Laureate Shelties Blog

A bit of this, a bit of that...with a lot of free spirits.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sheltie "Art" and Handling Class

When "Dusty" was a puppy, my sister Jan showed her at a local match and she placed second out of three. Dusty was spayed shortly after, but I must have wanted her to have puppies. This was a picture I painted when I was ten, the same year we got Dusty. The white on the muzzle must have been inspired by "Lassie", as Dusty didn't have that marking. I think the "tri-factored" puppy is pretty funny! (I've also learned a bit about structure since then).

I took "Bunny" to handling class today. It was her first time, and she was a hit. She made everyone laugh at her antics. She was wound up and totally unfocused, but at just under 14 weeks of age, that shouldn't be a surprise. I'm just glad she's happy, and showed absolutely no fear. She gaited with her head up, tail up and leaped and hopped around the ring. (I should have known better than to name her after an animal that bounces). Cocoa came along also, and I alternated between the two. Cocoa was totally grounded, completely opposite to Bunny. She moved really quite well, she was very balanced and just followed along. She was really good for her first time away from the house. I was pleased.

I took some pictures of Bunny with Nova's singleton puppy. I was actually just trying to take pictures of the baby, but Bunny kept jumping into the bed. The baby was very interested in Bunny, having spent his life as an only child. Bunny thought he was a toy, so she learned a new word today..."gentle".

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


It is dark today. The clouds are low and there is a cold rain and the forecast is for 10 to 15 cm of snow tonight. There are many things to do before the snow comes, but I'm procrastinating. I'm thinking of how I got involved with dogs.

When I was eight years old my father was asked to look after a friend's dog for the weekend. This beautiful white "Husky" came to our home and I was in love. I forget her name, but she was shedding badly...that I remember. Big tufts of white fluff left in the grass in the backyard. I called her a Husky as she looked like the dogs I'd seen in books pulling sleds. My father corrected me and said she was a Samoyed. I didn't understand, so he showed me the picture of a Samoyed in the encyclopedia and there I saw all the dog breeds! The Sammy had to go back home, but I was hooked on all the breeds of dogs. From that moment, I kept the "D" encylopedia in my room and my sister, Jan, and I would rate the dogs plus or minus as to which ones we preferred.

In 1971, my Mom decided that we'd get a dog, (we had finally broken her...wore her down with our pleading!) She had seen Shelties in the neighborhood and thought that they were the perfect dog for our family. They were not too big, nor too small, they were intelligent and they were beautiful. She first went to a breeder who had a litter of blue merles. We begged to have one, but she didn't care for that colour (she's changed her mind since!). We found a breeder who was an obedience enthusiast and she had a litter out of her blue merle female and a tri-factored sable male. We chose the light golden female (a sable merle). We took her home and named her "Dusty", a name Jan and I had chosen for one of our imaginary dogs (a blonde saluki). Dusty was the greatest pet. She was smart, she was a good size and she was very pretty. Here she is with my brother Jim around 1979.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It Happened Again

It scares me each time it happens. I take the huge spotlight out with me and I carefully go into the yard looking for either Lexus or LuAnne. Last night it was LuAnne. My heart pounding, hoping that when I do find them, that they will be breathing! At their age, they sleep soundly, and so when I call the dogs in, they are fast asleep in one of the shelters. Once Lexus was flat on her side, in a bit of a dip, so her legs were elevated, and her mouth was opened slightly. I stared at her for a long time, looking for signs of life. (I think I had stopped breathing at that point!) She breathes shallowly, so that was hard to see. I nudged her, and she slowly came around. Phew. Last night, LuAnne didn't wake with the flashlight in her eyes, but when I called her she was surprised to see me. In we went to bed, safe for another night.

Bunny pupdate! She is growing. Now at 12 weeks of age she measures 14 1/4". Her feet are getting larger, so now she'll have to grow to fit them. She can get up on the sofa, and she's been found asleep on a pillow more than once! She's good with the others dogs, though on occasion I'll see her take a swipe at one of the older girls as they are going by...little brat!

Bunny went for a ride in the car today. I'm not sure how long she'll be riding next to me, as she's becoming quite excited about the whole thing. She stands on the armrest and presses the buttons. Luckily I found the child lock and did the window back up again. Bunny sees a car coming towards us and as it passes, she follows it with her head and body. (We bred a Sheltie that did the same thing and at the time I called it "herding dementia", but I'm sure that is not the right term!) It was also raining today, so the wipers were in use. She had to put her paws on the dashboard to check out the motion of those. So with the wipers, the cars and Josh Groban singing Italian, she had sensory overload!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


What a wonderful feeling to be adored. To have someone or some furry someone think the sun rises and sets on you. Anyone who has had a special pet knows what I am talking about. I am fortunate to be on the receiving end of such love and devotion. While most of the dogs are very fond of me, Gabi is my shadow. Wherever I am, she is, and preferably where she can keep her eye on me. Several years ago we decided to take a trip to Alabama. It was a two day trip of solid driving. Gabi sat on my lap in the front seat the entire time! I had a blanket on my lap to keep her legs from falling off...she was so comfortable she would fall fast asleep! When I was at the dog show, and in the ring with another, Pete said she pined for me and wouldn't settle, she was pulling at the leash to get to me. She loves me so much, she'd rather I didn't talk to any of the others...I have to reasure her that she is the MOST special of all!

Gabi has a bed upstairs in the office where she'll keep watch over me, one in the TV room and then at bedtime she's by my bedside. I recently gave her a new donut bed by the window, where she can see me in bed. This is now her favorite spot to sleep. When I wake up, she meets my gaze with a smile on her face. How fortunate I am! I was reminded today that she is 13 years old, so I count every day with her as a bonus. Having dogs reminds us to live in the moment and to value the preciousness of time spent with those we love. Not a bad thing to remember.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


One of the joys of raising dogs is meeting people with whom you develop a lasting friendship. January will mark the 20th year since our first litter, so that is a pretty long time. What is nice is when families that have had one of our dogs in the past come back to us for another...and another. Such is the case with Janet and Gene Hamelin. They first got Indy, Laureate's Little Bear's Kiss, CD, CGN (on right) and then several years later, they were kind enough to give a retirement home to his dam, Morgan (Laureate Dream West, ROMC). When Morgan passed away and they felt they were ready, they adopted Cupcake , Ch. Laureate Meringue (on left). Cupcake was one we felt we could never part with. She is a ray of sunshine. Every day to her is an opportunity and she is perpetually cheerful (we always said she's a cup of cheer)! How could we part with a dog like that? Well a few years ago when we looked around and realized that our "geriatric" population was increasing we realized we had to make a choice between Cupcake and Tiramisu. We decided Tira would stay, only because she doesn't make new friends very fast and we felt she wouldn't adjust. Cup, on the other hand, packed her bag and never looked back! I received this photo yesterday and I particularly love it, because it shows a bond between these two marvellous Shelties and for the fact that we've met two wonderful people who give our dogs their undivided attention and love. Thank you Janet and Gene!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Getting Away

We are lucky to have Connie. Connie has been with us for about 4 years helping with the dogs. The dogs are crazy about Connie and for good reason. She is kind and gentle, she makes sure she says good morning to each and every one of the dogs, making sure they are all doing well. She cares about their well being, and she has a pretty good throwing arm too! Connie comes here when we go away. We have been fortunate to be able to get away this year to both National Specialties; the ASSA in Denver and the CSSA in Calgary. We went to Salt Lake City in August and just this past weekend we spent 3 nights in Quebec City. I miss the dogs when I go away, and more so at the moment with our newest addition. Did the dogs miss me? Maybe Gabi...I'd have to say I would hope Gabi would know I was gone...but the others? No, I don't think so. Why would they miss me when with Connie it is like summer camp all day! This past weekend the weather was fabulous, so Connie spent the day in the dog yard with the "kids" playing ball with them. Yes, we are lucky...very lucky!
Bath day again...Bunny looks pretty pleased with herself! She's pictured romping in the leaves with Juno on the left and Cocoa on the right. She also likes her new Kuranda bed...I put it together myself, and I even followed the directions!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

On clippers and reading instructions

Ask Pete. I don't read instructions. I just buy something, and then figure it out as I go. He, on the other hand, will read the manual cover to cover. We're a good team! So today I made my first attempt at clipping Bunny. I opened up my brand new clipper, which had a #10 blade attached. Opened up the blade I needed and then realized I had to get the blade off that was on the clipper. Seeing screws on the blade, I reached for a screwdriver, and uncrewed the screws. Off popped a blade and another smaller blade and the two screws. I tried to put on the new blade, the #40 and realized that I shouldn't have unscrewed the #10! So half hour later, after much swearing, picking up screws that would fall to the floor and sorting out the mechanics of the blade, I got it back together and back on the clipper. Then I realized there was a button to push and the blade pops off! Ah ha!!! OK, now were ready to go! One freshly washed and dried poodle, one new clipper, new blade, oil on blade and away I go. Wow, the hair came off pretty easily. Lucky for me I just had to follow the lines made by Allison. So I clipped Bunny's face, her tail and then did a bit on her feet. Didn't come out too bad, though certainly not a professional job. But we all have to start somewhere! Bunny was very good about it all. I must say, Poodles have to endure a lot! She was feeling pretty pleased with herself after and enjoyed her first walk with the gang doing the Bunny hop.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Making Progress

Yesterday was a good day! Bunny is learning bite inhibition. She made huge progress on leash, learning not to bite at the leash or just flop on her back kicking in the air! She was also playing nicely with the Shelties, she even knew enough to leave Eva alone when she carried her toy around. Only one accident in the house...and it was my fault. She was so good, we went to the toy store to pick out some new squeaky toys. She rode shotgun and enjoyed the view. At the store she chose a flattened squirrel with about 16 pockets, each with a squeaker! She was laying on it making it squeak in the store. She is so cute.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Bad Bunny

Bunny has gone from a innocent puppy to a challenging adolescent overnight! She has grown an inch since she came last Wednesday, so she is almost 13 inches at 10 1/2 weeks old! Now granted she has a little tougher time than most puppies as not only does she have to get used to her new human "pack", but she has to fit in to our pack of Shelties. She is playing with them in her own way by pulling on their coats (see the picture of her pulling the weeds below...well she pulls their hair like that!). She seems to know enough to leave the old girls alone, but she is challenging the youngsters, especially Wall-e and Juno. Wall-e is closest in age to her at four months, but is 1 1/2 inches smaller. He thinks she bites too hard (I think she does too). Wall-e and her have seemed to sort things out after a few arguments, so she was trying her luck with Juno. When Bunny first came Juno would look and me as if to say "what the heck is this!!!???"as she had this attachment on her neck! But she wouldn't tell her off, I think knowing she was a baby. Well today Juno had had enough and Bunny's "puppy licence" ran out. Juno gave her a scolding and for now, Bunny is leaving her be. I think that is going to be how things work themselves out. But until she plays nice, she's in her own yard when I'm not there to watch! (little stinker)

Oh, we got the Gazebo up. It isn't where it is going to be as we're preparing the area, but at least we've got it this far! Yeah Pete and Andrew!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bunny at 10 weeks

We gave miss Bunny a bath and blow dry. Here she is at 10 weeks of age, little miss Bunny foo foo.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Poodle Hair

With the arrival of "Bunny" yesterday I thought I'd look for a picture of our first dog, a silver miniature poodle named "Duffy". Well I found this one, and he's not the only one with poodle hair! I'm not sure what my Mom did to me, but I think its a perm as my hair is absolutely straight. So here I am holding Duffy with my sister Jan.

Bunny has me charmed. She rode next to me on the way home from the airport and we shared an ice cream cone (my favorite way to bond with puppies!). We stopped at my Mom's and had a good game with the tennis ball. She discovered herself in the mirror and spent a good while chatting to the poodle puppy and trying to get it to play. Once home, she met all the dogs and didn't quite know what to think of her new home and all the Shelties until we went inside and once again she found that poodle puppy in the mirror! She kept bringing it toys to play with, but to no avail. She settled with me and a good game with her squeaky ball. I love her springy, bouncy way of getting around and how she uses her paws. I don't have a good picture, but here she is this morning finding her reflection in the window.

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