Sunday, 24 June 2012

Very Clever Dogs - 2 of 2!!

Kiah, well she was running well too, and I just don't think she wanted to be outdone by her brother on the first day!! When I walked the course I didn't really have a huge opinion on it, thought it was ok, quite challenging but also fair, as set by David Isbister, but we were unlikely to do well in it as it was a combined 6-7 class, so one set of results. Obviously I need to have a little more faith in my little princess at times, wow it felt fantastic to get a clear round, and running about three quarters of the way through the class, go into and stay in third place!!!! It wasn't the best run by me, and even though Kiah got her down contact, miss naughty-bear shouldn't have come off the side of the dogwalk, though I can't criticise really as her weaves, keeping her feet up and nice turns were really fantastic, so very pleased with her!!!!  It really does feel great when we manage to go clear, a real buzz and even more so as we don't get too many clears.  I only realised when someone told me, after the class was closed that it was a qualifier, so as well as getting a lovely trophy, Kiah and I are off to the 6-7 semi-final in September!!!! We also have a video of my girl with her run too, so proud of my Princess-Kiah-bear!!!

The second day wasn't as great with naff weather, and even though the dogs were still good, we had no clears - but with some good contacts, waits and jumping from both of them, nothing could have outdone Saturday's results!! We headed home pretty promptly, missing the worst of the weather and getting home at a reasonable time too, its nice to chill at home on a Sunday afternoon.   Of course we went home with the best ever dogs; both Kiah and Davy were brilliant, am exceptionally proud of them both - of course they got extra sweeties, and a tin of sardines each in their dinners that night as extra rewards!!

Very Clever Dogs - 1 of 2!!

The first weekend in June was always going to be an exciting one - Alex had finally bitten the bullet to enter shows, and this was Davy's first ever agility competition!!  After me having a day off - on a surprisingly warm summers day - to get our sliding windows and tinting done on the van (which look fantastic) and Alex having a half day at work, for once we hooked up the caravan relatively early on Friday afternoon... and then promptly got stuck in slow-moving traffic for about an extra hour!!  Thankfully the rest of the journey wasn't too painful, and we got there easily.

The first day of the show started off pretty great, not the worst weather we have seen of late, a little bit windy and quite sunny most of the time, so can't complain. It was exciting reading two sets of running orders, with Alex and Davy's names on the page - as well as mine and Kiah's, and the way the classes ran, it wasn't going to be us in the ring first.  So after about an hour or so it was make or break time... not really as it was just going to be a brilliant run no matter what, due to the hard work Alex has put in, to train the laziest dog on earth.  Well there was no need for anyone to worry, Davy didn't hesitate one bit, powered up the line, listened to Alex's commands, went on to tunnels, and after a fab blind turn by Alex following another excellent tunnel entry, they went clear, absolutely fantastic!!!!  Hopefully attached is a video of their debut, what clever boys!!!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Shiny New Treat :)))

We have treated ourselves to a new (newer) van, as much as our blue van has done us very well, it was our first van and it wasn't *quite* what we were looking for - if we had ever had a wider choice in picking our first van. So anyway, it has happily gone off to its new dog / agility home, to be another 'first van' for someone and to be loved by its new owner, all good reports so far and lets hope it stays that way!!

Our new van is almost exactly what we were looking for, it is a dark silver-grey, short wheel base, automatic engine, tailgate, air conditioning and came with dog cages - van as modelled by Kiah very nicely here!! The seating arrangement is a little different too - it has 2 single 'captain seats' which means Alex can stretch his legs out instead of having them jammed against the dashboard, not that I have a problem, being a foot shorter than him!!  We have since insulated the van ourselves, and Alex did a good job of swapping the cages between the old and new van - so we still have our combination lock ones which I'm happy with.  Most importantly, the dogs seem to be happy with the new van too, and it has already had its first successful agility show trip, including towing the caravan, all good so far, very pleased with it!!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Tunbridge Wells

Yet another show that unfortunately had to be re-jigged thanks to the weather, the camping was very limited and was on hardstanding roadways only so very frustrating, thankfully for us we were daytripping and had four of our friends staying over to save them camping too, quite a fun evening with a yummy takeaway.  But again we were very grateful for the show to still be running, and typically the sun shone all weekend!!

I have started to notice that with little miss temper tantrum Kiah, in the last few shows, she will run so much better if we are more 'in tune' and I've spent more time with her beforehand, of course I always warm her up etc, but if she just spends a few more minutes with me, not doing anything in particular but just being there, she seems to be a little less feisty!!  Due to the show's weather move, some of the runs were inside, and unfortunately neither of us are great due to the noise and the hype, but there were some good things - a fantastic fast awkward weave entry being one of our best achievements.

They are few and far between this year, but we did get a clear round at this show!!  I'm hoping that the video will attach here.  It was a bit scrappy again - a lot of times I'm getting to a jump almost 'too early' and so when I need to cue Kiah to do something I'm already in front of the obstacle rather than flowing with her, so the judge was generous not giving refusals, but I was pleased with this run how we were working together, and some other good ones too, making it a positive weekend.

I haven't mentioned the boys in a while, oops... they are all still doing well, Yahoo is having his good and bad days, mainly good and enjoying life, and finding the odd tennis ball to death roll on, but I think the weather seems to affect him as cold damp days on old bones doesn't help.  He enjoys the garden though too, very much an independent soul and enjoys sitting outside surveying his patch when the sun shines.  Davy is coming along nicely too, he can be a little sensitive and so still comes out of his shell a little bit at a time with certain things, though he is more brave and can be quite soppy and loving too, on his terms.  He is still the laziest dog I think I know, currently sleeping on the sofa but I think he will always be like that, not that we mind as long as he is happy.  Alex and Davy have been continuing to practise their agility... watch this space as his first agility show is booked and almost upon us!!  Little Risk, well he still looks like an oversized puppy at 8 months, but has filled out a bit, and height wise is only about an inch off Kiah's height, he just needs to mature a little now as he is quite often mistaken for much younger.  He is quite confident, but not very brave when it comes to trying new things he needs a lot of encouragement - we have started little bits of agility with him, send ons, turns, playing, tunnels with his raggy toy and treats, which he is enjoying.  His personality is fantastic, absolutely second to none, loves everyone he meets with his little ewok-wookie noises, which make everyone laugh, and he is very VERY cute, which gets him out of trouble!!  I must get my camera out, and take some more pictures of them all as I haven't done in ages, when the sun comes out for a while longer...

Just The One Day

We woke up to a reasonable morning and decided to make the journey to Newbury, thankfully it was just the one day show or I would have been reluctant to consider it, knowing previously what the weekends had been like!! It has been difficult for the organisers of all these shows and I am grateful that they could keep this show running, though there was a bit of reorganising the ground required. As we got there quite early, we parked at the front of where the dayparking was (on a hardstanding, just in case!!) and took the dogs on a nice walk, in the wind but also some almost sunshine wow!!

Through reading my running orders and having two courses up first and my third and last after just 60 dogs, I realised that we could quite easily be home by lunch time, depending on how the courses were running - and I wasn't far wrong!! Due to the ground conditions, the forecast not being too pleasant and lots of people just deciding not to bother, the classes were running quicker than normal, and struggling for dogs, so we ran our first two courses sooner than expected. It was soooooo unfortunate that we had a silly refusal in the ABC qualifier, just down to me really, as she came out of a flat tunnel and I should have kept my arm out, but so pleased with her and the way she was listening to me. Well done to Jason and Stihl who had a faultless run to win it, it was a fantastic run and I'm glad we saw it!! Our second run was a really unusual course with a go round (which I really like!) and lots of space, but control too, and opposite ends of tunnel - which again I really like as I know we can usually do those really well!! So after walking and working out a way to do it... again stupid handler error and we ended up with another refusal, damn!! Very frustrating as Kiah was again fantastic completing weaves to nothing, the go round, the wrong end of tunnel and the long go on successfully mastered, so very pleased with that, Kiah that is, not me!!

Our third course was ok but nothing too exciting, and as I was walking it, the typical British weather struck again, and it started to rain, not sure I really was too surprised. Again they were struggling for dogs, and even more that the weather had deteriorated, so we got in almost straight away... Not sure it was quite worth waiting for as Kiah was nuts, so we were eliminated by obstacle four!!! The picture of 'Super-Fly-Ky' is just a reminder of how lovely it was last year at the same show!! So we had a look around the trade stands on the way back, bought the dogs some yummy fish skins, and Risk about four new toys (as he likes to shred them), and made our way home before the worst of the weather hit. It was so nice to be able to get away so early, and so with four very tired doggies, Alex and I went and got a bite to eat as a very late lunch, and went to the cinema, very enjoyable and a nice way to end the weekend!