Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The whole of December in one go...

Gosh, a month without a blog update, I think that must be a record! I have just been so busy at work and at home with the puppies and Christmas and everything else that I’ve hardly even found time to sit down, I’ve done no Christmas cards…electronic or otherwise and I don’t have our 2010 calendar done yet either (it’s a poor show I know) so really no time for blogging or catching up on friends’ blogs either…ho hum!

We’ve seen two birthdays with Squirrel turning two at the start of the month and Ethan turning four a couple of days later; with that and Christmas on top the toy box is over flowing although, as always seems to be the case, several toys have already been demolished and consigned to the bin

(this is just one of our THREE toy baskets!)

So, what else has been happening? Well quite a lot when I look back actually!

The weather has been so bad (wet, wet, wet!) we’ve really done no training at all for a couple of months, the same with agility. Gemma had been up at the end of November and taken the training chute to do some work with Fynn and when she came back up at the beginning of December the work she’d been doing was evident. He is now much more focused on his ball and is doing some nice jumps on and off the chute, we decided to try him on the box to see what he would do and he took to it fine, the motion is initially quite slow as he’s having to think about what he’s doing but he’s not bothered by the movement and noise of the box and is looking promising. We also did a little bit of work with Jovi, she is keen as mustard but is definitely more hesitant than Fynn, I think her technique will improve as she grows in confidence.

Fynn’s first go on the box…

A week or so later and Gemma was back up, this time with Alicia and Lola so we set up a couple of jumps and the box in the garden and did some work with all 3, I was really pleased with them all. Lola has already been doing runbacks and has a lovely hurdling action; her main issue at the moment is focus (she is SO like her mother!). Fynn still needs to think about his co-ordination a little more but I was pleased with the way he was running up and down the hurdles and doing the box nicely too. JoJo is very keen still and was eagerly running up and down and taking the ball from the box but her box technique is still not great. I think time and practice will be the key to this because she’s keen on a ball and she also wants to get back to me asap so she has the key things that make up a good fast turn once we sort her technique out.

We’ve done no agility training (apart from the odd bit in the garden) for months and months. I did make a set of weave guides to finally press on and finish teaching both my girls to weave. I’ve been training them on channels but really struggled with the transition to normal competition uprights. I could kick myself for not having made these guides sooner! They have absolutely done the trick!

Faith first time with the guides...

Teal first time with the guides..

5th December saw our second agility show with Faith and Teal; I was very undecided about whether or not to run them both as I really hadn’t finished proofing the weaves for competition but I ran them through in the garden a couple of times and decided to go for it; it is only 5 mins down the road after all. When I arrived I had missed Teals’ first class (graded 1-2 agility) and when I looked at the 1-2 jumping I decided against running either girl on the course, it just wasn’t the nice flowing confidence building sort of course I was looking for. I had also missed walking the small combined 1-7 agility, I watched a few dogs round the course and decided it was something Teal and I could tackle, even if we weren’t going to stand a chance against the higher graded dogs it would be good experience. It was a nice flowing course with a couple of little ‘handly’ bits here and there but it was going to be a bit of a blast and I hoped Teal wouldn’t be too crazy and start missing contacts. She did a nice calm startline wait and then we were off…jump-dogwalk to start (again!) and she nailed the running contact (big smile) then off over a series of jumps which she ran fast and accurately then a straight tunnel and out over a jump into an empty space, there was another jump in line that she had to come back over while I had decided to also put a reverse turn in to get on the other side of her…it was only when I actually got there that I realized how big the gap between the jumps was leaving a serious risk of her coming through the gap and getting 5R and I dithered…the lack of any command at all saw Teal land the jump and then run straight to the scribe who was sitting on a chair directly in front of her! I moved across and put the turn in as I called her back and she thankfully ran back and over the jump and we continued the course, over the A frame another star of jumps and then straight down a line of tyre, seesaw and jump home…our first clear round!! I was so pleased with my little girl!! It was only looking at the results later that I realized how close we had been to a place and how dearly that hesitation had cost, there were 100 grade 1-7 small dogs in the class and places to 10th, despite it being a combined class Teal was only 0.5sec off being placed and ran a faster time than quite a number of grade 6/7 dogs that had run clear. I am certain that she would have placed top 5 without that ‘blip’ mid round…that’ll teach me to get there in time to walk the courses in future! Live and learn I guess!

I did walk the graded large 1&2 agility which was a really lovely course that I really wanted to have a go at with Faith, it was right up her street and I thought we stood a good chance of a decent clear. I decided to adopt a different technique in keeping her calm so Veronica queued for me and I brought her in right at the last minute and wouldn’t let her watch. This technique proved to be entirely the wrong one. I set her up on the start line just as a springer spaniel started running in the next ring and she just couldn’t take her eyes off it! As I released her it ran up the dogwalk that was alongside our ring and Fi crashed through the first jump (since she only had half an eye on it!), ran through the tunnel, over jump 3 and then kept going in the direction of the next ring!! I yelled her back and set her up to continue but her neck was craned back looking toward the other ring, there was no way she was going to concentrate so I picked her up and carried her out...arghhhhh…sooooo frustrating! I think maybe we need to leave indoor competitions well alone for now, get some more training in and come back to agility again when it’s outdoors with bigger rings and less noise. I also think it may well be better to let her watch as much as she likes before running her, let her get it out of her system; we’ll see I guess!

We managed to get a small amount of training in just before Christmas when we went down to Oxford to stay with Joy and Becca for the weekend while going to watch Becca and Teal (Bryning Time to Shine) competing at Olympia. It was a fab weekend, Olympia was great…a day out with friends…agility, showjumping and shopping…what more could you ask for?! Poor Becca had been in bed all week with tonsilitis so was not on her best form and struggled on the huge courses but the girls did really well, the clear round in the morning saw them place 16th and into the pairs final in the afternoon where they came 3rd, fastest time but 15 faults between them…a real shame.

There is full footage of both the semis and the pairs (and in fact the whole competition) on the Horse and Country channel website...brilliant!

Becca and Teal appear around 5 minutes into episode 3

Semis Episode One

Semis Episode Two

Semis Epiosde Three

Semis and Final Episode Four

(video of the pairs filmed by me still to come!!)

Like most of the rest of the country we’ve had quite a lot of snow and ice over the past week or so which has actually been really nice. A little hairy driving too and from work, the shops etc but bliss when taking the dogs out…the ground is hard underfoot and everyone stays clean!

This was our lane and house on Christmas Eve (a white Christmas!)

and the dogs racing around in the snow in the garden...

Well, the puppies have all grown up and many have left us already. Aston (Bryning Volante) is the black/white dog pup from Tally and Lexie’s litter and he is the one staying. I had wanted a black/white dog pup from this litter and since he was the only one I didn’t have a choice but I am more than happy with him, he’s beautifully constructed, well marked, very toy orientated and has a really nice happy outgoing character…perfick!

There is still an ongoing dilemma as to which of Dazzle’s girls will stay but I am pretty certain it is the little merle bitch, she looks like a little wind up toy but is an absolute menace! Not decided on a name yet, something cute and girlie..we’ll see .

Here’s three of the girls (one has left for her new home already) playing tuggy in the lounge…

and here's them again playing in the dining room..

and here's the boys...

I am very pleased with these as Viggos’ first litter and he’s had two more born over the past few weeks so it will be very interesting to see how they turn out too.

Christmas day saw the arrival of a very special delivery…our first parson puppies!! Squirrel is proving to be a really natural and devoted mother, the puppies are all doing well apart from the little bitch that was the smallest at birth, she really is tiny and seems to be struggling to feed so I’ve started supplementing her, will keep everything crossed that she starts to gain weight and strength and starts to thrive but it is a bit of a worry.

I think that sees us just about up to date!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Tally & Lexie pups - 3 weeks old

And here’s Lexies’ pups (plus one), same age and same stage…greedily falling onto their first meal and gobbling it all up (with Lexie patiently waiting to see what they might have left…not much! lol)

It never ceases to amaze me how much they change in such a short space of time, in just 3 weeks they’ve gone from little deaf/blind blobs to active little creatures that can wobble around and eat proper food and in another 3 weeks they’ll be running around and causing mayhem like Dotties pups now! lol

Viggo & Dazzle pups - 3 weeks old

Here’s Dazzles’ pups (less one) enjoying their first solid meal…soaked and mushed up Eukanuba puppy (lamb & rice)…Mmmmmm…yummy!! Three weeks old so starting to cut their first teeth and ready to start weaning, they needed little encouragement to eat although they are all quite fat and well fed; Daz is doing a good job as usual :)

Seamus & Dottie pups - 6 weeks old

A short vid of Dottie's pups, 6 weeks old today and getting ready to fly the nest :)

There are still a couple of puppies available to the right homes including the very feisty black/white girlie causing all the trouble and that cute squiffy faced blue boy :)

My favourite, and extremely naughty little girl...

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Nature or Nurture?

Having two litters born so close together, it’s always interesting to see how they grow and develop differently but what I hadn’t thought about when I gave Lexie one of Dazzle’s pups to rear, was the way this could demonstrate the influence of the bitch on these things, even during these early stages. Both litters have just turned 2 weeks so eyes are opening and they have been photographed, wormed and nail trimmed; the difference between the two litters is already very noticeable. (New pics on the website - Dazzles’ pups and Lexies’ pups)

Dazzles pups are great big chunky things, their eyes are mostly open but not quite fully yet but they are incredibly noisy and very very active! I found them almost impossible to photograph because they were just zooming off here, there and everywhere and couldn’t keep still! They are also very inquisitive already, when taking each pup out the rest were crowding at the front of the pen wanting to see what was going on despite probably being able to see very little just yet. Dazzle is a very fidgety bitch, she’s up and down and digs all the vet bed up and moves around the pen a lot, she’s always very restless even when with her pups; she’s also very nosey and likes to keep popping out to see what else is going on and I think this has made her pups the same already. It has to be said that none of them batted an eyelid at the wormer and nail trimming.

Lexie’s pups are not quite as well grown as Dazzle’s but their eyes are fully open, including the Dazzle pup she is fostering. I wonder if her constant attention and cleaning is a factor in aiding this? These pups, including the Dazzle baby, are quiet and contented, nowhere near as active as the pups Dazzle is rearing, they’re only just starting to push up on their feet and don’t have the strength and motor function of Dazzle’s just yet but then they haven’t needed to. Lexie is a very quiet and attentive mum (not the fidget bum she is normally!) and she lays with her pups constantly and keeps pulling them in close so they don’t need to keep moving around to find her like Dazzles do. Lexie’s were not so happy about the wormer and nail trim, it was a bit of a shock to their quiet and sheltered lives so far and as soon as they went back in the crate Lex was in there cleaning the traces of wormer off their faces quick as you like!

must remove all trace of the pink liquid!!

everyone ok?
spot the odd one out!

the adopted baby has made herself at home :)

All that said they are also in very different environments; Lexie is up in my room so the pups have not encountered any other dogs yet. Daz’s are in the dining room where other dogs will wander in and out and there’s a lot more noise and household bustle down there so maybe that is a factor too? I am going to bring Lexies’ downstairs this week so they can start experiencing more, Lexie never likes this move, she’s always very protective and likes to keep all the other dogs away so I tend to leave her separated a little longer than the other girls.

Another week of growth and development to watch with interest!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Wilmslow Agility

On Saturday we went to Wilmslow Agility show at Myerscough college which is just down the road from here and I had decided that, despite having done no training over the summer, I would just enter Faith and Teal and see how we got on. Neither of them are weaving yet and the last show I went to at Myerscough there weren’t any weaves in the G1-2 classes (they’re hard to peg down on the surface there) so I was hoping for the same…alas no…weaves in every ring! So I decided I would run them both anyway and use it as a training exercise and a way of seeing how each of them would react to a competition environment. We didn’t complete a single course and it was all very messy, Teal was at least focused and driven but Faith was off her head and had absolutely no concentration at all. That said, I found a couple of positives to take away for them both.

The most Faith managed was in the Combined 1-2 agility which started jump – dogwalk; I knew before we even started that she would go under the first jump, this is something she tends to do at the moment when there is an exciting piece of contact equipment on the other side, she gets her head down, focuses on the up plank and complete fails to notice the pole above her head! Some shows will double pole these sorts of jumps in G1 but sadly not here so she went under as I expected, we just carried on, I can’t blame her, she’s not had nearly enough training. She then completed the next jump and a ‘star’ of three…onto the A-frame and then down over a jump out to a curved tunnel…they had to jump back and then complete the two jumps again but this time not do the tunnel….this proved too much thinking for Faith so she ran up the A-frame again…we left the ring. In the next class which also started jump – dogwalk (argh!) I set her off and she ran straight up the A frame which was set up to the right of the dogwalk…I’m seeing a theme developing here! Grasping any positive I can from her performance…her contacts were lovely, some of the best in the class…fast and accurate with just a single command to ‘go walk’ onto the dogwalk/A-frame and she ran straight down into her 2on-2off and waited for the release; I think this is probably the one benefit from having not trained, she’s not had chance to ‘un-learn’ this! It’s just everything else we need to work on!

I was most pleased with Teal, I was a little concerned about how she might react to the noise and bustle of an agility show, this was quite a big one for her first ‘go’ at agility competition but she wasn’t fazed at all and in fact she was a little OTT hyper in her first class; she managed to bounce of someone’s chest in the queue!! I was so embarrassed…she does it to me all the time when she’s excited but I didn’t expect her to do it to the woman stood next to me! Her excitement showed, she broke her wait so that I had to replace her and then when I released her she set off like a bullet, did most of the course (except the weaves of course) but missed every single contact including a very dramatic flying seesaw to finish…eek! Back to the drawing board. We had an hour or so to wait for the next agility class and thankfully she had calmed down a bit by then, she missed a couple of jumps which I realised was my fault for running on too far ahead (wait for me mum!!!) BUT she nailed all 3 contacts…nice fast running ones too…result! The small 1-2 jumping was the last class of the day and by this point all the other rings had finished and they were packing up; I don’t know if it was this or whether it was me but she just didn’t feel like she was that up for it in this class, in hindsight I should have had her out for a good while before she ran and played with her and warmed her up. I think she’d got cold sitting in the van (probably should have put her coat on) and she gets a bit ‘mard’ when she gets cold; she was really clingy and missed a few jumps trying to stay with me. All in all I was pleased with her, especially considering how little training she’s had; not just recently but ever….she’s probably had less than 10 training sessions since she started her agility at the beginning of this year!

They’re both entered at Wyre in 2 weeks time but I probably won’t run either of them until we’ve got some training in. Although both are due in season fairly soon and Teal will hopefully be mated so she might not get much training in before then.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A 'quiet' weekend at home...

Well, we had a pretty quiet weekend, the weather continues to be awful…constant rain!! Saturday we had lots of people come to visit Dotties’ pups so 4 of them have now been chosen, they will start leaving for their new homes in 3 weeks time so I need to pull my finger out and decide on registered names! They are a really lovely litter, I started weaning them last week and they are eating like gannets!! Dottie is being a great mum again, very relaxed and easy going around them but attentive at the same time; they’re all lovely clean and well fed babies. New pics of them due today now they are 4 weeks old, ready for their next dose of wormer and well ready for another nail trim!

Sunday wasn’t ‘too’ bad a day weather-wise, it stayed mostly dry so I took the opportunity to take some updated pics of the youngsters in the garden. The lighting still wasn’t great so they’re mixed quality… some better than others it has to be said!

Jovi aka ‘JoJo’ – Bryning Amistoso Love Always

Tarka – Bryning Riverine

The ‘boys’…
Wesley– Glendream Stargazer at Bryning and Travis – Raezhaven Bryce at Bryning

Maisie– Randoms Maisie

I also did a little bit of agility training with Teal and Faith before it got dark and started pee’ing down again! I don’t have a lot of equipment at home so it was very basic stuff but since neither girl has trained for months it’s just as well! We did a very simple loop…jump – channel weaves – jump – seesaw. I was actually very pleased with them both since they were both really ‘up for it’ and had remembered their contact position/run off well. I kinda have this theory that less training is better for this sort of thing, once they have an understanding of what you want, leave it alone so you don’t risk inadvertently ‘de-training’ it when your focus moves elsewhere! lol

Biggest problem with Teal was her popping out of the weaves if I’m running too close…everything is a race with her so I have to hang back and let her finish them or she thinks I’m getting away from her and comes out to catch me up! Faith’s biggest issue was ducking under the jump before the weaves, Faith LOVES the channel weaves so was getting her head down in anticipation of the entry and completely failing to see the jump! I dropped the pole on one side and asked her to just complete the jump a few times before then asking her to find the weaves afterwards, this seemed to cure it! Not much use in the ring though! lol

Both girls are entered for their first show this weekend, just down the road at Myerscough College…I may well chicken out and not run them though, it is rather mean to expect them to compete when they’ve had no training all summer, we’ll see what the courses bring and then decide I think (cluck, cluck lol)

Dazzles’ pups were also a week old on Sunday, new pics on the website, and I have to say they are really fat puppies…bordering on obese! Lol

Six big fat chunky slugs and then the little pale merle girl who looks like a midget but is actually just a normal sized puppy! She was the smallest at birth and while she is doing fine I am a little concerned that she may be struggling to compete against her monster littermates so I’ve made the decision to take her away from Dazzle and let Lexie rear her instead. This isn’t something I’ve ever done before but then I’ve never had a bitch with such a small litter before, the little girl is much closer in size to Lexies’ blue boys (not the monster black fella!), although only a day between them in birth dates Lexies’ were of course 5 days early. I wasn’t sure whether this was going to work but Daz doesn’t seem too concerned about being a pup short and Lexie has accepted the new pup so all good so far. I moved her while the mum’s were out toileting so Lex came back to her bed to find the new addition and she did give her a good sniff all over and obviously knew this was not one of hers but she is a very maternal bitch and just let her feed and cleaned her along with the boys and happily settled down with her increased brood of four; her pups were a week old yesterday so new pics to come later.

Last night Jovi and I travelled down to Tom and Kate’s near Wrexham, meeting Gemma and Fynn on the way to get blood samples taken for rabies titre testing. Fingers crossed both will pass and be joining us at the Euros next year…wherever that may be!! As yet we are all still waiting to find out whether the Austrians and/or Germans are going to host the 2010 event.

Think that’s it for now :)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Blue Monday...

We’ve had a busy couple of weeks really with one thing and another but our winter puppy season is now well underway!

Squirrel has been mated so we should hopefully be expecting our first litter of parsons around Christmas time! Here's a pic of daddy 'Chello'…

CH Giftrapped of Lovealoch to Pacolito
Dazzle whelped Sunday night, bang on the date I expected. We got a nice litter of 7, 4 girls and 3 boys (the reverse of Dottie) and all dilute of course…2 blue girls, 2 slate merle girls and 3 blue boys. I’ll get some individual pics on the website later but I am very pleased with them. The merle girls don’t have a lot of white on them, much like Dazzle and granny Spangle, one is very pale and powdery like big brother Spark and the other quite patchy, very like Spangle actually. The two blue girls are very classic, full white collars, white faces and white front legs, there’s one classic blue boy with a half white collar (like daddy Viggo!), one dark faced blue boy with a tiny narrow blaze that may well disappear and one very dark blue boy…blue face with a tiny white snip and two blue front legs with white feet. I think he’ll be very striking!
Not wanting to be left out Lexie decided to whelp last night too! she wasn’t due ‘til the weekend so was quite early and only produced 3 pups which is unusual for an early delivery but it really is as well she didn’t wait because the black boy is a monster and she struggled getting him out…I think a c-section may have been necessary if he had been left much longer! He’s going to be very much the ‘odd one out’ amongst all these blue babies though! lol

The two blue boys are marked very like daddy (Tally), white faces and dark bodies, 4 blue legs with just white on the feet. The black boy is more classically marked like Lexie, it’ll be interesting to see how they all grow.

'Tally' - Sh CH Littlethorn Continental

That’s the last of our expected litters arrived so now the anticipation ends and the hard work starts! Dottie’s pups are 3 weeks old today so I’ll update their page with new pics later too; they are lovely little things, bright and active and noisy and nosey…just like mum! Lol

I am, as always, fascinated to see how these 3 litters turn out, although Daz and Dot are half sisters the 3 litters are all very different bloodline combinations and it’s always interesting to see the differences in growth and development between different litters. I also have the enviable task of deciding who stays and who goes…some tough decisions me thinks!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Surf's Up! :)

Here are a few pics from Erin and Surf (Bryning Time to Fly) taken at the YKC weekend at Newark showground where they also managed to qualify for Crufts in the YKC Heelwork to Music! :)

Well done girls!! :)

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

New Arrivals

Tuesday morning I woke up and could hardly move, the trip to Batleys on my way home from work for our fortnightly dog food shop had taken it’s toll and my back was agony again (shifting 9 sacks of dog food probably not the best thing for a bad back!). I struggled to get showered and dressed and get the dogs sorted by which time it was 10am, I rang work and told them I wasn’t going to make it in and went and laid back out with a bolster cushion under my back until the pain killers started to take effect then went and let the dogs out for a run for 20 mins (all the standing around in the wild wind I could manage) and shut them back in the yard with roast bones to keep them busy. When I went back in the house I found Dottie in the whelping pen digging furiously….hmmm…puppies on the way it would seem! At least she’d already had her ‘pre-whelp groom and trim’ so was nice and neat and ready to go! Normally I hate the hanging around waiting for a bitch to whelp but on this occasion laying on my bed all afternoon/evening was a godsend! lol

The first pup arrived just before 11pm, she was pushing and pushing and obviously struggling so I took a look to find 2 enormous fat feet protruding, they looked quite dark and I feared the pup may be dead (paranoid after her first litter!), he was coming backwards so I hooked his tail out and gently pulled down while Dottie continued to push…he was fairly firmly wedged but we managed to get back end, abdomen and chest out in one push and he started to wriggle (much to my relief!), another strong push and the rest of him came, a flashy black dog with a dot on his head just like mum! As he dried I realized he wasn’t quite black and looks to be a seal/white, darker than Wren when she was born but we’ll see how he develops.

The rest came quite easily, I had to just keep an eye on her as she’s quite enthusiastic over the chewing down of umbilical cords so a couple I had to tie off and trim down with sterile scissors to get her to leave them alone.

We finished up with 4 boys (2 seal, 2 blue) and 3 black girls. We will wait and see whether any of the girls develop tan points, there are no clearly defined points at the moment but paler areas under the tail, sometimes this can fade and other times it will develop…we’ll just have to wait and see.

There are individual pup pics on the website Current Litter page.

We have a couple of weeks to enjoy this brood before Dazzle’s arrive, she’s starting to show quite nicely now and Lexie is day 40 today so starts her panacur worming regime and a step up in her feeding, just 3 weeks before she is due so we’re going to be very busy in November!

(this was written a week ago it's just taken me that long to get around to posting...sorry!)

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

NWBCC...bit of a damp squib :(

We got home after 9pm on Saturday and were just so exhausted we crashed out and did nothing. I waited for Heather, Audrey and Sharon to arrive and we all went straight We got home after 9pm on Saturday and were just so exhausted we crashed out and did nothing. I waited for Heather, Audrey and Sharon to arrive (around midnight!) and we all went straight to bed in preparation for the busy day ahead at North West Border Collie Club Champ show. Those 3 left early to get to the venue when the show opened but we didn’t have any dogs bathed so Drew did them all in the morning with a quick blow dry and then left home just after 9.30, judging started at 10.00am with the bitches so Mouse was first in. My fears were confirmed and she found the stinky floor in the equestrian centre irresistible and would not get her nose up off it to move, I am despairing with that dog! When I came out of the ring someone said they had thought she was lame and a quick trot up and down did reveal a slight hop on her left hind. I asked Anna Fox, who was there showing but also happens to be a McTimoney Corley practioner, to have a look over her and after a thorough ‘once over’ she was declared to be perfectly ok but likely suffering some soft tissue injury, not suprising the way she throws herself about! Rest for her…that should be fun!

Next in was Fynn who moved really nicely but just would not stand! Too much ‘sit’ training me thinks, he placed 4th (again) but tbh, the less I say about the dog judging the better I think, suffice to say that I shan’t be entering under that judge again that’s for sure. I was pleased with the way everyone else went… especially Vi and Fi who haven’t been in the ring for a year and both went really nicely, neither were placed though 

No pics I’m afraid, I just wasn’t in the mood and it was so dark and damp I think we’d have struggled to get any decent ones anyway!

I really wished I hadn’t bothered tbh, especially since the standing around in a freezing equestrian centre for 5 hours really didn’t help my poor back! The only consolation was the 10 min drive home, I really felt for those that had travelled a long way to experience some pretty bad judging. I just got home and climbed into bed…to warm up and rest my poor throbbing spine. After a couple of hours I was feeling better and decided I needed to get moving so set up the whelping pen in my bedroom and gathered all the necessaries (towels, newspapers, extra vet bed etc) in preparation for Dottie’s pups arriving, she was due Wednesday to the first mating but had been mated twice 6 days apart so I was expecting the pups any time over the next week.

Rotherham Flyball - ending the season on a positive :)

Well, it was a cold and miserable weekend, not least because I was suffering with a terrible bad back. It’s not so much the pain that was getting me down but the fact I couldn’t easily do all the things I wanted to! Saturday was actually a beautiful crisp, sunny day but involved a 5.30am start to get all the dogs up and sorted before we left for Rotherham, I also had 3 cocker pups to take with us that were leaving for their new homes but we had the van packed and left for 7am (a little later than planned) and headed off for the scenic journey over Woodhead pass. We made good time which was lucky because they started racing 5 mins early and we were second race in Division One with the Speed Demonz, the only team we had entered. We were 6th seed out of 7 teams on a seed time of 17.90, top seed being the Live Wires on 16.96, nearly a second faster, we expected a drubbing! I had been a little undecided who to run in the absence of Dottie or Lexie (both in whelp) so we ended up with 6 dogs named…Dylan, Bailey, Teal, Faith, Ethan, Mac. The first 3 were our set line up and we’d try each of the other 3 and see how we got on. We started with Mac but I soon put him away, he just doesn’t run all that well over 8” and Ethan and Faith seemed to be running better. Of course, they both have the ‘turning the wrong way in the opposite lane’ syndrome but fortunately in different lanes so I just alternated them in and out with each other depending on what lane we were in. Dylan was back on top ‘pre-injury’ form running consistent low 4 seconds and everyone else seemed pretty fired up too. We did better than expected and beat both Dolphins and Cheshire Set but stupidly lost against Moltens (yep…you guessed it…lights!), this put us 5th so we exceeded expectation but we also ran a new seasons best…in the last leg of the last race of our last tournament for the year! 17.71 which consisted of a perfect rolling start, 4.12 from both Dylan and Bailey, 4.57 from Faith and 4.90 from Teal. Ethan was also running 4.5’s which is pretty damn good for him, maybe we’re finally starting to see his potential coming through. This gives us a nice base to start working on over winter, we know Fi can run 4.2’s over 8” so she definitely has more to give, I’m sure Dyl and Bai will shave a little more time off as they get used to running the lower height too and Teal…who knows…we can but try! I am toying with the idea of trying out a flat fronted box over winter to see if that brings any benefits. I’m conscious of not wanting to fix what ‘aint broke since most of our dogs have a decent box technique but I am told that a good box turn on a boomerang should hold up on a flat fronted box too, we’ll see.

The cocker babies all left with no problems…Tally (Bryning Totally Trouble) has gone to Ellen from Cambridgeshire Canines

and Charlie (Bryning Brock) has gone to Hannah from Ready2Fly

...so hopefully we’ll see both out on the flyball circuit next year. Bracken (Bryning Bracken) has gone up to Co. Durham. It’s very quiet at home now with just Ziva and Tarka and will be more so next weekend when Ziva leaves us to go to her new home in Northern Ireland.

We also saw Jude (Bryning Crazy Talk) from Ethan and Dottie's litter and what a handsome boy he's turned into...

Thursday, 15 October 2009

the joy of puppies! :)

Well, not a lot happening in the last couple of weeks. We had a couple of birthdays…Faith and Dylan turned 3 (which meant it was also my brother and sister-in-laws wedding anniversary and I still managed to forget!) and Spud turned 9.

Spud is my little choc tri working sheepdog, he’s a very funny character and was like an old man from the day I brought him home at 6 weeks old so I guess he is gradually ageing into himself. He was diagnosed with an additional and malformed vertebra in his spine as a puppy and with arthritis in his elbows and then his wrists a few years later so he’s always been a bit ‘special’ and limited in what he could. He took what felt like an eternity to train but turned out to be not a bad little obedience dog and was a pretty good little flyball dog in his youth too; still running sub 5 secs up ‘til last season and having the occasional run out in starters this year but he’s slowed dramatically in the last 18 months so I took the decision to retire him completely. He had his last run out in starters at Rotherham back in July and hasn’t run since. He is however still playing a very active role at home as ‘Nanny Spud’…I wouldn’t like to guess the number of pups he has played Nanny to over the past 9 years, he is supremely patient with all our litters and the pups we’ve brought in, he’s playful and caring with them but a good gentle disciplinarian too. Everyone loves Spud and he is greeted every morning by an excited flurry of frantic licks by all the girls and youngsters which he patiently puts up with (bless him).

Last weekend also saw visits from Susan Owen and her husband who have Mouse’s litter brother Jeep, they were over visiting the UK from their home in Oklahoma, we spent a lovely hour or so with them being harassed by Mouse, Faith and granny Lexie for fusses and cuddles….what a soppy lot! Gemma also came up to collect Fynn …hurrah…peace and quiet at last!! lol He is of course quiet and lovely now he’s gone there! More time and attention is all he needed and now he has it which is great. We snapped a few pics of Faith, Lex, Ethan and (a very pregnant looking) Dottie too for a friend who has written an article featuring show bred dogs that are competing successfully in flyball and wanted a pic of the four of them to go with it. Why is it you can’t ever get a pic with everyone looking good at the same time?? These are the best three from the 44 we took in total!! (don’t you just love digital cameras?!)

Sunday Gem and I travelled down to Mansfield to bring the cocker puppies home, we spent a nice hour or so with Julie (Trevellis Border Collies) before loading the babies up and bringing them all back up here. James and Keeley (and of course Maizy) have done a great job, 5 happy, outgoing little monsters! They were 6 weeks old on Monday and I’d forgotten quite how mental 6 week old cocker puppies are! Here’s their first foray out into the garden at our house…
View this montage created at One True Media
Cocker pups at 6 weeks old

They start to leave this weekend so we only have a week of them all together. I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad about that?? lol Although I had decided not to keep one of these after getting Travis (their half brother), I weakened and we’re keeping Tarka, Bryning Riverine…she’s bonkers!! (reminds me so much of grandad Drake!!)

‘Brock’ is still to find his perfect home, he’s going to be a very unusual dog, it doesn’t look as though he’s going to roan up so he will likely remain open marked white and black with light flecking and tan points…this is pretty rare (well I’ve never seen one before!).

This weekend we’re at Rotherham on Saturday, competing in what will likely be our last tournament of the year and at NWBCC Champ show on Sunday which is really local to us (great!). I will also start preparing the whelping pen in my bedroom in preparation for Dottie who is due next week (to her first mating)…fingers crossed all goes well with that, she’s quite big and very unhappy and restless already (I’m not getting much sleep with her night time fidgeting!). I’m still not sure about Dazzle ; I think she probably is in whelp but she’s very good at hiding it (like her mother before her!); Lexie is definitely in whelp though and starting to show quite clearly, her more slender frame and considerably less coat make it impossible for her to hide!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Lune Valley and Becketts Farm

Saturday was another ‘day off’ but turned out to be another busy one. Why is it that my supposedly relaxed days always seem to find me rushing from one place to another? Anyway, we went down to Manchester first thing and took Faith to see my friend Katherine who is a McTimoney Chiropracter to have her checked over. It was a few weeks back we’d competed at Acremead and I noticed Faith was struggling to run under 5secs (she’s usually around 4.3-4.4) we’d also done some agility training and she’d refused to jump full height so there was obviously something wrong despite no obvious signs of lameness. I decided to get her checked over before running her at Becketts on Sunday and I’m really glad I did because it transpired she’d suffered a hamstring tear and had quite a build up of scar tissue on her right hind leg as a result (cue me feeling really bad), no flyball for Faith…lead walks and hamstring stretches prescribed. We’re not doing very well with these, she’s resisting the push forward and I don’t know if this is because it’s just very uncomfortable or just Fi being her usual stubborn self?! Lol I’m going to see about taking her for some hydrotherapy.

Anyway, we then headed back home, popping in to see Paul and Alison and Nico to see if they fancied coming along to Myerscough to watch some of the agility. I thought it might be a good way to break Nico into the noise and activity at a flyball show since Agility tends to be less noisy and manic so a good transition. Luckily he absolutely loved it and didn’t want to go home :) Hopefully he’ll enjoy watching Dylan run at Rotherham in a couple of weeks. Had a nice afternoon watching lots of runs and catching up with folk. I was slightly peeved I hadn’t entered my girls (although Fi couldn’t have run anyway) since there were no weaves and the small G1-4 agility looked like something Teal and I could have tackled. I have bitten the bullet and entered Wilmslow at the end of next month. Now we just need to get Fi back fit and get some training in! Sparks’ brother, the lovely Max (Bryning Bright Star) and Sharon were back running now she’s out of plaster, only 2 clear rounds but both saw them with trophies, a 2nd in G3 jumping (losing by 0.02s!) and a 3rd in G3 agility…clever boy! :)

We left Myerscough and headed over to Clitheroe to meet Steve and Bridget who were at a wedding reception, we went to collect Orlaith with the intention of mating her but unfortunately it was too late and we’ve missed her season, better luck next time (which won’t be that far off she has such a short cycle!). We did stop and have tea at the Calf’s Head at Worston, I don’t know about being in a recession, the place was absolutely heaving! We then went home, fed everyone and got changed and went round to Paul and Alisons for drinks and X-factor. Very sensibly though we didn’t stay out late since we had the early start for Becketts in the morning.

Up bright and early on Sunday to get everyone out and loaded up for Becketts, I decided to leave Travis and Wesley at home since Trav had a dicky tummy and I didn’t want him crated in the van for long periods. I do need to get some new piccies of the pair of them though. We arrived for the start of racing at 9am and were ring party first thing, this wasn’t too bad, the weather was kind, bright and sunny but it was rather nippy. Next we were in Division 6 with the only team we’d entered, Demon Pawz. I did feel a bit bad because we were already top seed by quite a margin (about 0.4s) but since entering the team Gemma had decided to come and wanted to run Bailey so I knew we were going to run quite a bit faster (Bailey is probably 0.75-1.00sec faster than Pip who he was replacing)…we ended up running 18.51 with Paul from Cheshire Set still telling us off for not tightening up! That’s the Pawz seed time well and truly blown! We ran Mac - Bailey - Teal - Ethan. Genna from Alpha Dogz kindly ran Eth and Amanda boxloaded for us and I have to say…Ethan ran really well and he even managed to consistently turn left all day, regardless of what lane he was in. I actually think this is because we were so much faster than the opposition so he was always well ahead of their last dog going in…there was nothing to look at in the other lane! I will have a think about how we might use this to train him out of his ‘nosey beak’ box tendencies! The last race of the day was rather sad as we ran Drake in place of Ethan. These 3 legs will likely be his last as a Demon Dog, he went to his new home straight from the tournament so it’s just a case of seeing how he settles but I don’t forsee any problems to be honest. We will miss the mad little buggar, he’s such a loveable character but I think he’ll be much happier in a home where he gets more one-to-one. What was quite interesting was that in that last race where both Teal and Drake were running, she dropped to running 5.2’s despite having been under 5.0secs for the rest of the day, I knew as soon as we went in the ring that her focus was not there, they really do not run well together! I must say she did look rather lonely curled up in the back of her crate without him on the way home bless her, she’ll soon have Travis coming everywhere with us to keep her company though.

Fynn and Lola both had their rabies vaccinations at the show, the first step in getting their passports so that they can travel to the Euros next year, fingers crossed they’ll both be up and running by then! I haven’t had any dogs done this year, anyone who’s likely to come with us is already passported thankfully!

I managed to take photos of other peoples’ dogs and videos of other teams but nothing of ours…sorry!

This is Bentley who runs with Molten, aka Littlethorn Bentley, he’s another son of Tally (Sh CH Littlethorn Contintental) and is a super little flyball dog. I’m hoping for something similar from our expected Tally-Lexie litter…fingers crossed!

So that was the weekend, next weekend we have visitors from the US (the people who own Jeep, from Rico and Faith’s litter) and I will be travelling down to Mansfield to bring the cocker puppies home, am just awaiting confirmation from the KC that their names have been accepted (2nd attempt, these new naming rules are proving a bit of a nightmare!); hopefully we will find the little boy the perfect new home in the next couple of weeks too. I think he’s just lovely :)

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Next Generation...

The latest crop of Bryning Agility dogs are up and coming. The Bond-Lori and Rhett-Quinn pups have turned 18 months old in the last month and are set to make their debuts in the agility rings, however Surf thought better of it and decided to come in season! Brother Chief made his debut at the weekend though, he got lots of ‘nearly’ runs with just 5f and a clear in Grade 3 jumping with a 5th place :)

Some pics of Chief…lovely jumping style…very like big sis Teal.

Pics by Action Replay Photography

Diesel is also going great guns

Pic by Giruff

You can read all about D's training and progress on the Giruff Blog

Not much to report...

Haven't done a posting for a couple of weeks but haven't really had much to report, we had a weekend off at the end of September so I spent it doing ‘normal’ things for a change…hairdressers, shopping and lunch out with my mum, family round for Sunday lunch and a bit of DIY and gardening…how very civilized! lol

I have finally secured the fence between us and the cows so no more jaunts for Spark et al out under the netting and into the field to roll in cow shit! The cows found my fencing very interesting and decided to assist by licking my hair and just generally being very annoying!! lol Squirrel has decided that now she can’t squeeze under the fence and run gaily around the cows (who just stand and stare at her rather bemused) that she will stand at the fence and bark at them instead…oooh…BAD parson!! This does of course also now mean that I can let dogs out into the main garden without having to be supervised which is much much better, they love having the space and freedom to really run around like wild things playing their chasing games and will soon wear each other out! Going for a run in the fields just doesn’t seem to cut it when they’re used to being away at the weekends and I do tend to find that we get a lot of loitering around the back of the van with hopeful glances every time I walk past. It’s funny because they get as much, if not more, exercise when at home but it seems they miss the mental stimulation/excitement of our weekend trips.

Dazzle had a bath and good groom on Sunday morning, she has more coat than any bitch I’ve ever known and it’s like a soft sponge that soaks up every bit of dirt and moisture! It’s a shame because it does actually limit how much I show her (i.e. very little), aside from keeping her in a box or her permanently wearing one of those all in one suits I don’t think there’s any way of keeping her coat in the sort of condition required for the showring. Thankfully Spark has inherited the harsher texture from Ethan and doesn’t require quite so much work!

Fynn also had a bath, he’s at that funny ‘in between’ age, 9 months old…not quite an adult yet but not really a puppy either. He’s an absolute pillock, very boisterous and bouncy…in fact he’s just a bigger, stronger version of Kitten! He’s shaping up quite nicely, just needs to mature and ‘tighten up’ a bit, he actually reminds me very much of Kitten’s brother and his namesake…Finn, Locheil Finnishing First who lives out in Hungary. Fynn will be going to live with Gemma and I’m hoping the one-to-one will do him some good. Hopefully he’ll be trained up for flyball and also attend a few shows in the future.

Dottie is starting to show signs of her pregnancy now and has gone onto 2 meals a day and started her daily panacur treatment, I just wish she would learn to slow down and take a bit more care of herself. Some bitches seem to instinctively do this when they’re in whelp, like a self preservation thing but not Dottie…she still tears around like a wild child, I think I’m going to have to separate her from the others and force her to stop; she whelped 5 days early with her last litter and 3 of the 9 pups she produced were stillborn, I can’t help wondering if this had something to do with her behaviour and am obviously keen not to have a repeat of this.

We were at Lune agility show (just spectating) and flyballing at Becketts Farm this weekend, I'll post an update on that later.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Darlington & Acremead...another long haul weekend

Last busy weekend of the year with a 520mile road trip to take in Darlington Champ Show, being held at Newby Hall in North Yorkshire on Saturday followed by flyball at Abingdon in Oxfordshire on Sunday (despite there being a flyball tournament on in Darlington too!! lol)

Dogs were bathed on Friday night in between watching ‘Strictly’ and catching up on my e-mails/facebook etc. This was the scene underneath my desk...

the two lone feet are Ethans' since he was right in front of my chair and under my legs then my old WSD Spud (aka Nanny Spud lol) with Travis draped over him and little Wes curled up on his feet. Wesley is our newest addition who arrived from Scotland earlier this week. He is from the same breeder as Squirrel, my friend Paul Fitzsimmons (Glendream), and they are actually cousins.

Eventually we got everything packed and prepared for the weekend but it ended up being a rather late one to bed (for a change!) followed by a fairly early start, although I didn’t have anyone in the ring ‘til Limit dog and judging wasn’t starting ‘til 9.30am I wanted to get there in good time so I could have Spark out around the rings and get him settled before his class, so we didn’t have a repeat of last weeks’ performance! We arrived just before 10am and got set up and sorted. It was another hot day so I got Spark prepped and then walked him round the rings and sat in the shade by the James Wellbeloved stand and watched the judging. He’s still dropping coat so a lot had come out after bathing and more again on grooming in the morning, I do think Spark is one of those dogs that often looks better for losing a bit of coat (like his dad) and was happy with how he ‘scrubbed up’. The judge was from Denmark and this was his first UK appointment so I wasn’t sure what he’d do, I do wonder how these foreign judges cope with the big entries here though, they’re around 5 times bigger than the biggest entries on the continent so that’s a lot more dogs to assess!
Limit dog was the largest class of the day with 18 entries and some nice dogs in there so I wasn’t sure how we were going to get on but Spark redeemed himself and I was really pleased with the way he went. No repeat of last weeks’ giddy shenanigans (good boy) and he didn’t even seem to mind being picked up by his tail while being gone over (!! See the video). I was really pleased when he was pulled out for the shortlist and more so when he placed 3rd, he’s really starting to mature and look the part now and I’m happy that he’s holding his own in these large strong classes, I think it’ll be another year before he’s really at his best though, we’ll see.

Mouse, well…what can I say…she is one very ‘foody’ little dog and had not forgotten about last weeks’ tasty delights from the boxer ring, the result being that she just wanted to move round the ring with her nose glued to the floor the whole time…arghhhhh!!! It’s very frustrating because when she did get her head up and move properly she actually moved really well. She got binned anyway.

Dottie was in Limit bitch again so wasn’t in ‘til late afternoon, this was a relatively big class but she went really well, received a lot of nice comments ringside but got binned, just not flashy enough for this judge I don’t think…hmph…just look at the way she moved in the vid though...love this dog :)

We left the show around 4.30pm and headed straight down to stay with Joy and Becca (again!), we had another lovely meal and evening with them (thanks guys) but were very sensibly all in bed for midmight! Joy and Becca left for Trent Park agility early doors and we left later to drive the 30 mins or so down to the flyball at Acremead kennels. We had a lovely day at the Mad Mutts show, it was so small and friendly and relaxed. There was only me and Drew running a team that consisted entirely of my own dogs, having 7 competing at the moment I had to draw straws and decide who to run and we ended up with Mac, Faith, Lexie and Teal and stuck to those four. My old friend Pete who used to run with us a few years back before emigrating to Spain was in the country and came over to see us and lend a hand which was great, it was lovely to see him and great to have an extra pair of hands. Sharon and Richard from the High Flyers also came over and helped us out too even though they didn’t have a team entered (aren’t flyballers just the best people?!) and we had Nat from Bristol on the line and keeping us in order. It was a fun day and we came 2nd in Div 3 with a fastest time of 19.54 which had actually broken us out…oops! I’d entered the Demon Racers on a submitted time of 20.05 to ensure we got to run on Sunday but knew it would be close (if you submit a time you cannot run more than 0.5sec faster or you break out and automatically lose that leg, break out 3 times and you become ineligible to compete). We managed to ‘hang lose’ and not break out again but lost a crucial race against the Bassetts on lights (doh!) so missed out on that first place…ah well…c’est la vie!

Squirrel ran in the Mutts Intermediate team and did really well, they ran best of 5 legs in a 7 team division (the most running she’s ever done) with wings instead of full netting and she was great, running with lots of dogs she’d never met before and running either start dog or in a later position with no problems…clever parson! There was a photographer on site who got some lovely pics of her, I’ll see if I can find them and post the link.

Made it home for around 10pm and promptly fell asleep exhausted…what an exhausting but fun weekend!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Wow…what a weekend!

I had planned to head down to stay with Joy and Becca in Oxfordshire on Friday evening to then travel on to Richmond the following morning. Drew was off work so bathed the 3 entered dogs (Spark, Dottie and Mouse) during the day and got stuff ready but I was just feeling that way out having had a pretty awful week with one thing and another and Friday morning I was dubious about going at all, in these hard financial times I was wondering about the sense in driving such a long way down to a dog show (why I hadn’t thought of this when I entered I don’t know?)…Richmond Champ show is about 360 miles from us down in Surrey! However a couple of friends called in the morning to see how I was (since I was being so miserable) and I was soon cheered up and motivated enough to decide that yes, we were going after all! Lol This really isn’t like me at all!

I got home from work and we packed the van and fed the dogs and left home about 8.30pm and managed to miss most of the Friday night traffic but my god…the roadworks…you wouldn’t believe!! We arrived down at Joys’ for 11pm and cracked open a bottle of wine and took the time to chill and natter…’til 3.30am!! ahem (always the same when we get together!). Fortunately we didn’t need to be at the show early doors since Spark was first in in Limit Dog which I knew would be late morning. It was a glorious day, warm and sunny, we sorted all the dogs before leaving around 9am and arrived at Loseley Hall around 10.30am just time to get all the stuff in and get Spark up on the table for his last minute brush/trim before his class. I wish I hadn’t bothered…he was such an idiot! I can only think having all these bitches in season at home is driving him nuts because he’s usually so easy to handle but he just would not settle! Every time we moved he wanted to gallop round the ring and when I checked him he went into serious sulk mode!! We got binned…I’m not surprised!

There was a quite a gap before Mouse was in Minor Puppy bitch with a 45 min lunch break after the dog challenge and veteran bitch class. This gave me time to get her out and let her have a good look at everything; although she’s been to lots of flyball comps etc there are very different sights/sounds at a large all breeds Champ Show such as this one so I wanted to make sure she wasn’t over faced by everything. At just 6 months old she’s not very big and she’s still a real baby so I wasn’t sure how she’d do but just wanted her to be happy in the ring. I was pleased with how she behaved, she’s such a quiet and placid little pup that she doesn’t find standing still all that difficult (vbg); I knelt alongside her and stacked her so as to avoid her looking even smaller alongside me! She moved well…how a 6 month old puppy at it’s first show would…some nice bits with some giddy bits thrown in…I was MOST displeased however with the bloody boxer exhibitors in the next ring who kept chucking bits of cooked steak, chicken and dried liver around which kept landing in our ring! Mouse wouldn’t take her nose off the floor in that corner of the ring and managed to grab a large piece on our last run round making it almost impossible for me to stack her afterwards (she’s very foody!!). I retrieved a large handful of different tit bits as I left the ring and I’d already seen the boxer judge do the same in an earlier class! Anyway…Mouse made the shortlist and was placed 4th (reserve)…only one place outside of qualifying but I wasn’t bothered. She’d gone well and received lots of nice comments from those watching outside the ring and I was happy with our place.

Mouse at 6 months old
Bryning Believe in Me

We had another good gap before Dottie was in Limit bitch which gave me plenty of time to get her trimmed up and get her coat flattened (she does tend to go rather wavy after a bath…a bit like me! lol); I’ve discovered that the best way to sort this is not to bother with any fancy products but simply spray the coat with water, give it a good rub through with a towel, brush it flat and put a toweling coat over the top for 20 mins or so. I was pleased with how she looked, we went and sat by the ring, I put her in the shade by a chair and was watched the Post Grad class, this finished with a lovely line up of bitches but I must admit, I was starting to wonder whether I’d entered the right bitch and whether Faith might have appealed to this judge more than Dottie. It appeared to me that she wasn’t bothered about flashy or glamorous or lots of bone/coat just good honest soundly constructed dogs that could move well. I know that Dottie would fall into this category I just worried that there may be a little too much of her since she is well boned and coated and probably not quite as feminine and ‘pretty’ as Fi. Anyway, there were 16 entered in Limit Bitch and only 1 absent so a nice entry and some really nice bitches. By this time the sun had really come out and it had got rather warm (my jacket had come off and my treats were all in my jean pockets). As usual Dottie presented herself well, in the line up and being gone over and she moved in her usual free flowing and effortless way; she also never even broke into a pant while a few of the others in the class were starting to flag, testament perhaps to her flyball career….a quick jaunt around a showring wasn’t going to bother her in the slightest! We made the cut and I had a really good feeling about how she’d gone and was really quite hopeful that she would place top 3 and get her stud book number (and lifetime Crufts qualification) which is what I was hoping for…she got a bit fidgety but I managed to settle her and I was pleased as punch when we got pulled out first! Yippee…stud book number and a place in the challenge! There were only 9 in Open bitch so I knew we didn’t have too long ‘til the challenge so I found her some shade and gave her a drink and kept brushing that coat down, we headed back to the ring and the shaded chair and waited for the Open bitch class, this was won by a super little champion bitch, I went into the challenge with a totally open mind, I had no idea what would happen…the Post Grad winner and veteran winner were both very nice bitches that were going to challenge hard for the prizes so I just concentrated on my dog and she didn’t let me down. As I had thought the CC went to the Open winner, Sh CH Altricia Fancy Free of Tudorhurst, a well deserved win since she moved like a dream but I was absolutely over the moon when the judge came straight back to us with the Reserve. My little girl has won her first reserve ticket!!

I can’t tell you how chuffed I am because I really rate this little dog and I’m so pleased that the judge also recognized and rewarded this. I know she’s not particularly flashy or glamorous, she’s not got those flashy markings or that ultra feminine head and semi erect ears that seem to be so fashionable these days but there’s so much more to a dog than its' head and markings! She DOES have a lovely lay of shoulder and reach of neck and beautiful rear angulation and a lovely straight driving action from behind that allows her to cover the ground so effortlessly but so much more than that, she’s a lovely dog…so open and honest and friendly, always keen and happy to oblige, full of fun and just a joy to live with. I await the judges’ critique with interest.

Dottie after winning the Res CC
Locheil Crazy Chic at Bryning

Full Richmond results HERE

I think we grinned the whole way back from Richmond to Joys’ house where we enjoyed a lovely meal and celebratory drink although I have to say, we weren’t so late to bed…everyone was knackered!

Sunday morning we had a bit of a lie in before sorting the dogs out and heading over to Up and Over dog training club at Heyford, Joy was teaching the Good Citizen Silver class which I joined with Mac who was a bit of an over excitable idiot bless him…he did do a lovely recall and some nice stays though. Becca was teaching the agility class so I joined this with Faith who was also a bit of an over excitable idiot! At least she remembered to stop on all her contacts, pity she couldn’t concentrate for longer than a nano second and when she did I was always in the wrong place! Lol

After the classes were over one of the instructors got her flyball equipment out for a few people to have a go on so we did a rather impromptu demonstration getting Mac, Faith, Dottie and Ethan out and running them together as a team, they had fun and so did we. We then did a bit of training with a couple of young dogs from the club who did really well and picked it up very quickly. It was nearly 4pm by the time we got back…we were all starving!

We messed about with the pups for a while…this is Beccas’ pup Chewey (aka Aviary Atlantis). Chewey is sired by Bond (Locheil Time Moves On) so is a half sister to Dottie, Dazzle, Teal etc and her mum is Wren (Bryning Goldfinch); she and Mouse are nearly the same age and very similarly bred but you never met two more different puppies!! Mouse is a very quiet, steady and sensible little dog and Chewey is…well…mental!! She is an awful lot of fun though!
Chewey approaching 6 months old
Aviary Atlantis

We finally left for home around 6pm and got back at 8.30pm…tired but happy, I was so glad we’d made the effort and gone, we had a really good weekend.

We're off over to Darlington Champ show this weekend and then down to Oxford again for flyball at the Mad Mutts show....not sure how we'll top this one though!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Ending on a High...

So…this weekend was our last outdoor comp of the season as a team and we headed over to Norfolk Heritage Park in Sheffield for the Steelers Flyball team debut tournament. We were running both teams on the Saturday since Gemma was working Sunday so it was another busy day for me being involved in all 4 divisions. Squirrel
and Radley ran in a combined starter team – Norfolk Mix and Match, 2 Demonz, 2 Steelers and 2 Water Orton dogs, this was a really nice mixed breed team with a collie, parson, cross breed, lab and 2 working cockers (the other cocker in the team turned out to be a cousin of Radley)…they ran brilliantly…I was SO proud of my babies and they won the division with a fastest time of 19.95 :) We each got a lovely rosette and memorial shield.

Next up were the Speed Demonz running in Division One, Brigg were top seeds with a time of 17.94, we were second seeds on 18.13 but since Brigg had to pull out at the last minute we were now the favourites by about half a second. Sometimes this sort of pressure is not good and we were still running the experimental team from Stoneleigh with Teal in as the height dog so I wasn’t sure how we were going to get on. I needn’t have worried , we ran the fastest time of the season in our first race with a 17.90 with Dylan, Bailey, Faith, Teal and then went on to run 17.91 with Dylan, Bailey, Lexie, Teal. Drew ran both Faith and Lexie and did a good job swapping between them both, although they seemed to be running similar times they do run quite differently with Lexie faster on the way in and Faith faster on the way out, this obviously affected both his changeover behind Bailey and mine in with Teal but we seemed to settle into the spot quickly and the team just seemed to ‘gel’. Teal really seems to have found her feet and is running better than she ever has, all the boxwork we’ve done over the summer, getting her to drive off faster is paying off and is making all the difference to her times…now we just need to work on her hurdling consistently! (she often puts an extra stride in between hurdles when he stride isn’t quite right, this is quite common for short legged dogs). It all went a bit ‘Pete Tong’ in the third race where, for some unknown reason, Teal was hitting the box and driving back off so fast that she completely forgot to catch the ball!! This is one of the dangers with teaching drive off the box, you are effectively moving the dogs’ main point of focus…i.e the reward isn’t in getting the ball but in getting back faster. You often find that the fastest flyball dogs are ball ‘spitters’ and it’s a common misconception that a good flyball dog has to be ball obsessed, I have actually found this to be the opposite. The ball really needs to be secondary to whatever the reward at the end of the runback is to get them to run as fast as they can. If you watch the REALLY fast American teams their dogs are all trained to a tuggy. Anyway, I digress…we took Teal out and ran all 4 collies, this wasn’t the fastest team you’re ever likely to see because they suddenly went from 8 to 13” and it did throw them all somewhat (especially Faith who struggles over this height) so the changeovers were atrocious but we did manage to win the following 3 legs and win the race. We went on to win both races in the afternoon too and Teal ran fine (thankfully) so obviously won the division…a lovely way to end the season and another collection of rosettes and shields  I am confident there is another 0.5 second in this combination of dogs so we will spend the winter training this combination and see what they can do! (although Teal is due to carry out maternal duties some time over this winter too!)

The Pawz ran next in Division 3, we had Mac, Pip, Drake and Ethan. They all ran ok and this was a very tight division so we ended up on a 3 way tie for 2nd and came 4th…bummer! Lol I think we ran around 19.70 which was better than last weekend but still not great. I think maybe some of the dogs are ready for a break.

I was judging the last div of the day, Div 5 which was ANOTHER 7 team division!! My back and legs were aching so much from being on my feet all day by the end of it! This was a really nice division and was won by Minster Monsters from York who were running a lurcher, GERMAN WIREHAIRED POINTERS and munsterlanders…lovely dogs to watch running!

It was a lovely show, fantastic venue, good ground and plenty of space with a cafĂ© on site and a lovely friendly and relaxed atmosphere throughout, I really enjoyed it. Despite the forecast and the previous few days we didn’t have a drop of rain and in fact the sun came out! Everyone knows…the sun goes where the Demonz go! Lol We have been so fortunate this year to see very very little bad weather. Presentation was a really small and intimate gathering and it was really nice to receive Dotties’ gold award and Macs’ Platinum from Howard along with Paul getting Pips’ Gold too.

Lola is coming along nicely, I decided to make the most of the lovely venue and good weather to snap some pics of her….

Here’s one of Travis too, looking very serious!!

And one of him at home…pooped after his exhausting day out…

Other news this week…Viggo has mated Dazzle, I have hopes that he will be a great little stud dog on his performance because there was no messing around and he got on with it like an old pro! lol (granted, Dazzle is not a difficult bitch to mate). We should hopefully have blue/white and slate merle pups due around the 8th November…can’t wait!! (you can read more about planned/expected collie litters here btw)

I also heard from Kerena that the Dream Team qualified for the flyball at Crufts at the qualifier at Prestbury Park over the weekend which means that their young working cocker Magic, Bryning Makin’ Magic (a Drake-Teal son) will now be competing in both the YKC Agility Dog of the Year AND the flyball. I am so pleased with this litter and can’t wait to see Maizys’ pups growing up!