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!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Poor Macman :(

Well, the big man somehow managed to tear a big hole in his shoulder this morning, god alone knows how; he’s just so ‘gung-ho’ about everything he does I guess I really shouldn’t be that surprised! I only noticed it as I was leaving for work so it was straight down to the vets, which is where he spent the day being sedated, cleaned up and stitched. He did look very dopey when I picked him up on the way home (bless) and he had reportedly spent the entire day at the vets trying to give all the members of staff big bear hugs and kisses while they were trying to do stuff with him, the big soft lump!

So here’s the damage…(not to mention my pocket!)

Resting easy at home, with his tennis ball of course!

So…no flyball for Maccy this weekend…boo hoo hoo!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Vids of the pups from the weekend...

Viggo moving out and back in the minor puppy dog class...

Orlaith being gone over and on the move...

(filmed by Gemma)

and here's Vicki with Diesel (Bryning Don't Stop me Now at Ruffs), Orlaith's litter brother. Didn't he move beautifully! :)

(filmed by Simon)

Another breed show marathon...

God, what an exhausting weekend and we didn't even go anywhere! It was North West Border Collie Club Championship show on Sunday which is held just 20 mins from my house, we had 4 people staying over Saturday night and I spent the entire day on Saturday bathing, drying, brushing and trimming dogs (10 of them in total!) and don't my hamstrings know about it, they're killing me today! I did the 8 I had entered and Eabha and Squirrel too (just because they needed a bath!), thank god for Gemma and Alison on Sunday who were so helpful getting dogs out and ready while I ran back and forth between the two rings. We had one of those 'so nearly' days with both Orlaith and Viggo making their showring debuts and both coming 4th in their minor puppy classes. I was pleased with them both though; both the minor puppy classes were big quality classes and they both behaved themselves and went well. The minor puppy bitch class particularly finished with a really stunning line up taking the cards.

Spark didn't get placed in Junior dog and only got a 5th in the colour class despite going really well. I wasn't best pleased but that's just the way it goes sometimes, this allrounder judge just really didn't like him but he continues to receive lots of nice comments from fellow competitiors around the ring which is nice. He's a lovely dog to handle, he's just very easy going and happy to do whatever you ask of him (bless). Dylan and Faith were a total pair of 'giddy kippers' and behaved appallingly lol She came 5th (VHC) in her novice class while Dylan came 4th in his and 5th in graduate...what a naughty pair!! Good job they're both so good at other things or they'd be in big trouble! *vbg*

Dottie went really well in Post grad bitch but didn't get placed. I love moving this dog she just always stays with you and never breaks her gait she can just keep extending and driving on, she really suits my long legs! I do however appreciate that she is not everyone's 'cup of tea', she has quite a strong muzzle and is not the ultra feminine type that most like but I love her just the way she is. Dazzle also went beauitifully in Limit bitch which was a very strong class, again she wasn't placed but I was very pleased with her. Gemma handled her in the colour class in which she came 4th behind a champion, a ticket winner and her half sister Inca (Locheil Miss Independant at Ruffs) so not too dissapointed. Ethan was in a HUGE Limit dog class which seemed to take forever (my poor aching legs), he made the shortlist of 8 but didn't get placed but again I was pleased with how he went. Finally I had Sea in Open and he placed 5th which I was pleased with. The style of handling/showing on the continent is very different to here so in the last few weeks he has had to learn how to 'free stand' and that he's not allowed to fly his tail on the move (or jump up and grab his lead! lol). As with everything Sea does he is very willing and a quick learner so I was really pleased with how he went.

As is always the case at these shows, it was nice to see everyone but we hardly seemed to have any time to catch up and the day went very quickly although as usual those that were first to arrive (myself, Heather, Anne, Fiona, Julia and Judith) were also the last to leave, how does that always happen? It's like some sort of endurance test! lol I was exhausted when I got home (and I only had a 20 min drive) and couldn't help feeling guilty about those having to make the long journies back up to Scotland and the North East and down to Bristol and beyond!

Flyball and agility next weekend so hopefully a little easier...thank god no more bathing!!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Digs looking very pleased with himself

with his 'rossies' from last weekend's show...

Monday, 13 October 2008

Quiet Weekend...

Saturday I was supposed to be at the Agility Addicts show with Faith but after a week of bad sinuses and migraines I had a feeling I wouldn’t make it and I didn’t. I just didn’t feel up to the 2 hour drive and long day when I woke up on Saturday morning so just let the dogs out and went back to bed. I had quite a lazy day (haven’t had one of those for ages!) and just pottered about and did a few things at home, it wasn’t ‘til about 5pm that the headache finally shifted :(

I really wish we’d been able to go but nevermind, such is life. We spent a bit of time training directional commands instead. I did get a text from Sally though to say she’d been to a local unaffiliated show with Digger and he’d won both the Beginners Jumping and Agility…well done Sally and ‘Digs’! :)

Sunday we went down to the Wirral to meet up with the Dolphins where Tom and Kate were having a ‘mass’ blood drawing session for titre testing all the dogs that had been rabies vaccinated over the last month or so in preparation for getting them all passported for the Europeans in May. I think there were around 80 dogs to be done in total…quite an undertaking in the middle of a field! All went well and they worked so hard to get them all done, they must have been exhausted at the end of it though!

We also took the time to do some training with the ‘Demonz’ and the new dogs we’re bringing on…Sea, Squirrel, Kitten and Haze and Storm had his first runs back following his cruciate repair at the beginning of the year. We didn’t leave the training ground ‘til gone 4 o’clock when we all went to the local pub with Steve, Bridget and the kids for a ‘late lunch’ lol…the food and company was excellent and we didn’t get home ‘til after 8.30pm.

Some short videos from training…

Squirrel…looking very promising doing full runs on a training shoot.
Storm doing his first run back from his cruciate rupture injury…he’s never run on this style of box before so has a little fumble but is looking very promising for a full comeback in the New Year.
Sea doing a runback…his training has started really well.

Not much else to report really except that it is Spud's birthday today...Happy Birthday Spudley-Doo!! :)


Thursday, 9 October 2008

An odd sort of training session...

Didn't do much training last night but did sit around nattering a lot! lol We just did some chute work with Pip, Haze, Squirrel and Sea...they were all really good! Now we have them making the sort of turn we want it's all just about repetition to 'program' that movement into their brains! Sea really is picking it all up very quickly and I think he could be pretty quick, he's got bags and bags of drive but he's easy to handle, he's just so willing!! Bless him! (if he carries on like this I won't be wanting him to go home!! lol). I'll try and get some pics/video of him training soon. We're off down to the Wirral this weekend for a big training day and mass blood sampling session, all the dogs that are being passported for the Europeans next year! Sea should be up and running long before then so that will give us an extra dog to take to Belgium too!

It was also Faith's 2nd birthday yesterday (where does the time go??)...I'm so proud of her...she's come on so well in her agility training with minimal input, had a cracking first season in flyball competition and qualified for Crufts in breed again. I just love her to bits and the prospect of Sea-Faith puppies is positively mouth watering...I can't wait!! She didn't have any cake but she did get some pepperoni pizza (in fact, it was much posher than that....'chorizo and sun dried tomato' no less! lol) although I must admit, we did eat most of it during training (along with dough balls and a rather nice Chardonnay!) ;)

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

A sad end to the weekend

What had been a really nice weekend turned out to have a very sad ending when I got a call from my grandparents to say they thought Spangle had died which came as a complete shock, she was only age for a collie really.

She went to live with them last summer, they had lost their last two cavaliers and were missing having a dog around but didn't want a youngster so Spangle made the 4 mile move from our village to theirs to live with them in Wrea Green. Spangle quickly became my gran's constant shadow and her beautiful looks and sweet nature earned her admirers everywhere they went and she had a little fan club on their regular walks around Wrea Green and Lytham.

They had come home from church on Sunday evening to find her peacefully laid 'asleep' in her bed, the vet thinks she must have had a heart attack in her sleep so would have known nothing about it which is an absolute blessing for her but such a shock for them and they were both totally inconsolable, just all so upsetting. My gran says that it hurts so bad because she just loved her too much and I think that's a feeling we have all felt at some time in our lives, my heart is breaking for them more than Spangle...she had a wonderful life, they had only just returned from 3 weeks away in the caravan up in the Lakes District where she'd been out walking and playing in the woods and rivers every day and her last afternoon had been spent enjoying the sunshine with a nice walk through Wytch Wood in Lytham, a place she really loved to run and explore. We will all miss her dearly, she was such a gentle and sweet dog and an absolute pleasure to have around and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to own such a fantastic dog as her. She will live on through her children and grandchildren; she touched many lives and leaves behind a great legacy. Run free my sweet girl.

Some of my favourite Spang pics from the last couple of years...

Sunday...a day of rest??

Sorry, am catching up slowly! Well, it's fair to say Sunday was quite a busy one, got up fairly early and took the dogs for a walk up the bridlepath at Joy's then off down to Gatwick with Noah for his flight out to his new home in Bermuda. Since October last year BA will now only fly these dogs as Cargo instead of excess baggage which means they need dropping off at the Cargo depot 3 hours before departure. The BA staff at Gatwick are so nice and helpful, it makes it much easier to leave them. Noah had quite a crowd waiting his arrival at the cargo depot and instead of going into one of the kennels to wait for his flight they took him in the office instead so that he would have company. He was quite happy and relaxed and took it all in his stride bless him, he's such a lovely boy, we're really going to miss him here.

I got an e-mail from Cathy late Sunday evening to say he'd arrived safe and well so hopefully he'll be settled into his new home in a day or two.

Here he is looking a little worried when he first came out of his crate and on his lead having a little look around his new environment...

Sunday afternoon we decided to do some agility training. Faith is slowly starting to get the idea of full height jumps now. It's a case of spacing them so that she can easily jump them all to avoid her going under and then we'll gradually move them in (thanks Joy!), now we just have the weaves to master too! Trying to train Wren and Faith together is not the easiest of tasks. Although they do wind each other up and there is a definite element of competition between them they don't always take their training very seriously and regularly just bomb off round the field together!

We were testing out Joy's new little camera so here's some piccies of them training over the weekend...

and here they are just sitting pretty (they are a pretty pair aren't they??)

We also started doing some work with Teal and Kitten, Kitten was ok but she hasn't got the focus yet so I'm going to concentrate on her flyball training for now and we'll come back to agility when she's up and running in flyball. Teal, having already run a whole season in flyball, was a piece of cake! lol It's so much easier starting with a dog that is used to 'working' and is already driven and Teal is both of those things. Within half an hour she was happily running over a line of full height (which is small for her, i.e. 12") jumps, running over a low dog walk and through a long pipe tunnel so I'll take her training with Faith next time we go and start doing more bits with her and see how we get on. I'm quite excited about starting with her and it will give me another dog to train while Faith is having her litter this winter.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Fi's first agility show

Saturday morning we headed over to Huddersfield for the Springers Winter Warm Up, unaffiliated Agility competition. I thought this would be perfect for Faith's first competition, a nice small relaxed show with nice easy baby courses for building her confidence. The class I entered her in was running at medium height (18") and there were no weaves or tyre (and as it happened no seesaw either which was a shame because she likes those! lol). Although no clears it was good experience for us both, I made some really stupid handling errors and she had momentary laspes in concentration but on the whole I was pleased with our effort. We got e'd in agility because she missed a jump and took the next before I could stop her; totally my fault because I said her name and she looked at me instead of looking for the next obstacle. The jumping was gutting because she had a pole down ( 18" pole!) just 3 from home and her time would have easily seen her placed. Gemma ran her in the Helter Skelter which is probably better left unmentioned, she wasn't exactly focused in that one! Ah well, maybe next time. On a plus note, we did actually come home with a rosette because they were doing a fun bale scurry and Teal came 3rd!! lol

Fi's Agility run...

Fi's Jumping run...

(yes, I know I have my arm held out the whole time like a total moron!! Thank god Gemma videoed it so I could see it...I think I must have just been worried Fi was going to miss something but why has no-one told me I do this before?!! lol
The photographer is John Clarke from Sunnyside Photogrpahy who is a friend and fellow flyballer which is why Faith is so keen to say 'Hello' at the end of her run!! lol)

Gemma had a couple of nice runs with Bailey (when she remembered the course!) with just a couple of unlucky poles down.

Here's his second agility run (sorry, I missed filming the first jump!)...

It was a really nice little show, very relaxed and friendly and very well organised. The food laid on was superb and it was a lovely venue with a good exercise area. At the end I took the opportunity to take Sea in and spend some time moving him up and down and round the indoor arena, it's almost identical to the one we'll be in at North West in a fortnight. He moved beautifully, I'm going to really enjoy handling this lad in the ring if he moves like that, he totally suits my long legs and stride! :) Guess we'll have to wait and see.

We left about 5.30 and headed to the M1 and straight down to Joy and Becca's where we were staying the night so that we didn't have too far to travel to Gatwick with Noah in the morning. It was a horrible journey through lots of traffic in the dark and rain and I was really suffering having to wear my glasses on my poor injured nose(!) but we made good time and arrived just in time for 'spag bol' and X factor! lol By bedtime I was in a lot of pain with my nose again so had to take a few painkillers before finally heading off to sleep...totally exhausted!

A round up of the week...

A rather belated round up of last week, was busy at work and the weather was total pants so not much happening in terms of dog training, the poor beasts had to be content with a 30 min run on the football field in the evenings all week but they don't seem to mind, it's just all that mud they bring home!!

Weds we had our usual team get together round here, I started training Sea and what can I say?? He's a total natural! He was running the chute and triggering the flyball box in 10 mins but he is VERY enthusiastic (as the bites on my arms will testify!!) I don't know how such a calm and placid dog can turn into such a manic beast simply on production of a tennis ball!! (actually, yes I do...Ethan is just the same!!) lol. I have high hopes for Sea, looks like he'll pick it all up very quickly and be fast too so we'll just have to wait and see.

Thurs was a very busy day as I was working all day and had to get Noah's Health Certifcate sorted for his flight out to Bermuda on Sunday, a 'slight' cock up on our first visit to the vets (wrong flea treatment to satisfy the Bermuda import regulations) we ended up making a second trip early evening but little Noah was SO impeccably behaved both times, calm and confident, relaxed and happy...a real little superstar :), fortunately they accepted the amended Export Health Cert and his import permit was waiting on the fax machine for me on Friday morning...phew!

Friday evening I packed all his stuff and got his travel crate sorted and packed up the van for our agility show the following day and our trip down to Joy & Becca's followed by Gatwick airport on Sunday. Went to bed late and just as I was getting in to bed I decided to check the plug socket to see if I had any camera batteries on charge. The plug socket is at the side of my bed behind Mac's enormous duvet so I leant over him but he was just nodding off so it must have startled him and he jumped up and smacked me right in the bridge of my wrecked!! Couldn't get to sleep after that my nose was throbbing so much so I was exhausted when the alarm went off at 6.30...not to mention still in pain...what a dappy dog!!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Thought for the week...

The devil makes work for idle I guess it must be a blessing to be this busy all the time!!