Monday, 30 April 2007

Niamh at Haslemere

We had an enjoyable run in this class. The course was pitched at just the right level and was good fun. We had a run off for 5th/6th place and unfortunately doubled up in the weaves so ended up with 6th place. In the run off we did, however, improve the star to tunnel combination by putting in the front cross that I omitted the first time!

Friday, 27 April 2007

Bath Time

This week has been very busy with lots of stuff going on regarding our potential house move. Kizzy and her canine friends had their second agility lesson at our training school on Tuesday and this went very well. In addition, Andy has a lesson booked with Bernadette this coming Monday which he is very much looking forward to.

The weekend will flash by as we have two day shows: Haslemere on Saturday and then Lewes on Sunday both of which we're looking forward to.

In anticipation of meeting up with her brother Ozzie at Haslemere, Kizzy has today had a bath and manicure. She is looking rather gorgeous (not that we are at all biased in any way, shape or form).

Here is the evidence.

Monday, 23 April 2007

April Sunshine

Just can't believe this weather we're having. We had a lovely weekend last week at Shuttleworth. Dan (my brother) won grade 1 agility and came 3rd in grade 3 jumping with his first agility dog Tig. They're having a great time and really enjoying themselves.

This weekend we went to Newbury for the Wallingford show. It was really good fun and very well organised for such a large show. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Murphy was a very bad boy this weekend and just wouldn't stop on his dog walks despite all the work Andy has put in.

Niamh was a little star and came 2nd in G5 jumping and 3rd in G5 agility yesterday. The timing was good as we haven't been gelling recently and so it's given me a big confidence boost. The agility course was very fast and I didn't expect to get a place, let alone a trophy. The jumping course was one of the best I've seen for a long time. It was probably top end of G5, possibly G6, and required lots of handling but not nagging. All the time there was something for the dog to do but lots for the handler to think about. I think the judge put a huge amount of thought and effort into her design and it was a very satisfying course to run. My friend didn't get clear and she said exactly the same about it so it's not just me saying this because I came 2nd!

Sadly I didn't work Poppy very well but she had a good time. We got a scrappy clear on Saturday but that was about it.

Kizzy is exhausted. When we arrived on Friday we met up with our friends and had a puppy training session in one of the enclosed paddocks at the showground. I said we'd have fifteen minutes with the puppies and 45 minutes later a very tired Jenny & Rikki; Polly & Daisy; Karen & Todd and Andy & Kizzy trudged back to their caravans! We had a really good session and all the puppies worked well in a new environment. We did lots of tugging and recalls to handlers. Great fun.

Kiz then spent a lot of time round the rings on Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes just watching other times Andy took food and clicker and they did some training. Kizzy really does love agility shows and enjoys the whole experience of being away in the caravan and mingling with 100's of other dogs.

Last week we re-organised our agility training schedule to include a new puppy class for Kizzy and friends. They now have a weekly half-hour class on a Tuesday. We did lots of recalls and sendaways through wings which they all enjoy. This week we're going to concentrate on getting the puppies tugging with their handlers whilst other stuff is going on. All in all they did really well and I'm looking forward to this week's lesson.

Mum is still in Kings College in London so the nightmare trips continue. We have managed to secure her a bed in the local cottage hospital but she now has the C.Diff bug and cannot be moved anywhere until this is completely clear which can take a long time. To add to this she fell out of bed last week so that has set her back a bit. We can't believe this was allowed to happen and are very angry about it.

Our move seems to be progressing and we are hoping we might exchange contracts this week. If this happens then I'll post some pictures of the new garden which is lovely. Meantime here's a picture of Kizzy enjoying a chew on Niamh's ringo in her little compound outside the caravan.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Fun at Easter

We had a lovely time at the Easter Celebration agility show at Ardingly. The weather was glorious and the company was excellent! We camped with our usual crowd and also Berndatte, Dennis and the shelties. Mostly they were quiet, sometimes they were not ....... only joking!

Bernadette collected rather a large number of Easter eggs with Zen and Hex and kindly donated two of these to our household at the end of the weekend due to our not winning any of our own. We really must improve!

Murphy and Andy had an 'almost' weekend with two cracking rounds on the Sunday incurring only 5 faults in each which is some feat for Murphy. Here are a couple of photos of him in action courtesy of our friend Lynn Sheridan who has taken some brilliant pictures of our dogs for us.

Poppy was ten years old on Good Friday and Dennis took some lovely photos of her at Ardingly. I'll post one of these in due course.

Meantime here are some action shots of Poppy at the show again courtesy of Lynn. They are great photos and illustrate Poppy's energy and enthusiasm for the sport which hasn't diminished at all. She is still a joy to work and I always feel exhilarated when running her even if we don't do well.

As for Kizzy, well she had the best time ever. She played with her fellow shelties (Kodak, Hob-b, Zen, Hex and the lovely Todd), she paraded round the rings, she played in our little garden, she rampaged in the caravan and she watched the horse parade on Easter Monday. We have never seen her so tired. She has decided that she'd like to live at agility shows as they are much more fun than being at home.

Here are a couple of pictures taken by Dennis showing Kizzy enjoying herself to the full. The first is Kizzy and Kodak (Mandy's puppy) and the other with Kodak and Bernadette's Hob-b. We love this picture as it shows three colours of sheltie having a good time!

Other news:

Mum is improving very slowly and it looks likely that we've secured her a bed in the local cottage hospital once she's fit enough to be moved. She has a very long journey ahead but compared with how she was a month ago, things are looking really good.

We're off to Shuttleworth tomorrow and it looks like it's going to be another fine weekend.

Will do our best to get some video and photos of the naughty sheltie!

Monday, 2 April 2007

Happy Birthday Abbey

My special girl Abbey was 13 years old today.

She seems to have made a really good recovery from her heart problems of a few weeks back.

Andy took this lovely photo of her in the garden today. It's so lovely to have her back to her old self and enjoying life to the full and being as noisy as ever!