the sheltiechick blog

Georgie’s Second Birthday

Yesterday, I learned that one of the most amazing dogs I have ever had the pleasure to know had left this world. A great dog who touched the heart of everyone who knew her, and gave me such wonderful partners in life like Auggie and Pepper, had me determined to bring Payton home because I did not WANT to find any other puppy but a dog that had her genes in him, and inspired us to name her little great grand-daughter Georgette, or “Georgie” for short – in honor of the wonderful Georgia.

Today Georgie is two years old.

How do you reconcile pain, grief, and loss of something so great it leaves holes in the hearts of many – against the joy and happiness of a birthday of a great little puppy, one who was named for her, one who is given the great challenge of measuring up to her namesake, or at least giving us a clear reminder us of her lineage?

This is the path we walk in life, especially when we choose to open our hearts to dogs. Loss and pain hand in hand – or hand in paw? – with joy and hope for the future.

Happy Second Birthday Georgie. And run free Georgia, forever in our hearts, and in the blood of all my wonderful dogs. Thank you for everything.

So her birthday was a slightly subdued affair. Challenging for my heart, and yet she is a great little dog who deserves a birthday. Not for me to hug her and cry and miss what we no longer have, but to hug her and laugh and celebrate what we DO have.

And what we have is an ice cream cone.

My mom didn’t buy her any presents because my dad says she has too many toys already, but he can’t stop ME, so I bought her a small Chunky the Monkey Kong stuffed toy. No photos of her getting the monkey because my camera batteries were dead unfortunately, but I can tell you that she has already chewed off his tail, so clearly she likes him.

Happy birthday best baby girly.
You have so much to live up to.

Baby Payton’s First Agility Trial

The time leading up to this trial was… emotional.
I went through “We might actually be able to pull this off!” to “OH GOD HE WILL BE TERRIBLE WE ARE GOING TO BE LAUGHED OUT OF THE RING” and all kinds of turmoil. A friend asked me “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
And I didn’t answer because if I said it out loud, it was going to make me cry – the worst thing that can happen is that Payton is not Auggie. He is not Auggie and he will never be Auggie and it is unfair to Payton, and to myself, to continually compare the two.

“He is just a baby,” people said. “I never expect baby dogs to strike awe into people their first time out!”

Auggie did. Auggie’s first run ever. Remember? “One day that dog is going to be awesome,” from a total stranger.

He came home with a first and Q in his first ever jumpers run. It was a clean run, I still remember the feeling as I staggered out of the ring with my dog in my arms. My amazing Auggie.

And now? Now I have Payton.

I decided that we needed to just go and have fun. It’s just expensive practice, I reminded myself. All I want is for Payton to go in the ring, take a few of the jumps I ask him to take, not pee on anything, and also to get his weave poles.

The morning of our trial, I asked Auggie if it was okay that I was taking Payton to the trial instead. I also asked him if he had any advice for his baby brother.

I took Payton outside before his run. I had sliced up hot dog I was feeding him. I told him not to pee on anything. I asked if he could please remember how to do weave poles because I have video evidence that he DOES know how to do them, so please do them.
As I entered the ring I remembered what a friend said. “You only have one first trial with your dog.”
I gave him a kiss, then a second one.
Then we ran.

And you can’t see it in the video but I started crying right after the video cuts off. Because I couldn’t believe it. I really just wanted him to get his weaves… and he ran the whole course and he Q’d and everything.
I was crying and everybody kept saying “Oh, good job!” and I kept blubbering “He’s my baby dog!!” and took him outside and fed him the rest of his hot dog crying and telling him “You did so good! You were so good! You’re such a good boy!”
I just never believed it would happen. Sometimes I would be working with him and think “you know, maybe he COULD pull it off.” But I didn’t really think he would.

I didn’t care what happened the second day. If it was anything like Auggie’s first trial, the second day would be a disaster. But I really didn’t care. After that? After so much more than I ever dreamed possible? Heck, short of peeing in the ring Payton could do whatever he wanted.


So I says to him, “I don’t even Payton. I mean… I just don’t even.”
I hoped it would happen. But I never dreamed it really would.

I better get these weave poles cleaned up because I might need them sooner than I thought. Wow. Admittedly today’s weave pole bobble was ENTIRELY my fault. When I trained Auggie to do weave poles I trained him to do it by me chattering WEAVE WEAVE WEAVE the whole time he was in the poles. With Payton I did not do that. I just say “go weave.” And when I chatter he’s like “I’M ALREADY IN THE WEAVE POLES WHY DO YOU KEEP TELLING ME TO WEAVE I GOT IT OKAY???” And I caught myself walking the course yesterday and reminded myself to SHUT UP, but today I did not, and instead of just “go weave” I said “Go weave weave weave weave…” and realized what I had just done.

I guess whatever advice Auggie had for his baby brother was good advice.
Or maybe I just have the best Payton in the world.

A Few Foundations Videos with Payton

It was really really hot even at 6pm… he started getting really tired and hot by the end of the second video. We tried to do lesson 3 but he was just too hot so I didn’t force it. We’ll try again Wednesday…

Sends to the tunnel are going so well you can’t even see our starting point for most of this video. =P I did not film sends to a jump today.

This is where he starts getting hot and tired. These are really tight wraps and he’s not quite ready for some of them. Bars should be lower but I forgot to put them down… bad trainer.

Payton and Georgie’s First Fun Run!

Well, thanks to my mom apparently not understanding “PUSH THE BIG RED BUTTON TO RECORD” I only have one video of Payton. I impromptu decided this morning to take Georgie – it was only $5 and I thought it would be good to get her in a ring and have her do some jumps. Plus I am generally in a less serious mood playing with her, so I thought it might lighten my mood to bring her along. I thought about taking Auggie but he HATES the floor in this building so much, so I didn’t. I wished I had, but when I say he hates the floor I’m not kidding, so it wouldn’t have been fair to him.
Somehow my mom managed to get video of all three of Georgie’s runs… just not Payton.

Anyway, Payton did fairly good, no new problems presented themselves, all stuff I was expecting and dare I say maybe a bit better than I expected. One of the people I trial with locally showed up with their dog and I was like “oh yaaaay… people to see the terror…” hahaha. He took jumps, even most of the ones I asked him to take. He didn’t pee on anything, though he considered peeing on the table the first time he jumped on it. And he didn’t drop any bars. (I decided to run him at 12″ instead of 16″ today. He’s a baby, I don’t care.) He did surprisingly well considering what a horrible dog he is. My plan was to totally avoid all contact obstacles, but everything was basically right in our path and, well, we do have a teeter and have been working on it – so I took a chance with him. The first run (no video) he was like “errr nope, dunno” and took a pass on it. The second run (no video!!) he put a few steps on it then changed his mind, so I took him back and tried it again just telling him “go touch” – and this time he did a BEAUTIFUL drive to the end then once it was down stepped into a perfect 2o2o. I’m so mad I don’t have video of that. I was happily stuffing food down his throat while he held his 2o2o and specifically stepped out of the way so my mom could get it on the video… *flips table*
The third time he slid off the teeter, and it bounced up behind him while he was sitting there, which he believed warranted a telling off of the teeter for being rude. Yeah. That one’s mine.

Be warned, he doesn’t shut up for most of this video, so you might want to mute it. Also sorry for the Blair Witch Project type filming, apparently my mom had been drinking today.

Georgie was the surprise superstar, though I’m pretty sure my mom was underselling her to people and then when I ran her everybody was like “……” I couldn’t remember if she had ever seen a chute before – we just found mine buried in the storeroom – so I tried to put her through it, but no go. The first time a lady outside the ring said “oh, let’s lift the chute up and get her through it!” so we did that and she went through. I thought she might try again after that but nope. Not her fault, I really don’t remember if she’s ever seen one before or not, and I kinda think no.
Neither dog has ever done the table before (hence why I’m saying “on,” it’s just our cue for climbing up on something) so excuse all the shoddy table stuff, it’s their very first time just playing on it. I figured why not? I paid my money, let them see it.

Very proud of the baby girly today. And Payton was not terrible. I would have liked better, but for a baby dog I think he did pretty good. I realize on video they probably look fairly similar. I realize I’m being harder on Payton since he’s mine and I’ve trained him so my standards are higher. He got lots of cheese and kisses and got to sit in my lap between his second and third runs, so don’t feel sorry for him.

Happy Fourth of July Grooming!

I’ve needed to groom the dogs for almost a month now but kept putting it off hoping we could get my new tub at my house and I could spare my back. No such luck. So since I had today off I did The Groomings.

Mr. Payton. <3 <3
I swear I don’t abuse her. It’s just, you know. Pepper. She would NOT put her ears up which is unusual because normally if you just say “Pepper!” she puts her ears up. No go. She’s in season so has NO coat right now. I mean she is really really naked.

Georgie. I kept trying to put her back legs close together and she REFUSED to let me do it. I’d set one down and pick up the other and she’d pop the other out. I am mildly concerned about this. She also stands kinda froggy with her back legs turned out a little. She’ll be two on the 25th and her AKC reg just went through, so hopefully we’ll get her OFA’d and see what turns up.

My Auggie doggie who had the most hair to shed of everybody, and was very upset with me, because his hair has never really been a texture where fur just falls out easily… so I had to v-e-r-y carefully brush and be careful not to snag and pull too much. =< Poor guy. UGH MY BACK