Friday, 21 May 2010

On the mend

The dressing is now off and she is feeling a lot brighter in herself,

this does of course mean that she has started complaining about being crated all the time and wants to attempt her usual running up/down stairs, jumping on/off sofa when she's let out! Another week of crate rest and she can then start having short lead walks but I'm really pleased with the progress she's making.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Dinnington Ruby Club

A very quick review of the weekend tournament at Dinnington Rugby Club, sorry I don’t have any pics to go with it.

We had both teams running on Saturday and Tyne had all four of theirs on this day too, it was pretty busy! In light of the reliability/timing problems we’ve been having with the Demon Racers I decided to run the Demon Pawz as our second team and submit a time that was achievable by our slowest combination, ensuring that we had the same 3 dogs running all the races with Mac and Ethan alternating. Mac running start and Ethan running last so the middle order stayed the same…Pip, Dottie, Fly…Ethan ran all the races in the red lane (so he could turn left every time) and Mac ran all the ones in the blue lane…a seven team division so they had 3 races each…sorted! This definitely worked better and we got much more consistent times and won the division!! We still achieved a fastest time of 20.67 so not bad going at all. The team Squirrel was running with (Tyne Titans) were in the same division as the Pawz although they were bottom seed and did struggle in the division. All the dogs ran well though including Squirrel! I have pretty much figured out (I hope) what I need to do with her and what I can’t do, she’s very tuned in to where I am and what I’m doing so I have to be aware of that at all times! (she’d probably make quite a good little agility dog lol).

We ran the Demonz on the new box again and this caused us a few issues and unfortunately lost us a few races, we had a different boxloader with Paul taking over running Faith, in preparation for Belgium, so I don’t know whether it was that or whether there is actually a problem with the box, these Alvah’s are known for being a little temperamental, we’ll see how it is in training this week. The long and short of it was that a few times it didn’t trigger when it should have done and others it randomly triggered when it shouldn’t…darn it! On the plus side…We ran Alison and Dylan back start dog again since we ‘think’ we may have cracked the ball dropping issue (hurrah!), the dogs all seemed to run ok on the box and Bailey was certainly back on form. We managed a new seed time of 17.93 in the first race :o) While I was looking at the box before the afternoon races Teal went off with Gemma and her boys and, for some reason best known to her, Gemma thought it would be a good idea to repeatedly throw a ball…on a very hot day…resulting in a knackered little spaniel!! Lol I ran her in the first couple of legs and she was like a slug! Fortunately, we had Lexie on this team sheet since Dylan had shown signs of a shoulder strain earlier in the week so the cocker was put back in the van and I ran Lexie instead, it never does Faith any harm to have to run her own height (13”) from time to time because she’s rubbish at it! We completed the last two races of the day with Dyl, Bai, Faith and Lexie instead. I’m actually pleased Lexie got a run. Despite our poor results we ended up on a 3 way tie for 3rd place and ended up 3rd as we had the fastest time, pleased to see our lovely friends Rotherham and Tyne come first and second…(especially since both teams run dogs I bred lol)…excellent result!

On Sunday we just had our combined starters team running, Demon Tailwaggerz. Fynn seemed to suddenly realise there were dogs running in the other lane and had a few stupid moments, Viggo got spooked by a dog crossing over into his lane and totally lost the plot (he is such a baby!) but Maisie and Jovi both ran great and I was especially pleased that they also both ran together and passed each other. We had also run Jo in the warm ups on Saturday and she’d been fine so have bitten the bullet and entered 3 teams at Pontefract this weekend!! This means Squirrel will be coming back from Tyne to run for us and she and Jovi will be running in a four dog Open team…wish us luck!

Little China Doll…

This is often what springs to mind when I look at Esther, particularly in comparison to her littermates, she’s such a finely built and, to be honest, scrawny little dog but she runs and plays with the big dogs and is one tough little cookie, or so I thought. Truth be told the big dogs, particularly Spark and Ethan, pretend to play rough with her but are actually very gentle. The fragility of these little breeds in comparison to the collies became brutally apparent on Weds night when, while running around my bedroom like an idiot before bedtime, she dived across the bed and fell off the edge and screamed her little head off! Now, I’ll admit, I wasn’t terribly sympathetic at first; these terriers can be rather prone to dramatics so I thought she was over-reacting as she hopped around on 3 legs refusing to put her left hind on the floor. I had a quick look and the pain seemed to be coming from the top of her leg/hip…I really wasn’t sure what she’d done…a knock or sprain but she was obviously unhappy…it was late at night so I gave her a double dose of metacam and put her to bed to see how she was in the morning. Come morning she was still holding the leg and very quiet so we went straight down to the vets; after a quick examination it was concluded she’d probably broken her femur (thigh bone) and needed x-rays (cue a very guilty feeling me!). I left her in and went to work and rang after lunch to be told she had indeed broken the femur which was going to require pinning. Poor little girl :o(


The vets said they could do it but suggested she might be better going to an orthopeadic specialist so I immediately called Tom who runs with the Dolphins flyball team and specializes in this kind of surgery at Nantwhich Veterinary Group in Cheshire, he agreed to see her straight away so I took the afternoon off, went and picked her up from the vets and drove down to Cheshire and left her in Tom’s capable hands; we talked through the options and decided on internal surgery rather than the external fixators so she’s had the bone pinned through the centre and plated. This has left for a very neat wound that has been stitched internally so nothing to come out and nothing for her to chew at but this surgery is obviously very invasive, involving a lot of muscle and tissue so she’s still very sore and feeling very sorry for herself.

For the moment she's quite happy being left in her crate sleeping, she has 2 weeks of complete crate rest before she's allowed out for short lead walks, she should be having follow up x-rays in a months time to make sure it's healed and then hopefully, fingers crossed, she'll be good as new.

Monday, 17 May 2010

A rare weekend off…

So, we had a flyball free weekend so what did we do? Stay at home and relax? Catch up on all the housework and gardening? No of course not, Saturday afternoon I drove down to Oxford to collect Moody (A Viggo-Dazzle puppy who has been returned to me at 6 months old) and visit Joy and Becca. Moody, thankfully, is a lovely little lad (actually, no he isn’t little…he’s HUGE) who has fitted right back in with everyone and enjoyed his visit to Joy and Becca’s farm as much as the rest of my lot…charging down the bridlepaths and across the fields and then jumping in Joy’s pond! Lol We had a nice evening, Chinese food and Rioja and a good old natter and then headed over to Sally’s lovely garden centre, Purely Plants near Banbury, on Sunday morning to do some agility training; our first in ages and much needed before our competition at the end of this month! We did some good little bits but it really did highlight our need for regular training; I must get back up to HBK Agility
again as it’s the perfect setup for me but just seem to really struggle to find the time. We had a nice weekend and it was lovely being able to catch up with Joy, Becca and Sally and all their lovely Bryning babies of course :o)

Joy also helped me get some new photos of Aston who has just turned 6 months old, he’s still very much the baby but shaping up nicely, I’m very pleased with him :o)

Drax - May Bank Holiday

Fallen a little behind on the blog again…oops!

So…over the bank holiday weekend we went over to Drax for three days of competition. Two days of open competition on the Saturday and Sunday and multibreed on the Monday. As it happened we didn’t have any teams running on the Saturday so had a nice leisurely day pottering about and helping the Tyne teams. I took most of my dogs with me and also had Ebi, my brother and sister-in-law’s parson puppy from Squirrels’ litter so he and sister Esther had a nice weekend together and had chance to catch up with their littermates Boz and Stella.

Here's Boz making the most of his 'ringside seat' in Bob and Lyn's caravan ;o)

The weather was kind and I crashed with the Tyne team….proper camping…in a tent and everything! lol The clubhouse there serves excellent food and is good value so we ate all our meals in there. We also collected our new (secondhand but new to us) flyball box, we’re planning to move from a boomerang box to a flat fronted CanAm style box which should give us faster box turns but requires a well trained box technique.

So Sunday arrived and we had a busy day ahead, three of our teams running, two of them at the same time in different rings! Hmmmm, that was going to be fun! I was also down to judge the division that Squirrel was running in with Tyne so had to ask Gemma to judge for me. As it happened I needn’t have bothered, Squirrel ran the first couple of races perfectly then just decided she wasn’t going to play ball. Firstly she wasn’t bringing her ball back, then she was bringing the ball but not coming over the hurdles then eventually she just refused to run at all….arghhh!!! What on earth possessed me to train and run a terrier??!! lol I just put her back in the van and panicked about what we were going to do for multibreed the next day when we needed her to run! We managed to hastily secure a super-sub JRT from the York Monsters flyball team…phew!

Here’s a few pics of her when she was actually doing it!

Very happy with that box technique…

Really MUST do something about that hurdling!! lol

It just turned out to be one of those frustrating days, we were top seed in Div 2 with the Demonz and 2nd seed with the Racers but just really struggled to get it together…everyone seemed to be struggling with the new start light sequencing so there were loads of false starts for both me with Mac and Gemma with Bailey. The dogs that tend to hit the box hard really struggled and were way off their pace including Bailey so the first team really suffered…we had thought it was due to us running on the new flat fronted box but he ran no better when we switched back to the boomerang, just seemed to struggle getting his footing when pushing back off which we eventually put down to the hard ground in that ring…most of the div 1 dogs were also way off their pace and a lot of teams were running a good 0.5sec off their seed times. I saw a lot of 4.1-4.2sec dogs clocking 4.5’s instead. On a positive note all the other Demonz ran well on the new box and it particularly seems to suit Teal and Faith well; Gemma has taken it home to do some box work with Bailey and I’m hoping his underperformance was down to the ground and not the change in box type. We ran an 18.17 as the fastest time which is just rubbish…we seriously need to tighten those changeovers!

We ran the Racers on the boomerang but struggled for consistency with running a 6 dog team…going to have a re-think about that one. Running a 6 dog team is actually quite tricky when you have 6 unevenly matched dogs. Firstly, you get a seed time based on your fastest four dogs, which obviously you’re not always running so can’t always achieve and secondly, you have handlers swapping between dogs which makes consistency very difficult and it showed in our results…lots of lights and lots of ‘should have won’ races…all in all rather frustrating. Ideally we could do with sticking to running the same 4 dogs but that then means 2 of my dogs don’t get to run. Lexie and Ethan have hardly run at all this year and it’s really not very fair when both are good dogs and both enjoy it so much. We desperately need to get that 3rd team running but until Squirrel starts running more consistently and we get Jovi out into Open competition we’re a bit stuck. The Demonz finished 3rd and Racers 4th, not a great day.

Thankfully our starters all ran really well, I swapped between Maizy and Jovi since, at the moment, I feel they both need me to run them…Jovi is very much a ‘mummy’s girl’ and has eyes only for me and Maizy needs someone who knows her well enough to be able to react to what she might do next…she was much better this week and we didn’t have any running back up the lane or dropping the ball…good girl :o) The revelation of the day was Fynn who ran very reliably…always got his ball, always brought it all the way out and no running back up the lane…by jove…I think he’s got it! He’s also picked up the pace but is only putting in about 50% effort…I’m hoping the rest will come as he gains more experience. I was very pleased though when we ran them in singles on Monday without any netting and they all ran perfectly…Maizy is certainly nothing if not consistent…she ran all 3 timed runs in 5.07secs exactly! She has loads more to give but considering she’s actually only been doing flyball for 3 weeks I’m over the moon with her performance!

A few pics of the babies thanks to Brian McMurray from Tyne…




Monday was a much more successful day altogether, Squirrel still started the day ‘out on strike’ so our second multibreed team (Demon Medley) ended up only containing one of our dogs for most of the day! We decided to run Dylan on the first team (Diverse Demonz) rather than Bailey simply because there’s nothing between them time wise when they’re both on form but Bailey had definitely been off the previous day. We also ran that team on the new flat fronted box. So that team ended up being… Ruaraidh (xbreed), Leo (standard poodle), Dylan (BC) and Teal (cocker) and worked really nicely…of course my changeover with Teal was easy peasy since that’s the changeover we do every week in the Speed Demonz but everyone else did a great job and we easily won the division with a fastest time of 17.84.

A few pics of the Diverse Demonz thanks to Kirtsty Price from Linnotts...

Ruaraidh (Rory)




We had to work somewhat harder with ‘Medley’ which consisted of Finnbarre (standard poodle), Bailey (WS), Jet (xbreed), Scooter (JRT) and Squirrel (when she finally decided to do it!)…it was a shame because they were narrowly ‘pipped’ in a couple of the earlier races and it wasn’t until the last race, when we were against Scooters team (Monster Mash) that I decided to give Squirrel a go and see what she would do…of course she ran all 3 legs perfectly and they ran 0.25sec faster despite my late changeovers….grrrr…bloody terrier!! lol Scooter was a little star and that team would have been completely stuck without him. They managed a 4th place which is exactly where they had been seeded. Sorry, no-one took pics of this lot!

I’m just glad that Squirrel managed to finish the weekend on a good note and I have learned a valuable lesson….treat the terrier like a spaniel (i.e. be extremely nice to it and don’t let on it’s done anything wrong no matter what it does) or it just won’t run so our new team mantra is no longer just ‘keep the cocker happy’ but also ‘don’t upset the terrier’!! lol

All in all it was a good weekend, it’s a lovely venue for hanging out and spending time with friends because of the club house (although the food is far too good and portions too big…I think I’ve probably gained several pounds over the weekend!), 4 of Squirrels puppies were there which was nice and loads of Viggo babies to enjoy cuddles with too. Just a pity the weather wasn’t better, although mostly bright and sunny it was quite cold and windy with intermittent showers. We have a weekend off now and will be back out competing again on mine and Sharon’s birthday…Dinnington Rugby Club on the 15th May :o)

Tilly...a Viggo baby out of River (Bryning Super Cool)

too cute!