Thursday, 10 June 2010

Catching up ........ Pt VI (the really important stuff)

The final instalment (thank the lord I hear you sigh!)

Going off on one for a moment, someone was quite horrible to me recently about my blog making much of the fact that how sad it is that I blog about my life rather than live it. Well hopefully you can see from my catch up posts that we do live a life (and indeed one outside of agility!) More importantly this blog is for my family and my friends. I have lots of family that I don't see very often if at all but they like to keep up to date with our news and I find this a great way of being able to keep them updated with pictures and videos. So, I will live my life thank you kindly but I also choose to blog about it; other people can choose to read or not to read it! In fact I would suggest that the saddest people of all are those who make disparaging remarks but then still read other peoples' blogs!

That out of the way on with the important stuff ..... my doglets and agility shows!

First of all Nottingham. Well that was an event in itself as I ended up sleeping in my little van for the night. We were due to camp but Andy had a really bad migraine attack where he lost not only his vision but also his ability to put names to faces. This is always scary and we think probably associated with the fact that he had stopped taking aspirin for a few days as he kept getting nose bleeds. Hopefully things will settle down a bit. I don't think the stress of exams is helping but thankfully they'll soon be behind him.

Anyway I desperately wanted to go to Nottingham as it was Zeki's one and only opportunity to win into G6 in time for Lune Valley/Barrow. It was my goal to get her into G6 for these shows as she has a reasonable chance of getting to G7 there as she won't always be up against the more experienced dogs. I would love to get her to G7 so we can have the challenge of more difficult courses.

I knew that Nottingham would be a bit stressful as I wanted that win for Zeki plus Niamh had a champ class. So, it was probably good that Andy didn't come along as I might have been unpleasant company ;o)

I was going to book B&B but then decided this was stupid as I'd already paid out for camping so I came up with my little plan. I didn't think Andy would be too happy but he thought it was a great idea and helped me to kit out the van with a comfy bed and curtains. Here is my little camper van:

Leah and Jay tried every trick in the book to persuade me to stay in their caravan which was very kind of them but I was actually quite excited about my adventure. My dogs always sleep in the caravan at dog shows as I choose not to leave them out by themselves, however I was happy for them to sleep in the van with me. I had Zeki in the bed with me but Niamh stayed in her kennel as she's a little too big to sleep on my feet in such cramped quarters!

As it was the weather was kind to us and not at all cold. We all three slept well and I would do it again for sure!

On to the agility. Well I achieved one goal by 8.40 am on the Saturday morning when Zeki won the G3-5 agility by a small margin of 9 seconds. It was a good course with several pull throughs and some tricky angles and I was very pleased that we had done it so early. That meant I could relax about Zeki and concentrate on NN. Well as it turned out I didn't do well in the champ with poor Niamh. We were clear in the agility but disaster in the jumping when my poor handling meant that Niamh back jumped so we were eliminated. I was very disappointed as my goal for Niamh was not to get eliminated in any champ classes. Damn that one has gone out of the window. To make up for it Zeki won two more classes and came second in another. I think I got a 20th place with Niamh in one of the classes but we weren't really in tune after our champ mishap!

I had a great weekend, thanks to Leah and Jay for countless cups of coffee and good company.

Here is my clever little sheltie with her haul from Nottingham.

Zeki with her win(s) to Grade 6

Last weekend was Hinckley show. I enjoy this show as it is very well organised and always runs smoothly. However I was a bit dismayed that beyond 3rd place all that you got was a card rather than a rosette. I personally don't think this is a great idea. I was really disappointed when I got 11th place in the KC qualifier with Niamh only to get a clear round card, not even 11th place. Bit mean I think.

Anyway I did enjoy the show very much. I wasn't at all stressed running Zeki as we were in with the G7's all weekend so I just concentrated on training contacts and trying different things. She didn't disappoint getting 5/5 clear rounds with two placings. I was thrilled with her. She is just the best in my medium world. Obviously Niamh is the best in my large world! Overall Poppy is the best of course.

Niamh was superb all weekend. We got into the champ final but I am sorry to report that a momentary lack of concentration meant that we had a pole down and that was the end of that. I was quite upset because I hate letting my dogs down in finals. I don't expect to win but I do expect myself to perform well and I didn't. Kick up the butt required! Niamh didn't know and that's all that matters but I want people to see her for the great little dog that she is and not being messed up by stupid handling errors. Onwards and sideways. I guess it's not bad going that we've got into 2 out of 4 champ finals that we've so far taken part in.

On the Sunday we had a great course to challenge us. Leah judged the KC qualifier and it was a fair but tough course. I was very unsure when I first walked it; I liked it but truly didn't think I'd get Niamh round. There was a lot of handling and it was one of those courses that you had to work every step of the way from #1 through to #20 and all spaces in between. Niamh was brilliant. We ran #12 and it was still quite slippery from the night before's rain. We ran clear and for a long time it looked as if we might just qualify. But at the end of the class some superb rounds came in and we finished in 11th which I was not disappointed with. I believe there were only 16 or 17 clear rounds. The course certainly took some prisoners! If only the old system were in place, we would have more or less been guaranteed a semi-final run with an 11th place. Oh well, we will keep trying.

Andy and Kizzy competed for the first time in ages. They have lost their mojo right now. It wasn't helped by the very hot and humid weather. Kizzy really seems to hate these conditions so we're hoping for cooler weather at Thames. That said they got 7th place in their first agility run and then a clear in their first ever champ run. Sadly Kizzy was a very bad sheltie and popped out of the weaves in the jumping leg of the champ. Andy tried to get her back to the start of the weaves but she wouldn't come to him and back weaved = E! Now Andy wishes he had just popped her back into the last weave gap but hindsight and all that!

We very much enjoyed the show but I think if it clashes with Dartford/Keston next year I will probably opt for the more local show as it's a long haul to Hinckley and does seem a bit crazy when there is a perfectly good show almost on the doorstep!


  1. I personally love reading your blog. I am so far away that it is really nice to read about what you have been up to, otherwise I would be totally out of touch!! And yes, they are said if they read it, then complain! haha.

    Well done Zeki, what a star!! x

    I am coming over for Thames, so hopefully see you there?? :)

  2. To the person who said that grrrrrrrrr! You guys certainly live your very busy lives and we are lucky enough that you share your walks/dogs/house/agility life etc etc with us via the blog - please keep blogging I luv reading your blog xx

  3. Keep it up Nancy....LOVE it and well done G7 here you come......