Frosty Morning Walk

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Happy New Year

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It was a beautiful, sunny New Year’s Day so my big girl and I went for a walk together without any of the other dogs.  Spirit has been having trouble getting used to sharing her “Mom” with our foster puppy McMullin.  Whenever I try and smooch him she pushes him out of the way and tries to get the attention.

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nailShe was spayed 2 weeks ago so she has been very bored hanging out around the house without any physical activity except 2 gentle walks a day.  Somehow she still managed to rip her toe nail almost completely off and leave just exposed tissue and bone.  I had the unfortunate job of having to trim off the nail.  I’m so lucky that we have such a strong bond that she completely trusted and allowed me to slowly and careful trim back the nail close to the base.  Poor girl.  She has sure had a run of bad luck health wise.  Let’s hope that 2017 is a new beginning for her.

2 Years Young

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I can’t believe that she is two years old already.  Time is just flying by.  She got a huge, delicious dino bone to celebrate.

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Anticipation

You can get a perspective on just how huge the bone is when you see it beside her giant 97lb body.  One end is the same size as her head.  She can barely carry it in her mouth.

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She’s Pulling

Today Spirit and I attended a pulling seminar. Berners were bred to pull milk carts so I thought it would be fun to try doing something that she would enjoy. It proved to be a bit of a challenge to start with. Spirit has been trained to walk beside me on a loose leash so I had a hard time getting her to go out in front of me and put some tension on the leash.  The teacher said that dogs with good obedience always have more of a challenge with pulling sports.  I did get her to drag a few old bike tires and at the end we did a little work with me on a scooter.  If there was a dog in front of us she would pull a little.  Hopefully I can get her to reliably pull in harness without losing her loose leash walk in a collar. Fingers crossed!!!! 

Another Scent Trial

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We just finished our third and final Sporting Detection trial of the year. It was hosted by Nosey Pawtners in Springbrook Alberta.  The results were almost an exact repeat of our advanced trial in August.  Spirit got another perfect score in Containers, but we only got a second place finish this time because another dog also had a perfect score but finished faster than we did.

Then came the Interior search. Once again we failed to qualify because of handler error. Spirit found the hide but I could not tell exactly where it was. The judge picked up on my hesitation and asked me to point it out and I was off by a few inches. Darn it!!!  I should have called Spirit off the hide, circled back around and got her to indicate again. I may have lost points for calling her off the hide but we would not have been disqualified. Another great learning experience.

The final search was an Exterior instead of a Vehicle, which I think is much harder because there are literally hundreds of places for a hide in an exterior area.  We got a near perfect score of 59/60 and got third place.

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Even though we only qualified in two of the three components, Spirit’s scores were so high that we placed 4th overall.  This trial was a little different.  Instead of awarding ribbons for 1st – 3rd in each component, they chose to give out certificates and dogs toys.  Ribbons were award for only the overall winners.  So we ended up with two certificates, one ribbon and 3 toys.  I would have preferred the ribbons but I think my girl likes the toys better.  So proud of Spirit especially since it has only been a few weeks since her emergency surgery to remove a blockage in her intestine.  A very big thank you to Judge Doug Teeft.

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Berner Party

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Today we had the pleasure of attending the first annual Bernese Mountain Dog party hosted by Coreen and Steve Johnson of Tailspin.  They invited all of the families who had dogs from their breedings.  There was a bevy of Berners in attendance.  We managed to get a picture with 14 of them.

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There was only one dog there from Spirit’s litter, her sister Asha.

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This is Mom Sophie and her two daughters.

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We also had the pleasure of meeting Tailspin’s newest litter.  They are called the Olympic litter because they were born during the Olympics.  Each puppy’s registered name will be Olympic themed.  They will be six weeks old on Monday.

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