Connie Bleecker and Zeus, IABCA Ch. Birchviews Titan King at A2Z, BN RN THDA CGC TKI

Connie and Zeus are giving back through Therapy dog visits.  What a great team! Thank you Connie for all you do.
Zeus is a Wren x Tigger pup

Giving Back and Building Connections: Lifeworks Brooklyn Park Volunteer Therapy Dog Team

For the past two years, Lifeworks Brooklyn Park has been a regular stop for volunteer, Constance Bleecker, and her therapy dog, Zeus.

When Constance retired, she wanted to explore dog therapy as way for her to give back to the community, build connections, and remain active. At nine months old, her Miniature Australian Shepard, Zeus, became certified through the Canine Good Citizen Program developed by American Kennel Club (which includes a ten-step test) and completed therapy training.

Zeus is now nine years old – and though he has a modest demeanor, his background is quite impressive. Along with his good-manners and friendly nature, Zeus is an international and national champion through the International All Breed Canine Association. He holds several titles for obedience, therapy, and trick dog.

When you first meet Constance and Zeus it’s clear that they mean a lot to each other. Constance reflects, “I couldn’t ask for a nicer boy. He’s so forgiving. He’s so accepting. He relies on me. We’re a team. It’s not all cut and dry. You have to be able to handle different situations.”

Constance is a member of Therapy Dog International, which requires additional on-going evaluation and specialized training for dogs volunteering in care environments such as hospitals. She is also part of the organization’s district club that has monthly trainings.

Constance found out about Lifeworks from her close friend, Lori Noland – a Service Facilitator for the organization. Lori suggested that Constance and Zeus visit Lifeworks – and after the first day, the pair knew it was a good fit for them.

She notes, “When we first started, Zeus was a little nervous, but he settled right in. He’s used to coming here. We have developed some really good friendships.”

This volunteer opportunity with Lifeworks has now become part of the team’s weekly routine. Constance and Zeus visit with participants at Lifeworks Brooklyn Park for thirty minutes to an hour on Tuesdays or Thursdays in the morning, depending on daily schedules.

“It’s just been a really fun experience. There are several people at Lifeworks that just love Zeus. Some of the people tell me about their dogs. We have relationships here now that I want to continue and build—and you know, I don’t know if the people realize how much they give me and how much these visits have become part of my life. ”

Volunteering with Lifeworks has also given Constance and Zeus insight into the organization: “I’m honestly amazed at all the different offerings and activities. The goals that people can make for themselves and what they can achieve here with the dedicated staff – it’s really incredible.”

Are you looking for ways to give back to your community?

Lifeworks offers a variety of options to support the people we serve. Whether you are interested in a volunteer opportunity or setting up a recurring donation – we can help connect you with a meaningful way to become involved with us.

Piper Goes To Her First Dog Show

In April I decided to enter Piper into the International All Breed Conformation Association dog show in 2 of the 4 shows offered and we entered Waffles, Piper’s sister in the other 2 shows.  What a blast we had!

Piper was just a joy to show and the judges couldn’t say enough nice things about her.

Here she is with her Best In Show Breed By Puppy and Res. Best In Show Puppy rosettes for show 2 and 4.

And here are Waffles on the left and Piper on the right with all their meddles and rosettes.

Waffles won Res. Best In Show Bred By Puppy for show 3. Thank you Connie Bleecker for showing her.


Having fun at the IABCA show

I try to work as a ring steward for the IABCA  shows in Hutchinson, MN as often as I can as that was the only venue in Minnesota I could show my then Miniature Australian Shepherds and I want to continue to support them. This year I brought the 2 red merle girls with to introduce them to conformation showing and to have a little fun with them.

I was so very happy with the way they performed it was truly a very happy weekend for me.  Waffles , formerly Cherry, was Best of Breed in show 3 and went on to win Best Bred By Exhibitor Puppy!

Thank you to Amy and Topher Pirkl for bringing her out for me to show and a huge thank you to Connie Bleecker for helping me out in the showing department when I was hung up stewarding.


Piper exceeded my expectations showing in shows 2 and 4 and winning the breed both days then going on to winning BISBBX Puppy/Res BIS Puppy twice and Res. BISBBX Puppy.  I am over the moon with this girl!


The Minnows are 8 Weeks Old and Had Their Evaluations

It’s been a fast 8 weeks here at Birchview Kennel with our newest litter of puppies or as we have called this litter “Minnows”. 

Oscar scored as an out going pup with good drive, biddable and  people oriented but definitely has his own mind on his temperament test. He will do well in any performance venues as he has a fast mind, recovers quickly and has very balanced structure. He is on the large side and will probably be a bit taller that 18 inches as an adult but he is going to be one handsome guy.  


Angel scored as a steady pup with good drive, biddable and very people oriented on her temperament test. She has a more laid back personality than her littermates.  She is the smallest of the litter and I project she will only be about 15 inches as an adult. She will do well in most family situations.


Cherry  or as she is now called, Waffles, scored as an outgoing pup with good drive, biddable and very, very people oriented on her temperament test.  She is the social butterfly of the litter and is going to live with Amy, Topher and 2 other Birchview pups, Badger and Pabu.  Look for her in the conformation ring this summer and the agility ring next year.


Molly scored as an outgoing pup with great drive, biddable and people oriented on her temperament test.  She passed her structural evaluation as show quality and I am excited to say she will be staying her at Birchview Kennel. Look for her in the conformation ring this summer!


Saying Farewell to Prince Charming

Prince Charming came to stay here at Birchview almost 4 months ago from Linda Perry at Patchwork Farms in Missouri.  I had wanted to breed 2 of my girls to him and so Linda and I worked out a plan that I would show him in conformation while he stayed here in Minnesota with me. 

PC took to my household like he had lived here forever.  He loved all of us and even though he didn’t quite know what a human baby was he warmed up to my granddaughter, Rylee fairly quickly.  He made friends every where we went with his big  MAS smile and wiggle butt. 

We had a very successful show season or half a show season. In only 7 weekends out PC went Best of Winners 5 times, Best Opposite Sex 8 times, Best of Breed 2 times and Select Dog 2 times. He was an AKC Champion after his third weekend out and is well on his way to his Grand Championship.  Thank you PC for being such a good boy when you were here. 

As you can see here PC is giving us his big MAS smile.

More on the pups in my next installment.

Happy New Year 2019!

I have decided to pick up the blog again!!!!

Phish and Prince Charming had a litter of pups on December 1st. It has been a really nice litter and I am hoping to keep a pup from this litter and 1 on a co-own with friends Amy and Topher.  It looks like at 7 weeks I will probably keep both red merle girls as the gorgeous blue merle boy, Oscar will probably go over the height limit for our breed. Kind of disappointed as i REALLY  wanted a boy but……who knows maybe Phish’s sister Maisey will have one for me in month.

Photos of the pups are here…..Current Litter


We’ve got a Facebook Page

It’s called “Fans of Birchview Kennel” on Facebook. It’s a closed group to only those who have/had a pup from one of our litters. Please please please come and join us! I would love to see some new pictures of your sweet dog!

19 days old and in a basket…..aww

Looks how cute they are…

Posing in a basket was not as easy as you would think if you are using a Galaxy 4 phone.  The delay is a bit too long so I really had to time it just right……Thanks Con for all the help!!

Cassie was not amused and let us know it  but she is so stinkin’ cute!

cassie_19days cassie_19days2 cassie19days3

Peace thought this was her time to shine but only for a few snaps.


Can’t you just hear Gemma saying “Take my picture!”

gemma_19days gemma_19days2


And Jet simply slept through it.

jet_19days3 jet_19dayssleeping



Where did the pups get their names? A theme, a theme!


This litter’s theme came from their common Grand Sire – Ready For Take Off (Pilot)

So to go the step further I looked to the stars as that is what I think this litter will be “STARS”

The pups are 12 days old in these pictures and of course have now opened their eyes because it is a day latter. 🙂

All have more than doubled their birth weight and are scooting around the whelping box just getting ready to start walking.

Cassie – Mini Cassiopeia


12 days cassie

12 days cassie 2


Gemma – Little Gem Nebula


Little_Gem12 days gemma 2

12 days gemma

Peace – Atom For Peace NebulaAtom _for_Peace


12 days peace 2

12 days peace


Jet – Intergalactic Travelerintergalactic_wandererjet_12 days


jet_12 days_2


Home of the Miniature American Shepherd