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Monday, 29 June 2009

Our first Grade 3 show.

A fab weekend in gorgeous sunny weather & good company was had by all at Lansdown Bath this weekend. Camping on the racecourse is really lovely, and so many miles to walk with the dogs. Friday was a bit of a trek up there as Glastonbury festival was on and the traffic was pants, but it was worth the trip.

Saturday at 7am I went for a run with the dogs around part of the course and it was bliss. Warm sunshine, slight mist, hot air balloons in the sky above us and I felt good. Dogs were both in great form too. Lily was a star and got placed 8th out of over 200 dogs in her 1st Grade 3 agility! Would've been even better if I hadn't mucked up the A ramp by hesitating so she stopped for a second when she needn't have, but all my fault, and 8th is brilliant. Olli was still being fun and fast but forgetting his weaves so no clear for him. Saturday we went to a lovely pub by the course and celebrated Jos birthday with a good meal and a few beers! I stayed pretty sober as I wanted to have a clear head for Sunday. I am getting sensible in my old age!

Sunday was another scorcher & Olli still couldn't get it quite right, but Lily had an amazing round and was 5th in Grade 3 jumping!!!! Really thrilled with her.

Watching the Grade 6 and 7 handlers in the Crufts qualifier was an eye opener though. I think it will be a year or 2 before I can even hope to be there! Fantastic to watch though and some incredible dogs.

Jo had 4 clears with Jess and 4 "stayed in the ring runs" with Jed so overall a successful weekend and I cant wait until Friday when we are off to Tuffley.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Another 2 goals reached!

My goal to get Lily to Novice at UKA was achieved this weekend. 2nd in Snooker on Saturday followed by a 2nd in Agility. Really nice runs and she was full of beans. This meant enough points to move up to Novice for Sunday.
Olli then took me by surprise and got 3rd in Snooker & 3rd in Agility! It was only 2 weeks ago that I said it would be so good to get a clear in Agility with Olli and now he has 2 and both top 3 places! My only other goal was for dear Olli to get a 1st place. He had never yet won a trophy and had lots of 2nds, so a big red "1" would be good.

Sunday Lily tried her 1st Novice jumping course and got 2nd! less than a tenth of a second behind the winner. Such a lovely round though and she was on fire, and I was actually concentrating and handled it well.
Then Olli did it. He won the Gamblers class! A lovely crystal goblet and that elusive BIG RED ONE !!!!!! Also putting Olli in Novice for the Nationals next month. What a fab weekend it turned out to be. Fern went on to get a stunning round in Steeplechase and placed 4th with Olli too.

Dave was a lot better behaved and we did a lot of small bursts of focus work by the car, not taking him too near the rings, and he was great. Definite improvement every time so well done Dave.Poor Lily ripped a dew claw whilst competing which she made worse yesterday morning whilst out in the field, so she had a small op to remove both claws in the morning, and was very groggy all yesterday eve. I was a bit concerned that she was so flat, but I needn't have worried. This morning she leapt on the bed, growling and chatting and trying to get me up. She hasn't touched her bandages at all either so she will be back on track for this weekend and our 1st grade 3 show. EEEEK!!!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Stop being a baby

Its Wednesday and I have had time to think about how fed up I was last weekend with getting 3 eliminations with Lily, and pull myself together. She is a dog with feelings and moods, not a machine, so she is not going to win every weekend! I also realised how I have changed at shows. I am more relaxed, but this isn't perhaps such a good thing. I used to play with Lil away from the queue and Fern would queue for me until it was our turn. Recently I have been queueing myself with Lily, who then becomes a bit subdued. She doesn't like being close to all the other dogs, and she also goes a bit flat so why should I expect her to suddenly switch on when I put her on the start line! We have had a lot of family discussions over this and I am going to the show this weekend with a different attitude.

On a really good note, Dave started foundation agility classes last night, and to Fern & I's total amazement he was a perfect pupil! He didn't go mad at the other dogs, he was totally focused on us and did every task beautifully. Its early days but if he can keep this attitude and improve just a small amount each week then maybe he has a future with us as a nice dog. Very pleased and surprised with the little toe rag!!

Monday, 8 June 2009

UKA Weekend

Note my goal for the weekend, as set in my last post. "Get Lily up to Novice at UKA"
Well that didn't happen but amazingly, Olli was placed 2nd in steeplechase and moved up to Novice with Fern!!!!

I was thrilled. Also, I had said I would love Olli to get his 1st clear round in agility. He has not quite managed that yet, either missing his weaves or missing a contact, but he excelled himself and went clear on Saturday!! Not only clear but 2nd place too!

Lily was pretty slack on Saturday. Not really giving 100% for some reason and making silly mistakes, however on Sunday we tried the Gamblers. It would also be a good excuse to practice her contacts. Blow me down, she had a fab round, got the 15 second gamble and won!!!!
Olli also finished the weekend with a 3rd In jumping. Only 2 clears and he was fastest with 5 faults, but it was a great round and some tricky manoeuvres so he deserved his 3rd place.
Looking forward to Carn Brea this Sunday and see how Lily does at a KC show.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Grade 3 dog!!!

Phew what gorgeous sunny weather, and what a weekend!
Travelled to Wye Valley for the weekend and our 3rd KC show since moving up to grade 2. It was a lovely venue and we camped right on the bank of a river. It was idyllic, and a godsend to have the river to keep the dogs cool.

The weekend started fairly bad, with Olli forgetting how to weave in sequence, and Lily knocking a pole in agility, and then me handling her badly in a box so she took the wrong fence in jumping. Jo had some trouble keeping Jess focused in the heat, but at least Jed stayed in the ring. Huge improvement from Cornwall. Fern & I had fun in the pairs, but Olli again forgot his weaves, so just Lily went clear. My last run of the day was grade 2 agility, so I concentrated on my handling, Lily went like a dream and blow me we won!!!! Grade 3 dog already!!! I was thrilled and really couldn't believe it. My girl did me proud and it was the perfect end to the day. Bless Fern & Jo for buying me a bottle of bubbly to celebrate that evening. The dogs all went for a well deserved cool off & play in the river, and even Dave discovered he could swim, (by accident).

Sunday was another tricky day, with Jess being in one of her "oh I dont know if I can be arsed" moods, Jed still staying in the ring but not really focusing 100% yet, though he is still a baby, Olli remembered his weaves entry in sequence................then fell out half way along!! Lily got distracted and missed a weave entry, but managed a good clear round in Grade 1 - 7 jumping. Not placed, but then some of those high grade dogs are just unbeatable, and a clear round in a fast time was good enough for Lily.

Things to learn after this weekend?

1. Keep practising weaves in sequence with Olli.
2. Be more positive with my directions for Lily.
3. Put suncream on more often!
4. Dont send Jo & Fern shopping ever again!!

My goal for this weekend is to gain enough points at UKA to move Lily up to Novice. Will try our best!!