About us.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Another year ends.

It has been quite a year. So much has happened and so many memories and events to reflect on. January we started with a wall planner. Agility was now our life. February, we bought a van, my dogs "hotel on wheels", so we can travel with all the gang safely through the show season. March Lily went to Grade 5, April My brother had his first baby "Nathan" my first nephew in, May I fell in love with Twiggy, an Irish rescue collie, and we drove to Yorkshire to collect her, June Olli went to Grade 4, July My mum had a life threatening illness & life changing surgery & Lily went to Grade 6 & qualified for Olympia semis, August Fern won £200 at the Bingo at DINAS, September Cove was a year old, Lily & I won through the Olympia Semis & Olli won into Grade 5, October Olli slipped beautifully back into Gun Dog mode, and we bought Fern her first "dog" van, November Dave finally competed in his first show, and thrilled us all by focusing!  and in December, Lily & I competed without any shame at Olympia, getting just 10 faults, and Fern broke her arm!! During all these events I realised what a special group of friends had grown around me. Pat, Claire, Lolly, Sarah & Dan making me laugh and sharing so many important times with me, along with Chel & Joy, Fiona, Anne, and also the family that rescued and fostered Twiggy. Natalie Sharon Samantha & Chris Mitchell. My little Irish girl has brought us all together and i know we will be friends for a long time to come.
So many sad things have happened too. Friends dogs that have gone to Rainbow Bridge, some way to early. Other friends have lost relatives, others have become single, gone through divorce and it all makes you think how lucky you are.
We are ending 2010 with the worse bout of flu ever!! My first 2 days off work sick in over 10 years, and i have felt so low, but knowing what so many people I care about have been through, and the rubbish stuff that goes on all over the world puts it into perspective.
So thank you 2010 for what you have given me, and here's to 2011. I have a very good feeling about next year, a very good feeling indeed.
Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

What a buzz, what a year!!

Well, I don't know what to say about this weekend. On Friday we had so much blooming snow that it looked like my Olympia trip was off. I was despondent, and to be honest gutted that I may not be going. Not because I am so competitive that i had to get there at all costs, but because Rog & Fern were so excited for me, my close friends were too and Lily deserved a trip to London after her year. So change of plans, a few phone calls and we set Saturday morning to a hotel in Camberley Surrey, with not just Lily, but Olli, Cove Dave & Twiggy! Figured if we could get out of our lanes, and make it to main roads, we may have a chance, and it was definitely not going to be safe to go with our original plan of leaving at 3am Sunday morning! It was one of the scariest journeys we have made for a while. Deep snowy lanes, then only single lanes opened on the dual carriageways, the Motorways only working on about 2 lane capacity, but we made it to the hotel. Beautiful apartment, but white duvets?!!! She did know we had 5 dogs with us!!! So we were a bit on edge and after a bite to eat we decided to go to bed early, try to sleep and set alarms for 5am.
The roads this morning were not too bad, and by 7am we were in the Olympia car park. Met up with Sarah & Dan and off we went to explore. I suddenly realised that i was not nervous. Here I was with Lily, at the biggest event we had ever been too, and i was buzzing with excitement! No butterflies, no feeling sick, no jelly legs just pure excitement! 
The whole experience was incredible. So many lovely people there, some old pros and others like me, Olympia Virgins, and as I set Lily up on the start line I was grinning like a Cheshire cat. If somebody had told me a year ago that i would have a grade 6 dog and run her at Olympia finals I would have laughed. We had 10 faults, a pole at the start which a lot of dogs had, and then I almost sent her wrong way so we got 5 for a refusal on the dogwalk, but she nailed all 3 contacts, was fast and amazing through the weaves, and she loved it!! I had tears of pride when she crossed the finish. I wouldn't have been happier if we had won. Hard to understand but its true. Lily has given me so much more than I could have ever imagined when I bought her as a scruffy puppy. Anyway, next year she will be back, along with the other 4!! Team Feroda will do Olympia. What a year. What a dog.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Very short blog.

Had a fantastic weekend away with Rog in Cheltenham. 2 nights in a hotel, a day at the races and we really had fun. Didn't end up broke either!!

Now it really is countdown to Olympia, and I cant speak about it without a lump in my throat, goose bumps and my legs turning to jelly. So the next blog will be after the event. Still cant believe my Lily Fudge Cake is going, still amazed at the season we have had, and she owes me nothing, so i am just going to have fun and try my hardest not to let her down, after all she never ever lets me down.

Me & my girl :-)

Monday, 6 December 2010

Lots of dogs, helps with the sad times.

Very odd today, delivering some agility equipment to a lovely couple near Salisbury who had a lovely tri collie girl. She is their only dog. As we drove away, Rog said what a lovely dog, but how strange only having one! This coming from the man who always said 2 was plenty. It made us both realise how much our assortment of dogs enrich our lives and how glad we are that we have a pack :-)
On Friday our oldest dog Becki suffered some type of siezure. She first appeared to go lame on 1 back leg, but in the space of 2 minutes had gone lame on all 4 before laying down in the snow and obviously looked very frightened. I carried her indoors and put her on her favourite chair, and after a few moments she relaxed and just went to sleep. Weird? Later that day one of my best, closest friends Jo came to stay, bringing with her JB Jasper Whippet. He is a gorgeous laid back but funny 11 month old boy, who fitted in with our lot immediately. Even Lily thought he was lovely (ok being in season may have encouraged her welcoming nature!) We had a lovely evening, laughed lots, talked dogs and drank a little too much but it was well overdue. Becki remained fine.
Saturday with a sore head, I went off with Olli to the shoot, while Fern & Jo walked the rest of the dogs and then went christmas shopping and ate too many chips and too much icecream! I was worried about Becki, and standing on a quiet hillside with Olli sat at my feet, watching those gorgeous dark brown eyes, that handsome gentle head, and the non stop waggy tail I reminisced about How Becki was the dog who taught me how to handle a gundog, how to work so closely with an animal, and how much devotion and strength, independence and love they give. I also thought about how we have such a mix of personalities in our gang, and how they have taught us so much. We dont command them, we cant make them do anything they dont want to do, if we ever try then the result will not be rewarding for them or us.
With Dave we didn't think "oh he is agressive and unpredictable, there is no hope" we decided to find ways of trying to overcome it, work with him and understand how his mind worked. With Twiggy I have learnt so much about dealing with the unknown, the weird triggers thats upset her, and I will never know why she does some of the things she does, but if I can encourage her to find fun in so many other behaviours and interactions, I hope the bad memories will fade. Lily was so nervous, so totally freaked out about other dogs in close vacinity, we never thought she would cope with the hustle & bustle of an agility show, but in 2 years she has gone to grade 6, is going to Olympia and has given me more successes than I ever dreamed possible.
Becki enjoying the fun in the snow last week.

Becki 2 weeks ago having a blast.
So it is sad to realise that Becki is probably starting the downward slope, she is growing old & tired, and her days of working and enjoying life on the farm are dwindling, but having so many other dogs that need us, will help soften the blow when the time comes. That is the only sad part of sharing you life with such wonderful animals, they are never here long enough.