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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Frosty mornings.

Its a beautiful time of year. It may be cold, but these frosty mornings are wonderful, and at least the dogs dont get wet & muddy when we are out!

Lily & Dave had a lovely time in the field yesterday morning, and then in the warm, Olli decided to chill out and play with Dave. He is so sweet with him.

Hope everyone has a very Happy New Year and lets all have a prosperous 2o09 with lots of agility wins hopefully!!!

Monday, 29 December 2008

Another year nearly over.

Well I am officially fatter, and probably about 12 % proof now! So much food and alcohol and chocolate I really need a detox!! Saturday was shooting as usual and was freezing!!! We had friends over for huge dinner and presents on boxing day, and I was a party pooper at 1am, deciding to leave the rabble and go to bed so I was ok for shooting in the morning. Olli was hyper and we set off as usual at 9am, even Fern, who had not retired until 3.30am was with me!
The 1st 2 drives were very quiet and Olli hadn't had 1 bird. Fern & I were blue as the wind whistled around our ears and wondering why we weren't back home having a good cooked breakfast with Rog, Luke & our friends, but hey ho, shooting it was. The 3rd drive was at a different site, so we climbed back in the car, and disaster!!! Flat battery! Have no idea why as it had started just 2 hours earlier at home but it was dead. Rang Rog who as ever was my knight in shining armour and came to our rescue with some jump leads. By the time we were going again we had missed the next 2 drives so went home for a warm up. I then went back for the afternoon session, leaving Fern at home to stay warm, and took the van this time. I spent 2 hours freezing my butt off and ended the day still with a score of nil. Poor Olli was disappointed and confused. What a waste of a day.

Today was an extra day shooting, so off we went again, Fern, Me & Olli in Ferns car. Not quite as cold today, (although not above freezing) but it was still a quiet day. Olli retrieved 7 birds, and 1 he found in a rabbit hole which was very rewarding. Glad to get home tonight and warm up though.
Dave came running up to meet us with such enthusiasm when we got home! Dogs are always so pleased to see you, whatever your mood. Bless them all. He is very at home now, and in typical terrier style, always finds the warm spot to stretch out in!

Excited to find my running orders for my 1st show of 2009 in the post box! Less than 2 weeks to wait for the agility season to start again!! Lily Fudge Cake & Olli Ob Knob here we go!!!!!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Dave's growing quick!

Hi All

Its the day before Christmas Eve and the excitement is killing me!!! I love Christmas!!

I am almost recovered from my fall with Olli on Sunday. My back is a lot better but I do have a fabulous bruise on my knee! Sunday night away was great fun. Rog & I got a cab from the hotel into Kingston upon Thames, and found a lovely Italian restaurant. We had a nice meal, shared a bottle of Pinot Grigio, chatted lots, people watched and giggled, then went to the gig and met up & chatted to the group! It was like they were old friends, and the performance was as good as ever, just so packed we didn't really see a lot! Still we had a great night, and it was so good to have just 24 hrs as a couple! No work, no dogs waking us up, no getting moaned at by Fern for being too soppy and snogging!!! We all need it now and then, just to remember why we fell in love in the 1st place.

Monday lunchtime it was really good to get home & see all the dogs again, and they were all really pleased to see us too.

Dave is now 90% angel & only 10% devil! He is so sweet & loving, settled down beautifully with everyone, just now & then he pushes things just a bit too far, but nothing that he wont grow out of. Typical terrier behaviour! He & Stan are now good friends, and although Dave runs rings around Stan most of the time, Stan still puts his foot down when he gets too much, and Dave respects that. Bless the shorties!!!!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Still sore but happy.

Second half of the day and Lily was very good. I still have a lot to do on my contacts, as she is so aroused when I run she just cant stay on them, even though she does in training. Also need a bit of work on my snake lines, as she has such a huge flying stride, she lands behind me and still doesn't check herself in so she can turn tight, but its getting there. Otherwise i was thrilled, as she was fast, great on the weaves, jumped brilliantly and enjoyed herself.

My back is killing me now, but nothing that tonights liqueur party at a friends wont put right!!

Going away tomorrow with Rog for a gig & party in Kingston, and staying in a nice hotel. Lie in Monday with no dogs to wake us up at 6am!!!! Sorry Fern, you're in charge!! I will miss all the dogs but just once a year, to not have to get up and let them out will be bliss.

Dave is coming on brilliant. Only 9 weeks old and he is sitting, doing a few seconds wait, now goes in his cage when you ask him to, nearly house trained and very good on recall. Not bad for 2 weeks with us. Will post photo evidence in next blog.

Christmas is only 5 days away and all my pressies wrapped and ready!!!


This morning I didn't go shooting, after last weeks let down, but instead I took Olli to do a Run the Course workshop at club. He hasn't been training since September so it was just for fun. He was so funny! Full of beans, totally over excited and actually did very well considering. I was pleased he jumped full height, and he was fast across the dog walk, doing quite a nice contact to. I didn't bother with the weaves as he is only just getting them right at home, and it wasn't the right place to push him today. The only problem with Olli is that his lack of training and experience, means he is still a bit attached to me, not got the lateral distance control I have with Lily, so as he went down the final line of 3 jumps, I ran like I would with Lily and Olli ran into my legs and I hit the floor!!!! Sore knee, sore elbow but worse I twisted & jarred my back as I tried not to land on him. I am sat at home, drinking coffee and have taken some pain killers, as I am going back this afternoon with Lily!!! I hope I can run with her.

Wasn't Olli's fault at all, and I love him to bits. He starts back full time training in January and guess what I will be working on!!!!!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

My dogs don't take advantage!!

After the disappointment of not going shooting on Saturday, I was shocked to find out that they did decide to shoot 4 drives after all, as a lot of guns and beaters had turned up, but nobody thought to phone me & Gail to tell us!! I could not believe it. All weathers, whether I feel good or am ill, I never miss a shoot, but they didn't have the decency to phone when they changed plans again. I will not forget that.
Sunday we had a fab day at a good friend of mines. Somebody who I met through work 11 years ago and have stayed good friends with ever since, even though we have gone in totally different directions, and live miles apart now, and have a 14 year age gap!!! That's what I call friendship. Was really fun and made up for Saturday. We took little Dave with us, as well as Olli & Lily. He was great. Went to the pub, behaved himself and then slept all the way home. Jo had the best terrier I've ever met called Jimmy, and he was the reason I had to get Dave. Same type of dog, same colouring and I didn't realise that it was 2 years to the day that Jimmy went to play in the clouds that we brought our Dave home. Roger has always wanted a dog like Jim but decided he couldn't call ours Jimmy so he became Dave (coincidentally the name of Jo's new husband!)

His Kennel Club name though is "DAVE SHORT FOR JIMMY"


Well Dave knows the best place to curl up in the evening when he's finished charging around like a fool.

Olli & Lily know that the best place to play & fight trying to chew each
others ears off is on the sofa, when they think I'm not looking so will never know.................................

But I always do, and how guilty does Lily look?!!!!! Ha!!! Bless them all.
This Saturday I am boycotting shooting, and taking my 2 to our club Christmas course fun. Olli will swap pheasants for a tennis ball, and try and keep his nose off the floor, and Lily is in the last group with the big competing dogs so is going to have to pull out all the stops, which I'm sure she will.
All my shopping is done and I'm ready for CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

My harmonious house!

I always say that its not worth getting up in the morning unless you are willing to learn something, and at 44 years old, and having had dogs all my life, I know a lot. I pride myself in listening to people with more experience, taking in advice and deciding what's good and what's maybe not so good. I spend a small fortune, and most of my time at training classes, workshops and competing or working my dogs, and running 2 businesses, a home and being with my amazing family. Sooooooooo when we added a 6th, very small, very baby terrier to our pack, I thought it would be easy. NOT!!!!
The keeping it a secret from Rog for 2 weeks, and then bringing puppy home and having him here for 4 days while Rog was away and still didn't know, was damn hard! Well worth it though when he came home and was presented with his Christmas present. The fact that this little pup was so cocky and almost aggressive towards the older, bigger dogs within the 1st 48 hours was a shock!

I've studied dog psychology, and I still wasn't prepared for what happened. I knew I couldn't just bring in a 6 week old, 6" high puppy in and throw him in with my 5. Snuffles is old & grumpy, Stanley is old but still a rat catching, chicken killing, cat humping terrier, Becki is middle aged but a strong working spaniel who would not take any sh%*, Olli is a young male, quite dominant working boy who would probably think he was a rabbit, and Lily!!! Lily is a 3 year old, wired up wrong, mad collie, who really doesn't like anyone in her space, has been known to nip quite a few faces in her time and my biggest worry.

In just 8 days, and with patience and slow individual introductions to the rest, Dave (the pup) is one of us!!!! I asked for advice from AgilityBits forum, I have chatted to Lauren, my trainer & good friend, and I did learn a few things, including from our Vet when Dave had his 1st jab, but I am still amazed that its worked in such a short time.

We are always learning, nobody ever knows it all, and however clever you think you are, there is always someone who knows more. Always be prepared to listen and you will be a better person.

Shooting was cancelled today because the weather was so appalling, we had floods all around here, and I was so gutted as it is my special time with Olli & Becki, and they were ready to go!

Oh well, next week hopefully and then CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

weekend part 2.

OK so life goes on and its the weekend. Last night I was lucky enough to be treated to a training session with Lily, at a different venue. It was interesting. Not an amazing trainer, and I didn't learn anything new, but Lily is so different now to how she was 6 months ago that she didn't get scared by the new environment and she was really keen and competitive. I was pleased and felt a real sense of achievement in how mature and focused she has finally become. She really is going to be a dog to watch on the competition circuit next year.

Shooting today, and with Rog away, and Fern having to stay behind on "Puppy" duty it was just me and the spaniels, spicy chicken & rocket sarnies, bottle of coke, thermals and away we went.

Its getting almost boring now, to anyone who reads my dog diary, but again Olli was superb. He now goes ahead on his own, finds every bird he's meant to and brings them straight back to me as a matter of course. Ok he's not trained on different whistles, hand signals or commands like a £2000 Labrador on our shoot, but I honestly wouldn't want him to be. I know, 100% that Olli wont chase birds he's not meant to, leave my side unless I tell him to, or bugger up the next drive because he's not listening. He has a mind of his own, an enthusiastic drive that a lot of dogs would benefit from, and an amazing nose, but most of all he wants to please me and only me and that feeling cant be bought, for £2000 or £2,000,000. He has sparkle, he has personality and he is priceless.

18 pheasants he picked up today, although if Olli had his way the total would be 20, but I got kinda suspicious when the hen & cock bird he brought back at the end of the day, were already tied together with string, and I know he's good but come on!

Bless him x

Missing Rog! Weekend part 1.

Well its been a funny week. Rog had to go away to work on Thursday morning and isn't back until Monday night. I totally hate it when we are apart. Thank god I have Fern to keep me amused, give me hugs and look after me. It sounds daft after 21 years together but I am one of the lucky ones, who still gets butterflies when he comes home every day, and tears when he goes away to work. Soppy tart!!

Anyway, enough silly stuff. On Thursday night Fern & I went to pick up Rogers Christmas present, a JRT x Patterdale terrier pup!! 7 weeks old yesterday and so tiny! The plan is that all the whining in the cage at night will be over when Rog gets home on Monday. So far after 2 nights, he is improving. He also amazingly has learnt to sit in just a day! Not only on command, but if you ignore his jumping up bad behaviour, he offers the sit!!! Fern has been working with him today to achieve this, and I'm impressed with him & Fern! He'll be weaving and doing perfect contacts when Rog gets back at this rate!!!!

He is too small to to introduce to our mad pack all together so we have decided to keep his cage in our lounge and when he is in there we let all the others in as usual to sit with us for the evening. There has been a mixed reaction. Stan is his usual pain in the rectum, wanting to get at him in the cage, Snuffles has ignored him totally (she has seen all the other additions arrive so whats another 1?) Becki has been very Becki, she's boss and she has told him that through the bars, Olli is fascinated and not sure what to do, and Lily, who is not a dog person, is being very good. She has said hello through the bars, watched him, tilts her head when he whines, but shown no real dislike, which is quite surprising!

All we have to do is be patient and keep this secret for 2 more days and Rog will be here!!!

(I'm counting the hours.)