the sheltiechick blog

First Snow of Winter 2014

One of my favorite things about my dogs is how snowflakes fall on their fur… so… yeah. And somehow Pepper became the star of this photo session. Normally she is hiding in the background or directly under my feet so I can’t get any good photos, but this time I managed more of her than the boys.

Just one of Pay to start…

Then my pretty girl showed up.

The poor photographer this weekend kept trying to get Pepper’s ears up and I was like “yeah, that’s just Pepper… it’s… that’s just Pepper.”

Ears up! But head down.

Head up, ears back down, haha. My girly.

Another nice one of P…

Meanwhile Auggie.

I mean Auggie.

Seriously he can kinda be a real jerk.

Okay ONE nice one of Auggie.

Back to the pretty Pepper.

I love her expression in this one, but the snowflakes aren’t in focus how I’d like.

Here the snowflakes are better but her expression is not as good. LOL. Oh well… they’re both rather nice.

I’m sure there will be plenty more snow pics to come. Ugh.

Paytongility 2014

I had no idea this photo was being taken until long after the fact.

It has not been a very good year for us in agility. In an entire year of trialing, Payton has only gotten three Qs. Two are in Novice FAST so they don’t even really count. One Open JWW Q. So many near misses in JWW; most of the time it’s just no weave poles, but if we have weave poles, I get so excited he got his poles I blow it for us, gaining us extra refusals from poor cues or doing something that results in a dropped bar. Standard has just been an overall disaster between the weave poles and contacts.

And yet we train. I sign us up. We go.
And we play.

Everybody loves Payton. Even after a horrible run the peanut gallery always tells me he’s a beautiful dog, he has great structure, he looks amazing. His speed is highly desirable if nothing else is. He loves the game, he is happy, he is excited (yes I know.) Over Halloween a friend who last saw Payton when he was a tiny 14 week old puppy finally got to see him run and came up to me after our run and said “I think you should know, that dog is going to be really good really soon. He’s fast, he’s really incredible. He’s going to be great. He really is.” Many many people who have given me a lot of votes of confidence with him, which helps when we have a bad run and all I want to do is sit down and cry.

But this past weekend is when I actually got the best comment of all.

After a run, which didn’t go as planned, we came back to our crate and Payton was sitting in his chair getting cookies for his stay and whatever else he did that was clever (I always tell him exactly what his cookies are for. One cookie for a stay. One cookie for the weaves. One cookie for that obstacle discrimination. Et cetera.) And the lady crated in front of me said “I really like how you handle your dog.”
Thinking she meant “handle” as in handling on the course, I said “oh, thank you.”
But then she continued.
“He has a lot of drive. And you do a really good job of trying to channel that drive instead of trying to just squash it.”
“Oh,” I said, realizing what she meant. “Well thank you. That actually means a lot, because it honestly doesn’t feel like it.”
“Well, it might not feel like it,” she says, “but I can tell by watching you together. You’re doing a really good job with him. You seem like you really know your dog and you really know your breed. I love watching you with him.”

That is probably the best compliment I have gotten with my dogs. And of all the awesome photos I’ve gotten of Payton doing agility this year, I really do think this one is my favorite.

I would much prefer to be posting brags of his Qs, his ribbons, his placements, his MACH points, how close we are to a championship. Instead we are limping along just trying to get some Open Qs, never mind getting OUT of Open. He is not an easy dog, but he is mine, he’s kinda cute, and I kinda like him. I know in other hands he would be treated an entirely different way. It is a balancing act with him and will probably forever be one. But he is mine and I’m glad he is.

I guess I’ll keep him.
At least until we see how next year goes.

Meanwhile Georgie is over here like HEY GUYS GUESS WHAT I THINK I MIGHT GET A MACH IN A YEAR OR SO

Auggie is 9

Auggie turned 9 on Saturday.
I’m not sure how it happened.

I somehow forgot it was his birthday when I entered the puppies. Had I been thinking, I would have entered him too, just for fun to run on his birthday. But the trial was closed by the time I realized it was his birthday. No way was I leaving him behind though, so away he went with us to the trial. I didn’t want to have to worry about bringing a cake or cupcakes with us, so I stopped at the Wal-Mart near the trial site between runs and oh did I hit the jackpot.

This lovely cake was “best by” that day so it only cost a whopping $4.50. Um, yes please! And it had orange and blue balloons on it – Illini colors for my little Augustine. The lady behind the counter was happy to write on it for me and I was happy to NOT mention it was for my dog…

We had a party in the hotel room.

Oh it is the cake.

Everybody got their own little slices…

Must wait for cakies.

Auggie first since he is the birthday boy.

Payton was really unsure if he was actually allowed to get on the table and eat his cake or not. Which is funny because when we got to the hotel Friday night, the first thing he did was jump up on the table…

Finally I convinced him it was totally allowed.

Georgie, by the way, immediately grabbed her entire piece of cake and jumped onto the floor to try and swallow it whole.

Auggie’s hat never stays in place haha.

Georgie’s empty plate while she tried to eat the cake on the floor hahaha.

Birthday boy!

Then it was present time. I didn’t go all out or anything this year, we have tons and tons of toys anyway, but I decided to order this green squishy ball since I know a few dogs on this forum really love it. (Payton is getting one for Christmas too.)

Oh a squishy.

Squishy tastes like cake.

We then proceeded to play a game of “push the ball off the couch, make mom throw it back on the couch, push the ball of the couch again.”

Aaaand then Drizzy got some cake when we got home.


Behold the Payton sitting there like “I want more cake…” (They did actually get some more afterward.)

Happy birthday my Auggie. <3

Sheltie Halloween 2014

So I entered an agility trial over Halloween. They were having a Halloween costume and one of the categories was best duo (or group, in my case.) I decided to go as The Justice League. This lead to many many nights working on costumes for the dogs, myself, and my mom who was attending with Georgie. Lots of looking up comic book covers and artwork and trying to decide “which version of Supergirl do I want to do?” Back and forth to make sure I was creating accurate costumes, even though my mom pointed out “No one will know.” I WILL KNOW.

Auggie, of course, was The Flash.

Auggie first of course.

Because he is the bestest.

I actually have some Flash underwear I bought years ago and I wanted to use that, but I couldn’t find any matching GL underwear so I axed that entire idea. It doesn’t really “go” with the actual Flash costume, anyway.

I went back and forth on Payton a little bit as far as who he would be (technically he is supposed to be Kid Flash because he’s Auggie’s sidekick), but I felt the most logical choice was Green Lantern, since Barry Allen-Flash and Hal Jordan-GL were great friends.

I have to admit that Payton’s is actually my favourite costume. I love the way the mask fits on his face, I love the lantern “ring” on his wrist, I just love how I worked this one out. Way better than anything I could have possibly bought.

The only thing I might have changed is to bring the nose bridge further down his nose, but I think that would have ultimately given it a weird silhouette, so I’m pretty happy with it as I made it.

The mask creeped up while we were in the costume contest and I was like “OH GOD NO, THEY’LL FIND OUT YOUR SECRET IDENTITY.”

Pepper did not go to the show with us, not being a competitor, so she didn’t get a costume of her own. But I didn’t want her let out when we took photos back at home, and I happened to have this Wonder Woman costume that I bought her many years ago, so…

Drizzy is soooo regal.

Oh wait no nevermind

I really need to make a far better lasso of truth for this costume though. That one is pathetic.

I also didn’t make her tiara, I bought that at Target a year or two ago, along with the Flash one for Auggie. It also technically needs wrist bands… (my mom’s costume totally had wrist bands. But I forgot about the lasso of truth. I literally sat in bed after we won the costume contest and went OH MY GOD, I FORGOT THE LASSO OF TRUTH. Obviously nobody else cared but DANG IT)

Miss Georgie next. I could have done a few different things with her, but Wonder Woman didn’t suit her, and I was stealing the Superman slot to be Supergirl – so Georgie got to be Batgirl. Basically we went Slightly Alternate Justice League by swapping a few male characters for female counterparts, but otherwise, pretty solid.

I would have done her bat ears a little differently I think… maybe a bit more upright… but I liked the overall shape and wasn’t sure if I could get the bat ears upright and still have the shape look correct, so I let it go.

I DID make her a cape, but I didn’t like how it turned out, so I ultimately didn’t use it. I really wish it had turned out better, or I’d had more time to work on it and make a better one…

Group photo! I have no idea what’s going on with Georgie’s mask. My mom was having malfunction issues with it trying to put it on her.

My Justice League!

All winners. Except Payton. Payton sucks.

I should note that if I HAD gotten a puppy earlier this year, he would have been Aquaman. Poor guy. So it’s a good thing I didn’t get a puppy. Because who wants Aquaman on their Justice League? I mean really.

THE END and I have no idea how I will ever top this. Avengers???