Thursday, 9 December 2010

Nearly Olympia!

I can't believe where the time has gone since we qualified for Olympia back in early September. I know it sounds clich├ęd but it's true "time flies" (actually I think that phrase is probably an example of an idiom but I'm never quite sure!) Anyway the fact is that Olympia is only just over a week away for the large dogs and I am very excited.

The only downside is that we haven't had any training for two weeks. I can't train outside as we still have snow and, more worryingly, ice. On top of that the indoor school has been inaccessible. Andy drove up there on Tuesday to see if there was any chance we could train but the yard had about 9 inches of snow and ice covering it and it would have been too risky. Today it's really sunny and the temperature has risen but so far the snow isn't thawing very much at all. We really need more rain to wash it all away.

I know it's the same for quite a few people going to Olympia but it really worries me as it is far from ideal. Obviously there is the issue of fitness for both Niamh and myself but also the worry that we will have lost our self-confidence. So I am trying to counter this by making sure Niamh gets decent exercise despite the icy conditions and that I am keeping fit by walking and doing my pilates exercises. Andy is walking Poppy with his dogs so I just have Niamh and Zeki to walk. It's much better because Niamh is calmer; she doesn't herd Zeki like she does our other collies and so the walk is much gentler. She still gets a good run but doesn't do all the hand brake turns and crazy charging around. I am also having a trick training session every day and getting her to do some exercises on her wobble cushion and pilates peanut ball. Hopefully we will hang on to our connection by doing bits and pieces together.

I am hopeful that we might be able to access the indoor school one day next week to do some agility training but it really depends on the state of the yard.

Meantime here is Niamh's latest little gift from Leah - isn't it great and the words are just perfect. I am going to use it to save up for a new bed for her!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Even more snow pictures

Some pictures from the front yard:

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Walking in the snow

I took the doglets over the road for a walk but didn't get as far as the fields as it was just too deep, instead I stayed in Blossoms Park and walked round the cricket pitch a few times. Phew, that was hard enough work so god knows what it would have been like out in the fields. Not very nice I suspect!

The dogs are exhausted, especially little Zeki Beeks. She nearly disappeared from sight at times!

They had huge snowballs on them and I had to give them all a warm shower to get rid of them. I even had to rinse them in their Equafleeces as their coats had stuck to their legs with all the ice. Not fun!

More snow pictures

We had a lot more snow overnight and it's still snowing now. I'm trying to muster some enthusiasm to walk some of the dogs across the road to the fields but it's not very enjoyable as it's hard to walk. The snow is above my wellies so I'll have wear waterproof trousers over the top of my wellies. I will only take NN, Zeki and Murphy as I don't walk Becky and Poppy out in the snow (will explain why in another post) and Princess, well it just doesn't bear thinking about. She would much rather stay on my bed!

Here are some more pictures from the garden. It shows how much more snow we had overnight. It varies in the agility area as a lot of the equipment is under the oak trees but even under all that cover there is about a foot of snow. Out in the exposed parts there is a good two feet. Too much!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Here we go again - more snow

I know we are lucky compared with other parts of the country, especially the north east but even so more snow this year isn't very welcome. We already had a good spell of snow earlier in the year but to experience it before Christmas and in November is almost unheard of.

As usual the forecasters haven't got it quite right. We were told to expect flurries over the last 48 hours but instead we have had constant snow, some of it quite heavy and as a consequence we have a good eight inches of snow and as deep as a foot in the back garden and agility area. Unlike yesterday it isn't melting because the temperature hasn't risen above freezing today.

Pretty back garden first thing this morning

Andy clearing the driveway with his leaf blower!

Andy and Becky (in matching Hurtta jackets) about to go off to the vet ... more of that later.

The secret garden covered in snow

Zeki out in the agility area

and with Naughty Niamh .... you can see how deep the snow is. Zeki is standing not laying or sitting

Snowy startline practise!

Naughty Niamh waiting for Zeki to chase her

Niamh practising contacts!

The summer house with its new veranda - except you can't see it because of the SNOW

Another shot of Zeki in the agility area up to her chest in snow

Weaving in the snow!

Zeki practising her contacts!

Even deeper snow in the back garden as there are less trees to protect the ground.

We had a lovely play in the garden. I took Zeki and Niamh out with me and we played games and also topped up all the bird feeders. They are eating so much at the moment especially the fat slabs and balls. I like to make sure that food and water are available for the wild birds and especially so in this extreme weather. Some of different feeds I am topping up every day as they get through so much. Greedy little birds. Of course these two were following me around looking for dropped seeds but I was too efficient and they didn't get any!

It took me ages to get all the snowballs out of their fur when we came inside. Neither of them wanted to come in as they both love the snow. Kizzy quite likes it but hates it when she gets snow balls so I took pity on her today and left her sleeping on my bed.

We have had a lot more snow forecast and I really hope they have got it wrong as I don't want any more. It's fun for a bit but then it gets very tedious and everything is such an effort.