Saturday, 27 December 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Merry Christmas every body!! It is now the 27th December (already! It has gone so quickly) and so far I have been having a really great Christmas with lots of good food, nice people and really great and thoughtful gifts, I hope everyone else has had a nice time too. Before we know it, the celebrations will be over and it will soon be 2009 (and the start of the agility season!), so I try to look back and remember some of the good things that happened to me during the year.

We were all at my mum and dad's for Christmas and Boxing day, both days turned out to be nice and sunny if a little chilly, so we took a nice long walk along the seafront on Christmas day morning with Kiah, before the main rush of the day had started. We had a lovely Christmas dinner that my mum cooked, and of course Kiah had her own doggy cracker and turkey dinner too! We opened our presents after dinner, and I got lots of lovely things including some Malinois t-shirts, a new sleeping bag, a dvd box set, lots of chocolate, and some money. One of the best gifts I got from my mum and dad (see pic) was this set of three weighted purple and white agility jumps. They are brilliant and will allow me to do a bit of agility practice here at home. Kiah loves them too, for obvious reasons!

Monday, 22 December 2008

Olympia ABC Final 2008 Congratulations!!

Wow, even more great news from the Mallys, I have just heard that Dave Leach and Rusty (Bonvivant Kallisto) have gone and won the Olympia ABC Final 2008!!!! Also Congratulations to Natalie and Kiros the Honorary Mally ;) with a brilliant run to come 4th in the final!!!!

For the first time ever at Olympia there was a run off for 1st place with Dave and Rusty and Mark and Ruby, and Rusty pulled it out of the bag with a stunning second run to win, even beating her first time too!! Both Dave and Rusty work exceptionally hard, and never take anything for granted - they really deserve that win, so CONGRATULATIONS!!

Happy 3rd Birthday Kiah!

It is Kiah's 3rd birthday today, I can't believe my little girl has grown up this quickly!! She has had a lovely day with lots of treats and walks, as well as getting to play with her friend Tia who is staying today. She has just had her dinner, and will be having her main birthday present, a lovely raw rump steak in a little while.

From the moment I picked Kiah when she was just a cute little puppy at 4 weeks old (this picture was the one that sold it for me she was and is just beautiful), to this stunning, well balanced (well not at agility!) all round amazing dog who I am proud to call my own. Happy Birthday Kiah-pups!!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Not Impressed

I am seriously not happy today, went to bed all bunged up and woke up this morning (after having very little sleep anyway) with a blocked nose, stuffy head and stinking cold, I have only recently got rid of the last one about a month ago! So unlike a lot of people who think they are martyrs going in to work and passing it around to everyone else, I am at home trying to get rid of it and not sharing! Oh and just to add to that, there seems to be something wrong with my internet, so I can't actually get on to ANY of the 'blogspot' sites, every other website that you can think of is fine though. I have absolutely no idea why, and the service provider's 'technical support team' are next to useless.

Anyway, enough of my whinging. The walk that Kiah and I went on with Lisa (and Angela again too) yesterday in Selsdon was lovely, really sunny and clear blue sky, but very frosty and crunchy underfoot as you can see in these photos, so a little bit chilly in the shade of the trees and forest, not that it seemed to bother Kiah about playing in it! I am 100% certain this walk was not the cause of my cold though. I am keeping my fingers and everything crossed (as well as taking lots of vitamins and cold/flu relief) that I will have managed to shake this off by Saturday so I can go to the Rugby agility show!!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

December Already!!

Where has this year gone, it is December now and swiftly heading for Christmas, which though I promised myself I would be organised for, it is creeping up fast and I am not ready! I am trying to get lots of Christmas shopping done, and the decorations are down from the loft and all ready to go up hopefully next weekend. Kiah was getting into the Christmas spirit yesterday by sporting her 'tinsel scarf' ;) she was very patient with me letting me take a photo of her!! One of my favourite parts about Christmas is seeing the outside lights on everyone's houses (as long as they are not tacky or enough to use all the power in the national grid!), so I might try to convince Alex that our outside ones can go up a little bit earlier!

December is a very busy month, along with getting ready for Christmas; buying gifts, writing cards, putting the decorations up, three birthdays, thank you letters, we also have work Christmas parties, and a 'mini' Christmas just before the real thing with my cousins! But most importantly (!) next weekend Kiah and I have the Rugby Christmas agility show (we are travelling up with Lisa and her Belgians), this show really is the last one of the season, I have been missing doing shows and seeing agility friends, so I can't wait!

Anyway, I have decided that all the best people are born in December - mine, Alex's (22nd) and Kiah's (21st) as well as Lisa's Meme and Inca too! It was my birthday yesterday (6th) and I had a really great day, the weather was sunny and quite warm. And for those I thought I was 29, I only turned 27 thank you!!! I opened my presents in the morning when I woke up, I got a nice necklace, some PJ's, fun socks, perfume, two matching hot chocolate mugs, a big photo frame with 4 pictures of Kiah in, a pair of football boots for agility and some money which I am going to put in my savings for now. Kiah and I then went for a nice walk over the park, and had training in the afternoon, then in the evening we got a yummy take away and watched Saturday night tv which I really enjoy I am sad to admit!

Today it is lovely and sunny again outside (but freezing cold, there is a heavy frost!), and so Kiah and I are going to wrap up warm and go walking with Lisa and all Kiah's doggy friends like we did last week it was very enjoyable. I like taking photos of all the dogs having fun so I will take my camera with me again and see what nice pictures I can get.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

A Great Walk

I had a days' holiday from work on Friday so myself, Alex and Kiah met up with Lisa and her 7 dogs (5 belgians, 1 GSD and 1 sheltie!), and Angela and her 5 dogs (poodles!) for a long and enjoyable walk in the forest and fields, the weather stayed fab too. I brought my digital camera along with me, and we got loads of pictures of all the dogs having fun and some group shots too. Kiah had a wonderful day you could see it in her smiley face, she adores being able to run around and play with other dogs like this, but especially Lisa's as they all love chasing her over the fields and through the trees and bushes! She also made a new friend on the walk, Angela's small white poodle Lex who joined in the chasing games too!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Cheeky Kiah!

Last Sunday, Alex, Kiah and I all went to my Mum's for a visit as I hadn't seen her in a while - and to take her some chocolates that we had brought back for her from Belgium. We helped mum out with a few odd jobs, then had lunch, and after a short walk down to the sea-front we settled down in mum's front room on the sofa. Kiah isn't one to push her luck, but she is cheeky enough to try and take advantage of the opportunities - should they arise of course ;)! She sneakily hopped on to the sofa, as if to say 'if I sit still and you don't notice me you can't tell me off' and mum allowed her to stay up there, and so with Kiah looking cute and more than comfortable, I got a picture of her!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Discover Dogs

On the Saturday before last Kiah and I went up to Discover Dogs, an event held yearly in November and it is at Earls Court 2, where the public can come and meet lots of different breeds - some of which I hadn't even heard of! After meeting up in London, we travelled up to DD on the London Underground, Kiah was so good on it, even when being carried on the escalators, and lots of rewards for being so well behaved, and as always the tube was a good opportunity to get her used to something different.

This was to be the first day of the event so we set up the stand with lots of new and old pictures and information, showing the Malinois off at its best, doing Agility, Conformation, Flyball, Working Trials and just general fun pictures. So Kiah (see pic) and her two Mally pals Rusty and Tia were there welcoming the public on the Belgian Malinois booth all day, they all seemed to enjoy it very much taking it totally in their stride! Each of the dogs were getting lots of attention and having their pictures taken, doing tricks, showing off, and of course lots of praise and treats. I was so proud of her, it takes a lot out of the dogs being on 'display' all day. After the Tube journey back and the drive home, when Kiah and I got home in the evening on Saturday, she took herself off to bed (my bed!) and bless her she was snuggled up and out like a light!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Mini Holiday

Over the last week I have been on a trip to Belgium (Brussels) to see Alex's home town, and see some of his friends and family over there, as well as - most importantly ;) - meet his Golden Retriever who is called Yahoo - don't laugh, it really suits him! Once his vaccinations are all up to date, Yahoo will hopefully be coming over to stay with us permanently in the new year, as long as he fits in here of course, but I think Kiah is going to like him, he loves to play!

While we were over in Belgium we did a lot of sight-seeing including seeing the Atomium, the Cinquantenaire, the European Commission buildings, and the Royal residence, as well as lots of eating of waffles and chips (not together!) and seeing the local sights. I also visited the towns of Tervuren which is a 5 minute drive from where Alex's home is, and also more importantly we went to Malines, two of the towns where the Belgian Shepherds originated from.

Every other time Kiah would come with me when I go away, but as I hadn't been there before myself, I wanted to see what Belgium was like. Also, I didn't know how she would react to being in another dog's home as she hasn't met Yahoo yet, so for a few days this time she stayed with her doggy pals Rusty and Tia (photo from L-R: Tia, Rusty, Kiah), she had a great time - a mini holiday of her own! I missed Kiah a lot while we were away, so she has had lots of fuss since we have been back, as well as lots of treats and cuddles!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

This Weekend

There are fewer shows now it is coming into the autumn / winter (cold!) season, so we haven't been up to much. Today we have decided that we will be entering an open 1-7 agility show in December, and Kiah and I will be travelling up there with Lisa and her Belgians, so we have got that to look forward to too. At the moment we go training twice a week; once on a week day evening indoors, and another at the weekend during the day which is outside at the moment. Kiah has been glad to be at training, she has been very good, with good waits, excellent contacts and picking her feet up too so working nicely. Just me not really working it properly sometimes, we need to start doing some more difficult turns, courses, challenging things and handling bits and pieces so that Kiah realises that not all courses are to make sure she can go as fast as possible!!

So our big mission for the beginning of next season is going to be to win out of G2 and firmly into G3, not just for the fact that I want to progress up the grades, but because Kiah needs to start showing what she can really do and I will be able to improve my handling a lot more.

Apart from agility training we are having a chill out day for Kiah tomorrow, lots of walks with fingers crossed for nice weather, lots of toy raggy, some more trick training, and cooking a roast chicken for dinner!! A day which I don't think Kiah will disapprove of! I know this picture cuts off the top of her ears, but I just love her happy eyes and smiley expression in it, and that's why I have attached it here.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Blog/News Update

Oops, just noticed how long it has been since I updated this. Naughty blogger.

Anyway, we have been up to quite a lot since I last posted, so thought I would fill you in. Well the most important thing is that Kiah's leg has healed up perfectly, the nice vet at the agility show did a good job as its a nice clean small scar and the fur is slowly growing back, so all good on that front, hopefully (whatever she did!) it won't happen again.

For the few weekends we have had off from training, we have visited my mum twice, and had one lovely sunny weekend where Kiah could play a lot in mum's nice big garden (see pic!), and another weekend which was not so nice, torrential rain and wind! Well we had walks down to the seafront on both weekends, managed to take some pictures of Kiah posing (see pic!) at the beach on the more pleasant one of the two, she loves being on the beach, running along the sea defence walls, and investigating lots of smells! The rainy weekend we again went down to the seafront, some of the waves were getting up to 4-5 feet, Kiah didn't get too close but was very impressed!

To help keep Kiah mentally stimulated while we had no agility, Kiah has also been learning the very basics of obedience, thanks to my friend Lisa showing us how to get the very beginnings of how to start learning to heel properly. We are using a clicker, and I can see how quickly Kiah is picking it up. Just need to carry on with this, and hopefully next time I see Lisa we can move on a step.

I think Kiah (and me too!) had started to get a little bored of on lead walks, limited running, AND no training, AND no shows either, so once her stitches were out, we were glad to go back to training as of last week and an agility show yesterday. At the show it was a case of 'dog needs new handler' - Kiah was amazing in both her agility and jumping she was running like a rocket - and no poles down all weekend! The only problem we had in agility was the see-saw, there was just no grip on it at all and she was airborne! Now everyone who knows Kiah knows she doesn't fly contacts. I even saw her try to stop with her claws scratching along the surface, and maybe I should have said steady earlier, but she doesn't usually have an issue stopping. But never mind, it didnt ruin what was a great round, we had great fun, and I know she is a good girl and I just wanted to reinforce our contacts at her speed, so that's why I put her back on!

The jumping was even better, a very different type of course from what I had ever seen before in grades 1-2, but very good nonetheless. The jumps were differently spaced, but Kiah was very responsive and worked well, again handler issues just two obstacles from home! The weave entry was slightly offset from the tunnel, but by the time Kiah was out of the tunnel she would have picked it up perfectly, now silly me decided to put a steady in, ok fair enough, but then not tell her what to do from there!! By the time I had, bless her, I had moved and into the second pole she went. So very annoyed with myself only (not her!) but I don't think Kiah minded too much as we had a good tuggy and play afterwards.

For agility competitions, that's almost the year over really, there are two shows - one up near Manchester and another in Rugby that I haven't decided on yet, but the major agility season is really finished. I'm sure the winter will go quickly though, and Kiah and I will have to decide what shows we are going to do next year!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Paws In The Park

This weekend was one of mixed fortunes, mainly good news though so can't really complain - but just have one bit of not quite so good news, as poor little Kiah cut her left leg somehow, have no idea how as there were no signs of it at all - though fortunately it is not a very deep cut. It is just by her left knee though, so every time she sat down, it pulled the skin apart and just wouldn't heal up on its own, so the kind vet at the show stitched it up and it is healing nicely now. Good timing (if that's possible for an injury!) because we don't have any shows for 4 weeks, giving it lots of time to heal up properly, just rest for her now to make sure it is all ok.

Anyway, back to the good news - the sun was out all weekend and I didn't see or feel one spot of rain which was great, and lots of different stalls and attractions at the show to look around too!! Most importantly though - Kiah got a 3rd place in her G2 agility (see pic!) with sensible contacts, and Ronny and Kiah doing us ever so proud and having a great pairs run on a tunnel crazy course and getting just 10 faults, dogs you were brill!!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Muddy Good News!

This weekend seemed to come and go in a flash, we were at the Richmond Championship show, which is Crufts qualifying breed show. Again the weather left a little to be desired, and unfortunately turned the show into literally a bit of a mud-bath, with us all covered in mud from walking through it, and nearly all vehicles having to be towed out!! Fortunately though, judging was able to be moved indoors as it was far too wet to be outside!! Still, all good fun!!

It was lovely to get the chance to meet up with all our friends again and also catching up with Jan who is Kiah's breeder, as we don't do that many breed shows we don't get to see them that often. Kiah loved meeting up with her 'own kind (!)' and it is nice to see how all the pups and dogs turn out if we haven't seen them in a while.

We were first in the ring at this show, and Kiah was entered into the PostGraduate bitch class, and was one of three, she showed amazingly well even if she wanted to run a little bit faster than she should!! Kiah looked ever so pretty with her beautiful shiny red and black fur-coat, and is now also the proud owner of a lovely dark brown rolled leather collar which we bought for her at the show. The even better news is that Kiah qualified for Crufts 2009 with 2nd place in her class!! Well Done Kiah!!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Dogs In Need

Kiah and I had a wonderful week at Dogs In Need (DIN), camping in with Lisa, had such a good time seeing all our human and canine friends, we had never stayed the whole week before and I must admit we both had a great time and looking forward to next year already!!

It is a shame to have to mention it (but it is England after all) but in the week we did have a rather 'mixed bag' of weather to say the least! Torrential rain and wind was the order of one of the days, however there was more than a reasonable amount of nice warm sun though, and so I can't complain. Only once did Kiah get drenched (bless her) she was not amused!!

We only got two runs a day at DIN so the atmosphere was nice and relaxed, so had a lot of time to spend lots of quality time with Kiah, and also managed to find time for my other hobby - taking photos, of Kiah as well as lots of my friends' dogs. The pic here is of Kiah in her little agility harness which she seems to love wearing, as well as not hurting her neck if she wears a collar and throws herself about getting all excited watching agility!! The only reason it was taken in slight shade is because the sun was out that day, and if I take pictures in direct sunlight, her eyes either look very light (and she has beautiful dark eyes) or the shadows cover her face and you can't see her eyes properly and her lovely expression.

Over the four days of competing we only got one clear round, which was in Kiah's Grade 2 Jumping, so we now have two wins towards going up to Grade 3. So in theory, whatever her next win is (agility we would move up anyway, or a third jumping win) would take her into Grade 3. I think we are ready to move into the next grade, just to have some more challenging courses and more complex handling for me, though we will get our win whenever it is time, I'm not going to push her as Kiah is doing fabulously well anyway. So that was our holiday away from work for a week, lovely break and doing something I really enjoy with the best dog in the world.

This weekend we have a breed show coming up fairly locally (about an hour's drive away) which will be good, we will get to meet up with a load of the Bonvivant Belgians and Kiah's breeder Jan who it is always nice to catch up with. Hopefully Kiah will show at her best, and the judge will like her, as she is looking amazing at the moment.

In the middle of September we have an agility show relatively nearby - again about an hour's drive away and we get to catch up with some other friends that I haven't seen in ages. Here we get three or four agility runs a day including a pairs run with our friends Jo and Ronny who is even more amazing than Kiah, but when they run well together it is great to watch!!

I will update my blog a little sooner than last time (well, its only a month, it has been longer!) and let you know how we do at both the breed show and the agility show too.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

The Final!

Weekend before last was mixed fortunes I guess, the weather was wonderfully sunny and hot all of Saturday and Sunday, but out of 6 runs we didn't manage get one clear round! I don't know if it was my nerves, or rubbish handling (quite possible!) but Kiah was listening perfectly and the only reason we had poles down was due to me. Oh well, never mind, it was the one at the end of Saturday that counted - the Agility Club Starters Challenge!

Well I said I would report back on the results, and wasn't Kiah a little star - she ran perfectly, and I think I handled it quite well too, to end up in 3rd place and get a beautiful crystal bowl trophy!! The judge Andy Hudson set a good course, on first glance it looked very 'different' to anything I had seen before, but it ran a lot better than it looked and I really enjoyed it and I know that Kiah did too!

Just a quick note of thanks to my friends too, for keeping me sane and calm before the final and for videoing (which I can't seem to upload so look at:) and taking pictures of my round, and to loads of lovely agility people who came up to me and Kiah afterwards and said how brilliant she is. This pic is of Kiah at home on my bed having a well earned rest after the weekend.

The only thing I could have improved personally was my speed, if you look at the video of the round then Kiah's contacts were perfectly held (well done Ki!) however if I was a bit faster we could have shaved a bit of time off. But I really don't mind that, I couldn't have asked any more from her, she worked her little paws off and to come 3rd in her first ever final, just my fabulous amazing superstar Malinois.

Kiah and I are at Dogs in Need for the week coming up, hoping the weather cheers up a little (please?!) and we get two runs a day so nice laid back atmosphere, hoping to get some nice clear round runs in but if not then we'll just have fun anyway!!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Great Results at Grade 2

This weekend it was our first official Grade 2 show, we had two jumping rounds and one agililty, and my Mally did me proud, and got me out of trouble a couple of times too! Kiah ended up coming 3rd in her first run of the day (only slowed down by me not telling her a command fast enough coming out of the flat tunnel) which was a G1-2, and winning her jumping class which was G2, she really is a stunning little dog I am so proud of her. We won't go into the details of the agility round, but lets just say that was my fault, case of good dog shame about the handler!

The fab agility photo of Kiah I have attached here was again taken by Alan Score, he really is very kind to take all these photos of all our dogs, and the quality of them is just excellent as you can see he has a real talent.

We have just got back from a fairly successful evening at agility training, with one more training session tomorrow before the weekend, so I am feeling relatively positive about the show, though I must remember to keep calm. Whatever happens I am and will be so proud of Kiah for getting us there in the first place. Wish us luck and I'll report back here on the results.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Very Bad Blogger - Finally an Update!!

Thanks to my friends reminding me, I am finally updating this, I am sorry if you are all waiting to hear the next Kiah update!!! About 6 weeks or so (whoops!) have passed since my last post, and we are enjoying our summer of agility, playing and generally having fun.

Well what has little Kiah been up to. We have had a bit of a break from agility, only partly intentionally I might add, mainly cause I forgot to enter a load of shows!! I'm sure Kiah will forgive me one day for that little blip. So we have been spending time with our friends both dog and human, and to make sure my little athlete is still on top form, Kiah has been for a visit to the chiropractor just for a routine check up which she needed. In two of the magazines/newsletters I receive; Kiah has been mentioned, one article by the WBSDS for her winning out of G1 and another - the Agility Voice magazine with her name in as qualifying for her Agility Club final, always nice to see my little superstar in print - of sorts!

A couple of times we have met up with friends and been for nice woodland, park, field and forest walks too, sometimes with just Kiah, and other times with other dog friends (at one point we had 12 dogs!) which she adores running with and being chased around, and I love taking photos of too, it is great to see them all just having fun and being able to be a dog. This photo of my beautiful girl I took today, she really is in top physical condition and looking fab.

We have been to four agility shows all around the country - though not consecutively! At most shows we go to, we generally just have issues with handler errors!! However, the agility show we have had most recently, the weather was very drizzley and the grass was very short which made it very slippery under-foot and paw, had to be careful here as I didn't want to let Kiah get injured. At the end of the day, when I was almost ready to go home and get dry, I had one final class, which was G1 Jumping. With an early running order we ran about 6th in the class, Kiah was fab, and we went on to win the class!

Though Kiah has won out of Grade 1 we have not yet had a G2 class due to the timing and closing dates of the shows we have been at. Our first G2 is at the Newlands show next week-end so that should be good fun! In a couple of weeks we also have our Agility Club final, getting a little nervous about that, but I know I shouldn't as Kiah will pick up on it, so just going to try and look forward to a positive performance from her, and even more so from me!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Chill Out Day

As Supa Dogs was cancelled due to flooding from Monday onwards, Kiah and I didn't have the show on Tuesday, but we didn't mind as I had the day off work anyway, and we had a lovely day with Lisa and her dogs which are all Kiah's pals.

The sky was overcast but not threatening, and it was a nice cool day so we took all 7 (yes 7 - 6 BSD's and a GSD!) dogs up to local woods and fields where they all great fun running around, drinking from fresh rainwater puddles, and playing chase!
Kiah looks a bit scrawny at the moment as she has no under coat (it's her go-faster coat for agility she tells me) and she got a bit wet jumping like a gazelle through the long grass - but I really like this picture of her, taken while we were out on the walk.

Bank Holiday Brilliance!

My long weekend (Sat-Mon including the bank holiday) has been absolutely amazing, so I thought I would tell you about it all! Turned up at the show on Saturday morning, ready for the week long Supa Dogs show - even though I was only competing on the Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, back to work on Wednesday. Long story about missing Monday, but there was an ABC Qualifier at a different show that day, so Lisa and I travelled to that show instead.

Saturday's weather was lovely, nicely sunny and warm but not too hot. Well it seems that Kiah was not content with just winning one agility class last week, and our very first run of the day she ran cleanly, and in a very fast time, and won the G1 agility!! I unfortunately messed up both the jumping rounds, they were just too simple and fast, and my handling left a little to be desired - but still very pleased with Kiah as she kept all the poles up!

Sunday's weather started grim, raining all through the night, but by about 11am ish it was again sunny and got very hot, I even got a bit sun burned which I didn't expect, as it didn't seem hot enough! It was a bit of a 're-run' from the day before which was great! Our first run of the day was agility, a bit of a twisty turny course so I was a little unsure how Kiah would run, and she was brill, again a nice clean tidy (by Kiah) un-frantic (by me) performance, we went on to win this one too! Kiah's treat as promised by me on both days was an ice cream, I have attached the picture of her taken at the show, enjoying her celebratory prize!

In the evening we went back to Lisa's house ready to leave early on Monday morning for the other show. Monday's weather was also evil, rainy and windy and especially so on the motorway on the way up to Packington. It seemed to dry out the roads though, and the showground wasn't too bad either it seemed to have held up. Our first round was jumping, and thanks to me getting lost on the course three jumps from home, we got E'd, not a good start to the day! Second run was G1-2 agility, I thought in this round I would train my contacts, in preparation for the ABC run that was coming up in the afternoon, and we still ended up 2nd! Didn't do a very good job of the ABC in the end, the course wasn't too bad, and Kiah did go clear, but was a bit messy.

So I came home with two beautiful trophies (Packington mislaid mine but they are sending it) the two from Sat/Sun are resin sculptures, one of a tyre, and the other of a see-saw, I believe the Packington one is a silver cup, all will take pride of place in Kiah's little trophy cabinet!! I am always proud of Kiah, however she does at agility as she always gives it 110% even if I don't sometimes when I should, but even more so over the last few days. I am just so pleased with her consistency and speed, and the fact we are really working as a team. I am really looking forward to Grade 2, onwards and upwards!!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Goodbye Grade One!!

I've just realised how long it's been since I updated my blog... whoops! Anyway, as the title suggests, yesterday's agility show was an amazing success. We were at the BATS show in Luton and fortunately despite an awful forecast, our runs were finished by lunch time and it was only then that it started to rain. Obviously someone shining down on us yesterday!

Anyway, in mine and Kiah's second run of the day; which was agility, Kiah ran really well, brilliant contacts, and went clear too! Fortunately as I was a late running order (208 of 223) I didnt have long to wait until I found out that I had won the class!! My nerves wouldn't have taken it. The class was combined Grade 1s and 2s - it was our first win, and only third ever clear round, taking us out of Grade One forever and into Grade 2!!!

There were a few of my friends watching the round which was great anyway, and two with cameras - thank you Lisa, and Alan, which was great too as its so rare that you get pictures of the round that you do well in! The picture I have attached is one of the ones taken by Alan, only because they are slightly more close up and they don't have me in them! Just also wanted to say thank you also to all of my friends and instructors who have taught me and Kiah, believed in us, and congratulated me on my win, it means a lot to me :)

Also to add to our success, the class we won was an 'Agility Club Starters Challenge' course too, so she qualified for this year's finals in July to be held at Newbury- our first final!! Kiah had an extra special celebratory dinner last night; a whole can of sardines added to her food!! She really did deserve it, my little clever beautiful Mally (as ever) did me extremely proud this weekend!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Success and Sunburn!

This weekend we were at an agility show in Newbury, Berkshire, run by the WBSDS (working belgian shepherd dog society) so lots of Belgians there all turning out to support the club - its nice to see so many. Also, apart from a 5 minute rain shower on Sunday where we managed to hide in one of the score tents and stayed dry, the weather was excellent, managed to get a bit sun burned on my shoulders and face, it was a bit windy, apparently it always is at Newbury, but it was warm and sunny and dry, so very pleased about that.
While I remember, have a nosey around the blogs that I have put on here under Friends Pages, all of them are to do with dogs (which probably isnt much of a surprise), most of them are to do with agility (ooh shock horror lol!), lots of them are Belgian pages (biased of course but there are others too), and I've added some new links recently too.

We had eight runs over the weekend, seven of which were rubbish, mainly thanks to me as usual, a couple of E's and poles down in others. But to overshadow those results, our very first run of the day on Saturday morning we went clear in! It was a Combined Grades 1-2 Jumping class, Kiah and I ran it it in 22.50 seconds and ended up with 2nd place and Best BSD of the class, so two lovely rosettes and a great trophy too. The picture shows Kiah with her trophy, Best BSD rosette on the left and 2nd place rosette on the right. I really have noticed how much Kiah has improved and matured even just over the last couple of months, still as mad and fast as ever, but I wouldn't change her for anything, I am SO proud of her!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Blog update - and Kiah's claim to fame

Just thought I would update you all with my news... well there isnt much, but I needed an excuse to put a picture on, so thought I should update at the same time! We had an agility show on Saturday, Kiah was her usual brilliant self, a few poles down but it was plastic equipment rather than wooden, so that didn't help, one agility class she was absolutely FABBO in, though I messed her up right near the end of the course. She is resting now till the weekend as she seems to have a bit of a limp on one of her front paws, so we will see how that goes and depending on how she is we may have to miss the show (boo hoo!) but I'm not going to take any chances with her. So keep everything crossed for the show coming up this weekend!

Anyway, back to the picture! Kiah and her brother and one of her sisters were invited to go to a photo shoot to be in a magazine - very exciting! The photos were taken by a guy called Tim Rose at MDP - a professional photography studio in Slough, on the 29/03/06 so Kiah was only 3 months and 1 week old - she was ever so well behaved. We were given copies of the photos on a disc to take home which was lovely. The pic I have attached was the one that was used in the June 2006 edition of 'Dogs Today' magazine - if you have it, she is on page 93 bottom left! It is only a small head shot, but she still had her 5 minutes of fame!

Saturday, 12 April 2008

2 years ago today!

I was taking some pictures of Kiah this morning on our walk (a bit squishy underfoot to say the least though at least the sun was out) and I just happened to be having a look through some old photos of her as a puppy this evening too. I noticed the dates on some of the pictures and spookily some of them were taken EXACTLY 2 years ago today so she would have been about 4 months old in the puppy shot and obviously now she is 2 years and 4 months. Doesn't time fly when you are having fun with a Malinois! The lighting in the two shots are a bit different - but I have cropped one of the pictures to match the head shots I was taking today so you can all see how much (or little!) you think she has changed! Still beautiful as ever of course - but I am biased!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Our Weekend - and the SNOW!

Well we have had an extremely busy weekend - starting from getting up at 2am on Saturday morning, to getting back at about 8.30pm this evening! Kiah and I had an agility show all day on Saturday, we didnt get any clear rounds but again she was running fabulously - I must remember not to say 'go on' too much to her other wise I just make her go even faster!

Today we had a breed show where Kiah came 3rd out of 4 dogs in her class, looking beautiful as ever, though I think a little tired from travelling in between the agility show and this one. The big surprise though was the snow - I haven't seen 'proper' snow in years and this was at least 4-5 inches deep! So exciting - I think maybe more for me than the dogs! It is so difficult to get a good picture of her because of her beatiful - but dark - coat! ANyway this picture is of Kiah having a quick photo session after playing in the snow before charging around again!

I took lots of photos over the weekend of the dogs in the snow, agility, breed showing, which was great fun too - and everyone I said I would send photos to I promise I will do tomorrow!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Bad Blogger - but lots of good news!

Apologies, I haven't updated my blog in absolutely ages, I have no excuses... But anyway I have news and its all good :)

Well the important thing is, the agility show season has started up good and proper, with the most extreme weather conditions! The first show was local, and on both days we had snow, wind, rain, hail, sleet...nice! Fortunately the fab show committee managed to move most of the show inside and so it carried on! The second show was this weekend, a further drive but on Sunday it was sunny and warm I was just in a t shirt, crazy weather but I'm not complaining!

Anyway my good news! Kiah pups and me got our first clear round at the first show (in the snow I might add!) in Helter Skelter jumping - we ended up with 2nd place and a lovely trophy and rosette - see the picture!! I am so proud of her! Oh and because it was an Easter show I got a chocolate easter egg too (that's long gone!) and though Kiah didnt share that I bought her a pigs ear instead!!

At the second show I was very proud of her too, there were two rounds where she just had one pole down in each class and she would have won both. She really has matured so much from when we started, but she is still mad and its great! We have another show this weekend so both Kiah and I get to see our dog and human friends... I'll let you know how it goes! Hopefully a bit sooner than last time!!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Kiah and me at Crufts 08

This is a photo of me (not so good but it was the end of the day) and Kiah (looking fab as always) at Crufts this year. We ended up getting a 3rd place in one of her classes, and lots of comments on how beautiful she was, which was lovely and of course I agree but I am biased! Though we didn't qualify for Crufts 09 she was brilliantly behaved, we had a great time with our friends - doggy and human! This picture of me and her with our rosette and certificate was taken by my friend Lindy Margach.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Yesterday at ring craft

I thought I had better take Kiah to ring craft, just so she gets used to the handling ready for Crufts next week - its come around way too quick this year! I had forgotten that the last session of every month is 'match night' they bring in a guest judge to do a mini competition. Well we did very well, she was looking beautiful (as always!) and was very well behaved too! Kiah ended up coming 3rd in her 'graduate' class of four, then in her other class she came 3rd out of eleven! Here is a picture of Kiah taken today with her two rosettes!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

After a hard day out at agility...

We were up at an agility show today, there's nothing Kiah loves more than agility! No clear rounds/rosettes today but we had a great time and thats what it is all about to me and her! Just snapped this pic of her (it's a bit dark but you get the picture!) just being awoken by the camera flash after lying on my bed catching some well earned zzz's!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

The day little Kiah came home

This picture was taken just before we took her home at 11 weeks! I think this was taken just after we had managed to think of a good and suitable name for her!! I had picked my little black furry baby at 4 weeks (see first pic on 'introduction') and she was just even more adorable now than she was then! Couldn't wait to get her home!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Kiah at the Beach

I decided that on Saturday after training I would take Kiah for a run around at the beach, and while I was there, take some photos hopefully of her and of the sun setting. I managed to get both!! The exposure was a bit off as its difficult to get a dark dog against a bright sun! I have attached one here of her looking beautiful with the sunset in the background, and one of just her head just after the sun went down, which I think is my favourite head shot of the whole lot.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Forest Walk last week

Last Sunday (10th Feb) as the weather was so lovely, I took Kiah out for a long walk in the morning to our local country park. Here is a picture of her posing for the camera!

Friday, 15 February 2008

Introduction to my pooch

This is Kiah, she is my fab Malinois. She was born on the 22/12/05. The pictures I have attached are of her at 4 weeks old, and how she looks now.