Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Wordless Wednesday…Love is

 Celebrating the moments! 

After Sophie earned her last two legs in Barnhunt, we drove to a nearby State park called the Devil’s Hopyard.  It’s a beautiful park with a waterfall and some easy trails.  We haven’t visited this park in years, as we don’t get to that end of the State very often, but Sophie deserved to celebrate her new title and it’s a relaxing spot!

She also got a cheeseburger, because a new title calls for a big celebration!  What do you do with your dog to celebrate special moments or birthdays/holidays?  Please tell us in the comments! 

We are joining Comedy Plus in their weekly Wordless Wednesday blog hop.  It’s a fun way to discover new blogs!

Monday, November 13, 2023

Therapy dogs, and Trick dogs, and CGCs, Oh my!

It feels like I haven’t posted in a while, but we have so many fun updates to share!  The collies have been very busy, they have been working their paws off earning new titles! Sophie and Addison received their certificates from the Collie Club of America, for their herding instinct titles, HIC!  And I just found a trainer who is going to teach us how to herd sheep so Addi can compete at herding trials! (And I got to meet her sheep!)  I’m so excited to give it a try, and watch as my collies learn how to do something they were originally bred to do!

Scarlett just completed enough Therapy visits to earn her THDA, Therapy Dog Advanced title from the American Kennel Club (AKC).  Addison just earned her THDN, Therapy Dog Novice title from the AKC, and she just received her Canine Good Citizen certificate in the mail for that new title.  Ryder, Scarlett and Sophie all earned their Versatility Companion, or VC title, from the American Working Collie Association.  The AWCA is a great organization, and I will be writing a post to tell you about them later in the week.

And for fun, Addison and Kori, earned their TKN, Trick Dog Novice Title, from AKC!  Kori is my 12 year old senior and also Addi’s Grandma!  My friends asked me to help them complete the test for the TKN title on their collie, Kelsea.  I decided as long as I was setting up the tricks for Kelsea, I may as well have Kori and Addi do the test too.  

Kelsea, my friend’s collie girl

Kori, my sweet, 12 year old collie girl

And last, but not least, Sophie earned the last two legs for her Barnhunt title, RATN this past Sunday!  Pending approval from the AKC and AWCA, she is now Marchello’s Heaven Sent, THD, CGC, RATN, TKN, FDC, HIC, VC! I am so proud of my collies, they have proven the versatility of the breed yet again!

I also wanted to share that my daughter’s collie, Sorsha, also did some impressive winning last weekend.  At her first Barnhunt trial, she earned her first leg for the RATN, and went High In Trial! (Did I mention it was her first time?!?)

There are new titles that we should complete before the end of the year, so I will post updates as we earn them!  I absolutely love working with my collies and helping them earn these titles so they get the recognition they deserve.  I can’t wait to see what they do next!

Monday, October 30, 2023

Autumn weekends = tons of pictures!

Another fun weekend has come and gone! Friday night we did a “trunk or treat,” which is where people in our town gather together, decorate the trunks of their cars, and kids come to one location to trick or treat.  It has become really popular, and over 700 kids came to the event! I didn’t go crazy decorating my car, I just had this cute spider decoration.  My Mom and Ryder came with me, and Ryder was a huge hit.  The kids were fascinated by him, as they had never seen a collie before.  More than a few of the children left, asking their parents if they could have a dog just like him, which made me smile.

Saturday I took Sophie to the Barn hunt clinic, and we had a great time.  Without prejudice, I can say she did the best job at finding the rats.  She seems to love it and is so quick that she really impressed me! Hopefully she will do as well at the trial on Saturday, and hopefully I won’t mess up and get her disqualified again!  What this clinic did, that the other place didn’t, was let Sophie actually meet the rat before she started searching.  They had it in a cage before transferring it to the tube, so Sophie could see what creature she had been searching for in the hay.  The rat was unfazed by Sophie’s quiet sniffing, and approached her and gave her a sniff right back. It was nice to see that the rat was socialized with dogs, and had no fear around them.

These aren’t my photos, they were taken by one of the women at the clinic.

After we finished finding the rats, we decided to go on a hike at a nearby park, since we were in the area.  I used to live in that town years ago, and loved this particular park as it has a waterfall and a covered bridge.  The weather was so warm and sunny, it felt like Summer had returned!  

Sophie looks so happy here…

When we got home I grabbed Maizie and Kori, and visited another park, closer to home.  It’s one of my favorite Fall picture spots, and I was grateful for the nice weather, so I could get a few more pictures before we lose the last of the beautiful Fall foliage.  

Sunday we saw the return of the cooler weather, along with heavy rain, so Addison and I met up with friends and did a therapy visit and then had lunch.  It was a nice way to spend a rainy Sunday, and a peaceful way to end a busy weekend.

Hope everyone is enjoying the remaining Autumn days, the seasons are passing so quickly and the snow will be here before we know it!  We are joining Comedy Plus, in their blog hop.  It’s a great way to discover other blogs, so click here!

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Autumn musings…

 My favorite holiday is Christmas, but my favorite season is Fall.  I’m trying to squeeze in as much outdoor time as possible, before Winter arrives.  But I’m also unbelievably busy right now, trying to do fun things with the dogs, spend time with my grandkids, doing yard work and still get all the therapy dog visits done.  I am getting so many requests for visits, I’ve actually had to start turning people down.  I ended up joining a local chapter of our therapy dog group, hopefully I can pass along some of the visit requests to other teams.  And it will be nice to meet up with other teams for some of the upcoming events, instead of always working independently.

Last week I took Addi to the pumpkin patch, it was her first visit and she did a great job posing for pictures.  She was definitely the cutest Pumpkin in the patch!  

We also took my grandsons to a different pumpkin patch, and all the kids got to pick out their own pumpkins!    This weekend we are supposed to be going to an outdoor barn hunt clinic, if it doesn’t rain yet again. (It’s rained every weekend for the last month!)  And the following weekend is the next barn hunt trial.  There will also be a cluster of dog shows, and my youngest grandson’s 1st birthday is right before Thanksgiving.  But first, Halloween is fast approaching, and I decided to participate in a “trunk or treat” event on Saturday evening.  With fairs, barn hunts, dog shows, beautiful fall foliage, pumpkin patches, Halloween and other fun events, there is little wonder why I love this season!  I just wish Fall was longer and Winter was shorter!

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Heading back to the barn…

 Well, we are heading back to the barn hunts anyway…

Sophie enjoyed the Barn Hunt trial so much, we decided to take an actual lesson.  My daughter came with us, so her collie, Sorsha, could give it a try.  Sorsha loved it just as much as Sophie, so we went ahead and entered an upcoming trial.  

While other dog breeds are actually bred to hunt rats and other rodents, the collies have proven their versatility once again, they are really excelling at this sport.  Hopefully, in the next month or so, they will have earned their novice barn hunt title, RATN.

I love finding new things to try with my collies, and I am so happy that my daughter will be doing this new sport with me.  With two little ones, and another baby on the way, the kids are keeping her pretty busy.  But before there were children, there was Sorsha, so she wanted to find something fun for Sorsha to do, so she still got some individual attention.  I will be updating our experiences with Barn Hunt over the next two months, so please come back!

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Autumn in New England

 Scarlett wasn’t feeling great this week, but still wanted to go for a ride with me.  So we visited our favorite picture spot to get a few pictures.  Now that the leaves are changing, I hope to get some pretty pictures of the collies with the colorful Fall foliage.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate, as it seems to rain every weekend!

Scarlett ~ I can’t believe my beautiful girl is 11 years old already!

The days are already getting shorter, and the nights are noticeably cooler, so we are trying to enjoy every moment of this too short season!  But I’m planning on a lot more Autumn pictures, so please check back with us…

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Busy weekend for the collies!

 We had a very busy, but fun week! Addison’s paperwork from the therapy organization came, so she went on her first therapy visit.  Which was quickly followed by her second and third therapy visits!  Just as I suspected, she has an aptitude for therapy work, and her sweet temperament and beautiful face have already made her a favorite at the many locations we visit.  

It’s a bit of a relief, as I need to start limiting the visits of my seniors, as they just can’t do as many visits as they used to do.  I want them to still enjoy doing the visits with me, without overtaxing them, so I plan on cutting them back to once or twice a month.  I think next year I am going to have Rosie take the therapy test too, I can already tell she will do well, and by then Scarlett and Ryder will be retired.


And speaking of Rosie…this weekend I took her and ZuZu to our local collie club’s weekend event.  Both puppies passed the Farm dog test, and earned their first titles, FDC!  I was very proud of them both, as they had never seen farm equipment or farm animals, and still did everything we asked of them. 


Addison’s paperwork for her CGC test had been lost, so she took the test again, and passed it for a second time.  (And of course, when we got home from the test, the paperwork from the first test was in the mail!) But she still did great, and made me proud as usual.  On Sunday, both Addison and Sophie took the herding instinct test.  Sophie did good, and she passed the instinct test, but I could tell she didn’t love it as much as Barn Hunt.  We have a lesson scheduled for next weekend, hopefully we can get her last two legs on her Novice Barn Hunt title.


When it was Addison’s turn to try herding, we discovered her true passion - Addi loves herding!  Everyone was impressed with her natural herding abilities, she knew exactly what to do! She adjusted to keep the ducks moving, she was very responsive and knew how to gather the ducks, and kept them grouped together.  She had so much fun, and was completely in her element.  I am now trying to find someone that gives herding lessons to dogs and their handlers, as I know nothing about the sport.  I hope I can find a place, I want to give her a chance to try herding again.

With two new FDC titles, a new CGC title, and two new herding instinct titles, HIC, we had a pretty amazing weekend!  I can’t wait to see how Sophie does with her Barn hunt lesson on Saturday. #collielife