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What's New / Latest News2017

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July 17, 2017

Tom and Dot are on a roll!! Tonight, they completed her Intermediate Trick title---just three weeks after they completed their Novice title!! The TKN and the TKI are the first two titles that Tom has ever put on a dog, and he did all of the training with Dot himself. I'm so proud of both of them!! :)

AND, when he called me tonight to tell me that they had finished their TKI, he said that he wants to try to get the Advanced Trick title on her too. Those tricks are quite a bit harder, so they're going to have to practice more than a couple of times a week to get that one. <G>

Tom and Dot are at Dairy Queen now celebrating with a doggie cone and a milkshake!

Go Team Dot!!

June 18, 2017

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Well, I didn't think we could top yesterday, but Geraldo had other ideas!! Today, at my local Sheltie club's agility trial, Monkey Boy earned the last QQ that he needed for his PACH!! It was both a joyful and a bittersweet moment for me, since today's PACH will be his last agility championship. He'll still trial every now and then just for kicks, but I doubt if we have another 20 QQ's in us. Geraldo is going to rest on his laurels and continue to be The Big Man On Campus at CastleGate. <G>

It's been an incredible journey, and I'm so sad to see it end. Geraldo was the first dog that I trained and ran in agility myself, and he was the perfect dog for an inexperienced handler like me. As long as he continued to get praise and cookies, he didn't care how many times we had to do something over in order for me to hone a skill. In the early days, my feet and shoulders were almost never pointing in the right direction at the right time, and somehow he still managed to figure out where I wanted him to go most of the time. How he survived my steep learning curve and then went on to earn 7 agility championships, I'll never know! LOL As I tell him frequently, "he's the bestest boy ever!"

I could write a book about what Geraldo means to me. He has exceeded every expectation that I've ever had for him, and he's the best companion dog anyone could ever hope to have. He's 12.5 years old now, and I'm sure hoping that he inherited Daily's longevity genes. I can't imagine my life without him.

We've gone full circle this week. Last Sunday, we were mourning the loss of Daily, and this Sunday we're celebrating an agility championship for her son. I'm pretty sure that Miss Daily had something to do with the incredible weekend we've had, and I'm so grateful for the legacy she left us via her sons and daughters.

June 17, 2017

Today was a "kill me now" kind of agility day times ten!! I just couldn't be happier about today!

Tequila was the only dog that I trialed with today, and I think he liked that. He showed his approval by earning his first ever Triple Q today, and as icing on the cake, he got blue ribbons on each of those three runs. He was 30 seconds under course time in standard and 24 seconds under course time in Jumpers. When he completed his Triple Q today, I told him he could have anything he could find in the cooler, and he had a great time foraging!! We stopped for ice cream at Dairy Queen on the way home too. So, it will be a miracle if Tequila doesn't pop tonight! LOL

Our great day didn't end there either!! Elaine Kelvington's Chet x Sony son (Solomon) finished an agility title today which, in turn, also finished the requirements for his CH VCX. I was so happy to be there to celebrate with Elaine in person when she fulfilled her dream for Solomon today!! It's such a thrill for me that Chet kids are continuing to do so well in the conformation and performance rings so many years after he left us. It makes my heart smile to see bits and pieces of him in his offspring.

And there was yet another thing for us to celebrate at today's trial!! MACH CastleGate's High-Wire Circus Act (Braylann) was the HIT Master level Sheltie today. Braylann is owned, trained, and loved by Anne Ujczo.

I'm not sure how we'll top today's trial, but we'll have fun trying tomorrow! <G>

June 11, 2017

Sadly, it's the end of an era for CastleGate Shelties. This afternoon, Daily (Shamont Most Unusual Day NAJ) passed away peacefully in one of her favorite dog beds just three months shy of her 17th birthday. There are no words to describe how devastating this loss is for us. Tom was with her when she died, and unfortunately, I was not. When I left for Cleveland on Thursday afternoon, I kissed Daily goodbye and I told her how glad I was that she was still here. Never in a million years did I think that was going to be the last time that I would see her alive. It was so hard to come into the house tonight night knowing that she wasn't going to greet me at the door. Daily was Tom's all time favorite dog, and he's going to be lost without his Day Day.

Daily was our foundation bitch and the dam of CH MACH6 Geraldo, GCH Bliss, and MACH11 PACH Zelda. Daily was also the dam of GCH Gabe (Anne Trosky) and MACH Braylann (Anne Ujczo) and many other lovely performance and companion dogs. Daily was such a sweet, playful, happy dog, and she loved to snuggle and to have her belly rubbed. She was the smallest of our dogs, but she was mighty!! The younger dogs knew better than to mess with her! <G> Daily loved puppies, and once she even "borrowed" a puppy from someone else's whelping box. Thank goodness that puppy's mom was outside pottying when the theft occurred! LOL

We are incredibly grateful to Linda Sanders for allowing Daily to join our canine family in August 2003. We went to Linda's house that day to buy a blue bitch, and we picked out a little tri bitch instead!! <G> Actually, Daily chose us. While we were sitting under a shade tree watching Linda's dogs play, Daily laid down at our feet, crossed her front paws, and grinned up at us, and she kept doing that all afternoon. Tom was instantly smitten, and by the end of our visit, so was I!!

It's impossible to explain in mere words how much joy Daily brought into our lives and how much we're going to miss her. Rest well my sweet girl!! I hope that there are UPS trucks for you to chase at The Bridge!!

May 16, 2017

Dot finished her breed championship today with a five point specialty major under Judge Kim Schive at the Central Indiana Specialty.

Dot's philosophy in regard to points appears to be "go big or go home," because today's win was her fifth major!! <G>

I'm so excited and so happy. What a Mother's Day present this is!! When I got Julie's message about Dot's win today, I just couldn't stop crying. Happy tears are the best!:)

I'm so grateful to Julie Desy for finishing Dot's championship with two BOB's, two majors, two singles, and a group placement. Julie and the Illemist Team truly made The Dot shine!!

I also want to give my heartfelt thanks to Katie Grohowalski who got the ball rolling by putting three majors on Dot last summer before she left for college. Katie taught Dot how to be a show dog, and Dot couldn't have had a better teacher.

Dot is a Geraldo daughter (CH MACH6 PACH CastleGate's Daily News XF HT VCX) out of Ellie (CH Lochlyn Crestar Hollywood Ending). Without Janeen Simpson's generosity, there never would have been a Dot!! Thank you, Janeen, for sharing Ellie with me, so that I could at long last have a Geraldo litter of my own.

When I told Tom that Dot was finished, he said "That's great!! I guess I don't need to buy you anything for Mother's Day now!" I told him that the mother of a new champion needs diamonds!! I'm not going to hold my breath on that one. LOL

May 6, 2017

Derby Day 2017 is definitely going to be a day to remember for me!! Dot went BOB from the Open Class over two specials today for her fourth major!! And, she and Julie weren't done yet!! They also garnered a Group 3 today!!

I'm beyond excited!! We're in the homestretch now!! Hopefully my baby girl will finish her championship soon, so she can come back home. We miss her like crazy!!

My heartfelt thanks to Julie Desy and Aiko Wakasugi for making The Dot shine and for presenting her so beautifully.

March 4, 2017

Today is our 23rd wedding anniversary, and Dot (CastleGate's Dot Dot Dot AX AXJ) gave Tom and me a wonderful anniversary present!! She and Julie Desy entered the conformation ring together for the first time today, and Dot won Winners Bitch and Best of Breed!! That was so exciting!! Dot has 11 points/3 majors now. We're in the home stretch in regard to her breed championship.

What's New / Latest News2016
December 21, 2016

Sadly, while we were in KY visiting my family for Christmas, Lydia (affectionately known as "The Lyd") died suddenly and very unexpectedly. We are heartbroken over her death and devastated that we weren't able to be with her when she passed over to The Rainbow Bridge.

Lydia was the funniest Sheltie that I've ever known, and she made us laugh many times every time day. I will miss her more than words can say.

I feel confident that Chet was waiting for her when she crossed over to The Rainbow Bridge. He'll take good care of her until we have the opportunity to be with her again. Rest easy my sweet girl!!

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November 11, 2016

Zelda has used a kelly green Mendota slip lead for the last six or seven years, and we jokingly say that it has magical "Q" power!! Since Zelda didn't come with us this weekend (I forgot to enter her), I told Dot that she could use Zelda's magic leash today. It appears that the magical properties associated with Zelda's green leash are occasionally transferable!! <G>

Dot earned that elusive last AX leg today with a first placement!! I'm so happy to have that put to bed. Now, The Dot will be competing at the Master level in both JWW and Standard going forward!! Color me happy!!

September 12, 2016

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Today, we are mourning the loss of our beautiful sable boy, Spencer (Solange Lo and Behold CD CGC). Spencer was 16.5 years old and still amazingly beautiful and fairly mobile despite his various health issues. Spencer was from Linda Nicholas' first litter, and he joined our family when he was 7 months old. Most of my agility friends never had the opportunity to meet Spencer, since he joined our family six or seven years before I developed a passion for agility.

His passing was peaceful and easy. We were sitting on a hillside with him beside a stand of trees when he slipped away. The sun was shining, and the birds were singing. It was one of the prettiest mornings that we've had in weeks. Spencer loved being outdoors no matter what the weather, and I couldn't stand the thought of sending him on his final journey from an indoor location. Spencer loved sleeping in the sun, and when he left us today, he looked like he was taking yet another outdoor nap. I'm very grateful to have that as my last image of him.

Spencer had been a little fuzzy mentally for the past couple of months, and I wasn't always sure that he understood what we were saying to him. I held him in my lap on the way to the clinic this morning and right before we got there, he had a few moments of total clarity. He looked right into my eyes in a way that he hadn't done in a long time, and I was able to say to him all the things that I wanted him to hear before he left. It was as if he was looking right into my soul. That was such a gift, and I will treasure those precious moments with him for the rest of my life. It meant so much to me to know that he really saw me and heard me for a few minutes this morning.

Spencer has been with me for most of the important moments in my adult life. I can't even remember what life was like before he came to us. It's going to be very strange not to have him puttering around the house and yard anymore.

September 4, 2016

We're happy dancing at CastleGate tonight!!

Zelda earned her first PACH today at the WCOTC trial in Latrobe, PA!! We started the day needing just one QQ for her PACH, and that's exactly what she delivered. She got the last leg of today's QQ on a beautiful "run and gun" JWW course.

We love fast and flowing jumpers courses, so that was the perfect way to finish her PACH. Zelda now has 12 agility championships -- 11 regular ones and 1 preferred championship.

In addition to her normal "after run" goodies, Zelda got three or four bites of cheesecake too. She thought that was mighty fine and would have eaten a lot more of it if I had given her the chance!! <G>

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August 14, 2016

The Dot is a MAJORette!! <G> Today, she and Katie Grohowalski won another major in Harrisburg!! I was positively giddy when I got the news from Katie. I had appointments all afternoon, and it was so hard to concentrate on them with Dot's good news bubbling up inside me!!

Katie has put three majors on Dot in the last 4 weeks, and we're incredibly grateful to her for presenting Dot so beautifully and for making the show ring such a fun place for The Dot.

My baby girl is coming home on Sunday night, and we're going to have a celebration to end all celebrations!! She's going to get steak and ice cream and anything else she wants!! Katie is headed back to college next week, so Dot's show career will be on hold until next year.

July 9-10, 2016

We are happy dancing big time at CastleGate!! Dot won back to back majors at the West Friendship, MD shows with Katie Grohowalski this weekend. I'm still pinching myself. I can't believe that Dot's first conformation points came in the form of two 3 point majors!! I'm very grateful to Katie for presenting Dot so beautifully and for starting Dot's conformation career with such a bang!! I'm going to be floating on my happy cloud for quite some time.

Dot sure has had an exciting couple of weeks. Last weekend, she earned her first Master agility leg, and a week later, she earned back to back majors!! Here's hoping for more of the same going forward!!

Dot is a Geraldo daughter out of CH Lochlyn Crestar Hollywood Ending (affectionately known around our house as Ellie Bellie).

June 19, 2016

Geraldo ran agility with me today for the first time since the end of January, and he didn't miss a beat. He QQ'ed today and won his Standard class. It was such a blast to be running my favorite blue boy in agility again. Geraldo is 11.5 years old, and I'm blessed beyond measure to still be able to run with him.

Here is a video of today's standard run. It certainly wasn't our fastest run ever, but it felt so good!!
Video: Coaches Eye, Geraldo's First Agility Run

June 18, 2016

After a six week hiatus, Dot returned to the agility ring today and finished her Excellent Jumpers title with a first place finish. We were on the edge of glory in Excellent Standard today too. A missed weave entry was all that stood between us and her second AX leg. Finishing her AXJ at my own club's trial (Three Rivers Shetland Sheepdog Club of Greater Pittsburgh) made the new title even sweeter!!

May 26, 2016

I got a nice surprise this morning when one of my friends e-mailed me to tell me that Tequila was #7 on the Breed Power 10 list for the first quarter of 2016. The Breed Power 10 is a group of the top 10 dogs in each breed at each height ranked by PowerScore. The Breed Power 10 recognizes the fastest dogs agility dogs by using average yards per second, rather than double qualifying (QQ) runs or points. Go Tequila!!

May 13-15, 2016

Zelda was 9 years old on Saturday, and she got to spend her birthday weekend doing what she loves most---running agility!! <G>

And what a birthday weekend she had!! She was 6 for 6 this weekend, and she qualified for the 2017 Agility National on her first run of the weekend. She placed on every run, had two class wins and brought home 120 points. Those were nice birthday presents for her mama!! She's such a fun dog to run. She still happy dances at the end of every run, and that's one of the things I enjoy most about running agility with her. Like her half brother, Braylann, she thinks every run is her "bestest" run ever!! LOL

April, 2016

Zelda is loving the preferred class. She's running like she was four years old again!! In the last two weekends, she has earned 232 PACH points and 5 QQ's.

At this rate, she'll be qualified for next year's agility National in a flash! Go Zelda Lou!!

April 9-10, 2016

Four of the Geraldo X Ellie daughters were in Erie this weekend for the APOTC agility trial. I had such a nice "grandma" weekend!! It was such a pleasure to watch those puppies in the ring and to see how they have blossomed with their new owners.

Keziah/Snoopy (owned and loved by Elaine Mayowski) earned QQ's #12 and #13 this weekend!! I'm in awe of what she and Elaine have accomplished in such a short period of time.

Winter/Twix (owned and loved by Jayne and Greg Lang) was 4 for 4 this weekend too, and in the process she earned her Open Jumpers title and her first Excellent Standard and Excellent Jumpers legs. All 4 of her Q's were 1st placements.

Hope/Tic Tac (owned and loved by Hannah and Nicole Diley) came to visit and take pictures with us yesterday. However, she couldn't run in this weekend's trial, since she was recently spayed. With her shaved belly and small stature, she looked like a puppy again!!

Dot and I had a really nice weekend too. I'm thrilled with the Excellent Jumpers leg we earned on Saturday. That was her first time ever running in the Excellent class, and I was delighted that she Q'ed and placed on that run.

I'm so proud of what these puppies are doing with their new owners. They are competing in agility, obedience, rally, lure coursing, barn hunt, conformation, and probably a few other things that I don't even know about. LOL Several of the puppies are doing remarkable things in the pet therapy field too.

We made a lot of great memories this weekend, and I hope we can arrange another get together soon.

March 25-27, 2016

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We had a lot of fun in Erie at the Clarion agility trial on Easter weekend. The dogs gave a big "paws up" to the treat filled Easter eggs that the Clarion club members hid throughout the building for them.

On Saturday, Dot finished her OAJ and earned her second Open Standard leg both with first placements. Dot continued her winning ways on Sunday by finishing her OA title and earning another blue ribbon. I'm in awe of the fact that she went 3 for 3 in Erie last weekend and finished both of her Open titles in the process!! Finishing both Open titles in the same weekend is a first for me!! Dot and I still have a lot of things to work on/train, but I'm very happy with the progress we've made!!

I moved Zelda to the preferred class at the end of February after she finished her MACH 11, and she is having a blast running in the 12" class. She ran like her pants were on fire last weekend. She QQ'ed all three days and earned 132 PACH points. Zelda had three class wins at last weekend's trial too--another first for me! She now has all of the QQ's she needs to qualify for next year's AKC Agility National and more than half of the points she needs as well. She's so much fun to run!!

Last weekend is going to be hard to top for Zelda and Dot!!

March 20, 2016

We have had such an exciting day!! One of Geraldo's daughters (MACH Bon Temps-Anangel To Boldly Geaux) made the finals today in the 12" class at her very first AKC Agility National!! A huge shout out to Trek's breeder and handler extraordinaire, Brittany Schaezler. Trek and Brittany had a lovely clean run in the finals and came in 6th.

Trek is just two years old. I'm in awe of the fact that she already has a MACH and a trip to the finals under her belt. And, the best is yet to come for this awesome handling team.

I gave Geraldo a bunch of treats to celebrate his daughter's wonderful showing at the National. He has no idea why he got the treats, but he's grinning from ear to ear now just like me. <G>

March 5, 2016

I'm so excited that I could just pop!!

Dot qualified and placed on both of her Open runs today. Dot has only run four times in the Open class, and she has qualified and placed on three of her four Open runs. I'm in awe of my baby girl!!

February 28, 2016

Dot made her Open Standard and Open Jumpers debut in Erie, PA today, and I was thrilled with both of her agility runs today. Dot Q'ed and earned 1st place on her Open Jumpers run, and she would have Q'ed and placed on her Open Standard run too, if I hadn't made a handling error. She nailed her weave poles on both runs, and I couldn't have been prouder of her. It's so exciting for me to be running one of Geraldo's daughters in agility. I'm really looking forward to running her again.

February 26-28, 2016

Zelda made her debut in the 12" preferred classes this weekend, and she ran beautifully all weekend. On her first couple of runs, she kept grinning at me and giving me sidelong glances. I think she thought someone forgot to set the jumps to 16" for her. <G>

Despite having missed out on the first three months of the NAC qualifying period, I hope to get her qualified for the 12" preferred class for next year's AKC Agility National.

February 13-14, 2016

The Dot was on fire at the Tamarack Lake Agility Trial in Erie, PA this weekend!

She was back in the ring this weekend after two months off, and she was definitely glad to be running agility again. On Saturday, Dot qualified and earned first place on her Novice Standard run. On Sunday, she had a repeat performance and that finished her Novice Standard agility title. So, she's now known as The Dot NA NAJ!! On both Saturday and Sunday, Dot was the only Novice dog in any height class to qualify. I'm so proud of my baby girl!!

February 5, 2016

Zelda earned her MACH11 today on her first run of the weekend!! This was probably Zelda's last MACH, and it was extra special for us to earn her final MACH on a standard course designed and judged by one of our good friends, Judge Sherry Jefferson.

Zelda and I had a lovely surprise at the end of our MACH run. Anne Ujczo made a special MACH bar for us in the CastleGate kennel colors (navy and yellow), and she added lots of bling and special touches to the bar. Zelda has always been attracted to bling of all kinds, so having a bright and shiny MACH bar was totally perfect for her!!

As has become our habit, Zelda had a carrot cake cupcake from Panera's to celebrate her MACH. She begrudgingly shared a small piece of it with Tequila too. <G>

Now, it's on to the preferred classes for Zelda and me!!

Zelda 11 - Click for Larger View
Zelda 11 - Click for Larger View

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January 13, 2016

Exciting news!!

The 2015 year end agility statistics were published today, and there are two CastleGate Shelties in the Top 25!! Zelda was #22, despite having to miss 7 trial weekends while I stayed home with Baby Frances, and Zelda's son Tatum (owned and loved by Anne Ujczo and Tom Dempsey) ended the year in the #18 spot!! I'm so proud of both of them!!

Tatum recently earned his MACH2, and Zelda is very close to her MACH11.

What's New / Latest News2015

December 12-13, 2015

Dot earned her Novice Agility Jumpers title in Latrobe, PA this weekend. She took first place on her title run too! On Sunday, she made her Novice Standard debut, and she Q'ed and took first place on that run too. My baby girl is off and running!!

October 24-25, 2015

Dot made her AKC agility debut in Latrobe, PA today. She was entered in Novice Jumpers both days, and she Q'ed and took first place on both of her runs this weekend. I'm so proud of her!!

September 26, 2015

Through the wonders of frozen sperm, Ellie (CH Lochlyn Crestar Hollywood Ending) gave birth to a beautiful bi-black girl sired by Chet (CH Kelbren Blue Flame CD RN NAJ AJP) on Saturday night. For those of you who never knew him, Chet was my foundation male, my first breed champion, and my all time heart dog. He's also the sire of Zelda and Geraldo.

I've often dreamed about visiting Chet at the Rainbow Bridge and having another Chet puppy is the next best thing! My last Chet litter was born in 2007, and it's wonderful to have another Chet kid on the ground!! We've named the puppy Frances, and we're eager to see what the future holds for her!

September 4, 2015

Tequila earned his Master FAST title today with a lovely first place run. Tequila loves running FAST, and we're planning to pursue his Century FAST title.

So, now we just need 100 more Q's to put that title to bed!! <G>

June 26, 2015

I'm so excited!! Geraldo came to today's trial needing just 22 points to qualify for the 2016 AKC Agility National. He had a smoking Standard run this morning and earned the 22 points he needed with five additional "insurance" points. <G> It was so nice to put that to bed on our first run of the weekend.

When the qualifying period for the 2016 National began on December 1st, I wasn't sure if he'd qualify this time or not, since he only trials 3 or 4 days a month now and since neither one of us is as fast as we used to be. I'm thrilled that he was able to meet the requirements for the National five months before the qualification deadline. The old man has still got it!!  :)

Zelda qualified for next year's National in late April, and if Tequila and I can pull off three more QQ's between now and the end of November, he'll get to go too!!

May 24, 2015

Zelda Lou earned her MACH10 at the Golden Triangle Agility Trial today. It was such an exciting day!! Interestingly, Zelda got her MACH8 at this same trial last year. So, she now has two of the highly coveted black and gold dinner plate sized MACH ribbons with matching neck medallions for herself! Zelda enjoyed a small piece of cheesecake after her victory lap, and she reluctantly shared a tiny portion of it with Geraldo and Tequila. LOL

When I started running agility with Geraldo in 2006, not in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to have a dog with double digit MACH's. Thank you Zelda!!

Here are two photos that Cindy Noland took during our MACH10 victory lap.
I'm so grateful to have these photos to commemorate our special day.


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April 23, 2015

Dot (Geraldo x Ellie) made her conformation debut in the Novice Bitch class at the ASSA National in Fredericksburg, VA today. Dot was beautifully groomed and presented by Katie Grohowalski, and we are so grateful to Katie for making Dot's first ring experience such a positive one. There were 27 bitches entered in Dot's class, and we were thrilled when Dot and Katie made the cut in such a quality packed class.

While we were at the National, Janeen Simpson (Crestar Shelties) took some formal portraits of Dot, and we were thrilled with the end result. Here's one of the portraits from our photo session with Janeen:


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April 19, 2015

Tequila's winning ways continued the next day at the ASSA's Agility trial. I was blown away when he won his JWW class at the National!! It was such a "feel good" run. I was thrilled just to have qualified with him, since this was his first trial ever on dirt. When I looked at the scoreboard and realized that he had won the class too, I was too excited for words!! Tequila received a beautiful silver tray for his class win, and we proudly displayed his silver tray and the blue ribbon that accompanied it at our grooming setup throughout the week of the National.

Zelda had two awesome runs at the ASSA Agility Trial, and she QQ'ed!! That was my first QQ at a Sheltie National, and I was so proud of Zelda Lou. She was presented with a lovely QQ ribbon for her efforts.

Geraldo had two nice runs at the National as well. He fell victim to a handling error on my part on his Standard run, but we rocked his JWW run and came in 5th in a large 12" preferred class. That run was most likely Geraldo's last agility run at a Sheltie National, so it was really nice to go out in style with a lovely run and a Q. It was a very bittersweet moment for Monkey Boy and me. His agility career is winding down, and I'm so not ready for it to end!! It brings me such joy to run with him.

April 17-18, 2015

On Friday, Tequila went to the Blue Ridge Herding Trial in Berryville, VA with his Grandma Julie (Iverson) to compete in the PT class. That was Tequila's first herding trial ever, and I was thrilled when Julie called me that morning to say that Tequila had qualified easily for his first PT leg. The next day, they competed at the same trial site at the ASSA Herding Trial, and they qualified again to finish his PT title.

Earning his PT also finished the requirements for Tequila's CH VCX designation. Finishing a VCX would be thrilling no matter when/where it happened, but to do it at the Sheltie National was even sweeter!! I'm so proud of my baby boy and so grateful to Julie Iverson for putting a herding title on him after taking him to just two herding lessons!! Grandma Julie rocks!!

Tequila is our second homebred CH VCX!

April 10-12, 2015

At the EKC Agility Trial this weekend, we had a "blue" Friday!! <G> Tequila took first place in FAST and finished his Excellent FAST title! Zelda QQ'ed and won the 16" Master Standard class on Friday, and Geraldo won the 12" Master Preferred Standard class and QQ'ed too. It was so exciting!! This was the first time that all three of them have had class wins on the same day.

The rest of the weekend went equally well. Zelda was 5 for 6 for the weekend and won the 16" Master Standard class again on Sunday. She earned 94 MACH points this weekend which was a new personal record for her. Geraldo was on fire this weekend too. He was 4 for 4 and brought home 82 PACH points.

I got to see two Geraldo x Ellie puppies run this weekend, and it was so much fun spending time with them and their owners. Elaine Mayowski and Keziah finished their Open JWW title on Saturday, and Jayne Lang and Winter finished Winter's Novice Jumpers and Novice Standard titles on Saturday too. I was delighted to be able to see their title runs in person. It was a wonderful grandma weekend!!

April 3-5, 2015

We spent Easter weekend with our friends at Countryside Agility in Erie, PA. It was a wonderful weekend both in and out of the agility ring!

Tequila and I had an amazing weekend. For the first time ever, we had four qualifying runs in one weekend, and he took home blue ribbons for three of those runs!! It's so exciting that he and I are finally starting to gel as an agility team.

Zelda was on fire this weekend!! She was 6 for 6 and brought home a boat load of MACH points. She's almost half way to her MACH10 now. She's such a joy to run!! She gives me her best on every run!

March 8, 2015

Geraldo earned his MJP2 today. I had forgotten that dogs continue to accrue Master titles when they move into the preferred class until a friends recently reminded me of that fact. When I looked up Geraldo's awards record on the AKC site, I discovered that he had already earned three new Master titles and was well on his way to a fourth one! <G> Not bad for a dog that only trials about four days a month now!!

Geraldo is such a joy to run in agility. I hope that he and I have many more agility runs in our future!!

February 27, 2015

Tequila finished his Open FAST title at the APOTC Trial in Erie today. That was our first run of the weekend, and it was a lovely way to start the trial. Tequila loves running in FAST, and I'm looking forward to showing him in Excellent FAST!

January 10, 2015

Today was an awesome day for the Urams!!

Zelda finished her MACH9 in grand style in Edinboro today!! Our judge today (Barbara Bounds) was also the same judge that Zelda got her MACH8 under last year. She's Zelda's good luck charm!!

Zelda is such a fun dog to run. She's all business when she's on the course, but she parties big time at the end of each run!! <G> Zelda has a sweet tooth like me, so she got a carrot cake cupcake to celebrate her new MACH. On Sunday, we brought lots of Krispy Kreme donuts to the trial for everyone else to enjoy.

We had big news from Florida today too!! Tom exhibits at coin shows across the country several times a year. Today, one of his exhibits won Best In Show at a large coin show in Orlando. That was his first ever Best In Show, and he's too excited for words!!


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What's New / Latest News2014 Archives

November 14-16, 2014

Due to a foot injury that I sustained at the end of August, I was unable to run Tequila in agility for 12 weeks. I was very excited to be able to enter the ring with him again at the MKC trial in Morgantown, WV this weekend. We started off the weekend with a bang by finishing his Novice Fast title with a first place run! My heartfelt thanks to Anne Ujczo for putting the first two Novice Fast legs on Tequila while I was injured.

Tequila and I ended the weekend on an equally exciting note. Tequila had the best Master JWW run of his life on Sunday's JWW course. He was 20 seconds under course time and won the class! It was such a rush to run him on that course. He gave me everything he had on that run!!

August 16, 2014

Ellie is a champion now!! She finished her breed championship in style today by taking BOB over two specials under Judge James Reynolds at the St. Clairsville Ohio Kennel Club's show. I am so happy and grateful!! Katie Grohowalski and Ellie have really been on a roll, and it's been such a joyful journey!! Thank you, Katie!!

Ellie is sired by GCH Rosmoor Protocol ROM and is out of CH Lochlyn Chasin A Dream ROM. Ellie is the fourth puppy to finish from that litter.

Ellie's co-owner, Janeen Simpson, and her breeder, Kathy Wilkins, are happy dancing big time with me this afternoon!!

August 9, 2014

I'm so excited that I could literally pop!! <G> Ellie (Lochlyn Crestar Hollywood Ending) won a 3-point specialty major in Harrisburg today. That was Ellie's second major, and now she just needs one more point to finish her breed championship. Katie Grohowalski and Ellie have really been on a roll, and Janeen and I are so grateful to Katie for bringing out the best in Ellie and for treating Ellie like the princess she knows she is!! <G>

I know Ellie's breeder, Kathy Wilkins, is happy dancing too!!

When Ellie gets home, Tom is going to grill an enormous steak for her!!

August 2, 2014

We received some very exciting news last night! Geraldo's first Canadian Champion finished his breed championship yesterday -- Shalligy's Rock My World (Baloo). Congratulations to Baloo's breeders, Ginette Plouffe and Jessica Coutu, and to Baloo's co-owner, Doris Dumont. That breeding took a village to pull off (I was on a cruise when Jessica and Ginny contacted me), and I'm so glad that we were able to make it happen!! Baloo is a lovely tri boy, and he reminds me a lot of his granddam Daily.

July 20, 2014

Ellie (Lochlyn Crestar Hollywood Ending) won a four point major today under James R. White at the Berrien Kennel Club's show in South Bend, IN. Katie Grohowalski and Ellie are really on a roll!! They've won three weekends in a row now. Today's win brings Ellie to 11 points/one major, and we're tantalizingly close to finishing her championship now!! Thank you Katie for bringing out the best in Ellie, and thank you Janeen Simpson (Crestar Shelties) for co-owning Ellie with us and allowing her to be "Tom's Girl!" <G>

July 4, 2014

Ellie (Lochlyn Crestar Hollywood Ending) was WB/BOW at an all breed show in West Friendship, MD today. Ellie is the dam of our two most recent litters (sired by Geraldo), and we are very grateful to Janeen Simpson for allowing Ellie to live with us and for agreeing to co-own her with us.

Ellie was beautifully presented to today's win by Katie Grohowalski, and we hope this is the first of many wins for the two of them. Ellie now has six points toward her championship.

Dot and Spree are "high fiving" their dam with me tonight!!


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June 2013 - 2014

Tequila has had quite a year. I didn't realize until I was filling out his trophy form for our sheltie club's annual awards banquet just how much The Blue Tornado has accomplished in the past year. In the last 12 months, he has completed his breed championship and his MX, MXJ, T2B, and MJB titles in agility. We appreciate everyone in our "village" who has helped us reach those milestones. It's time to break out some steak and ice cream!! <G>

May 26, 2014

Today, Zelda's son Tatum (CastleGate's Little Ray of Sunshine MX MXJ) was WD for a three point major in New Castle, PA and that finished his breed championship! Tatum (affectionately known as Tater Chip) is owned and loved by Anne Ujczo and Tom Dempsey, and he was beautifully presented to all of his wins by Team Tater--Joanna Fortson and Marlana Tice. I am so grateful to Anne & Tom and Team Tater for allowing Tatum to fulfill his potential in the conformation ring. Tatum is half way to his MACH too, so soon, we'll be calling him CH MACH Tater Chip! <G> Congratulations Anne and Tom!! Your baby boy "done good!"

Tatum is from our 2010 Calvin x Zelda litter. That was Zelda's first litter, and that litter had three lovely boys in it. Two of those puppies are now breed champions and hopefully, they will soon be MACH's too. Tatum is Tequila's (CH CastleGate's White Lightning MX MXJ T2B) litter brother. Tatum was CH #2 for his dam and CH #8 for his sire.

May 24, 2014

Zelda earned the last three points that she needed to finish her MACH8 in Cheswick, PA today. The Golden Triangle Obedience Training Club provides MACH medallions for the dogs in addition to lovely MACH ribbons for the handlers, and it was fun to see Zelda strutting around the trial site with her MACH medallion around her neck. <G>

Zelda loves cupcakes and has been known to steal cupcakes from the celebration tables at some of our agility trials from time to time. So, to celebrate her MACH8, I gave her a whole cupcake of her own. She went nuts over it and made quite a mess of herself and the surrounding area with the icing. Not sure that I'm going to do that again.


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April 14, 2014

At the 2014 Sheltie National in St. Louis, a puppy from Tequila's first litter placed 4th in the 6-9 Month Dog Class in Futurity under Judge Sheila Monks. Zander (Flutterby Walk Like A Man) was bred by Kathy Glorioso and Jane Guy, and he's such a nice puppy!! There were three conformation show prospects in that litter, and we're very excited about all three of them!

April 14-19, 2014

Gabe (CH CastleGate's Angel in Disguise) had an exciting week at the 2014 ASSA National. He and two of his get placed third in a large, power packed Stud Dog Class under Judge Mark Houston-McMillan. Gabe's owner (Anne Trosky) and I were so excited about that placement. One of Gabe's sons (Gypsy's Indigo Angel) placed 3rd in the Bred By Class too. Congratulations to Anne Trosky and Barb Westerman on that lovely placement!

And last but not least, Gabe made the first cut in Group 4 of the BOB competition under Judge Janet Turnage Nahikian. It was a great week for Gabe. I'm so proud of him and so happy for his owners (Anne and Bill Trosky)! Gabe just needs one more point to finish his AKC Grand Championship, so we hope to be calling him GCH Gabe soon! <G> When he finishes his GCH, he'll be the second GCH from our Rainy X Daily litter.


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April 4-6, 2014

The weekend after the Agility National, we attended a local agility trial in Morgantown, WV, and once again, Zelda was on fire!! She was 6/6 for the weekend and came home with 91 MACH points.

Geraldo made his preferred debut on that Saturday, and he rocked the 12" preferred class with two first place finishes. He now has one QQ and 43 points toward his PACH!! I think he's going to love running in the preferred class. He was grinning from ear to ear on both runs that day. He thinks the ring crew forgot to raise the bars to 16"! <G>


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March 27-30, 2014

Zelda, Geraldo and I had a blast at the AKC Agility National in Harrisburg, PA this week. It was such a joy to run with both of them at another National. Zelda had a spectacular week. She was perfect on all four of her runs, and her final ranking was 48th out of 265 dogs. Geraldo and I didn't have as many clean runs as Zelda and I did, but all of his runs were nice, and he gave me everything he had!! This was his "last hurrah" running in the 16" class. After the National, he'll be switching to the 12" preferred class.

Tom surprised us with this banner, and it hung on our stall door at the National. The banner made it easy for all of our friends to locate us in the crating area.

CastleGate's Staff Banner

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March 9, 2014

Today was QQ Sunday!! Geraldo, Zelda, and Tequila all QQ'ed today.

Zelda had a perfect weekend---3 QQ's. It was a new record for her points wise this weekend too. I hope her good karma carries over to the Agility National in two weeks.

Today's QQ was #6 for Tequila! Thank you Denise Thomas for handling him to another QQ! Tequila has 560 MACH points now.

Geraldo ran fast and happy for me today. After the Agility National he will be moving to the 12" preferred class, and it was really nice to end his next to the last trial in the regular classes with a QQ.

February 21 & 28, 2014

The last two Fridays in February have been exceptionally good ones for Tequila!! On 2-21-14, he earned QQ#4 toward his MACH, and he won the 16" Time 2 Beat Class in Edinboro, PA.

On 2-28-14, he earned QQ#5, won the 16" T2B class again and completed his T2B title!! He was on fire both days!! We'd like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Denise Thomas (Countryside Agility) for handling Tequila to those Q's!! She definitely brings out the best in our baby boy.

January 24, 2014

In 2013, the dogs and I missed 23 days of agility trialing due to the two Geraldo x Ellie litters we had on the ground last year. I thought for sure that would knock Zelda out of the AKC's Top 20 agility rankings for 2013. AKC just updated the year-end information for 2013, and Zelda was in the #20 spot just by the hair on her chinny chin chin. <G>

I think a special cookie is in order for my happy dancing little girl!! She lives for agility and is so much fun to run!!

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