Thursday, 24 July 2008

Anglesey here we come...

Busy packing up the van and caravan for our little flyball tour of Angelsey and the Wirral. Really looking forward to our annual holiday, great to spend more time with the dogs away from home.

We're going to be competing at 3 tournaments over the next 10 days...racing Saturday, Monday, Weds, Thurs, Saturday and Sunday so have a few days off in between to go the beach and stuff.

The BFA seed listing is currently showing the Speed Demonz as joint 5th fastest team in the UK at the moment...not bad going for a team that's only run twice! If the seed list stays pretty much the same we should be running in Div One at the British Championships in 3 weeks time.

Also...Squirrel's mini tennis balls arrived yesterday so we'll start doing some training with her while we're away. She can pick up a full size tennis ball and likes to play with them but I've noticed that a lot of parsons and jrt's don't always take the ball cleanly from the box...I'm giving her no excuses!! I have noticed that she plays very much like a cat...dropping and pouncing on her toy a lot...I don't want that becoming a habit in flyball though!

Have uploaded some new pics of Kes's pups to the website; these will be the last pics before we go away but as they're coming with us we should have lots of new ones when we get back!

Monday, 21 July 2008

The Chilterns Show

We had a really fab time at the Chilterns Show. Big thanks to Penny and all the Barkshire Bandits for their warm welcome and hospitality over the weekend.

Gemma had to work, since it was all arranged so last minute so Paul, Alison, Trish and I travelled down Friday evening and stayed with Joy and Becca just outside Bicester making our journey to the show the following morning much more bearable. We had loads of help from our fellow competitors boxloading, on the line and taking down times and of course Steve who is rapidly becoming an honourary Demon! lol We were first in Div 3 with the Demon Racers, a slight change to the line up this week with Drake coming up from the 'Pawz' to replace Faith and Lexie swapping places with Mac in the 'Demonz' we hoped we might achieve some faster times with this line up and we did...having run 19.61 last weekend and 19.47 this week. More practice with this combination should hopefully yield some better times going forward. We only lost one race in this division but ended up on a 3 way tie with fastest times used to decide the positions and ended up 3rd but were more than happy with the way the dogs ran. We were really grateful to Kristian and Sharon from the High Flyers for their help boxloading and collecting the balls, Steve on the line checking changeovers and Linda from Northants for taking down our times. We then ran the Speed Demonz in Div 1, seeded 5th, we seriously expected to get our butts well and truly kicked! We had swapped Lexie with Mac this weekend; although the timing system on the line shows that they run very similar times, Mac runs best start dog and so does Dylan, we just felt the team would gel better with Lex in it and we were proved absolutely right when we ran 17.59!!! (with a 0.13 late start!) still half a second faster than last weekend and the fastest we've ever run before! This was the 3rd fastest time of the day and we did indeed end up 3rd in the division running consistently sub 18.00 secs all day....very very pleased with that performance! :)) Must mention Paul who did a fantastic job running Bailey, Steve on the line who was vital in us achieving our best changeovers, Linda from Northants taking down our times and Darren from 'FourPaws' who boxloaded brilliantly. Couldn't have done it without them all.

Sunday saw us back at the show as I was judging div 5 and we were running the Demon Pawz in div 4. I really enjoyed judging Div 5 which was a tightly fought affair with some very good teams and handlers (including our own Paul who was running a dog for Northants Falcons and did a fab job)...I was really impressed by the consistency of changeovers, particularly from the Bristol Ball-sitic Rockets (boy were they buttock clenchers??!! lol) as well as the number of rolling starts we had (where the start dog hits the line on the exact right spot so the clock keeps running)...great racing all round and well done to the eventual division winners 'Snatch and Grab'. I was particularly fortunate to have some excellent line and box judges, including a number doing the job for the first time who were really first class :)

The 'Pawz' was the team I expected us to struggle most with since we had taken the fastest dog (Drake) out and replaced him with Faith. It's fair to say Teal is also a little unpredictable and Ethan has his moments too (of which he had several! lol) Teal ran superbly all day, the routine of taking her up to the box and doing a runback every time we run seems to be just what she needs. Steve boxloaded this team for us too which I'm sure helped. Ethan continued to have 'blue lane moments' which is becoming rather frustrating...despite his natural left turn he's totally distracted by the other lane when he runs this side and insists on turning right and while he never runs as fast he also has a habit of running out, fortunately we have good old reliable Spud to bail us out when Eth has his silly head on! lol The nicest suprise of this team was Faith who, over the 9" hurdles, dropped more than 0.5sec and actually ran faster than Drake had last week! (the hurdle height doesn't seem to make any difference to him). We smashed our seed time and ran 20.00secs dead which is fantastic. My only worry is that this may land the Pawz and Racers in the same division on some occasions (eek!) with a little over 0.5sec separating their seed times, but really nice to find that swapping Faith and Drake has actually strengthened both teams, something that doesn't tend to happen very often. 3 seemed to be our number of the weekend with a 3rd with this team too!! We may have got 2nd if I hadn't had a few lights with Teal (and Alison hadn't fallen asleep on one leg with Spud lol) but hey....lights with Tealey...she was really 'up for it' so I'm not complaining!!

All in all a great weekend and well worth the long journey down to Buckinghamshire. The weather was nice the company was good and it was a lovely friendly and relaxed weekend all round.

p.s. during one of the 'intervals' (where the Bandits did a demo in the main show ring) we did some singles time trials in the flyball ring for fun and managed to clock Bailey at 3.95secs over the 9" hurdles!! Go that dog!

Off over to Anglesey this week for our 10 day team holiday that incorporates 3 flyball tournaments, am hoping to get some agility training in while over there too...will try to remember to take lots of pics!

Rotherham Pics...

Rotherham Flyball Pics...
a few snaps Alison's mum took of the Speed Demonz at Rotherham last weekend....
Mist...

Dylan...

Bailey...

Mac...

Dock Diving...

Here's some new pics Kerena sent me of Magic competing in the Dock Dogs at the Cold Wet Nose Show last weekend.
Proving to be a water baby like his parents!! Doesn't he look like he's enjoying himself! :)





Pics by Alan Boutel at Pet Pics

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Pupdate...

A couple of short vids of the pups after their breakfast this morning...
video
video
How time flies!!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Coming of age...

The Sunny X Mercy pups turned 18 months old at the end of June and the 3 that went into flyball homes have all made their competition debuts over the last couple of weeks...all 3 were running at Rotherham this weekend which was great! Delta with the GoFours, Barney with the host team Rotherham Rockets and Jack with the Tyne Tailwaggers. They all won out of starters, gaining their flyball dog awards at their debut tournaments....clever lads! :)

as promised...

..by Paul lol...
here she is showing off her 'rozzies'....
CH Mindlen Midge at Glendream


maybe one day Squirrel will look like that?? :)

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Woo hoo!!!


Not really my news but I'm just so over the moon for Paul that I had to share immediately!!

Squirrel's mum, Sally just got her 3rd and crowning ticket at East of England Champ Show!! That now makes her CH Mindlen Midge at Glendream!! :)

I absolutely adore this little dog...here's a pic of her after her pre-show grooming yesterday, sitting alongside Squirrel's dad Dylan...


Hopefully Paul will get some nice piccies of her with her card and rossette!

(hehe...can't stop smiling!)

Go Demon Dogz!!

Well, as you may have guessed...my van did finally emerge from the garage on Friday in time to get packed up and head over to Rotherham, I arrived about 6pm and got set up (put my caravan awning up all by myself...impressed???!!! lol), Paul and Alison arrived about 8.30pm after being stuck in traffic on the M1 and Gemma arrived shortly after (Trish is in Malta so I had her dogs too!) so it was quite late by the time we sat down for our pizzas and we were all knackered. We tried out the new team kit that Steve and B and brought over for us and it's all v cool!! Our quiet evening in soon went out the window when we got invitied over to the club house bar for a 'quick pint' which quickly turned into 2 or 3 and then back to the caravan for (lots) more wine and before you could say 'black russian' I couldn't remember anything else except for waking up in the morning feeling VERY ill!! lol (I think Steve is now banned from the Demon camp...he seems to be a a very bad influence!)

In spite of my stinking hangover we did make it into the ring and had some really good racing. First in with the Demon Pawz in division 6 and then in div 3 with the Demon Racers, loads of help from Hazell and Rachel from Tyne and Crazies who boxloaded superbly for us and Steve and Bridget, our lovely Dolphin friends, who manned the line and took down our times. The 'Pawz' finished the day 2nd in div 6 with a fastest time of 20.67 which we were all really pleased with. Noteably Drake and Pip ran brilliantly and Spud came in for the last 2 races in place of Teal and the change from 9" to 13" hurdles hardly affected the times at all which was nice to see (Spudley was VERY excited too!! lol). Pip seems to have really improved in her fitness level over the last couple of months and the wider hole settings on the new box seem to suit her better too. The Racers WON div 3 (woo hoo!!) which was most unexpected; they ran a fastest time of 19.61, Frost and Lexie were fantastic all day but Dottie seemed a little off form, Fi was just Fi...in a little world of her own most of the time! The weather was very kind to us all day and although occasionally overcast it stayed dry, by presentation I was (thankfully) fully recovered and it was lovely to receive Dylan and Faith's Intermediate certificates together, we also got lots of free Vitalin dog food for winning a div, courtesy of the Rotherham team sponsors which was nice. Had a yummy indian meal for tea but wisely we all had an early night!

Sunday we woke up (bright eyed and bushy tailed! lol) to beautiful sunshine...hurray! We didn't have anything on the first 2 divs but did end up helping a few friends out in the ring and then ring partied for div 2. We were bottom seed in div 1 with the Speed Demonz so decided to just go in and have fun and see what was what but amazingly...we won a couple of races and came 4th! :) Steve, Bridget, Hazell, Rachel and Faye were all on hand again to help us out boxloading and on the line/scribing etc, very grateful to them all. We tried a few different running orders and managed a fastest time of 18.09 but I know these dogs are capable of running faster so that's something to aim for next week. Oh...yes...we will be running again next week although we hadn't planned to! Somehow or other we managed to be persuaded to take the 3 teams down to the Chilterns Show in Buckinghamshire next weekend...with several teams having had to withdraw over the week we're going to make up the numbers but I'm actually really looking forward to it. We don't venture down south very often so it'll be nice to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones too! (We're going to have to since we won't have a box loader or 'linesman' again! lol)

All in all we had a lovely weekend and the Rotherham lot did a really fantastic job on their first ever tournament...great venue, superbly organised but friendly and laid back with it. Can't wait for the next one!

Friday, 11 July 2008

What a Week!

I feel as though I’ve aged 10 years in the last week, just been another hectic but stressful one.

Sunday saw me at the vets with Lexie who had a grass seed lodged in her eye that had started germinating (eugh…gross!) she was a very good girl and had it removed with just a local anaesthetic in her eye but it had caused quite a large (but thankfully shallow) corneal ulcer which was a bit of a worry, we came home with some antibiotic eye drops and an appointment for a check up on Tues but there was talk of having to stitch the 3rd eyelid shut if the ulcer wasn’t healing…I kept everything crossed! (while shuddering at the thought of Sunday call out vets fees!!)

Gemma came up on Monday and we made the most of the break in the weather (torrential rain for days!) and did some agility training in the evening and got chinese and just chilled out but Monday night and Tues I was really ill with sickness and ‘dire-rear’ (ick!). There has been a nasty bug going round so I’m not going to lay the blame on the food but it may have put me off chinese for a while! Lex was back at the vets on Tues evening and thankfully the ulcer has completely healed (phew!)…I was still feeling very peeky and totally washed out on Weds so stayed off work and slept most of the day, dogs were very quiet and well behaved, they always seem to know when I’m not feeling too good.

Thursday morning I got up and felt much better, all ready to go back to work but when I drove the van off the driveway (it hadn’t moved for 2 days) it was immediately apparent there was a problem…no power steering!! Took it straight down to the garage and it was very low on fluid so they tried topping it up but it leaked straight out again, decided this would need a new ‘O’ ring which they could do that morning so I rang work and told them I would be late in and waited for the garage to come back to me. When they called back I couldn’t believe it, they had replaced the ‘O’ ring but the fluid was still gushing out, seems the pipe is fractured. I had the EXACT same problem on my old van (same model but 2 years older than this one)…the guy at the garage said he’d never seen it before my last one and had never seen it since so I must be jinxed!! Don’t I know it! I am keeping everything crossed that he can find the fracture and weld it in time for us to leave for Rotherham tomorrow for our first comp with our new team.

Here’s our new team logo btw…like it??



While I was confined to the house with no vehicle I decided to catch up on some jobs around the place, also wormed Kes’s pups and trimmed nails…here’s a couple of snaps of them now their eyes have opened…








Spent some time with the youngsters, had Orlaith in the main part of the house with me most of the day, she seems to prefer being in and is such a delight to have around, always friendly and inquisitive but quiet and undemanding. Had Viggo in this evening…he is a monster! Into everything, you can’t take your eyes off him for a minute or he’s in somewhere or eating something he shouldn’t be!! I know this face is telling you otherwise but don’t believe him!! lol



Also this week we had 5 dogs at the vets for hip and elbow x-rays for scoring, 3 of my own (Spark, Scot and Faith) and 2 others I bred (Flynn, Spark’s brother, Dylan, Faith’s brother)…always a nerve wracking time but thankfully they all looked good so that was a relief. I was especially pleased with Spark’s hips that looked even better than the preliminary x-rays taken at 10 months and should be well within single figures. Just the long wait for scores to come back now.

Looking toward the weekend I am hoping and praying that the van will be sorted in time to leave for Rotherham now. I just rely on it so much I'm totally lost without it!!

Friday, 4 July 2008

More Agility Training

Well, back at agility training last night after 3 weeks off and Fi did some nice little bits, we did quite a few jumping exercises with the jumps at varying heights to start getting her used to thinking about what height she's jumping with the aim of getting her up to full height, we are getting there. All this stop/start in her training isn't helping, she really needs to be doing something 2 or 3 times a week. She was working nicely but I have to be careful I don't push her too hard on new things or she just starts to switch off and goes off sniffing the grass (mmm...tasty rabbit droppings) which I find really frustrating. She also did the wall for the first time, no problems there.

Bailey chewed through another one of my leads!! He only does this at agility but it's really annoying!! I had deliberatley taken a coil tether so he couldn't chew through it when he was tied up but he chewwed through his lead while I was stood holding him!! Only took him a few seconds...little swine!!! Fortunately he redeemed himself and worked well. Training with Bai is more about training me than him (since he pretty much knows what to do), where I need to be and my timing etc, he's so quick and responsive (i.e. manic!) it can all go horribly wrong if I don't get those little things right but we did some nice bits so hopefully we'll get it together ready to compete soon. Gemma is going to compete with him again when she gets chance but when I'm going to shows and she's working I'll take him along for the ride and we'll have a few runs together. The one thing we REALLY struggled with was a tunnel curved round underneath the up-plank of the dog walk, we had to do jump - tunnel - jump - dogwalk in a sort of circular movement but could I get him to go up that dogwalk??? Aargh!! Bailey had total 'tunnel vision' lol and couldn't see anything but that lovely tunnel, in the end I had to get him to come through and 'WAIT' to make him stop and convince him that the dog walk was the next obstacle!! All in all it was a good session although we did get rather wet when the heavens opened for a short sharp downpour and got a bit chilled driving home. I have Bailey all weekend so hopefully I'll get time to do a bit of jump and weave training at home with them both. We'll see!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Another fruitful evening...

Had our first training session on the new box (it's not looking quite as pristine any more lol) and things are starting to come together. Well, we didn't have any dogs running out this week (just as well since we don't have any wings! lol) and we didn't get any ball fumbling either; they all seem to be making their own little adjustments to their approach and turn with each run so I think it's going to be more a case of repitition running on it rather than any sort of specific box training that will be key. The combinations we decided on at last weeks training seem to be working well. We may look at altering the ’Demonz’ running order going forward, it's just a case of seeing what works best...'suck it and see' so to speak! lol I was a bit concerned about the the ’Pawz’, with Pip running first dog and Ethan needing to go last (for the time being anyway...we WILL train him out of being an arse-ender!!) it left Drake and Teal running 2nd and 3rd and having to pass each other, not a prospect I was looking forward to considering how much they adore each other and how giddy they both get (I was imagining the cocker circus 'wall of death' as they chased each round the flyball arena...eeek! lol). Much to my amazement they passed without so much as a glance at each other, really nice consistent tight changeovers again and again! They seem to be really happy to be running with each other and their other buddies and were both very keen and excited so I really hope they carry that enthusiasm and confidence over into competition too. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. The ’Racers’ ran nicely, just a case of tweaking changeovers although we did think about re-naming that team 'Demon Bimboz' as they're all so flippin' dippy! All in all a pleasing training session and with a pint and a natter in the pub afterwards...who could want more?!

Taking Faith and Bailey agility training this evening so hopefully they'll both behave themselves. Am hoping to run Bailey at SKC next month but it's going to be some time yet before Fi is ready.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

A visit from the family...

We had a visit from Radley yesterday evening (oh...she brought my Auntie, Uncle and cousins with her too lol); I haven't seen her for ages (even though she lives less than 5 miles away!) and she has changed an awful lot in that time. She is now 7 months old and a similar height to her mum Teal, maybe a fraction taller, but is very much the same build and type as her dad Drake, in fact she's just like a little scaled down version of him! She is also mad as a hatter like him too! She had a lovely time racing round the garden and playing with her parents and Squirrel and Olive, she's certainly a very sociable little dog!! :)

I really hope they do decide to do some flyball with her as originally planned because I think she'll be absolutely fab!! Teal's height with Drake's speed and technique...rapid!! lol

Her she is starting to look all grown up...