Sunday, 30 January 2011

Fitness Fanatic!

From the title of this post - you know that it certainly doesnt relate to me (though it probably should do, to try and keep up with her in the heady heights of grade 6 this year!), so of course it must be little Kiah. She's always been a power pack, very solid, full of muscle and very powerful when she needs and wants to be, so I think she is the real muscles from Brussels! She is certainly not in any way 'old' or injured but the fact that she is SO mad at agility makes me think I should just help her out as much as I possibly and realistically can...

So even though we have had a couple of weeks back at training, after the 6 or so weeks off over winter I think it is only fair to bring her back in to agility slowly, you wouldn't ask an athlete to run a marathon without any training or preparation. Obviously on a daily basis she has her usual walkies where she is always running around or playing with Davy, but I want to help her additionally too, not that I wasn't before, but just to improve her life that little bit more.

Health wise Kiah has had a couple of visits to the chiropractor, she has been for a visit to the vet to ensure her spine and muscles are strong and healthy (they are) and I have been taking her to hydrotherapy once a week, not for any problems, but just a low impact exercise to improve her fitness - it is amazing how much they have to work but just after two visits so far she is barely even worn out afterwards. I think Kiah is starting to enjoy it a bit more too, she's only being held in the harness as she's not yet quite confident enough to swim around the pool on her own!! The videos we took unfortunately were too dark to see, so here's a picture of her swimming instead - with the headless assistant lol - the photo wasn't intentionally taken like that!!

Diet wise I have changed a few things around too - slowly and within reason of course to ensure I don't upset her digestion, but she now gets a supplement full of glucosamine and chondroitin for her joints, liquid vitamin C, evening primrose oil for her coat, and echinacea to improve her immune system too. The biggest change for her is her food though - I refuse point blank to pay over £50 for a 15kg bag of Royal canin, I wish that they would stop with all the marketing 'freebie' toys, bowls, naff plastic weaves, blankets, towels etc and just lower the prices instead, how ridiculous is that!! But it's their loss and after hearing many good reports, I am phasing out the old, and moving both Kiah and Davy onto CSJ CP24 - I have found a fab stockist really near to us which is great, and so far it really suits them. So forwards with a better and more positive outlook for the coming year agility wise!

In personal non-doggy (heaven forfend, only slightly I suppose!) news, poor Alex has been made redundant from his job after less than a year as the company is not doing very well at all thanks to the poor management, but more positively - he has found another job and starts that in a couple of weeks, quite a lot nearer to home and using his natural fluency skill of two foreign languages, so I think he is looking forward to that. My job is still as busy as ever, I guess that is a good thing in the construction industry at the moment - but sometimes it would be nice to just have a job that isn't quite so serious and you don't have to think about quite so much! Our other 'maybe' plan is to move house, still staying in the same area but a bigger and better organised house layout, maybe semi detached and with a bigger garden for the dogs, we're currently looking around to see what's out there... So onwards and upwards again with work and home life - it possibly could be a very busy year for us!!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

2 Day Stops From Reality

Though unfortunately we have both now returned to the work-work-work-life (un)balance that is reality and every day life since the highly enjoyable Christmas break, the one thing that IS nice, is to be able to come home to a smiley waggy tailey woof-dog. They are quite irreplaceably the one creature that will never NOT be pleased to see you, and always make you smile back at them when you realise how innocent they are, and the simple things that make them happy. As you can probably tell it has been a long couple of weeks back at work and so we make the most of all the free time we have with our furry family; evenings but the two precious days at the weekends even more!!
So, so far on our weekends, we have dropped our caravan off at the service place to have the tyres replaced and a couple of bits and bobs sorted ready for the agility season - we have even managed to find somewhere local to store it which is even better news, its useful that we don't have to have it on the driveway. We also took the dogs on a bit of a trek, they got covered in stinky mud which seems to be everywhere, but they had a great time playing as normal, and after a quick hose down they were soon the right colour again. We also took a quick pop into town and found a new gadget called a 'baggee' which is a spherical silicone sphere (s anyone?!) with an opening one side, that as per the name, holds bags - simple things entertain simple minds! But seriously they are a clever little invention that holds about 6 bags each, and they can be hooked on to the dogs leads, very useful little gadget thing, as I said, simple things!

It was also the time to start getting back to agility for the new year and start getting both of us a bit more fit than we have been (!) - so Kiah and I did a little bit of training on Saturday just with three jumps and our weaves, she enjoyed it though was being a bit 'over enthusiastic' knocking a couple of jumps, and we both got covered in mud as the ground is very soft! Kiah is still as bonkers as ever and still enjoying agility at 5 years old, so we will be back enjoying more agility shows this year. It is just so frustrating that the price of fuel has rocketed up so much, because it will hinder so many people from attending as many shows as they used to, not impressed myself with the cost of it, grrrr.

So onto this weekend, which in comparison has been quite similar with some training, and boring things like house work - apart from today which has just been great fun! We took a trip to Lullingstone Country Park which I have never heard of or been to before! It is a lovely place to visit and only about 40 minutes from home too, and met up with Lisa, Sue and Caroline and all their dogs - 16 of us in total, for a loooooong 2.5 hour walk and catch up, it was lovely to see them all! Kiah and Davy enjoyed themselves (Yahoo is a bit old for this long a walk now bless him, but he had his sweeties and chews to entertain him), its great to see all of the dogs interacting together and its such a huge place to walk around, we really didn't see that many people there, its just lovely to see dogs running free enjoying themselves and investigating a 'new' location!! So this evening when we got back, with full tummies after dinner, watching Kiah sleeping on our bed (cheeky but nothing new!) and Davy sleeping on the bean bag (that he has claimed as his own!) knowing that they make our lives complete, that we can do a little bit to make theirs as enjoyable as possible!!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

2011 - Happy New Year!

I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year now that we are well and truly into 2011. We had a quiet night in this year, some would say reflection of what has happened in the previous 12 months - just us two and our three dogs of course too, chilling out with a yummy dinner and watching Alex's NCIS box sets (its my own fault, I bought them but they are quite good, definitely addictive!!) and seeing in the New Year together with the 60 second count down and watching the firework displays on the television. Of course the doggies sported their new year bow ties; Kiah in pink, Yahoo in black (though he didn't want his photo taken) and Davy got his very own this year too, in red of course!

Unfortunately - as much as I enjoy the beautiful organised displays of fireworks, and the fact that Kiah doesn't bat an eyelid at any of the flashes or bangs, and Yahoo bless him just comes and lies down next to us til they are over, poor Davy is a different story. He didn't cope at all well this year stressing, wide eyed and panting - and as with all the dogs, we simply ignore them if they react as I don't think it would help if we pandered to it, but its not nice to see him like it and so I feel for anyone who's dogs' react in the same way. Thankfully as soon as they were over Davy seems to return to normal, but I've decided that the official organised displays of Nov 5th and the new year is by far enough fireworks for me thanks.

Well all things considered for a quick re-cap of the last year, all though there has been lots of positive things happen in the last 12 months (some brilliant agility results from my brilliant dog and going G6, enjoying time with Alex and I think forming a stronger relationship, purchasing our new van, gaining a friend for Kiah in Davy, our van cages, friendships and families, our new caravan just to name some)- I was also quite glad to see the back of it due to all the rubbish things too, one in particular.

So based on what has happened, I would just like to remind people that life IS too short to not enjoy as much of it as we realistically can while we are here!! As EVERYONE who knew mum knows and has said to me and reminded me, she lived her life to the full - and though she had more health problems than most, nothing EVER stopped her from smiling, enjoying her life, being a great mum and an even better friend to so many people, and doing exactly what she wanted to. Now who could be upset about that - (it may not have been for long enough and I'd give anything to have her back) but mum was a brilliant person who made her life FUN, and that's the important bit that no one will ever forget. I hope that everyone who reads this - including me - will be positive and able to take a small part of that philosophy away, quality not quantity - make the time to enjoy our lives just that little bit more - like mum did!! I for one will try not to dwell on the bad things - and certainly will never forget the memories and the fun that I have had so far, but make myself some new fun memories too. So happy new year everyone, may it be as happy, positive and successful as you want it to be.