Monday, 15 December 2008

Oops in trouble again!

Well now I am in trouble for not individually naming Leah in my good luck at Olympia message!! So good luck to Leah as well as Toni and Nancy... oh and ANYONE else that is at Olympia that I haven't named individually.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Very interesting!!

Ok maybe not. Sorry false hope there. Why does everyone else seem to have more to write on their blog than me! I must lead a very quiet (read boring if you like) life!

It's been all the usual stuff. Work is well... work! It's not great. All a bit quiet and just a little worrying.

Back.. well this is loads better! So going to Osteo has worked. He did a very good job even if I do feel skint now. I think it was worth it. I have one more session left to go and that's done then. I wouldn't hesitate to go back if ever I need to. Is def. worth looking after yourself properly.

Agility.. managed to train both dogs for an hour each on Monday. First time for ages. Was really good fun. Both dogs worked really well and I feel like I have got my enthusiasm back. So am looking forward to doing lots of training with my dogs over the Christmas break and trying to get us all ready for Ribble.

Teaching.. training day with Toni on 28th is nearly full so that's good. Not too worried if we don't get anymore as we have nice size groups at the moment. Lets just hope it goes well. I have finished teaching my regular Thursday group for this year. There are some brilliant people in there that make it worth going to teach and there are those that make you want to bang your head against a very strong brick wall. But all in all as people they are a great bunch. If only I could get them to understand the importance of training contacts!!

Am judging at WAG on Sunday. Not sure I am looking forward to it (see last post for why) but I have designed my courses and will see how it goes. I have bought a thing called snuggle safe heat pad that you heat in the microwave and stays warm for up to 8 hours. So I will have that to keep me warm.

Next Saturday is Olympia. Bombed out competing wise this year but am going as Toni's groom. Am really looking forward to that.

Toni has her contacts DVD out now. I have seen it and was very impressed. Toni has stunning contacts with Kite and Minx and it shows exactly how they were done. It is a good step by step guide.

Hm what else... off Christmas shopping on Monday. Will be glad when it's all done. But then I have to wrap it all... eek.

I guess it just remains to say good luck to all the bloggers that are at Olympia. Obviously I will be rooting for Toni. I know Nancy has worked hard with Niamh and am so pleased to see Nancy back at a big final.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Not a lot going on!

Well as the title suggests, not a lot going on. Very boring (sorry). Training... well haven't done much of that. My dogs have had a month off each and then I managed to hurt my back, so I haven't been running them. Tried on Monday and was ok but not great. I was going to run both but Twix managed to cut her paw on the Sunday so just ran Jag which was nice but I wasn't running him properly but he was such a good boy.

I guess it isn't long until Christmas so will just potter through and to a little bit of training but i'm sure the extended rest won't dog the dogs (or me) any harm.

No shows to report on either. Well not for my dogs. Last Sunday there was a WAG show which I went to to watch some of the people I train and I also thought I might be able to help out a bit as Leah was judging. We had a good laugh! But I soon learnt that you can't please everyone and some people just can't seem to stand people being to happy, hey ho. I won't need to help as much in future! But I think having a laugh passed the time of day. Poor Leah was stuck judging for over 10 hours and it was flippin freezing. I know most people appreciated Leah's courses and the time she took to judge everyone. Well done Leah. Just a shame there were the odd few people that couldn't see past themselves!

My club enjoyed the show. Between 3 of them, they won all the grade 1/2 classes.

Toni and I are doing a training day on 28th December. So should be enjoyable. Have lots of people already but still some spaces left. Be good to run off all the Christmas pud.

So what next... well a series of going out getting drunk nights! And then the pain of deciding what the heck to buy everyone for Christmas! I always say I dislike Christmas but it's not really Christmas I dislike, its that bit before. To add to it both my parents have Birthdays at Christmas too. One on 19th and one on 27th, so double the presents to think of... ahh!!!!

Well thats about it really. I hope all the other bloggers are fighting fit and looking forward to Christmas.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

WAG show 26th october

I usually end up judging most of these each year, well it feels like it. Not that I mind at all. But today I decided to enter one instead. And ok it is a small unaffiliated show but my enthusiasm for agility has kinda been on the decline of late. But I was actually looking forward to today. Nearly didn't enter but then thought what the heck. I think it is because I knew that there would be a good group of club memembers there, that I decided to go along and have a laugh!

Well what a good day! On a persoanl note, both dogs went clear in the agility. I trained my contacts and they were both great, Twix's were even quick. Both had good waits. The helter skelter was a real blast and both of mine went clear, finishing 2nd and 4th. The best result was the jumping where they both again when clear and finished 1st and 2nd. My first double!!! Even more pleaseing was that the time between Jag and Twix in the jumping was 0.9 and in the helter skelter, even closer at 0.4! And they were both big blasty course. Go little legs Twix!!! And it wasn't like Jag was slow on them either as there were another couple of decent grade 7 dogs there that were on similar times.

As for the others from club. Well what a day. I think there were 8 of us there and between us we won 21 rosettes. Now I am well impressed with that. We had a 1&2 in the helter skelter. In one of the jumping classes club memebers were 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th. There was at least one other 1st and two other 2nds. One of those was from my friend Karen. Her dog (like her) is basically mental. Ya know, one of those dogs you would love to get your hands on! But his first clear I think and Karen's first trophy. Might be some more there one day I think.

So well done to all the club members. Kinda makes you feel like maybe, just maybe, they do listen sometimes. Almost as proud of them as I was of my own dogs (almost!).

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Oops - how long!!

Just looked back on my blog and last post was 2 months ago!! Eek where did that time go.

Have heard lots of grumps about blogs but never mind. If they bore you and you are reading this then s*d off. Make a choice, don't read it. For the rest that find them interesting for nosey reasons or anything else, please do continue.

So blimey, October. Well what has happened since Agility Club show. No idea really. I went to DIN for a week. Very frustrating week. Twix did qualify for the end of week finals so was very pleased but frustrated that in 3 out of the 4 grade 5 jumpings she did, that we had the fastest time and one pole down. Grrr. Jag was a good boy but seemed to go clear in the agility classes I was training and not in the jumpings. Hey ho. Oh and there was one agility round I refused to do because of the wind at the time. I have never seen an a-frame blown over and across the ring, breaking the weaves as it went! Was I gonna run my dog even though they changed the course.. NO! Too much risk. What is weird is the amount of people that agreed and said it was too dangerous, only to run their dogs!! It makes me really mad! And I could go on all day about it but won't.

Judged at Paws in the park, nice show, enjoyed judging for a change. Class winners did really well. Well apart from the winner of the grade 5 agility and he should have had 5 for kneeing his dogs into the weaves but my error.

Not much else to say agility wise, I have missed out on Olympia this year. I really am not that bothered. Yes if I had qualified I would be more than happy but i'm not kicking myself for not getting there either. I will be there as a groom though! So watch out I will chilled and just enjoying.

Dogs are both fine. Twix has had a cut poor, you'd have thought she had had her leg chopped off the way she limped on it. But that lasted one day!

Now chippenham has been cancelled, I have no more KC shows left this year. I may or may not to Rugby. Not that bothered to be honest. Have booked a room for Ribble next year. Could do with a break really to reiginite my enthusiasm for agility.

On a good note I have had a sneak preview of Toni's new contacts DVD that is due out soon (watch this space!). Very good and hope for Toni's sake that it sells really well. Toni's contacts with her dogs are blinding. And the DVD really is "how she did it".

Oh will be judging a few WAG shows this year. I am busy saving for a caravan. No way I can do another year in a tent. So all money making ideas on a postcard please!!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Agility Club

What a hot weekend!!! Went up on the Friday and got set up nice and quickly. Saturday was the first time Jag would be doing any agility since his two weeks off!! To say I was a little nervous is an understatement. I know I should have put it to the back of my mind and just run Jag normally but that was easier said than done!! The champ classes were interesting.... don't let our judges go to Europe! (only joking!). I managed to mess the first bit of the champ class up, think I was just worried. Still never miind. We were better in champ agility but I wasn't really "up" for it after being e'd in the jumping. Crufts class Jag had a nice clear but was too slow.

I am now wondering if Jag had been carrying an injury for a few weeks before hand. He had knocked poles the previous few weeks but not enough to make me worry, just thought it was odd poles. But then agilit club weekend he didn't knock any. Maybe the going lame was a good thing in its way. Made me do what I should have done a few weeks earlier! Bad owner!

Sunday we had our last Olympia qualifier and Crufts team. Olympia qualifier... well what can I say... marked on the a-frame. I shouldn't really say much more except dogs have four feet not just two at the front!!! Not sure it would have been quick enough though. Jag is off the pace at the moment so I think we will be doing lots of trotting walks to get him a bit fitter!

Crufts team was good fun. We are not normally that worried but this was our last chance and I think we kinda wanted to qualify again because we won at Crufts this year. Would be nice to go back and defend our crown! Any way it all worked out just fine and we won the class. So I will get at least one day at Crufts!

Twix and I were just not together. Not sure if it was the heat (affecting me not twix lol). But it just wasn't happening!!!! Never mind. Perhaps I have chilled now I have achieved what I wanted to this year.

The weekend was a good one though. Lee won the ticket with Bold. It was a great run and really showed Lee and Bold's qualities. I think people underestimate this little dogs potential. He is very much like Toni's Kite and still such a baby really. There is a lot more to come from them!!

Was booked into Aylesbury yesterday but really didn't feel like going. I need an agility break! So I am depriving myself of shows this weekend and next in the hope that I will be up for D.I.N. Am looking forward to camping with friends for the week and maybe more looking forward to drinking and having a laugh than the actual agility. So not sure I expect any spectacular results but it will be a week away from work!!!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Rugby and Newlands

Rugby... well what can I say, what a waste of diesel!! lol. Went up on Friday, not a bad journey. Saturday saw an Olympia heat for Jag, course was tricky but do-able. Jag got half way round before he knocked a pole. I kinda gave up at that point. Clear in his 1-7 agility and he ran clear in the team. Hm if only I could have swapped that 1-7 agility for the Olympia one!

Twix had a clear in her grade 5 agility with nicely held contacts so no place. I pulled Twix off a tunnel in the 5 jumping. All my fault, had been working on calling off of tunnels on the Monday at training as it was something I was bad at! The 1-7 agiltiy with Twix was a nice trained clear. Not that it would have mattered as they had entered Twix in the wrong part. So I guess it ended up as an NFC run.

Saturday night I got Jag and Twix out of the car just before going to bed and Jag was lame. I had hoped it was just that he had been laying awkwardly in the car but alas he was still lame Sunday morning. So no classes for Jag! I didn't really feel like I had my heart in running Twix. I think it showed and we messed up all our runs.

On a good note I did get to relax and watch the champ class. Toni won the ticket with a great run in the final. With Lee winning the reserve. Hard luck Lee but just goes to show how woman always come out on top!! (well most of the time!)

Jag was sound by Thursday of this week but I decided not to run him at Newlands. It just wasn't worth the risk. I would prefer for him to have a couple of weeks off. Twix had a good day. We started off with 2nd in the grade 5 agility. That was followed by winning grade 5 jumping!!!!!!!! Very pleased as this was her 3rd jumping win so now moves her up to grade 6! Go the blonde dog.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Watford, Bretons, Dartford and St ed's

All those shows and all over two weekends!! No wonder I spend so much on diesel.

Watford was pretty much a complete waste of time. Will think twice about this one next year if it is at the same place. Mind you they can't help the weather. But it drizzled all flippin day. The grass was really really short and the ground underneath really hard. It was evident quite quickly that a lot of dogs were really slipping. As a result it seemed stupid to try and push the dogs round anything. Jag slipped all over the place in his jumping. Twix was more sure footed in hers and ended up 4th but I left with a feeling that we could have had a much better place but I wasn't going to push and Twix doesn't work well with me running her like that.

Bretons was a good show :-) Our club were ring partying. So it was a case of run off to a ring when possible. This weirdly seemed to work well for me. Jag had two
6th places which I was pleased with as more than anything we were clear!! His touch points were lovely and very controlled. Twix was e'd in her agility.. my fault totally. I forgot to call her before the weaves. Oops. But in her 4/5 jumping... she won... yay. Good little Twix. She really did run well and won by a good margin, well for agility these days it was a good margin.

Dartford wasn't the most successful show for me. Jag did do a lovely round to come 2nd in his 6/7 jumping. And most importantly I released him from the start rather than him deciding when we were going! Twix had a pole in her 4/5 jumping and a clear in her agility but as I trained her contacts we weren't placed.. well at least I don't think we were..oops.

St Ed's today was a good show! Ok Jag had a pole in the chum, grrr. But he was clear in grade 7 agility, lovely contacts had another 2nd in 6/7 jumping and just a pole down in the grade 7 jumping. Although I can't believe I actually managed to remember where we were going... nice course, but I was still thinking about Twix's success when I ran.

Twix came 4th in her 4/5 agility, which was good with nicely held contacts. She came 6th in a 5/6 jumping. Really pleased that she beat some nice grade 6 dogs. Maybe she will be able to hold her own up there. And even better... we won another grade 5 jumping. So two down one to go. Twix again won by a good margin. So very pleased.

Chum semi on Thursday.. gulp! I hate these. Really really hate them. Olympia is lovely but the semi's are nasty. So would love to get through but who knows. So many good dogs. Watch this space!

Well done to Nancy and not at all naughty Niamh for qualifying for a chum semi today. Just go for it out there! Think Karen and Todd had a rather good day to!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Hinckley, Thames and Axstane

Well after the wet weekend at supadogs, all I wanted was a nice dry Hinckley!! Went up on Friday. Toni drive me up there (Lee followed Sat am). We had a nice journey up, always seems to go quickly, mainly because we seem to manage to chat all the way. Set up the tents and then sat down to drink. Had a pleasent evening chatting and drinking.

Sat was at least dry! Champ, hm didn't go well. Actually Jag just had a pole but with something like 43 clears in the jumping we had kinda got no chance. Twix for some reason felt very slow. I was told I was babying her too much. So in her last run I made an effort to be a bit more pushy and it worked. We did get an e but she felt so much better (looks like Toni was right again!). Best result of the day was Jag's 4th place in the Crufts singles qualifier. Nice to get some points under my belt.

Toni won the medium ticket with Minx.. yipee.. another one. Was really pleased for Toni. They are working so well together.

Sunday I was judging a 3/4/5 agility. Was pleased with how the class went. There was a nice tight bit and then a flowing finish. Course below. I was pleased with the way it ran. There was the normal mixture of good and bad handling but was quite happy with the winners run.



On to Thames. Went up nice and early on Friday afternoon, was set up really quickly and was sat drinking rather early!! As for agility, some more Crufts points for Jag. Clear in the Chum but a very competitive class and due to a turn in the wrong direction, Jag was well down the places. Twix had a couple of nice middle of the road places in agility with trained contacts. Missed out on Novice chum because of a pole. Champ was pants again... will I even make a champ final this year. Hm!

Saturday night at Thames is always fun. And that is as much as I will say. But I did feel slightly tired on Sunday and had a slight headache. But nothing to major.

Axstane is a lovely show. Always enjoy it. Jag had a 4th in his agility on Sunday with nicely held contacts. He came 8th in the celebration connection class. Which very scarily qualifies him for the final. Gulp! The best result of the weekend had to be Twix's 5/6/7 jumping on Saturday. She finished 3rd. Now I know there weren't a huge amount of grade 7 dogs there, but the first two places were good grade 7 dogs and there were several good grade 7 dogs behind her. Twix did the best round I think she has ever done. Amanda Rodgers was the judge and course was big and flowing. Not the sort of thing I would expect Twix to do well on. I was very chuffed with Twix after that one. She seemed to work really well all weekend and I had lots of people commenting that she suddenly seems to have gone up a gear. Which is what it felt like running her. So long may this continue. Oh and just for good measure, her dog walks were great!

Axstane and Thames were also debut shows for 3 of the dogs in my puppy class. All three have had clear rounds and these shows and a few places to boot. Is really nice to seem them out there running and work well.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Supadogs, rain and river banks.

Sunday night was, well, interesting. It rained all bloody night. I can cope with rain on the tent. What I hated was the wind. The wind was so strong that it was blowing the tent in and onto me. I didn't get a wink of sleep. I have to admit that by the early hours of the morning I was getting pretty worried. Any way I got dressed at about 0530 just incase I needed to make a quick exit. I then just lay on my bed trying to think how I was going to make my course safer given the horrid conditions.

Any way fairly early on in the morning, Linda made an announcement that the show was to be cancelled for the day. A wise decision in my opinion. I didn't really want those grade 6/7 dogs throwing themself at my course and feeling responsible for anything that happened and believe me it was pretty bad out there.

I spent most of the first part of the morning drinking tea in various peoples caravans, contemplating what to do. I had said the night before that if it rained again in a big way, I was going home. I stayed last year through all the mud and rain and wasn't going to do it again. It is no fun for anyone, even less so in a tent.

Whilst I was sitting with my friends Sue and Andy contemplating, we heard lots of calls going out for people to return to their units as they needed to be moved. Linda kept saying about a river coming over but we were unsure of where she meant. It was at this point I left Sue's caravan to go and speak to another friend, Hazel, who was going home for the day as she only lives 20 minutes away. Hazel pointed down through the caravans and said look you can see where the river is coming over. I went back into the caravan to tell Sue and Andy that the river was in the field we were in. So we all went down to have a look.

At this point we all started to wonder just how far this water was going to move. We were camped about 200 yards from where the water had got to. I did say that if I had to take my tent down, it wouldn't be going back up and I was just going to go home. A few others said the same as none of us live that far so we could have popped back up on odd days.

We kinda then watched the water getting closer. The water then started to come over at other points along the river. Basically the watter was coming in from two different sides of where we were camped. I made the decision that I was going. I couldn't have laid there all night on Monday wondering what was going on outside. Home seemed like a plan!! With that I started to pack up and others started to prepare to leave if neccesary. Then came the call that everyone in that area had to move. So most of our group decided to go home.

What I love about agility people is that as soon as something like this happens, everyone keeps smiling and laughing and just gets on with it and helps each other out. I think I had about four people helping me get my tent down. Then when we were finished we all moved on to someone elses unit.

I left the venue around 1500 and by the time I got home the whole show had been called off. I believe there had been a visit from the fire brigade and the envrionment agency. I think, hard as it was, Linda made the only decision she could. Moving units in the dark later on in the day would have been a nightmare and it rained pretty hard all that evening at home.

Then of course last night we had major rain again and horrendous thunder. I would NOT have wanted to be in my tent for that!

So that was supadogs for another year! I have spent the days at home dossing really. Guess I am just hoping for a better DIN. Haven't done that one for the week for a few years. Hope I don't bring the rain!

BATS and Supadogs

BATS wasn't a bad show for me. Jag only had two runs and they were both agility so it was two training rounds for him. He worked really well so was pleased with the day. Twix had two agility and one jumping. I trained her contacts in her first agility. Her second agility was the KC Olympia Novice qualifier. I decided to push for this one as I am pretty sure she is capable of getting there. Sadly for me the course was very spreadout. This is exactly the sort of course I like for Jag but not for Twix. Twix needs something just a little more technical to gain an edge on turns. However we gave it our best shot and ended up 3rd. Very pleased but very frustrating as it is only the top two that qualify. That said of course her contacts were good and she did work well. Even more frustrating was that the other part of the class was a lot more twisty and would have suited her far more. Hey ho. Luck of the draw I guess. Twix also came third in a really nice grade 5 jumping. From memory she was .02 or something behind the winner and we could easily have made that up. I check Twix before the weaves as the weave entry was really quick and there were an awful lot of dogs slipping into them and banging their shoulders and I really didn't fancy injuring my dog just to get a win!!!

Next show was Supadogs. I am usually very disorganised before this show and am running round like a blue arse fly, packing stuff the day I am meant to leave. Well for some reason this year I was very organised. Even more surprising was that I was organised enough at work to give myself Thursday afternoon off (spent usefully at the gym.. followed by the steam room and jacuzzi!!!)

Any way I went up to supadogs on Friday. Pitched my tent and then came home. Yes mad I know but it meant I started on Saturday feeling all fresh. Not that it helped! Jag had a pole in each class but worked really well. Twix and I were on different planets all day and Twix and I got 3 e's.. very rare for us. But hey ho. The best result of the day was on of my friends getting a 9th with is big red and white BC in the 3/4 agility. A good result as his dog is only grade 3.

On to Sunday of Supadogs. After lots of rain over night we woke up to a misty day but that soon cleared to leave bright sunshine. I have a mediteranian tan!! Just from Sat and Sun though. Any way Sunday was better. Twix had a couple of clears and places. They weren't the greatest runs for various bad handling reasons (must try harder!) Jag had a 2nd a great 6/7 jumping. It was really spread out. Just the sort of thing we love. I finished off Sunday by setting up my course to judge on Monday. I was really pleased with my course and looking forward to judging it. It wasn't to be.. I will save it for a "rainy" day. Pun intended.

Next post.. Monday at Supadogs!!!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Gulp.. that long ago

Oops I didn't realise that it was that long since I had posted. Oops!

So dog walks..... Well they have continued to be good in training. I even had a wonderful dog walk at the Vyne show. Which netted us 3rd place. So it's there or there abouts. I have made a discovery though that I think might be affecting things... not saying what yet because I want to check it out first and see if I am right.

Show wise well I have been to Vyne and Tunbridge Wells.

Vyne was frustrating for Jag and I. He actually worked really well. We just ended up with nothing to show for it! He had a pole in the chum but was flying and I got him e'd in champ jumping but again he worked well. Twix had an if only day. A pole in 3-5 jumping at the time she ran her time would have put her 1st. She had a 3rd in agility and 12th in grade 5 jumping, a few wide turns saw us done the places. So all in all a good show.

Tunbridge....eek... lovely show well done to the organisers. Agility wise, there was a lot to be desired.

Jag, well in the chum first off he broke his wait (bad Jag lol) then I fell over then I released him from the see-saw and I think he thought I was joking as he wouldn't come off and then finally we got e'd! In the Crufts singles, this was Sunday, I think I had lost the will to live so really didn't work it properly. Team, hm the rest of my fab team went clear, Jag and I got e'd. We did have 3 clears. One in grade 7 jumping and 5th place. Then another clear in grade 7 jumping on sunday but out of the places!! Not something I am used to and a clear in grade 7 agility with trained contacts so didn't expect a place.

Twix, well there were if only's. A couple of rounds where Twix turned so tight she missed the next jump. I think Twix and I had 5 e's and a 5 faults. I was disappointed by the end of the weekend. But on reflection again she did some good stuff. I think I am guilty of chilling too much with Twix. She has been such a good girl the last few weeks that I am almost expecting her to go clear and therefore I am not working her hard enough.

So next show.. BATS! I am going to work hard and I am going to do well!! I will tell myself this all day every day until Saturday lol.

Following week is supadogs, so I feel like I have lots to do before then.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Dog walks dog walks dog walks!

Ok I actually think it is now an official psychological disorder. Nancy and I have/are both suffering from. Dogwalk itis! I am dreaming dog walks. I keep saying Twix's dog walks are different in the ring to at training and I will get some video. But I got someone to take a brief video of a couple of Twix's tonight. She did a great dog walk on her first run. Sadly not videoed but then we did some dog walks on their own and I had two videoed. Believe it or not I was not happy with either of these.... I felt she slowed a lot on the down plank. Until I watched them back. And now I do know she is slower in competition but I really am begining to think I am worrying about nothing! And as Gemma said to me a while back, what is there in training will eventually come in the ring... Here's hoping!! So videos below!! I really should give Twix more credit.



Saturday, 26 April 2008

Wallingford and BSD show

Not much exciting happening. Last Saturday I was at Wallingford show. First run was an agility with Twix. I think Twix did the worst dog walk ever! GRRRR it is soo frustrating. I know how well she can work yet I just can't seem to get her to dog the dogwalks she does at training in the ring!

Any way Twix also had another agility and I have to admitt her dog walk was much better. Still not like I know she can do them but better. Light at the end of the tunnel? I will have to get some video of Twix at training and shows so you can see the difference. Any way, I do know she has the speed to play with the good guys and girls in grade 5 as she has had a few good jumping places lately. She had a 2nd in 5 jumping at Wallingford. Good girl.

Jag was a good boy at Wallingford. I got us e'd in one of his agility runs, mainly because I got the dogs running orders round the wrong way and ran out of order! Oops. So I told the judge and she let me run NFC. Jag came 6th in his grade 7 jumping. The course was perfect for him, sadly I got lost and Jag must have read the numbers to get me out of trouble. So really we should have finished a lot higher but he was a good boy. I didn't do Jag's grade 7 agility. I was cold and just wanted to go home. I took one walk round the course and hated it so decided I would be doing more harm than good to try it. I really was NOT in the mood for it!!

I really wasn't looking forward to going back to Newbury today, not after last week. I think the cold really took it out of me. Any way forecast for today was good and to be honest the weather was 100% better than last week but was still windy but was at least dry and quite warm.

Both dogs had three runs today, two jumping and one agility.

Jag came 4th in his 5-7 jumping. Was a weird course, it flowed really well and wasn't particularly hard but everything seemed quite close together. When I came out I felt like Jag had run really slowly. But a few others said they had felt the same with their dogs. I guess maybe there just wasn't the room for them to open out. Was a nice course though. Jag had a pole down in his 6/7 jumping.

Hm now you have to appreciate there is a big pause in between the previous bit of my blog post and the next bit. Mad Karen on the phone telling me all about her obedience show!!! Yawn. Good job she is saving her sanity by going to Lewes tomorrow.

Any way right, Jag also had a pole down in his 6/7 agility. But they were our only two "mistakes" so he really has worked well. His contacts were great and he waited at the start. Ok not for long but he did wait for me to release him.

Twix had a great day. She had three clears. 4/5 agility, an ok dog walk. Not fab but ok. She came 10th so it must be improving as normally I am out of the places in agility at the moment. I am doing her contacts so that as soon as she is in the stop position and paused for a split second I release. Hopefully this will build her confidence of what I want and as she is a dog that feeds off of confidence, she will get quicker (cheers to Toni for that one, it seems to be working). So we are still wasting time and not running contacts so 10th really isn't bad. 5-7 jumping I was wondering down to the ring when they said the class was just about to shut. So I ran down there, couldn't remember the course, watched one dog and had to run. Twix was out of the places but only 2 seconds behind the winner which is not bad. We had some nasty wide turns... but... weirdly in my haste and rush I "forgot" to baby her quite so much and pushed and she really felt quick. So may try a bit more pushing next time but not forget to work my turns next time. Twix came 3rd in grade 4/5 jumping. A lovely David Isbister course that was a good balance of requiring turns and long stretched out bits. The two dogs that beat her had much wider turns but more ground pace. There was .02 between Twix and 2nd place dog. So lots to be pleased with there.

Tomorrow is a day off!! Nothing at the weekend next week but Vyne on bank holiday Monday.

So lots to be pleased with over the last couple of weekends. I seem to be able to handle both dogs relatively well at the moment! Last year it always seemed to be one or the other and never both. Looking forward to the rest of the season now.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Um... not much going on really

Not a lot of anything particularly exciting happening really. Last week was training on Monday, rest on Tuesday night, gym Wednesday, teaching Thursday. Oh I guess Friday was interesting ish but not from a dog point of view. I was out with the guys and girls that I work with. Nothing unusual there. But we tend to go for a meal and then for a good old drink up. Well we went for a good old drink up before this time. Have to say by the time we got to the restaurant I was... well... not quite completely in control of my actions lol. Any way, we were booked in at a rather modern looking Indian. Nothing in usual in that you might think... accept at 31 I have never had an Indian.

Basically I can't bare the smell of it! So have never got passed the door. After lots of teasing from my colleagues who said how could I not like it if I hadn't tried it, I was persuaded to go. And I have to say whilst what I had was edible I really can't see what people rave about. Will stick to Italian I think... yum.

No shows at the weekend. Saturday I went swimming. Have now discovered this really is actually quite a good hangover cure! Sunday I went to the gym, hoovered my car then took the dogs out with a friend for 2 1/2 hours. Went back to work on Monday for a rest.

Tonight I got in an extra.. yes extra gym session. Will go again tomorrow. Training on Thursday, gym Friday then off to Wallinford.

Oh and Twix's dog walks were blinding on Monday at training. So here's hoping for similar on Saturday.

Have to say in my class on a Thursday (sure I have said this before) but I have a lovely puppy group. They are all nearing "coming out" time. And they did their first nearly full (lol) course last week. And you know what through all my panicing, they are really very nearly looking ready. Yipee!! Maybe all the nagging is worth it.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

I think I need a white jacket and a padded cell!

Saturday saw the first Champ show of the year for me. I was really looking forward to it. After all my moans about Jag and I not being "together" I have actually felt a change lately and lo and behold, feel like I can actually work him now! Add to that, touch wood and contacts aside, I haven't lost it with Twix... something good is happening!

Scunny is a flippin long way!! That's all I can say. I had asked Toni and Lee if I could go up with them as Toni has her van back on the road. It seemed to make sense to be able to split the huge cost of the journey! Not to mention I really didn't want to travel that far on my own.

Basically, by Friday evening I was really starting to think I was mad. By the time I got up on Saturday morning, and it was JUST morning, I knew I was mad. I had to get up at 0155 and leave at 0225 to be at Lee's for 0310!! what hell was I doing!!

Any way Andy Brown was the Champ judge and he set some lovely courses. We all said there was something strange about them yet they were challenging and not silly. I think it can only be that there was quite a lot of running past one thing to get to where you were meant to go.

Champ jumping was first and Jag did a lovely. I really thought we had had a pole early on but apparently not! However I was told that we hit the last but one pole and the pole actually came out of the cups but landed back in it. Jag came 4th in this round. Very pleased. Toni was also clear with Kite and Lee clear with both of his.

The agility round I am still kicking myself. I had to do a flick away on a jump. I think I gave the flick away arms before I had done the jump arm and Jag turned away form the jump. Apparently I wasn't given 5R, although I would have given myself 5!! Any way I managed to get Jag round the jump in the best grade 1 style I could muster. Only to carry on and get eliminated. I am kicking myself because I was obviously far to busy thinking about the mistake and not concentrating on the bit of the course I was working! GRRR!

So that was that. Champ class over. Toni and Lee, with both dogs, were in the final. Lee came 3rd with Shy. Bold was doing a great run only to find Lee not quite where he should be and Toni went for it with Kite and had to take a risk (Dave with Dobbie had put in a blinder) and sadly it didn't pay off. But you have to try these things in the final, you won't win otherwise.

As for the rest of the classes, Jag went clear in pairs but partner had a pole. We had a clear in the Crufts class but it wasn't pretty and I knew I had wasted loads of time so ended up training his last contact.

Twix was a good girl. She was e'd in her agility but... dog walk was slightly better. Heres hoping. She came 4th in 4/5 jumping which I was very pleased with and just had a pole in her pairs. I didn't do her other agility course as all I wanted to do by then was go home! I was tired, cold and wet. There was lots of wind and hail during the day. And any way I needed to get home for part 2 of my certifiable mad weekend!

I have to thank Toni for driving though cos it was a huge huge help to me staying awake today.

Well after getting home at 2200 on Saturday (that was some long day) I quickly ran around to get my stuff ready to..... go and judge at Downland!!!

This involved getting up at 0515. I had 1/2 large steeplechase. 345 small jumping, 345 medium jumping, 67 small jumping and 67 medium jumping. Courses below 345 numbers in white and 67 in red.




On the way I drove through sleet and not long after getting there it started to snow and snow..... and snow....... and snow!!! Now madness has been mentioned a lot in this post but now I am seriously concerned! I had had sod all sleep in the last 36 hours and now I was (ok inside) but judging while snow was falling heavily wearing two ski jackets and huge gloves.

However the courses ran well. My ring party were great and we finished nice and quickly, due I would guess to sensible people remaining at home.

So now I am home. Got in at around 1900. Am sitting her typing this whilst drinking cider brandy. Not something I usually do but hey I don't care. I am very tired and off to bed very soon.

I have a weird kind of half day at work tomorrow. Was meant to be a morning off but I have a meeting I can't miss so am going in at 1045 and coming home at 1430 so that will be nice. A lay in and then an early day.

So since 0000 hrs on Saturday to now, some 40 hours later, I have had 7 hours and 35mins sleep ish.


BED!!

Sunday, 30 March 2008

cold cold cold!!

BRRRR. Why is it so cold at all the shows! GRRRR.

Well the last has been.. eh.. pretty normal actually. Nothing major has happened. I was glad to have bank holiday Monday to have a lay in. Think I needed it after the show. Was suprised to find we had training on Monday night. Twix was an angel, doing those lovely quick dog walks.. grr... please please please can someone ask her to do the same in competition!

Bottled out of the gym on Wednesday as I felt yuck. Was a good girl though and did go on Friday. Was pleased I had gone afterwards. Have been a bit lapse with it really. Must get back to it. Does make me feel better.

Saturday was off to Shuttleworth. What good doggies I had! Was very windy though and then the rain came. Made me feel like I had an ice cream head without the pleasure of eating the ice cream lol. All in all conditions were a bit rubbish but I had a nice day.

Toni and Lee were there so I enjoyed having good company.

Was Lee's Birthday last week, he was 52. Doesn't look bad for that does he lol.

Any way back to the dogs. Twix had a pole in her g5 agility and a slow dog walk ahhhh. I was really p'd off when I came out. Had a chat with Toni and then felt a bit better. Twix went clear in her helter skelter and came 25th. Not bad considering it was 1-7 and there was less than 2 seconds splitting 35 places apparently. Twix was excellent in her g5 jumping and came 2nd. Was very pleased with that and has given me some confidence back.

Jag had pole down in his helter skelter. Was clear in his g7 ag but I trained his contacts. He did slide off his see-saw but as it was wet, I might forgive him that one! Might! Jag won the g7 jumping. Was quite a tricky little course but fun. Toni was 2nd with Kite and Lee 3rd with one of his think it was Bold but not sure. I think Jag just got the nod because of the huge straight line there was at the end. He just ate up the ground. Times were something like Jag 26.985 and Kite 27.035 or close to that so really nothing in it. We were musing that it was a course of two halves. Kite and Bold would have won the first half with Jag winning the second half lol.

Course below as best I can remember it.



Belive it or not I managed to get 4 reverse turns in between jump 1-10! Which was not easy with the ground being somewhat boggy. Lee managed the same. Actually think he managed one more!

Today I went out with on of my friends to do some weave training. Her dog needs a bit of one to one stuff and you just can't do that at club. I also too the opportunity to do some speed weave work with Twix which she also needs. I opened up the V's to get her striding better. I also used the training to practice some entries and her weaving while I disappeared in all sorts of directions.

After training we went off for a nice two hour walk.

Took a couple of pictures on my phone. So not great but hey ho.






We did get a little wet but hey ho!

Back to work tomorrow.

Hope all the other bloggers had a good weekend.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Easter Celebration

Well what a strange weekend of agility!!! I did have to seriously consider my sanity on both days of the show. On Saturday at 0630 when it was snowing while I was driving down the motorway and then on Sunday when I looked outside to see snow laying on the ground and on the equipment!

Are we stupid!! Well no but maybe all a touch unstable lol. I do think the campers were mighty brave though.

I have to say in a lot of ways, I was glad to get back in my car each day and be on the way home!

As for the dogs... Well. Main objectives for this weekend had to be Olympia qualifiers for both dogs. So I guess on that score my success rate was 50%!

Jag had four runs on Saturday, two on Sunday and Twix had three on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. Twix really seemed a bit off form. She knocked poles in every class I think. Not something that she usually does. There did seem to be lots of dogs knocking poles and after discussions with various people we can only think that the dogs were loosening and chruning up the sand an awful lot and the smaller less powerful dogs were getting bogged down in it. The big thugs (or donkies as Toni likes to call them) were powerful enough to fight their way out. That is of course a generalisation but could be a reason.

Any way I was disappointed with Twix's contacts all weekend. I think it is work in progress. Thanks to Nancy and others for some good advice. I will be working hard. Actually to be fair it is only the dog walk contact, the others seem pretty sound no (touch wood). Twix managed zero clears this weekend. Lets hope this changes soon. It is frustrating but early days for the season and i'm sure things will change.

As for Jag well I seemed to be a bit more back on form with him. He even did some short waits!! Ok yes they were very short but at least he waited. Our biggest want for the weekend was top 10 in the KC Olympia qualifier. Jag came fourth with a very nice round. Was very pleased with him. And just to make his Mummy even happier he was 3rd in grade 7 jumping earning an easter egg.... good boy!!! Our other rounds were all ok. Just silly things. His grade 7 jumping on Sunday seemed to be going sooo well until I kinda got stuck behind a jump and couldn't send him out to the long jump. Never mind.

So that was about it. Some good stuff, some frustrating stuff, some goals met and some continue to need meeting.

Watch this space!

Shuttleworth next Saturday as long as it is on. Think i'm looking forward to it. As long as it doesn't snow. As for now I am very tired and need sleep. Thank goodness I have a day off tomorrow!!

Mand

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Oops, have just had to read back through my last post to see where I was at updating my blog! Now that can't be good.

Feel like I have recovered from Crufts now. Have spent lots of time reflecting on things. I am sooo pleased we won the team. My team mates and the team groomy (Sue)are just the best of my friends. So to win something with them is great.

I love the pic below. I think we all look so happy. Is a shame we didn't managed to get Sue in with us on the pic at some point as she was such a help on the Thursday. We chucked four dogs and her and off we went lol. She was just there with everything I/we needed.


Thanks to agility eye site for photo.

Champ class well what can I say I look back at pictures and video and kick myself. But after some lovely comments by others, I might actually be begining to think I can win another ticket!!! Here's hoping.

Moving on then!!! Saturday was Mid downs. All in all in was really happy with how things went. Jag had 5 faults in the 567 agility. I pulled him off the side of the see-saw but he felt good and I had a wait!!!!!!! And lovely contacts. In the 7 agility we got e'd! Completely my fault but again a wait and nice contacts. And we came 4th in 67 agility. Not bad at all. Think there were some areas I could have tightened but it was ok for a start to the season.

Twix had two poles in the 567 agility. Weird and not like her but hey ho. In her 45 agility we got e'd. We had a 180 turn from a flat tunnel onto a jump. I just didn't work the end of the tunnel enough and she ran round the jump. 345 jumping we came 9th which I was pretty pleased with as Twix came to a complete stop in front of a jump and did a full spin before finally jumping it! I would have given me 5 faults!!!! I wasn't as happy with Twix's contacts as I thought I would be. But Dave Munnings said he thought they were quicker than last year. So that's good as he hasn't seen her for ages. But they still weren't up to where they are at training.

Not a bad day though. Oh and I got to run the lovely Kite. She is just so lovely and smooth to run but she did catch me out when I reversed too quickly off the weaves and I pushed her the wrong side of a jump! Even the best trained dogs have to be worked properly!!

Sunday was WAG. I enjoyed most of it but not the weather!!! Huge thanks to Leah for her help with timing. Hope Jay manages to fix his dogs contacts and things now you have ruinned them (only joking!). Hope little Herbie is ok soon :-(

Monday was training and a good night. I have decided that I will swap my dogs classes each week as the classes are slightly different so think that is the easiest way of doing it.

Went training tonight with a small group of friends. Didn't do loads of runs but what we did was valueable.

Now just looking forward to Easter. Twix and Jag both have Chum qualifiers. So heres hoping!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

CRUFTS!! what else!!

Well Crufts is over and done with for another year. The realisation that everything I qualified for last year is now done and all the work starts again. Crufts and Olympia are so addictive that every year I spend the whole summer trying to get there. The event comes, I enjoy it, it goes. So I do it all again! Mad.... probably but what the hell. Crufts was mixed for me. I was so pleased we won the teams. I think we should have had a great chance last year but we messed up. Hey ho. This year no messing up. Well apart from me and Jag having a pole in the final. But not sure there was a lot I could have done about that. I kept my head in the final and didn't lose the plot like I did last year. I have to say how great my team mates were. I really really couldn't do teams with people I didn't like so much. Whilst we all wanted to do well, I know they were the most supportive bunch of people I know and, had it all gone wrong, they wouldn't hae held a grudge.... I think lol. Any way videos below.

First the semi and then the final.









I have a mixture of feelings about the champ class. I was soo excited to be there. Toni and I spent ages first thing in the morning studying the course plan, discussing our options and running through what we were going to do and that was all before we even walked the course. It did help... lots. Thanks mate. I got a very silly 5 faults in the jumping. I just didn't watch where Jag was going. So had to knee him away from the wrong end of the tunnel and push him to the correct end. Oops. I was pleased to get round the course without and E. My handling kinda went to pot after the 5 faults. Think panic set in. The agilit, well what can I say. I got Jag e'd. Sorry Jaglet! I can plainly see from the picture below that I sent Jag over the wrong jump (see video for course). If only I had got round without and E, I would have been in the final. If's n and's. Any way I have to say I was pleased with the way he worked. The tunnel to tunnel bit caused a lot of problems with the big dogs. Jag did it superbly. So at least I feel we are back on form together.

I stayed to watch the final. Toni had qualified and I really wanted to see the lovely Kite win again. It wasn't to be this year. Toni got the RCC. I was sad for Toni as she always tries so hard and has to be one of the most dedicated trainers I know and is so helpful to me. Lets hope Kite and Toni do it next year.

That said I was also pleased for David. Making Dobby a champion so young! It was a great final to watch.



But your shoulders were pointing that way Mum!!!







Ah well. I have felt rather tired this week. Think Crufts takes it out of you and that was with two days of between each visit. Getting up at 0330 and getting home at 2130 is all a bit much.

Mid downs on Saturday. Strangely I can't wait!! Judging at WAG on Sunday. Haven't done any training this week. So who knows what Saturday will bring lol

Friday, 7 March 2008

Whoooo we won!!!!!

Well yesterday was my first day at Crufts for 2008. I was there for the team competiton. Our team consisted of me, Lee Windybottom, Toni D and David Munnings. I was running Jag, Lee running Shy, David running Billy and Toni running Lee's Bold. Toni's Kite has lots to do at Crufts and as she is 9 (not that you would know it lol)now and Crufts is about the most tiring show a dog can do I think (must be lights and atmosphere)she had decided to rest Kite and run one of our reserve dogs. Toni hasnt run Bold much at all.

Well we started with the morning semi and... we all went clear! I ran first, followed by Lee then Toni and finally David. We won the semi and put in a good time as well, which was nice as none of us rushed anything. I think team is very much about consistentcy and not neccesarily out and out speed, although some speed helps lol.

Other teams going into the final were Bacon, Wilmslow and WHAT.

I don't think I have been so nervous for such a long time. I guess there is quite a lot of pressure in teams!

The afternoon final was to be at 3.25. I walked the course and had assumed that we would run in reverse order of how we finished in the semi. No apparently not! As I was sauntering back to collect Jag, I was told I was running second. This meant I rushed back to the ring with Jag. Might have been a good thing as I didn't have too much time to worry lol.

Jaglet did a good run. He had a pole. Really not sure why but I was really disappointed. We held it together though and managed not to make another mistake. There was an a-frame at the end of the course that required a 180 turn off the end and this is a classic situation for me pulling Jag off the contact. My team mates had all kindly reminded me to work the contact lol. So I managed to nail that!

In the first round only one team went clear and every other team had 5 faults. So my disappointment at getting faults soon changed as now the teams were all much more equal.

In the second round the team that went clear had their dog eliminated so now everything was even! Lee put in a lovely clear. I think another team also had an E in this round. The handler from WHAT putting in an amazing clear. So now it was down to us and WHAT!

Third round Toni did another brilliant clear with Bold (what a good handler and well trained dog!). The dog from WHAT was give 5 on the a-frame. So as we run before WHAT at the end of the third round we were on 5 and WHAT were on 10. So we knew all we needed was for David to go clear and we had won... no pressure Dave!!

Fourth round and David put in a great clear with good old Billy. The WHAT team also put in a good clear but we had the advantage on faults.

Any way after all that sweating... what we didn't realise was that the first dog to run for WHAT had been given 10 faults!!! We didn't know this until we went back to look at the results later on. So all that sweating.. we could have been chilling and enjoying it lol.

I don't have any pics or video.. yet!! One of my friends is ring party up at Cruft and managed to video all our rounds. So at some point I should have video. We also had lots of people taking pictures after we won. So I am sure some pictures and video will emerge.

Well done to Gem and Boo for a clear in their team. Boo looked really good Gem.

I have today off work and boy am I glad I booked it! I feel rather tired. But still rather happy!

Toni, Lee and David are all back up there today for the singles. Good luck to them. Have heard on Crufts FM that David won the morning semi for large dogs. Not sure what else anyone has done.

Good luck to Nancy tomorrow.

I am back up on Sunday. Can't wait!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

March!! Gulp

Ok where is the year going. March already. Is someone having a larf.. it was only Christma 5 minutes ago. Or is that just a sign of old age.

Any way what has been going on in the piglet world since last Saturday. Well not a lot really. Last Sunday I had the luxury of taking an old family friend out to look for a hoover. See how the other half live!

Monday was back to work. Went to training in the evening. Both dogs were good which is nice. Tuesday was more training. Had my training buddy Toni back with me this week. I def. have to have someone else to train with or I seem to get nothing done. We did some pretty evil courses as I recall and all our dogs coped well. My friend Sue joined us with one of her Bloody Stupid Dogs, also known as BSD's. She also coped really well. Her dog isn't quite as quick as the likes of Jag, Kite and Minx bt the handling was good experience for her as she has a new puppy due out later this year.

Wednesday was work then gym. Thursday was work then teaching. Friday was work then gym. Such a varied life lol.

Saturday I had a lovely day, I went shopping for Mothers day stuff in the morning and then went and met Toni to walk the dogs. We walked at Sandwich Bay. One of my favourite places. You can just walk for miles and see no one! Toni had her Mum's dog as well so we had 6 between us. They had a great time in and out of the water and then racing off up the beach. And all very well behaved. We walked for two hours, so they were kinda a little tired when they got in.

Now for those of you that know kite and how pretty she normlly looks... well this is how she can look..



Not a pretty sight lol. Poor Kite. She did have fun swimming though.

I went back to Toni's after our walk we we sat in front of her coal/log fire and ate pizza and garlic bread and generally had a good chat. Was a really nice day. And something we don't often seem to get time to do. I guess that makes it even nicer when we do get time.

Today I went to the gym and cleaned my car!! No still haven't taken any pics but it was dirty and I was not amused. I thought I bought a self cleaning car! I did was my Mum's car as well which she appreciated.

I have just come back from walking the dogs and feel very tired!

Of course this week is jolly Crufts week. Gulp this time next week I will be at Crufts and will know weather or no I have made it to the champ final or weather I will be watching.. Bit scary really. I have the team to do on Thursday as well.

So I guess it just remains for me to say.. GOOD LUCK to all the bloggers that are at Ctufts. But a special bloggers good luck to Nancy and Not So Naught Niamh. Good luck Nancy. First Bryning in agility at Crufts ;-).

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Catch up!

Wednesday well that was work then gym. My friend couldn't with me on Wednesday night so had to go on my own. Boy is it hard to motivate yourself to go on your own. I enjoy going with my mate Karen as we have soooo much to chat about. I teach Karen at agility and so we have lots to talk about on that front. As well as general gossip and Karen also competes in obedience and is just about to start up her own obedience club. So plenty to chat about there. Any way I did go and glad I did really.

Thursday was teaching night. A some what frustrating evening. Now I will be the first to admit that I am not a natural teacher! No where near. I don't have the patience for it. But I try my best and most people seem to understand what I mean and if they don' then they ask. I did find myself wondering on Thursday though, how some people seem to be able to not even nearly grasp the mere basics of agility. It would be quite embarassing had some experienced been looking in. I'm sure they would have thought with some people that I never bothered with basics! Hey ho! Better week next week. Maybe I want people to do to well.... maybe I want some of them to do better than they want to do themselves????

Friday I was meant to go to the gym but again Karen couldn't make it and this time the want not to go did get the better of me! I went shopping with my Mum instead. I bought a tracksuit type top and a pink t-shirt. I think I will save both to wear at Crufts.

Saturday was off to do some training with Toni and Lee. Really look forward to the times I get to train with them. They pick up so much which is what I really miss on a weekly basis. And was needed before Crufts. Lee picked up that Twix, if give a long run onto the dog walk, isn't running up it she is actually jumping at the up contact. She is then hitting the up ramp so hard that it is knocking a lot of speed out of her. Now her contacts are actually way quicker than they were last season. I am wondering if her extra confidence and speed is what is making her leap at it. She certainly didn't do it when I made the approach shorter. Very strange. Will have to watch that one as I don't like the effect it could have on her shoulders.

Jag was a good boy. Nothing major to report. His contacts were good and solid and he is turning well and listening. What more could I ask.

All in all it was a good training session. And I am now thoroughly tired but happy.

Tomorrow I am off to the gym with Karen! so no chance of sneaking out of it. Then I have the delight in the afternoon of taking an old family friend on a hoover hunt! Nice. I will make sure I am home in time though to take the dogs out to do some obedience and go for a nice walk.

No more new pics of mine or the car i'm afraid. I will get round to it honest.

Instead here are two pics of Spud and Mika, my first two dogs. Spud would have been 16 on 14th Feb and Mika 12 on 17th Feb. Bless them both. They have a lot to answer for... a love of agility and a love of collies. I hope they are playing well together somehwere.


Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Course

Have added numbers for the course that my second class did. I call them my junior class. They are all about 2 1/2 ish, the group that Twix started with.




Pic for car...



Am really liking my car. Seems to be quite economical though hard to tell exactly but can't be worse than my old one.

I just have to decided what I want to do to kit it out in the back. At the moment the dogs are in a fabric kennel in the bag which is barely big enough for them. So I am not happy with it for more than a very short term solution. Any way tonight they had a bit of a barny in it... well it was more of a couple of growls but they never normally do that so am going to have to decide what I want. A mate had car cage that I was going to buy but it is just too big.

I have my tailgate and guard up on the fleamarket and am going to put them on ebay but if anyon knows anyone that wants a Zafira gate and guard.. I have one!!!

Think I will order my new tailgate tomorrow.

Training

Went to do some extra training tonight. Was only a few of us. Jag and Twix were both really good. We hire the school for the evening so after I had run mine we had four of my pup group doing some extra. They are all between 14 months and 16 months now so nearing "that" age. They are doing really well.

We had a breakthrough with one of the dogs and weaves tonight. The dog is mental for his toy and will leg it through the channels to a toy weather that be his handler with the toy at the end, me with the toy or simply the toy on the floor. But hold the toy in your hand and there is no way he is going through. So tonight I decided as we had time and I believe the dog does know what to do with the weaves, that I would stand there with the toy behind my back and just wait for the dog to go through the weaves of his own accord. Thank goodness he did... eventually. At which point I screamed well done and lobbed the toy. I was just trying to make the dog think about doing them to get his reward rather than using his reward to get him to do them if that make sense! any way, each time the dog came back and I took the toy he got quicker and quicker at realising what he had to do to get the reward.

So then I handed him back to his owner who did exactly the same. We aren't using a command but are just going to wait until the dog dives back through everytime he comes back to the handler.. then we will add a new command (different to the one he has been using). Am hoping this will do the trick.

So that's it so far this week.

Gym tomorrow, training Thursday, gym Friday and no idea what I am doing at the weekend... a whole free weekend. No doubt I will be bored lol.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

31... gulp!!

Thursday.... Hm, well work then training or should I say teaching. I rarely get to run my dog on a Thursday! Teaching was ok. Course below.




I made a full course out of it for two of my classes and the other two did sequences. The night went ok mainly. And the classes that did the full course seemed to enjoy it. I used the format of running the course then chattng about it then doing it again. I will use the same course this week and do bits of it to see if we can tighten up the "problem" areas. The class that did sequences last week wil do the full course this week.

Was very late to bed on Thursday night / Friday morning!!! I discovered on Thursday that I couldn't find the V5 registration document for my car! Gulp. No V5, no new car. So was up until nearly 2.00am looking for it. Couldn't find it anywhere.

Friday I had half day at work so that I could go and pick my car up in the afternoon. Well only if I could find the V5! Any way I rushed home from work, cleared the car of my bits, took tailguard out etc then went on V5 hunt. I couldn't find it anywhere. We were just about to leave for the garage to go and explain and see if there was anything we could do, i.e take the car, get a copy and give them a copy this week as my Dad works for the place I bought the car from. I had one last inspired look in a diffrent place and guess what.. found it! Phew. So went and picked my car up.

Will add some pictures as soon as I can take them. But I really like it. Feels lovely to drive. Very comfy. They even left it with a full tank of diesel... wow.

Went out to dinner Friday evening. Had a lovely Chinese. Was 12 of us in the end and we had a jolly good laugh! Toni picked me up so I was able to have a few drinks.

Saturday was my Birthday. I had a nice lay in then opened all my cards and pressies. Mainly got money to spend, I must be hard to buy for lol. Toni and Lee bought me, amongst other things, two fleece platted leads. Actually Lee makes them and strangely I had wanted him to make to but not mentioned it to either of them. Somehow they managed to make the perfect colours as well... exactly as I was gonna ask for. So new leads for the show season.

Went shopping in the afternoon. Typically couldn't find anything I wanted. Might have to save birthday cash for Crufts. Did treat myself to new car mats lol WOW!

Sunday was WAG, just for Twix. Wendy Card judged and set some lovely courses. Just right. Twix ended up with a 2nd in agility and a 3rd in helter skelter. Would have been 2nd in the jumping but for a knocked pole. All in all a good day.

Now I am knackered!! And thinking I ought to really iron my trousers for work lol.

Oh and Nancy... car is still clean!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Update... been nagged!

Ok I have been nagged to update my blog (am doing ok Gemma!!! lol).

Well what have I been up to hm.

Saturday... Still had the house to myself, bliss!! Went swimming with a friend of mine in the morning. First time I have been swimming for 12.. yes 12 years! I had forgotten what hard work it was. No wonder I was such a fit kid. I used to swim two or three times a week and compete at weekends. Well few lengths I was shattered.

Any way on leaving the pool my friend and I decided to go and get something to eat.. not my fault it was a full English. lol. So much for swimming.

Walked the dogs in the afternoon down on the beach. Then went home and promptly fell asleep.

Sunday was WAG day! Was really looking forward to this. I wanted some Crufts practice for Jag and was also excited that both dogs were going to be running the same courses and therefore I could get a comparison time wise for the pair of them.

Leah was judging and set some interesting courses. I liked them as it made me work! My aims for the day were being "with" Jag, something that has been missing for a while, Jag waiting! And nice touchpoints. For Twix it was to see how her touchpoints were speed wise and of course to compare their times.

Well what a good day! Jag came 2nd in 3 classes and Twix came 3rd in one one.

Jag waited in each class and his toucpoints were lovely. I felt like we were working as a partnership and did feel in control. So I can't ask for more than that. I ran Twix's contacts in the agility until she had 5 and then decided I should train the remaining one... which was the only one she flew (see-saw). Her dog walk and a-frame were great. Quicker than last year and all the way to the bottom into a stop before I released. Good girl!!!

Jason kindly videoed Jag and Twix's agility runs and these can be seen on Leah's blog.

The best bit............. the jumping. Jag's 2nd place time was .01 behind the winner and Twix's time............ .29 behind Jag!!! Wow! I was very very very very (did I say very) impressed with my little girl.

Someone did video the jumping and helter skelter runs so hopefully I will have them at some point to add to the blog.

So all in all a good day. Went home shattered but happy. And with a few more wine glasses for camping!!

Monday was back to work :-( training in the evening which went well. That was after I managed to get there!

I was stuck on the telephone for and hour and half trying to sort out my car insurance with the most rubbish insurance company in the world (in my opinion of course!) Direct flippin Line!! GRRR Basically... I had phoned to ask them to change my car insurance over to my new car as from midday on Friday. To which they told me I wasn't currently insured with them. Gulp! I had had an automatic renewal in January and as it says all over it "you need not do anything" I didn't. It turns out that they, thorugh their own fault, didn't renew my insurance. So I had been driving around for over 2 weeks uninsured. Not impressed.

Any way there were lots of things they did wrong and lots of things that annoyed me. It took 90 minutes to sort it out and then their customer service people called me back yesterday to listen to my compalint. The upshot is that I have cancelled my insurance and will write a letter of complaint to FSA.

Tuesday evening Toni, Lee and I got together to do so pre-Crufts training. Was great. I love training with those two perfectionists. They really make me work hard and think. Just what I needed. It was flippin cold though.

Tonight was gym night and rest!! I feel knackered.

Tomorrow is teaching night.

Friday.......... yipee new car day. Yes I am excited. Then in the evening I am out to dinner with a group of 14 people from our club.

Saturday.... My birthday. Shopping I think!!

Sunday.... WAG just for Twix though as it is 1-5 but will be good for.

Will let you know how it all goes.

Have a happy week.

P.s......... Is that Ok Gem!!

Friday, 8 February 2008

Sunny days!

How nice has the weather been the last couple of days!!! I saw the forecast for today and decided to take the day off of work. A nice lay in followed by a nice long walk on the beach and the off to the gym. Quite a relaxing day to spend a day off work. And yes I did take my camera. I feel ashamed that you guys always seem to have loads of lovely pictures and video on your blog. Can't help with video really as I don't have a camcorder but I think I might have persuaded someone to video my dogs at WAG on Sunday.

So pictures.......












I love the head shot of Jag. Couldn't quite get Twix to sit still long enough!! The shot across the water was just to show how lovely it was at the beach today.

Don't think anything else exciting has happened.. well apart from buying a new car. Well new to me!! I am looking forward to picking it up now.

Going swimming tomorrow morning then WAG on Sunday so that will be another weekend over.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Weekends... restfull! Hm!

So update since last blog. Thursday was back to my teaching evening. And after the week I had had before getting very frustrated with some people, I wasn't really looking forward to it. I decidedto re-use last weeks course as there was so much left we can do. It was actually a quiet ish evening as the weather was so naff!! Nothing really changed. Those that work hard, had obviously been doing so and did on the night, those that don't, didn't. So guess I shouldn't be disappointed.

The pups seemed to have a good night though. Most of them are "due out" towards the end of May or begining of June. I'm a bit scared about making sure they are all ready for the off but then they are also all doing so well. I really hope they all do well. I wish some of the realised how much I wish for them to do well!!!

Friday was a bit of a mad day. After finishing work I went straight to the gym... now that's dedication lol. Or was it just that I hadn't been since Tuesday! Any way I did just over an hour there. Went home got some thing to eat, showerd and changed and then went training. Toni had organised an extra nights training for some friends of hers that wanted to come down and train with her, so invited me along as well so that there was two of us to nit pick, as well of course as getting in that vital extra training for Crufts!!!

I was very grateful for the extra training as it was the only time I trained Jag during last week as he cut his paw last Sunday. He seems to be doing this every few weeks at the moment. I am thinking of wrapping him in cotton wool and hiding him until Crufts!

The weekend wasn't very exciting but for some reason very tiring!! Saturday was gym, followed by doing some training in the park and then a nice walk. Was different in the park this week, I avoided going last weekend after my run in with the mad woman. This week I had few people stop and watch me train. And say how good it looked. Hm normal people, at last! Then I was out for the rest of the afternoon.

England lost the Rugby :-( not good. Sunderland (my football team) also lost :-( so not good sport wise.

Sunday I decided that I needed to tidy my car up before the shows start out again. Now it has to be said that I haven't cleaned it for quite a while (I can almost see Nancy cringing as I am saying this!). It was filthy inside. Well apart from stopping for an hour or so for lunch, I worked on it from 11.30 - 5.00!! And that was only the inside. Any way it is clean now. Cleaner than it's been in months. So the dogs better not get it messy!

I will take it to some guys who clean cars on the industrial estate where I work, tomorrow. They clean the outside for about £6 which is not much more than the machine cleaner things and the do a much better job.. oh and I don't have to get cold and wet. Always a bonus.

After cleaning the car I took the dogs for a road walk. I have decided this is the safest way of exercising them at the moment!!!! I really don't want any more cut paws. I really feel completely unprepared for Crufts at the moment. Not a feeling I like.

Next Sunday I am going to run both at the WAG show.... so Leah, nice courses please!!! And apologise in advance for training my agility! Well with Jag any way.

At least it's been dry outside.

Oh and Bernadette and Nancy, I am so jealous that you have equipment to use right by your houses.. grrrr lol.

God I really do waffle on these bloggs. Have you all fallen asleep yet.

Oh and as for the comment about someone has sicked on my wellies, you're only jealous!

I hope all the other bloggers have had a good weekend.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Gosh, my last post was last Friday, now what has happened since then. Hm nothing major, well nothing that I can remember!

Saturday morning I had a nice lay in. I do like my lay ins!! I try to make the most of them before the show season starts!! Then I went off to the gym. Very energetic! After that I took the dogs out to do some obedience training. They were both very good! Even the blonde one! Then took them onto the beach for a walk. Just as I was about to start on my walk I saw these two little westies, who then decided to come running up to me.. but I will forgive them as they were my Mum's friends dogs. So I guess they recognised my two. My Mum's friend was just about to start her walked so I walked with her. I was out for about two hours. And give them some credit, the Westies were still going... not strong but they were still going!!!

Saturday night, I think I said was our works annual dinner and dance. The food was typical mass produced and not very good! But the evening was fun. I did have plenty to drink. I managed to avoid a hangover on Sunday but I did stil have a nice long lay in (there's those lay in's again!).

Spent most of the rest of the morning and early afternoon having a bedroom blitz an then took the dogs back down to the beach again. The walk was lovely until Jag started limping!!! I assumed he had grazed his pad again like he did over Christmas. So I turned round and walked back to the car. At home I looked at his foot and couldn't see anything! Panic, Crufts is only a month away. Well after having a better look I found a sore, red patch right in the middle of his paw and a small cut where the large pad joins the foot. So I have been bathing his paw in salty water much to his disgust. However today there is a noticeable improvement and he is putting all his weight on the foot. So I can only assume it is feeling a lot better. Fingers crossed it carries on like this. If not I will take him to see my lovely vet.

It did of course mean that I missed training with Jag on Monday and was meant to train with Toni last night and have missed that too. He also hasn't been able to go out for walks since Sunday. So not good for the Crufts prep but theat's the way it goes. I'm sure we will catch up. It did mean that Twix got to run in Jag's class on Monday and boy did we have a good night! I can't wait to run her in the ring again. I just hope what she is doing in training transfers to the ring!

Today I have been in Norwich all day for work. I left at 6.30 this morning and got back at 6.30 this evening so am a little bit tired after all the travelling and the heavy negotiations that went on!!

Tomorrow is teaching night again. I promise I am not going to get stroppy ( I will write that 1000 times before I go tomorrow). But I am going to make a few people aware that their agility ability (I like that phrase) is in their own hands. Thank you all for your comments though it's good to know I am not ranting over nothing!!! I wonder if people realise how much their trainers want them to do well?

Right........... wellies!!! Sorry pics are not great as my camera appears to be asleep. So had to take with my phone. But these are soooo cool.


Friday, 25 January 2008

Venting ones feelings!!

Well the blog seems to have become a rather nice way of venting ones feelings, good or bad!! So far it appears like I'm a grumpy s*d lol. Honest i'm not. But I have felt rather irritated.. by everything lately! Maybe it's an age thing and another birthday creeping up. Who knows.

Any way Wednesay started badly. I learnt that a colleague of mine had lost her Dad. It was not unexpected but not nice. A relief in a way but it did upset me. My colleague is only three years older than me and her Dad a smiliar age to mine. She has also had lots of other bad news within the last 6 months or so. I hope things change for her. She is so nice and without be cliche, it's just not fair.

Gym has been good.. Yes really I do like it. I somehow like working my butt off and feeling like I have worked hard. Weird!! But hopefully it will pay off one day. I was actually sad enough to buy a pair of jeans in the sales at Christmas, that were a size to small for me. So my aim is to fit into them.

Thursday night is my teaching night... so for Leah (if she looks at this blog lol) here is my course that I set..



The focus was on jumping sequences. There was lots to do with this lot! We didn't do many contacts, except for a couple of runs round the outside route.

The sequences gradually got harder and harder as I went through the classes. Pups did lots of set pieces, snakes, boxes, lines etc. Finally to the top class who were doing lots of lovely lovely difficult sequences, with the odd really hard one in there especially for Toni!!

What does frustrate me about some people that I train is that they seem to think that there dogs will miraculously reach the top without them having to put any effort!! I have people at training (like Toni) who put in an amazing amount of time and effort with their dogs and reep the rewards. As she should. Then I have those that I look at and think, you just want a robot! I seem to be getting more and more frustrated with these people. What do they expect.. you get out what you put in. In boils down to some of them been downright lazy! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR there feel better now.

Tonight was gym night again. Yawn. Tomorrow is gym morning lol. God I better be size 0 soon! Then tomorrow night I am out on the raz all night!! Lets hope the hangover isn't too bad on Sunday morning.

And yes I promise the wellie pick will be here soon. Just as soon a I can find 25 hours in the day!

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Remind me... have I just had two weeks off!!

Well I enjoyed Christmas but it was over too quickly and here we are, 22nd of January and the holiday feels like it could have been months ago, not weeks!

In a lot of ways it is good to be back into the swing of everything... except I seem to have even less time than I did before (before when, i'm not sure!).

Monday was training. I run Jag and Twix on a Monday. Last year I think I ended up concentrating too much on Twix and as a result was babying Jag round everything too and he is certainly not the sort of dog that needs babying round anything!! So I have decided I have just over a month to Crufts and I need to put in some hard graft to get us back on the same wavelength. So we are practicing lots of tricks and obedience stuff as I don't have equipment at home.

Last night I actually felt like Jag and I were gelling again. I asked for some hard courses.. and got them and Jag was great. I managed to get most of it right. Tonight............ what a relief, back to training with my good friend Toni Dawkins! Toni is so much fun to train with. We have trained together for a long time. We used to hire the school when Kite was a youngster and just do anything and everything for an hour or so. Then for some reason neither of us had time. Well toward the end of last year we made sure we started training together again. And boy does it help. We pretty much know each others handling inside out so can help each other. On top of this, Toni is just a perfectionist and task master! I am a bit "oh that will do" but not when Toni's around, I can't get away with it. So that is exactly what I need.

Tonight we did load of jump and tunnel sequences. We are trying to think of Crufts type things to get ourselves ready. I decided not to do any extra with Twix tonight as I really want to concentrate on Jag for the next few weeks leading up to Crufts. But after Crufts Twix better watch out!! lol.

Twix was a good girl on Monday night as well. Her dog walks and a-frames were great. I have had similar issues to Nancy on the dog walk (must be in the breeding!!) but was really pleased with Twix's consistent speed. I have also been busily tyring to speed Twix's weaves up. So for now, we have gone back to slightly open channels. Always want more don't we.


As for the wellies............. yes I will post a pic lol. Need to get the camera out though so might not be untl the weekend.

What with training last night and tonight, tomorrow is gym night, Thursday I teach, Friday is gym night, Saturday I have a ball to go to in the evening... I might get round to some chill time at some point!! Maybe Sunday.. but only after going to the gym!!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Arguments, training and shopping!!!

Well today consisted of all of the above. I had a nice lay in. Then decided I would take the dogs to the park for a walk. Thought it would be a good opportunity to do some obedience training and practice some silly tricks with both of them.

I arrived at the park. It was fairly quiet apart from some football training at one end so I decided to go up to the far end where it was really quiet and also there are goalposts so I an tie one dog there while I train the other (no they won't down stay while I work the other dog!)

Any way bascially on the way up to the top we were joined by a black lab. Owner was a good distance away with her other dog. I don't mind my dogs mixing with other dogs but I do like the owners to be near by as to be honest I don't know what their dogs will do! Any way lab stucks its nose up Jag's bottom and proceeded to raise its hackles and curl tail over his back and growl. So eventually as the owner was taking no notice of it and making no attempt at all to call it back, I shouted at it to go away. She then started shouting at me!

After a large amount of abuse I did tell the woman where to go to which she replied that she would kill me!! Nice!! She said she felt sorry for my dogs cos they have to live with me. The spouted on bout I better not be seen down there again and she was going to report me to the police and the dog wardent. I told her to go ahead. She then went into some weird bante about I was the sort of person that didn't pick up after my dogs and how she had more pooh bags than me! She then also shouted that I am the sort of person that probably doesn't go to work and earn money!! Hm. She also said that first my dog had bitten hers and then that I had hit the dog and she had witnesses! There was no one around!

Now maybe my boss would say I don't work, but I certainly turn up every day lol.

Eventually the woman went. I hope she does report me. I can see the police and dog warden making her look very silly!!! I think I have a few people that could vouch for me and my attitude to dogs... just a few!!

Any way after she went and I had stopped laughing, I did some training with both dogs. I will have to try and get a video of Jag doing heelwork! My friend that does obedience thinks he is hilarious cos he only uses three legs! Any way they were both good and worked well.

Then I went off shopping with my Mum. Found a lovely pale pink ski jacket from Tog 24 so just had to by it! And bought some wellies as well, in preperation for Supadogs. They are pink too... with marshamallows on! You will have to see them to believe them.

Tomorrow I am off to judge at WAG. Have just finished setting out my courses. So will see how it goes.