Taxes, Beer & Ice Cream

So…it turns out that it is that unfortunate time of year where you find & organize all of your receipts, fill out your paperwork & consult with professionals — ALL to determine that nearly every extra penny you thought you had made in the last 365 days must be sent immediately to the government!

When you really think about the money you make throughout the year, and how much of it goes to taxes either straight away OR is taken away when you try to buy something (13% in Ontario on nearly everything!!) it seems insane. Or Sad. Or both.

I don’t mean to complain. In Canada we do enjoy a high standard of living…it’s just that tax time is painful. And that’s why there is beer. And Ice cream. Haagen Dazs to be exact.

Animal Communication & Energy Work

A very good friend of mine has recently launched a website for the amazing work she does as an animal communicator & energy worker.  Sue has had a profound impact on my life in the time that I have known her, and has made such a difference in how I work with the dogs! We would not be where we are without all of her help.

Check out her website here:

Sue is also on twitter – you can follow her there too 🙂

~ Karen

Trying Out, Journeying Forward & Daring to Dream

Cash & I have been on quite a journey the last few weeks – and honestly if I think about it, for his entire life! That dog has taught me so much, and pushed me to dream and believe that IT IS possible!

We participated in the CKC Agility Team Tryout at the end of March, and had an amazing weekend on some very challenging, fun & FAST courses designed by Zeljko Gora from Croatia.  We had two clean runs, placing 6th & 10th – and the other four had some faults. My favourite run of the weekend actually is one that we ended up off course at the end, and of course it was totally my fault! I will post some video when I get my butt into gear and do some editing…!

I was hopeful that we would do well enough to be offered a spot for the European Open in July in Germany this year – we ended up being named the first alternate.  It is a little bit hard to be that close, and not quite get it – but I know that with time, we will…and I really do believe that things happen the way they do for a reason.

So here’s to journeying forward, daring to dream…and all that the future will bring us.

~ Karen

The Countdown Continues!

Guess what?? ONLY 10 more sleeps until the hubby & I and the furry gang pile into the Airstream and hit the road for the U.S. Open in Fletcher, North Carolina!! I am really looking forward to competing with both of my dogs in such a big setting, and spending some quality time with my husband.  We are taking a week or so of vacation after the trial, and doing a bit of a road trip through the Great Smokey Mountains.

This weekend has been an awesome time at home – albeit a bit snowy (Oh, Canada!). So nice to spend sometime at home, getting things accomplished and of course working the dogs! Today it warmed up enough that I was able to run barefoot outdoors with Cash…probably the last time for that this year!  We worked on short jumping sequences with extension, as well as collection – he is doing so well.

One of my goals for this fall/winter is to focus on trick training with all of the dogs as well – it is so important to keep them mentally stimulated, especially if they can’t get outside quite as much because of the weather! I will try and remember to take some video of us working on our tricks one of these days and post it.  It always amazes me how quickly they learn!

Alright! I’m going to put down the laptop & curl up with the dogs – thanks for stopping by! Until next time!

– Karen, Maya, Cash & Keys

Back in the Agility Saddle!

Yesterday Cash & I were finally able to make it back to his regular agility classes – he had been off from agility completely for four weeks because of an injury to his dewclaw in early September. He and I are SO used to our daily rhythm of training, it was quite a challenge for both of us to figure out how to operate with agility completely out of the picture! Trick training, and lots of swimming & hiking to keep his conditioning up was what got us through!

Our first trial back was the UKI Fall Cup held at Royackers Kennels – it was the first trial I have entered where he is jumping at his International height, and could earn points towards making it on the World Team! We had some brilliant moments, but for most of the runs felt a little bit out of sync with one little mistake here or there! Our best run was a speedstakes course, we placed 2nd by only 0.2s! Pretty good for only having recently moved up to 26″!

Maya did great at Fall Cup as well – she won the overall Games Champion for 20″ jump height – I was super proud of her performance! Wished I had entered her in more runs!!

Anyway – our time off was a reminder to cherish every single moment…and made me even more incredibly thankful for my wonderful furry companions. I really cannot imagine life without them.

We have a few weeks of good weather (hopefully!!) and class with Kayl before the U.S. Open in Fletcher, North Carolina…another important trial! I can’t wait to see how we do in a competition so large – but most of all, I can’t wait to take a road trip with these guys & enjoy the journey!!

Until next time!

– Karen

Cash is a Daddy!!


Cash has sired his first litter of puppies – he was bred to a beautiful Merle named Bling, and they produced three healthy, happy puppies! They are now a few weeks old and I had the chance to visit them over the weekend – thought I would share some pictures 🙂




For more info on these puppies you can contact Grand Oakes Border Collies:


Grand Oakes Girl on Fire. A.k.a “Keys”

I can’t take credit for this awesome name, a friend of mine came up with it after I had been struggling with what to call her for a couple of weeks! It goes nicely with my musical theme – Cash’s full name is Grand Oakes Man in Black.

SO excited to have this little spitfire join our pack! And that name is appropriate in more ways then one – she has a HUGE set of lungs on her!!! Boy can this puppy “sing”… LOL.

She is Cash’s full sister, so I’m referring to them as Double Trouble. He isn’t too fond of having his little sister around yet, but I’m sure in time they will come to love each other. Or at least tolerate each other 🙂 Until then Maya is happy to take the pup-a-lump under her wings & show her the ropes. So lucky to have that Red Dog in my life.

Signing off for tonight! Until next time

~ Karen

Let the Games Begin!

I am so excited for the weekend – it is our first trial that counts for qualifying for Cynosport 2015 in Tennessee! I am really hoping to be able to run both Cash & Maya at Cyno next year, probably not Maya in all of the classes – but since she is officially our team Captain we expect her to make an appearance 🙂

This will actually only be the second time that I am running in the Team event at a USDAA trial – two of Cash’s litter mates are running with us – Twist & Puma. He’s also entered in Biathalon runs, Grand Prix & of course Steeplechase. Maybe we will bring home the $5.00 prize. LOL. Maya is entered in Steeplechase & about 4 other runs, I am really looking forward to running them both – and trying Maya on the “big dog” courses 🙂

My goals for the weekend are:

i) Run both dogs to the best of THEIR abilities
ii) LOOK at the line
iii) Stay connected
iv) Have FUN
v) Enjoy the Journey

I am pulling the Airstream up and camping nearby – AND have finally figured out a way to be able to use my phone and be connected to the internet while traveling in the US – its through a company called Roam Mobility ( If it works well I will try to post updates at night 🙂

Hope everyone has a great week & weekend!!

– Karen

The Next Chapter

So much has changed since I last sat down with my laptop to share my experience of life with the world. We have moved from the home that we thought was our forever home, to a place where all my agility dreams are going to come true. There is so much to say just on that! But I will blog later about our adventures here 🙂

What I really want to share this morning is video from a seminar I participated in with Kayl McCann hosted at the gorgeous McCann Agility arena in Flamborough, Ontario. I was lucky enough to audit the camp the first three days, then participate the last two with my dog Cash. I was able to feel what is possible with this dog, and glimpse the future – while being challenged, and inspired to keep working. It was one of the best experiences of my life! Check out some of my favourite moments here:

As always – thanks for listening!



This video is of Maya & I at the USDAA trial in Cato, NY as well. Maya is my very first dog as an adult, and my very first agility dog – her training has been a HUGE journey for me, and has taught me so much. Weaving has been something we have struggled with, and at this trial – we finally GOT IT 🙂 So proud of her, and how far we have come!