Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Training goal in 2011

I decided that in 2011 I'm going to train one new behavior a month - per dog. This should be interesting. Might be simple, might be complex. With my training skills I'm guessing simple will win out most months. But who knows, maybe by next November or so I'll feel like trying something challenging.

I'm also trying to figure out how to something similar with knitting. One new pattern a month? A new yarn a month? A new technique? Maybe just finish a WIP every month!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas has come and gone

After a very full and busy week last week, I've got a pretty quite one this week So I'm going to make up for lost time with the dogs. And do some knitting for me!!

For Christmas gifts I knit up 3 mufflers, 3 hats, a pair of mittens and a baktus scarf. And keeping to tradition, I finished everything up on Christmas. It's a good thing we wait 'til after dinner to open gifts!!

This week the weather is cold, gray and clear. No real snow for a week and a half. The old snow is in crusty, frozen patches on the ground. So I can stil play ball and frisbee with the dogs without loosing all the toys. No snow balls in their feet and much easier to go on walks. But the deep snow sure does a good job tiring them out! And it is kind of pretty...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to Kipp

My little dude turns 6 today :-) and I didn't even realize until I got a Happy Birthday email from The Honest Kitchen.

In other news school is out!!! I am rejoicing, the dogs are rejoicing (no homework = more dog time). Still waiting on the final grade.

I've been working on teaching new dog tricks just for kicks (and to enter in an online contest - I always work better with a deadline and a bit of competition). Kenzi is learning to walk a tightrope, or at least the doggy version of one. I'm really impressed with her balance and footwork. And Missy is doing more retrieval work. She brought me a whole stack of DVDs one by one the other day. She begs to train when I work with the other two.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

Well, it's not too bad yet. Temps are just below freezing with a winter wind and some snow. I read about other people's dogs that greatly dislike the cold, barely even wanting to set foot outside. Mine, on the other hand, act if their batteries have just been recharged. SNOW! SNOW! SNOW!

Missy sprints like a youngster, Kipp flops on the ground to roll and tunnel in the white stuff, Kenzi, who is still skinny as a rail, plays and chases as crazy as ever. They love the white stuff, they love the cold weather. I'm sure they wonder why it takes me forever to get all bundled up to go out - they're ready now!! Crazy pups...

I'm trying to figure out new random behaviors to teach them. I'd like to get Kenzi walking a tightrope of sorts. I think it's possible. She's pretty sure footed and will try just about anything. Last night I told her hup onto a row of pallets. She had 8 feet of 3/4 inch wide boards with 3-4 inch spaces between to walk across and did so relaxed with a wagging tail. I think the little wild child likes the challenge.

Sadly my knitting has been neglected the past several days due to something called finals papers. But this will change shortly as the papers are all due on Tuesday. Hooray for the end of another semester!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

We survived Thanksgiving week!! Not that we really need to survive anything, but it was super busy and crazy in a good way. The whole family showed up. For my family that is becoming a major event. We ended up with 16 adults and 4 toddlers here for both Thanksgiving day and the following Saturday.

Missy was in heaven. She adores babies and little kids and loved the opportunity to follow them all around. But Kipp and Kenzi spent extra time in their kennels. They have not yet learned the fine art of schmoozing off little ones without over whelming them. Or the fact that if you sit there and look longingly (instead of trying to help yourself) someone will come share turkey scraps with you.

But the two younger rascals survived (Missy was sacked out 1/2 the day on Sunday recovering from her busy week!) and were very eager to get back to work after the excitement died down.

We've had a couple days of really nice weather for late November in MI. Tonight I bribed the little sister to go hide in the woods for Kenzi. Kenzi worked really nice. There was a nice breeze coming from the east and she picked up H's scent pretty quickly from about 50 yards away and worked her way in. Kenz worked second problem with equally nice results. We'll see what this translates to at SAR training on Wednesday night. I'm really feeling like everything is finally starting to click together for her.

On the knitting front - I finished up a pair of fingerless mitts with Mirasol Hacho yarn. I enjoyed knitting with the Hacho so much that I started in on a pair of socks using more Hacho in another colorway - soft, squishy Merino in bright colors. I love it. I also tried out a traveling cable in both projects decided that it's not nearly as hard as I'd thought it would be.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's dark out waaaay too early these days. Sigh. I took the dogs for a run in the field after work tonight just as it was getting dark It was quite nippy with a touch of snow in the air and I think the weather makes them feel good. Kenzi kept begging Missy to play with her and Missy was actually in the mood to play. Kipp was running around like a crazy dog and zipping back and forth barking at Kenzi (he knows better than to bark at Missy!). I love watching them have fun.

On the knitting front, I'm working on a scarf of my own design - knitting it in yummy, soft Malabrigo sock. I'm debating if I should write up the pattern and submit it to KnitPicks for their IDP program. They have plenty of scarves but nothing quite like the one I'm knitting up. Hmmm...

Thursday, November 11, 2010


So who am I? An avid knitter and dog lover. I started knitting when I was 6 years old and read my first "real" book at the same age - Black Beauty. I was one of the millions of little girls who fell in love with horses. Sigh. I'm still waiting for that horse because, as my dad often pointed out, horses are a lot of work and cost a lot of money.

At about 10 I started reading Lassie and Terhune's Lad books. I wanted a dog like that. So when my family got sheep a few years later, I naturally fell in love with the Border Collie breed. But dogs were expensive, too and took a lot of responsibility. So I had to wait... In the mean time I got going in knitting a little more seriously and learned how to spin my own yarn from our flock of sheep.

Finally after high school and a couple of years of volunteering and work, I got my first Border Collie. And lo and behold, Missy was everything I'd hoped and dreamed of. My dog, my constant shadow, my best friend. I loved that dog from day 1 and at 11 y/o she is still my girl.

When dog #2 came along 5 years later I decided to try out another long time interest of mine - K-9 search and rescue. Kipp is a wilderness search dog and my goofy rascal.

And because I'm a sucker who used (please note - used) to look through Petfinder, I have dog #3. Sweet, loving, drivey teenage BC Kenzi. I fell in love with her face late one night and through a month long series of events she became mine. She is currently in training for SAR work.

I spend most of my spare time either working with my dogs or knitting. I do a bit of dyeing and sell imy hand dyed yarns through my Etsy shop Reflections Yarn . I am an avid sock knitter - I figure I've made over 60 pairs since I started knitting them 12 years ago. This year I've averaged a pair a month. I love knitting them and really love wearing them. Thankfully Kenzi is now past the eating them stage.

So that's kind of my life in a nutshell. This blog will mainly consist of ramblings of my dogs or my knitting but might on occassion stray to another subject.