Monday, 25 April 2011

WBSDS Weekend

Wow it has been a tiring weekend, very glad to be home and to my proper bed and shower, as much as the caravan was very comfortable (and the fridge worked, phew) its just not quite the same!! It was an easy and fairly quiet traffic wise drive to the show on Thursday and we quickly got to the showground and set up our 'home and garden' for the next four days - it sounds very trivial but when you're there for the few days over a weekend, its enjoyable sitting out and letting the doggies relax too - even moreso when the weather was SO hot all weekend!

So Thursday afternoon and Friday morning was setting up the show, most things were done in a team so it wasn't too frantic, quite enjoyable at times! We were helping out with the traffic management and it still makes me wonder how people in agility speed down the drive in when everyone knows that the limit is 5mph, if it was just one dog that ran loose and something happened - so why not just slow down and pretty much eliminate the risk!?!? The main slog of the work was Saturday and Sunday working on the rings all day, it was a challenge and incredibly tiring - and our ring finished first on BOTH days, a bit of an achievement, but it was difficult too; for Alex - he helped out loads at the show, but also took the worry away from me as bless him he was looking after the dogs and managed to get a few nice photos, and for me; to be able to give it my all when running Kiah.

So over the whole weekend we had some positives and some rubbish bits too in our agility, and in most of them we just had some really silly mistakes, but I was pleased especially on Saturday with how we did. Some excellent work by Kiah and brilliant turns she was really listening to my 'steady' command, just a simple mistake of a missed weave where she was just going too fast, some issues where my handling let us down, and poles down mainly, just due to her crazy enthusiasm!

Sunday was a good start, we had a careful and not too rushed ABC run which got us 5th place, really pleased with that - Kiah's solid contacts and weave entry - it wasn't as easy as some people thought! One of the courses we ran I'm not sure why I did, as I said before there's nothing like a challenge, but it was all 'go rounds' and didn't have much thought in it, we messed it up but I could never really see us getting around it in the first place. Fortunately the second course in the same ring was slightly better - however I let my dog down big time. I have stopped kicking myself, but Kiah was just brilliant - powering down a line to spot on straight into the weaves from a flat tunnel, calling off a long jump perfectly.... and then I think it was one course too many after being on the rings all day as I had to stop - as I was completely lost. It was a shame as I think we could have got a good place as we had wasted no time otherwise, and of course Kiah got her toy reward afterwards, but slightly frustrating for me. A good but hard work agility weekend, it was nice to have the additional bank holiday Monday so we have spent today not doing a lot at all, letting the dogs relax too I think they need it as much as us!

There were some brilliant results from other people this weekend too so really big congratulations to everyone - Jason and Stihl who qualified for the ABC semi-finals; as well as Jo with her trophy haul from all three dogs but mainly Ronny getting another win towards G7; Lisa winning into G5 with Meme; Leah and Herbie, and Dave and Rusty for G7 wins; Candice for a place with little Tia, and some brilliantly run rounds from Tracy, Jo and Vicky with their gundogs, well done everyone!! Now... for a short three day quiet week at work, and then another weekend, two days of chilling and then one day of agility yay, I don't wish my life away as the week day evenings are far lighter now, but I do enjoy my weekends an awful lot!!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Locally Lewes

It was quite nice to just have one day of the weekend at a show (but not too often!) especially when the weather is so nice - partly because on Saturday we managed to get a few boringy but necessary other things done, but mainly because we had a lovely long cool walk around the lake with the dogs, and spend an enjoyable day together too. It was however nice to look forward to the show on the Sunday too, especially as it was just under an hour's drive, and great to catch up with some people that I know only generally 'stay local' when it comes to shows.

So back to the agility, we had three runs and we had none in the ring straight away - kind of weird as though we had got there quite early on it was lovely to relax outside in the sun, Alex almost cracked open a beer! Yahoo had his obligatory bone to enjoy and was tied up outside in the shade - but insisted on sunbathing as normal, and Davy was not unusually - catching some Z's! So when our first run finally came around, Kiah and I weren't really on the same page, timings and directionals completely out, we got E'd but some great contacts from Kiah. The second run was a really odd jumping course, we nearly made it round but I think this was the run I was most impressed with Kiah in - she was really listening to my steady commands and though we had already been e'd she had the most perfect scoop and turn around a jump, bless her. Alex even managed to get some really good photos of little Pie at this show :))) I love looking at them. Our final run was something I could have kicked myself for - the start worked really well but as Kiah bounded into the tunnel I said weave and didnt think to look or even check in with her to see if she got her entry, NEVER take your eye of your dog! So after being barked at and told off, we re-did the rest of the course really nicely, a great way to end a lovely day.

Even better - its been a REALLY short week at work as we have taken a day off work to go to the WBSDS show at Newbury - its going to be a busy weekend as we are helping out, but the sun is meant to be shining, the caravan is all packed and ready, the dogs are packed, and we're definitely ready too!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Spring at Shuttleworth

So the weekend just gone was a long one for us - starting on the Friday (day off work, NICE!) as we took a leisurely drive up to the place in Bedfordshire with the caravan happily hitched up and ready for its first show, Alex is brilliant at towing!! We had a lovely camping spot (thank you Lisa and Caroline) as we were down to help all of the weekend - so we unhitched and got set up pretty quickly once we got around to it - unfortunately the only minor set back was that the fridge wouldn't light all weekend, but thankfully that is now all fixed and ready for the next show where we are camping in a couple of weeks time.

It was a bit of a luxury sleeping soundly in the caravan rather than a tent, so we both woke up on Saturday morning feeling refreshed and ready to go, and though we were helping all day, there was a good ring party team so there was no problem going to run little Kiah - in some ways it was better like that because the weather was SO hot and sunny all weekend you couldn't have the dogs out for too long as they would have suffered in the heat, I like it but wouldn't if I had to wear a permanent fur coat!! So in two of Kiah's runs - one jumping and one agility we managed clear rounds, and ended up with 7th and a 13th places which I really was pleased with, I know where we could have slightly improved time wise especially on one. Sunday wasn't quite so successful but was still good, there were a couple of really random courses that weren't really difficult just awkward, so we took our own line on those, then another course where we got royally E'd on the last jump, but as it was our first show I'd rather we kept it simple and enjoyed it, no rushing, nothing complicated!!

The two boys obviously came along to the show too, how could we forget them, Yahoo was outside on his long line (just in case, not that he moves!) in the garden most of the weekend and though he had plenty of shade to sit in, he spent most of it sun bathing or chewing on his knuckle bone and watching the world go by! Davy was putting the effort in as normal for him, either lazing about on a camping chair, posing for the odd photo (but not too many as that's boring!) or mainly in the caravan cosying up on one of the seats, when he wasn't visiting or having a wander around the rings with us. A pretty good weekend overall, great company, sunshine and comfort, can't ask for much more!!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Happy 'Gotcha' Day!!

We worked out that today it is exactly a year since we picked up our new addition, Davy the collie to become part of our little furry family, happy first gotcha day mister handsome!! He has been quite busy over this past year; becoming good friends with little Kiah - and all our dog and human friends he is a really good boy with everyone and everything. He has also come along to various different indoor and outdoor shows - taking it all in his stride, and learning some basic obedience and a few tricks here and there too. He has of course been spoiled silly too like the others, with a new bed, posh coat, dinner spoilings, toys, no less than they all deserve!! Also, Davy is a fast learner but does like to push his luck at times - like not going out anywhere in the rain if he can help it - and learning to enjoy being groomed, he still doesnt think much of a brush but he generally is a pretty good boy. Even more exciting for Davy and Alex - in the last few weeks they have started the basics of their agility training, and are excellent for complete beginners, they are working brilliantly together and picking it up really well which is great! So happy very first gotcha day Davy, here's to many more!!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Days of Sunshine!

What a pleasant weekend it has been, sun shine and fun every day, love weekends like this!! I took Friday off to catch up with a friend that I hadn't seen in ages so it was nice to have a precious lie in, spend most of what turned out to be quite a nice sunny day with the doggies and do the whole 'ladies that lunch' once in a while - could do that more often. Then in the evening Alex and some friends had their 'PT Racing' experience, a professional formula 1 racing simulator which is incredibly realistic - which I think he rather enjoyed, getting to drive as fast as he possibly could, and he ended up 4th out of 8 which wasn't a bad result either!

Saturday was another manic day, after the usual early 'breakfast' wake up bounce from the dogs at around 6.30am (every day) we were off to the competition and open day 15th birthday celebrations of our agility club 'Sunniday' and an apt name it is - as fortunately the day was. Kiah was a little star - the agility course was good fun and she was running awesome, unfortunately as I sped up on the last jump to race to the finish, she knocked the last pole. She clearly would have won - I know its only a bit of fun but I was ever so pleased with her, she did as good as win for me!! Our other runs were pretty good too, we got a second place in the time fault and out class though I didn't help much as I was knackered after starting the course again, so unfit! Even Alex had a go at running little Kiah in the steeplechase, it was so much fun to watch and he did really well, Kiah just took two poles out as she had her 'racing' head on so got faster and faster but it was great to watch, I think he enjoyed the adrenalin rush running such a manic little princess too! The boys had a good day too, not doing any agility but of course coming out to socialise and they had a pleasant long dusty walk along with Kiah too, down the farm tracks and across the fields afterwards, its great to be able to spend so much time with Alex and the dogs out in the fresh air.

Then today it was mothers day :( I won't ever forget my mum and have been thinking about her all day... but I can't dwell on it too much - and the same as when mum went, the sun was shining, so I hope she knew I was thinking about her and that's why the sun was out today. So we arranged to meet up with Lisa and all her doggies for another nice walk, we just took the two youngsters as Yahoo is struggling a bit with really long walks now, his back legs aren't as strong as they used to be, so he got to stay at home with a big juicy knuckle bone. Meanwhile the other two had a great time, posing for lots of pictures, and Kiah's absolute favourite thing - galloping at full speed along the rows of hay bales, great fun just look at her face in the picture!!

We have also given the caravan its last check over before its first proper outing next weekend - as it really is time for the first show of the season, very exciting and I've got my running orders through too, can't wait its going to be good!! Alex is super excited about it as well, I think probably the fact that - it is a new gadget that he can tinker with and claim as his own, and the comfort of a proper bed - slightly more than the agility part of it. I think the dogs will enjoy it too - by the fact that Kiah is currently sleeping on our bed, and Davy is curled up on the sofa. So these last three days have been a really nice fun and sunny, though am definitely looking forward to the next one, fingers crossed for more sun - but even better that its only 4 days at work this week, roll on Thursday evening!!