Monday, 29 December 2008

Flyball Review of 2008

As we look forward to the New Year I thought I'd document a review of 2008 from a flyballing perspective so here goes...

Drake, Teal, Faith, and Dylan all made their Open competition debuts at the start of 2008 and proved to be little flyballing stars....Ethan, Drake, Dylan and Faith are all now 'Advanced' with Teal not far behind.


In May we won Division One for the first time with our old team, Red Rose Rebels...this team included Mac, Dylan, Bailey, Misty and Oz. It was this same weekend that Gemma and I decided to leave Red Rose and start out on our own smaller and more relaxed flyballing venture; Paul, Alison and Trish came with us and the ’Demon Dogz’ were formed.

Also back in May, Lexie achieved her Gold Award and Bailey his Pearl.



The ’Demon Dogz’ ran for the first time at Rotherham back in July with rosettes for all 3 teams, the following weekend all 3 teams ran new fastest times down at Chilterns show where the Speed Demonz ran 17.59, the fastest time we'd ever run before.

We spent a fantastic 10 days away together for Anglesey and Eastham and then competed in Division One at the British Championships in August, a really amazing experience for us all and a great achievement for our little team. August was topped off with our first Division One win with the Speed Demonz at Ryecroft Farm and a new fastest time of 17.48

September was a total wash out but Storm made his comeback at Rotherham in October, The Racers ran a new fastest time of 18.88

November saw the Speed Demonz seeded 3rd in the country. The Demonz and Racers had a fantastic day at Selby college coming 1st and 2nd in Division One. The Pawz ran a new fastest time of 19.71

The year was rounded off with another Division One win for the Speed Demonz at Doncaster in December.

Also, since running as the Demonz, Dottie and Pip have gained their Silver Awards, Lexie and Mac their Ice Blue Moon's, Storm and Frostie their Pearl and Bailey his Jade.

Not sure we're going to be able to top that in 2009 but we'll have fun trying!! lol

All over for another year...

Had a lovely Christmas although all too short a break as usual. Was working Christmas Eve and am back in work today (boo!!). It has however been a lovely four days, beautiful winter sunshine pefect for dog walking. We were at the beach every day although I completely failed to get any pics (useless I know!). Hazell and Michael came down on Saturday to pick Floyd up, it was lovely to meet Michael's mad Springers (and yes, they are mad...made my cockers look quite tame! lol) and catch up with Hazell and the lovely Jack, River and Scot who came for a family visit too.

Had a little get together at our house on Christmas Eve which was lovely. Trish's eldest daughter Elizabeth brought her guitar and sang a song they had composed about the ’Demon Dogz’ which was just hilarious!! Although not quite as funny as watching my mum trying to play tennis on the Wii after a bottle of Cava (lmao).

Spent Christmas Day with my mum, brother, sister in law and nephews which was really nice. I stayed home on boxing day, walked the dogs and just spent some time at home with them, just totally shattered from the previous week. Spent quite a bit of time just watching Lori's pups; they're growing so fast and so active already!

Spent the weekend packing and measuring up etc for the house move at the end of January...only 5 weekends left...eek!!

p.s. Faith also came in season on Christmas Day...only Faith could time something like that! lol

Wednesday, 24 December 2008


We have a visitor from another country!!

My Neocounter has been sat at 39 countries for a few weeks now which has been irking me as I really hate odd numbers (sad but true) it looks so much 'neater' on 40 :) so thankyou to whoever you are for visiting us and thanks actually to everyone that drops by on occasion and those that leave the odd message. Nice to know my ramblings do actually get read from time to time ;)

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year! :)

Wonder what Mac is hoping for in his stocking??? lol

Monday, 22 December 2008

The Demon Dogz (not a) Christmas Party!!

We had talked about organising a Flyball Team Xmas party this year but decided not to bother since we were already going out for Paul's 40th Birthday. We went to Burlingtons at Broughton the place was beautifully decorated and very festive, there was a great atmosphere and it was absolutely heaving with Christmas revellers and the food and service were fantastic, couldn't have chosen a better place! Alison had been up earlier and decorated the table and also taken the cake which was an enormous Mr Kiplings pink French Fancy (the envy of all the kitchen staff and waitresses apparently! lol)...delicious it was too!

The Birthday Boy!!


Me and Trish

The Motley Crew! (L-R Alison, Caroline (my mum), Paul, Nat (me!), Trish (trying to look enigmatic apparently! lol) and Gemma. We had to get the waitress to take this one so we could have Gemma in it!

The Cake!!! (Mmmmmmm)

We're all meeting up again this Weds (Christmas Eve) at our house, we always have lots of nice food and drink on Christmas Eve so we decided to invite everyone round for a little Christmas Eve get together, really looking forward to it :)

Saturday, 20 December 2008

An eventful day at home

Have had a funny sort of a day. Was up most of the night with Lori whelping, she's such a good girl and whelped very easily with no fuss to produce a beautiful litter of nine puppies. The sire is Sea. They are all HUGE!! God knows where she was hiding them all!

We were supposed to be at Darwen Canine Society Open Show with Orlaith, Spark and Ethan but I was just too tired and had too much other stuff that needed doing so after much deliberating decided not to go. This decision proved academic since, when loading all the dogs up to go to the beach, I discovered that the back window of the van was completely shattered! No idea how that happened, it was fine yesterday, can only assume it got damaged during the strong gales we had overnight. That meant we were going nowhere until the windscreen guy turned up which wasn't til late afternoon. The glass suppliers were all closed so we've got a temporary perspex replacement until they can order a new one on Monday....hmmmm.

Watched the Olympia final (managed to get Eurosport on the PC!), very exciting stuff! Nancy and Niamh ran their little socks off, she was amazing but they were unlucky to get 5f on the dogwalk down contact and finished 8th overall. Still a fantastic achievment. All the finalists were amazing, it was 'edge of your seat' stuff all the way!

This was in the middle of the Strictly Final (I hope Nancy was recording it! lol). I think this years' standard was the highest yet and while not the strongest technically thoughout, Tom and Camilla deserved the title for their final showdance peformance was A-MA-ZING!! lol

Not sure what the plan is for tomorrow, get the dogs to the beach and get on with some packing I suppose. I probably should wrap some Christmas presents too! lol

Woo Hoo!!

Nancy and Niamh are through to tonight's final at Olympia
...way to go girls!!

Full results HERE

The top ten of the 36 finallists will be competing in this evening's Agility Stakes Final. The final will be broadcast at 7.30pm live on Eurosport, Sky 411 and Virgin 525 and the programme will start about five minutes before the final commences.

Wishing them the best of luck...just go for it!

Friday, 19 December 2008

Good Luck to Nancy and Niamh!

Just wanted to send our best wishes to Nancy and Niamh (Bryning Red Rascal) who are competing in the KC Agility Stakes Final tomorrow at Olympia. Anyone who knows anything about agility will appreciate the achievement in qualifying for the event itself. Nancy and Niamh also competed at Crufts this year too, arguably the two most prestigious events in the UK agility calendar. Quite a team!

Good luck tomorrow girls, we'll be rooting for you :)

Monday, 15 December 2008

A waiting game...

It's Ethan's 3rd birthday today :) (3....already!!), still no sign of him growing up just yet though lol. Squirrel was also 1 on Friday...not the baby any more, although she has always been very grown up!

Not much happening this weekend. My first weekend off for weeks and one of many to come over the next couple of months as we take a break from competing for a while. With puppies due and a house move to organise all showing and competing has been put on hold.
Had a quiet day on Saturday, went up to the new house in the morning to start assessing what work we need to do before we can move in (quite a lot!). Mum and I went for a walk with my gran and cousin Amy in the afternoon. We just took the four cockers...Teal, Drake and their son Floyd who is back with us for the time being 'til we find him the new perfect home (will get some piccies on here when I get round to taking some!) along with Amy's Radley who is Floyd's sister...a real family outing, gatecrashed by Squirrel, my PRT...basically all the non collies! I think it's safe to say that Radley and Floyd have taken a lot from their dad as the three of them were tearing through the woods at 100mph (a mad blur of black and tan!!) while mum Teal just trotted at my heel carrying her tennis ball! lol Squirrel did what parsons do and just ran about doing her own thing...she is very independant! (but has a lovely recall!). This walk took a lot longer than we'd anticpated so it was practically dark by the time we got the collies on the beach for a good 'energy burning' blast! Gemma came up for tea and we had a TV indulgant evening of Strictly and X-factor, have to say...the Strictly climax was a bit of a damp squib when they decided note to vote anyone off, especially compared with the high drama of X-factor! All I can say is that Camilla got extremely lucky, the Jive gamble definitely didn't pay off so lets hope she doesn't cock it up again given this second chance!

Sunday we dug out the rest of the christmas decs (apart from the mini tree that usually goes in the kitchen but I can't find anywhere! lol) so the house is looking very festive now, can't believe it's only 10 days to Christmas though, don't feel at all christmassy! We then decided to start clearing my bedroom and packing stuff up (gotta start somewhere)...3 bin liners later (!!!) and we were knee deep in stuff all over the place so I never got round to going to visit Norman's pups as planned. Will pop to see them in the New Year before they leave.

Vicki was at LKA with Diesel and Inca on Saturday, Diesel won his class (yay...go Diesel!!) and Inca was 2nd in hers.

So that's it really, just waiting for things now...waiting for christmas, waiting for pups, (waiting for Faith to come in season!) and waiting to move! I hate waiting!! (Patience may be a virtue but it isn't one I possess!) lol

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Class Clown! :-)

Well, every class has one and Viggo is ours!! lol
I bought a huge pile of new toys on Monday because our toybox was looking rather depleted but several of the new toys have already been demolished! It's funny, I have some dogs that really love their toys and cherish them and keep them really nice and take them all to bed (Mac!) and others whose sole mission is to destroy all new toys as quickly as possible (Faith!). Viggo falls into the first category, he really loves his toys but he also likes to bury them, I think to prevent them from being stolen and destroyed by someone else! I just had to video his antics last night as he decided he was going to bury his new pink ball on a rope in the beanbag in the lounge...not entirely successfully it has to be said.

What a funny boy :)

Family Photo

Thought I'd share these pics that Sharon gave me at the weekend. A family photo taken at NAWS a couple of weeks ago...

left to right Dazzle (mum), Spark (son), Ethan (dad) and Max (son)

playing together...

It's testament to the temperament of Ethan and his sons that 3 entire male dogs were all chasing and wrestling each other like a bunch of puppies! This is something that does sometimes get Eth in trouble because he thinks all other entire male dogs are the same and can't always understand why they might not want to play with him! lol

Max has really grown into a stunning boy and he and Spark share a lot of similarities but are also quite different. Max his very much is father's son and really has Ethan's head and expression (which I love!)

Here's some pics of him taken by Andy Philips...

Monday, 8 December 2008

Another jam packed agility/flyball weekend!

Had a busy sort of a weekend. We were at Wyre agility on Saturday, Faith was entered but I decided not to run her as I still don't feel that she's ready and am in absolutely no rush to get her out yet. I did get her measured though along with Kitten and Teal and came out with one of each!! lol Faith is Large, Kitten is medium (by quite a margin!) and Teal is small. I had thought Kitten may be borderline but there was plenty of daylight under the measure so she comfortably measured medium. Suprisingly Teal was much tighter and just made small but since she'll be 3 in April I don't think she's likely to grow any more! Her training will start in earnest in the New Year but I want to get Kitten up and running in flyball before we start any agility training with her. We had a nice day catching up with everyone and watching the classes. I got to see Wren run for the first time and despite no clears she was looking great!! Here she is with Joy in the 3/4/5 graded agility...I think you can hear my 'oh Wren!!' as she goes clear but runs past the last jump!! It was quite a long way out from the penultimate jump for a baby dog to pick up though really and just shows her 'greeness', with more ring experience I think she's going to make a really nice little agility dog :)

I got to watch Bryn (Faith's brother aka Bryning Truly Special) running and he had some lovely runs (especially once Brenda had run off her aching leg that had her hopping round the early courses!). He went clear and placed 8th in the 3/4/5 combined agility class beating some good grade 5 dogs along the way and placed 17th in the graded 3/4/5 agility with 5 faults (the course Wren was running above). What a good boy! I also filmed Veronica running Kite (Kes's sister) in the 3/4/5 jumping...annoyingly E'd as she back jumped a fence instead of coming through a gap. She placed 13th in the same combined 3/4/5/ agility class as Bryn.

Also got to spend some time having a cuddle from Chief and Sika (Eabha's brother and sister) and Josie and Ice (both Mac daughters)'s Josie...

Josie at Wyre, Dec 08

I love her blue eyes, they're much clearer than Mac's with no touches of any other colour anywhere...very striking!

We left Myserscough and met up with Trish to head over to Doncaster, we were meting Paul and Alison at the Travelodge where we just chilled out with some drinks and X-factor and had a meal together ready for racing at the Northern Racing College the following day.

We had a leisurely start with tea and muffins and walking the dogs on the frosty field behind the travelodge, maybe a bit too leisurely as we arrived just in time for the start of racing and were straight into Div One with the Demonz. We weren't expecting much, the dogs have all dropped their times since the summer and we haven't been running that well over winter, we were seeded 6th in a 7 team division. This tournament is held in an indoor riding arena where the runback, lanes and box area are laid with turf. Back to the usual line up of Dylan, Bailey, Lexie and Mist and we even had Dylan back running start dog as we've finally cured the intemittent ball dropping (hurray!!). We diagnosed that the ball dropping was a result of anticipating his ragger because he doesn't do it when he doesn't get his ragger. However, without the ragger Alison couldn't catch him and having the ragger in her pocket and pulling it out at the last minute wasn't helping either...he still knew she had it. It was actually Ethan that made me think of it...Eth will hold his ball and carry it around the run back area after his run and is often reluctant to give it up but will ignore all the loose balls on the floor. However, as soon as you have another ball in your hand he spits his out straight away and tries to grab it because yours is instantly more desirable by the simple fact you have it! It occured to me that Dylan only really wanted that ragger because Alison had it so we tried leaving the ragger in the ball bucket at the back of the runback...he has to race Alison to the bucket, she obviously has a head start so will get there first and has time to grab the ragger before he does but he will hold onto his ball until she gets there...the ball he already has is more desirable than the ragger until that point! Not a single dropped ball all day. So simple and so annoying we didn't think of it sooner!! Misty was off form in the morning, just didn't seem to be extending over the hurdles properly, at 8 years old she is the oldest dog on that team so maybe a night sleeping in the van and the fact it was so cold had affected her?? Bailey and Lexie also seemd to struggle for grip in the blue lane sliding into and up the face of the box a few was all a bit messy. We still managed some low 18 sec times and beat the Kiddy Minsters despite the fact they ran faster than us but then lost to the Crazies, a race we really should have won...that's the way it goes sometimes! We won our afternoon races with relative ease and the outcome of the division all rested in the last race of the day between Crazies and Kiddies (1st and 2nd seeds)...if the Crazies won it would be a 2 way tie for 1st place between them and us which they would be awarded because they'd beaten us and Kiddies would be 3rd. If the Kiddies won we would win the division, they would be 2nd and Crazies would get pushed down to 3rd. We couldn't help willing the Kiddies on to win and they duly obliged and beat the Crazies giving us 1st place in div One...yay!!!

Division Two however was a different story altogether! We came 3rd and 5th with the Racers and Pawz as we were totally struck by the curse of the cockers!! For the first time ever these two teams had to race against each other, each team contains a cocker...the lesson we learned from this is that you can't run a cocker on a team I'm not running in!! While they will both run for Gemma, and Drake will run for other team members on occasion too, they won't do that if I'm running on the other team...what a pair of babies!!! lol Drake just kept running to me and Teal just refused to was mayhem! It was a shame for the Racers who were top seed in that division and were storming it until that point. Teal lost the plot on the blue lane after that...that's the unpredictability of spaniels I'm afraid!! We were well and truly 'cockered'! lol Another lesson learned anyway and I was really pleased with the way the teams ran (apart from the obvious!)

Other events this weekend...Vicki and Diesel (Bryning Don't Stop me Now at Ruffs) had a good day at EABCC Open Show as he won Puppy Dog and Best Puppy in Show :)

Vicki and Diesel after winning Best Puppy (pic courtesy of Giruff designs)

Our Locheil reli's also had a great weeked. Susi and 15 month old Comic (aka Locheil Walk Like a Man, Kitten's brother) won Junior dog, Best of Breed and was shorlisted in Group 1 (this is a huge group in the FCI system!)...this now also makes him an Austrian Junior Champion. One of Mercys’ pups Maya (aka Locheil Eclipse Of The Moon over Taranza), owned by Alison Cheney won her class, best puppy, best of breed, Pastoral Puppy Group 1 and Pastoral Group 1 at Exonian Open Show at only 7 months old! She then went on to win her class, best puppy and best of breed again at Dorset County Show the following day! Way to go!!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Winter Wonderland...

Well, it's December already (where has the year gone??) and brrrr....has it turned cold this weekend?!!! I had a busy day at home on Saturday and it was gone 3pm before we got down to the beach to give the dogs a run.... the thick freezing fog hardly moved all day, it was FREEZING!!! They all enjoyed themselves though and it didn't keep them out of the water either! Sorry no pics, it was just too foggy and don't know that I could have operated my camera very well through the thick gloves, scarves, hat etc anyway lol

I picked up a load of cheap lamb bones in Morrisons on the way home so they had those for tea as a little treat, we usually get bones from the butchers in Chorley mid week but they sometimes have them in morrisons too.


We don't tend to get a lot of frost/snow where we live because we're on the North West coast of England so directly in the path of the gulf stream, it tends to remain much milder in this area compared to places further inland but we do get quite a lot of rain! The North West of England has the perfect grass growing climate which makes this the dairy capital of the UK although even here there has been a large number of dairy farmers de-stocking and leaving the industry. The cows are obviously all indoors now, feeding on the silage (which is effectively just pickled grass!) that has been harvested over the summer. I do wonder who will manage the land once all the farmers have gone? I don't think people fully appreciate what an important role they play in our landscape and environment.

Sunday was a beautiful day, very cold but dry with sunshine and beautiful clear blue skies, a perfect winters day. We had a leisurely start before driving over to Harrogate for the NAWS agility show. I didn't leave home 'til 9.30am and it was still - 4°c!! It was a lovely scenic drive over the A59, that route over the Lancashire/Yorkshire border takes in some of my favourite places and scenery in the whole of England. Again, I don't know how much longer this scenery will remain this way as large numbers of upland hill farmers de-stock and leave the land. It's the grazing sheep and cattle that maintain the landscape as we we know and love it. Without them the scenic rolling hills will soon return to scrubland and gorse and eventually thick forest and the fell walkers paradise will be lost. being rather gloomy today aren't I!

A few pics along the route...
Pendle Hill

Near Skipton...

(p.s. I wouldn't normally recommend taking photos while driving!!)

I was sorely tempted to stop and just spend a day out walking with the dogs but we carried on to the show. I had 4 runs with Fi and not a clear run among them but I was really really pleased with her. She hasn't done any agility training for over 2 months and hasn't done any agility since she last competed at NAWS a month ago but she was totally hyper and ran much better than she had done last time. She was fast, focused and driven...running on and working ahead really nicely and really 'attacking' the contact equipment, she was like a little bomb and really enjoying herself, it rather caught me by suprise! lol I am in desperate need of some training (yes me...more than the usual!), as Fi's confidence grows my handling skills need to improve dramatically! Nat and Kai were brilliant and won the jumping and came 2nd in the agility (this is their 2nd show), Sharon and Max were also fab again with Max coming 2nd to Kai in the jumping. Brenda and the lovely Bryn (Faith's brother) came 2nd in the class C agility but I didn't get there in time to see it...wah!!! I also met a lovely young choc tri Canen lad called 'Rio'...he was making his debut and came 4th in the agility, always nice to catch up with the 'rellies' :)

Thursday, 27 November 2008

it's all in the name!!

Saw this article on msn news this morning... - 27.11.2008 00:02
Dog shoots man in freak accident

A hunter was shot in the bottom by his dog when it jumped into his boat and landed on his gun's trigger.

Matthew Marcum was preparing to set out on an expedition in Portland, Oregan, when the accident happened.

Recovering after hospital treatment Mr Marcum said he held no grudge against three-year-old Labrador, Drake, who he described as "a good dog".

Very childish but it did make me giggle!! lol

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Puppy Fix 2

A stunning litter born in Belgium from Spark and Mouse.

Three Boys...
2 blue merle and 1 black/white

Three Girls...
all slate merles

You can see lots more pics of these babies here

Puppy Fix 1

Some pics of Norman's pups from Oz and Bracken.

Sadly there were complications with this litter, Bracken had a womb infection and needed to have a c-section and spay. Only 3 pups survived...

Black and White Dog

Black Tricolour Dog

Chocolate and White Dog

(These pups all have homes)

Monday, 24 November 2008

Another flyball marathon...

I am really rubbish at the moment and have completely failed to take any photos for weeks! We have now been flyballing 3 weekends in a row (unheard of for a winter schedule!) and on all 3 occasions there's only been 4 of us and we've been running 2 teams in div 1 as well as 1 team in div 2 and judging/ring party duties so we've barely had time to eat and walk the dogs let alone anything else! We had actually only entered 2 teams at Newark and Deeside but as other teams dropped out with the dreaded kennel cough we ended up running our 3rd team simply to avoid everyone having to run against an empty lane. Alison and I are actually the only two to have completed this 3 week marathon as we were without Paul at Selby, Gemma at Newark and Trish at Deeside. We should have a full compliment at Doncaster in a couple of weeks and back on grass (well turf actually)...can't wait!

Deeside was a rather novel experience as it was held in an ice rink!! (without the ice of course! lol)...I really wish I'd taken some pics as it was pretty cool!! lol It was another hectic one...we were helped massively by the Notts Supadogs again, practically their entire team were boxloading, colecting balls, on the line, running a dog at some point! We also had help from the Steelers with Janet doing the line and Kenny boxloading for the Pawz, thanks guys :)

The Demonz finished 2nd in Div 1 and the Racers 4th, with individual split times on these lights it became pretty apparent that all our dogs are running well off their usual pace on the rubber matting, I guess it must just be the lack of grip affecting them. The Pawz came 5th in Div 2 with another of those really unlucky days...a ball mis-firing from the box in one leg cost us the race, Kenny managed to get a new ball in in time but of course, it was Drakes' leg...the only dog that would be bothered, he got down to the box and went 'oh look, there's already a ball on the floor here...I'll take that one....daft (or maybe actually not so daft) spaniel! On another crucial leg a ball fell out of my pocket as I released him so of course he stopped and looked at it and I had to re-send him...we lost the race :( On a positive note Dottie ran a blinder all day, she actually ran faster than most of the Demonz (both teams running 13"), seems the rubber matting suits both her and Ethan as he ran really well too.

I had a day off on Sunday, just catching up with things I needed to do. I had hoped to get Fi to agility training (not been for about 2 months!) but the weather was horrendous and I just had so much to do at home. Hopefully this is the last time I'll have to spend an hour sweeping leaves off the yard as the trees are all now looking pretty bare! I gave a few of the dogs a really good groom, those with a lot of coat that seem to be constantly dropping it! I'd like to say I got all my paperwork sorted and got the office all neat and tidy again as I had planned but...I'd be lying! lol

A few small 'well dones' over the weekend...

Joy and Wren made their agility debut at Newton Heath and managed an 8th in Grade 3 jumping and a 10th in the agility :)

Vicki had Diesel at the WofEBCC show and got a 3rd in Puppy Dog :)

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Showing off...

Mac and Dot posing with their recently received milestone awards...

Mac with his 'Ice Blue Moon'

Dottie with her 'Silver'

and a random pic of Sweeney while he was visiting with Sharon, Rachel and Megan a couple of weeks ago (found it on the same memory card! lol)...

He is such a happy little dog! :)

Where does the time go?

Ooops...bad blogger me...more than a week without an entry!

Another busy one with one thing and another. We raced down at Newark at the weekend, although Gemma couldn't make it we did end up taking Bailey, we entered an extra team at the last minute as a space became available so ran the usual lineups. Demonz and Racers in Div 1 together again. Didn't feel quite as 'slick' this weekend but at least Mac didn't run must have been seeing Bailey in the other lane as he came off the box that had distracted him at Selby because they were in opposite lanes this time so Mac was turning away. I do like the flooring better at Newark, when the dogs run wide and off the matting it's onto concrete rather than slippery gym flooring. Although they felt good, all 3 teams were well off their usual pace as were most other teams I watched run so I can only assume the surface just didn't run that well. We had a couple of unfortunate incidents that lost us races and ended up 3rd and 5th in Div One and 2nd in Div Two. Teal picked up her graduate award and Drake got his Advanced (already...don't know how he manged that so quickly!). We did have a really nice weekend, we stayed in the local travelodge so had a leisurely trip down on Saturday afternoon so we could walk the dogs, chill out and enjoy a meal together and have a nice relaxed start in the morning. It was nice spending some relaxed time together, something we don't get to do the same over the winter season.

The team social continued as we all went out last night (although Trish didn't make it), Paul had booked us all tickets to see The Feeling at Preston Guild Hall so we met up and went for a meal first before going on to the gig which was, I have to say, fantastic. Only a fairly small audience but they really did put on a good show, the music was great and there was enormous energy from the band. They really know how to work the crowd with their own catchy sing-a-long tunes and the odd crowd pleasing cover lobbed in to really rouse the troops. There was also the odd unexpected curve ball thrown in to keep the crowd on their toes such as lead singer Dan diving off the stage to 'crowd surf' to the back where there was a microphone stand and acoustic guitar set up for his next solo song and then coming on for the encore dressed as a marching band playing percussion instruments through the middle of the crowd, they marched right through the middle of me and Gemma (never realised how small they all are before!). It's nice when you go to see a band that makes and plays great music but are real performers too.

Not much else to report really, our first litter of cockers turned a year old this week, I did see Maizy on Saturday, she's lovely. They've all turned out to be such super little dogs and they're all doing really well in their training. Oz's latest litter arrived yesterday, Norman Johnson's bitch Bracken (Wildfell Bit o Heather) had 5 dog puppies, a choc/white, a black tri and 3 black/white so looking forward to pics of those. We're racing at Deeside this weekend although I had really wanted to go to Newton Heath agility show which is just down the road from my house. Trish isn't coming so we've just got the two teams entered, bit of a jiggle of dogs so we'll see how we get on.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Selby win some, you lose some...

I haven't been very well this past week with a very bad head cold and sinus infection so I really wasn't looking forward to racing this weekend. Saturday morning was an early start as we were flyballing over at Selby College in North Yorkshire. Paul was working so Trish, Alison and I piled all our gear and dogs into my van and travelled together to meet Gemma there.

Selby College sports hall isn't the ideal venue for flyballing really, there is very little room inside once the ring is marked out, it's very very noisy as the sound of barking and shouting etc echoes a lot and there is a very short runback area so the really fast dogs never quite hit maximum speed which is always telling in the times. The faster teams are always worse affected than the slower ones. Quite a lot of forward planning had gone into working out how exactly we were going to run 2 teams in the same division since the Demonz and Racers had both been seeded in Division One...and there was only 4 of us! We took crates into the hall and set them up along the side so that we could have one team crated while we ran the other...Frosty and Dylan made pretty short work of my crates...bending and breaking the bars in their frustration at having to watch the other team run! Our friends from Notts Supadogs were brilliant and Steve boxloaded for both the Div One teams with Jo watching the line for us. There were 8 races in the morning session of Division One of which we were involved in 5. Having arrived in multiple layers to fend off the cold weather we were soon all down to our t-shirts and vests! lol

For several of the dogs this was their first time running indoors on rubber matting...Teal, Dylan and Faith. It is quite a different experience to running outside on grass, everything is much closer and louder and feels quite different. I was most concerned about Teal since I'd taken her in to be measured here last year and she'd been a quivering wreck! I was just hoping that after having a litter and a season of competing which has seen her really grow in confidence, she would be ok. Thankfully all 3 were fine, although Teal looked a little worried when we first went in she soon came round and got excited and was ready to race. She really benefits from running with Faith, they seem to really wind each other up! Mac hasn't run indoors for the last couple of years following a groin strain sustained at this venue back in the winter of 2006/7 which he took quite a while to fully recover from. It is one of the problems of not having the entire floor area matted, just the lane areas...if you have a big powerful dog miss the ball and run wide to chase it they can easily lose their footing on the slippery floor and sustain and sprain/strain. I decided to run him this weekend but he wore his wrist protectors and had his feet 'paw waxed' and he ran fine...I am always a little on edge though!

The morning's racing went really well with both teams winning their first two races. I'll be totally honest and admit we were just cruising with the Demonz. The were entered on a seed time that was a second faster than the 2nd seeded team, as often happens at one day tournaments when the entry is limited, you get quite a spread of seed times within each division and the racing isn't as 'tight' at the larger summer comps. We did have to work a little harder with the Racers though. The last race of the morning session we were racing each other so we had a brilliant little band of helpers from other teams. Martyn from Notts boxloaded the other team and Jo ran Misty. Young Lucy from Wire Sparks ran Bailey start dog in the Demonz and her mum Marina ran Mac start dog in the Racers (Marina owns and runs Mac's son Zephyr so she's used to handling a big strong lad!). Julie K ran Faith in the Racers (she got the nice easy one! lol). Actually...everyone that ran a dog for us owns a pup I big happy 'Bryning family'! lol. Alison and I stuck with Dylan and Lexie in the Demonz and Trish and Gemma stuck with Frost and Teal in the Racers but Gem and I ended up swapping after Teal ran wide and slipped on the floor which knocked her confidence and she came looking for her mummy (bless). It wasn't the tidiest race ever with Mac running out twice (I think he must just have been distracted seeing Bailey in the other lane and run wide??) but the result was as we expected and the Demonz won it. Straight out with those two teams and back in with the Pawz for Divison Two!

The Pawz really did run brilliantly in Div Two...I don't quite know what's got into Ethan but he's gone up another gear and was really up for it. We had some really silly/unlucky moments on lost the first race when we really should have won it (damn!) but I was pleased with how they ran. We were straight out with them and back in Division Three which I was judging and the rest of the team were ring partying. I had tried to get someone else to do it for me as I really wasn't feeling up to it but to no least Peter had swapped with me so that I could have my own teammates ringpartying. There was some good racing in this division but I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I usually do, with a banging headache I was having to work really hard to keep my concentration and was feeling particularly impatient with the people faffing about at the start. It really does drive me nuts when racing is behind schedule and we're all ready to go and there's one person dallying around catching their dog or arranging their clothes or toy or anything and making everyone else wait, I just think it's really inconsiderate and selfish to be honest. A cup of tea or a can of coke wouldn't have gonme amiss either. Most people don't mind judging/ring partying but it's common courtesy for the tournament organises to at least provide them with a drink. Have to say, my ringparty were brilliant, Demonz and Kiveton...they were a great help keeping everything ticking along quickly.

We then had 2 divisions off to get some lunch and get the dogs out for a quick run before the afternoons racing started again. Quite unbelievably the Demonz and Racers went back into Div One for their last two races of the day and were both unbeaten making them 1st and 2nd in that division!! The Pawz still ran well but that bloody cocker spaniel struck again and when we were two legs up in the last race decided to run down to the box a poo in the middle of the lane!!! This dog craps for England and drives me absolutely mad. Every single competition he will crap in the ring!! I'm sure he doesn't actually need to go because he can have just been and will still do it. I think it's just become a habit so we've been telling him off and stopping him from doing it which is why I think he went to the box end...BAD COCKER!! He got told off and then wouldn't run for the next two legs...just running down to the box and coming straight back up without his ball...we lost the race...I could have killed him!! The rest of my team however were struggling to compose themselves as I had to pick them all up off the floor laughing!! Am going to have to think of a new 'Drake Strategy' as the telling off one clearly isn't working...maybe a change of diet or pre-competition feeding regime??

All in all it was a good day. Faith was presented with her Graduate Award (that she gained back in August!) and Dottie finally got her Silver. Frostie also got his Pearl Award. We're at Newark next weekend but only taking two teams so fingers crossed all goes well (and no crapping cockers!)

I should have been at Border Collie Club of Great Britain 'Pup of the Year' with Spark on Sunday but I was just so tired and poorly I couldn't face going. I was planning to go over and do some flyball/agility training with 'the Doghouse' lot but I couldn't face that either. I hate being ill and not being well enough to do all the things I want to do. Everyone keeps saying I need a break but I don't want one!! I guess my body is forcing me into it! lol

Thursday, 6 November 2008

More pics of the kids...

...Two of Chief's sisters at nearly 8 months old...
Surf (Bryning Time to Fly)

Duffy (Bryning Time Will Tell)

A Mac-Kes daughter, Ice (Bryning Osprey) at the summit of Carn Fadryn on her recent holiday to the Lleyn Peninsula (North Wales)...

Monday, 3 November 2008

proud granny pics...

lol...this is what I call the pics I get from my puppy owners :)

Had a few mailed over the weekend...
'Chief' (Bryning All Time High) is Eabha's brother, approaching 8 months old..

'Rush' (Bryning Gold Rushed) taken at a UKA show when he was around 15 months old

courtesy of John Ord Photography

'Rio' (Bryning Makin' Waves) at her first flyball lesson, a natural like her parents! :)

An incurable case of 'reservitis'

Well, what can I say...2 shows in 2 days and a huge pile of green cards and rosettes which, although always nice to get placed, is really frustrating!! Orlaith, Viggo, Ethan and Dottie have all missed out on their '09 Crufts qualifiers by a single place since these were my last champ shows of the year and the entries have closed for the rest. It is hard when trying to fit champ shows in around flyball and agility and while there's no way I would be taking them all since I already have Spark, Dazzle, Kitten, Faith and Eabha qualified, it is always nice to have a choice. Ethan went really well on Sunday (not quite sure what came over him but he was absolutely full himself!) to come 4th in a large limit dog class which was great but just one place off getting his stud book number is pretty dissapointing. Spark bucked the trend with a 2nd in Junior Dog on Sunday, I missed his class on Saturday (nevermind!). Scottish weekend is an exhasuting marathon but it was good fun as usual and always nice to catch up with everyone over a couple of days.

Weekend Results
Saturday - Working and Pastoral Breeds of Scotland - Judge Mr R J Thomas
Orlaith - 4th (Reserve) in Minor Puppy Bitch

Sunday - Scottish Border Collie - Dog Judge Mrs Anne Layte (Pittensair) / Bitch Judge Mrs Carlolyn Ward (Caristan)
Kitten - 4th (Reserve) in Junior Bitch
Dottie - 4th (Reserve) in Post Graduate Bitch
Viggo - 4th (Reserve) in Minor Puppy Dog
Spark - 2nd in Junior Dog
Ethan - 4th (Reserve) in Limit Dog

On a good note...Orlaith's brother Diesel had a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th and one of Mercy's pups, bred by Heather, won BPIS on Sunday at just 6 months and 1 day old!

I did take my camera but no piccies I'm afraid!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

More boating pics...

...only this time from Skipper (Bryning Perfect Storm) who actually lives on this boat. I's a dog's life isn't it! lol

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Holiday snaps...

...from Reeky Deeky on his recent boating holiday :)

Handsome fella!

Another fun-filled weekend!!

Another very busy and exhausting weekend but at least no-one needed bathing! lol

We headed over to Rotherham early Saturday morning for the flyball tournament. Gemma was already on site having stayed over with Andy and Sam, Paul and Alison were in Halifax overnight so there was just Trish and I driving over from home. I left home at 6.30am but almost as soon as I hit the M61 there were signs saying the M62 was closed between J22 and 24, my the time I reached the M62 the signs were saying there was just congestion so they had obviously re-opened so I decided to continue that way and hope for the best. I knew racing started at 8.30 but we weren't in the first division so no panic. The traffic started queueing up on the moors before Huddersfield so I took the opportunity of taking a couple of pics of the sun rising over the hills while we were stationary, quite dramatic colours...

Trish got up late and was way behind me but decided to go over Woodhead Pass to save some time so ended up arriving only 20 mins or so behind me. We needn't have worried, when we arrived racing hadn't even started, there were major problems with the lights (that had been working perfectly the night before!) which plagued us all day so racing didn't get finished 'til about 8pm. A very long day for everyone.

This was the first time BFA flyball has ever taken place on grass inside a marquee and it was a great success. I was a little concerened about Teal being 'spooked' by the tent flapping in the high winds but it was actually very solid and there wasn't much flapping at all; she never batted an eyelid.

Inside the marquee...

The teams all ran well, I was so pleased with the Racers particularly, we ran Storm for the first time since his cruciate surgery, swapping him in and out with Spud and they both ran pleased!! They ended up 3rd in Div Two which I was really pleased with. The Demonz were off their usual pace, a combination of the light issues forcing late starts and lose changeovers and Misty not being on her usual form but they ran consistently (only a couple of dropped balls from Dylan so we are making some progress!) and came a respectable 2nd in Div One. The Pawz came 5th in Div Three, which is where they were seeded, all 4 dogs ran well so I was pleased with them too. Due to the lateness of the finish there were no awards presented so Dottie will just have to wait 'til Selby for her Silver!

Demonz racing in Div 1...

Pawz racing in Div 3...

Sadly we didn't get any footage of the Racers running in Div Two because Faye was also running in that division (and she was filming for us) which is a shame because that team ran so well...nevermind, will get some next time hopefully.

This is Charlie (Bryning Bright Light), Spark's litter brother who is owned by Sam and Andy, running in starters on Saturday...

I was staying with Andy and Sam on Saturday night so we all helped marking out new lanes for the next day and packing away the lights etc, we didn't get finished 'til about 10.30pm, I ate with Steve and B (thanks guys!) but we we're all struggling keeping our eyes open so I walked the dogs and joined everyone else in the marquee for a quick drink then hit the hay around 12.30 was really only 11.30 'cause the clocks went back! I slept really well but we were all woken at 5.30pm by Karl who had arrived to start setting up...guess who had forgotten to put his clocks back??!!! lol I didn't get up 'til 7am by which time everyone was up getting set up for Sunday's racing. I had a quick brew and chat with folk then headed off up to Harrogate for the NAWS agility show, arriving there at around 9.30am to find lots more flyballers there too! I was also pleasantly suprised to find Sharon was there with Max (Bryning Bright Star) who is also Spark's litter brother and making his competition debut at 16 months old. Well, all I can say is that he was very aptly named because he's going to be a cracking little agility dog! Fi ran 'clear' in the jumping with just a couple of little 'moments' costing us time but she felt really good and was really 'up for it'...she finished 4th so that's her first agility rosette! Having watched the video back I know that our 'moments' were entirely my fault...must stand up straight and keep my shoulders open!! She also ran really nicely in the agility but really struggled with a section where you had to push them out left over an angled jump and then turn them immediately right to get on the dog walk, for a dog moving at any speed it was an almost impossible turn to make and on both runs Fi overhsot the dogwalk and bless her, she knew that was the next obstacle so scrambled on the up plank from the side! It was a bit silly for a pre-competition class and the judge hadn't run a dog over the course to see how it would run beforehand which, in my novice opinion, was something of an over-sight. Most handlers struggled with the push out over the angled jump and the dogs hesitated before it so they were jumping short and found the turn easier. Because I recalled Faith over 2 jumps at the start I got a good position to push her out over the angled jump so she was running flat out and couldn't get the turn tight enough...ho hum...such is life. She finished 7th with 5f (places to 6th!) but ran the 2nd fastest time despite the inelegant scrambled dog walk, what a shame. On a good note...Max won it!! What a little star :)

I'll upload some agility vids once I have them all (Adele took quite a few too) and have had chance to do some remixing.

Oh and...heard along the Canen grapevine...a big congratulations to Alison Gresty who won the Bitch CC at Tunbridge Wells Champ Obedience show at the weekend with Canen Georga, she is a younger full sister to Kes and this was her first time working ticket!