Tuesday, 31 March 2009

a different kind of weekend

I can't say I had a quiet weekend it's just I didn't spend it doing the stuff I normally do and the dogs were a bit neglected as a result (poor doggies)

Friday night I stayed in on my own as mum was babysitting Charlie while Nathan and Sue went to a murder mystery evening. We had been talking about this for a couple of weeks because they had to dress up in character for the evening and Sue takes this sort of thing very seriously!! Nathan was supposed to be some French aristocrat and Sue his theatrical lover all set in the 1920's...here's a pic of them in character...

Don't they look fab?! I told you Sue takes this sort of thing seriously!! lol

Meanwhile...my evening was spent putting new tags on all the dogs collars (ok, so we moved 2 months ago but I've been busy!! lol)

buy one get one free on e-bay but actually really good quality tags and split rings, pleased with them!

And taking cheek swabs from Faiths' pups to send to Australia for TNS testing...

all done and ready to pack up and post.

Oh...what an exciting life I lead!! lol

I've taken cheek swabs from lots of dogs including young pups before but what a fuss this lot made!! Had I known beforehand I might not have attempted it single handed! I'm wondering whether Alan might also be able to detect the 'drama queen' gene from these samples...I'm determining it must be a recessive gene because Reeky and Fi and the entire litter exhibit this trait! lol

Saturday Gemma was moving into her new house in Sale so came to pick up our old fridge freezer and we went to pick up her new sofa. We got the fridge/freezer in the van (just!) and took the trailer to collect the sofa doing our best Chuckle Brothers impersonation throughout (to me...to you...to me) lol and eventually managed to get it all at the new house. I got home around tea time when my mate Rach popped over and stayed for dinner, just watched tv and chatted and chilled out which was nice. Then I had LOADS of stuff to do before bed...cleaning out the puppies, utility and dog room etc so it was after midnight before I got to bed which was of course after 1am because the clocks had gone forward (ugh...I love the lighter evenings but hate losing an hour!). Alison was picking me up at 7.15am and we were heading down to Birmingham for the BFA AGM so I set my alarm for 6.30am.

Well...you guessed it...I had changed every clock in the house but NOT my mobile phone which I use as an alarm so...7.15am, Alison arrived and...everyone was still in bed! We got on the road for about 7.45am but made good time and arrived in plenty of time. I have to say, I haven't been to the AGM for a couple of years as it's fallen when I've had pups due but I have always enjoyed them and this year was no exception. It's always nice to catch up with everyone before the start of the summer season. There was a really good atmosphere, plenty of lively debate and a lot of really good proposals were carried. The hot buffet provided by the Wolf Pack was also excellent! I just took Mac with me and he had a nice walk at lunchtime (it was a beautiful day) and it was so nice not to be driving...thanks Alison! :) The rest of the dogs had a nice chilled out day at home, out enjoying the sunshine so I didn't feel too bad for them. Did of course mean that Teal missed agility training for the 3rd Sunday in a row!

Monday evening I unpacked the new electric fence posts and made wings for the flyball jumps so we can start training full runs for the baby dogs.

There was equipment scattered all over the garden after the recent high winds so I spent a while picking everything up and sorting it out. Put up a few agility jumps, channel weaves and play tunnel and did a bit of training with Teal who was DEAD keen after her agility drought recently!

She's really working on ahead nicely and picking up the weaves better. Although she seems to have forgotten what 'wait' means!! This often happens as they grow in confidence so we're going to have to do some 'wait' proofing I think. All in all though I was really pleased with her :)

Hoping to do some flyball training this evening (weather permitting!) and plan to be at agility training on Weds evening as normal.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Growing like weeds!!

Fi's pups are 3 weeks old today and growing like weeds! I will move them downstairs later on and also give them their first 'solid' meal. They're definitely getting ready to move onto solids now. I will also take the cheek swabs for TNS testing this evening and postthem off to Alan in Australia (and keep everything crossed for as many 'clear' results as possible!)

Our little sable girl is still little (just 700g in fact) but she is bright and lively and developmentally she is just the same as the others, she is a real cute little thing :)

Here's a few individual pics and some group ones taken this morning...

You can see the individual pics better on the Current Litter page of my website.

Monday, 23 March 2009

'Quick, slow...Quick, Quick..slow'

It's been a funny few days with long periods of total inactivity interjected with short bursts of intense activity! I've been laid up with 'flu' for a couple of days so haven't done much apart from the bare essentials with the dogs and puppies. I really didn't think I was going to make Stocksbridge on Saturday but slept most of the day on Friday and drank about a gallon of lemon and ginger tea with honey in and dosed up on paracetemol and amazingly felt not too bad when I woke on Saturday morning. Paul and Alison arrived at around 6.15am and we all piled into the van and headed over to Stocksbridge on the outskirts of Sheffield for my first flyball tournament of the year. This is a venue I haven't been to before and I was really pleased to see the lovely big exercise area available to run the dogs on. It was another superbly organised affair from the Sheffield Speeders, we started off with dog measuring, the first time I've had my lot done since the new jump height rules have come in, as expected Teal measured 8" and Drake 12", this is the final measure for both of them so I can now apply for their height cards. I also had Dottie and Lexie measured and they have both now come in as 13" height dogs under the new rules (5" below shoulder height). We just ran the two teams, as expected the Demonz were seriously outclassed in Div 1, we've decided we probably won't run under this team name again until we get Dylan back running later in the year (fingers crossed!), they were running mid 19's most of the day. The Pawz were also a little off form running mid 20's but after such a long break and on the indoor rubber matting I was actually really pleased with everyone's performance. Both the cockers in particular runnning really well. Thanks must go again to the wonderful lot from the Notts Supadogs for their much appreciated help in box loading, ball collecting and running Mac and Dottie. I judged Div 4 which turned out to be a fiercly contested affair, I must admit I was (secretly) really pleased when the Nunnies won it running two of the Oz sons (Bray (choc/white) and Shimmer (tri blue merle)) that Pam had bred, two very handsome young boys. I must thank all the teams and the very patient ring party for putting up with my coughing and sniffling throughout, I think I'll sterilise my whistle before I use it again...god knows what germs it must now be harbouring! lol

Sam and Andy popped over in the afternoon although they weren't racing 'til Sunday so I got to have a cuddle with Eabha and I also snapped a few pics of Sparks' brother Charlie.

(no...he hasn't got a short tail...he just wouldn't stop wagging it while I was taking his pic! lol)

Dora and 'Jerry' came and were impeccably behaved, I was quite suprised by Dora who is quite a cocky little madam at home but wasn't too sure about all these people and all these big dogs somewhere new...she'll soon get over that...she's got a lot of flyball to go to this year! lol

Here she is eating a biscuit...

Jerry was just 'Mr Cool' and took it all in his stride and as the day wore on I was really starting to weaken towards the idea of just keeping him. Watching him trot about on the field with his stunning movement already showing at 11 weeks old I was seriously beginning to wonder whether I was quite mad to let him go! Fortunately(?) a lovely lady came today and took 'Jerry' (now known as 'Stanley'), he's going to be living relatively close by and will hopefully be competing in obedience in the future. I really hope things go well for him because he's a super little fella, I was very sad to see him go.

I woke up this morning feeling really rough again, maybe I just wasn't up to a full day of flyball yesterday after all?! Just seemed to take me ages to get going. Needless to say I didn't make it to agility training and just had a quiet morning at home. We had a steady stream of visitors this afternoon. Conrad, Jackie, Amy and Jess came over and we did some flyball training with Radley in the garden. She's doing really well and was doing full runs and triggering the box by the end of the session and even had 'mummy' Teal running in on her doing close changeovers. We just need to do some chute work to perfect that box technique and she should be ready for starters! :)

Nathan (my brother) and Sue popped over with Connor and Charlie; they'd been into town and Charlie was sporting his new hat and shoes...HOW cute is he??

Once all our visitors had left we finally settled down to a roast dinner and Sunday evening tv. Here's a pic mum took of me and 'the girls' watching the 'Dancing on Ice' final (and HOW good was Ray Quinn?!!)...

...to be honest...I think I may have been the only one of us actually watching it lol
(check out my poor red nose...tissue chaffed from excessive nose blowing!! lol)

So...off to bed and hoping for a return to feeling 'normal' in the morning!!

Friday, 20 March 2009

The Birthday Boy!!

Viggo is one year old today but still very much a big goofy pup!

He has a really lovely faultless temperament, very laid back and easy going and really friendly with people and dogs alike. He's a very easy boy to have around. :)

Here's a couple of 1 year old birthday snaps...

I am really plaesed with the way he's shaping up, his head has really come on in the last few months and he has the most fantastic angulation which gives him a lovely long easy stride with drive and reach to die for. He is however still very much a rangy pup so I don't think I'll have him out in the showring much this year, if at all. He still has a lot of maturing to do.

The same can be said for his flyball training which I haven't started yet either, I just feel that he needs a few more months to really grow into himself and muscle up before I ask him to do anything that requires both speed AND co-ordination. lol

Vi does enjoy a game of fetch but has a rather vague understanding of the word 'retrieve'...rather than fetch a ball straight back to me he likes to run back and forth throwing it in the air and catching it with gay abandon instead (see below!).

At least he's enjoying himself I guess! lol

Ah the joys...

Well, another weekend is nearly upon us and I didn't even catch up from the last one yet! I've come down with a bug this week, I thought it was just the early onset of hayfever but it isn't so I've been feeling sorry for myself with terrible sinus pains and a raging sore throat (poor me...lol)

Last weeekend we went training with the Dolphins down on the Wirral, to do some work with the babies and run a team against Manda's Nell who has started running across to the other lane in competition but runs paw perfect in training. We thought we'd try running some different dogs and people against her and see what she did but...she ran paw perfect! lol No excuses now Nelly!!

We did some run backs and run ups to the box with Radley who proved to be a bit of a natural, I think she's going to make for quite a quick little cocker! :) Then we just ran the team dogs to stretch their legs before Stocksbridge this weekend and Alison, Amy and myself popped for some lunch on the way home, we had a nice day. It was nice to catch up with folk, haven't been competing for a while so have been missing everyone!

Here's a pic I took of Orlaith-bear too...she turns 1 at the end of this month...where on earth did that year go??!!

I snapped a few pics of Kittens pups in the house earlier in the week...
Here's my little Dora (cute or what?!)

and Bolt who heads off to Bermuda in a couple of weeks (lucky him!)

and here's a few pics of Jerry I took today...

Jerry is a really lovely pup, as well as being simply gorgeous he's a real fun chracter...lots of attitude, a real cheeky little man; he has however been subject to a string of complete and utter time wasters which I just find REALLY frustrating!! In a way it makes me glad that they never got him because he's too special to go to someone who doesn't desperately want him but honestly...what goes on in some people's heads that makes them firstly enquire about a pup and then make arrangements to view and collect to then go and make some really lame excuse??!!!! The absolute bain of a breeders' life! Well, Jerry is staying here until the perfect competitive dog sports and/or show home turns up for him...no more timewasters!

Have been doing quite a bit of agility training with Teal this week, working on stringing a few obstacles together...she's starting to work ahead and pick up the next thing I want her to do now. At home I have everything still quite close together, partly through necessity (garden 'aint that big!) and also to make it easy for her to get it right. At training on Weds we're having to work with a more advanced group so I'm having to ask for more. We've had some long straights of mixed up obstacles but with good distances between them so I've been back-chaining small sequences to help her understand and it seems to be working, she does try very hard to get it right so is relatively easy to train. So this Weds she managed a long straight of flat tunnel - long jump - jump into a curved pipe tunnel round to the dog walk. It's situations like this that I need her to work on ahead because she is fast and was easily beating me down that straight run to the tunnel! lol By the end of the session she was targetting the tunnel herself and didn't need me to go there with her which meant I could move across to pick her up on the other side and position her onto the dogwalk. Good girl :) Teal absolutely LOVES the dog walk, I think it's her favourite obstacle! We also did a bit on the seesaw but that's definitely going to need some work teaching her that she has to wait for it to hit the ground before she runs off it so it's all on lead at the moment still.

Faiths pups have turned 2 weeks old and continue to do well. Developmentally they are right on target, no signs that they were so prem. All eyes are open and they're pushing up on their feet now and starting to mouth and 'play' with each other...very cute. They're all a really good size (fat little piglets!) apart from our little sable girl who is about 2/3 the size of her siblings but she seems ok and I swear she's slowly growing into that tongue! lol

New pics on my website...Two Week Pics

but here's a few extra pics I snapped earlier...
The dark sable boy, I love his colouring...it's like rich mahogany...

The blue sable boy, the shading is really starting to come through on his coat now...

Our little girl...
sneaking an extra feed...

having her face washed...

and now her bum (how undignified lol)...

Erm...I think that's about it for now...another rather garbled posting! lol It's Viggo's birthday tomorrow (well, today actually now it's go so late!) so I'll post some pics of him later :)

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Faiths' pups - One week old

The pups are growing well, I'm weighing them each day being especially concerned since they were so early but they are all gaining weight nicely.

Our little sable girl with the enlarged tongue is a little further behind the others but she's doing well. I don't know if it's just my imagination but her tongue doesn't seem to be as prominent as it did a week ago?? We'll just have to wait and see how it develops as she grows.

weights for the first week...

Individual pics so you know who's who...
Bitch - black tri

Bitch - shaded sable

Dog - Shaded Sable - Classic

Dog - Black Tri - Classic

Dog - Black Tri - patch in collar

Dog - Blue Sable

Dog - Black Tri - Dark Face

Dog - Shaded Sable - Squiffy

A pile of fat little puppies...

getting fatter...

Faith getting fed up with me taking pics!
'Are you quite finished??'

Crufts...the day itself...

We arrived at the NEC at 7.30am as planned and got set up in the benching area for around 8.00. I had deliberately left myself with not a lot to do, everyone was brushed out and trimmed before we got there so it was just last minute preparations and brushing for each of them before they went in and a few runs up and down the edge of the hall to settle them. I was really pleased with Dazzle who can be a bit overawed by loud busy places but she was very relaxed and happy and was moving out well after a few runs up and down. Kitten was being remarkably quiet and well behaved too and Spark well...he is just perfect in every way and seems to know how to just switch from goofy playful 'pup' into serious show mode, he's so easy to handle. Dylan...ahem...to be fair to Dylan he's been crate rested for the last 6 weeks due to a cruciate tear and this was his first outing but he and Faith are the same at every show...nosey, curious and very easily distracted; he was just tail up 'who's that over there?' 'What's this on the floor?'...arghhh!!! lol (at least no-one can say he's anything but a very happy boy)

Judging started and we had lots of friends arriving to say 'hi' and wish us luck which was really nice. Tania, Francine and Wendy were over from Belgium for the day and came ringside to watch Spark who was in the ring first, we also found Helen and Carol there too. I was a little bit worried about Spark's bald patch where he'd been bitten by something (god knows what at this time of year!) on his back and pulled all the hair out and I'd had to do a sort of 'comb over' to cover it! lol It's amazing what you can get away with with a 'patchy marked' dog that you wouldn't with a solid colour. He has also been dropping coat for about 2 weeks which made it very hard to get his coat to lie really flat, every time I ran a brush over him more undercoat came out! It was a big class, we were in the middle of the line up and everyone was packed in really tight which made handling tricky...I don't know why people don't spread out more in such a huge ring!! I like to walk Spark into a free stand because he will position himself nicely and I don't need to fiddle with his foot position etc and then I stand directly in front of him and he watches me which enables me to get him to use his ears and show his lovely soft but attentive expression. I also don't like standing too close to him because then he has to crane his neck to make eye contact with me and this has the effect of shortening his neck (if you know what I mean). All in, I do need quite a bit of room to do this and I really didn't have enough, I was also concerned about obscuring the dog in front of me so it was hard work! That said he did show well so I was pleased with him. Having any coloured dog in the ring always draws a lot of attention from ringside spectators, particularly those from overseas so I think Spark was pretty well photographed as we made our way round to be judged.

Here's a pic from Vicki (Giruff)

and one from Judit (Bordermania)

...thanks girls! :)

The judge (Mrs S Clark) was keen to have the dogs standing freely for her to go over with no tight leads and handlers at a distance which was no problem for Spark because of course this is how I stand him anyway. She opened his mouth and looked at his teeth and then ran her hands over his head and he dropped his ears and gazed at her adoringly which he continued to do as she went over the rest of him (he's such a charmer!), the whole time she was chattering away to him. It was nice to have a judge so relaxed and keen to put the dogs at ease. He moved out nicely, not fazed by anything and then walked into a nice free stand to finish. I was pleased with how he went.

Spark moving out...

and his free stand to finish (pics by Judit)

We returned to the line and the judge finished assesing the rest of the class and then came to make her shortcut. I was so pleased when she pulled Spark out into the final 8, she then moved them all together. Now...the person 2 dogs behind me was whooshing and Shhhhsshhing loudly at her dog, to encourage it to move out I guess but I was pretty p*ssed off to be perfectly honest because this was making Spark want to keep looking behind him as he was wondering where the hell this weird noise was coming from!! She kept doing it when we came to a halt and were lined up too, to get the dog to animate ears I guess? I'm all for getting the best out of your dog but you also need to be considerate to other dogs and handlers in doing so. I always keep one piece of liver in my hand at a time to avoid dropping any and I always talk quietly to my dog so as not to disturb anyone else. It's a pity not everyone is so thoughtful. Crufts definitely seems to bring the worst out in people though and there were several incidents of bad sportsmanship throughout the day not least of which was during the challenge for best of breed where I personally felt a group of spectators were deliberately cheering and clapping at inappropriate times trying to unsettle the dog, who won BOB in the end so it didn't work did it!! Anyway (rant over! lol) I was over the moon when Spark was pulled out for 3rd place; this is the largest class he's ever been in and this judge is not noted for her love of colours. This of course automatically qualifies him for Crufts 2010.

I was still in the ring with Spark when Yearling bitch went in so Julia took Kitten in for me, Alison kindly took Spark back to his bench after a small detour where he climbed on Sue Large's lap for a cuddle (and chance at her sandwhich too I shouldn't wonder! lol)...he is such a soft lump! I took Kitten off Julia and I have to say...she did look a little waif-like in her post-litter state of (un)dress. It was a HUGE class and she moved out beautifully but didn't get placed. There were some lovely young bitches in that class and Heather got 2nd with Tipsy.

Dylan was in next in Graduate dog amd he was rather giddy and distracted. It's a good job he's so placid when the dog in front of him took a lunge and snap at him (Dyl was nowhere near him!), needless to say we kept a safe distance from then on! I do find handling Dyl quite hard work because he won't walk into a good free stand (always one foot or the other just in the worng place) but he also doesn't like you picking his feet up to place them so you have to just keep moving him round and hope for the best! lol He kept his tail down when we started moving off but a change of direction brought it up (this is quite natural really as the dog balances) and it stayed up (grrrrr)...the 3rd leg of the triangle brought the dogs heading straight back towards the judge and also the giant screen on the corner of the hall which was showing agility at this point...Dyl (who likes watching TV at home) spotted the TV screen half way across the ring and jumped out of his skin! There were quite a few dogs spooked by this during the day. He didn't get placed but he also had lots of photos taken by spectators round the ring. He does have the most gorgeous head and expression and always seems to draw a lot attention.

Dazzle was the last of my lot in the ring in Post Graduate bitch, the last class before the lunch break. This was a big class and she was the only coloured bitch from the 19 in the ring but this judge is not at all colour biased. Daz was nice and relaxed and very happy which I was really pleased with. Now...I don't know if I've ever been so embarrased in all my life when the judge (Jean Entwistle) put her hands on Daz to go over her, paused and looked up at me and said... 'Is this bitch in whelp?' to which I just replied, totally startled 'god...do you think so??' to which she nodded and said 'yeh, she's massive!' to which I then explained that I had mated her (to Sea) in January the weekend he left but it had been very early in her season and she'd still been standing a week later and since she wasn't really THAT big I'd just presumed she'd missed and was just a bit on the 'porky' side since she likes her food. (And yes, I know you're really not supposed to engage in conversation with the judge but I was just so startled and didn't think!!), Jean just rolled her eyes at me...oh my god...what an idiot I am!! Anyway, we returned to our spot and I told Angela (Gillespie) who was next to us what had happened, Anglea felt her and agreed with Jean so I felt like a total moron and have to bow to their combined experience which is considerably more than mine. So the consensus is that Daz is either in whelp with just a few pups or having a very convincing phantom...I guess we'll know in a week or two! I suppose it's kinda funny when you think about it (or it may be when I get over the embarrasment!), I just hope Jean thinks the same!

Anyway, Trish and Alison had stayed around the ring most of the morning, helping with the dogs so we went and did some shopping after lunch, taking Viggo for a walk round the halls. He's such a funny laid back kind of a dog. He did just try and avoid meeting any big dogs which he wasn't too sure about (Anatolians and the sort) and was very quiet and just looked at me when anyone stroked him in a 'mum, someone's talking to me, what should I do?' kind of a way (bless him) and he did insist on climbing on any pile of bedding he could find! Anyone would think he'd never seen bedding before it seemed such a novelty to him...he does have a bed at home...honest!! lol We bought a pile of new vetbed (which I'm sure pleased Vi!) and a couple of metal non spill bowls that I've had before and some shampoo and grooming products and I bought a new hoody (yeh, like I need another one!), it's lovely a sort of pale grey with salmon pink lining and such a nice fit, I couldn't resist! That was it, pretty restrained I thought! The halls were definitley much quieter than they have been on previous years especially for a Sunday. I think the lack of TV advertising following the BBC's pull out was probably the main reason, a lot of people simply didn't know it was on. I much preferred it!

We popped Spark and Dylan up to the Purina stand for Nick Ridley photos. For some strange reason Nick zoomed in and took head shots of Spark which I wasn't that keen on to be honest, I have better ones of him I've taken myself in the local park! (sulk) The pics of Dylan came out much nicer, especially considering what a pillock he was doing a 'stay'!!

I brought the van round from the back of Hall 3 to the side of the arena and we took the dogs out then came back in and packed up all our stuff (considerably more than we'd arrived with!) and sat and watched the group judging on the big screen. So pleased to see Shane, the border collie Best of Breed, take fourth in the group!! Shane (Tonkory Move over to Huntly) is a Cruise son as were 2 more of the dog class winners so fingers crossed this will put Cruise on track for Top Sire again this year!

The 'Journey' to Crufts....

I had entered 4 dogs...Eabha, Kitten, Dazzle and Spark but decided not to take Eabha since she was over with Andy and Sam and was due in season any day so decided to take Viggo along just for the ride and some extra socialisation. His first big day out without his sidekick!! lol Alison was also bringing Dylan who I was handling too.

I had a pretty hectic Saturday with my Auntie Jan up from Cornwall and staying for my cousin Amy's 21st birthday party. Mum was doing all the catering for the party so was rather busy. I had someone coming Saturday morning to use Spark. Paul coming down from Edinburgh to visit and collect his puppy, Alison coming to have Dylan's feet and ears trimmed and 4 of my own dogs to bath, blow dry, groom and trim. The van to clean and pack up for a 5.30am start Sunday morning. The puppies to move out of the utility room and into the garage plus all the usual weekend tidying up. I finally got done about 12.30am just as mum and Jan returned from the party (which I missed...boo hoo) and fell into bed exhausted and achey backed just after 1am with the alarm set for 4am!

No need for the alarm since Paul text me at 3.55am and woke me up...thanks Paul!! lol I wanted to give myself plenty of time to take all the dogs I was taking out for an individual lead walk down the lane but it had been very windy overnight and the back yard was bone dry so I just let them out there which was much better since they got a good 40 mins out before we left. The other dogs sleeping out in the garage didn't make a peep thankfully! This left me twiddling my thumbs a bit really since I wasn't picking Trish and Alison up 'til 5.30...this is NOT usual for me...I'm usually rushing around like a headless chicken doing everything on the last minute! lol I have to say it was rather nice! Steve text me as I was pulling off the driveway to see when I was leaving, we were meeting him at Lymm services to collect some fleeces he needed delivering to the Good Citizen stand in hall 3. Of course we would have done this for him anyway but it did come with the added bonus of a pass down to the back of the halls which is where we managed to park all day so no long trek to and from South carpark with all our gear!!

Crufts TV

So, I ended up having Wednesday and Thursday off work which was great because I got to spend (almost) the entire day watching the fantastic online CruftsLive.tv which was live broadcasting from the main arena at Crufts...all the agility, flyball, heelwork to music competitions and displays etc as well as the group judging.
Of course, I had an added interest in Thursday mornings Agility and the Eukanuba Mini-Maxi pairs with several friends competing and two 'Bryning' girls taking part. Firstly was Nancy and Niamh (Bryning Red Rascal) running with Nancy's husband Andy and his little sheltie Kizzy.

Here's the pic that Nancy text me on the morning...Niamh and Kizzy arrived and set up on their bench...

Nancy ran a beautifully handled careful clear on quite a tricky course to hand over to Andy but unfortunately Kizzy missed her weave entry out of the straight tunnel which I think is actually harder than it sounds, the dog is coming out of a dark tunnel straight onto the weaves so they're coming at speed and see as litte of the weaves as possible i.e. a single pole, if you imagine the noise a dog is generating whilst running through a pipe tunnel and the way in which it's amplified coupled with the large noisy arena at Crufts I doubt they hear much in the way of verbal commands either. They finished up 9th. Next up was Joy with Teal (Bryning Time to Shine) running with Carla and her poodle Gucci. Joy and Teal were having a cracking run until...Teal took the wrong end of the tunnel so they got a big fat 'E', this was a real shame because Carla and Gucci had a lovely quick clear...ah well...maybe next year eh.

Faith, impatient as always...

Well, another week (and a bit) without a posting so I'm going to have to do a few to catch up on a rather busy past week. Firstly we had Faith's puppies arrive, a week earlier than expected! Faith was only mated once on the 6th January so I had a very definite due date of 10th March, I had been rather concerned she may come a couple of days early (as my girls tend to) and have the pups while I was at Crufts but I really needn't have worried! On the Monday night I started having her sleeping in my room which is something I always do for the last week of pregnancy, she hardly ate any tea and she was very restless, up and down and fidgetting all night...I put this down to her being quite big and feeling uncomfortable. Tuesday evening I popped over to see my cousin Amy as it was her 21st birthday. I got home about 11pm and let Faith out, she came back in and sat on the sofa, all wide eyed and panting...I knew exactly what this meant, she'd started in labour. I was a little worried as I've never had a bitch whelp so early before and was a bit concerned about the pups. I left her on the sofa while I set the whelping pen up in my room and sorted out vetbed, newspaper, towels, wet wipes etc...when I called her to come upstairs she gave me the most pitiful look 'I can't get off the sofa...it hurts too much'...bless her. She was awake most of the night, not digging and tearing newspaper like they usually do...just sitting and crying. In the morning I got up and took her downstairs, let the other dogs out and then went out in the garden with her to peg some washing out. She just sat in the the garden crying so I took her back in, called work and told them I wouldn't be coming in, settled her in the whelping pen and went for a quick shower. I got out the shower to find she'd had the first pup but wasn't quite sure what to do with it! I broke the sack and gave it a rub...a big black tricolour girl, very similar to her mum (and firstborn like Fi too); Faith seemed to get the idea and stared to clean her up, the next born was a sable bitch but the strangest thing I've ever seen, she came out of the sack with a huge great tongue lolling out of her mouth...I mean..it was massive...bigger than her head! I couldn't believe it was ever going to fit back in her mouth! I checked her mouth and palette etc and everything else seemed perfectly normal and she was able to feed fine. The next 2 pups arrived in quick sucession, a black tri boy and sable boy so she'd had 4 pups in just over an hour. The whelping pen was immaculate, no shredded newspaper, the vetbed perfectly flat as I'd placed it, very unusual. I think Fi put all her frustrated energy into crying instead! Four more boys arrived over the next few hours, 2 more black tri, a very dark shaded sable and what I thought was a blue tri but am now starting to think is actually a blue sable (Yes Joy...you were right!! lol)

Here's the newborn pups...

Faith is being a very good attentive mum as I hoped she would be. She's also very relaxed and is very pleased to receive visitors (so long as they make a fuss of her and not just the pups!). I've been weighing the pups every day to make sure they're all gaining weight with them having been so prem and relatively small at birth and they are all gaining steadily, some faster than others.

The little girl with the enlarged tongue is feeding ok and gaining but more slowly than anyone else. I've been doing some online research and this is known as 'Congenital Macroglossia', it is very rare in dogs so I have been struggling to find much information or anyone else I can speak to with first hand experience of it. It's most commonly seen in short-nosed breeds such as pugs and bulldogs which I guess is as a result of their abnormally short muzzles rather than abnormally long tongues!! lol According to the Merck Veterinary manual 'it is seen in belted Galloway cattle but resolves with age and is rarely clinically significant', I am keeping everything crossed that this is the case with this little girl. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, 2 March 2009

lots of comings and goings...

Wow, must be a record, more than a week without a posting! lol

Well, I haven't really got that much to report to be honest.

Weekends have been busy with people collecting pups and visitors and flyball and agility training, the usual!

Andy and Sam came to see us on Saturday, thay have taken Eabha with a view to giving her some one-on-one time and training her for flyball. She and Viggo (the terrible twins!) just really needed splitting up so we'll see how she gets on.

Here she is lounging on the sofa after her bath and blowdry (don't get used to this Eabha, I'm pretty sure sofa's are out of bounds in the James' household! lol)

Here's 'Casper' snuggled on the bed in the living room after his bath before he left for his new home on Sunday afternoon too

and Viggo who really could do with a bath!

Sunday morning I took Teal to agility, she was a little star as usual (getting a bit boring now tbh), I was happy with everything she did and we also introduced her to the seesaw. I had anticipated she might be a bit wimpy over this but actually came across the opposite problem...she really doesn't care! Will have to keep her on lead and keep her steady over this for the time being.

Sunday afternoon we set up our new flyball jumps...they are really lovely :) We got them from a guy called Mark Smaldon down in Exeter, they were reasonably priced and delivered quickly so we couldn't be happier. Here they are in my dining room....

And set up in the garden...

(yeh, I know...almost as sad as all the new box pics!)

Paul and Alison came over to train and my cousin Amy was at our house with their little cocker Radley so we did a little bit with her then Amy ran some of my dogs...she's a natural! I was v impressed :) We're going to press gang her into coming to tournaments with us now!! lol

Crufts to look forward to this weekend...am wondering how I'm ever going to get Dazzle and Spark ready in time!! lol