Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Gardening

We got home from the show around 4.00 pm. I was getting quite anxious about our other dogs as we don't leave them very often. They were absolutely fine and came to greet us with yawns and stretches so I guess they'd been fast asleep most of the time.

Andy had a cup of tea and some cake, I opted for a Pimms! Then we decided to do some gardening. Andy mowed both the back lawn and the agility paddock. We then got a bit carried away and did some more trimming of overhanging trees which get in the way of my agility! You can see from the size of the bonfire we created that our little bit of gardening grew into a bit more than cutting the grass. I moved all the equipment while Andy cut the back lawn so he could get the tractor out and cut the agility area. It's hard work moving all the gear. Once we'd finished we set up a new pattern for the equipment ready for this week's training.

The dogs were outside with us from 5.00 pm until 8.00 pm and had a lovely time playing. Kizzy had fallen in a heap when we got home but as soon as we opened the gate to the garden she transformed into a whirling mass of black fur. It's amazing how they find more energy when there's play involved!

Here are some pictures, they're not very good as it was getting quite dark.

The bonfire we built last night (not to include the Naughty Niamh!)

Part of the huge compost pile we want to get rid of to make more space for my agility area!


The view from the end of our garden

Edenbridge & Oxted Agricultural Show

We decided to take a trip to the show on Bank Holiday Monday having decided to have a day off from agility. I haven't been to the show for years and it has moved from its old site in Edenbridge to one in Blindley Heath which is about five miles away.

We had a bit of lie in and then left for the show around 10.30 am. We took Kizzy with us and left the others at home as it was forecast to be a hot day and six dogs would be too much to cope with. That said we met Leah and Jay during the day and they had all their dogs with them. Too much like hard work, also prevents any 'serious' shopping!

We met Mac at the entrance and then went to find Dad and his tractors. We had a quick chat with Dad and stopped long enough for Kizzy to have a cuddle with Grandad before we got down to the serious business of shopping!

Kizzy with her Grandad

We had a great time and spent some money which we couldn't really afford. I bought some new Joules long sleeve tops and a lovely pink body warmer oh and a new bag. Um, I also bought a new dog bed for Abbey but I'm kind of hoping that this sentence will be overlooked by our blogger friends who all know of my 'problem' with dog beds! Andy bought a new tee shirt and a new magnetic bracelet for his aches and pains. We bought three little cotton floor mats; one for each bathroom and one for the caravan, they were only £3 each and they look really good! Here is a picture of Kizzy modelling Abbey's new bed with some shopping bags!

Don't get too comfy, it's for Abbey!

We tried a couple of harnesses on Kizzy but Andy didn't like them so wouldn't let me buy one. We found a lovely purple leather bling slip collar but it was a bit too big for Kizzle.

We found some gorgeous garden furniture and got very tempted but decided to wait until after our building work is completed. It's made by a family firm and is really rustic and well made. I think we'll get a table and chairs and a swing seat next year some time. It is lovely stuff.

It was sad that there could be no sheep or cattle at the show. We walked past the empty stalls and pens and it was quite upsetting to see it all empty. There were lots of horses around for the showing and jumping competitions. The show was massive much bigger than when it was held in Edenbridge itself. I think it could be a very could option for Dave Ray and his semi-finals! I might just mention it to him.

A local agility handler who is on the show committee put on dog agility displays so we saw one or two people we know - you just can't escape!

Kizzy had a great time and was totally unfazed by it all. She ate her way round the show ground and met loads of different dogs. Here is a little picture of her trying out a bed with a little friend she met on the day. We were negotiating on the new bed for Abbey and Kizzy just decided to try out one of the beds because she was so tired!

Kizzy and her new friend!


We had a look at the old and unusual cars on exhibit. Andy would like to have spent more time but we couldn't lose too much shopping time so I hurried him along. We stopped long enough to take a photo of this Thunder Bird which we thought rather appropriate being as we have an 'American' sheltie!



Once we'd finished shopping and had some lunch from the jacket potato stand we went back to the vintage tractors to find Dad and Jan for a cup of tea. Dad had four of his tractors at the show and Kizzy had a sit on three of them.




An old fashioned hay baler and a very well turned out tractor next to Dad's. I rather liked this one.

We went to the marquee with Dad and Jan for some tea and when we sat down to drink it, Kizzy was so tired she got into Abbey's new bed and fell asleep!

It's all too much for a tired little sheltie!


Monday, 27 August 2007

Bridge House Agility Show

Naughty Niamh did the double at Bridge House winning G5 jumping and G5 agility. Needless to say I'm very proud of the Bad Naughty Niamh!

Friday, 24 August 2007

Last, but not least - Mr Tazzy at DIN 2007

Here's Tazz and Andy in one of their runs at Dogs in Need. At the KC Festival they achieved 5th place in one of their classes. They weren't quite quick enough for a place in this class!

video

Pops at Dogs in Need

Here are a couple of videos of Poppy at Dogs in Need. She worked her little socks off but we just can't get places in G7 any more as they only go up to about 8th place. Sob.

Monday, 20 August 2007

KC Novice Cup Final 2007

Spot the Kizzle

Dennis took these lovely photos of Kizzy with her mum (Zen) and dad (Tazz). Can you spot the Kizzle?


Aren't they just a gorgeous trio!


Couple of Niamh's runs from the KC Festival

KC Festival & Dogs in Need

Well, we've just got back from ten days away at the KC Festival and Dogs in Need. The weather wasn't the greatest but considering how much rain they say we had back at home, I think we were very lucky.

The Naughty Niamh excelled herself and I'm very proud of her.

She qualified for the Novice Cup final at the KC Festival and came 2nd (one of only two clear rounds on a very difficult course). We ran first in the final as we were the last to sneak in the qualifying places. I think this was a very good place for me to run as I didn't get time to get too nervous. This result means we get to go to Crufts in 2008, yippee! At the same show she also got a 2nd in G5 Agility and a couple of other placings.

Then at Dogs in Need she qualified for the Novice Finals and came 3rd. We ran fifth from the end as we'd qualified quite high up the table. The course was totally the opposite from the KC final, very fast and flowing. I didn't think we stood a chance but once again she proved me wrong. During the week she collected 1 x 1st place; 2 x 3rd places; 1 x 4th and 1 x 12th place.

We came home with some very nice crystal as you can see from the photo below!

Andy judged one leg of the large dog Olympia semi-finals at the KC Festival together with the medium semi-final. The event seemed to go well and we were both very pleased that some of our friends qualified for Olympia running on Andy's courses, namely: Alan with Jack; Lynne with Kite, Bernadette with Zen and Lisa with Chi.

At Dogs in Need he judged the large and medium dog Championship. The courses ran well and both had worthy winners with a fantastic run from David Munnings and his gorgeous dog Dobby in the large category and Bernadette with the wonderful Zen taking the medium ticket!

We had a lovely time and actually managed to sit out on most evenings even though it was very cold. We sat around wrapped in blankets watching the stars (becoming quite a habit for our gang!) We like to look out for shooting stars and satellites, more commonly known as statellites in our circle!

The wicked Murphy was quite a good boy at DINAS and did a very good round in a G6/7 jumping getting 8th place. The course was quite difficult and had a very tight time. Typically in the first part there were only two clear rounds in the course time, all the quicker dogs came out of the woodwork for part 2! He also managed some stunning contacts during the week and knocked very few poles so Andy was pretty pleased with him.

Kizzy Wizzle had a lovely week with lots of play, walks and training. Andy, Karen and Manda had a good sheltie training session on the day off. They practised their startline routines, targets and recalls. We are hoping to get some photos of Kizzy with her Dad (Tazz) and Mum (Zen) which Dennis took at the KC Festival.

Kizzy also had a lovely game with her new friend Nell-Beans the collie pup (owned by our friend Helen). We took them to a quiet part of the exercise area and they tore round in circles (pretty normal for Kizzy). Kizzy loves to be chased and Nell-Beans was very willing to oblige. Bernadette will be pleased to know that every so often Kizzy changed leg and circled in the other direction!! Helen, Iain and I were very dizzy by the end of the play session!

It was lovely to meet Johanna and her dogs. They are all lovely and we were very sad to say goodbye to them on Wednesday evening. Tazz stayed behind as he's lodging with Bernadette for a while. Andy had four runs with him during the week getting a 5th and an 8th place. Sadly there wasn't a rosette for the 8th place! We just can't believe how much Kizzy looks like Tazz.
We are looking forward to having Tazz to stay when Bernadette goes to the World Championships.

We came home to the ongoing building work last night which was pretty depressing! It seems to be going very slowly. The builders have had a hard time with all the rain but even so it seems to be taking forever.

Today it's really dismal at home. Where is the summer? The dogs are all very tired and I'm just going to take mine for a very short walk later on after I've been shopping. I am trying to get motivated to open the mountain of post that has arrived in the office whilst we've been away. I hate opening post and more than that I hate dealing with the contents! Hey ho. Holiday over.

Have taken lots of video and will post some later in the week!

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Thank you Karen


Thanks to Karen for our lovely new blog header! I was envious of the lovely picture on Todd's blog header so Karen took pity and did this lovely picture of Kizzy for us. Naturally we chose purple.

Thank you Karen.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Burridge 2007

Well, it wasn't Burridge as we know it but it was a lovely show all the same. Still the one ring but in a very different setting. We were very lucky to get really good parking where we could watch the ring from our cars so our dogs had company all day long! It isn't the same as being at the seaside but it was very enjoyable and I would go again despite the running surface being a little bit lumpy and bumpy to say the least!

On the Friday I failed to qualify Niamh in the novice Olympia class. The course was very tough and I made one handling error which caused Niamh to run at the dog walk instead of the seesaw, we managed to retrieve the situation but it cost us too much time and we ended up in 10th place. Without the error and looking at the finishing times, she would easily have qualified. Very disappointing but not the end of the world.

On Saturday she was a very good girl getting three out of three rounds clear; unfortunately our pairs partner was E'd and our team collected a few faults but in our grade 5 jumping we came 1st - Niamh worked brilliantly in all three rounds. Here are some photos of Niamh with her prize and of the show in general. You can't see Niamh's trophy as it's one of those glass curves but you can see the little red Burridge ribbon which is stuck on to the trophy - it looks like a funny little blob floating on the grass!


The Naughty Niamh showing off her first place rosette for G5 jumping at Burridge 2007

Our little camp by the ringside: Al, Abbey, Sara & Leah

Al, Abbey, Jay & Sara

Tracey, Al, Abbey, Sara & Karen


Our view of the ring

..... and finally

Treamer in his normal dog show pose! I think Mandy was about to take another photo to capture this lovely moment!!!!





Thursday, 2 August 2007

Bath Time & Stuff

I decided to bath Kizzy this morning as she's almost through her season or so I thought! More of that later. We don't have our dog bathing facility yet, that won't be ready until the builders have finished which is quite a way off yet. So, in our bath tub she had to go.

Then I thought I'd bath Abbey as she still had some of the nasty little flea dirts in her coat and then I thought I'd bath Poppy as she is still scratching and it is too early to front line them again. Can't do that until next week. All three of them look so tiny when they're wet. Abbey has really lost a lot of muscle and weight and looked really small.

When I'd finished those three who were all very well behaved I decided I might as well get the pain over in one morning and do the other three.

Naughty Niamh lived up to her name; bucking and kicking and shaking as usual. We managed to get through it without drowning which is something where Niamh is concerned! When she's wet you can just see how well she's built, just solid muscle, she doesn't look any smaller when she's wet as she doesn't have a big coat anyway. Then came Becky who looks as fat when she's wet as when she's dry so she's now on a diet. Last was Murphy. He is surprisingly small when he's wet and his coat goes even more curly. If ever proof was needed that he's not a pure collie then it's to see him really wet. He has a definite lurcher shape to him, completely different to our proper collies!

I can quite see why Bernadette sticks with shelties (apart from them being wonderful dogs of course). It's so much easier to bath a sheltie than a collie or Murphy! They are so small and manageable.

I don't think I'll be able to walk tomorrow, let alone run my dogs at Burridge. My back is killing me from leaning over the bath all morning. On top of that I've got to go to the rubbish tip to take some of the rubble from our building site. No hope! Andy is so mean making me do this while he lounges around over the drawing board! We need to get rid of this stuff in order to make space for the caravan which we're collecting on Monday from Songhurst who've very kindly been looking after it for us. Andy has just read my comment and now feels very mean so he is going to the dump! Tee hee - that worked then!

Here are some pictures of the dogs in the garden after their baths. Please do note their extra fluffy, shiny fur!




Once the first three had been bathed I dried them off with the hair dryer and then brushed them out in the back yard. The other three weren't impressed as they thought we were leaving them in the kitchen in order to go down to the garden for a game! This is a typical picture of the three of them; they spend their lives sitting at the back door waiting to go out in the garden. One of the three of them always has a head sticking out the cat flap!


Just now I went into the kitchen to find that naughty little hussy Kizzy wriggling her bottom in Murphy's face. She's been pestering him for the last couple of days but this time she had her tail held to one side and was really trying to get him to take interest in her. He just hasn't got a clue and looked at me for help. He is definitely gay. He was exactly the same when Niamh was in season in that he showed no interest. Niamh wasn't a hussy like Kizzy though. Anyway, poor boy had enough of being pestered so the naughty little sheltie has been put in her crate for a while.

We have managed to get a lovely outbuilding for storing my agility equipment and making tea etc. Andy did a job for a chap who wanted shot of his summer house and so they did a deal. It's a nice building and would cost a lot to get something half as good. Andy and Dennis (our builder) spent all of Tuesday dismantling it and carting it from it's old location to our place. It was very hard work as it's well made and was put together well. Now we have to cart it from the front yard all the way down to the garden and put it back together. Al - help, where are you? It weighs a tonne. It was fully of massive spiders so I'm glad I wasn't helping.

This is a picture of the building before they dismantled it. It will be perfect for my needs. My agility equipment is being delivered next week. Can't wait to get started with some training at home, especially for Naughty Niamh and Kizzy.


That's about it for now. Am going in to see Mum in her new nursing home this afternoon. I'm taking Abbey with me for a visit as you're allowed to take pets in whenever you like. It's so much nicer for her than being in the hospital. She seems to know she's in a new place and that it's much nicer. Tomorrow and Saturday I'm off to Burridge show which I'm looking forward to. Andy is staying at home to get as much work finished as possible before we depart middle of next week for the KC Festival and then Dogs in Need. Can't wait!