Tuesday, November 29, 2022

And that's a wrap.. for ribbons, that is!

What do you do with 4 very large containers of ribbons your overachiever dog named ROCK STAR JAKE earned?  Well, a lot of things as it turned out!  It started about 3 years ago and the saga continued until today when I wrapped the project up by taking the last of them and hanging them by his resting place.  So here is how it went.  

First I did some sorting..  pulled out the best, most meaningful ones and created 2 hangings, one for Barn Hunt and the other for Scent Work.  It had the highest ribbons from those sports.  In Barn Hunt, his RATCH ribbons and the awards from 2014 Nationals.  In Scent Work, it was his AKC Detective, Master, and Master Elite and UKC Elite and Champion ribbons. 


Then there were lots of High In Class ribbons from Barn Hunt so I hung 10 of those on the barn with the straw where I could see them readily see them when in the yard. Others I made a hanging from and put on the porch. And what to do with the medals from Dock Diving...  make a wind chime!


At the same time I took all his blue ribbons and shoved the in a jar and they looked pretty good!  I's truly amazing how many fit in one jar! 

What to do as a keepsake because everything else is temporary...  a shadow box!  And wow, did it hold a lot of stuff including his harness and something from each sport he participated in. And there is also the special stuff that made the "keeper" shelf in the living room where all the dogs have stuff! 


So fast forward to several months ago.  Still have a full container of ribbons to sort.  Kept the ones with the metal hanger and put the rest together to include with Jake in his resting place on the hill behind my house when the time came.  It just seemed fitting that he should have them.  

And then today a month later I strung up the rest and put them around his resting place and around the training area and yard that he loved so much. 


And that's it...  I'm glad they all have a place and not packed away in a box.  They will provide a lot of memories as I walk through the yard and house and eventually will all be part of Jake's resting place. 

Friday, October 14, 2022

It was a very good run...

Jake von der Alte Baum 

10/20/2009 - 10/14/2022

Jake lived way longer than I expected and was a clearly happy dog until the end.  It's always been harder with my competition dogs and Jake is no exception.  He did all he could to make us a better team and I will miss him desperately. He was laid to rest on the hill in the woods next to Brita. 

Absolutely every single soul in our lives today 
will one day go their own separate way. 
Of course, we'll each circle back around and
be together forever and ever, too.  

~~The Universe

I am comforted knowing Brita was there to help him cross and show him the way.  
No doubt in my mind they are off and running free as they did for a decade in our yard.  💓💓

Monday, August 22, 2022

97 Recorded Lifetime titles

YES...  97 recorded lifetime titles...  I say "recorded" because there were several video titles that he completed that I never sent to the proper registry.  He didn't start earning titles until he was5 years old and competing in Barn Hunt and then there was no stopping him.  

In 2014, "Jake" earned the first RATCHX in the history of the Barn Hunt at Waukesha, WI. The RATCHX title  requires that a dog earn 25 Master legs total, including the 5 earned in the RATM and the 10 earned in the RATCH! He subsequently earned another 10 legs to earn his RATCHX2 (CLICK HERE to see the facts of this journey) in October 2014 and his RATCHX3 in July 2015! 

In 2015, our focus turned to Dock Jumping and he competed and titled in the venues of Dock Dogs, NADD and Pier Pups where he has a personal best of 16'6" in Big Air (earning a Junior title and an invitation to Worlds) and 9.330 seconds in Speed Retrieve! 

In 2016 Jake earned his RATCHX4 in Barn Hunt, a Speed Retrieve title from Dock Dogs and is now a Nosework junkie where he has earned in 2 years his UKC Elite title!

Throughout 2017, 2018 and 2019, Jake continued his scent work journey but was slowed down with health issues.  Arthritis in his back was taking a toll and there were times he moved better in his "wheels".  However, there were times he could walk so during those months we traveled and trialed.  By 2020 he was close to getting the last 3 we were shooting for:
  • UKC Nosework Champion
  • AKC Master Elite
  • AKC Detective
So when Covid hit and trials were cancelled I didn't think it would happen but then outdoor trials opened up and in August 2020 he achieved the first 2 and in November he got his 10th Detective leg! 

It was quite a journey (maybe I should say wild ride) with Jake, a dog who I didn't think would ever compete and earn a title! As they say...  there will never be another like him..  💓

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

And then there were TWO... again!

 Enter Mookie, a Hungarian Mudi!  13 pounds of energy arrived on the scene!  Below are some photos of the 2 of them and links to Mookie's website AND a photo album with Mookie and Jake in it.  

They love each other but I keep them separated unless under direct supervision to protect Jake!!  Mookie tries to play and Jake wants to but can't and there doesn't seem to be a good ending to an encounter.  As long as Mookie is calm, they can hang out together and then they are best buds!!  

Click here for Mookie's website called Mookie the Mudi!

Click here for photos of Jake and Mookie!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Miscellaneous photos

Always with a smile!

And he loves when friends visit!

And he definitely likes to deliver messages!

And his stuffies...  oh my, he loves them!


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Spring Searching~ He's still got it!!

It's been awhile since I posted about Jake so I thought I'd post this video of him doing a pretty easy search over the weekend. He survived the winter and is actually doing better than he was  6 months ago! Hard to believe two and a half years ago he was in wheels! He certainly has had his ups and downs. His brain and front end are amazing but it takes a while to get the message down his wonky back to his rear end! Life is good at 12 and a half ❤️

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Thursday, November 18, 2021

2021.10 Jake's 12th Birthday MONTH!

Jake had his 12th birthday last month so instead of just celebrating the DAY we decided to make it a celebration of the MONTH! Everywhere we went he shared his birthday muffins which were a great hit and he was, as he always is even though he struggles at times, a happy boy!

  • Helping out with Lynsie's Scentwork class!
  • The last swim and bath with Steph at SwimDog!
  • Pat's visit brings toys!
  • Hanging out at a rally class with Karma!
  • Scent work practice at Winnegamie Dog Club!
  • A visit to Dr. Jeff at Great Lakes Vet!
  • Doing a demo at a rally class at WDC!
  • A walk through the yard with wheels!
  • Enjoying being the center of attention at Rally RunThru's at Winnegamie!
  • Hanging out in the yard!
  • The second to last ever visit to SwimDog!
  • A party at Winchester Town hall with Cutter and Karma!
  • A birthday celebration (including a peanut butter milkshake) with Laura at Culvers!
  • Visits from Rhys and Mary Ann, Mica and James, Ryan and the gang, Winnie and Curt, and Marissa!
  • Scent work and a party on the lake in Winneconne with Cutter and Pat, and OJ, Aubrey, and Laurie!



Thursday, October 7, 2021

Detective Spy Glass

Last year Jake earned the AKC Scent Work Detective title. It was his last trial where he competed due to the unreliability of his back and balance. When Sherye Wise posted a photo of the Detective Spy Glass I decided it was a fitting keepsake for his Scent Work journey and I contacted her! I received Jake's personalized Spy Glass today and was not disappointed! It is amazing! Thank you Sherye!


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Don't Count Him Out!

 "Don't count him out", they said! From wheels to better to wheels to better... Jake never ceases to amaze me!

Since swimming wasn't working well for his back and it took him days to recover from a 20 min swim, we stopped doing that and substituted "biting the water on the deck" fun! A little of that is first on the video, then some brain-games (aka nosework) and more back and rear end strengthening in the living room!


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Super Sniffin' Ribbons Displayed

Jake's AKC Scent Work and UKC Nosework final ribbon display is done and I couldn't be happier!  Every ribbon has a story (as Laurie reminded me when she saw the display) and, bottom line, these all will not just remind me of the fun Jake and I had together but of the friends who were by my side the whole time.

The UKC ribbons are on the right.  

  1. The rainbow Elite ribbon was earned on my birthday which was also mother's day in 2018 at Beaver Dam and as I recall. Rose and Austin earned Elite that day also.  

  2. The Elite Champion ribbon (the long one with the tear in the ribbon because it hung out of my van for who knows how long) was earned in 2020 in the Quad Cities.

  3. At the same time the overall Nosework Champion title was earned.  There was no ribbon for the overall title and when I told Ester recently, she immediately offered me one from the Wausau club where Jake got most of the overall legs so that ribbon was added this past weekend!  

The AKC ribbons are on the left.  

  1. On the top is Jake's Master ribbon earned in 2019.  After the trial, I asked Ester to take the photo with my phone that turned out so good that Pat framed it and surprised me with it.  That trial was bittersweet at the time because Jake's health had deteriorated and I retired him (for the first time) that day.  

  2. Six months later Jake had improved enough to finish the Master Elite title in August 2020 earned one week after the UKC Champion title.  Again, the title was earned at a trial  in IL with no unique title ribbons so Lynsie surprised me with this special ribbon to add to the collection. 

  3. Lastly, the big ribbon is for Detective earned in November 2020 in Ohio.  The club had a loaner ribbon for photos and I liked it so much that I bought one like it (which is a whole other story :))!   

Sunday, August 1, 2021

My Teacher...

Thanks to the Central WI Dog Sports Club (CWKC & SWCCW) and judges Bonnie Gutzwiler, Tom Rezmer and Holly Bushard for letting JAKE play this weekend by being a DEMO DOG in most of the exterior searches!  The icing on the cake, as they say, was his demo search for DETECTIVE set by Erin Rezmer!  His improvement staying on his feet was apparent as he navigated both the exterior and then interior searches with barely a wobble and found the 7 hides in about 3 1/2 minutes!  

This dog teaches me every day that life is a blessing and not to waste it by feeling bad about what you can't do but rather do what you can do the best you can and enjoy every minute if it!  ❤

Friday, July 23, 2021

Searchin' on Wheels

 Jake is not fond of his wheels because he thinks he can do everything just fine without them (he can't) but once he gets started he cooks right along.  Sometimes a quick turn will tilt it so I have to be alert or it will topple over with him in it.  The few times it's happened, he's been pretty nonchalant about it and just stayed on his side waiting to be rescued and off he went again to whatever he was doing!!   


Friday, May 14, 2021

Celebrating my Birthday!

My Facebook Post!

Thank you ALL for the birthday wishes yesterday!  I'm overwhelmed by your posts and plan to spend the next few days responding to them because I value the time you took to send those wishes!  Jake and I made our usual trip to Starbucks for a birthday frappuccino and puppuccino along with my friend Laura who always makes these trips memorable!  😁

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

And he does love his swimming!

Jake no longer gets to jump off the dock or run up and down the ramp like a crazy dog when he swims but he does get to retrieve his toy about 30 times twice a week when we go to SwimDog Wellness Center. While he needs help getting in and out of my van and sometimes up and down a ramp into the house, he is doing remarkably well for what he's been through in his 11 and a half years! Of the 8 German shepherds I've had, I don't think I've had a happier dog that smiles more!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

National Puppy Day

Since it's national puppy day I thought I'd share this collage of Jake a few days after I brought him home way back in 2010. 😁

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Karma and Jake after Scentwork

 Here's a picture of Jake and one of his favorite scent work partners, Karma (Jackie), after some searches at Sunset Park in Kimberly this morning! Even though he can't trial due to the instability of his back, we still train 3-4x/week with friends in different locations. 

Through the winter here in Wisconsin we haven't missed a week of training outside the whole season!

 Since Christmas he has experienced less stability in his back causing him to struggle with steps and consistently toppling over when he turns. Ice was not his friend! None of this has affected his attitude and his smiling face when he's having a good time! Never thought he'd still be here at 11.5 yrs old and for that I'm surely blessed.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Cutter and Jake after Scent Work

 53 Degrees and sunny...  Dec, 10, 2020!  When will the weather be this nice again!  Morning spent doing 4 exterior searches between Menasha and Omro!  That's about 40 hides!  Then the photo shoot which was ...well...  not the most fun part of the morning for Jake and Cutter!  But I explained that life is not perfect and they need to suck it up...  however, they drew the line at smiling!  lol