Friday, June 30, 2017

Photobucket just messed up our blog.

Please be patient, as Photobucket has taken all our pictures hostage.  They changed their policy overnight, without warning, and no pictures will be visible unless each blogger pays $400.  I will be downloading pictures and editing all my past posts so that the pictures are visible again. But this will be a very slow, long process.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - Love is....

Love is...sometimes battered and weathered

Love is...sometimes fragile and new

Love is...A light to guide you

Love constant as the tides

And Love deep as the ocean.

We are joining BlogPaws in their Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The kitties do a cat food review!

Every now and again, the collies let the kitties take over the blog.  Fair is fair, right?  Cats are very picky discerning creatures after all.  So they feel it is their responsibility to voice their opinions, and guide the servants humans in making the best choices for their refined feline palates.

Fortunately, has a huge selection of cat food, treats and toys.  And this month they sent the Collie cats some canned, Ziwi Peak cat food, so the kitties could do a review.  This was a food we had never tried before, so I was very excited when the Chewy box arrived!  Being cats, they were equally excited by the box and the food, it was like getting two gifts in one!

While Ghost rarely goes outside, he decided to brave the backyard, since this is a Summertime review.  Plus, he wanted to make sure I took flattering pictures, as he is a bit vain.  

The first thing we noticed was that these cans were larger than most canned cat food.  Since we have multiple cats, we loved the bigger size, as it made it easier for them to share.  And at first glance, I was impressed by the label - 93% meat, organs and New Zealand green mussels!  So being the cautious cat mom that I am, I had to research this food, and guess what I discovered?

I learned that this food was designed to mirror a whole-prey, nutrient dense diet.  And they add New Zealand green lipped mussels for a natural source of chondroitin and glucosamine.  The more I read, the better this food sounded!  And then I learned that this food does not include TSPP, BP or carrageenan, which made me so happy!  Too many pet food manufacturers ignore the dangers, I was glad to see Ziwi was not one of them.

We were sent the Ziwi Peak Rabbit and Lamb recipe and I was very impressed with the ingredient list.  This food is packed full of meat and nutrients!

Rabbit Meat, Lamb Broth, Lamb Liver*, Lamb, Lamb Lung*, Lamb Kidney*, Chick Peas, Lamb Tripe*, Lamb Heart*, Hare Meat, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Bone, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B1 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement). *Depending on seasonal availability will be temporarily substituted with sheep.

And check out the key benefits:

  • 100% single-sourced lamb is free-range and grass-fed on ethical and sustainable New Zealand farms and wild-caught rabbit protein is carefully blended for the right balance of protein and fat.
  • Includes 3% New Zealand Green Mussels, which are a natural source of chondroitin and glucosamine and supports joint health.
  • Complete and balanced, limited ingredient formula includes 92% fresh meat, organs, bones and green mussels.
  • Made as a chunky loaf style, with a high level of all-natural protein and moisture to entice even the pickiest eater.
  • Never includes grains, rice, corn, soy, potatoes, wheat, fillers, sugars, glycerins, rendered meals, preservatives, TSPP, BPA, guar gum, agar agar or carrageenan.

I can't tell you how happy I am with this food!  Free-range, grass-fed lamb/sheep, raised on ethical and sustainable farms!  And as you can see, the kitties love this food, the second the can is opened, they are meowing for their dinner.  And judging by the contented purrs afterward, they give this food four paws up! sent us Ziwi Peak Canned cat food in exchange for our honest review.  We were not paid for doing this review, and all opinions expressed are our own.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Flower Friday - Collie-flowers

Since it's Flower Friday, and I forgot again, I hurried home from work to get some pictures in our yard.

Snapdragons are one of my favorite flowers

I just bought this lavender, it's supposed to repel ticks, mosquitoes and other pests 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Versatile Collie - K9 Nose Work

Today we are sharing our second guest post, in our new series, The Versatile Collie.  We wanted to share some of the amazing sports and activities different individuals are doing with their collies.  This will hopefully show the versatility of the wonderful collie breed.  Michelle Doram is our second guest, and she has trained her collies to compete in K9 Nose Work. What is K9 Nose Work? Read more to find out!

Playing a Dog's Game with K9 Nose Work

by Michelle Doram, CNWI

The activity and competitive sport of K9 Nose Work® was founded by professional trainer and K9 Detection handler Amy Herot, Ron Gaunt, a former police K9 and private Detection K9 trainer and handler, and Jill Marie O'Brien, who was at the time the Animal Behavior & Training Department at the spcaLA. The initial objective of the team was to create a class for companion dogs which would re-create the fun and energy exertion which K9 Detection dogs experience each day in training or working. Detection dogs are notoriously high drive, ball crazy, and not suitable for pet homes. Yet, detection K9s have a blast with their games, are quite bonded with their handlers, then sleep soundly in their kennels. How could companion dogs have this sort of satisfaction in their lives - and possibly help with behavior issues linked to excess energy? Wouldn't it be amazing if all dogs could have this much fun, Ron and Amy wondered? The original 'students' happened to be mostly dog trainers excited by this activity, and are now referred to as "the Original 7", as they became Instructors themselves as the activity caught fire in Southern California. A Fun Match grew into a Competition, and soon was born the National Association of Canine Nose Work (NACSW), the governing body and Titling organization of the sport.

Nose Work as an activity or sport is played by all sorts of dogs, not just scent hounds or working breeds. Puppies use their sense of smell first, before eyes and ears are open, and process their worlds via their olfactory system foremost. Whether searching for food, locating a favorite toy, or investigating interesting smells, dogs use their noses for survival and fun each day. Nose Work gives us, the human part of the equation, an opportunity to participate in their activity as handlers. What a blessing to be able to participate in their favorite game!

Dog sports as a whole involve a great deal of training, teamwork, and trust within a team. However, Nose Work invites the human to play a dog game, not vice versa. Consider for a moment - Agility, Flyball, Frisbee, Obedience, Rally - all fun games for the dog and human team, yet are the human's game in which the dogs participate. There is no obedience training involved or behaviors being taught in Nose Work. Lure Coursing is an instinctive activity, but all our dogs really want from us in regards to Lure Coursing is a ride to the practice field. Detection and Nose Work are basically the same game, based on what a dog already does instinctively. Tracking involves a great deal of training and observation from the handler as well, but I believe that the level of interaction between the teams is higher in Nose Work, mostly due to the variety of elements in which we work. As we progress through the foundation of Nose Work training, we are learning from our dogs, while facilitating their searching opportunities to learn how odor works. It is us, the humans, who are being trained in the big picture. We must be trained how to be a savvy handler.

As our dogs learn to detect their target odors, our task is observing the way they work. We learn how they behave when they are "in odor", listening for breathing changes, watching for subtle body language changes, and need to be ready to reward quickly at the source of the odor (location of the hide). New environments and search areas are introduced - exterior (any outdoor) areas, vehicles, containers or luggage of all sorts, and various interior rooms, each with a bevy of distracting smells to work through. As training advances, multiple hides are introduced, so the puzzle is layered by the convergence of more than one odor. Inaccessible (unable to be nose touched) or high hides reveal new communications from our dogs as they work these complex situations. Our observations and understanding of our dog's working style must become more acute as training advances. We also have to remember to remember what we have learned about the way weather, wind, HVAC, and building construction affects odor movement, and what we may need to do or change to accommodate these factors. There's as much mental energy exerted for us during a search as with our dogs!

A major part of the learning curve in training as a team is how significantly our behavior can affect the dog's ability to succeed in a search. Many factors on our part can interrupt the flow, such as our mood, leash handling, body position, even footsteps. The dog knows how to search for odor, but is significantly connected to us in a way which can affect the outcome of a search. By the time we reach title level competitions, advanced especially, any errors are usually ours. The hardest part of competing at the NW3 title level is remembering to let our unconscious skill perform as our conscious mind connects with our dogs.

The adrenaline of a competition with our dogs, particularly at the NW3 level - in a new area with an unknown number of hides and a time limit, is an incredible feeling. Some days, luck is on our side and we squeak through with a Title. The days in which it goes very well, the Title seems to have come easy. To the spectators, the search looks like an effortless, synergistic routine between experienced partners gliding elegantly across a dance floor. For the team, it is a combination of the aforementioned unconscious skill and strategy with subconscious trust and communication. It does feel like dancing, though, elated, connected dancing - with eyes twinkling and pretty music playing. Those days are imprinted on the memory forever, a highlight of a lifetime shared with our dogs to whom we are now incredibly connected. The ribbon is simply a memento of a cherished experience! Our favorite memories are those which have been shared, especially by one to whom we are very close. Sometimes, the loved one with whom we share our most cherished moments, is our dog.

There are days when competitions or training days don't go as well, and the dance is clumsy or had some forgotten steps. Remember what they say about fishing?  A bad day fishing is better than a good day working? A "bad day" in Nose Work is still playing a fun game with our extraordinary dogs, so really is not so bad at all, and probably a good learning experience for us. Along the way, we've made new forever friends, embarked on memorable trips and adventures, and most importantly, developed an unparalleled bond with our dogs. We have the opportunity to create this connection simply by participating in their game. 

Nate has earned the Elite 1 title. In Elite Division, one acquires points to the next level, somewhat like agility. Cedar has titled at NW3, and Clover at NW2. Ranking is: All titles earned by 100% scores until Elite Division, which earns points. NW1 NW2 NW3 (100% three times for Elite) Elite 1 , 2, 3, 4, CH
Thank you Michelle, your love for your dogs is very evident, and  you are inspiring many others to try K9 Nose Work with their dogs too!  And thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures with us!

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Versatile Collie - Sulky driving

We are excited to share our very first guest post. We wanted to share some of the amazing things different individuals are doing with their collies.  These posts will hopefully show the versatility of the collie breed. In the upcoming weeks, we will be sharing just a few of the sports and activities in which our wonderful collie breed participates.  Daphne Lewis is our first guest, and she has trained her Collie, Tug, to pull her sulky. What is a sulky? Read more to find out!

Hello! Greetings from Daphne Lewis, the Dog Sulky Lady at the bamboo farm in Hawkinsville, Georgia.

Today I hitched my smooth collie Tug, along with my other dogs, to my sulky made of bamboo. First we trotted here and there on the bamboo farm. We practiced right and left hand turns as we navigated the farm. I find that Tug, with his long nose and long legs, is less bothered by the heat than the other dogs: labradoodle, shepherd mix, and two bulldogs. After about a half a mile we crossed my road and cruised beside the fence of the neighbor’s cow pasture. My collie strode into lead even before we reached the fence. He was excited by the cows. He sees that we will be going beside the pasture. He used to charge the fence which was terrifying. Now he just speeds up and cruises along at around 7 mph. The bamboo sulky allows me to exercise all my dogs at once. I ride and the dogs trot. Sometimes they gallop, but mostly it is a trot at their cruise speed. We do practice “WALK!” sometimes, but they don’t like to walk when they can trot.

It would be difficult for me to exercise them enough without the sulky. Dogs trained to pull a sulky can pull wagons and carts as well. One of their jobs is to haul tree chips. They learn to wait quietly while I load the dump wagon, and while I spread the dump chips. Amazingly, I can leave tug and the other dogs in a down-stay, while hitched to a wagon or sulky, while I return to the house for something I forgot. When we finish our work, I kneel in the wagon and the dogs trot back to the garage where the wagon stays. Last weekend, Tug and my other dogs spread a lot of chips to mulch around the bamboo. It is hot here in middle Georgia. I bought CoolCoats from RuffWear. They keep the dogs cool. You wet the coats down and evaporation keeps them cool. (Which is important when your dogs are working) The coats reflect the sun light. I keep my dogs groomed short in summer which makes the coats even more effective.

 Sometimes, Tug and my other dogs trot on sidewalks in my town. It is fun saying hello to people and the dogs do a great job of navigating street corners, traffic lights, and cross walks. Sometimes we go the drive-up window at McDonald’s for sausage. What a treat for the dogs that sausage is.

I sell dog sulkies at On that site is a page called “How to Train”. If you are interested in the sport of dog driving, take a look at my site and Facebook page for Chalo Sulky. I have many videos on YouTube under Daphne Lewis.

Thank you Daphne, it sure looks like fun, and Also a great way to exercise your dogs!  Please click on the link above to learn more about Sulky driving, and the benefits for your dogs.  I'm sure most people would picture a husky pulling the sulky, but as you can see,collies excel at this sport too!

photo courtesy of Nancy Greenwood

photo courtesy of Nancy Greenwood

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer is here, time to kick back & crack open a can of Taste of the Wild dog food!

Summer is here, and sunny days are meant to be enjoyed to the fullest!  The summer months are the most fun, with swimming in the pool, watching a baseball game or taking a trip to the beach, there is always some diversion to enjoy.  So this month when our friends at sent the collies Taste of the Wild canned dog food, we knew we would be taking this review outside!

We were sent the Sierra Mountain Grain Free variety, but Taste of the Wild makes many others.  With multiple varieties to choose from, you are sure to find a protein source that will meet your dog's needs.  We have fed our collies Taste of the Wild kibble, but we never tried the Sierra Mountain canned dog food before.  And the first thing we noticed is that these cans have easy to open pull tabs, which makes them easy to use for collies on the go!

With the cans being easy to open, you can take them to the pool, the beach or as a snack at the baseball game!  We usually add a little canned to our collies' kibble, just to make the dry food a little tastier and a little less boring.

Holly is ready for Summertime fun!

The Sierra Mountain variety is made with lamb, which we thought was the perfect choice for collies!  It is also a great choice for dogs who may have allergies to poultry.  The collies love the taste, and when they see me spooning it onto their kibble the drooling begins!  But you can use the Taste of the Wild canned dog food alone, as it is a nutritionally complete diet.

Key Benefits:

  • Grain-free complete and balanced formula can also be fed as your pet’s sole diet
  • Made with sweet potatoes and peas for highly digestible energy for your active dog
  • Supplemented with vegetables and fruits, this formula delivers antioxidants to help give your friend a healthy lifestyle
  • Made right here in the USA!

Winter catching a Summertime baseball game, and she brought along a snack!

Lamb, Lamb Broth, Vegetable Broth, Lamb Liver, Dried Egg Product, Potato Starch, Potatoes, Roasted Lamb, Peas, Guar Gum, Tricalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Inulin, Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

playing baseball can sure make a collie hungry!

No matter how your dogs enjoy spending their summer - at the baseball field, pool or beach - they are sure to love Taste of the Wild - Sierra Mountain canned dog food.  The collies love the taste of real lamb, savory gravy, fruits and veggies.  I love that the food is made right here in the USA.  The collies give this dog food four paws, way up! sent us the case of canned food for free, in exchange for the collies' honest opinion.