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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Coves first woodland walk.

After a fabulous dinner party last night, with some old friends, both Roger & Fern had very sore heads this morning, so I suggested a walk with Cove Lily & Olli might be what they needed. I decided that some lead walking down the lane would be good for a change, followed by a run across a few fields, climb through some hedges and then enjoy the woods that surround our farm. Cove has not been to the woods and he loved it.

There was a horse rider along the lane, and apart from a little bark Cove coped fine with this new experience. He follows Lily a lot and there is almost a friendship developing with her now. She is finding him quite good fun, and Cove has total respect for her so that helps.

It also proved Cove has a recall now. He came back to all 3 of us at different times during the walk, and is starting to look and act quite grown up.

We cut through the fields and back to our little training patch and all 3 dogs had a quick blast, Cove loving the tunnel and Lily & Olli whizzing through the weaves!

It definitely cleared everyones head, and I think after the huge fry up I have just cooked, there may well be some snoozing on the sofa this afternoon. Dogs & humans!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Too far from any weekend!

Wednesday is such a dull day. Ok its halfway through the week, so you have Monday and Tuesday out the way, but its still 2 days til the weekend! I had a meeting this morning which went onto a business lunch, and it was pleasant but although 2 nice guys who came down for the meeting, they were hard work to keep a conversation going. After the meeting, I was ambushed by my boss to go into the "big house" for lunch because I would chat and break the silences. We were talking business and I mentioned our agility business and how we competed too and Hey Presto! The quiet one suddenly perked up and the conversation flowed. Turns out he loved Collies! Its amazing how often my dogs get me out of awkward situations!

Fern is working today through til 9pm and Rog not home for a while so I have had a total dog hour. Lily & Olli are in for a bit and I have just been doing some basic tricks with them both for a bit of fun. They work so well together I reckon I could do a good turn at a local Womans Institute evening or maybe a primary school talk. They were synchronised doing lefts & rights then downs and all those silly but useful behaviours we teach from a puppy. Now both asleep by my feet while I write this, and I realise that I don't care what day of the week it is. Every day is a "thank god for dogs" day in my book.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Succesful weekend.

Olli, having recovered from his awful sore paw, was raring to go shooting on Saturday and wouldn't let me out of his sight until we were in the truck! Its slim pickings now as its the last week of the season, but he was as good as ever and picked up 5 pheasants and a Woodcock, so I was thrilled. Fern wanted to try Sid her new Daihatsu off road, so she came down and we set off after lunch, down a long winding muddy track and into a very soggy field, hoping that she wouldn't get stuck, but knowing there were plenty of trucks about to pull her out if needed.
Needn't have worried, he was great! No problem through the mud at all, and fern was grinning from ear to ear.
Sunday we went to Somerset and then up to Malmesbury Wiltshire to deliver some weaves to customers. Fern stayed at home on dog sitting duty. Apart from the fact they have been working on the M4 for as long as I can remember, we had a good journey and what a very pretty & tidy village Leigh is, just outside Malmesbury. I love the Sand stone they use for building in that part of the world.
No more orders at the moment so hoping Rog will get my A Frame & dog walk finished this week. Will be nice to actually have some equipment for me!! Oh well, you know what they say about a Cobblers family...................

Monday, 18 January 2010

Blue Monday

According to THEM whoever THEY might be, today is Blue Monday. Its all been worked out mathematically to be the 1st Monday we realise Christmas is all over, its cold miserable, we are all in debt and have by now failed on our New Yr resolutions. Interesting but poppy cock!!

Its all state of mind, and my current state of mind is very positive. Non smoking still going ok, although I admit to the odd one, but am still determined to phase those out. Getting fitter slowly too, walking faster and on longer walks with Lily, doing my bit on the Wii Fit board, and training hard now with the dogs at agility. My wall planner is up, all shows that I can I have entered up to June, and Lily & Olli are fit and working hard on the bits they need.

Olli currently has a thorn injury in a pad so missed last week training, but he will soon recover. However it prompted a walk to the beach yesterday, so he could get some good salt water in his wound. We just took Olli & Cove and it was a beautiful day, but the sea was rough and both dogs were very unsure. I think the noise of the pebbles rolling back with the surf freaked them out a bit, but they soon got over it. Rog took some lovely photos while Fern & I had fun on the beach.

So I have a gorgeous hubby, fantastic daughter, 6 wonderful dogs and a whole new year to look forward to and goals to reach. Blue Monday??? More like Joyful January with Fabulous February just around the corner!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

2009, what a year.

Its a cold snowy Sunday so we finally got around to taking portrait photos of my 2 Agility stars with all their bling!
First Lily. It seems such a long time ago that I started competing with her, back in February, and I wondered if she would overcome her nerves and manage to cope with the noise, the amount of screaming dogs and actually get round a course! It took 2 or 3 shows before she stopped going under the 1st jump. She hated the start line as there were always dogs close behind her in the queue, and I wasn't confident enough to ask people to give her space. That changed though and then we had 4 shows before her first clear round, and I cried with joy! From that day on Lily went from strength to strength, and gaining confidence from each other we started to get placed. Her first full KC show she won into Grade 2, 2 shows at grade 2 and she won into grade 3, then 4 shows in grade 3 and she won into grade 4. We had an amazing summer and learnt so much together, building a bond which can never be beaten. 19 trophies and countless rosettes in 6 months and so much to look forward to in 2010.
Lily also went from Beginner to Novice to Senior at UKA shows, winning numerous competitions.

Then there is Olli. The first spaniel I have owned from a puppy, he was to be trained as a gundog, and for those of you who follow my blog you will know he has become a very successful one. However, I thought he would be fun to try at agility, and it makes the day more interesting if you have more than 1 dog to run. I never imagined after those first few shows that he would progress and achieve as much as he has. His incredible personality, keenness to please and boundless enthusiasm has meant that Olli too has worked his way through the Agility season with more than his fair share of rosettes, and 2 trophies! Every run with Olli is fun. He barks and wags his tail the entire way round a course and his speed is quite incredible. From thinking he was just a bit of fun I now believe he can win a lot this next year and I am really thrilled that he is my boy. Fern has won a lot with him too, so look out this year. He is Grade 3 at KC, thanks to Lily and Novice at UKA. My best place with him was actually 16th. Not best as in highest place, but it was at the Agility Club show, Grade 3 agility with 350 dogs, mainly Collies in his class. That is some achievement for a spaniel gundog, and at only 2 years old he has a huge and exciting future ahead of him.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Cove training so far.

Just a little video to show how well Fern is doing with Cove. As you can see he is pretty laid back but thats indoors, and after a walk. He is normally mental!! His focus is amazing though and his learning skills are very sharp. Not bad for 4 months old.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year!!

Just a quick Happy New Year to you all, before I settle down for a relaxing afternoon watching films and doing nothing.

The sun is shining and it is a gorgeous first day of 2010, so we had a lovely walk with the dogs. For the first time we tried taking Dave with the others, although we alternated him & Cove on a lead to avoid any nasty scenes. Surprisingly, although Dave kept looking at Cove with interest, he was very good and it was a relaxing walk. We had a mess about on the jumps in the field while we were out and it proves a point on how much dogs love agility. A 20 Acre field with no fencing, and all the dogs running free, but as soon as I called and headed towards the jumps, Lily & Olli took the route over the poles, when it would have been much easier to go around. Even more astonishing for me that Olli did a few jumps and totally switched on to me, even though his gundog spaniel "Partner in crime" Becki was hedge hunting nearby. Dave had a quick go and proved that if he can focus he will be a small champ!!

All 3 together was quite funny. Cove watched it all with a keen eye bless him.

Serious training starts next week as I have some big goals for 2010 and Lily.

If Olli continues as he has been who knows how far he will go too?!

Bring it on!