I can't believe another week has flashed past since I last updated the blog. I really love this time as year as we start to get into the agility season. Every day so much has to be packed in so that we can tootle off on Fridays to this or that show.
Last weekend we were at Wallingford and had a really lovely time. We had only two runs each per day but that didn't matter. We camped with Karen, Hannah, Tom and Michelle and had reasonable camping so not too far to walk to the rings.
I didn't do very well on Saturday. The courses were extremely challenging, particularly the agility. I actually liked it as you had to concentrate and work the whole way. However I think it was probably more like a championship class (IMO). I was supposed to weave really wide from Niamh in order to pull her to a jump rather than her taking a tunnel which was set right in front of the weave exit. I was cross with myself that I forgot to do this and sure enough she ran straight into the tunnel. I hadn't realised until a couple of people told me afterwards that I weaved too close so I was pointing at the tunnel myself. Dumbo. Other aspects I was happy with including the A-Frame/tunnel discrimination which Niamh did brilliantly. In the jumping class she ran well but we knocked a pole off a big spread. Her time was good though.
On Sunday we were much better. The agility course was a bit too simple and quick for my tastes but nevertheless Niamh did a good run. I don't think we could have done much more and we went into 4th place where we stayed. We ran early and on such a fast course I didn't expect to stay that high up as there were over 250 in the class but we did! I was a bit disappointed when Andy told me my time was 2 full seconds behind the leader but only until I found out it was someone with running contacts. That made sense to me then. It was an ideal course for running contacts as there was a jump out in front of each contact exit. Hope I get lots like that when Zeki comes out (that's if I'm still running her on the A-Frame by then!!) In the jumping course, which was a little trickier, we also ended up in 4th place just a fraction off the winning time. Good girl Naughty Niamh!
Kizzy and Andy had a good weekend. They got 3rd in G6/7 jumping on Saturday and 2nd in G6/7 jumping on Sunday. Kizzy was looking really good. They are starting to come together again after Andy's lay off from injury. He is moving much better and Kizzy is much happier as a consequence. In her agility classes she was doing brilliantly and just one glitch in each cost them a clear round. All of her contacts were good and shock of shocks in the Sunday class after Andy got E'd he .... wait for it .... trained his dog walk. I was so pleased! One of the main things they need to train is wing wraps. They have gone a little awry and Kizzy now thinks it's ok to turn wide. This causes them problems as it's hard to get her off obstacles in the vicinity which are not supposed to be taken! We did some work with this on Tuesday night and hopefully things will improve on that front. Neil and Bex had a megga brilliant weekend they are running so well together. It has really given Andy the incentive to train harder and run better! It's great that they are so competitive with each other but remain good friends!
Zeki had lots of outings round the rings and we practised queuing for Andy and Kizzy. She was rather noisy but we did some good bits of training overall. We also had a great little training session outside the caravans. Karen, Hannah and I took it in turns to get each of our dogs out and go through a little routine of tricks etc. The dogs loved it. Even Poppy and Sparkie joined in.
We had a great weekend and went home very happy, tired and looking forward to the next show.
I've worked hard to get the office up to date this week. I am still a bit behind with the bookwork but almost there. Had to take my sister into hospital yesterday. She is having her right hip replaced. This is very unusual as she is only 39 and they really didn't want to do the op but eventually were persuaded to act. The new joints have a limited life span and so this is the main reason they don't like to do this operation when people are young. However our view is that she wants to get on with her life now and who knows in 20 years there may be new solutions for this problem. She has been off work for months as she is unable to walk very far. Her job as a nurse working with the young people at the NCYPE is a very active role and she needs to be fit to carry out her duties. Hopefully she'll be able to return later in the summer.
OK so we only bought a new caravan last year. Well, yesterday we bought another one - not as well as but instead of! I cannot believe we are changing our caravan yet again. We have struggled to find a layout that really suits us and hopefully we have managed to do this at long last.
We really love the fixed beds but found that there wasn't enough room for both of us to sleep comfortably. We both tend to sleep like starfish and so the 4'2" fixed beds are a little narrow. Andy was finding them quite clostraphobic so it really wasn't working. Last year we changed back to a caravan without a fixed bed and decided to make up the front benches as two separate beds. This is all well and good but it's a lot of work and quite tricky to manage with six dogs in the caravan. We also like a decent bathroom area and some of those with the fixed beds are a little on the small side. We want all of this without having a twin axle caravan. That's a step too far for me!
Lunar make a model with our dream layout. Our local dealer who we have been with for many years has just become an agent for Lunar so it was all just perfect. The new caravan (Lexon SB) is on order and hopefully we'll get it next week in time for Dordale. That means unloading the current one when we get home on Sunday night so that Andy can take it into Songhurst Caravans early next week. They need it there so that they can switch our motor mover and a couple of other bits and pieces.
Needless to say our almost brand new awning won't fit the new caravan so we have to decide whether to look around for another and sell this one or send it to Isabella to be enlarged. All good fun!