Sunday, 17 May 2009

Catch up

Oops, haven't updated the blog in over a week. Have been really busy as the garden seems to be growing like some kind of monster right now!

We had a good time at Tunbridge Wells show. We took a bit of a break and went down on the Wednesday evening so that Andy could get the rings marked out first thing on Thursday morning. Jackie and Terry arrived late morning and got their camp set up just in time for the equipment to arrive. We did our usual task of putting on jump feet, making up tyres and A-Frames etc.

Bernadette came for a visit and we did some puppy training and then took the shelties for a nice walk on the cross-country course. My bad sheltie led everyone astray by running up and down the hedge to see off some horse riders. I had just been explaining to Gran'Ma how much her recalls had improved. Grrrhhhh ... bad little monster. The annoying thing was that she took both puppies with her and also her mother, Zen. Poppy and Kizzy stayed with us and couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. She did come back after a short battle and her reward was to be told off. Not good dog training I know but made me feel better. So the rest of the weekend we did a lot of recalls all 100%. Truthfully she is much better but I need to be on my guard when different things appear, e.g. horses or children on bikes. If I call her in before they take her eye she is good, if I miss that moment then she will chase and then it's 50/50 whether I can get her back immediately. Depends on how "rewarding" the prey is versus her reward from me. More work required.

On the Friday we had some courses to set up and a few of us took our young dogs with us. I was so pleased with Zeki as she carried her toy nearly the whole time and just kept coming to me to throw it for her. She didn't once run away, she was happy to interact with me whilst we set up the courses. We had a little play on the tunnels, and when Terry did some little bits with his new puppy, Meadow, Zeki didn't once chase her. Progress on that front. She was out there with me for nearly two hours so was very tired when we got back to camp. She still managed to drag herself out for an hour round the cross country course though!

Agility-wise I had a pretty rubbish weekend really. I managed just one clear round and that was far from perfect. On the positive side though, Niamh's contacts were brilliant and her drive is still increasing. I was very tired during the whole weekend and just didn't put my best mental effort into each round. I get so frustrated with myself when I feel like this as my dog deserves much more from me.

Andy had competition only on the Sunday as there are no small classes at Tunbridge Wells on the Saturday. He had a nearly round in the Crufts singles (a fabulous course set by Lee Gibson) just flicking Kizzy over the wall after the dog walk instead of straight into the tunnel. Their Olympia round wasn't very good and they got E'd in their G6-7 jumping which was a very difficult and strange course. They saved their one clear round of the day for the Crufts team and it was worth it as the sheltie team won the class and qualified for Crufts.

We were really happy for my brother Dan and his collie Tig for winning G3 agility on the Sunday at Tunbridge Wells. A great result. Well done as well to Bernadette and the wonderful Zen for qualifying for the medium KC Olympia semi final. Karen and Todd nearly did it, next time guys! I think the most stunning run of the weekend though was Elspeth and Jack in the large Olympia qualifier. It was a really clever and unusual course set by Jo Frazer with two really tricky weave entries. Elspeth and Jack just glided round, it was just the most amazing round I've seen them do.

This last week has flown by and we decided not to go to BATS show. Kizzy was a little lame during the week. It was very strange as it was so intermittent. I think she must have had something in her foot as one minute she was limping and the next minute totally sound. We looked at her foot with a magnifying glass and could find nothing. She was sound by Friday but Andy decided not to risk running her just in case. I had only one serious class and really couldn't face travelling all that way to a venue I don't particularly like just for that class.

So instead we had a day at home. I cleaned out the caravan from Tunbridge Wells so that it's all ready for Nottingham next weekend. Andy cleaned both cars and also got his car organised now that Mac has finished the cages. The dogs have less space than I would ideally like but I don't mind too much as our dogs don't stay in Andy's car at shows, they are either in our little garden or in the caravan. That said their quarters are perfectly acceptable for travelling but I wouldn't want them shut in the car all day. Poppy has a new bed on the back seat and will be wearing a harness. I've ordered a special seat belt clip for her harness from e-Bay.

Next we moved onto the garden. We had spent one evening in the week clearing the agility equipment so that we could mow the grass and do the strimming. I had my first go with the mower whilst Andy did the strimming. The lines are not as straight as Andy does them but the grass is cut so there you go! Yesterday it was time to tackle the hedges. We managed to do 2/3rds of the back hedges, I cleared up whilst Andy did the cutting. If it stops raining today we have two more areas out back to trim and then the front hedges. I really hope we can get finished and set light to our massive bonfire this evening!

Right now it's time for a cup of coffee and fifteen minutes with my book!

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