Insurance Woes

Jake the collie is an insured beast. This means his owner will never have to drown in her own tears in utter misery because she can’t provide him with the medical care he needs. This always means insurance. And insurance woes. He was covered under Nationwide’s Wellness plan. It was super. Paid hundreds for basic care. It even covers dentals. And Jake needs a dental.

The problem was it didn’t cover the “Oh No” bad things that could rear their ugly little heads. No assurance of being able to handle any medical challenge head on warrior style. So, an upgrade was required.

The best plan was new. They are still working out the kinks. In order to switch to the new plan I had to give up the old plan. Trick is the dental is no longer covered and is a preexisting condition. So now it needs to be done by the 11th.

Today was spent frantically calling vet offices trying to find one that could accommodate a last minute dental, and indulge in my particular brand of difficult-owner syndrome.

My boy isn’t being locked in a crate only to be hauled out by some well-meaning but who knows how good they are tech. He is a flower. A think of beauty that shouldn’t be rumpled or wilted. He stays with his mother until it is time for the work to start.

Thankfully, after some shifting of things my regular vet was able to fit him in on Friday and is cool with me handling my own dog. I trust them with him after he is knocked out and recovering.

They are awesome vets. They will do a great job. I just worry about his mental well-being prior to the work being done. They indulge me. I write them raving reviews.

In other news, expect a toy-review soon. Jake has so many of them it seems like a new fun project.



Welcome 2016

2015 has passed in a blur. In January of last year I lost my beloved border collie.


She was my heart and soul and without her I was lost.

The year flew by while I attempted to move on with my life.

God tried to guide me toward the correct paths, but I wasn’t ready. That was ok, I still managed to find a way to do some good.

I fostered this lovely fellow:


He found a lovely home with a family that adores him.

I made fantastic friends, and went on awesome adventures.

One of the best parts of 2015 was turning my Icelandic mare into a trail horse!



The collie met his brother at Sunnybank, I learned to take better pictures, and he learned to pose!


2016 is very exciting for us. This year offers us the opportunity live in God’s light and follow the path that will bring us a wonderful life, to our specifications. No more forcing myself to follow the trail I think is the proper one! We are going to embrace the insanity of a life that prioritizes characters, horses, dogs, and clicker training. You only get one life, time for me to live mine embracing what brings me the most joy!

Second Match at Sunnybank

    The lovely kennel club that introduced Jake and I to the world of Rally have altered how I spend my day to day life. I have discovered that there is an actual reason to train my puppy again.
    When they showed us the path to Match shows, we reluctantly embarked on the journey, and as you saw in our last entry, learned about teamwork, how to take pride in our hard work, and accomplishments.
    They suggest we continue with Matches, and even though there wasn’t a Rally Match, we once again heeded the voice of reason, and did so.
    The Collie Rescue club was hosting a Match at SunnyBank, and having Jake perform where his distance relatives once romped and played makes me melt a little inside.
    This Match was in obedience.
    Did you know not all Matches are created equally?
    I had no idea.
    This Match did not allow for the use of food in the ring. That disturbed me for more than it did the dogling.
    We entered two Matches that day. Novice, and Beginner Novice Obedience.
    The Novice ran first. Friends prompted me to tell the judge that was an uncharted path for us, and I did so.
     The judge kindly walked me through a disastrous run where I failed time and time again. This is what happened when you are unprepared. Still, it was a great experience.
    I learned that obedience is very strict compared to rally. I am in the habit of giving my dog multiple commands via voice and hand signals. I never thought about what I did with my hands before, but I sure have to now.
    This experience wasn’t a total failure. After the crash course in Novice, we still had the run in Beginners Novice.  
    Jake was such a good boy, and the course was so much easier after having went through the Novice. This was what we had hoped to enter before I got brave and signed up for two.
    Even with my faults, we managed to have a great run. He was called back in at the end and we came in second in the class with a qualifying score. He would have had his first leg toward his BN. I am so proud of my little boy, and grateful for the support of our friends.
    This is such a nerve-wracking but exciting journey to be on. I have worked with dogs most of my life, but anxiety has always prevented me from showing. I am slowly fighting down the demons of anxiety and discovering a wonderful new world that I am enjoying quite a lot!

One Collie. One Tale.

Fear is a powerful thing.Yesterday, my magnificent rough collie helped me face down one of my biggest fears, and gave me a sense of power beyond anything I could have imagined.

I have loved and been involved with dogs my entire life. They are love on four legs, and a mystery that is impossible to unravel. My house unicorns, sharing space and life with me while maintaining this mysterious and fascinating world that is for them, and them alone.

“Bubba/Jake,” is my plural-named current house unicorn. Although he is an intact male, using the unicorn analogy, I fancy him a gelding. He doesn’t have the flare and fire of a stallion, though he is pleasantly driven, and quite willing.

Together we dabbled in sheep herding, agility, clicker training, and rally. He is quick to learn, and enjoys the process, for some inexplicable reason. He likes praise, he likes food, he likes to tug, but I still haven’t found anything he is truly passionate about aside from the hose in the summer time.

A hose makes for an inconvenient and downright impossible to transport training reward.

Nonetheless, he is happy to train, and spend his time with me, his well-trained, albeit somewhat stubborn slave.

This all leads us to yesterday.

For weeks, the trainers at  kennel club that we attend for weekly Rally lessons have been telling me that Bubba is ready to get out there and get some matches under his belt. We are training Rally Excellent, with no difficulties on any of the signs, and I have been bound and determined to keep it to training, and training alone. This becomes difficult when the kennel club you attend is hosting a match show minutes from your home, after they tricked you into reveling your free on the day of the match.

So, for the very first time, I decided to give my dog a chance to actually work in an environment  where we would be judged.

What a powerful and transforming event.

I had mentally created an army of monsters that just weren’t there.

The Match Show was wonderful! Everyone was very friendly, we knew plenty of the other people entered, and it was so rewarding to be able to let my beast get out there and display the skills he had learned. He did excellent (as did everyone there!), and I was so very proud of him. I knew he would pee in the ring, he didn’t. I knew he would ignore me, he didn’t. I knew  I would forget the signs or go off course, I didn’t. None of the imagined terrible things happened. We just went out there and spent the day having fun with other dogs, and dog lovers. Not just dog lovers, dog people.

The kennel club allowed a 2nd run at a discount, so much to my surprise, I found myself taking advantage of the opportunity. The second time was transforming. I was feeling more comfortable, and I went out like it was a normal training session. Jake responded brilliantly, and he did even better the second time around. When we finished the second run, one of the trainers told me he was ready to start competing. I was so proud of him. And me. It took a long time to get to a place where I felt confident enough to even consider doing something like this. I must say, it was worth the wait.

One of the most personal, and special things about the show, for me, was that it was held at Sunnybank. I grew up reading the books by Terhune, and there is something magical about entering my first dog show at “The Place.”


SunnyBank Rally Show