Tuesday, December 24, 2013


‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Jake and Brita were searching for not just a mouse.

Their stockings were hung by the fridge with care,

In hopes that mom Laurel would willingly share.


In just a short time they were snug in their beds,

While visions of chipmunks danced in their heads.

It wasn't just chipmunks they dreamed of that night,

But also the rabbits who they made take flight.


In a short time there arose such a clatter

They jumped from the couch to see what was the matter.

And there to their wondering eyes did appear

The spirits of others that used to live here.


First, there was Josie who made the most noise,

Chasing the others, especially the boys.

But Ari and Teddy would not let her run

Because they decided she'd stifle their fun.


Tori was circling to see what to do

When Kobie and Liver quickly ran through.

Then they ALL came together to join in a song

While Brita and Jake, wide eyed, looked on.


The message they brought on that night of a birth

Was of PEACE and GOOD WILL to all on the earth.

This message was clear to those who would listen,

As clear as the snow which often would glisten.


And then, in the distance, was the sound of a whistle

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But they were heard to exclaim as they flew out of sight,

"Peace to all of God's creatures, and to all a good-night!"











NOTE:  I woke up with this running through my head this morning
and in 30 minutes had it done.  Truly I believe I had unseen help!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Watching the best..

Thank you Monique for this….
Watching the world’s best-dog trainers at work is a joy.

It is like watching an actor morph into the person that their dog needs at precisely the right moment. Their emotions change at the flip of a light switch, as needed. Their dogs respond perfectly to the changed emotions, believing every thing that they are told.

None of this is accomplished through words. It is facial expressions, sounds, and body movements. Sometimes our tried and tested praise words are so worn-out, that we utter them with boredom. If you use 'yes, or 'good dog' record yourself, and from your tone alone, decide if you are delivering the right message.

Once you can make your dog feel how you need him to feel, you have become a trainer.
With the exception of a handful of trainers in the world who have this skill mastered, the rest of us will be on a life quest to achieve this. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I do!
Monique Anstee
Victoria, BC

Saturday, November 23, 2013

So I get a new mat..

… for me…radiates my body heat back to me..  but who can’t stay off of it the minute I get up!! 


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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Titles & Ribbons & Toys, oh my….

BARN HUNT weekend ……  So here’s the scoop…

2 Titles – Open and Senior
2 - 2nd places – one in OPEN and one in SENIOR
2 – 1st places – one in OPEN and one in SENIOR
2 – High in Class – SENIOR
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And 2 goodie bags he shared with Brita! 
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Jake's Barn Hunt Senior Run 1 min 29 sec
Jake flew through the tunnel at the beginning (not on video), had to do a climb, found 4 rats and
ignored 4 tubes, 3 of which had litter in them.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Shed + Straw = FUN!

30 bales of straw coming…  hmmm…  the shed!  It had become the dumping ground for all the environmental distractions used for PSA.  So…  9 garbage bags of milk jugs, cans, bottles, hoops, etc., etc.  bagged and ready for the garbage pickup.  Tarp and 4x4 raised box on the floor.  Straw!!  And, you know, Jake gets almost as excited at frozen chicken backs in the tubes as he does with live rats (which aren’t part of MY plan!)  …..liver maybe..  just thinkin’.

1.49   1   1-002   1-001   1-003   1.08   1-006   1-004   1-005   1-007  

So after the chicken lunch, Jake and Brita get to hang out while I figure out how to cover the window openings so the weather stays on the outside and away from the straw!!  I’ll also have to fence part of it in since Jake kept going to the outside since the tube was on the edge of the building and he thought it might be easier from out there…  FENCING I have!! 

UPDATE – the next day….
Jake, again searching for and finding the chicken in the tube….  what a guy!  He has NO hesitation about standing on his head to get the tube.  Then he takes it and heads out to the yard and finally back to the crate in the garage where he will get to eat the chicken he found!

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Rain tomorrow so I wanted to get tarps around it so the straw wouldn’t get wet.
My plan was to have CLEAR plastic but had to use what was available so I  
used tarps for the back and far side and resorted to a
sail from an “A” scow which has a VERY high mast so it is very large.  
Not quite done here but after a bit more work it looks like a wrapped sardine can!

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What we DO for our Dogs!!



Monday, September 30, 2013

Jake’s a ROCK STAR!!

Barn Hunt ROCKS!
Who would have thought that an 80 pound German Shepherd would place 2nd in 2 novice trials on Saturday earning a NOVICE title and then finish 2nd and 3rd on Sunday in the OPEN level earning 2 legs towards that title!

Click here to read the first post that explains the new sport called Barn Hunt!

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Saturday - Trial 1 – Novice - Krista Williams (judge)  21.58 seconds – Pass - 2nd place
Saturday - Trial 2 – Novice - Krista Williams (judge)  24.38 seconds – Pass – 2nd place
Total time allowed for novice is 2 minutes.  He missed 1st place each trial by 1 second.

Sunday - Trial 1 – Open - Krista Williams (judge)  66.84 seconds – Pass – 2nd place
Sunday - Trial 2 – Open - Krista Williams (judge)  64.40 seconds – Pass – 3rd place
Total time allowed for OPEN is 2 minutes 30 seconds.

I posted on Facebook and below are “likes” and comments!

Candace Shaffer, Rolando Arthus Salvador, Tracy Jennerjohn and 52 others like this.

Nancy Nestler Go Jake! What an intersting sport!

Laurel Stone Nancy - it's just plain fun! In novice there are 3 tubes (rat/rat litter/nothing) hidden in the straw and the dog must find the one with the rat and indicate it so the handler calls it. if the handler calls the wrong one, it's over. Dogs have to go through a tunnel made from bales 18" wide and 22" high which determines whether or not dogs can participate. They also have to climb on a bale and if they find the rat before the climb or tunnel they have to go back and do it. Novice time is 2 minutes. When Jake did it Saturday, his times were 21 and 23 seconds and was ONE second behind the winning dog. In open there are 2 rats and one is hidden high with more time and in the higher levels there could be 5 rats but you're not told how many with bales stacked 3 high and several tunnels. Oh and they run naked (no collar) so holding Jake in the start box while handing off my leash without holding his scruff is probably the hardest part for me because he is SO excited.

Connie Bachhuber Jake is a natural. And thank you for being so willing to work. Gate Steward is not an easy job.

Marilyn Tokach What goof! He looks so proud of himself... but in a laid back, "yea, I did it... what's the big deal?" sort of a way.

Laurel Stone Connie.. you're too nice.. gate steward is the easiest job and you get to watch the dogs! Marilyn, He is a goof as we know. When he finds the last rat I have him bring the tube to me and he sits in front of me in a perfect retrieve position and releases it when I say out!

Sandra Hoesel Are you coming to the Rock Road Barn Hunt Oct 26th & 27th? Jake has that "I wanna go to another Barn Hunt" look in his eye! Congrats on all those pretty ribbons!

Laurel Stone Yes ma'am, I'm coming over to your place Sandra Hoesel! At least my entry is in an envelope with the others at Gail Donaldson's! Who knew he'd be so naturally good! If we don't pass any it will clearly be my fault (don't pat the straw Laurel, don't hold him by the scruff Laurel, don't shout Laurel.. you get the picture! :):))

Who would have thought it??  BARN HUNT….finding rats in a tube … 
more exciting than bitework!!! 
GO Jake!!!!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Dogs hunting!!

I tell ‘em…  “get that rabbit” because rabbits are eating my stuff!  Remember those carrots I planted….

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2013-08-30 08.51.36       2013-08-30 08.51.30

Friday, August 2, 2013

…sometimes I really don’t want to be right….

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“Tell me it’s NOT Pannus” …I said to the vet.  “You have a good eye for it”, he said:  “Most people would not have recognized it this early in it’s progression”.  “This is my 3rd dog with Pannus”  I added and his response was “well, you do have the right breed for it.”

Three months ago I noticed Jake’s eyes, took a picture of them and emailed them to Dr. Jeff.  He recommended that I observe him and if I feel like I should do so, to bring him in to have his eyes checked.  So, today, I did that. 

He’s not happy about having drops put in his eyes but since it will be his life now, I’m sure it will get to be just another thing to do each day. 

Pannus is a disease seen most commonly in the German Shepherds, but does occur in other breeds. A progressive change occurs where blood vessels and scar tissue invade the cornea. This change usually begins in the outer or lower quadrant of the cornea, and severe cases can involve most or all of the corneal surface area resulting in blindness. If chronic, the affected areas may become black with pigmentation.


It is believed that Pannus is an immune mediated disease. That is, some subcellular change has occurred in the cornea which the immune system then recognizes as abnormal resulting in an immune mediated attack in the cornea almost as if the cornea was foreign or transplanted tissue. It is suspected that the German Shepherd has a genetic predisposition to this disease, but the damage to the cornea which starts everything is thought to be associated with ultraviolet radiation.  Today, Pannus is diagnosed worldwide, however it is well recognized that cases of Pannus are more severe and harder to treat in areas of higher elevation, supporting the UV radiation theory. It is hypothesized that dissipation of the ozone layer has resulted in greater exposure to ultraviolet radiation.  

 It makes sense then to treat Pannus with medications that locally suppress the immune reaction. Steroids (such as dexamethasone and Prednisolone) are anti-inflammatory medications, which provide some immunosupression as a side effect. Cyclosporine, is a drug which has immunosupression as it’s primary mode of action, and applied topically alone or in combination with steroids often results in better control of Pannus than the use of steroid alone.  Cyclosporine (1%) is used in the treatment of Pannus. With treatment, the active formation of blood vessels and new tissue often resolves, but the scarring and pigmentation may improve slowly or not at all.  


 Reduction of exposure to ultraviolet radiation is also helpful in the long term control of Pannus. Keeping the dog indoor during the sunniest part of the day; providing a doghouse shelter; or trying a specialty pair of canine sunglasses called Doggles may prove very helpful.

Since Pannus is an immune mediated disease, it is managed by treatment but not cured. Ongoing treatment for life is needed to maintain vision.

Doggles: blue-red-light blue-chrome-black-leopard-chrome..  what color to buy…  what color to buy??  Oh the decisions life throws at us!!  I think I like the blue!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

No… they are not German Shepherds!

And it shows that I am not a TOTAL breed snob!!  (Double click for large screen)

Bernese Mountain Dog. Winnie. and Poodle. Grrif. getting acquainted!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Barn Hunt ….huh??

Barn Hunt logo

Does it have to do with dogs?  What the heck?  Of course, it has to do with dogs and not something to do with hunting barns!!  Check out the website:  Barn Hunt Association LLC  “The rat hunting game for all dogs!”  …huh?  RATS???   OK I said…  as long as I don’t have to actually hold the rats maybe I should check it out….  after all my dogs will chase and eat anything and so will Winnie!  Wait.. I don’t want them eating rats!  Well, not to worry..  they don’t EAT them, in fact, they don’t even touch them, they just hunt them… in a hard, HARD PVC tube, and, in fact, they don’t even chase them.  They HUNT them in a barn..  BARN HUNT… duh..

Off to the first training…  Jake, Brita and Winnie. 

  • Brita:  SO excited she could hardly contain herself…  wait..  that’s Brita no matter what!  Brought her up to the start box and thought, she’s good at searching so let’s see what she does.  Silence, intense searching on the bales of straw.  Silence.  Over the tube with the rat. Over the empty tube. Over the tube with the paper that smells like the rat.  Nothing but more good searching..  hmmm..   Let’s show her the rat… More searching.  Put her back in the van. OH NO…  light bulb! No one told her what to search for!!!  Next time.
  • Winnie:  ..the rat killer in her yard.  Piece of cake.  Nothing…  Show her the rat… Aww…  cute… she LIKES the rat.  Looks like we’ll need to do some work here.
  • Jake:  Pretty excited – but then that’s Jake…  what to do?  Sniffing around…  WAIT – there is something ALIVE in this tube –Instinct test setup I need to kill it!!!  … several times this happened..  “THIS is your dog”,  she said!   No, Jake, you can’t do a bark and hold on the nice lady!  No, Jake, you can’t take it back to the van with you.  “Out-down” became a very handy command.

Signed up Jake and Brita for the Instinct Test for the upcoming trial.

Second training went much like the first.  Put Winnie on hold until after the trial. Brita did the same good searching.  Jake was a wild-man.  Change the entries to Jake only – Instinct and Novice.

Trial day 5 days later. 

  • Instinct test:  Only requirement is to pick the tube with the rat in rather than the others.  Piece of cake.  Rule #1 of trialing… make sure you walk your dog.  Handler error.  DQ.  Another lesson learned – you can’t hold the dog back in the start box by holding the scruff of the neck.  Glad I did this instinct thing to get ready.
  • Novice:  Jake couldn’t be more excited but is containing himself ok.. it’s been worse.  Get him in the ring, hold him back by the chest, tell him to tunnel and he goes under the bales (required), finds one tube and passes over it, searches more with me just walking slowly around saying “where is it” occasionally,  He finds the tube between 2 bales and starts digging, pushes it out and pounces on it.  I take it and hold it up while telling him to get on the bales (required to jump on them at some point),  He jumps on the bales and them launches himself at the tube that the judge has now taken from me and (thank god!) misses.  I gather him up as I hear the spectators breathe a sign of relief (Hey it was the most excitement all day) and take him from the ring.  Total time: 1:33 – Qualified!  (2 minutes is allowed)

ok… We’re hooked and plans are underway for bales of straw and training in the yard!



Thank you Kay for taking the pictures!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dogs and digging!!

Dogs dig.  That’s just the way it is.

The key I think is to have them dig in the right places and on command. 

It started with Ari digging in water.  Every time he did I would very excitedly say DIG DIG!!  It didn’t take long before he learned what “DIG” meant!  Then came the sandbox…  took him there and told him to DIG again I’m sure he thought “oh my, how exciting!”  Easy as that!  Built him a 12 x 12 diggers paradise sandbox!  He continued to think it was the greatest thing to do whether it was sand or water.  Eventually the pool turned into a sandbox and I learned that cutting the bottom out was a smart thing to do!

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Now I have 2 diggers and am excited about that..  they chase each other to the sandbox and take turns digging.  Brita was not too much of a digger until she saw how much fun it was so she started too.  Jake picked it up instantly and now he helps me around the years…  I get the shovel out and he comes running.  Also, I learned that he loved to dig and pull out buckthorn trees which are invasive.  Apparently, the roots have a unique smell because he will dig and put his nose in the dirt, take a deep sniff and if it is a buckthorn will start digging and then pull it out by the roots….  the bigger the better, here’s another post! 

Now their sandbox is the former pool…  it’s perfect!   It has become the place of choice to hang out when we’re just hanging in the yard!

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And finally..  remember I said cut the bottom out…  well here is what happened if you don’t….  sand…  rain… no where to drain  =  mud!

 Teddy and Brita-112a    Teddy and Brita-114




Thursday, April 18, 2013

Well, Yes…

…  I did think he was going to go through the window after the squirrel -  but in his defense, the squirrel started it… 

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