Sunday, 25 January 2009

Departures and Arrivals!

Alex has departed this morning to Brussels for a few days to see his dad, and sort out some of his bits and bobs, as very soon their house in Belgium will be sold - hopefully he won't bring back too much stuff, though I can forgive him if he does, because I have requested some yummy Belgian chocolates which are the best!! So I would like to say it is quiet in the house... but I have a VIP arrival here (very important pooch!) by the name of Tia, who is staying with me and Kiah for a couple of days!! As Dave and the superstar Rusty are up at the BSD world champs selection, I offered to look after Tia today and for a few days after, as Kiah loves playing with her and they love roughing each other up! Unfortunately though, I have to go up to Bedford on a course for work, so I will be taking Tia back to her home on Tuesday evening, and Kiah will be going too, up to stay with Dave for a couple of days til I am back and can pick her up.

So this morning after dropping Alex off at the airport at some horrible hour (about 7am, early for me for a Sunday!), Kiah, Tia and I went out for a nice walk over the local park, or should I say the paddy fields, it is totally flooded over there! The dogs had a fab time chasing each other, running through the puddles and splashing about! Both girlies got really soaked, so I have switched the heating on so it is toasty in here, they have been warm-towel dried and are sound asleep, Kiah is on my bed wrapped up in a blanket, and Tia is next to me on the spare room bed, also wrapped up warm, don't want them getting cold! Spoiled? Of course.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Busy Weekend

This weekend has been a fairly busy one, it always goes too fast for my liking, though some weeks can race by, anyway the faster some weeks go, the closer it is to another agility show! We had errands to run on Saturday morning, including posting one of Kiah's blankets to Brussels so that Yahoo can get used to her general smell before he comes to visit and hopefully stay over here. I have attached a picture of Mr Handsome Golden Retriever here! We also have one of Yahoo's rub down towels so that Kiah can get used to his smell in her house too, she spent about 10 minutes inhaling the smells from it!!

Anyway Saturday afternoon was training, we are still indoors at the moment due to the horrible weather, which still sends Kiah a bit loopy as she is constantly watching the other dogs, but she is a lot better than she used to be! I think we both prefer training outside though. Kiah was good at training, especially on the weaves which is good, though she still enters the weaves very quickly, she steadies herself just enough to get into the 2nd pole not the third. We were also practising pull-throughs, which I just need to improve my handling on, and Kiah needs to understand what my steady command means as she sometimes still jumps soooo wide and long - so we are going to practice this!

Sunday morning the weather had stayed sunny and warm for a while, so Kiah and I went on a nice walk with Rusty (the champ!) and Tia (spinny!) over the local forest and lake, jumping and wading in the mud and puddles! My good digital camera wasn't charged, and my phone with the better camera on is broken due to a manufacturing fault, so I couldn't take any pictures, but I have attached one here. This photo of the dogs posing was taken on my stairs L-R is Kiah, Rusty, Tia!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Walkies with The Belgians

...and the GSD, and the Sheltie, but who's counting, and there was one Belgian missing - Alex; he is English but was born/raised in Belgium, but he was at work today booo :(. Anyway, so this afternoon, Kiah and I went on a nice long walk with Lisa and her 7 dogs over at Selsdon. Though there was still a bit of snow/ice underfoot on the paths, the temperature had definitely increased and the sun was out, so we didn't freeze or boil. As always I took my camera, and got lots of photos of the dogs having fun. There's a picture here of Kiah in the forest after having jumped up in a tree trunk, and one of her running and playing chase with her friends!

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Back to Training!

Well after what seems like forever and a day (though its really only been 3 and a bit weeks plus the Christmas break), due to Kiah being in season over the Christmas break we are going back to training today, I am really looking forward to it! Kiah is bound to be absolutely off her head as apart from a bit of training at home (with our nice new jumps!), we haven't done much since before training stopped for Christmas. I have also bitten the 'agility show' bullet for 2009 as I am determined not to miss the closing dates like I did last year for quite a lot of nice shows. I have started entering a few of them now, there's one in February so far, Crufts breed show in March and already booked a week's holiday at work for a show in August!

Also this morning we woke up to a thick layer of white snow and frost outside, it is really beautiful and has covered everything, all the trees have a spiky looking but delicate frost blanket over them. We got up early-ish and took Kiah over the park for a run around and play with her ball before training, she loves getting all the snow all over her (not a brilliant pic as taken on my phone) and all the different sniffs, and though its freezing, at least it was sunny. Kiah met her friend Shelley a Golden Retriever, over the park, Shelley thinks it is fun to bark which just makes Kiah chase her and want to play with her more!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

New Year, New Ambitions

Well Christmas and the New Year have been and gone, and unfortunately so has the well needed 10 days worth of time off that came with it - tomorrow I am back to work! But along with a new year of work, comes a new year full of goals, hopes, dreams, aspirations, for me personally, and for me and Kiah as a team too.

Last year was a year of success in agility and at home, I met a great new guy called Alex (who Kiah absolutely adores!), we are really happy and having a great time, enjoying life. I have also made some genuine new friends, had a successful year at work, got back in contact - through Facebook - with some old friends that I had lost touch with, and am now the sole owner of my house (apart from the bank of course!), all things which I am very happy about.

Aside from that on a personal level, Kiah came 3rd in the Agility Club Starters Challenge, won into Grade 2 at the BATS show, got lots of places in Grade 2 including 2 jumping wins towards Grade 3, and qualified for Crufts 09 in breed classes, achievements which I am so proud of her for. She is still as nutty as ever which I love her for, and will never be the easiest dog to get around an agility course due to her speed, but I cannot fault her contacts (!), enthusiasm and giving it her all, 100% of the time, who could ask for anything more.

This year my main aim is to get Kiah into Grade 3 and as an extra hope, to get some top 10 places though it will mean a lot of hard work. This isnt so that we can just 'move up the grades' but to give her and me more of a challenge. I am also looking forward to seeing and catching up with my friends at agility shows, holidays that involve agility, running my dog, challenging courses, and fingers crossed for lots of nice weather. I am really REALLY excited about 2009!!