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.