Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas is just around the corner...

Today we went out to the country to chop down our Christmas tree.  I look forward to this every year and every year it's the same story....I find many trees that would all be just fine but Neil insists on hunting down the perfect one.  Truly it's enough to drive one to distraction :0)  But we did it, we found the perfect tree and everyone was happy.  Including Sophie, because naturally we took her with us.  As usual she charmed the pants off everyone.

Fun in the yard

On December 2nd I thought I would try to get some photos of the dogs retrieving in the backyard.  Not always easy when you are a one man show but we managed to get a couple snaps.  Enjoy, the dogs certainly did!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Woefully behind in posting!

Shame on me I can't believe how much time has passed since I last posted.  Let me update you on the goings on around here. 

With regard to Quincy there is not much to report....he is a very good dog.  I am happy to say that he is finally sleeping in his dog bed now after it's been available to him for several months.  He has always been a lie on the hard floor kind of guy but now in his older age I think he's finding the bed a little more to his liking.  Don't get me wrong he'll still take the couch and bed if given the invite but when those two choices aren't available we can usually find him curled up here. 

These beds are really great.  Both our dogs love theirs....

Sophie is now over 6 months old.  She continues to bring our family so much joy.  Her field training is coming along nicely.  Last Tuesday she retrieved a pigeon - sorry no photos :0(  and we are working on her whistle sit and hold. 

 Everyone who meets her falls right away in love.  Must be a Barbet thing :0)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sophie and Daphne

I was trimming nails this morning and Daphne our cat jumped onto the grooming table. (Let me introduce her to you....this is CH Bridalpath Daphne, our 13 year old Ragdoll cat.)  Anyhow as I was saying, I was trimming Sophie's nails and up jumped Daphne.  I grabbed the camera thinking this was a good opportunity to show that even though the Barbet is a hunting dog it can get along very well with cats.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fun Retrieves

Well it has been over-long since I've last posted but heck I'm new to this whole blog thing and I don't really find the time to sit and update all that often.  Never-the-less, here I am again with a couple little videos of the dogs.  I decided to video Sophie and Quincy with the puppy bumper I rigged up with a couple of bird wings.  Dug it out of the freezer and away we went to the backyard.

I am so pleased with Sophie.  She is certainly proving to have the natural instinct with regard to swimming and hunting.  She does like feathers and is seeming to be quite birdy.  Loud noises do not seem to bother her (I imagine living with a four year old and a six year old helps one get used to noise pretty darn quick). 

I've just been keeping things fun with her.  She is a baby dog after all and so we are steadily building our foundation in obedience and giving her opportunities to swim and interact with feathers.  The puppy retrieves with the bumper are very short, only 2 or 3 at a time and then it is put away.  I am not overly concerned about her coming straight back to me.  I keep her on long line but this is more for her to be used to it so that when we get out in the field it's just par for the course.  If I make a big fuss over her (which I shamelessly do) she does want to come back though.  My main goal is to just build drive and get her to love going out for it and holding it in her mouth.

Quincy is a joy to watch.  His love of retrieving has not diminished over the years.  We've made a lot of good friends and memories together.  These photos go back a few years.  They are dated TBK (time before kids)  Here is his video.  Please excuse my sloppy handling.  We are both very rusty :0)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Air Show

Yesterday we went downtown to visit my Aunt who lives in High Park.   The air show at the CNE was on  and you can watch the planes from her balcony.  We brought the kids and Sophie.  Sophie took the elevator in stride and was absolutely fine being up so far (16th floor).  We figured the noise of the planes would be really good for her.  No one wants a dog (especially a gundog) who is afraid of loud noises.  She was great and when the big jets flew by she got a piece of cheese :0)  She really is a super good dog.  It wasn't long before she flopped down and just lay off while we had our visit.  The children got birthday presents from Tante Sylvia and we sat and drank tea and ate biscuits while watching the show.  Now that folks is the way to do it!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Water Dog

Sophie loves the water.  She just gravitates towards it.   It's so nice to see that the instinct is there.  The sprinkler photos were taken in July but the other one and the video are from August.

Canine Companions

These are some photos from back in July but I thought I'd give you a glimpse of how Sophie and Quincy play together.  Quincy is really very kind to Sophie.  He is incredibly tolerant of her puppy antics.  When she has a toy that he wants he will whine and cry and wait for her to give it up.  Looks like she is going to be the boss dog in the house.  Typical female :0)

Fun times on the French River

We just got home yesterday from a weekend with friends at their cottage on the French River .  It is so breathtakingly beautiful up there.  Quincy, God bless him, is his own worst enemy and due to his *intense* love of retrieving and swimming will go non stop.  His pause button is broken because he whines and roos incesantly if he's not in the water and basically drives us all crazy.  I do think if he got a steady diet of water he'd be fine but he doesn't and he's not so he stayed behind with Gran and the cat.  Besides with two car seats, a stuffed Thule bag on top, a big honkin cooler and every conceivable nook and cranny packed in tight there was only room for one kennel.  So we brought Sophie.

And she looooooved it and she was so so good.  She fit right in with all the kids.  She swam in the river, dug in the sand and felt the wind in her fur on the boat.  Here are some photos  and video from the trip.  Enjoy.

And this is Sophie...

She is the new puppy in town.  She is 17 weeks old and an adorable ball of black fur. With Quincy getting on in years we thought it would be a good time to add a puppy to the family.  So on July 9th we brought her home from her breeder's . We are head over heals in love with this dog.  She has the sweetest temperament.  She loves kids and other dogs and will happily greet anyone she meets.  She is learning not to go after the cat (much to our cat Daphne's relief).   To my utter joy, Sophie was swimming at 15 weeks old.  What a thrill.  Unfortunately I have no photos of this momentous occasion since I was in the pond with her at the time but she did me proud my little girly-whirly.  We are looking forward to lots of fun with this very special pup.

Where do I start?

Well here goes.  My first foray into blogging.  Guess I'll introduce Quincy first.  He is our first dog and at nine years old he is considered a senior citizen, although he somehow seems to have missed that memo.  He is a consumate retriever and ball obsessed.  In fact half the time we are hard pressed to tell which is the puppy, him or Sophie.  Quincy is always up for whatever you want to do  That's what made trying so many different things with him so much fun.  Despite having to put up with a novice handler who learned to show him in conformation, trial in obedience and play in the field we did end up coming away with some letters in front of and behind his name.  His greatest love is the field game.  His drive and enthusiasm are what got me out of bed many a cold winter morning to go train.  I have met so many wonderful people and tried so many new and fullfilling things with him.  I will forever be endebted to my little red dog who continues to teach me so much.