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What's New / Latest News2013 Archives

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December 28, 2013

We were honored to be part of the tribute to Earl and Rusty Cromer on Shelties Online today. Rusty and Earl are long-time sheltie breeders, and they lost their home and their grooming and boarding business to a terrible house fire in November. We hope they know how much they are admired and appreciated by the sheltie fancy!!

December 10, 2013

The 2013 agility season ended with a bang for the CastleGate Kids!! On December 6th, Zelda earned her MACH7 at the Admiral Perry Obedience Training Club's agility trial in Edinboro, PA. The following day, her son, Tequila, finished his Master Standard (MX) title at the Clarion Canine Obedience Club's agility trial. We were happy dancing all weekend!! <G> Our heartfelt thanks to Denise Thomas for putting the last three MX legs on Tequila.

November 22, 2013

Tequila was "dressed to the nines" at this weekend's agility trial in Edinboro, PA. He earned his 9th MX leg and his 9th T2B leg on Friday with two really nice runs!! We are very grateful to Denise Thomas for handling Tequila on those qualifying runs.

November 16, 2013

Geraldo and I had a great day at the Mountaineer Kennel Club's agility trial today. We put his MACH6 to bed on the first run of the day!! All MACHs are special, but other than his very first MACH, this one meant more to me than any of the others. Five months ago, we didn't know if he'd ever run agility again much less MACH again. So taking today's victory lap with my baby boy was even more joyful than usual.

I feel so blessed to be running with Geraldo again. He smiles from ear to ear the entire time he's on the course.

Tom Dempsey graciously taped our MACH6 run and our victory lap.
Here's a link to the video:

October 28, 2013

The Geraldo x Ellie puppies have arrived! Ellie alerted me at 2:30 this morning that she was ready to roll! Ellie had two bi-blue girls, one bi-black boy, and one bi-black girl. I am already totally in love with one of the blue girls. She's just too yummy for words.

In a day or two when the puppies plump up a bit, I'll post some photos of them to our litters page.

Ellie and I are tired but happy!

October 21, 2013

We did Ellie's pre-whelping x-ray today, and she's having four puppies this time! Ellie's due dates range from October 25th thru October 31st. I'm hoping for two bi-blue puppies and two bi-black puppies. <G>

October 20, 2013

We're heading into our three week break from agility with the wind beneath our wings! Zelda and Tequila QQ'ed today, and Geraldo would have QQ'ed too if his mom hadn't had a brain hinder on the Jumpers course this morning.

I wish I could take credit for Tequila's QQ, but the kudos for that go to Denise Thomas who graciously agreed to run The Blue Tornado for me today. Tequila now has 3 QQ's and 268 MACH points.

The coming week is going to be a busy and happy one preparing for the arrival of the Geraldo x Ellie puppies.

September 27, 2013

We'll have puppy breath again at CastleGate at the end of the month. We have repeated the Geraldo x Ellie breeding which produced Dot, GiGi, Snoopy, Albert, and Scramble. The puppies are due sometime between October 25 and October 31st. The puppies in the first Geraldo x Ellie litter were awesome, and we're expecting equally nice puppies in the repeat litter. We are very grateful to Janeen Simpson (Crestar Shelties) for her willingness to lease Ellie to us for a second litter.

August 24-25, 2013

The day after he finished his breed championship, Tequila put "the pedal to the metal" and finished his MXJ at the NEOECS trial in North Olmsted,OH. What a rush that run was!! On Sunday, he earned his 7th MX leg, so we're hoping to complete his MX soon too!

Zelda was not going to be outdone by her son this weekend. She was 6 for 6 this weekend! She's been a QQ'ing machine lately!

August 23, 2013

Tequila finished his AKC breed championship today in Chagrin Falls, OH with his grandma Julie (Iverson) at the end of the lead. When she texted me to let me know that he was Winners Dog to finish today, I was overcome with joy and gratitude.

Julie started showing Tequila for us last fall, and she put 14 points/2 specialty majors on him in very limited showing. We are incredibly grateful to her for presenting Tequila so beautifully!! We also want to thank Judy Stachowski for putting Tequila's first point on him from the 12-18 class. First points are always so special!!

Tequila is the first champion for his dam (Zelda) and the sixth champion for his sire (Calvin). His litter brother (Tatum) just needs a major to finish, so we hope to be celebrating Tatum's championship soon too!!

August 14, 2013

Tequila is proven! His first litter was born on 8-13-13. It was an all blue litter consisting of three blue merle girls and three blue merle boys. The dam is Kavinwood Flutterby's Touched By An Angel (Sophie). Congratulations to Jane Guy and Kathy Glorioso, the owners of the litter. I'm so excited about these puppies!!

August 1-4, 2013

It was a clean sweep for Tatum (CastleGate's Little Ray of Sunshine MX MXJ) at the Canfield shows this week. Tater Chip was WD/BOS all four days!! We are so excited for his proud owner, Anne Ujczo. Tatum has been beautifully groomed and presented by Joanna Fortson and Marlana Tice for all of his conformation wins.

Tatum needs three points to finish his breed championship and his litter brother, Tequila, needs just one point to finish his. With any luck, by the end of the summer, Zelda will have two breed champions from her first litter!! Color me happy!!

July 12-14, 2013

We had a fabulous agility weekend in Cleveland, OH!! Geraldo qualified on all six of his runs, and Zelda qualified on five of her six runs. Zelda got a little too frisky on the dogwalk on Sunday morning and missed the yellow contact zone on her way off of it. LOL That's all that stood between us and a perfect weekend. <G> Geraldo and Zelda earned lots of toys this weekend, and I'm sure The Dot will put those to good use.

June 30, 2013

Tequila (CastleGate's White Lightning AX AXJ CGC) was WD/BW for two points under William Usherwood today at the Bushy Run Show in Vandergrift, PA. He now has 14 points/two specialty majors, and he just needs one more point to finish his breed championship. Color me happy!! Tequila and his Grandma Julie (Iverson) make an awesome team, and she brings out the best in him. Thank you, Julie!!

June 15, 2013

MACH6 Zelda Lou--that has such a nice ring to it!! Zelda earned her MACH6 at the Three Rivers Shetland Sheepdog Club's agility trial today!! Zelda almost always MACHs when she's totally naked, so when she blew the rest of her coat in conjunction with Monday's bath, I felt pretty good about our chances to MACH this weekend!! <G>

It was oh so nice to finish this agility championship at my home club's trial with all of our friends there to celebrate with us. Tom was able to come to the trial this afternoon too, and he brought us our MACH ribbon after we crossed the finish line in JWW. He almost never gets to see our MACH runs, so having him there made it extra special.

Geraldo QQ'ed today (yeah Monkey Boy!!), and Tequila had two very nice runs with just one mistake on each run.

May 31, 2013

Today, I attended my first out of town agility trial since the puppies arrived, and as a special treat, Tequila was the only dog that I took to the trial. On the first day of the trial, he earned his second QQ and Q'ed in T2B too. I was beyond thrilled with his performance today. He now has 2 QQ's, 8 MXJ legs, and 3 MX legs. We're working hard and making lots of progress!

May 23, 2013

In New Castle, PA today, Tatum (CastleGate's Little Ray of Sunshine MX MXJ) was Winners Dog/Best of Winners for a 4 point major. Tatum (affectionately known as Tater Chip) is from our 2010 Calvin x Zelda litter, and he's owned and loved by Anne Ujczo and Tom Dempsey. This was only Tatum's second show, and Anne and I are just tickled pink that he's now sporting a major!! Tatum is from Zelda's first litter and he's her second major pointed son from that litter. Tatum is Tequila's litter brother, and we're hopeful that both Tatum and Tequila will ultimately be CH/MACH's. Our heartfelt thanks to Team Tater (Joanna Fortson and Marlana Tice) for grooming and showing Tater in New Castle.

May 2, 2013

We received some exciting news about Zelda today! Zelda is currently the #10 agility sheltie in the country for the first ten months (July 2012 - April 2013) of the Eukanuba ranking period. This is the first time that we've been in the Top Ten, and we're delighted about it!! We're working hard, and some day, we hope to be in the Top Five!! <G>

April 29, 2013

In the past week, we've experienced the joy of new life and the devastation of a life lost. Our beloved Mr. B celebrated his 14th birthday this morning, and this evening, we had to send him on his final journey. He left this world laying under his favorite tree on a blanket overlooking the horse pasture next door. The birds were singing, and everything was so green and pretty. His passing was peaceful and loving.

When he was diagnosed with liver failure last fall, we never expected him to survive the holidays much less be here at the end of April. He blessed us with far more extra time than we ever expected, and we're very grateful for each and every one of those additional days.

Mr. B was such a kind and loving soul. There are so many other things that I could and should say about him, but I just can't right now.

April 24, 2013

Well, Ellie got down to business earlier than expected, and she whelped her Geraldo puppies tonight---two days before her first due date!! <G> Mom and pups are doing well. Our final tally was 2 bi-blue girls, 2 bi-blue boys, and 1 bi-black girl. Two of the bi-blues are marked a lot like Geraldo! I can't thank Janeen Simpson (Crestar Shelties) enough for allowing us to lease Ellie for this litter. I've wanted to raise a Geraldo litter of my own for a long time, and Janeen's generosity is allowing me to fulfill that dream!!

April 21, 2013

As of today, we're officially on a month long break from agility in preparation for the arrival of the Geraldo x Ellie puppies next weekend, and we're headed into the break with the wind beneath our wings. I wanted to accomplish three things before our break--getting Geraldo and Zelda qualified for the 2014 AKC Agility National and finishing Tequila's AX. I'm pleased to say that we met all three of those goals, and Tequila threw in his first QQ for good measure. <G>

April 12-14, 2013

Tequila and I had a dream weekend at the EKC agility trial in Edinboro, PA this weekend!! On Friday, he earned his 5th MXJ leg and finished his Excellent Standard (AX) title. That alone would have made my weekend! On Saturday, he earned another MXJ leg, and we almost Q'ed in Standard. On Sunday, he earned his 7th MXJ leg and drum roll...his first QQ!! Tequila was 5 for 6 this weekend, and he placed either second or third on four of his five qualifying runs. Tequila has 103 MACH points now!

Tequila and I have really struggled to find our mojo in Standard, so for him to finish his AX and get his first MX leg this weekend was such a thrill for me. It just figures that we finally gelled as a team just when we're getting ready to take five weeks off from agility due to Ellie's upcoming litter. I sure hope we still have the same good karma when he and I return to the ring in mid-May.

Geraldo and Zelda had a lovely weekend too. They were both 4 for 6 and had three QQ's between them.

March 21, 2013

In February, Janeen Simpson (Crestar Shelties) graciously leased us one of her lovely bi-black bitches to breed to Geraldo, and we confirmed today that Ellie (Lochlyn Crestar Hollywood Ending) is pregnant!!

This will be the first Geraldo litter raised at CastleGate, and this will also be our first all bi litter too! The puppies are due between 4/26 and 4/30, and I'm so excited that I could just pop!!

March 8-10, 2013

Geraldo and Zelda had a blast at the Butler Dog Training Association's agility trial in Edinboro, PA. They both were 5 for 6 for the weekend, and Geraldo's standard runs were especially nice!! After quite a few Excellent Standard runs where we "almost" qualified, Tequila and I had a break through on Saturday, and he earned his first AX leg. He was 25 seconds under course time, and his weaves were gorgeous!! Color me happy!!

February 22-24, 2013

We had a great time at the Border Collie Agility Trial in Edinboro, PA. Zelda QQ'ed all three days, and Geraldo was 5/6 for the weekend. Now, they both have all of the QQ's that they need for their MACH6's. We still need to earn some additional speed points to finish their MACH6's, but I'm delighted to have all of the QQ's put to bed. I'm anticipating that they'll both be qualified for the 2014 AKC Agility National by mid-March. Our agility year is off to a great start!!

February 15, 2013

Janeen Simpson (Crestar Shelties) has generously allowed us to lease one of her lovely bi-black bitches (Lochlyn Crestar Hollywood Ending) for a litter sired by Geraldo. It will be an all bi litter, and we should have puppies at the beginning of May. We're very excited about the prospect of Geraldo x Ellie puppies, and we can't thank Janeen enough for entrusting Ellie to us.

Here's a link to Ellie's web page:


January 13, 2013

The AKC Agility Rankings for 2012 were just published, and I'm delighted to report that Zelda was #15 on the list of the Top Agility Shelties. She earned 52 QQ's and 3 MACH's last year despite the fact that she missed two months of trialing due to my foot injury. Zelda and I are hoping to the crack the Top Ten in 2013!!  :)

January 4, 2013

On his first run of the weekend at the Erie Kennel Club's agility trial, Geraldo was 20 seconds under course time and earned his MACH5! It was such a "feel good" run, and it was a great way to start our New Year! At that same trial, Zelda qualified on five of her six runs, and Tequila earned two MXJ legs and 21 MACH points.

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