Monday Round-up and Specialty Stuff

Let’s start off by congratulating Team Kiri (Sparklers) for a great weekend — Select one day and Best of Opposite the next. Kiri will be in Best of Breed at the Specialty — she will represent the family well.



Sparkle’s potential pregnancy has changed our Specialty plans — that and Dear Husband’s aversion to ticks.

Sparkle will stay home with Dear Husband, who gallantly agreed to avoid ticks by staying with her. Since it will just be me traveling to Minnesota, Daisy will also stay at home — she was only entered in one event and I do not want her sitting in the cabin by herself while I am out and about with the other two dogs.

And so I will be bringing just Harper and Claire — but they will be busy girls. In order to maximize our remaining training and conditioning time, I made a schedule…


Note that in addition to my own dogs, I have included Sundance on the schedule — that is Suzanne’s lovely Tag son who got a Reserve Best in Show over the weekend! This is Suzanne’s first foray into tracking and Sundance drew a track at the Specialty — I am so excited for them and am committed to helping them be as ready as possible for that day.

Schedules help me stay focused and clear about what needs to be done — and I love checking boxes.

Have a great Monday! I have to get started on my day so I can check off all of the little boxes (actually, they are tiny clipboards) for today.

Don't Lose Sight!

I once had a student share that she manages tough times by having things to hope for, and that really resonated with me. She described it as looking ahead to the next happy lily pad — what a great image.

As we trudge through what is hard, having one eye on something happy and wonderful not only keeps us moving in that direction but also shifts some of our focus to things that are positive. I am not sure it helps any of us to just look down at our feet when we are sinking deep in the manure pile of life.

That is why I always have goals, which are really just dreams that loom ahead sparking hopeful joy and serving as helpful reminders to put on the work boots and get busy heading in that happy direction.

I am needing to use extra Little Soldiers these days to keep one eye looking ahead because my training arena looks like this…

Those are jumps sticking up.

Those are jumps sticking up.

I have an intermediate goal of a draft title for Claire, and plan to enter an April test. I have been looking forward to it for months. The weather, however, has been less than cooperative…

Will it melt by August?

Will it melt by August?

People always think we get a lot of snow in Montana — that is not actually true where we live. Therefore, it was entirely realistic to think that I could train draft — off and on — through the winter.

You know what they say about best laid plans?!

When things do not go according to plan, it is tempting and easy to just give up. But then we lose that lily pad of hope! If I did that, I would be stuck staring at all that snow and feeling sad and disappointed. That doesn’t sound like fun at all.

Instead, I am digging in and improvising — hence the need for additional Little Soldiers. [Note: If the reference to Little Soldiers is new to you, please read THIS for clarification].

The cart is in the living room. This allows practice for harness/hitch, backing up, some tight turns, and stay.

Daisy, Claire, and Sparkle practicing a group stay.

Daisy, Claire, and Sparkle practicing a group stay.

And later today I will pack up the cart and the dog and head to Missoula in search of a deserted but plowed parking lot in which to practice.

All that snow is just a series of speed bumps...

Really BIG speed bumps, to be sure.

Really BIG speed bumps, to be sure.

Don’t let the speed bumps we all encounter turn into stop signs. Look down to make sure you do not trip but keep looking ahead at the same time — you have places to go and dreams to achieve, just like me.

Have a terrific day!