The Dogs That Started It All

I share my home and heart with two very special dogs.


Gio is an 8 year old Shetland Sheepdog. He came from a backyard breeder who, I'm sure, loved her dogs very much, but really had no clue what it takes to be a responsible breeder. Gio is plagued with health issues, including hip problems, epilepsy, and hypothyroidism. Despite the hand he was dealt, this dog never gives up. He consistently gives 110% in everything I ask of him. His only request in life is to work with me. It doesn't matter what we are doing, if he is given a task to do he does it with gusto.

Gio started me off in the world of dog sports with flyball. Flyball is truly his prefered activity. He quickly earned his Flyball Master (FM) title from NAFA, consistently running at about 4.7 seconds. Unfortunately, he had to retire from flyball much sooner than either of us would have ever dreamed when his health issues started rearing their heads. Down, but never out, Gio insisted that we keep working. My stipulation was that the new job (or, as it turned out, multiple jobs) be lower impact and less "crazy" than flyball. We started in Rally-O, and the dog that I was sure would never be able to heel proved me wrong again. Gio really took to Rally-O, and now it is nearly as fun for him as flyball was ... nearly. From Rally-O we moved to obedience, then to therapy dog work, and finally to tracking. With every challenge that I placed in front of him, Gio's enthusiasm grew. He grasped every new task and performed it to perfection.

Gio is stoic, patient, and embodies the definition of "unflappable". Nothing upsets this dog. He views every new hurdle as a challenge to be conquered, and he does so with a gleam in his eye and a proud plume on his tail (and often a bark or two).

CRS CanyonView Forever Romantic CD RE (CKC) RVMCL (CARO) FDX SJATD HIC

Romeo is the newest addition to the family. He is a 3 year old Shetland Sheepdog that I purchased from a fabulous local breeder at the age of 9 months. I immediately started Romeo in flyball and Rally-O. While he did well at the individual aspects of flyball, it wasn't really the game for him. Instead he really grabbed onto Rally-O and took off at warp speed in that direction. Within a year he had surpassed Gio in Rally-O and obedience titles, and continues to move steadily forward claiming many High in Classes along the way. It isn't unusual for Gio and Romeo to come out of a Rally-O trial with identical scores, sharing the big blue ribbons. In 2009, Romeo became the first dog in Saskatchewan to complete his CARO Rally-O Bronze C Stream title, and in 2010 was the first dog in Saskatchewan to complete his CARO Rally-O Silver C Stream title.

In addition to Rally-O and obedience, Romeo is tearing it up in agility and herding. He loves both, and attacks each sport with enthusiasm and flair. He is a spunky flamboyant dog, who is eternally optimistic. Romeo thoroughly enjoys everything put in front of him, and has the drive to go all day long.

Though I had no intention of having him certified as a therapy dog at such a young age, he informed me that he really could do that as well. My plan was to let him do the crazy young dog stuff now, and when he is maxxed out in those pursuits and has slowed down with old age, then he could transfer to therapy dog work. But, on a whim, I decided to have him tested in the fall of 2008. He passed the certification test with flying colors, and now loves cuddling with and entertaining crowds as a therapy dog, in addition to his crazy young dog activities.

If you would like to follow along with Gio and Romeo through their various adventures, please feel free to check out my personal blog, Life is Better With Sheltie Hair.