Monday, 6 July 2009

Lune Valley, Barrow and the Lake District ... oh and clever Kizzle!

What a wonderful time we have had. I can honestly say that Lune Valley, the bit in the middle and Barrow combined is possibly the best agility experience ever!

We tootled up on the Friday and got set up in our rather lovely camping spot. We were very lucky to be camped backing onto a hedge in the middle field. We got this nice spot due to the fact that I was standing in for someone and doing one of the mid week training sessions. More of that later.

The journey up was quite long but uneventful and the first task was to take the dogs to the exercise area and let them have a good run before we set up our camp. Later we took them along the canal walk which is really lovely:

View of the camping area from the canal walk

Poppy enjoying a swim with Zeki looking on

The view under one of the many lovely bridges spanning the canal

Zeki surveying the scene from her chair

The show format is brilliant as you have three days of agility then three days off followed by another three days of agility. During the 'bit in the middle' there are lots of activities you can participate in including training sessions or fun classes etc. or you can just choose to chill or go off sight seeing. We did a bit of each as I was involved in the training which is all done for charity. It was very very hot on the training day so I couldn't really do much of what I had planned as it was too much for the poor dogs. It seemed to go well and people understood my strange southern accent and the different terminology we use for different sequences etc!

The sightseeing bit:

During our days off we did some sight seeing and got to visit Buttermere Lake, Coniston Lake, Cartmel and a drive through some of the wonderful mountains. We got to see two of the highest mountains in England: Skiddaw as we drove past Keswick and Helvellyn as we drove through Honister Pass on our way to Buttermere. The journey through Honister Pass is quite spectacular and scary as the road is very narrow and at times runs on a gradient of 25% which is quite steep!

Stopping to admire the view half way through Honister Pass

Honister Pass

On our walk around Lake Buttermere

Lake Buttermere

The path around Lake Buttermere

Poppy enjoying a paddle in a stream at Honister Pass

On our second day off we took ourselves off to Cartmel Racecourse and had a walk in the woods which was nice for the dogs as it kept them out of the heat and then we had lunch at a lovely pub in the village.

The doglets enjoying a paddle in a stream in the woods at Cartmel Racecourse

Andy returning to the car after checking out the pubs!

The doglets having a rest after their walk at the racecourse

The view of Cartmel village from the pub where we had our lunch

After our walk at Cartmel we split from Karen and took our dogs off to Coniston. You can't actually walk round Coniston Lake but you can find yourself a little beach and that's what we did. The dogs had a wonderful time swimming and playing. As usual Becky drank gallons and so we had to stop twice on the journey home to let her out for a wee! Below is a selection of photos from our visit to Coniston.

The agility bit:

The agility was just brilliant. Without exception I loved all the courses and some of them were really tricky, right up my street.

The only thing I'm disappointed about is that Naughty Niamh should really be grade 7 now. We had too many near misses and all were down to my making one error which cost us dear. We did however manage one first place in grade 6 agility so we are half way towards our goal of grade 7. We also had two second places in jumping classes which is unusual as I don't normally get good placing in jumping.

I finally managed to execute a perfect push through which made me very happy, I think we could have won the class due to this sequence but sadly Niamh picked up the second weave; it was my fault it was a blind weave entry from a collapsible tunnel and I didn't pause for her to find the entry. Hey ho! She was a good girl and we certainly enjoyed ourselves even though we skulked around in the shadow of Karen with Jess and Todd and Andy with Kizzy both of whom had AMAZING results! Well done guys!

Here is the naughty one with her rather small haul of rosettes that is compared with certain other people :o)

The Naughty Niamh with her prizes - she was fantastic and these rosettes really don't reflect how well she worked. Yet again she was let down by her partner!

The same cannot be said for Princess Kizzle. Her week started off well with a win at Lune Valley followed by some lower placings. Then things went a little wrong partly due to Andy putting too much pressure on himself and partly due to Kizzy really disliking the heat wave. Once the weather had cooled and Barrow show arrived they got into their stride. On one day Kizzy won all three of her classes and in total she managed a total of seven wins, two second placings and numerous other top five placings. What a clever little sheltie. Here she is proudly sitting amongst her haul! The trophies from Barrow are lovely. Locally made slate coasters. So nice to have something you can use. Kizzy has quite a collection!

Princess with her winnings from Lune and Barrow 2009

Below are some pictures of our doglets chilling in their garden at the show:

Poppy requesting that we keep the noise down as she's trying to get some sleep!

Zeki in her favourite bed .... erm my chair that is!

Just chilling!

Zeki joining in with the conversation!

Niamh worn out after a good day out!

Pops enjoying the evening sunshine!

Zeki now bored with the conversation nods off!

We had the best time, great company, great agility, great walks and some excellent results. Well done to Andy and Kizzy for winning into Grade 7 in style and also to Karen and Todd for doing the same and even better for Karen and Jess. The long awaited agility wins. Like a no. 7 bus, you wait for ages and then two come along together! Well done and well deserved. Can't wait to go back next year!

The journey home was pretty good and we arrived just before 10.00 pm. The dogs had a play outside and we fell into bed exhausted. Need to get some energy from somewhere fast as we're off to Denmark in three days. OMG, how will we get ready in time.

Today I bathed Murphy and Becky as they're off to stay with Bernadette; Niamh and Kizzy also got bathed ready for their big adventure. Poppy and Zeki escaped as they were both bathed a couple of weeks back. Pops is off to stay with Dan and Mac. The other three are coming with us and it's quite scary as I've never travelled my dogs abroad before. I am dreading leaving the other three but I know they're in good hands and will be loved and looked after.

Think that's it for now otherwise I'll never be ready for Denmark!