THIS IS NOT OUR TEETER PERFORMANCE. Cricket actually has an awesome teeter now. Cricket learned the teeter following the directions on the Wendy Pape Teeter DVD which I highly recommend and really liked....something we did must have worked because Cricket has NO FEAR, LOL. ANYWAY, one of the games was jumping into the end position on a LOWEREDteeter, Cricket really likes that game, so now when ever we walk past the teeter she tries to jump onto the end, even with full height teeters, what a little nut ;-). This is not her best effort but I just happened to catch it on video.


Guess who is FIVE YEARS OLD today? Yep it is a huge milestone bday for the little red Lizard-Lizzie!

It was freezing and really windy but I took Lizzie out in the big agility yard today for a run, she was so cute she ran around and did all the equipment and just looked so happy. Her and I have a little trip scheduled in a few hours to Petsmart to pick out a birthday toy.

I will never forget the day Lizzie came into my life. I saw an ad with a picture of a cute little red/white split face border collie a few hours away. I figured it was probably a picture of past puppies, but I called and she was a girl, and she was available. Yep, I fell in love with Lizzie's looks! Never a good criteria to use when picking a dog....but she was too cute for words.

The whole family got into the car and drove down to the ranch where she was at in Temecula, CA. When we got there there was a huge pack of dogs, all running loose and getting along-hey I thought that was a good sign that she came from stock that all got along with other dogs and were nice --even to strangers driving up that they did not know. I happen to like that!

Lizzie's mom was a working girl and worked full time herding cattle and had gone back up to her job in Northern CA before I met Lizzie, so I have no clue what her mom looks like (yep, this was a spur of the moment decision and I sure did not go down my check list of what I would look for when I decided to get the little Lizard). Her dad was a red/white sweet heart of a dog-he was there.

We went to where the pups were kept, and there were three sisters. A black/white split face girl, a white face girl and Lizzie. Lizzie was the one that choose me, she wanted to play with me with the toys I had brought, she kept crawling up in my lap and she made me feel very loved ;-). I loved her split face too. The curly hair was a special surprise that I did not know about until long after I had her, LOL.

The lady must have thought I was CRAZY taking so much time to decide which girl I wanted, I dropped pans to look for noise sensitivity, played lots of games with the pups and just sat in the pen checking out how the girls were playing and reacting.

Of course Lizzie went home with us. My older daughter held her on her lap and a few miles from the ranch she got her name-Leapin' Lizzie just came to me, I am not sure why. The next afternoon I set Lizzie up in an xpen and went to agility class with Chloe, I came home to the cute little split face peering out the window. You guessed it she had leaped over the tallest xpen they make. Yep, I had chosen her name well, and she fit it to a tee.

Lizzie was the most challenging youngster, and I learned so much from her and everyone loved her. I will never love a dog like I love her, I love all my dogs but Lizzie will always hold a special place. I had to go on a lot of faith with Liz, faith that she would turn out ok, and that is a hard thing for me to do, relax and have faith. I worked hard but mostly she just grew up. Now at five she is pretty laid back, she is mostly just sweet and I miss some of her wildness and naughtiness. Who knew I would be able to say that when we started this journey, BUT it is true!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR LIZZIE, THIS HAS BEEN A REALLY FANTASTIC FIVE YEARS! Who knows who I would be today if I had not found her? I am sure i would not be the same person.....that is how I know she was truly meant to be in my life and I am so grateful we happened upon each other all those years ago!

Life a series of COMINGS, and GOINGS!

Well, I am no fan of change lately, LOL, but life keeps changing no matter what I say. When our neighbors moved in MANY years ago we met Arie. Arie is the neighbors' daughter and a few years older then my girls, but she has almost seemed like my daughter. I truly love Arie and almost every morning started with my dogs going wild and waking us up as Arie came over to see what was going on for the day. On Sundays my husband almost always took all three girls to the movies, or out hiking followed by some shopping. My girls are homeschooled and so they don't have as many friends as some kids but they have some really, really close friends.

So.....the time had come that Arie headed off to the Navy. Wow, that was so hard to see her go. I feel like one of my own has left, it was so hard to watch her walk off for the last time, I am sure she will be a lot different person by the time we see her again. Arie is a bit young for her age, so terribly sweet and just the nicest person anyone could know, not a bad or mean bone in that girls body.

Of course going into the service at this time in history, I am worried about her safety and it sure made me think of all the young men and women that have chosen to enlist and protect our country, and all that they must put aside for the moment to protect our interests in the world. It is so strange because with how long this war has raged .....I do not think about it, or hear much about it now days, and sadly because until now I have not had people close to me in the armed services I have not thought a lot about the people that are making that sacrifice-I have a fleeting though about it but not as much as I should be aware.

I hope anyone who reads this will stop for a second and think of all the brave men and women-maybe include them in their prayers, and remember how many young people are serving, people that hardly seem old enough to drive (guess I am showing my age -) ). The house feels so empty knowing she is not going to be coming over, and I really miss her, I miss what she meant to my daughters, I will definiely pray for her safety and pray this will be a terrific stepping stone and positive experience in her life!

My older daughter Abby, then Arie, and my youngest daughter Emma-this was taken right before Arie had her hair cut short in preparation for leaving for the navy, she donated her locks to Locks for Love. Arie has always loved her hair ;-).

Post hair cut:

The kittens are sooooo cute,... and two kitties together are REALLY cute. It is so sweet to watch, they are a blast to watch them play and they LOVE each other so much, but they are still more then willing to interact with us. Both kitties are staying healthy so far..knock on wood...but they are still in isolation in my bathroom.





PIXEL being held


What did we pick up at Petsmart today????

One thing that has dominated our life the last few weeks is the kitten search. It is not kitten season, and my kids were just determined to get a cat. My older daughter Abby wanted a grown cat, a siamese, or a white cat or a calico with a lot of white. My younger daughter just wanted one that would like to be held and actually any cat we could get TODAY and was breathing pretty much fit her bill. I wanted a cat that was going to be a little outgoing and confident so that they could handle living with three border collies, two girls, two adults, two shelties and a cat that is almost seven and has been an only cat her whole life.

It has been hard, my daughter Abby picked a pretty, sweet calico cat that was a few years old at Petsmart. The cat was sick and got sent back to the shelter for treatment....;-) she came back to Petsmart all better. We were excited, she seemed sooo sweet, very pretty and it would have been nice to help out an adult kitty, and it might have been easier for Kimmie to handle a grown cat. We cleaned my bathroom and got the room all ready for this little girl, got a new litterbox all ready, st out pretty food and water dishes, and headed to Petsmart with our carrier. We brought Chloe because she is our most cat friendly dog-sort of as a last minute thought thinking it would be good to reassure us she would do ok with the dogs...after an adjutment time of course. Well, sadly the cat had a pretty bad reaction to Chloe who was just trying to hide because the cat was scaring her. My daughter was heart broken and still wanted to get this sweetie, but as an adult cat I just felt really unsure she would feel happy and safe...esp knowing the border collies could really mess with a cat that did not like dogs. We talked to a lot of people who said that we were better off getting a kitty younger then six months unless we really knew a cat was used to dogs and other cats.

Next we saw a cute little siamese mix kitten at the shelter that had been part of a seizure. Not sure what the deal was but the kitten was not going to be available for two weeks nad it was a really fluffy kitten. My only criteria for a cat was it be a short hair cat. Kimmie is long hair and no one really combs her on a regular basis but me and I just would really rather have a short hair cat. The girls were really upset.....

So the girls have been on the net and looking everywhere for cats...there are not a lot of kittens available here right now. I kept assuring them that unfortunately kitten season is just around the corner....and unfortunately there will be way too many kittens in need of homes. After the Calico incident I really felt a kitten would be the best bet unless we could find a cat we could test out with dogs or we knew they were comfortable with dogs.

Well, we stopped at an out of town Petsmart today, late in the afternoon -and guess what we saw. A rescue group with 2- 14 week old female siamese mix kittens. OOOH dear. We looked and the girls were determined we would get one. Getting a new kitty is a little stressful for me thinking of all the years ahead and hoping that if we got a kitty it would be one that would fit for everyone. The age was great because I knew these kitties had been with their littermates until today -so they got more then twelve weeks with their families (I have been reading on the net that is good for their social development and learning things like all about litter boxes, and for their confidence), but they were still really kittenish looking and young enough to hopefully easily adjust to all the other animals.

As we looked at the kittens, the rescue people really were pushing for us to get two kitties. Emma my youngest loved the lighter white kitty, and Abby loved the darker marked cat. I had read a lot about how it would be easier on an older cat if there were two kittens to sort of take the brunt of kittens energy, and that if you get litter mates they will generally always stay close. I watched the kitties curled up and grooming each other, they were a little stressed since it was the end of a very long day for them I am sure-but you could tell they were really comforting each other. The rescue people persisted telling me they would give a GREAT discount for a second cat adoption.

Ahhhhhhhh.....I gave up and two kitties were coming home with us. Boy I was sweating bullets and I kept imagining all the animals in our house and I was feeling the weight on my shoulders of making such a HUGE decision. I had to go to Jack in the Box and get a diet Dr. Pepper and a shot of greasy comfort food (a mini funnel cake) on the way home to try to calm my nerves! There were calls to my mom and my friend to help me calm down and not panic about what I had done, hahahahaha, (it was a scary decision, because we have so many animals, and I dont think I have ever had more then one cat at a time). One thing that sort off worried me was the kitties had not purred and were a little reserved, but I was really hoping that it was because they had a long day and were stressed. I had already deceided though that the cat selection was for the girls and they should get what they wanted, and these were the kitties they wanted.

Both girls picked names, although who knows there might be changes as the kitties settle in and we see their personalities. Both girls had just the right collars in mind, LOL, we had a crate in the car.....things just flowed after signing a million papers, going through the applications, etc.

SOOOOOOO Without further ADO....here are the girls (I had wanted a boy kittie and got two girls...hummm HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?....I am just a girl magnet-all our animals are girls except poor Skyler):

PIXEL-Pixie for short-so far she seems a little quieter, and a little more confident and stable, a little more playful-but that could be because she was a little more relaxed. She is almost a white girl with little patches of really light tan, light blue eyes, and gets the pink cupcake collar. That is Emmas kittie.

SISTER TWO-ASHE-So far she seems like the first cat to purr but also the first kittie to hiss at the dogs, a little more high strung. In person she is a very striking girl way prettier in person then I was able to catch on film...with light blue eyes and she gets a dark blue collar. Her fur is a little darker tannish color.

Ashe and Pixel are set up in my bathroom for the first few days where we can make sure they are healthy and give all the doggies and kitties a chance to sort of get used to each others smells and to seeing each other. Lizzie and Cricket have been glued to the bathroom door and won't move....they are pretty happy we got new kitties, it will make herding easier ;-(, and Kimmie the cat and Ashe have already hissed at each other, but after an hour or two where everyone was able to settle down the kitties seemed to relax and were just sort of looking at Cricket and Lizzie when I opened the door to go in....and I was able to relax and not feel so panicked with worry about whether I had made a really bad decision when both kitties started purring when I walked in and jumped into my lap.....that sort of made it easier to RELAX and just trust that it was all meant to be.

Jumping through hoops!

IT'S OOOOOOOON! HERE, my two daughters and I had a big competition-really serious stuff ;-).

My daughters have been asking me for another cat. Ahhhhh, surely we don't have enough animals with five dogs and a cat....LOL. My youngest daughter especially wants a cat, one that she can carry around more. My girls are both cat people and to be fair they have done an excellent good job taking care of our current cat- Kimmie. I have never had to feed Kimmie, or do the litter box, I do occasionally have to remind them to scoop the box, and I do occasionally have to bug them to brush her, and I do occasionally brush her because I do not want her to mat, but that is the extent of what I have to do.

As part of her campaign to get a new kitty and show how good she was with her cat my youngest challenged me to a contest. We would see who could clicker train a trick to their animal first. Neither of my kids have ever clicker trained or shaped anything so I said well, that would be great and I gave my daughter the choice of who I had to train. LOL, surprisingly they challenged me to train Cricket. My daughter is SOOOO CUTE, she was seriously thinking about what her criteria was and what she would click for, she asked me to throw the treat for her but she was doing the training and making all the decisions-I just followed her directions-TOO CUTE!! It really was so much fun to see the girls doing some training, that has always been "my" thing so they have never really shown an interest in doing much....but watching them they have picked up quite a bit more then I knew ;-).


IN the interest of fairness I told them they should rethink that because Cricket could learn just about any trick really quickly, I offered to train all the dogs, except Chloe who my older daughter was supposed to train.

My youngest has been a training fool with the cat and taught her to go through a hoop, not an easy task for a first try at shaping--given Kimmie is an older cat. She is doing great at it, and is now also trying to teach her to touch a target stick.


My oldest daughter will not admit she is teaching her dog Chloe, LOL, she trains when she thinks we will not see her, so no way was I going to get her on tape. My oldest daughter is 15 1/2 and definitely not into doing what mom does, LOL.

So soon all the animals in our home will jump through hoops, we can start a circus! WHOO HOOO!

As a side note I have been doing some simple training with the dogs to foster harmony in the pack, and it is going wonderfully, in the video there is a picture of Chloe and Lizzie working together, in the same room, they could not do that a few months ago, I am pretty proud of that-I will post more about that on another day!

Cricks first very informal fun run ;-)

WHOO HOOOO Crickets first fun run was a great experience-she did AWESOME for a baby dog, we walked away with a HUGE list of things we need to work on, but I was really happy and excited that the big things seem to be coming together nicely. Running the course was the least of my concerns and NOT my big training goal for the day. My goal was to give Cricket and I a chance to practice waiting for our turn, and see how she would do doing her agility with all the dogs sitting so closely-would she pay attention to what we were doing and stay focused on the task at hand? Would she run off to play with the other doggies or people? NOT TO WORRY-Little Miss Cricket was all about playing agility while we were on the course, I thought she would but it was a real confidence builder for me-HOW COULD I HAVE DOUBTED MY CRICKSTER?. I crated Cricket in the car for most of the runs, but did bring her out for a few runs before our turn each round. I worked on click/treat for quiet behavior and by the end of the fun run she was intently watching the other dogs but able to keep herself from going over the top--VICTORY!!!

We stopped and broke the course up -this was TRAINING and I wanted her to be set up for success. The first run was BEAUTIFUL, and I should have stopped there, LOL, the second run we had a little more trouble with the weaves and the Aframe, but the great thing was that Cricket was really understanding the handling. There was one point where it was a teeter, spread jump, Aframe all lined up in a row, but you needed to do a really tight right hand turn after the spread jump and before the Aframe. The other dogs there had a lot more experience but all the handlers used a pretty heavy call off to get that turn. Both my dogs read the front cross really well, collected over the spread and landed turned the direction we were going, WHOOO HOOO!

Breeze was another story, boy my hamstring was really hurting and I was not able to move well, and the course required a lot of Independence on the contacts to get to where you needed to be. ON a SUPER high note Breeze did fantastic with her contacts, really in dependant spot on contacts, a really straight down at the bottom of her aframe-I have been working on straightening out her position on the four on the floor-well, that looked great. I used a mat as a body target but I was very far away and she got into a great position. UGhghghghghg, all the work on weaves at home and boom she was having a heck of a time picking up the entry at a fun match ;-(. She has done so fantastic in practice I thought for sure we would ace those. Anyway running the course felt pretty sloppy and discouraging-but totally me and my handling.

This was a fun run at our club and it was funny that as I got ready for my last runs I got a really snide question asking if I was going to train this time or run the course? Like really? hahahahhaahah, this was a fun run for TRAINING and it did not count for anything. This particular group has a series of "tournaments" where they all compete and you are not allowed any training....so they have those available-they keep score and compete in teams against each other-so they have those available- but then they occassionally have these fun runs. I did not take a lot of time but I did stop with Cricket at critical points and reward when she got something well, I stopped before the Aframe so Cricket could get collected because we are not doing the Running Aframe in sequences yet...she is not there yet. I stopped at the end of the weaves and rewarded those. I rewarded Cricket holding her contacts. When Breeze was going over the spread jump --the one where she needed to collect and then do a hard right and pull off the Aframe she dropped the bar. I totally had not cued the collection and turn correctly and in time--well, I redid that jump and turn. So yea, I did take a few more minutes then the people just racing through the course. Gosh that is why you go to fun runs isn't it?

I was just surprised for a fun run that everyone did a hard call off with their dogs before the Aframe instead of practicing it and helping the dogs read the front cross there, and I did not see anyone else stop and reward their dog, all the other dogs have 2020 contacts but most people did let the dogs fly through their contacts. I just thought fun runs were for working on those things, sure not worth eroding your training for something that does not even count, this was not the finals in a national competition, no one was keeping score, but that is a super competitive little group. Not competitive in trying to develop more skills but just competitive with each other. On one point in the course they had the 21 in weaves out, and Breeze is not allowed to do 21 in weaves, so I rearranged that part of the course for myself, no big deal but everyone started yelling that I was going wrong on course. I really do not enjoy working in that particular group a lot and I have always had training partners in the past that really enjoy training too...so I don't notice all that type of stuff as much, but boy I sure miss having a friend to work with these days ;-)-WELL I mean a friend other then my two best buddies Breeze and Cricket, hahahaha, they are the best to train with-but some days a person who you can talk to would be fun too! LOL.


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