Hip Hip Hurray!

Jaz turned 2 today!

Quilchena Park
“Let’s do it!”

To celebrate this milestone in Jaz’s life, we started the day off with a little adventure. We decided to check out some place new; Quilchena Park. We’ve driven past this park numerous times, and said to each other “We should take Jaz here one day.” Turns out that day was today.

At the park we soaked up the sun, ran circles like crazy people dogs, rolled around in the grass, and played Jaz’s favourite game: TUG!

Quilchena Park
 All grace goes out the window when Jaz finds a fresh, cool patch of grass (click here for video evidence from last year)!

Quilchena Park
“Tug Jaz, tuuuuuug!” She doesn’t mind us resting for a bit. As long as someone is willing to hold on to the other end of her favourite toy, Jaz will do the rest. And as you can see, she always keeps an eye on the surroundings, like any good terrier would 😉

Back home, it was time to make some preparations for Jaz’s ‘party’ at daycare tomorrow. I baked treats for all her furry friends!

They’re dog-cookies, but they looked and smelled so good that even I was tempted…!

… which is not that strange; just look at those yummy ingredients! Banana and peanut butter for flavour, and parsley for fresh breath. (I used an altered version of this recipe.)

Now that we were all set for tomorrow, dinnertime was approaching fast. And because Jaz had been such a good girl all day, patiently sitting through all the yummy smells coming from the kitchen without being allowed to have any of it –Okay. I lied. She may have had a piece or two. I mean… I had to make sure the cookies were good, right?!–, we decided Jaz could have her birthday (cup)cake for dinner:

Yes, really. A true birthday (cup)cake!

Don’t worry; it’s meant for dogs. You’ve gotta love North America; they make the craziest things here! You think it, someone makes it. You don’t think it, someone makes that as well. Awesomeness!

It’s a PUPcake! Lamb liver, oats, eggs, peanut butter and yoghurt…? Not your usual cupcake!

“Happy Birthday, Jaz! Make a wish!”

***Disclaimer: Do not try this at home. Professional stunt-Lakelands were used. No Lakelands got harmed during the presenting and feeding of the pupcake. The candles were blown out before beards could go up in flames, and the candles were completely removed prior to the consuming of the cake. To prevent tummy aches, only part of the cake was fed.***

Guest post

“Oh, hi there! Don’t mind me as I skip across your screen. I had the most fabulous time last weekend with my mom and dad. The weather was just perfect, and the view wasn’t too shabby either, as you may be able to tell from this picture:”

“Mom’s really busy with school at the moment, so I’m doing what any good Lakeland terrier would do; I’m pitching in. My ancestors were real working terriers, you know. And if you ask me, it’s about time I took matters into my own hands. This blog is supposed to be all about me, and now you finally get to hear things from the horse’s mouth. –Er, dog’s mouth!–“

“…where to begin? Mom and dad got me these new treats that taste like rabbit, and I love them! We have a cool new game called the ‘ready’-game where I stand and wait, all fours on the mat at the front door, looking up at my dad. Dad will say “rrrrrrrready?” and send a treat flying across the living-room floor, after which I get to chase it. Sometimes I can’t find the treat, in which case dad will help me out. But mostly I just pretend to be unable to find them because I like to watch him crawl around on all fours–those are true bonding moments for the two of us!”

“Oh, and how do you like my new custom collar? It’s my ‘big-girl-collar’ as mom likes to call it. I’m more than 18 months old now, which means I’m full-grown. But really it means I get to have all sorts of fancy stuff. I asked mom and dad for pink rhinestones, but they decided on plain white stones and steel studs. –I know, I know… we need to work on that!– We got the collar with a matching leash (which I’ll have to model for you later) at this cool place downtown. It’s one of my favorite places to shop, as I get to run around off-leash and harass the doggies that work there.”

“Pfew. I never knew this typing-stuff was so difficult and tiring. Mom and dad do it all day. Their paws must be so sore! Anyway. I gotta go chase the cats now. Take care!
Yours truly,

UK Lakeland Terrier Club Yearbook Article

If you’ve read my last blog post, you’ll know that I’ve had the opportunity to write an article for the UK Lakeland Terrier Club Yearbook. The yearbook has a section titled “Around the world…” and Jaz was lucky enough to represent Canada this year! My own copy of the Yearbook is still in the mail, but I was thrilled to receive pictures of the publication (thanks, dad!):


For those of you that are not members of the UK LTC (in which case you will have received a copy of the yearbook already), here’s the article:

Lakie Land – it’s a small world after all

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted a Lakeland terrier. Growing up with Kerry Blues, and surrounded by terrier books, I made up my mind at an early age. I wanted a lighter, more compact version of a Kerry Blue, and a Lakeland seemed like the perfect blend between cute and courageous. Never mind being careful what you wish for; I wished for a small dog with big dog attitude.

But this childhood dream of mine, as happens with many of them, sank to the back of my mind as I grew up, where it stayed dormant for quite some time. I moved out of my parents’ home, attended university, met my future husband, and immigrated from the Netherlands to Canada. It wasn’t until February of 2011, when we were happily settled in Vancouver with our two cats, that my childhood dream re-surfaced.

On a pending trip to Europe that summer, my husband and I were planning to spend some time in England; the Lake District, to be precise. And it was in email-correspondence with my father that the subject of Lakelands came up. If we were to visit the Lake District, the area where these dogs originated from, why not visit a breeder? Surely, this was an opportunity not to be passed up!

After doing some research online (what would we do without the world wide web?!), we found Alan and Angela Johnston’s contact info at Oregill kennels. A visit with the grandson of the man who was involved in creating the very breed of dog I was after… talk about getting to the root of the matter!

It happened as planned. We contacted Alan and Angela, and visited them in Egremont on a rainy Cumbrian afternoon in May of 2011. Terriers galore! Outside, we were greeted by two Lakies that were out in a run. In the side-building, we found working terriers and fox terriers, and inside the house we met some month-old Lakeland pups… all of them bursting with energy at the mere sight of us.

It was at that very moment that my childhood dream came rushing back more vibrant than ever. How can anyone, when catching sight of these spirited, small yet sturdy creatures, not secretly wish to own one? Sold! No need to check the price tag, discuss the warranty, or go over the return policy; I was ready to proceed to checkout.

While Alan told us a little more about the breed and its heritage as well as Oregill kennels, the initial veil of foolish excitement lifted, and my rational mind returned. I was not going to put a puppy through a 10-hour intercontinental flight. If I wanted a Lakie, we would have to find a breeder in Canada. And in Canada, Lakies are few and far between. It’s labradors, poodles, and, modern pet-breeders’ newest creation, labradoodles, that rule the streets of Vancouver. I think I had only ever spotted one dog that (probably due to poor grooming) somewhat resembled a Lakeland.

But we can count ourselves lucky that it is a small world, and that the world of Lakelands is even smaller. As it turned out, Alan and Angela knew one Canadian breeder: Mark Wamback, owner of Wakefield kennels. And after contacting Mark when we got home from our trip, he kindly referred us to Judy Gruzelier (Waterwalk kennels), who happened to live only a stone’s throw away from us. A few emails later, my husband and I were in Belcarra (a mere 35 km from our home in Vancouver), on Judy’s couch, each of us with a Lakie in our lap.

Things could not have lined up more perfectly. One of Judy’s bitches was in heat and about to be bred. And August 16th of 2011, we welcomed Waterwalk Rosso Corsa (‘Jaz’) into the world. All summer, I had secretly hoped for a red girl. Jaz was a singleton. Red. Female. I got everything I wished for in this tiny little package. If anything was meant to be, it was Jaz.

From that summer on, I was caught in a Lakie whirlwind. Socialization, obedience, grooming, handling… we tried it all! I had even started a blog about it. Jaz’s breeder was my be-all and end-all in everything Lakeland. She (very patiently!) taught me how to hand-strip a Lakeland, and introduced me to the dog-showing world.

Initially, I thought show-grooming was tough, but obedience and handling turned out to be tougher. Try getting a naughty dog with selective hearing (which, as you well know, Lakies are famous for) to pay attention in a room full of dogs… I didn’t stand a chance! Needless to say, Jaz did a lot of air-walking in the beginning, spinning and cartwheeling around the show ring. Quite the challenge, but never a dull moment!

Owning a Lakeland terrier has opened up a whole new world to us. Although Jaz is just a pet, I take pride in grooming her to look like a proper Lakeland. In the words of Jaz’ breeder: “hand-stripping wire coats is a dying art form,” and we should share these techniques to keep it alive. I am trying to do so, by passing what little knowledge I have on through my blog.

Besides the grooming, training is a never-ending project. We have taken some obedience and handling classes, and are contemplating taking a stab at agility next… Regardless of where our endeavours take us, we have met, and continue to meet, a lot of great people; in real life as well as online.

I thoroughly enjoy communicating with Lakie owners and breeders through my blog. Especially because there aren’t that many Lakeland owners where we live. And even my father, who doesn’t own a terrier at the moment, has gotten caught up in all the Lakie-craze by creating an extensive Lakeland terrier pedigree database dating back to the 1930s. All of this courtesy of Jaz, a single (but very special) Lakeland terrier.

Knock, knock…


Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Annie who?
Annie-body home?

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Ketchup who?
Ketchup with me and it’ll become clear!

It’s been a while. But sometimes life gets in the way. It’s not just Jaz that wants an education, but also her mommy!
And although it may have been quiet around here, we’ve not been idle whatsoever. I may not have had time to write about grooming, training, or playing, but we’ve been doing all of it in real life… Let me catch you up on a few highlights:

– I wrote a piece for the UK Lakeland Terrier Club Yearbook, which I just found out has been published and the yearbook is available on their website! Very exciting! I will upload a copy of the article onto the blog soon, so you can read it if you don’t have access to the UKLTC Yearbook.

– We took Jaz out to the snow and to the beach in the same week:
Snow dogLooking sharp! Cypress Mountain, BC

Long beach, Tofino, BCWatching the sunset. Tofino, BC

– We’ve been taking more training classes at DOGSmart, doing all sorts of exercises: from not rushing through doors before mom and dad, to ignoring edible items that happen to lie on the ground, to cavaletti walking. Jaz has no idea what to expect next, nor do we; the trainers have kept us on our toes!

I really want to start agility of rally-o this year; we’ll have so much fun together!

How have you all been? Let’s talk Lakeland!

Daycare… doggy-style!

September is here. Vancouver’s rain-season has started, the temperatures have dropped, it’s getting dark out sooner and all the kids are back in school (including myself – LOL). With all the excitement of the summer months in our rearview mirror, it was time to introduce Jaz to a new challenge: doggy daycare!
We’ve been talking to our trainer (Cathie Timascheff) about how to improve Jaz’s skills and confidence out and about in the city. Don’t get me wrong; she’s doing fabulous, but there is always room for improvement! Although we have come a long way, Jaz is still hesitant from time to time when it comes to new people or dogs, especially if they look or act a bit different… in comes daycare!

Everybody is curious
Look at those curious faces… everybody was very eager to meet Jaz!

Although Jaz is great with her playmates (you’ve seen some of them pass by here, here, and here!), meeting new dogs is a different cup of tea altogether. For us, it would be difficult to provide a steady stream of new dogs for Jaz to meet. But at the daycare we’ve selected (make sure you’re picky!), Jaz will be ensured of meeting new dogs all the time, while being provided with a safe environment to do so by the skilled personnel.  We were hesitant at first, which is why Jaz has never been to daycare before. We simply weren’t sure whether we could trust any of these places; what if they managed to un-do all the hard work we had put in?! But some research and great references helped us make up our minds, and I must say… I think it’s a godsend!
At daycare, the dogs can socialize, but as soon as someone is no longer playing nice, or things get too heated, there will be someone there to take action. Play is interrupted from time to time to prevent any upheavals, and the dogs are given schedule down-time so no-one overexerts him/herself. There are two large rooms indoor: one for playing/lounging with lots of beds and toys, and the other filled with crates of various sizes, so the dogs can have their naps. On top of that, there’s also a large outdoor area, suitable for potty, play and sunbathing. Sounds pretty sweet, doesn’t it?!

Here’s what Jaz’s first impression looked like last Saturday:First impressions
Very clever: Jaz gets to dip her toes in the water before jumping in the deep end…

Jaz only stayed for two hours, because we wanted to ease her into it. All went well! After the initial meeting, which went surprisingly well, she had a ton of fun getting to know and playing with the other dogs. When we picked her up, everyone was lounging about and seemed very relaxed and comfortable. Jaz’s first time at doggy daycare was a great success! For consistency, we’ll be taking Jaz to daycare twice a week for the next couple of months. This will allow her to gain a lot of new experiences in a very short period of time, making her even more well-rounded than she already is! Plus, she’ll get some awesome playtime in!
Time to turn the tables: Have you ever contemplated taking your dog to daycare? Or has your dog been already? What was it like? Would you go back y/n?