Friday, 2 May 2014

May... Already!?

I keep reading other people's blogs but I just never seem to get around to updating mine!! Its only when I seem to switch the laptop on to download pictures of our last adventure that I remember!! First of all I must mention that from my most recent (!!) last post, about miss Kiah, I am pleased to say that we haven't had any reoccurrence which I am so pleased about.  Obviously anything could happen in the future, no one knows, but I'm just so happy that she is fine for now.

So an update on the dogs first of all - and one at a time, as they are what this blog is all about!!

Kiah-pie is good, she is looking really grey now partly through age and partly through a follicle infection on her face that made some of the fur grow back white/grey instead of black like their muzzle is, my distinguished little girl going grey!!  She is enjoying the new 'country' life in our new house and she doesn't stress quite so much because we don't have so much passing traffic, but she enjoys her walks in the forest and the fields.  Kiah is very unsociable in the evenings, she likes to go upstairs on her own after having her dinner, but is very much a creature of habit (and always has been) at bed time! After going to the toilet, she races upstairs, gets in her bed and waits for her evening 'fresh' bowl of water and biscuit, before settling down for sleepies!! When she feels like it she still makes the time to play with her brothers, but is still very much in charge if they step out of line!! We have done a few shows this year and a couple of camping ones, so apart from the stressing in the car she is fine when we are there.  Frustratingly there have been some super courses this year so far - some real fantastically thought about, flowing but still needing handling, but that seems to be where I let her down! Kiah has been super and though there has been the odd course that we have had to be calmed down and taken out through being an idiot, there has also been some great things too.  Always my special girl, superstar princess.

Davy dog next, the most chilled out dog ever and I don't think he will ever really be any different, apart from the few things that stress him out!  He has settled into the house well and hasn't been too stressed by many of the noises or changes that normally phase him.  Quite often the three boys are left in our utility room during the day, with toys, chews and beds, which seems to have helped him relax more as well.  Since the new year he has started playing more with the others too, especially Risk which is great to see, he takes a while to 'get used' to them so it shows us he is happy.  Alex and Davy have entered a few more shows (or I have for them!) and have had some great results, and are getting so much more confident and consistent with everything - but especially weaves and contacts, and actually enjoying it together.  Most recently they have had a couple of low places, but have also had two second places in agility and jumping so really getting really close to winning out now!!

Risky-roo is doing really well and has been getting more confident still, he still takes a lot of his traits from the other dogs - so copies them quite a lot - its funny to see but he picks up good and bad habits. He will always be a needy little dog, he likes to be touching you on the sofa or up on the bed, and is really not very trusting on some things, but very trusting on others - I have taught him to jump into my arms or Alex's from the ground or from a wall, obviously we always catch him but it is very trusting of him to do that, odd dog!  Generally though Risk is a happy little soul and loves most people and dogs so that's the important thing. In agility he is now mainly successfully doing running contacts on the a frame and dog walk and understands the see saw waiting to drop - they are all mainly for confidence as it keeps him flowing across a course.  He is usually entered in two runs a day and he has been getting some low places too, most recently a 4th, 11th and 13th, I just need him to speed up now but I think that will come with age and confidence.

What can I say about Evan puppy, he is a bit more grown up now, and is just so much fun, he makes
us laugh endlessly.  In fact in exactly two weeks he will turn a year old, can't believe how quickly that has gone!!  He loves the big garden at our house, and is quite independent so loves to spend time 'surveying his kingdom' and seeing what he can find to eat! I'm not sure that we realised how special this little boy was going to be, with the perfect working attitude, sound temperament and lovely dark gold retriever colour, with a broad head and expressive eyes.  Evan has started with his agility training recently, and loves to work either for food or a toy, so hopefully he will enjoy it properly when he is a bit older.  We think Evan is fully grown but at the moment he is still very puppy like with his legs and paws all over the place when he runs around, so I think it will be a while before he matures!!  He is a little bit handsome too, but I think he knows it.

In other news, the house is taking up a lot of our time, its quite fun but hard work looking after the land that we have, proper 'farmer' style!  It did take quite a while for it to even start to dry out after the grim wet weather we had, but now that it has finally started to, we have been harrowing and rolling to flatten it and get the grass growing... And that it has!! Alex has his new toy the tractor and mowing deck, which is going to come in handy very soon!  We hand cut the garden area - what I mean is with a push mower rather than a ride on - its hard work but it is going along with my new fitness regime / lifestyle changes, to lose weight. So far I have lost 5kg, and counting, aiming for around 20kg eventually but doing it seriously, so it will take me a while.

In terms of the house obviously it is the first time we have seen a springtime (and will be summer) and it is really starting to come into bloom, the main border in the back garden is full of lots of unusual plants - quite likely planted from the previous owner who was a landscaper.  There are ornamental poppies, some kind of tall 'stalk' poppy, apple mint, lemon balm, geraniums and lots more - I'd like to say its me that knows that but its other people's knowledge helping me out there!! We also have two bird feeders in a hawthorn tree (so the squirrels cant get it!) in near sight of the house, that we have to fill up twice a week with peanuts. We don't mind though as there is so much natural wildlife around - woodpeckers, sparrows, yellowhammers, great and blue tits, pheasant and more.

Most recently we have just come back from a week's holiday, down in beautiful Cornwall that we adore and the dogs do too, and combined with a short agility show too.  We were pretty lucky with the weather too and had a good few sunny days, only a little rain when the dogs were happy to sleep and rest on those days too. They were pretty patient on the photo taking opportunities as well, lots of biscuits given out that week!!  We ate far too much good food - cream teas, Cornish pasties, gastro pub food, ice cream (shared with the dogs of course!), Cornish cider and rick stein fish and chips but also spent lots of time on the beach with the dogs - what could be better!!

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