Monday 23 January 2012

Welcome to the world little parson piglets...

Squirrel whelped her 3rd (and likely final) litter of puppies overnight and it occured to me that whelping a parson is something of an experience, quite different to that of border collies or cockers...firstly the bitch often gets very agitated and restless just before the first pup arrives and is quite noisy about the whole thing then when the first pup comes she continues in this highly agitated state...often picking the pup up and holding it in her mouth while going round and round in circles and rolling around, doing headstands etc! It’s quite alarming when you first see it and you’re sure she’s going to hurt the puppy but she doesn’t; I do find that I have to get quite firm to calm the bitch down and make her ‘get a grip’ (a metaphorical slap across the face for hysteria! lol) so she is firmly told to put the puppy down and lie down (I do feel bad about being so mean at a time they are obviously in pain and discomfort but it really is for her own good!); by the time the second pup arrives she starts to settle and then just quietly gets on with popping them out, this time we had all 6 delivered in around 3 hours :o) They are also very quiet puppies, I have all my pups born and reared in my bedroom for at least the first two weeks of their life and they very often keep me awake at night, just squeaking and gurgling as babies do but parson babies are lovely and quiet and remain so right throughout the raising in the house...they never get gobby and demanding when it’s dinner time or they want out to play...just sit nice a quietly watching and waiting...they seem so easy compared to the collies and cockers!

so here they are, first sight of the new babies...lovely big healthy puppies :o)

There are 2 boys and 4 girls this time, very much looking forward to seeing how they grow up and comparing them to the last litter.

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Osmaston Polo Ground

This is a new flyball venue located in the very picturesque Derbyshire village of Osmaston, a lovely scenic setting for a weekend of flyball courtesy of the Alpha Dogz. We were possibly a little ambitious when we entered 4 open teams and a starters team knowing that there would only be the four of us (Me, Alison, Gemma and Rach) plus a 5 year old child to keep an eye on too (lol) and especially since I had also committed to attending a BCCGB committee meeting on Saturday between the morning and afternoon racing (fortunately just 20 mins away in Willington) but things actually went surprisingly smoothly! We managed to run in five divisions with Gemma and I judging another division each, meaning we were involved in seven out of the nine divisions running over the weekend…whew! In spite of this we still managed to have a relaxed and enjoyable weekend which was certainly helped by the weather which was glorious sunshine throughout although possibly a little too hot for the dogs when racing.

Our racing started with starters first thing on Saturday morning and we had Spark , Fergus, Tarka, Flint and Spud as backup since I knew I wouldn’t be able to run Tarka and Flint at the same time so I alternated them but mostly ran Flint to be honest who was better than I expected and actually managed to run while the other lane was running and win us some legs. I’ll admit…he is better when the dog in the other lane is smaller/slower but…it’s progress at least! Somehow or other this team managed to come 2nd and we got lovely keyrings with pics of all the dogs on :o)

Next in we had the Demon Cubz, this is our newly formed 4th team which consisted of Pip, Fly, Squirrel, Ethan and Maisie. We had Eth and Maisie sharing since they both have to run last. This team started out well but things rapidly went downhill when Ethan went lame (obviously not ready to come back after his injury at Eastham :o( ) and then Maisie started repeatedly spitting her ball….argh!!! They ran a fastest time of 22.60 which is their new seed time but they are definitely capable of going sub 22 with a bit more practice I think.

Sunday started with the Pawz which this weekend was Spark (making his open debut), Jovi, Fynn, Lexie and Teal. This was another rather eventful division with a new combination of dogs where we learned a couple of things…(1) while Spark may be happy to run for someone else…this doesn’t apply when he’s running in on me running Jovi! (2) When my concentration is distracted from Jovi…her concentration is distracted from flyball! (3) Teal will actually run for someone other than me now! Jovi started running out on her way back from the box, something she hasn’t done since she very first started competing, so I actually ended up running Spark most of the day and…I have to say that he was actually brilliant! Soooo pleased with my little man! I don’t think they got that many points as we seemed to suffer with numerous lights/fumbles etc but they ran a fastest time of 21.31 and I was really pleased that Spark stayed happy and focused throughout…doing lovely tight changeovers and fumbling his ball a couple of times but coming back in over the jumps…clever merlie bum! I only wish I’d put some effort in to training him sooner! Making his open debut at 4 years old means he has some catching up to do! lol

We had decided to run the Racers NFC and run with the wings up to help Tarka re-gain her confidence in competition so that team was Mac’, Faith, Dottie and Tarka. I just feel that she needs the hype, excitement and consistency of running with experienced dogs in an open division to help her find her form again. She ran ok but didn’t have her normal speed but over the day we did discover that she has quite a build-up of scar tissue, over her right hip and left leg and I am wondering whether her sudden loss of speed/confidence is actually due to a physical issue more than anything else. Poor Tarka baby; not really sure what to do with her next??

A few of my favourite pics of this team, these were taken by David Flood of Fenland Firestorm, they were only competing Sunday and in the same division as the Pawz so David only got pics of the Racers and Demonz but they are fabulous photos as always, thanks David :o)



Last up we had the Demonz running in Division 1 and we ran Aston, Bailey, Dylan and Travis. but this time Rachel ran Travis and I ran Aston. I do love running my boy but also missed running Travis too. They all ran ok, Dyl is still not hitting his top form and I don’t think Travis ran quite as well as he had at Eastham so we only managed an 18.41 but we did win the division!

A few of my favourite pics of this team...



We also took several pups…Charm, Gambit, Junior and Walter who got their first vaccines and microchips thanks to Tom and Walter then headed home to Stevenage with Kristian on the first leg of his journey to his new home in Russia via the World Dog Show in Paris…he’s such a happy and laid back little chap…he took his little adventure in his stride as I expected ;o)

Walter – Bryning B’Dazzled (Fynn x Dazzle) just chilling in the garden during his few days stay with the Allcorns :o)

All in all another very busy but enjoyable weekend, lots learned and lots still to work on.

Friday 1 July 2011

Preiously...on ER...

Ok, so in light of my appalling aptitude as a blogger of late I feel we need a brief recap on what has happened over the last couple of months else anything new won’t make a whole heap of sense! Kinda like the start of one of those ongoing TV dramas lol (cue dramatic intro music….)

Several shows in the last couple of months, can’t remember what happened at them all now to be honest. My dogs in particular have suffered from my lack of time lately and are all a little ‘porky’ (by ‘porky’ I really mean FAT!) so aren’t running their best, with the exceptions of Aston, Mac, Maisie and Jovi who never seem to gain any weight no matter what their feeding/exercise regime (thankfully!). I also think this rapid weight gain is partly caused by the fact that I’ve started feeding them a lot more raw meat and bones, which they love but perhaps a bit too much!

The season has started slowly with a lot shuffling of dogs between the teams as we try to work out who is on form, who isn’t and which combinations are working best. We have also, in the last month, increased our number of open teams from three to four (eek!!) which is quite a lot of work for 8 people but we just have too many dogs to squeeze into 3 teams now (and lots of youngsters in training too).

Aston has been coming on brilliantly in training and has been running consistent 4.4’s in starters competitions (clever lad); he’s such a joy to handle…so motivated and focused, it’s very hard not to become complacent with a young dog like that and forget that he’s still a ‘baby’. He ran his first Open tournament at our very own show, Royal Umpire Caravan Park, Croston and was paw perfect bless him running consistent 4.2s/4.3s in our top team over 12” hurdles with Jovi as the height dog. We ran 18.24s which was 0.5sec faster than we have been running lately but Jovi didn’t run that well and actually came down with kennel cough after the show so I don’t think she was feeling 100%. Next time out (Eastham) we decided to try running Travis in the top team and the additional 1” off the hurdle heights (down to 11”) seemed to really suit Aston who ran 4.1s over this height all day helping us run a 17.95s despite Dylan being a little off form. At the moment we are running them Aston-Bailey-Dylan-Travis…this is because the team we’re running at the European Championships in Germany (sadly won’t include Aston as I never got him passported ) is a combined team with Cambridgeshire Canines which includes Merlyn who has to run start so Alison is currently perfecting her changeover into Bailey. Once we get back from Germany I anticipate that Dylan will go back start with Aston and Bailey following and then…whatever height dog we decide to run on the end ;o) Lots more to come from this team anyway.

There are a few photos of the dogs running at Eastham here

Tarka has taken somewhat of a backward step, after looking so promising in training I brought her out into open competition at Pontefract in May and it totally blew her mind and , as often happens with cockers, seriously dented her confidence . The last month or so have been slow confidence building exercises so we ran an NFC team in starters at our show, our planned Euros team which she really enjoyed and got very excited about. Our next show is at Osamston Polo Ground 2nd/3rd July where I am planning on running our second team (Demon Racers) NFC with the wings in to allow her to run and experience ‘proper’ racing without any pressure. From not doing any shows in July before we head to Germany we are now running at least one team every weekend for Tarkas’ benefit. Fingers crossed she gets the idea soon!

Spark has also really come on great guns since we started weekly training and I am so pleased with his progress. He’s been running starters most weekends and I’m so happy with every aspect of his training; his box is superb (he has done all his training and starters comps running on the chute), he is doing lovely tight changeovers in and out and has even been running start dog and maintaining his focus too. I think part of his progress is the fact he has been training and racing with Aston and they have a very healthy competitive relationship! Lol

I’ve also started training Flint who is doing surprisingly well. He does lovely fast runbacks for his tuggy and loves fetching his tennis ball too. He is gradually tightening up on the chute, this is going to be our second biggest challenge as there is a lot of him to turn! Our biggest challenge however is getting him to run while there’s another dog running…this is currently a work in progress.

We’ve started doing little bits of work with the babies… Jellybean is just doing a few runbacks each session. I’ve spaced the hurdles at 5ft intervals so that she learns to hurdle…as her little legs grow we will gradually move them further apart. At the moment she’s doing well and running back nicely for her tuggy…until she sees another dog…hmmmm…she is definitely a terrier! Preston is also doing restrained runbacks and is currently looking F-A-ST!! Need to make sure we get everything right with him as he’s looking very promising, I anticipate his issues will be dog chasing and ball dropping so we need to make sure those habits do not develop. Half of the battle with flyball training is anticipating the problems you might encounter with a particular dog and nipping them in the bud at the start.

EABCC isn’t even worth talking about so I won’t bother (lol), SKC was marginally better… Spark was a pillock (too busy thinking about nice girlies in season), Faith went nicely and was shortlisted as was Jovi but neither were placed, Viva was the most settled she’s ever been in the ring and went really well, she came 2nd in a really strong class so has now got her Crufts 2012 qualifier :o) Last show was Blackpool on the 26th June, I never seem to do well at our ‘home ground’ but, against my better judgment, was persuaded to enter under this particular judge…the Blackpool curse struck again as the judge was changed at the last minute (typical!) and as I expected…we came home with nothing. Viva was shortlisted (junior bitch), Spark and Faith were both binned (open dog and limit bitch) it was an absolute SCORCHER of a day with no shade in the rings and the judge has us moving around the big ring again and again, which under normal circumstances I would be quite happy about but it definitely took its’ toll on poor Spark who was just not a happy bunny at all bless him. I had headed taken him for a walk round to toilet just before he went in the ring and gone to fill up the water bottle at the same time, there was a large plastic paddling pool under the tap which he promptly attempted to climb in! I just managed to grab him at the last minute so he only immersed a single front leg but it was a bit of a mad panic to get it dried off and prepared again before hitting the ring. Poor Spark was most confused since I actively encourage him to get in the paddling pools at flyball to lie down and cool off between races lol I actually had a nice day nonetheless, just enjoying the banter around the ring with everyone :)

Faith at Blackpool

Viva at Blackpool

(photos by Wendy Lawless)

We’ve had three litters born over the last couple of months, well I say three…what I really mean is two and a bit! Lexie whelped a single puppy at Easter; this was always going to be her last litter as she is 8 in October and I just really wanted something else from her so one puppy suits me just fine. Gambit (Bryning All the Right Moves) is now 10 weeks old and a really lovely boy. Lexie struggled to produce milk with just having the one pup so I hand reared him ‘til 4/5 weeks old. He came everywhere with me as a result so is a very happy and confident little chap indeed. He then actually ‘moved in’ with Dazzle’s 7 puppies by Fynn who are 12 days younger than him. These pups are now all spoken for apart from a single black/white boy who injured a right hind leg at 7 weeks old, after numerous examinations and x-rays it thankfully just turned out to be a bad sprain but he’s still here until I’m happy he’s completely sound. I have kept a blue merle bitch pup from this litter on breeding terms, hopefully she will prove to be as good a producer as her mum has been.

Bryning Dare to Dazzle (Fynn x Dazzle)

Mercy whelped a litter of TEN puppies, now 5 weeks old and beautiful. I must get some new photos of this lot. Eight bitches and two dogs, I have yet to find the perfect homes for all ten of them though.

And we have two new additions of late in the form of Charm who is a super blue/white Spark daughter bred by Pat Ward at Starside She is such a character, so bold and bright…I just love her!

Charm - Starside Sparkles at Bryning

And Boomer, a lovely red/white boy from the Nice of You to Combye kennel in the Netherlands. Boomer is currently being fostered by friends in Belgium and should arrive in the UK early next year. I will see him when we’re out at the European Championships in Germany later this month though…can’t wait!

Boomer - Nice of You to Comebye Boomerang Boy

Think that’s about it for now!

Thursday 28 April 2011

Facebook killed the blog-ster??

Ok…well I do feel terribly guilty that my blog really has suffered a serious amount of neglect over the last few months and have concluded that there are several reasons for this being the case. Firstly, we don’t do as much over winter so I have far less to talk about other than the fairly trivial and mundane day to day stuff (although I actually quite enjoy reading about such things on other people’s blogs lol). Secondly, with the short days and dark mornings/evenings over winter I always just tend to feel as though I have less time to do anything which is obviously psychological since I physically have exactly the same number of hours in a day! lol Thirdly, and possibly the most significant factor is my increasing reliance on facebook to share and interact with friends and like minded people but I do appreciate that not everyone uses facebook or looks at it regularly so I will endeavour to keep the blog up to date over the summer and I will invariably have a lot more to say than is practical on facebook anyway! lol

For anyone wanting to catch the facebook news and updates, from myself and various ‘Bryning Owners’ that also contribute, you can just visit our Bryning Border Collies, Working Cockers and Parson Russell Terriers page and ‘Like’ it to get all the updates and photos included in your newsfeed.

So much has happened since my last posting that I hardly know where to begin in a brief roundup. Both flyball comp and breed show-wise we have done very little. LKA was our last breed show of 2010 and I only took Spark who ended the year in style with a first place in his first ever Open class beating some really super Show Champions; he was handled by Eric Broadhurst for the first time and didn’t go as well as he should have in the challenge but I was pleased with him nonetheless and he ended 2010 having attended just 7 shows and coming away with 5 class wins, a reserve ticket and ticket…not bad going!

Spark winning his class at LKA (photo by Cathy Saxon)

From a real high we were plunged into a real low with the sudden illness and death of Sue Large in early February, just 4 months after awarding Spark his first CC at SBCC and us having a real blast together at LKA in December. What a terrible shock and a real blow to her whole family but also the dog world at large; Sue was always happy to share her time and vast wealth of knowledge and experience with everyone and I had been touched by her generosity of spirit since I bought my first ‘show bred’ border collie, sired by Tetley (Wizaland Lucky Brew JW); Sue was always so helpful and encouraging to me as a complete novice, it was a really sad time for all who knew her.

So far this year we’ve only been to MBCC champ show where Spark was 3rd in Open dog and a couple of open breed shows where Spark and Faith both had class wins, Viva a couple of consistent places and Jovi came 2nd in a strong class at her first ever show; if I can get her to settle in the ring she should do ok (although that is quite a big ‘if’!).

Spark winning his class at NWBCC Open Show (photo by Sue Tranter)

Viva at NWBCC

And of course Crufts where I had just entered Dottie and Spark but Dottie didn’t hang onto her coat so only Spark went, he was unplaced for the first time ever (shock…horror! lol) but was beautifully behaved as always and returned to represent the breed on the Discover Dogs stand on Sunday too, along with Fynn.

Spark by his bench at Crufts 2011

We have EABCC and SKC champ shows coming up over the next few weeks so fingers crossed for some good results there. It’s quite frightening to add up the cost of show entries and diesel costs so I’m not sure how many shows we will get to this year to be honest. I thought long and hard and decided that, although qualified, I’m not going to take Spark to ‘Border Collie of the Year’ this year…it’s just too far and too costly for the sake of taking a single dog unfortunately.

In terms of flyball tournaments we had a couple of months off with no competing or training so we’re not entirely prepared for the season ahead and are going to have to just ‘suck it and see’ but that means there’s no pressure on either dogs or handlers. Travis made his Open debut and is running reliably but we still need to work on his box and his junior handler, Megan has a lot to learn too but is making good progress. I am still working on foundation stuff with Tarka, she is looking very promising and I want to make sure we get it right with her so no more starters competitions for her until I feel she’s ready to run in open, the chaos of starters is not conducive to cocker confidence building. Flint (the ENORMOUS whippet/saluki/greyhound thing I rescued last summer) has just started training and is doing surprisingly well…let’s hope it lasts! Again…baby steps with him, don’t want to waste that potential by pushing him too soon.

We have managed to secure a new permanent training ground thanks to my wonderful vets at Rowan Veterinary Centre; their brand new purpose built surgery sits on quite a large plot so we have mown a half acre (ish) area that we can use for training, there is a lovely (hmmmm) open water pit in the middle of the plot too which the dogs have decided makes an ideal ‘plunge pool’ for cooling off! lol

We did have some surprise success however on our first attempt at Crufts flyball with our YKC team which had been a last minute thought at the end of last year. We had qualified at the last qualifier of the year in October so went on the last day (Sunday) looking forward to our day out but with no expectations. To our surprise and delight the kids and dogs were brilliant and sailed through each knock out round without dropping a single race to win the final against Hinckley and be declared the 2011 Crufts Champions! Woo Hoo! Team consisted of Rachel with Spice (WSD) and Aiden with Lily (Labrador) from Cambridgeshire along with Daizy, Megan and Rachel who ran Bailey(WSD), Dylan (Bryning Truly Magic), Faith (Bryning True Believer) and Haze (Bryning Indian Summer)

The Demon K9’s - 2011 YKC Crufts Flyball Champions!

We have two new editions to the pack since the last blog update too. Jellybean is a rough coated Parson Russell bitch puppy that I kept from Squirrel’s Christmas litter, she’s just an adorable little rogue like her daddy!

And Preston is a young blue & white border collie pup from the Beesting ‘kennel’ in Wigan. There is quite a sad tale behind Preston joining us here as I had originally chosen and taken his litter brother Drift who was a really super puppy and such a funny character but was tragically killed in an accident at just 5 months old which was just devastating. Shortly after Drifts’ sudden death Jean and Jimmy very kindly offered Preston to me; since I already knew him and liked him a lot it seemed like the perfect opportunity to retain the new bloodlines I had wanted when looking to bring in a new pup in the first place. He is sufficiently different to Drift for me not to be constantly reminded of him or to be tempted to compare them and has settled in here really well becoming firm friends with Jellybean.

Monday 29 November 2010 a nutshell...

Crikey moses, another month without a blog update and such a lot has happened in that time too!

Where do we start? Well the two pups (Flint the ‘lurcher’ and Aero ) are growing fast and have become best of friends already. Aero is very much like his father Mac in a lot of ways but his ear carriage isn’t one of them! Think we’re definitely going to have pricked ears on this young fella but at the moment they’re a little out of control! Although as you can see, he is in good company with this! lol

Beginning of November saw us heading up North to the Scottish Border Collie Club show; we usually go for the weekend each year doing the Working and Pastoral Breeds of Scotland show the day before and staying overnight somewhere but this year we could only do one day as I had no-one to look after the dogs at home. I had entered 8 dogs (!!) but since Paul had taken Jack (Bryning the Jean Genie) after I’d entered the show he was taking him so Gemma and I just had the two pups, Viva and Vogue in Minor Puppy Bitch, Faith in Limit, Dottie in Open and the 3 boys, Aston in Puppy (his last puppy class), Fynn in Yearling and Spark in Limit. It was going to be a busy day with the dog and bitch rings running simultaneously. We were a bit rushed with the girls in first as the judging started with bitches contrary to what the schedule had stated, they hadn’t travelled very well and needed cleaning up on arrival and Gemma was still out in the carpark getting the other dogs sorted when the class started so I had to grab my friend Pat to take Viva and I took Vogue…the class was HUGE and the ring was TINY so the class ended up being split into 3 groups. Had I known this in advance I would have handled each of my girls separately! As it happened they were both very naughty on the move and neither got placed. Having two in the same class is never a good idea and I had never intended to keep both these girls, just really struggled choosing between them! As fate would have it a friend of Pat’s had been watching and was really rather taken with Vogue and looking for another pup to campaign having recently lost his old girl so…problem solved; Vogue went home with Terry and I kept Viva. Their brothers, Jack and Gene, faired rather better with Paul and Pat in the Minor Puppy Dog class with a 3rd and 4th respectively. Next in was Aston in Puppy Dog, in hindsight I wished I’d put him in Junior as he has grown into a really big lad already and towered over the other puppies! He took a bit of time to settle on the move and the small ring isnt’ best suited to his long stride but if I just move out and don’t look at him he moves out much better, if I make eye contact he tends to crab round to keep looking at me! On the whole he went well and he’s certainly starting to relax a lot more in the ring; he came 3rd again (as he had at NWBCC) so I was pleased with that. If I can get some more weight and coat on him he should do well in the older classes but for the time being I think he needs some time out of the ring to mature. Next in was Fynn, he is such a fidget bum! He wasn’t placed and definitely needs some more ring practice but he did move out nicely when he was concentrating. Faith was unplaced in Limit Bitch, she was a very giddy kipper moving out with the others…she finds showing far too exciting! Spark went really nicely in Limit Dog and won his class which I was super pleased about. He won his class (Junior) the last time he was out under this judge so it was nice to see that she still thought highly of him now he’s a bit more grown up and in with the ‘big boys’. Dottie went beautifully (as always) in Open Bitch and placed 4th in very good company which was really nice too :o). All class judging and the bitch challenge completed and it was time for the dog challenge so Spark and I headed back into the ring with all the other class winners, some really nice dogs in the challenge line up and all a very similar type so I had a feeling it was going to be a close call, after a few more circuits of the ring and a closer examination of each exhibit I was absolutely over the moon when the judge called Spark out for the Challenge Certificate! What a fab end to our showing year which started out with his Reserve CC at Crufts back in March. We’ve just got LKA left on 12th December, I only have Spark entered although Vogue will be there with her new owner too :o)

That same weekend saw Sally and Digger (Bryning the Golden Ticket) competing in the KC Starters Cup Final at Discover Dogs which was taking place at Earls Court; a real nerve racker with busy bustling halls and big crowds. The pair managed to hold their nerves and a double clear in the jumping and agility saw them coming away with a very creditable 3rd place :o)

11th November, Armistice Day, saw Teal delivering her 2nd litter of puppies and a first for our young liver roan cocker boy Travis. 6 beautiful healthy puppies…2 blue roan and tan boys, a blue roan boy, a lemon roan boy, a lemon roan bitch and a blue roan bitch. I say ‘roan’ at the moment but I believe a few of them may well stay open marked; although this is the less common, recessive pattern in cockers, the open marked gene is present in both Teal and Travis’s lines and at the moment there isn’t a lot of roaning going on! There are pics and details of this litter HERE with updated photos to follow soon.

babies at 18 days old...

Last Saturday (20th) I took Tammy and Dottie to be scanned and both were confirmed in whelp, due the week running up to Christmas…should be fun! We also had several of the young flyball team dogs rabies vaccinated in preparation for travelling to the European Championships in Germany next year, including Travis, Tarka, Maisie, Pixie, and Tiger. Fingers crossed they all get positive titre test results in a couple of weeks time. We went down to the playing fields and did some training in the afternoon, I was particularly impressed with Fynn and Jovi who both seemed to have moved up a gear, more training required me thinks! On the Sunday we travelled over to Gap Farm near Doncaster for our last flyball comp of the year. Fergus (Bryning Virage) and Pixie (Bryning Russian Doll) were due to make their starters debuts having turned one earlier this month but it became apparent that Pixie wasn’t quite ready so we put her away until she is. Hopefully she will be ready for the starters comp at the end of January. We borrowed Eabha (Bryning Prime Time) from Rotherham and ran Travis, Tarka, Fergus, Eabha and Spark…with the exception of Travis an all Bryning bred team of dogs :o) I was pleased with the progress they all made, Spark managed to run with a new boxloader (he is funny about who is boxloading!) and Fergus made a very promising start, especially considering how little training he has done so far. I was also very pleased with both Jovi and Maisie who ran on the top team for the first time. This was only Maisie’s second ever open tournament and she was paw perfect bless her. Jo ran much better than she has been and even remembered how to run in the red lane, much to my relief as she also picked up her flyball dog certificate so there’s no going back into starters now! Several of the dogs, including Jovi, need to do some serious box work over winter though, far too many ball fumbles costing us races :o( I also picked up Squirrel’s flyball dog certificate and Pip finally picked up her Ice Blue Moon award :o) We went to look at a new indoor training venue earlier in the week, fingers crossed that turns out ok.

I think that’s about it for now!

Monday 25 October 2010

That doesn't look much like a collie?!

So, last weekend also saw us extend our ‘little’ canine family!
I have always fancied a scruffy little lurcher and set about looking for one early in 2009 but somehow ended up seeing and falling in love with Maisie, my scruffy little working beardie who is built rather like a lurcher under all that coat! I don’t regret having her for a moment because I love her to bits and she’s proving to be such a lovely little companion and flyball dog but 18 months later and not looking for another dog at all along came Flint! Just 13 weeks old and handed into rescue, he was needing a new home and was just so adorable I really couldn’t say no! The rescue were told he is a whippet – saluki cross but after chatting online to a very knowledgeable friend (who knows just about all there is to know about colour genetics in all the different breeds!) we concluded that he cannot be a first generation cross since he is blue which is a recessive colour not present in salukis (as far as anyone knows) so I am rather hoping he is more whippet and that we don’t have anything else bigger in there (such as greyhound or deerhound!) since I don’t have room in the van for anything huge but he does look like he's going to be quite a big dog! lol The best guess on his colouring his blue sable with brindle points, whatever it is, it is very unusual and attractive and I love his soft grey eyes so typical in blue coloured dogs.

So…for the time being little Flint is just enjoying being a puppy, he’s happy and outgoing, obedient and biddable and loves to play with all manner of toys so I’m kinda hoping he will take to flyball when he’s a little older. If he doesn’t I don’t mind…he can be a lazy lay around sofa dog…I already have a couple of those ;o)

There is some disagreement on whether he is technically a ‘lurcher’ since (we believe) he is all sighthound cross but I have found plenty of references to other such similar crosses and this is the term I’m going to use to refer to him as. All lurchers are crossbreeds of one kind or another so there is no definitive description or breed standard.

This weekend he came to Drax with us for his first flyball outing, I was really pleased with him, he took it all in his stride and wasn’t at all fazed by any of the noise or activity but enjoyed meeting lots of new dogs and people. We also picked up his fancy new whippet collar, made to measure for him by Helen Ford from 'Tessie Leads, Collars and Harnesses', it is perfect! Will get a photo of him wearing it at some point no doubt!

North West Border Collie

So, following the flyball last Saturday we were up early Sunday morning to get the boys bathed for the show, I was just taking Aston, Ethan and Spark. Aston is really out of coat at the moment and looking a real lanky teenager but there’s no denying he has a nice outline and moves well so I decided to take him along anyway, he needs the ring practice! I don’t bring Ethan out much as he really doesn’t enjoy the showring but as this judge had liked him as a puppy I thought I might as well take him along.

I was also picking up Rachel and Pixie on the way. Pixie has never been to a show before but she has shaped up quite nicely and since this one was local I thought we might as well take her along and see how she did, I didn’t enter any more girls because, to be perfectly honest, I’ve shown under this judge before and knew what to expect. I was glad I hadn’t bothered…Pixie went quite well considering but didn’t get placed but the places throughout the classes largely went to the usual ‘pretty’ classically marked, up and tipped ears, black/whites that I expected….irrespective of much else. I was actually quite pleased with Pixie considering I don’t have much to do with her and she’s had no training and she did draw a lot of nice comments from other folk too.

Aston…hmmm…well, we seem to have taken a bit of a backward step in the confidence stakes and he was a bit tense being stacked but recovered quickly enough when the food came out and I talked to him to get him using his ears; he didn’t move very well though…well…he covered the ground fine…he has a very long easy stride but he was so focused on me that he kept trying to make eye contact on the move and as a result was crabbing round me…silly sod! He moved out and back better in the shortlist when I consciously didn’t look at him and avoided eye contact and was rewarded with a 3rd place out of the 9 entered and I was quite pleased with that considering. At least he has his 2011 Crufts qualifier now.

Ethan actually went quite well in Limit dog but this was a big strong class and although he made the shortlist he wasn’t placed. Here’s a lovely head shot that one of my puppy owners (Andy Milner) took of him though…cutie pie!

Spark was only entered in the colour class and this was (yet again) and good sized strong class with 7 entries…6 blue/whites and Spark! I do wonder why the breed clubs often specifiy ‘any other colour except black/white and tri’ as it actually seems to me that tricolour is relatively scarce these days compared to blue! Anyway, 3 of the blues were Viggo sons and another was actually a Spark son! :o) Spark won the class and his son came 3rd but I don’t actually think he moved out very well…not compared to his usual easy fluent movement. I don’t know whether this was the sandy riding school surface or being indoors (although he never usually bothers about such things) or whether there’s something just not quite right with him since his bad collision with Monty a few weeks back. I’m going to see whether Kathryn (chiropracter) will have a look at him this weekend.

Anyway, we had a nice day catching up with folk, Yvonne came over to watch with Flurrie (Spark x Mercy daughter) here she is with her daddy…

And here’s Spark and Pixie together…half brother and sister…

Next breed show is Scottish Border Collie Club on the 7th November. I usually make a weekend of it and do Working and Pastoral Breeds of Scotland the day before and stay overnight but my mum is away the previous week and doesn’t get home ‘til the Sunday so no-one to look after the doggies staying home :o(

We’re off over to Drax this Sunday for Rotherham Rockets flyball tournament which is going to be a rather busy one! Racing starts at 8am…10 divisions split over two rings, we’re running in 3 and I’m judging another…should be fun! I just need to figure out which dogs we’re running where since both Maisie and Squirrel are in season so won’t be running :o(