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Monday, 28 September 2009

Devon Dogs/Honiton

This is Lilys week.

Just a tribute to one of the best dogs I have ever had the pleasure to spend time with.
2 Agility classes this weekend to end our season, and Lily won them both by over a second!
Grade 3 was my goal for this year, but Grade 4 is what we have achieved. Lily has competed at 12 Kennel Club shows since April, some 2 days some longer, including KC International Festival, and Dogs in Need week. She has been placed at every single show and gone from Grade 1 to Grade 4 in that time.
She is such a genuine dog for me. Tries her best to please me, has the occasional blonde moment and goes too fast to listen, but she makes me laugh and running her is so much fun.
From a nervous, scared collie 2 years ago, its hard to remember how hard she was to train, but she has blossomed into a confident, clever dog who has an amazing future in front of her, and I am honoured to be her handler and most of all her mum.

Thank you Lily Fudge Cake for an amazing summer. You are my superstar!!!!!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Bromsgrove DTC

The second to last show of our season and it was beautiful sunny hot weather. Lily was a bit off colour when we left but she was brighter on Saturday and fine Sunday. We managed a 6th in Grade 3 jumping, with Fern & Olli picking up 11th in the same class. Lovely to have both dogs placed in the same one.

Olli did a lovely agility round and we ended up 12th, so he is really getting the hang of it now.

He also had a fabulous 18th out of over 300 dogs in 1 - 7 jumping!!

Sunday Lily did a perfect round, in Grade 3 agility, stamping on her contacts, sliding to the end of the seesaw, and swimming through the weaves. 3 jumps to go and I miscued her for a pull through so she caught the pole. 5 faults in 33.52 seconds. I was so cross with myself, but even more so when I discovered the winning dog had a time of 36.90 seconds!!!!! Lily was over 3 secs faster, and placed 11th with her 5 faults. What an idiot I am. I actually cried with frustration, and promised I would find her a better handler.

This weekend is our own show and I am more nervous than ever before. Lets hope I can do my dog justice. Olli is just Mr reliable! He will be a real star as he speeds up as his confidence grows.
2 weeks and he will be collecting pheasants in his other job.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Gillingham Show

Hi all who read my blog. Not many shows left now, apart from Bromsgrove this weekend, and then our own club Devon Dogs and Honiton Dogs combined weekend. Beginning to think that grade 4 with Lily will be next year now, but my goal for this year has been achieved anyway, as Grade 3 is what I was aiming for. To be honest, now she has got her confidence and speed I feel I need to improve my handling a bit to be able to compete in Grade 4 anyway.

This weekend we were away at Gillingham, and both dogs had some lovely runs and both came home with more ribbons. Lily had a wild but clear round in Grade 3-5 agility, which earned her a 12th place out of 190 dogs, so very pleased. Olli had a brilliant round with Fern to gain 7th place in Grade 3 agility, which is his highest place yet! Lily then had a more controlled round in Grade 3 jumping and just missed out on a trophy, getting 4th place, and Olli had a clear in the same ring but unplaced. He still needs to speed up but his confidence is growing so it will come.
He did speed up on Sunday and got 19th in jumping out of 190 dogs. A successful weekend, and the weather stayed warm & sunny for us too.

Dave was very well behaved, even managing to sit quite near an agility ring, without going off on one every time the seesaw clunked, or dogs whizzed over the dog walk! All in all it was well worth going.
The shooting season starts in 4 weeks so I will be updating Olllis progress as a star gundog, providing he remembers that he needs to be quiet! Barking and squealing like he does at agility will not be appreciated in a Devon valley, waiting for pheasants to fly over! I somehow think he is smart enough to know the difference though.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Tarka Show

A new show and it was a lovely day, and a lovely venue. Once we had found it!!!

The sun shone and the dogs had a lovely day. Lily was on top form, and fastest yet. She seems to have found 5th gear and its really good to see. Only trouble is, she had 3 runs and knocked 1 pole in all 3! She had the fastest time again in the jumping, so would've won it for the 2nd week, and I think she would've been fastest in agility too, but I was too gutted to check that one. But as she has now found her confidence, and her speed I know its just a matter of time before she will be winning. She just needs to adjust her legs to keep up! Her contacts were amazing though, finally stopping dead on each one until I released her, so months of training and patience do pay off. Such a confident, genuine, loyal little girl. I couldn't ask for much more.
Olli had a spaniel day as it was on farm land, and sniffed the floor before the weaves on both jumping & agility, so he missed his entry. However he did a lovely clear with Fern in the steeplechase, so not too bad for him.

To finish the day of on a perfect note, we were sat at home in the garden, when the farmer shot a pigeon in the field behind us. Lily crapped herself and ran indoors, but Olli stood stock still, looked at the skies then at me, just pleading for me to let him go and see. I took him out the gate and sent him in the field telling him to go find it. Instantly, the mad arsed, noisy, wriggly agility dog went into stealth mode. Steady and methodical, he swept the field, side to side, nose to the ground while I watched from the gate. Within a minute he found the bird, right at the top end of the field and carefully picked it up and brought it straight to my hand. It brought a tear to my eye as he proudly trotted next to me back into the garden with a look of total satisfaction on his face. Multifunctional, incredible, talented and handsome are just 4 of the words I could use to describe my Olli. He changes hats and does both jobs beautifully.
Shooting season starts in 4 weeks boy.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Roseland show & Game Fayre

Last weekend was quite funny after being at 2 of the biggest shows of the calendar, but it was lovely and the 2 courses we had were both nice & interesting.
Lily was a star but I wasn't. I set her too close to the first jump in the jumping so she took the pole. After that she was flying, had a stunningly fast round, and we found out afterwards she had beaten the winning dog by over a second!!!!! Lesson learnt. Set her up further back even if I have to ask people to move!!

In the agility, she nailed her contacts, now something she does almost without thinking, but I was too relaxed and didn't give her enough direction to the cloth tunnel so she missed it. My fault again as it was on a tight turn, but she flew around the course and for the first time ever she did one footed weaves!!! Her confidence is brimming over now and I love her to bits. Such a fun dog to run.

Olli bless him, managed 9th in the jumping, which was a lovely round and he got his weave entry fast and focused. In the agility I missed a jump so he did too, and back jumped it. Otherwise a lovely round, with again a fab weave entry and good contacts. Fern then ran him in Juniors and he finished 2nd!!
A good day with some silly errors by me, but none from my wonderful dogs!
This week localish again in Mid Devon so I am going to try better!