Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Mammoth update part 2 (garden and other bits)

I caught Andy's bug after return from Lune Valley. Whereas he had a cough, I got laryngitis and couldn't speak for nearly a week! You can imagine how happy Andy was at this time! I went into hospital to have my facet joints injected and was very lucky they did the procedure as I was running a temperature. Oops I told them the laryngitis was down to hay fever, I think they saw through that. However, as my airways were clear they went ahead. My back was good for a few days but then not so good. Having been back to the consultant I am now booked to go in the week after Dogs in Need for another procedure, this time to have radio frequency lesioning which is where the nerves are killed off semi-permanently. I last had this done 11 years ago and it gave me a number of pain free years so fingers crossed it works again. They won't do this procedure until they have first tried the injections.

The garden has been hard work this year as we had neglected some tasks last summer/autumn. We have had to give in a get a bit of help. Julie who occasionally trains with me has been twice now and her project is the long border. So far she has had two sessions on it and needs one more to finish clearing it out. Then she will help us plant it with perennials in the autumn. I hope it will look beautiful next year.

Above: the overgrown border and with no structure to anything!

Below: after two sessions by Julie, just the last third to go which she'll tackle after we get back from DIN

You can also see yet another chore - a new shed roof is needed!

The other major chore in the back garden is the side opposite the long border. As you can see it is very overgrown. I know the colours look lovely but beneath that growth is our beautiful old brick wall and we do like to be able to see it! All that growth sticks out by over a metre and encroaches the lawn. Andy tackled that side himself with a little bit of help from me.

Above the overgrown greenery and below, we can see our lovely wall again!

On top of this Andy has cut all the hedges in the agility area and in the front. We love our beautiful garden but it is a lot of hard work for sure!

Mammoth update part 1 (agility)

Oh gosh where to start: agility catch up I think!

Lune Valley, Barrow and the World Try Outs

It's a long trip to the Lune/Barrow show ground but a gorgeous venue with a the lovely canal walk right off site plus of course loads more walking off site if you choose. We took the lazy option this year and walked along the canal each day. The intrepid Bays went offsite and climbed mountains each day. One day they even took Mr Murf!

Murphy and his 'other' family

The show ground had changed this year which meant a different layout. It wasn't as nice and neither was the running ground. The show committees had done their best but there was a heck of a lot of walking from the caravan to the rings and by the end of the week my legs were done! Andy caught a horrible bug whilst there and became ill half way through the week so that spoilt things a bit. Andy did a day's judging for Lune and myself and Bernadette did some training for Barrow's charity raising.

The showground from the canal. You can see how the rings were right up one end and the camping all behind. Not good on the legs!

Poppy having a snooze in Zeki's little bed!

A lovely property at the end of the canal with its own private jetty. Beautiful.

Kizzy did some good runs and got some placings but she's still not running flat out. We have to work hard to bring her back to her old self. Not entirely sure what has knocked her confidence so much but hopefully we'll get there. Niamh and Zeki were great and Zeki and I managed two wins towards G7, both in agility. Niamh got two third places one of which was in agility and possibly one of her best ever runs (sadly no video). She was third behind two very fast dogs by just fractions of a second and this gave me a real boost.

On the Sunday of Lune Valley, Bernadette and I travelled all the way down to Daventry for the World Try Outs. This is the first time I've ever taken part in this and I have slightly mixed feelings about the experience but I'm glad I did it and very happy that my little Niamh performed brilliantly. The courses were a little bit easier than I had been expecting and so I kind of knew we wouldn't be able to out-run the really fast partnerships. We got E'd on the jumping course but I don't feel too bad about that as a lot of people met the same fate on this course. It wasn't a hard course there just one bit on it that caused the problems. We had a pole in one agility class and a clear in the next agility run. We got into the final round and I was very proud of both Niamh and myself on the day; her for her great runs and me for holding my nerve.

Actually, the most stressful thing for me on the day was that there was nobody to take your lead; this I find hard because Niamh is a handful on the start line and I need to get her onto her toy at the end of a round otherwise she will try to go back into the ring. Strange that such a simple thing was overlooked at such an important event.

Bernadette and Zen made the medium team so big congrats to them on being part of the team for the umpteenth time. What a great partnership. We have excellent teams in all three height categories and I really think we can do well in October. Good Luck guys and girls!

It was a long drive back to Lune Valley show! Here are my videos from the day (thanks to Bernadette):


Quite enjoyed Rugby but the camping was pretty awful as we had the day trippers right outside our caravan which can be a bit annoying as some dogs just bark all day long. Not very peaceful. The venue seems to be struggling with the size of the show. Mixed results with the doglets. Niamh did a lovely run in Simon Chandler's KCQ but had a pole down. We were E'd in the champ jumping as Niamh chose to flick away from me in the weaves, something I had been practising rather a lot and obviously need to proof against!

Zeki was a little star and came 3rd in the Crufts singles. I couldn't believe it. The course was a a bit different from the usual but still quite fast. She did run it well but I still didn't expect to come that high in a 6/7 qualifier. The Crufts points are no use to us as I am judging at Crufts next year (yikes!) but I believe the class was also an EO qualifier so that might do us some good if we try out. Zeki was leading her jumping right until the end when we got beaten by Gemma and Hoax and so ended up in 2nd place. We did a good run in the KCQ right until the end when I pulled Zeki off a jump. We wouldn't have been quick enough to qualify though as the top three spots went to border collies and they will always be faster across the ground than us.

Agility Club

Well, this was different from usual as it was held at Ardingly. It was a nice show but boy was there some walking. The way that the club had been forced to lay out the show was pretty awful. All the rings ran across the very top of the ground and then the camping just went back. To make things worse all the rings were situated within enclosures with only two gates to get in and out of each enclosure. Of course the gate was always opposite where you ended up or wanted to be! I think this is possibly the most walking I have done at a show perhaps apart from last year's KC Festival. Hard to tell!

Results-wise, nothing for Niamh. I chose not to run her on the Saturday as it was quite wet when her runs were due and the courses a little too twisty for my liking (in those conditions.) I saw so many dogs hit the A-Frame in the KCQ that it made me feel sick and at times upset.

We didn't do very well in the champ on Sunday but Zeki made up for it by winning her Graded 6 agility in style (by 10 seconds!) It was a tricky course set by Andy Longley and I thoroughly enjoyed it as you had to handle the whole way round. I was really pleased to get this third win in agility as we had almost won a class on Saturday only to be beaten again by Gemma and Hoax. I am delighted to say (both for Gemma and Hoax, and for me and Zeki LOL) that they are now in G7! One more win to go for the Beek! Thank you very much to Colin for filming this run for me.

I ran Kizzy on the Saturday and she worked really nicely because Andy wasn't there! Had he been around she would have looked for him. He had to stay home to catch up with work.
We got 5 in the champ jumping and a clear in the agility but didn't make the final. Unusual for a small champ as you normally would get to the final on 5. Never mind! Again thanks to Colin for the videos.

Obay Winners at the Agility Club Yazz (G3); Zen (KCQ); Zaz (G5), Itzy (G4) and my little Zeki (G6)

Kizzy preferring to stay home on the Sunday!


Oh gosh, what a long trip for two runs but I am sooooooooooooooo glad I went. Niamh and I qualified for a KC Olympia semi-final on the Saturday. I loved the course, set by Andy Sandercock, it was full of handling and choices. I chose a couple of safe options but took some risk in other places. I trusted Niamh completely on the obstacle discrimination (both times) and she did her job. Clever little girlie. We had a very near miss right at the end of the course, I opted to go for the faster finish and it almost cost us as Niamh very nearly took the wrong jump, I yelled her name and she just turned off it but it cost us time. I really thought I had blown it with that error and was so pleased when friends told me we had come 7th with two people in the top five already qualifying this meant we had done it! I was a very happy bunny and took my three dogs off for a nice walk on the New Forest with Karen and her gang. I didn't do Niamh's second run as I was so happy I didn't care about it!

Sassie with Poppy and Zeki in a little stream on the forest

The following day was a choice for me. Chippenham and Niamh's champ or back to Burridge for a last ditch attempt for Zeki in the KCQ. I chose to go back to Burridge and am glad I did even though we didn't qualify. Zeki worked beautifully but had a pole; we stayed on for our 6/7 agility and honestly think we might have won it but for one half of the partnership letting the other half down right at the end of the course. You can see for yourselves which half let the other down!

Well done to Karen and Todd for winning the KCQ and getting to the semi-finals in September. Karen had to withdraw from Olympia last year so I hope with all my heart they make it through this year. Oh and not forgetting little Yazzooooooooooo, not to be outdone by her brother she won two classes on the Sunday!

Well, now it's just a case of getting ready for the up and coming KC Festival and Dogs in Need. I am so looking forward to this feast of agility. I will try to do a more timely report on our return!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Big oops!

My poor blog is feeling very neglected. I have lots to update but no time to do it. I also have some videos of my doglets but no time to download them. I guess it's to be expected at this time of year with so many shows and a very large and wild garden to tend on top of the usual office work and looking after the doglets! I also had facet joint injections in my back followed by a horrible bout of laryngitis which meant a few days where I couldn't do much and so got even more behind!

So, this post is really just to acknowledge that Hudsondoglets and their humans are all well and that it is my plan to do a megga update before leaving for the KC Festival. We are so looking forward to some time away with our doglets in the caravan!

Please come back soon for an update!