My sister and Aunt threw me a puppy shower since I don't have any kids. It was quite cute - complete with decorations and puppy friendly food! Here are some pictures from the party. 

Puppy fruit kabobs

The party girl! Notice Starbuck is in the background trying to steal food!

Puppy banana, string cheese and strawberry sandwiches. 

Battle trying to steal some ice. 

And finally - a naughty Alpha trying to take the deviled eggs!

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Everyone just loves puppy pictures!

Here's just a quick little post with some puppy pictures of BattleStar:

The girls patiently waiting for some walkie treats - don't they all look cute in their harnesses? The left side has their names on it and the right side always has a nickname.

And here is BattleStar's nickname - THE BEAST! 

Don't let her brown little puppy dog eyes fool you, she is a cute little ball of fur and teeth! One of her favorite past times is doing drive by bear hugs to your ankles in an effort to take you down. She also quite enjoys biting the air at you to show you just how much of a vicious beast she is :) 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Puppy tricks and a 4th of July in WI!

So it's been forever since I've posted. This time I swear I'm going to be posting once a week. It will mostly be cute pictures of the girls so hopefully y'all won't mind.

Things have been busy around here. Now with the puppy I've been spending a lot more time training/conditioning everyone. With all of this crappy weather in the south we haven't been able to do any agility so we have been sticking to playing tricks and taking an online puppy trick class. Here is a little graduation video for BattleStar's puppy class:

She's growing up so fast! Here's a picture from a couple of months ago:

There she is with her friend Forrest! Forrest is a mixed breed but it is quite amazing how similar they look in this picture. 

We also had a big trip to WI for the 4th of July. Here are the Pool Party Princesses hanging out: 

I just love this picture of the girls. It was quite difficult to get them not only all together but looking at the camera. Maybe it would help if I actually taught BattleStar down and stay commands. I'd be happy if I can get a stay out of her. 

If you've been following our blog you'll notice that we've updated it! Woohoo for a new look :) 

In the next couple of days I'll be posting more pictures from our vacation. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. Please let me know if you guys have any questions for us - I'd love to hear from you. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Big news from the USDAA Southeastern Regional Championships!!

We have some big news about our little Nari! She went to her second USDAA Regionals this weekend and we had a blast. Here are some of her accomplishments:

4th place Team Standard
5th place Team Jumpers
2nd place Master Challenge Jumpers 


Winner of the Master Challenge Biathlon Tournament!!! 

Very excited that she won the MC Biathlon as this is the first year that this tournament was offered. I'm just so proud of her. She ran her little heart out. Huge thanks goes to Loretta Mueller for her awesome International and Masters seminars that we attended last month. 

Here is a video from Regionals:

You may be thinking, "Whaaaa?" about the music for this video. I have a confession to make, I love Spanish dance music. I don't even know any Spanish. My husband figured it out - since I'm from WI I grew up loving Polka music. Well, it just so happens that this genre of music usually has accordions :) 

And here is a video from her seminar:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hello World!

Wow - it's been FOREVER! I guess that's what happens when you have a new puppy :)

The whole crew is having a blast between lots of walks, wrestling and agility. I took Nari and BattleStar along with me to Loretta Mueller's International and Masters Handling seminars. We had so much fun - way better than our first seminar experience.

And now, time for some seminar videos:

I hope everyone is enjoying the lovely weather! I'll be back soon with some pictures from the seminar.


Monday, April 1, 2013

BattleStar video!

Hi everyone! Here is BattleStar's very first video. She's a little over 8 weeks old and is one feisty pup!

Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Nari's on a role

I haven't been posting that much about our agility trials, so here's a quick update:

We were in Canton, GA last weekend. The weather was super cold and it was an outdoor trial (20s to 30s when we got up). The girls loved the weather, me - not so much.

Nari finished her Master Gamblers Champion title!! AND SHE WON MASTER CHALLENGE STANDARD!! Now Nari is qualified for all 4 tournaments at Cynosport. Pretty awesome. Starbuck is also mostly Qd for Cynosport but I've decided that I'm just bringing Nari.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

National Puppy Day pic - and a new puppy!

I have no idea where National Puppy Day comes from and when it was started but a ton of my FB friends were posting puppy pictures. So here's mine - baby BattleStar! You must be thinking - whoa who is BattleStar? Well... she's a little Sheltie pup I picked up yesterday. I had no plans of getting a pup anytime soon, but my friend found her for me and said that I couldn't pass her up. So, here she is:
Introducing Sirius-Trek's Shoot for the Stars.
AKA 'BattleStar' !

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Puppy day!

Apparently yesterday was International Puppy Day? I had no idea until I saw friends posting a bunch of adorable puppy pictures :) Well.... stay tuned for some very special puppy pictures later today. For now, here's a picture of Nari from our trial on Friday.

She finished her Gambler Master Champion title with a first place finish AND too first place in the international style standard course !!! So now she's qualified to compete in every tournament at USDAA Nationals this year :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Spring!!

Yesterday was the first day of spring! The girls are loving this weather - as long as it isn't raining :)

Last weekend we went hiking in Birmingham, AL after our agility trial. Starbuck thought it was a little too warm so she jumped in the creek!!

She never does that - she hates water bit was just so cute :)

Hope y'all are enjoying spring! Look out for more pictures and a surprise next week on my blog ;)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Review of the ToughHound All Sports Collar!

A little while ago I was contacted to test review the ToughHound All Sports Collar! You can find this collar at the dog bark collar store ( A direct link to the collar is: and the collar retails for $29.95. 

Nari - looking pretty in the ToughHounds All Sports Collar

The ToughHound All Sports collar " is made from highly-durable polycoated webbing which will allow you many years of rough and tumble play with your pup. The ToughHound’s non-porous surface dries quickly, will never absorb offensive odors and makes mud easily removable. The collar also features an integrated stainless steel laser-engraved nameplate which won’t jingle of fall from its ring."

I love bright colors so I was excited to see that the collar comes in 8 colors - there's your standard black and brown along with six other colors. Pretty much every collar I've had for the girls disappears in their thick, black fur. That becomes a problem because I'm constantly checking them to make sure that they have their collars on (drives them crazy). 

For my girls, I chose a bright pink collar so that it would really pop against the black fur - and I totally love the color! Just look at Nari digging - you can clearly see the collar and how pretty she looks in it! 
Digging around in the mud showing that the ToughHounds All Sports collar is bright and easy to spot

Another great aspect of this collar is that there are no hanging tags - your dog's information is laser engraved on the nameplate. Nari completely HATES hanging tags! We actually kept finding her tags laying around the house and could not figure out why they were falling off. Then we walked in the living room and found this:

Nari in mid-chewing of her tag

That's right - Nari had been chewing off her own tags!! That's pretty scary because she could have seriously damaged her teeth but not with the ToughHound collar. Another bonus to the ToughHound All Sports Collar is that it's perfect for performance dogs. My dogs compete in flyball and agility - both sports require your dog to run at high speeds. Since I've always been worried about the girls getting injured while running with hanging tags, I've just had them practice agility and compete without any collars. That's pretty scary when you're worried about what would happen if your dog got loose without a collar. 

I tested this collar for a week and had the girls practice agility (the first picture is Nari after agility practice, notice totally clean looking collar), flyball and running around in the mud. The collar passed our tests with flying 'colors' :) Here are some pictures of the mud testing: 

Alpha digging, digging, and digging until she can fit her head in the hole. 

What is this? A super dirty Alpha and a very clean looking collar! 

WOW - look at that - Alpha is completely dirty and yet the collar is completely clean and visible. Here's another picture where you can clearly see just how dirty she is and how clean and bright the collar looks:

Yep - she's filthy! And she slipped by us and ran through the house like that :) 

Here are some closeups of the collar after Alpha's hole digging adventure:

Not only is the writing on the tags completely visible - but the collar hardly has any dirt on it. That's pretty awesome.

You can see in the close up pictures above just how clear the laser engraving is and how sturdy the collar is. I've never bought a collar with a buckle before because all of the ones I've seen are just too much trouble to have on a small dog. But because the collar is made from highly durable polycoated nylon-webbing it's a breeze to put on and it's very secure. I was also very impressed with how sturdy the hardware was. The only downside I found was I wouldn't use this collar on dogs under 10 lbs - I found that because the hardware was so nice that it might be just a little too heavy for teeny, tiny dogs. 

Overall we give this collar 4 paws for:
- Awesome nameplate with no hanging tags
- Bright colors
- Durability and no cleaning required!
- Price is quite reasonable - customizable nameplate, you can even choose the font

As a disclaimer - for providing this review I did receive a ToughHounds All Sports Collar that I picked out. The views are completely my own, I was not required to give a positive review in exchange for the collar.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

There's always a happy ending...

This post is about our little crazy girl, Alpha. Alpha's had some troubles but that has never stopped her.

She was injured as a puppy. We were told she needed surgery but the ortho surgeons couldn't tell us why or if surgery would help. Instead we went to Dr. Donna at UTCVM and did rehab. Even with rehab, we were told that there really wasn't any chance that Alpha could do agility....

So... never give up hope! Alpha's taught us this lesson a couple of times in her life so far. Like when her kidneys failed and we didn't know if she would make it...

But Alpha made it and is still just as crazy!!

How has everyone been lately?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Snow day!!

The girls were super excited today because it snowed!!! That's right - snow in TN.

Here are the girls enjoying their walk.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dreaming of warmer times!

Okay everyone - who's super cold out there? I know I am, but I'm guessing most of you would disagree :) Yeah... it's a freezing 30 degrees out here in TN! Yep - you're probably all laughing at me saying how that isn't even considered cold. Well, I'm from WI so you'd think I'd be used to these kind of temperatures. I moved from WI to TN 4 years ago and that's how long it took me to loose my ability to tolerate below 30 degree temperatures! The girls, however, love these temperatures!

Now - onto the topic of this post! Dreaming of warmer times!

Here's a little video of Nari during her very first time at the beach:

Prior to this she was calmly laying on Aaron's lap:

Then she all of a sudden got up and starting digging like a mad doggie! The hole ended up big enough for her to fit inside. Did you notice Starbuck eating something in the sand at the end of that video? Yeah... she's kind of addicted to eating things. 

I'll post more pictures of our San Diego adventure in the next few weeks. We moved out to San Diego this summer for work and we all loved escaping the hot, humid TN summers, did some hiking and went to the dog beach. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Beach Babes!

I probably haven't mentioned this - but this summer we all packed up and headed to San Diego for work for a couple of months! The girls LOVED it because the summer weather was cooler and way less humid than what we see in TN.

Here are some pictures from our summer adventure! The girls at their very first doggie beach. Nari was quite the digging machine!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Laughing at yourself

Sometimes people don't believe me when I say I am clumsy. Well, here's proof.

What do you do when you're out of position on course? You land on a jump!

I hope everyone is more graceful than me! Have a great week :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

The life of a therapy dog!

Not only is Starbuck my very first dog - but she's also my very first therapy dog.

Starbuck passed her therapy dog exam when she was a year old. She was born for this job. When she was a tiny pup she would cry if she spotted a person across the street who didn't come over to pet her.

About a year ago, while she was visiting a retirement home, a women found out she was terminally ill. She had the staff find Starbuck to help her deal with this awful news. We visited her every week until she passed away. That was a really hard time for me. For months Starbuck would stop at her door and try to go in to visit.

Although there are tough times, it is great to see how happy the residents are to see us. What I find amazing is that when we visit with residents who are suffering from dementia, they seem to all remember Starbuck - to the point that they place Starbuck as being around when they were much younger. They think that she was either their dog or a neighbor's dog. There have been patients who will cry and never speak coherently, but they will smile and actually talk when they visit with Starbuck!

It just amazes me to see how much of an impact one tiny dog can make to so many people. Recently she visited the library at UT during finals week to give the students a stress-free study break. She had hundreds of students visit her, most of which took their picture with her.

Here are some pictures from her visit;

Anyone else have a therapy dog?