Wednesday, 12 September 2012

One year later

September 13 is the one year anniversary of my first blog post.   It has been a fun year of sharing my life with these two amazing dogs.  This year really opened up my interest in training methods and dog sports.  I had started on that path with Riley and the addition of puppy Stella made things much clearer to me about the way I want to proceed with fun, positive training techniques.   This year my wonderful trainer Heather Lawson, CPDT-KSA, KPA-CTP took me to my first clicker expo which I found very inspirational.  I also got to see some great training seminars this year.

Riley's training and trialing has been on hold since early June while we wait for the decision about doing hip replacement surgery.  The surgeon we want has been away and is due back in September.  If she is unable to return then I will be moving on to another recommendation as I am defering a bunch of financial decisions until I know what will happen.  We have worked out a new "normal" for him to keep him active but he is mostly on leash and we keep the crazy stuff under control.  He does overdo now and then and is sore for a few days but we are managing with pain medications and supplements.

Stella is a happy, bouncy girl and has been a joy to work and train in her first year.  She is a much softer dog than Riley and doesn't handle frustration (hers or mine) well which has been a good learning experience for me.   I have come a long way with my skills the last few years but I am still a novice.  Dogs have a way of reminding us just how long this journey really is and how much more there is to know.   I am very pleased with Stella's progress and am thrilled to have already completed her Rally Novice title, CGN and her CKC Pre-Novice.  Next week we will be attempting a few rounds of Caro Novice Rally which seems quite a bit tougher than the CKC standards.

We have had lots of fun non-training time together this past year and labour day weekend marked the anniversary of Stella's first camping trip with us.  We once again headed back up to Summerland to camp and visit with family in the area.   There is a fabulous dog beach there where the dogs get to romp and swim.  We discovered that Stella can now swim faster than Riley which he was definately not thrilled with and screamed about the whole time he chased her in the water.  He can beat her with long leaps during takeoff but once they swim she is much faster and efficient in the water.  Lucky for him she is not super ball focused and is happy to give up her treasures.   We ended up distracting her away from him with a throw in the other direction so he wouldn't push himself to hard trying to beat her.  The two dogs get along better than I could ever have hoped for and it makes me happy to see them enjoying each other.

I look forward to another year of dog adventures and hopefully will have some interesting blog posts along the way.  I want to send a big thanks to my wonderful husband who happily indulges my "hobby" and my sometimes over-the-top care of the animals.  I also want to thank my trainer Heather Lawson for opening new doors to me and for being a friend at all the trials and seminars this past year.  Lastly a big thanks to Stella's breeder Sylvia Dorosh (Varazs Vizslas) for my beautiful girl.

I have also set up a Life With Riley & Stella page on facebook for anyone who is interested.  Please follow the link to like us Facebook - LifeWithRileyStellla.

Here are some pictures of last years labour day weekend trip to Summerland when Stella was approx three months old.



  1. I'm slowly going around and checking out all of the blogs my peoples were following, and I like this one, because hey, you have a Lab. Plus you train dogs using nice methods. What's not to like? Tell Riley that Meadow is faster than me's no fun, is it? Also tell him I hope everything works out with his hip.

    Congratulations on your Blogaversary!