Monday, 30 July 2007

Agility Club Show and this weekend

Had a good time at the Agility Club show. I judged the team relay on Saturday which was good fun. I had a great ring party which always helps.

The class was won with 5 faults which I was a bit disappointed by as I really thought I'd get four clears at some point. That said the winning team put in four brilliant rounds apart from the one rolled pole and a strange incident when the penultimate dog turned the wrong way off the A-frame and ran clean underneath it to get back to its handler. I had to make a decision in a split second and decided not to eliminate the dog and consider that it had just wasted its own time. I still have no idea if I made the right decision and having spoken to people afterwards there are mixed views. Some people think it was the right decision and others reckon I should have eliminated the dog. Had it touched the A-frame then I would have eliminated it but it didn't it just shot straight underneath it! I am still of the opinion that it was right not to eliminate the dog so am happy with the decision I made on the day. Of course that doesn't mean I'm right!

On Sunday I drove all the way back to Newbury to compete. We didn't do any good apart from one lovely round with Poppy in the agility section of the champ class. It was a lovely course but had a huge run right across the ring uphill with lots of gaps and other obstacles to look at. Poppy did it brilliantly and I was really proud of us both getting round it. Unfortunately she picked up 5 faults in the jumping section so we didn't get through to the final.

Naughty Niamh popped out of the weaves in Lynn Sheridan's class (my fault as I was veering off line) and then rolled the second pole in her other class. I decided to try out some different things after the jump came down and was quite impressed by her reaction. I really pushed her and she responded by powering away from me and shooting straight up a tunnel instead of turning towards me. Then I pushed her seesaw and she skidded all the way up to the contact and couldn't stop. She knew it was wrong as she did a quick target on the floor before taking off for the last jump. She is definitely picking up speed and confidence which is great.

We stayed to watch the champ finals and it was worth the wait. Alan Bray set brilliant courses which were fun to run and great to watch. Greg and GT put in a stunning round to win the large dog class with Mac and the lovely Spud getting the reserve ticket. The medium was won by Steve Latham and the small was won by the wicked Hex (with Bernadette of course!). She won both sections and the final at her very first champ class. What a little star!

I didn't get home until after 8.00 pm and literally ate supper and fell asleep! Andy had a very busy weekend at home. He cut hedges, mowed the lawns, unpacked more boxes, played with the dogs, finished off the fence by the decking as well as loads of other stuff! Kizzy, Becks and Abbey were fast asleep when I got home. They had been out in the garden for the whole day with Andy. They would take themselves off down to the paddock end and then come and peep through the archway to see what Andy was up to every so often. Andy said that now and again Abbey would take herself off to the kitchen for a sleep and then potter back out half an hour later! Bless. She so loves the new garden.

This coming week is going to be busy as we're hoping to get the caravan back on Friday which will need packing ready for the KC Festival. That's after I've taken out all my dog beds which I stored in the caravan before we moved. OMG where am I going to put them all, this house doesn't have as many nooks and crannies as the last place? I can't believe I was looking at dog beds again at the show this weekend!

On Friday I'm off to Burridge agility show and again on Saturday. Andy might come for one day, it depends on work priorities. Kizzy has about another week to go with her season which is great as it means she'll be out and about again at the KC Festival and DIN!

No piccies to post at the moment. Hope to do some later this week.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Building & Stuff

It's pretty awful at the moment as the builders are right outside the back door. It's difficult to get out to do anything. We are lucky that we have french doors from our little sitting room out to the back garden so we do have access. It's just a long way round to the greenhouse where my freezer and tumble drier are currently in residence!

Our builders are getting on well considering the conditions they've had to work in. The walls of the new garage and utility are underway. It's a relief that the biggest part of the groundwork is over. Just some drains to do and removal of all the soil which was dug out of the footings. They're sending a grab lorry to take that away, the sooner the better!

Some pictures of Dennis and Colin our builders enjoying the weather on Monday, which was a lot better than Friday but still pretty dire!

Once they've completed the brickwork at the back I'll be happy as it means that the garden will once more be secure and the dogs can have a roam. When the old garage was demolished it opened up the side and we've had to put up temporary fencing so they haven't been allowed out unsupervised.

It's exciting now that the building is coming on as I can start to visualise the new space. I can't tell from plans. It's a bit like when I try to build an agility course or read a map, I keep turning the paper round and round. For some reason that frustrates Andy, I have no idea why!

We had some fantastic news this week. Mum has been approved for funding to go into a nursing home. We went to look at one in Fordcombe yesterday (that's only about 7.5 miles from our new house.)

We were overcome with how lovely it is. We went to visit Mum in the hospital after and were still there when the manager of the home arrived to assess Mum's needs to make sure they could cope with her. She is a really nice person and told us 'unofficially' that there would be no problem and that she would do her utmost to get Mum moved from the Kent & Sussex hospital to the home this coming Friday.

She will have her own room with lots of her own things and there are communal areas where she'll be able to sit with other people. They have entertainment, outings and importantly wine with their dinner! They have PAT dogs visit every Wednesday but we can take our own dogs in to see Mum whenever we like. That means we'll be able to take her own Ellie for a visit. Tina wouldn't manage it now but I know Mum will be over the moon to see Ellie. They have two kittens in the home so it's totally animal-friendly. It's just so lovely and we're so happy that she'll be coming out of hospital which has been awful for her. They do their best but for someone in Mum's condition it's a terrible place to be.

The dogs have had a good run in the garden this morning and Kizzy had a good session with her target training. She is now going into a down when putting her nose onto her lid. Her set up is coming on but she still has a tendency to spin out of her sit - bad sheltie. More work required.

She had a good groom and nails trimmed this morning, during my coffee break. I had to laugh last night when Leah was asking Andy at training how much effort was required to keep Kizzy looking so beautiful. He was explaning the grooming technique etc. I just stood there with my mouth open ..... as far as I'm aware, he's never watched me grooming Kizzy and he certainly doesn't do it himself! What is it with men and NOT grooming THEIR OWN DOGS ......

Niamh presented herself for grooming afterwards. She hates being groomed but is very jealous when I spend time with Kizzy. I was permitted to comb her ear hairs and then she walked off and went back to bed. The others were all curled up in their beds with their feet tucked under - they do this whenever the nail clippers come out, I wonder why!

After her training session Kizzy was ready for a good sleep but a large object had taken over her bed so the poor little sheltie had to sleep on the floor.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Not so Naughty Niamh at Newlands

Here's a little film of two of Niamh's rounds from Sunday. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get the Helter Skelter on film which was a shame as she ran that really nicely. It was an unusual helter skelter, kind of little loops within the pattern. I loved it, it was challenging and interesting and didn't make me in the least bit dizzy. Thank you Carlos!

Tired Monday

Our dogs are always very tired on Mondays after agility shows. The four that I took to Newlands all had a busy day even Abbey spent over an hour round the rings. So today they are very tired. Abbey and Poppy are both office dogs and I made them up new beds in their new office. Poppy declined hers and instead fell asleep on the foot rest of Andy's drawing board. That's gratitude for you!

Abbey was sensible and chose a cosy bed!

This was Poppy's choice:

Kizzy and Becky are pretty tired too. They had a wonderful day at home with Andy. They had shoe chews in the morning while Andy worked indoors and then spent the whole afternoon in the garden with Andy (and their footballs). Becky being Becky has spent most of today laying at the back door whining to go out in the garden. Sadly that's not possible as the builders are in and working out the back!

Andy did some target training with Kizzy in his lunch break using the clicker. This exercise is progressing well. Clicker training is one of Kizzy's favourite occupations!

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Naughty Niamh at Newlands

Well, as Lian and Lisa said today not really the Naughty Niamh but I think she'll always be my naughty little Niamh!

Anyway, she had a wonderful day at Newlands and I'm very proud of her. She won grade 5 agility, came 2nd in grade 5 jumping and 3rd in grade 5 helter skelter (our good friends Lorna and Fleet won that class).

I am so pleased I can't stop smiling. Naughty Niamh had extra dinner tonight! Dan filmed two of the rounds for me and I'll post them later. Right now I'm celebrating with a large glass of wine!

It was a lovely show and the sun shined all day! Thank you Newlands.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Kizzy Wizzle & more rain

Our little girl has come into season. She's not a puppy any more Tears.

Andy was about to go out to do some hedge cutting but guess what, it's started raining again. Just seen the note on the forum that Newlands is going ahead tomorrow so lets hope it doesn't rain in Cranleigh today.

Al's coming over later (as there's no dog show) to do some more stuff for us. I think they're going to wire up the big t.v. and put up some of the heavier wall units etc.

The one good piece of news (FOR ME) is that I'm off to collect a new toy this morning - a dishwasher! I was trying to manage without one until the extension was finished but I can't .... I won't.
I am sick of Washing Dishes . So, a cupboard is being removed from the kitchen and a dishwasher is being installed, Al's job list is growing by the second! I will be a very happy Bunny.

I'm off to see my Mum this morning and will collect the dishwasher on the way home. I'm going to take a big picture book of garden birds for her to look at. She always loved her garden birds so I'm hoping she might get some enjoyment from it. I was going to take my three girls for a nice walk as well but that might have to wait until later now that it's pouring again.

Was hoping to get some video of the Kizzle doing some training; maybe later if the weather brightens up a bit!

Friday, 20 July 2007

Rain, rain, rain

I know they predicted rain for the south today but it was amazing. I haven't seen rain like that for a long time.

The trenches for our extension are 1.1m deep and they have filled almost to the top with rain and water running from the road and next door's garden. The front yard was completely under water.

We thought the fish pond would spill over at one point!

The sky has just broken up and the rain has almost stopped. We're hoping to get the back end of the trench filled with concrete today but there's a lot of pumping out to do first. At one point the pump couldn't cope with the volume of water but it's coming under control now.

Newlands agility has cancelled camping and now Saturday's show. I feel so sorry for the organisers. They're going to assess later today whether they can go ahead on Sunday. I spoke to poor Evelyn this morning as she was already on site marking out camping. She said she was ankle deep in water and mud in her awning and wished she was at home in the dry.

Here is a little video of the rain storm, it doesn't really capture the full force but shows a little bit of what we've had. Also a picture of water logged trench.

Please please we need some sunshine. I can't bear all this mud everywhere!

Thursday, 19 July 2007

The Naughty Niamh

This is how the naughty Niamh spends her day with the builders on site. She can't have free run of the dog area at the moment so she spends her life gazing out the stable door looking longingly at the garden (and the footballs sat on the lawn!) She's such a clown.

All the dogs have settled in really well including Abbey. They adore the garden and every time we walk out onto the decking there is a stack of six dogs at the gate hoping to go for a stroll!

I was worried that Abs would be very unhappy but she loves the place. She didn't like the hard floors for the first few days but she has sussed out how to walk on them now and just mooches about as if she's lived here all her life. She was fine on the quarry tiles and parquet but couldn't cope with the laminated in the hall and snug. Now she is fine on all three surfaces which is a huge relief to me. She is looking really well at the moment and eating well too. Jim suggested I put her on Ipakitin for her kidneys and so far so good. I know it helped Molly a great deal.

That's it for now. More later!

Kizzy's Training

Well, Kizzy's training has taken a back seat over the last few weeks. But now we're getting going again. On Tuesday evening she had a good session doing some lovely long runs right up the training hall across five jumps. She is now doing tiny little jumps very happily. Then we did some jump, tunnel, jump combinations with front and rear crosses and a couple of blind turns. Sadly no video of this.

Andy is also working on her startline routine which is coming together nicely. Kizzy will be doing a similar set up to her mum Zen.

Last night I took the dogs for their evening sortie round the garden. The collies play with the footballs and the naughty pointed thing runs circles round them yapping (yes, she does bark sometimes!)

As it was a nice evening I thought the neighbours might well be out in their gardens so thought I'd better take something for Kizzle to carry (then she forgets about barking) so we took a knot on a rope.

She hounded me for the full 30 minutes we were out there to tug with her. She was exhausted by the end of the session but I was really pleased as she completely ignored the collies and just wanted to interact with me! I don't actually do any teaching training with her but I am allowed to practise stuff that Andy has taught her so I also did some startline sets ups with her and she's just as keen to do them for the toy as the food which is excellent progress in my book!

Sorry no photos of Kizzle in action will rectify this with another post! Couldn't take any pictures as I was too busy tugging!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Isn't is wonderful having the builders on site ....

Not! Actually they are a great crew but yesterday was bad, very bad. Right outside our kitchen door a kango pneumatic drill, all day. My head was spinning. The dogs slept through most of it, thankfully.

We are making progress inside and out. Yesterday we almost got the sitting room straight and actually got round to hanging some curtains. We couldn't find the right curtain poles 'til this week so the windows have been bare. Horrible. It feels so much better with curtains! Al is coming on Monday evening to help wire up our corner unit and t.v. - the corner cabinet is huge and too heavy for Andy to do by himself and much to heavy for me to help with.

The garage and outbuildings are totally demolished and now they've started getting the trenches dug for the footings. The concrete is rock solid hence the drill and in fact they've given up on that and got a bigger machine to finish the job tomorrow. I do hope it's a bit quieter. The dust was awful today - it's almost as bad as MUD! Bernadette will understand how bad that is for me! Since writing the above last night, they have starting digging and now there is MUD everywhere. I'm leaving home.

Here are some picture of the demolition of the grotty garage! Sadly the compressor and bigger drill is a noisier combination than yesterday. I'm leaving home.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

We've arrived!

We're back on line!

The house move went well but was very hard work. Not something you'd want to do on a regular basis with the amount of 'stuff' we have. It's made quite a lot harder by the fact that we have an office at home and that is a nightmare dismantling and setting up but we are getting there.

They had estimated 4 hours to load the lorry at our old house but it actually took best part of 7 hours and so we didn't arrive at the new house until about 3.30 pm. I scrubbed the old place from top to bottom and we left it absolutely immaculate. It was very nice to get a phone call from the new occupants to say it was in such lovely condition that they could put their stuff straight in place. Sadly, it wasn't quite the case at our new house.

We had lots of help on the day with Leah & Jay and Mac & Dan mucking in. Jay did a brilliant job of cleaning and organsing the shed. This was vital as all the stuff we used to keep in the garage has to be stored in the shed whilst the new garage is built. Leah and Mac helped me clean the kitchen (was a tad grubby!) and Dan helped the removal guys unload the lorry with Andy. We were really grateful for all the help.

We have inherited something horrible from the last occupants who had four cats and four kittens when they left. Yep, you've guessed it - fleas! Poppy started scratching around the middle of last week and then Becky. We thought it was perhaps a grass allergy as Poppy often gets this during the summer. Then Andy had a thought about the cats perhaps having fleas and sure enough fleas were present! The worst affected is Abbey although she isn't scratching at all. I have never seen so many flea dirts on one dog. I must say I am finding it quite distressing. We've been to Jim and all the dogs have been front lined and the house sprayed so we're praying we can control things. In all the years I've had dogs I think I've had about two instances of fleas and then it was just the odd one. This is awful! Any advice from our blog friends appreciated! I hate putting chemicals of any sort on my dogs but needs must when it's this bad.

We have masses to do at the new place but have made lots of progress with the help of Al. The builders started last week and the ground workers move in on Monday to demolish the garage and outhouse. It's not much fun with builders in but we decided it was best to get the work done straight away rather than leave it. Once the new garage and utility are built we reckon it'll be more than worth all the hassle.

The dogs have all settled in remarkably well. Abbey was a little unsettled for a few days and still tends to follow me everywhere. She didn't like the hard floors to start with but is now coping really well.

This weekend we've done lots in the garden and are trying to get the office finished ready for Monday morning. The dogs absolutely love the garden and we take them out for a play several times a day which they really enjoy. It's been really good because we haven't had time to walk them every day since we moved but they're quite happy having play time in the garden in lieu. Hopefully we'll get into a better routine this coming week.

I'm missing dog shows already but am glad we pulled out of Rugby as it would have been too stressful trying to get the caravan ready. We'll be at Newlands next week but possibly just day tripping rather than with the caravan. Until the builders get the ground work finished it will be a little difficult getting the caravan in and out of the drive. At the moment it's on holiday with Songhurst Caravans who are kindly keeping it in their yard for us.

Here is a little video of Andy's dogs enjoying the new garden and Andy enjoying some mowing.