Wednesday, 24 March 2010

BCC of GB

I missed the BFA AGM this year as it was the Border Collie Club of Great Britain Championship breed and agility show this weekend, they tend to hold the club show the weekend after Crufts so that visitors from abroad can combine both shows in their visit over to the UK which is a great idea and also ensures a good healthy entry. The class sizes here are not far of those at Crufts and it’s a good show for catching up with folk, more relaxed and less hectic than Crufts (well, usually anyway!). This is only the second year that the club have also held an agility show at the same event and I didn’t go last year but this year thought I’d be brave and attempt to do both. I entered Mouse, Faith, Mercy and Spark in the breed show (although I’d forgotten I’d entered Mercy and didn’t take her!! Doh!) and Faith and Teal in the agility; just two classes each Graded 1-4 jumping and agility for Faith and Combined 1-4 jumping and agility for Teal. Of course, the heavens opened on Saturday so I had to bath dogs and try to keep them clean amongst all the mud…typical! We travelled over Sat evening and stayed with my friend Julie at Trevellis Border Collies so we only had a short journey to the venue in the morning.

Agility

We got there shortly after 8am and I went and walked both of Faiths courses, this was her first time competing outdoors and I was hoping she would be less overwhelmed and more focused with the more open spaces…I was wrong! I decided to run her courses early and get them out the way, the jumping was first, started tyre and 6 weaves, I knew she could do this so wasn’t too worried but she ran staright past the weaves (as I saw a lot of other dogs do too) so I had to bring her back…she was just hyper and not at all focused so she made a very pathetic attempt at the weaves and I made her come back and do them again…it took 4 attempts but by this point she was just off her head, we did jump – tunnel – jump and retired from the ring.

Here’s Veronica running Ice (Bryning Osprey) on the same course…

To quote Veronica…Still 'mad as a box of frogs' but great fun to run lol

My heart also sank when I saw the jump-dogwalk start in the agility…such a common start to a course and one I know will guarantee Faith will go under the first jump. She is so focused on the contact equipment and she’s only a small dog, you sit or stand her in front of a large jump and her natural gaze will be right underneath it…I wish we double poled as standard here like they do in the US…anyway, she did exactly as I predicted and went straight under the first jump, did a nice dogwalk did jump 3 but went under 4 and then over 5 , you were then supposed to repeat 3 and 5 but instead she ran up the A-frame (also very predictable) and at that point completely lost the plot and was just looking around all eagle eyed to see what else she could do…we retired from the ring (again!). I have decided that there is no point trying to compete with her until we do more regular training; then hopefully the novelty will wear off and she will realise that agility is a serious business. We don’t have this problem at flyball but she’s done much more training for that; when we’re going to find time to do more agility training I really don’t know??

I didn’t get to run Teal’s courses ‘til right at the end of the day and she’d spent the day sat in Julie’s van at the agility end of the showground. Oh yes, I forget to mention that, unlike last year, this year they decided to have the breed rings and agility rings at opposite ends of the showground! I spent the whole day running back and forth and nearly missing everything…I was exhausted! This is not conducive to a happy confident cocker! That said I was pleased with her, unfortunately both her classes had 12 weaves in them and I know she’s not 100% on 12 weaves because we haven’t done nearly enough training on them (about 3 x 5 min sessions actually)…what was funny is that at home she’s been going in fine and coming out at 10…in competition she kept going in at 3? Bless her, she really didn’t think she’d done anything wrong and she wouldn’t knowingly anyway, she is a very biddable little dog and always tries her best. We did her agility run first and I totally mishandled the start (idiot!) but was caught by surprise when she broke her wait…we got going and she did a nice running A-frame but…missed the weaves, then went in at 3 so I took her back for a couple more goes then eventually moved on. I wish I hadn’t done that because it made her very hesitant on the rest of the course, she likes to make sure she’s doing things right and that knocked her confidence and she was really slow. The rest ran ok apart from her missed dogwalk contact, I was too close to the equipment and in front of her and that makes her rush to catch me up; she’s much better if I hang back or stay wide (I know this so I don’t know why I didn’t do it?!).

Teal’s agility run (kindly filmed by David Wilson)


Her jumping run felt better, much faster and more flowing and I just ignored the weaves so she went in at 3 and completed the remaining 9; she was better for not realizing she’d done it wrong. Considering the tiny amount of training this little dog has had she’s a little cracker…I think that once we crack those weaves and build her confidence she’ll be super. We have entered a couple more shows at the end of May so I have 8 weeks to work on those things.

Breed Show

We’d dropped off my grooming table and fabric crates in the hall and I’d left my van parked up there and took just Faith and Teal down to the agility in Julie’s van so once Faith had finished her runs (thankfully without getting too dirty!) we walked back over to the hall and I started prepping them all for the ring. Bitches were being judged by Bruce Kilsby (WHenway). Mouse was in first in Junior Bitch, I had ummed and arrhed about whether to bring her, she’s only just turned 12 months and is still quite ‘puppy’ compared to a lot of the older bitches in that class, she’s just had her first season and is out of coat and also quite skinny; she’s at that age that’s hard to keep weight on. I’ve not had her out in the ring since October when she was a pain in the arse and wouldn’t move (too busy with nose on the ground sniffing!) so I was interested to see how she went. She’s quite a willing little dog so not so difficult to handle…I know she still has faults that I hope will improve with age but she also has a lot of things to like, she has a lovely reach of neck and turn of stifle and is very balanced and free moving in profile and she has a beautiful pretty head with lovely soft alert expression (there you go, that’s my critique on my own dog lol). There were 21 entered in junior bitch, it was a HUGE class with some really lovely young bitches, Mouse had her sniffy head on in the move out and back (as did a lot of others so maybe there was something very smelly on that patch of grass?) but she moved nicely on the circuit…she has a lovely long easy stride, especially for such a little dog so I was pleased when she was shortlisted and placed 5th (VHC).

The judging broke for lunch and during this break they had the special classes judged by Veronica Avory and what a thorough job she did too, this judging over-ran the lunchbreak so was moved inside to allow the main judging to resume in the outdoor rings. The first special class was Special Open (Agility) Dog stakes for dogs that were entered in both the breed and agility show; this was a well supported class with 13 entries which included a number of dogs that have done a lot of winning in the showring (including a champion) so I was over the moon when Vicki and Diesel (Bryning Don’t Stop Me Now at Ruffs) won it! Next up was the Special Open (Agility) Bitch stakes which I had entered with Faith; this also had a good entry of 12; Faith went really nicely…moved out well and we managed to control that rather exuberant tail! She is looking really well at the moment, having the litter has brought her on nicely, she’s broadened up, filled out but still very muscular rather than fat and her coat is in lovely condition at the moment too. I was pleased as punch when we ‘did the double’ and Faith also won this class. Sadly the main judge did not seem to like Faith at all and she was unplaced in Limit Bitch or AOC class.

Lastly I had Spark entered only in the Any Other Colour class which had a good entry of 10 and included some dogs that have done a lot of winning. The dog judge was Doug Collier (Collherd). It had been a long day for the boy and he was tormented by the number of bitches in season around the show so was making his ‘best ears’ and gay tail at anything that so much as looked his way! He decided he was madly in love with the Bitch CC winner (and eventual Best In Show winner) Caleykiz Rhythm in Black and was whining when she was in the ring during the bitch challenge…funny boy! (although she is a lovely little bitch so he has good taste at least lol). Thankfully Spark knows when he’s ‘working’ and behaved himself in the ring, he went nicely and won the class (good boy) making it once again into the dog challenge, he went nicely in the challenge but the Dog CC went to Aust Ch Sh CH Danari De Beers IMP (Aus) handled by Gary Clarke and the Reserve CC went to the lovely Oliver, Etherial Up in Lights IMP (Aus) handled by Sam Goulding. Really pleased for Sam and Heather, he looked an absolute picture of power and elegance on the move, lovely boy.

Am afraid I have no piccies of any of the dogs because everything was just so hectic and everyone seemed to be really busy the whole day. Will maybe pinch one of Vicki’s with Diesel when she gets them uploaded somewhere.

I had all the dogs out for a blast of a run on the showground before heading home, they are just wild when confronted with a big open space and were doing enormous speedway circuits of the van! Lol I left for home just before 6pm and expected to be home around 8 but…as I was heading over Saddleworth Moor on the M62 the van engine started making the most horrendous sound and I had to stop on the hard shoulder, I couldn’t see anything obvious and as I set off again it seemed fine until I put it in 5th gear and the banging started again….oh no…gearbox!! I came off the M62 at junction 22 and limped home cross country in 4th gear arriving home about 9.15pm, totally knackered and extremely pee’d off! Poor old van is currently in the garage waiting to have a new gearbox fitted and poor old me is skint!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Crufts...p.s.

Here's a vid of the dog challenge I found, taken by someone else who was filming Harry (the ticket winner)...



and here's a vid taken by the same person of the BOB challange between the dog ticket winner Sh CH Janbell Jamieson JW (handled by Pete Simmons) and the bitch ticket winner AM CH Bayshore British Connection Avatar (handled by Eric Broadhurst)



A lot of deliberating!! lol

Thursday, 18 March 2010

A rather traumatic day

Well what a day of worry we had following a freak accident first thing yesterday morning. I was getting ready for work and four of the dogs that were coming with me (Spark, Ethan, Dottie and Faith) were upstairs with me and being particularly boisterous and silly, play fighting and bouncing on and off my bed while I was getting sorted (this is actually pretty normal behavior) but once I grabbed my phone and coat and headed out onto the landing they knew we were leaving the house and did their usually race down the stairs to the front door; Tammy and Mac were already downstairs and the four thundered down to join them when I heard the most almighty crashing sound, I had absolutely no idea what they’d done but they’d obviously broken something! As I got half way down the stairs I was shocked to see the glass panel on the inner door completely smashed and a dog lying in the porchway, I could hardly believe it, this is a big old heavy glass panel. I ushered everyone out the back, they all looked fine and Tammy, who had been the one in the porch, ran through into the dining room so I started to sweep all the glass up and noticed blood on one of the larger shards, Tammy had blood on a back foot so I assumed she’d stood on some of the glass on closer inspection however I was appalled to see a horrific injury to her front left leg; a large gaping hole revealing bone and severed muscle and tendons, the shard must have sliced straight through. I called the vets immediately but they were still on answerphone for emergencies only so I decided to just drive down there and they would be open by the time I arrived. The nurse came out and had a quick look and then took her straight through to see the vet, leaving a bloody trail across the carpark and reception; there was too much blood and mess to see anything clearly so they just bandaged her up to stop the bleeding, gave her a shot of painkiller and took her through for a GA so they could investigate and repair the damage more easily. I was concerned she had broken the bone and Kirsty was concerned there wasn’t going to be enough skin to close the wound. I just had to leave her. After an agonizing couple of hours the call came to say she was awake and had a good colour, they had stitched the muscle and tendons back together and cleaned everything up and managed to close the wound, time will tell how well that holds but thank god she is ok for now and she is home.

The scene of the crime...


The patient...


I still don’t know exactly what happened, I can only assume Tammy heard me coming and was stood by the door waiting to go out, the location of her injury would certainly suggest that; the four dogs racing down the stairs were carrying so much momentum that they didn’t stop before they hit Tammy and the force knocked her straight through the glass panel. Those dogs could do that a hundred times over (as they have) without anything happening but for some reason today, everything came together in such a way that the worst case scenario did occur. Ok, maybe the worst case would be that a major artery was severed and Tammy bled to death, or…instead of a dog it had been my 5 year old nephew pushed through that panel but you know what…never, not once have I ever considered the danger of that glass door or ever even contemplated that someone might hit it with sufficient force to break it although the vet did tell me that her dog had done the same, rushing to the front door when the doorbell rang when one day she just didn’t stop and went straight through it! We have (fairly obviously) decided to replace the panel with a solid wooden one, no more glass

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Crufts 2010

Now, I have a bit of a funny love/hate relationship with Crufts…I wonder why every year I try hard to get dogs qualified and then enter them only to think nearer the time ‘oh, I’m not sure I can be bothered to go??’….I always do of course! lol

I hate all the hype and expectation that comes with this big show and I’m always saying ‘yeh well, it’s just another dog show’ and while it’s lovely to catch up with all my friends and puppy owners that I don’t get to see very often, the day seems to go so fast and I don’t get chance to see much or spend much time with people and the whole thing is just exhausting. Well this year I decided to just take the two dogs, Mercy and Spark, both entered in Limit so not due in the ring ‘til late on in the judging so I thought we could have a nice leisurely start in the morning and an easy day. Gemma and I left home around 7.15am having sorted all the dogs out that were staying home and we went and picked up Helen who only lives a couple of miles away and set off down the M6 to Birmingham. Now, while I much prefer being at Crufts on a week day (much quieter) the journey down during rush hour traffic (and endless roadworks!) I could do without, we hit a large hold up just before Birmingham on the M6 so took a small detour to take the toll road and arrived around 9.30am, taking 2 dogs and all the gear in between 3 of us wasn’t too bad and this year we ended up being benched right on the edge so caught all the ‘passing traffic’ to the Arena which was actually really nice (being that it was Thursday and not so busy) because we managed to catch all the flyballers on their way past going to compete in the first lot of Quarter Finals. This first heat included four Brynings…the three border collies…Zephyr (Bryning Bounce Right Back) and Tarn (Bryning Tarn) running with Warrington Wizzards and Kite (Bryning Black Kite) running with Wilmslow as well as working cocker Magic (Bryning Makin’ Magic) who was reserve with Dream Team South East. Magic and his young handler Jordan were also competing in the YKC Agility Dog of the Year competition. I was also looking forward to watching friends competing in the agility pairs competition too.

Of course, as I might have predicted, the pairs competition started just I went in the ring with Mercy for a HUGE Limit Bitch class, I had to watch on the big screen in the corner of Hall 1 which is in full view from the BC rings. Becca and Cheryl finished up 4th which was a great result (video of their run HERE) and better than I did with Mercy who went nicely but didn’t even make the cut…ho hum…such is showing.

Mercy in the ring...

(she is a buggar for anticipating the stop and pulling up short)

I was in Limit Dog with Spark shortly after, just as the flyball quarter finals started (of course!) so again had to watch those on the big screen. Wilmslow were sadly pipped to the post by Dream Team and knocked out but Warrington Wizzards won their heat and the Thursday final and made it through to the Semi’s on Saturday.

Spark has been dropping coat for the last few weeks but I often think this is no bad thing for him since he has so much! I think you get a better view of his shape when he’s carrying a little less and I was happy with the way we’d got him prepared, I thought he looked better than he had last year (when he’d come 3rd in a large Yearling class) but you never quite know what’s going to happen and I had no idea what this judge liked so had no expectations. Spark is a lovely dog to handle, I free stand him because he will naturally place himself into a nice stand without any faffing or placing of feet from me. I don’t know that he particularly enjoys the showring but he certainly doesn’t mind it, he’s such a biddable little chap and a bit of a ‘mummy’s boy’ so he’s always happy to be doing something with me and he’s always very willing to do whatever I ask. There were 28 dogs entered in this class with just 3 absent so you can imagine, with 25 dogs to be seen, this class took the best part of an hour to complete which is a long time for a dog to be standing around doing very little for most of the time. We were about half way through the line up and he was a little fidgety being gone over but I was pleased with the way he moved, barely batting an eyelid when a dog in the lineup backed out in front of me on our way round causing me to have to ‘hop’ over it! lol I was a little disappointed that both judges only had the dogs doing triangles and straight up and down, I don’t think this ever allows the dogs to really get going and make the most of those nice sized rings in the way a nice flowing circuit will. Anyway, I wasn’t really sure what the judge thought of him but Gemma did notice that often when she was moving on from one dog to the next she would glance back over at Spark so she was obviously wanting to get a longer look at him (I was totally oblivious of this, obviously engrossed by the flyball!). So all the dogs had been seen and the judge shortlisted, she pulled out a block of 3 of us stood together Sam Goulding and Oliver (Etherial Up in Lights) Della Lucas and Tikka (Aculsia Galaxy Choc Box) and me with Spark; it was a very strong shortlist from a strong class. The judge then came straight over and asked me to move Spark again, then a tricolour dog, she was obviously trying to decide between these two…I was absolutely elated when she came over and pulled Spark out first, his first win in Limit…woo hoo!! I took him straight back to his bench and put him away for a rest before the challenge, I figured we had about an hour before we were back in the ring and I wanted him out a good 15 mins before just to toilet and stretch his legs and touch up the grooming.

So, we watched the last class of the day, Good Citizen Dog and saw Vicki and Diesel (Bryning Don’t Stop Me Now) take 4th place (yay!) then it was back in the ring for the dog challenge with the ten other unbeaten class winners (I think the working class winner was excluded because he was beaten in another class). I have to say Spark was rather fidgety during the challenge, I think he thought he’d done enough for the day and was ready for home; the judge had a quick scan over and then asked just 3 dogs to move, the open class winner (Sh CH Janbell Jamieson), Spark and the Post Grad winner (Wizaland I am what I am for Birkvaughn); she went back to the table for the prizes and awarded the CC to Janbell Jamieson (a dog I happen to like very much and a very popular winner), I waited for a second to see whether she was going to call for the second in Open Dog (Am CH Sh CH Avatar One Nite Stand Bayshore) but she didn’t hesitate and came straight over to award Spark the Reserve CC!! I was absolutely over the moon but totally gobsmacked; probably what comes from going in with no expectations lol. The best of breed went to the bitch ticket winner, a very pretty little imported bitch, Am CH Bayshore British Connection Avatar.

Spark in the ring…


More pics HERE

We had a celebratory drink in the bar with a big group of flyball friends and Spark had a celebratory profiterole thanks to Jason Higgins lol. We hung around to see the BOB go in the group but ended up having to leave before they went in, I had a cracking headache and needed to get home to see to my dogs which was a real shame, I like watching the group judging and wanted to see how she went. By the time I’d driven home I felt terrible so just sorted the dogs and went straight to bed, not exactly a great way to celebrate I know! lol I woke the next morning with a stinking head cold…great!

Full Border Collie judging results can be seen HERE

Second in Special Puppy Bitch was a blue merle Spark daughter, Locheil Silver Sixpence at Croxlea and the winner of Undergraduate Bitch was a Mercy daughter, Locheil Eclipse of the Moon over Taranza!

So on reflection, despite my ‘it’s just another dog show’ attitude I have to concede that winning at Crufts IS extra special, not least because of the huge entries, 474 border collies entered this year, the largest entry in the pastoral group and one of the biggest entries across all the breeds and, although I’ve also won a RCC with Dottie in the past year (which was fantastic) this one was possibly that extra bit special because I bred Spark myself, and his mother Dazzle and I also own his father Ethan and although I hate bringing colour into it…he is a merle! lol I’m just so proud of my boy and can’t be thankful enough to Shirley Bell for letting me have his grandmother, the very special Canen Spangle back in 2005 and also to Heather Turner for allowing me to use the gorgeous Bond and letting me have my lovely boy Ethan too. I am so grateful to them both for allowing me the opportunity to breed my precious boy.

Anyway, Friday I really would have liked to have gone back to Crufts to watch the parson judging and some agility and flyball and do a little shopping but it wasn’t possible so I had to make do with the live streaming instead (and I’m sure my bank balance benefited too! lol). I was thrilled to see that the sire of my parson puppies, Chello (CH Giftrapped of Lovealoch to Pacolito) was awarded the dog CC, the Pacolito kennel had a really good day winning several classes and both the dog and bitch tickets, reserve bitch ticket and BOB of course too! They were also in the breeder stakes final in the evening which I was delighted to see was won for the second year running by the Tonkory kennel of Border collies, what an amazing achievement! (you can watch this on the Borderbeau Website)

Full Parson Russell Terrier judging results can be seen HERE

Who knows, maybe I’ll get Esther out to a few shows later this year and see if we can get her qualified.

Erin Logie and Surf (Bryning Time to Fly) came 4th in the YKC Freestyle competition on Saturday and the Warrington Wizzards (including Bryning Tarn and Bryning Bounce Right Back) came 2nd in the Crufts flyball final too…way to go guys!!

The final race...


Full flyball results HERE

We have talked about entering some flyball qualifiers this year but I really don’t think it would be possible for me to enter dogs in both the flyball and breed classes, especially since several of my flyball dogs are my show dogs too. My limited breed showing already plays a serious second fiddle to our flyball commitments throughout the year; Crufts is actually the first breed show we’ve done since NWBCC in October (i.e. in the last 5 months!) and I only actually went to 5 breed shows last year (two of which just happen to be on my doorstep, Blackpool and NWBCC) including Crufts although Spark did go to SKC without me. In those 6 shows Spark had 3rd in Yearling, 2nd in Graduate, 3rd in Limit (twice), and 2nd in AOC, Richmond being the only show he didn’t get placed at (I suspect partly down to him being a total pillock in the ring, most unlike him!) but where Dottie did gain the RCC…so not a bad year!

All in all I think Crufts 2010 was a great year for the breed BC’s with show bred dogs well represented in all disciplines and winning in the HTM freestlye, International Obedience and Agility Champ classes (both medium and large), long may it continue!

Monday, 15 March 2010

A well earned rest...

So, after a weekend of lovely dry weather I woke up last Monday morning to another beautiful sunny day; I had booked Thursday and Friday off work so that I would be able to spend a couple of days at Crufts, as it happened that ended up being impossible because my mum went away so I had no-one home to look after the dogs so we could only go for the day but I decided to ring my boss and see if I could take the whole week off and he agreed that would be fine…yippee!! A chance to catch up with all those little jobs I wanted to do but hadn’t got round to and spend some more time with the dogs and make the most of the good weather we were finally having! Monday afternoon I popped round to see a friend and we went for a walk up Beacon Fell. I just decided to take my current competing flyball dogs for the extra walk in an attempt to get them a little fitter after our enforced winter layoff due to the terrible weather we’ve been having. We were out for an hour or so and walked through the trees and over the top to the trig point where we could enjoy the views.

Here’s a couple of pics...


...there are more here

Tuesday I had a day of catching up on chores, so while out doing all the shopping for me and the dogs I decided to take five of them round Cuerden Valley Park ; this is over in the direction of Batleys (where we get all our dog food from) and there is direct access into the park from Asda carpark which is rather handy! I often take the dogs here at lunchtime when they’ve come to work with me as it’s not far from the office. We did a nice long circular walk across fields, through trees and around the lake and were out for about an hour and a half. Although huge (370 acres in total) this is quite a busy park and the rangers are quite ‘keen’ on limiting dog numbers per person so five is the maximum I will take on my own. It’s so nice to be able to enjoy a relaxing walk and be able to stop and take photos and play fetch in the river etc rather than the forced march our daily walks usually consist of when I’m always pushed for time! lol

Here’s the motley crew I took with me (flyball dogs again)…

Teal eyeing up the ducks on the lake…


And some more pics of them here

On Wednesday Gemma had the day off so came up and we took ALL the dogs to the beach; well all apart from those in season and Spud who unfortunately is just too arthritic to go on big runs with everyone now (poor Spud). We split them into 3 manageable sized groups so were on the beach for nearly 3 hours in total…what a beautiful day it was and not at all busy, how I wish I could be at home every weekday! All the dogs had a lovely long run and swim in the sea and Aston, who was enjoying his first trip to the seaside, also had his first swim…he’s proving to be just like his mother (Lexie)…a real water baby, we couldn’t keep him out!

Lovely wide open spaces for running!!


A few more pics of them all here Then it was back home for some lunch, a bit of flyball training with the youngsters… Jovi, Fynn and Squirrel. We’re having to really work on Fynn’s drive back from the box which is currently, well…non existant! We’ve had dogs like this before and it does come eventually so we’ll just keep working on lots of chasing runbacks.

Squirrel on the box…
video
Although she’s jumping on the box nicely she’s still not pushing off very well with her back feet, not sure how to ‘fix’ this but will have a think about it. then off to the local butchers/farm shop to pick up lots of bones for the dogs we were leaving at home the next day then straight to the vets with Esther for her vaccinations (she was a very brave girl) and finally time to start bathing and prepping the two dogs we were taking to Crufts the next day…Mercy and Spark; both shampooed and rinsed twice then blow dried (which Spark doesn’t mind but Mercy hates) then all off to bed before the ‘Big Day’!!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Training at last!

We've had a week of beautiful weather, dry and sunny so we finally got to have a really good training session on Sunday afternoon; all except Gemma who was unfotunately working.

A very useful session, had a few ideas about re-structuring the teams at Rotherham in a couple of weeks so we'll see how that goes. The girls that have had pups (Lexie and Dottie) are both getting fitter and faster so hopefully they'll be back in form for Anglesey at Easter.

We did some chute training with Fly to work on improving her box turn (whish is non existant!); she is picking this up really well, it's going to take some time to transfer this improved technique to the box but it's progress!

We also ran both Squirrel and Jovi on the chute. I'm really pleased with JoJo's progress, she is now happily doing full runs over 9" hurdles although she hasn't quite figured out that there's an endless supply of tennis balls at the box end yet so I am having to throw the ball back to Simon each time, this si a common thing with dogs starting out and I'm confident that as she does more she will realise and become more box focused. Now to continue building this and start working on changeovers, we did a few very loose passes with Fly and she was fine.

Squirrel had her first tarining session since having the pups, she's come off the litter as 'fit as a flea' and was totally up for it, I don't think I've ever seen her run so fast so I was really pleased with her, even if we did have to have a 'victory lap' after every run! lol

All looking very promising for the start of the outdoor season next month. I will try and get some pics/videos at our next session.

And then there was one...

The last parson puppy, Fagin left home on Sunday so now I'm just left with little Esther who looks like she will be staying :)

Here's the two of them snuggled up on the sofa for the last time on Saturday evening...

And here's Esther snuggled up with mum the next night...bless...

She is a lovely little pup, not as bold and outgoing as I would normally choose, she probably is the quietest in the litter to be honest but I'm sure she won't stay that way living here! lol

Here she is playing in the garden with some of the big dogs.


and 'striking a pose' in the garden...


I've really enjoyed this litter, lovely quiet easy puppies, far less demanding than the collie litters and such fabulous little characters...love them!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

and another month has passed...

Oops, another month has gone by without an update.

Well, what of February then…our parson puppies have all left home now apart from ‘Fagin’ who should be leaving this weekend and Esther who…oops…has accidentally ended up stay ; whether she stays here long term remains to be seen; I don’t really want another puppy right now but there’s just something about her that reminds me so much of Squirrel at the same age, I’m loathed to let her go. Plus, I figure if you’re going to use the 2009 top winning parson as the stud dog then it really only makes sense to hold onto something from the litter; if the perfect home comes up where she could go on breeding terms then I will likely part with her. This is precisely what I’ve just done with Pixie, the little slate merle bitch I’ve kept from Viggo and Dazzle’s litter, she is cute as a button and just had to stay but I didn’t want to rear 2 collie pups at the same time so Aston has stayed here and Pixie has gone to live with our friends and team mates, the Morgan family, down the road which is just perfect. She is settling in very well and I’m very pleased with the way both pups are shaping up so far; even in this ‘off’ phase of puppyhood (around 16 weeks) they are both still looking very nice, beautifully proportioned and sound puppies.

We competed at Gap Farm again during the month and, in contrast to our January comp, we just had ‘one of those days’ when we just didn’t seem to be able to get it together and ended up 4th in both divisions (1 and 4) but threw in a few ok times. I was pleased with the way Faith ran, not so much Teal who still seems to be lacking form (and carrying too much weight!)…room for improvement me thinks! Next comp is Rotherham at the end of this month, running on grass under canvas, I do like this venue so am really looking forward to it.

Also coming up this month we have Crufts (next Thursday); I’ve only entered 2 dogs this year and may end up just taking Spark, Mercy is carrying a little extra weight at the moment and I noticed last week that she has also broken a tooth while away, we’ll see. I am looking forward to a nice easy day out at Crufts for a change where I might get to see a little more than just the BC benching area! Following this there is BCCGB championship breed show and open agility show on the same day; I have entered both but it is also the same day as the BFA AGM…hmmmmm…tough call. We’re also planning to go to NEBCC open show which is the day after Rotherham flyball so a busy month ahead!

More pics and news to follow…(I promise!!)