About us.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Lily training.

Not much news this week. Had a great afternoon on sunday training at Mark & Karens. Lily was good. Bit of a clown with some of the tunnel work, but nothing to worry about. She was fine being in a different environment with a lot of new dogs so that was rewarding.

Having a few days off work to spend with Fern as its half term, and its cold, wet and miserable! Floods around Honiton today, roads closed in all directions and 2 feet of hail in Ottery!!!! Unbelievable. Thunder woke me up last night, and we lost power for a while but i suppose it is winter. Snuffles my old Sprollie had blood tests and urine tests this week. Seems like her kidneys are starting to feel their age. She is on antibiotics and Propalin to try and stop her incontinence but we have to see how she goes. Carpet shampooer working overtime at the mo!! Poor old girl. She is so fit and lively in every way I just hope she can get over this blip and continue to enjoy life for a bit longer.
This was Snuffles a few weeks ago. Hardly acts or looks like an old dog! She is 13 though so we just have to keep fingers crossed.

Dartmoor show next week, and UKA the week after then thats it for this year. Good job I have shooting to keep me occupied!!!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

3rd Days Shooting.

Well today was a bit of a disappointment. There were extra people helping with picking up today, which is a bit unfair on us loyal ones! We normally have 3 or 4 people picking up at our shoot, and thats plenty when there are 10 guns. It means we each look after 2 or 3 guns and our dogs get plenty to do. However there were a few guests today and it was silly and annoying. After 3 drives, Olli only had 1 bird to retrieve and that landed about 10 feet from us! I was ready to go home, but at the next drive I stopped being submissive and marched through to where i knew there were good birds to be picked and worked my boy. By the end of the day he had 8 birds and was very obedient again. He sits and watches the skies, glancing at me for back up now and then, and follows me everywhere off the lead all day. He leaves birds that aren't his, but is off like a rocket when I ask him to. Puts a lot of the older dogs to shame and I am still thrilled with him.
Poor Becki only came out for a couple, and had nothing to retrieve but she worked through some hedges and enjoyed herself while she was out, behaving very well too! I wonder if she really does try harder now because she has competition? If only they could speak!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Mixed weekend

Hi all. Had a busy and mixed sort of weekend. Went shooting saturday with Olli & Becki and had a really good day. Olli was superb again so last week wasn't a fluke! He picked up 9 pheasants this week, but most importantly, he actually used his nose more and found 2 which had landed in deep undergrowth quite a few yards away from us, and he did it all on his own. I was thrilled. He was obedient and totally focused. Another real good point was that a bird landed about 50 yards from us, which he watched, but one of the guns was working a new lab and sent him to retrieve it. Olli was off, but all i said was a firm "Leave it" and he stopped, turned and came back to sit at my side, and watched the lab do the retrieve. Now thats what I call obedience! Love him to bits.

Becki came out in the afternoon and picked up 3 brilliant retrieves. Funny, she didn't bark, and stayed by me off the lead!!! I think she's feeling pressure from Olli being so good that she's trying really hard. Bless her!

Went to a small show yesterday with Lily and had a bad day, but with good points too. The 1st ring had a weird tunnel around a corner against a wall (it was indoors) and she went halfway in then turned and came out. Never done this before, but no matter what I tried she refused to go in. They changed the tunnel soon after as a lot of dogs did the same. The problem was then that in the next ring she was wary of the tunnel and took 3 attempts to go in. Very bizarre, but she is a dog who is easily put off due to her nervous disposition. The final class, she stopped once but then went in the 3 tunnels and had a lovely fast round with just a 5 for refusal. On the other hand, she was hyper, lively and starting to really become aroused by the equipment so her speed and focus was really improved. Have to make sure we dont now have a hang up with tunnels, but training at Marks this weekend should put a stop to that!

Friday, 17 October 2008

New car!

Well we finally decided that the littel Skoda we had bought for Fern when she was learning to drive just wasn't reliable enough so I went mad and bought her favourite car today. Renault Clio in black and its diesel, which she prefers. Its only an old one but is very tidy and very cute so I put a 5 ft pink ribbon on it, 6 huge purple balloons and waited to see her reaction when we picked her up from college.
It was amazing. She squealed and hugged us both before taking it for a spin. Aint kids brilliant?!!
Shooting tomorrow with Olli and show on sunday with Lily.
Lets hope for a sucessful weekend!!!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

1st days picking up.

I am tired out! Yesterday was a fab day at our 1st shoot of the season. I decided to take both dogs, Becki my 10 yr old experienced hunting dog, and Olli of course. My plan was to use Olli on the 1st drive, as I thought he would not cope with the excitement of having to stay in the truck, and there was a lot at stake! He had been very vocal when i took him as a young dog back in january, which is not allowed and is also not good for a spaniel to be noisy. I had 2 of our gun men watching closely as they both had their doubts about him last season. He got out the truck, full of enthusiasm and energy and we walked to our 1st spot. Off the lead, he walked to heel like a true pro, didn't make a sound, watched the skies and waited for my command. I was so thrilled!! All my training over the summer had worked. Simply putting him back in his kennel or my truck if he barked and giving him time out had worked like a dream. He was incredible, picking up 8 pheasants in 3 drives. For anyone who has never had the pleasure of working with a dog, in any sport, could never imagine the thrill it gives you. No harsh handling or punishment required as a gun dog trainer had tried to tell me when he was 5 months old.

Becki, came out to work a drive while I rested Olli and she was her usual noisy, impatient self. I decided after 20 minutes that I would put her away. I couldn't stand the embarrasment. On the way back to the truck, the gun captain stopped me and asked me to take Becki up a hill into a large overgrown thicket to look for 2 lost pheasants that others couldn't find. I knew Olli wouldn't have the experience, and Becki is famous for her amazing nose. I sent her in and after 10 minutes she appeared, covered in brambles with a bird, brought it straight to me then went back in for the second, which she carried back to me 2 minutes later. She collapsed and couldn't get up for a few moments. She is the most infuriating, disobedient, badly behaved shooting dog (I didn't train her I only took her on as a 6 year old) but i would lay all the money in the world that she will work til she drops and always find the bird. Her scent work is incredible. She followed me back down the hill and lay in a huge muddy puddle to recover! Bless her.

All in all a totally awesome 1st day and i was very proud of both dogs.

Went for dinner at some friends and watched England win 5-1 to end the day. Today we have been working all day to finish our next order. Never a minutes rest!!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Shooting season begins!

Well another week has gone by, another week older and another week nearer to Christmas!! Ferns car is sick so in the hospital since yesterday morning, which is a shame as its her 1st little car and she loves driving, but hopefully its not too serious. Lily had her 1st new "Go On" class on monday and got bowled over & growled at by a horrible labrador. Spent the next 10 minutes shaking and glued to my leg, unable to work away from me at all!! She didn't even look at him! Anyway she did recover by the end of the class, which proves how much better she is now than 6 months ago. Thursday class was some interesting course handling excercises, including weird weave entries and she was brilliant. Speeding up by the week now, and i finally feel like my handling is doing her justice. We will see how she gets on at Mark & Karen Lakers in 2 weeks time with a whole new environment and new dogs around her.

Have been running again this week and it feels good. Bought some decent shoes for agility too so got a good excuse to win lots next year!

Tomorrow is Ollis 1st day shooting since the end of January. I am so excited. All my kit is ready, my check list too so Rog doesn't have to run errands of bringing my flask (left on kitchen side) or my whistle (still hanging on hook) or god forbid my dogs!!! No I have never forgotten them really. I am expecting Olli to be OTT when we 1st arrive at the meet, but am quietly confident that he is going to very soon slip into work mode and be a real assett. Fingers crossed I'm right as I have been slightly boasting as to how well he has come on. Could have egg on my face!!!

Well I'm off to paint more weave poles for a customer, then its England football tomorrow. Will they still be on form? Theo Walcott should be! Come on England!!!!!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

An interesting week

Well its been a fairly uneventful week. Working for somebody else, and just the average week...........until thursday. Last weekend I decided to make up some leaflets about our agility equipment and asked our local pet shop and vets to put some out for me. We also spent hours over a couple of evenings, designing a final logo for the business and uploaded it to our new web site. So thursday my phone rang with a lady who runs a local Dog Training club. Had picked up a leaflet and wanted to order 1 set of standard weaves and 1 set of channel weaves!!! Great excitement! So I spent yesterday undercoating 24 weave poles, while Rog went welding and made the 1st set of frames. This morning I went for a run with Lily & Olli (decided I better start getting fit again!) Nearly home and Olli spotted a wounded pheasant on the track. He shot over, picked it carefully up and brought it straight to me!! Really pleased as the season starts next saturday and I was wondering if he would remember what to do! Got back to check my e mails and we have our 1st enquiry for equipment from our website!!! Things are looking up.

So on top of Plymouth beating Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 yesterday, Olli doing a perfect retrieve, work coming in for our new venture, and now we are about to leave for Wolverhampton to see our fave band again!!!! This time we are meeting them for food and drinks 1st. Sooooo excited!!!!! Life is so good!!!