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' :)