Have only just had time to post about my brilliant weekend.
I got up early on Saturday morning for my weekly beginners lesson and Andy took all the dogs for a nice walk. After that got all my stuff sorted ready to go off for the weekend with Niamh and Zeki. Had to stop off at Morrisons in Oxted enroute to get some shopping for my Dad and step-mum. Jan was really poorly last week and just couldn't get out. So I grabbed them some stuff and had lunch with them before heading off to Sunbury. Luckily they live just outside Godstone so it's really easy to pop onto the M25 from their place. I took a picture of the pond at Dad's as the colours looks really lovely at the moment:
I got to the venue in time to give Zeki and Niamh a quick walk in the park and then it was time to start our "Co-ordination and Balance" course. It was fantastic. I think it rates as one of the most enjoyable and useful sessions I've done with any of my dogs. The variety of exercises was well thought out and great fun for the dogs (and us!) Zeki was really well behaved as she was kept busy.
We did three levels of wobble board; ladder work; cavaletti exercises; elephant trick; walking on hind legs whilst supported on a big squashy exercise ball; walking slowly down ramps to encourage the dogs to rock back onto their haunches during descent rather than rushing down onto their shoulders; figures of eight around cones and other stuff. Zeki absolutely loved it. When it wasn't her turn she kept sitting on a Quality Street tin trying to get me (or anyone) to click and treat her.
I was very pleased with Zeki's attitude to all the different exercises. As soon as I showed her a piece of apparatus she just wanted to interact with it. I didn't have to lure her to anything. She has done some ladder work so I kind of expected her to do that nicely but she has not been on a wobble board and she loved them! She was happy to perform tricks whilst balancing on the wobble boards. The round wobble board was the most challenging as it never comes to rest but she was just as happy on that as the square versions.
Thank you to Hannah for the thought and effort she put into this session. I would thoroughly recommend to anyone with a young dog or indeed any dog that could do with some help in learning how to "think" about their balance and use of rear end. Excellent - good job Hannah!
Then we tootled off to Karen's house. Dear Karen was brave enough to invite me to stay over night with Zeki Beaks and Naughty Niamh. Actually they were quite well behaved. They didn't really know how to cope with the cats. Niamh was scared and Zeki wanted Willow to play with her. Neither were as well behaved as Karen's six dogs when they stayed with us the previous week but I kind of expected that! Now if it had been my perfect little Poppy that would have been a different story. I didn't take Poppy with me only because it was a cold weekend and on both days she would have needed to spend a lot of time in the car and it seemed silly when she could be at home with Andy and the others in a nice warm house.
We had a chinese takaway and rather a lot of wine on the Saturday evening. Hannah came round and we all watched Strictly Come Dancing. We were all worried for Austin and Erin and sadly in the results show on Sunday we were right, they were voted off by the judges. A real shame but there you go!
On Sunday morning we were rather lazy and got up quite late (probably due to the fact that we'd had a lot of red wine and didn't go to bed until 3.30 am!) Anyway, we had crumpets for breakfast, yum my favourite and then gradually forced ourselves to get showered and dressed. We needed to be at Polly's around midday for lunch before our training session with Dennis. It was very cold and Dennis kept us all moving. I thoroughly enjoyed his training session. It was pitched perfectly for what I needed just before Olympia. Lots of fast contact loops and some tricky sequencing which we put into a full course at the end of the session.
Niamh was brilliant and we had a high success rate overall which is what I need right now. We had some mistakes but Dennis helped us to put those right. By the end I had to pull out, Niamh was brain dead as we'd done so much (so was I for that matter!) I really love Dennis's training as he is so motivational, great fun (he laughs with you and not at you!) and helpful.
Thank you so much to Hannah, Karen and Dennis for their input to a fab weekend and of course to my two gorgeous girls (Naughty Niamh and Zeki Beaks)for their endless enthusiasm and sense of fun. I do love my dogs.
Naturally Poppy got extra hugs when I got home on Sunday evening. This is what I'm planning for Poppy's Christmas present as I feel so guilty not doing as much with her as the other two: