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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Sometimes the General public surprise you.

Just a quick blog really.

Fern & I decided this afternoon we would take Cove down to the town. We needed a few things to add to our wardrobes for tomorrow night, and Sidmouth is a small seaside town so not too much of a shock for a new young dog. He was really good! The sea was rough, and as we first walked along the prom, the waves were making a heck of a noise as they dragged the pebbles back out to sea, and although Cove stopped and looked, he instantly took it in and carried on walking along beside Fern, very confident. He spotted a few other dogs walking along and was interested but not overly. We then went into the High Street and he sat beautifully with me while Fern went into a shoe shop. 2 dogs walked by and he wagged his tail, looked interested, (especially in a Shitzu, the likes of which he hadn't seen yet!) and the an old lady came along with her husband, looking straight at him and starting to coo. I was expecting her to rush in all gushy but she actually asked if it was ok to say hello! I said yes, and as she did, Cove was very sweet but then went to jump up. I corrected him and she said "Oh it doesn't matter" and just I thought she was just like most "non dog" people she added "Oh I'm sorry, of course it matters to you. It is not whether I mind its whether you expect him to sit. I apologise"......!!!!!!!!

Restored my faith in human nature.

After that, Fern was sat with him when a young child came over, stopped a few feet short and asked Fern very politely if he could say hello!!! What a breath of fresh air. A child who has been brought up in the right way to approach dogs. Hallelujah!!!!

Cove was a star, but I expect nothing less.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Christmas day walk.

Happy Christmas to all my followers. Its been a fun and relaxing time, with too much food, but the training starts in earnest in the New Year.

Rog bought me a Wii fit as one of my presents, so we have all started getting fit in a fun way already!! Cove even has his own profile so we can weigh him etc and he appears in some of the games. So clever technology.

We walked off some of our grub on Christmas Day with the dogs, and it was a beautiful day. Cove is really one of the gang now and such fun. He is getting quite cheeky with Lily but still has a lot of respect for her. Olli is his best mate because he is such a gentle dog who has taken Cove under his wing, but Lily is the intriguing one he just wants to get to know more, and she is starting to be very good with him.

Boxing Day I took off for a few hours with Olli and left Rog & Fern preparing dinner for us and 5 other friends. I felt guilty for a while, but I was soon enjoying working my dog and after just an hour he had picked up 5 pheasants and 2 woodcock!! He was amazing, and we had a lovely morning.

Oh well, back to the food & drink. It is Christmas still!! Dogs enjoyed their turkey dinner, had a lovely walk this morning and are now all sleeping in the lounge while we do next to nothing. In 2 days time we will be flat out working again and have no time for relaxing so I am going to make the most of time with Rog & Fern and all the dogs.

Keep safe, be happy and enjoy being with ones you love. Its so important to appreciate what you have around you. x

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Shooting in the sunshine.

A gorgeous bright sunny day, although thermals, hats & scarves were a must.
Olli had one of his best days ever. 5 birds in the first drive, all very well hunted and retrieved.

He was so happy all day, standing for hours on end, just watching the skies and the valleys, waiting for the next retrieve. Apart from that independent tongue of his, sticking out the side of his mouth at every opportunity, he looked very smart as he stood in front of me all day, waiting for my commands. He is such a special boy.
I happened to catch a moment while I was looking at the countryside, of his mum Polly. Stood proud and alert in front of her dad, just waiting and watching. So similar. Olli is definitely his mums son, and this was even more obvious later in the day. A guest guns labrador, came running along the track, and as he passed Olli and me, Olli took a quick side swipe. He may be the nicest natured dog but not when another dog gets within 2 feet of his mum and those pheasants in her hand! Poor Labrador looked quite upset as he carried on his way.
Half an hour later, I was looking across the field and happened to spot the same lab, trotting across to his owner, within a few feet of Polly and John. She snapped and told him he was too close to her dad and birds, in an almost identical way!
Some things are obviously hereditary.
Thanks Polly for giving me such a lovely boy.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

1 week to go!!!

Not had much time to Blog, so apologies for those that read it.

Just been such a busy time!!

Well last Saturday the shooting was poor. Things are changing and I am sad to see it , but Olli still had a fabulous day working, oblivious to the politics and BS going on in the human world. One particularly good retrieve, having to drop down a bank into a lane, through a fence and then find his way back up and through to me. He has really started to mature and grow in confidence.

Been busy battling brushes, wallpaper paste and Homebase, but finally finished decorating my lounge yesterday, with a lot of help from Fern to finish it. It looks so smart, and my 2 lovely dogs, Lily & Olli have a wall of fame now, centre stage on the main wall. They deserve it after the year we had.

Last night we had our own mini Olympia at a different and rather posh venue!! Lots of Christmas statues etc to put the dogs off course, (and handlers!), tinsel everywhere and music through the tannoy. It was such fun. 8 dogs of varying standards doing 5 courses over the evening, with some tricky angles, traps and entries. I was thrilled with Lily who had 3 clears out of 5. We matched Matt & Bailey with 3 clears, and Lauren had 2 with Reef, but he was a good boy and didn't take a single pole all eve! Father Christmas by the seesaw was too much of a distraction though! Cove watched for over an hour with great excitement. However he focused quickly on Fern, played games, sits, downs, lefts, rights whilst his manic Father was screaming around the course. He is such a lovely boy. Met other new dogs and people too without a turn of a hair.

Tree going up tonight, last bits of shopping to do tomorrow and then start to wind down. I love Christmas, and it will bring a well earned rest, even if I am cooking dinner for 8 people, and 6 dogs! That's my type of relaxation!

Friday, 11 December 2009

A strange orange ball in the sky?

After what seems like endless gales & torrential rain, we awoke yesterday to a strange brightness. Odd white crispy grass, and a blue tinge to the sky. Finally I could take the camera out with the dogs, and what fun we had!!
Cove is showing his herding skills!

He is about to cut these 2 off!!

Now they have run away too fast. Cove can only watch.

Wait for me Lily!!!!

Oh they are too quick for me.

I can run pretty fast now though.

Coves ears are doing something new every day too!
Lilys ears are always the same. Half missing ear up, other one tipped.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Tiring week.

Haven't had much time to blog. Family health issues have taken up some time over the last week, work is busy, still managed to do a few days dog training, and half finished decorating my lounge.

Its the preparation that takes so long but its starting to take shape. Want to be finished for Christmas!! It does look pretty bare at the moment with all my rosettes packed away, all the photos of the dogs taken off the wall, and no curtains, but it will be worth it in the end. Cove doesn't help much! He kept running away with bits of paper, and showed a great interest in painting, but managed to stay black & white which is a miracle!

Last weekend we did a small agility test, and both Lily & Olli had double clears in the grade 3-5 jumping, with Lily picking up 3rd and Olli unplaced. Their agility rounds showed up a couple of winter training points to work on, but they were very good. Both dogs are so fit, and have become mad keen agility machines over the past weeks. I am having trouble keeping up with them now, not just physically but mentally! They know more than I do, or at least they think they do.

Still on the patches, and hope to start running next week so 2010 could be our year.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Ollis day

Well what can I say. After last weeks non event, and the week I've had, I really needed a nice day out with Olli shooting today to chill me out. The first drive, no birds near us and the second drive the same. I was starting to feel like crying. I had my gorgeous boy, keen eyed at my side and no work for him to do. Then on the 3rd drive one of the old pickers up, who works an equally aging but very good labrador, asked me to bring Olli in the pen where he was as there were some good birds coming down and too many for one dog. I did, and Olli finally started to pick up some birds. He found 2 runners, and then another 3 birds came down and he actually worked independently, just dropping them back to me while I tied up the birds with the other guy.

The next drive, picked up one bird and then we had to walk 2 fields back as a bird had been hit but drifted on across the valley. I sent him off and sure enough he found it and came back to me proud as punch.

After lunch we were in the perfect place. 2 guns in front of us, both good shots and 7 pheasants between them. Olli collected them all beautifully and brought them straight back to my hand.

Both of us covered in mud, but very happy walking side by side along the track back to the truck. He is such a joy to own and I love him so much.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Bit of a rough week

Well since last weekends highs its been a bit of a doom & gloom week.

Wednesday eve we did a rounds night, with Fern running Olli and me with Lily. Interesting courses but not too tricky overall. Lily was mad keen as usual, and we had 2 clears, followed by a 5 for a pole in the 3rd round, then 2 slightly silly fast and furious rounds where Lily decided she was in charge, but it was good fun. Olli didn't make it around a single course, being very naughty on his contacts, and weave entries. Only 1 other person had 1 clear round though so I was fairly pleased.

Thursday a guy at one of the mills Rog works at had a bad accident involving an electrical explosion. He is lucky to be alive, but has a long road to recovery after receiving 30% burns to his face, chest and hands. He was rushed to the special burns unit where he will be for a while. Rog very shaken, and I was thanking god that it wasn't Rog. Does make you realise that working with industrial electricity as Rog does, it not the safest of jobs.

Saturday was a different day shooting. Once a season we put on a day for the estate owners, so that all the "Toffs" can have a day. It was hilarious really. All these extremely polite, well spoken "Gents" in beautiful attire, some with wives & children also dressed in tweeds etc, but most of them couldn't hit a barn door let alone a pheasant with a strong wind behind it!! Poor Olli was so frustrated! He kept watching birds fly over, heard the gunshot then couldn't understand why they weren't hitting the ground somewhere! He did make me laugh as drive after drive there were no birds to pick up, and he kept yipping in frustration. The very last shot before lunch, did manage to hit the target and the bird came sailing down to land no more than 10 feet from me. Olli picked it up and held it looking at me in disgust. I giggled lots. Luckily after lunch we had a few good shots and he managed to run and pick up 6 birds, including 1 which he managed to nick off a passing labrador. The labrador is not very obedient and had run through Olli's ground to pick up the bird. On his way back, Olli growled, the dog dropped the bird and Olli claimed it as his. So funny. Would love to know what was going on in his head.

Today we have delivered another dog walk and Rog is still working in the mill repairing damage from the blast on Thursday. Quiet day, bit subdued but a good job we have these lovely dogs of ours, including one very funny puppy to keep us sane.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Cove trying to be like Stan.

Oh is there someone at the door Stan?

Scuse me while I have a look.
Actually its a nice spot here in the sun.
I'll have this end the, Stan has other end.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Lilys first grade 4 show.

What an appalling day Saturday was!! Storms arrived about 4am and woke us up. The wind was reaching frightening speeds, the rain was in bursts of torrential downpours and the whole house shook. We were meant to be setting off to Dartmoor for our first Grade 4 competition, but people were being warned to stay at home unless the journey was essential. Dartmoor is high, and very open, with its own weather system so it was bound to be 10 times worse there!................so we set off at 7am as planned. It was an awful drive, and I kept my speed down, fighting the wind and rain, so we arrived late and I had missed walking our first class. I watched about 10 dogs to try and suss out the course, but they all went wrong so that wasn't helping my nerves. It was a tricky course, but I eventually set Lily up on the start line, and crossed my fingers. She was a star, I was determined and we had a fast clear, taking us straight into the lead where we stayed! 1st place in her first G4 class. I was thrilled. The agility was an easier course, and Lily flew round again, doing lovely contacts, which I quick released and she went into the lead. We were pipped to the post by a lovely run by a neater collie, but 2nd place was still an amazing result.

Well worth the journey, and getting soaked to the skin.
Olli did some lovely runs but in both classes he missed his weave entry. Naughty Spaniel!!

Sunday we had a relaxing day, walked the dogs to chill out and Cove showed off his herding skills! Little boy is very adventurous, and confident so I think the long line will be staying on for a while yet.

Great Dogs, great weekend.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Another weekend passed.

Well it was a pretty wet, windy, muddy weekend all round!
Saturday the rain held off most of the day, but the wind didn't and the mud was pretty deep. Olli managed to slop through it and collect 11 pheasants though, and worked well as usual. Fern came down in the afternoon and brought Dave to see what he thought. Not bothered by the guns at all, but he only stood with me & Olli for a while as we didn't want him to meet all the other gundogs off their leads. He would've kicked off big time!! Still, he was very good and maybe he can come more often and do some beating soon.
Sunday we had a muddy car park to negotiate but a nice big indoor arena for our first indoor show of the year. Olli was a bit mad and although he did some amazing contacts, and got his weaves every time at speed, he didn't manage a clear round as he fell for jump traps, and then forgot what a tunnel was!!
Lily only had 2 runs. I trained her Agility run, not for competition, and she did a fab recall through the weaves to start, followed by 3 totally nailed contacts so I was thrilled. In Senior jumping, which was quite trappy, she did a wild but fast clear round and was 2nd by just 2 tenths of a second!! Really pleased with that as she is only just senior at UKA, and its grade 5-6 equivalent.
Cove had his first show experience, and was bold, happy, confident and very interested in watching the dogs competing! He had loads of cuddles, met a few of his family and a lovely Border Terrier pup for a quick play, so a happy but tired pup by the time we got home.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Cove loves the outdoors!!

A wet Friday off, so what better than to take the camera and go for a walk with Cove. He is going to be a very handsome boy.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Well winter has arrived with avengence this week. After a lovely mild spell, we have had gales, downpours and the temperature has dropped by miles, so I guess its really winter now!
The dogs all have Thermatex padded coats so are warm and snuggly. Cove doesn't seem to be bothered much by the rain, still going out for his pees and poops!
This week he has been for his first few walks in the fields with the others. He is growing fast and can now run and play with the bigger dogs in short doses. Amazing to watch his natural herding instinct come in, when he was watching Lily & Olli. Tried to round them up a few times!
Also his ears are starting to change and are now both half up, so his face looks different. This photo was after a wet walk yesterday! What a scruff!

Run the Course training tonight with Lily & Olli, then normal class tomorrow and a show Sunday. Lilys first Senior UKA show so will be fun to try more testing courses.
I am starting patches this week to try and finally stop smoking, so may be some grumpy blogs over the next few weeks!!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Just a few pics of the growing boy.

He is becoming a real character, but the sweetest nature too. Very kind dog and eager to please. Mental when he plays though!!!

Monday, 26 October 2009

First grade 4 show.

Just a quick update. After a fab week with the dogs, and a good day saturday shooting with Olli, we had our first show since Lily won into Grade 4 this Sunday.
Lily was a bit OTT so blasted the wrong way in the agility, but having settled down a bit after that early exuberance, she went on to get 3rd in the 4/5 Jumping, which I was thrilled with. Some tricky bits and she actually tightened her turns, and listened really well. She also had a fast clear in another jumping class, but missed out on the places, as they went to 4 and she was 5th! Still a good round.

Olli & Fern had a great day, with 5 faults in Jumping, then 4th in Agility & 6th in the other jumping class! Really good results from both dogs. Good end to a great week.

Lily also recieved her certificate in the post this morning. Agility Warrant Bronze!!!! Very happy with that.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

A good week of achievements.

A fab week for the dogs in different ways, so where to start?!!
I'll start with Stan. Our oldest, wire haired, wired up wrong terrier, who has a lot of strange behaviours, and is normally not keen on new arrivals. Well having seen Cove in the cage for over a week, we decided to just casually let them meet outside the bars. Unbelievably, Stan was very sweet and loves him! It probably helped that Cove is a very sensible lad and knows how to use the right body language, so being totally submissive when Stan was checking him out but then playing beautifully with him when it was right. So interesting to watch the way Cove thinks about things. They are turning into great friends over the last 24 hrs, and it makes life indoors so much easier! Cove only goes in his crate now to eat and sleep, but otherwise he has run of the house, playing nicely with the cats and Stan. That's a huge hug for Stan too, who really is quite a special old boy.

Then there was Lily. She has been watching and sizing up Cove since he arrived, and she did say hello briefly and offer him her toy in the field earlier this week, but I was still reserved about how she would be in the house with him. Lily doesn't like feeling enclosed, nor does she like people getting close to me if she is with me, and this all makes for wariness as Cove is still such a baby. However, today she has been indoors trying to play and she too loves him!! Ok she doesn't really know how to be gentle so Cove spent a fair bit of time being unsure of how bold he could be, but he soon started barking at her and interacting, and Lily is happy. That's a huge step!!
So to today, and Olli.
The morning was wet and a thick sea fog rolled across and practically engulfed us, so the decision was made by the Gun Captain to wait for an hour before deciding whether to shoot today. Olli was not impressed and sulked in the back of the truck, without taking his eyes off me as I stood with the others chatting. We finally set off at 10.30am, an hour late but the first drive was good and Olli went to work. A couple of fab retrieves straight to me and he settled down to the task at hand in his usual beautiful style. He also picked up a pigeon for me, just as accurately as the pheasants, which a lot of dogs wont do.

By late morning the fog had gone and it was beautiful sunshine across the valleys, so I sat with Olli at lunchtime, shared my cold chicken with him, and a piece of cake before setting off for the afternoon drives. He was a perfect companion all day, and the best part of the day was at the very end when one of the Guns said that a Cock pheasant, had flown on and not been hit as his Labrador had hunted the undergrowth but not found anything. I had heard the bird hit the ground so I sent Olli in to find it. 2 minutes later, after criss crossing the ground, through the brambles came Olli with the wounded cock bird carefully carried to my hand. If it hadn't been for my boy, the bird would have died slowly, possibly suffering for hours, but I did my job and it suffered no more.
Very proud of all my dogs this week.

Monday, 19 October 2009