Been a bit slack on the old Blog front recently, but then so much has happened!
Last Friday Fern & I drove to North Devon to collect a small collie bitch who was no longer wanted on the farm as she didn't really get the whole sheep herding thing, so I said we would find her a nice home. She came home and within an hour was happy with all our dogs, and looked like she had always been here. We all instantly fell in love with her but being sensible we knew we had to find her a home somewhere else. On Sunday we had a small competition in Bugle, the first for Twiggy & Cove, so Poppy collie came with us too so we could show her to people and see if anyone fell in love with her. Lots of people did, as she is so adorable, but nobody really in a position to offer her the home we wanted. At 2 years old, with no house training she will need someone with patience, and who will love her regardless of whether she does ever learn agility. 1 lady came forward later in the day, and showed an interest in her so we took her number, but decided to bring Poppy back with us anyway so we could further assess her before passing her over. She is our first (and last!!) foster dog, and we feel very responsible about finding the right home, the right person and the right attitude to her needs, so having her here for a few more days would give us a better picture. Of course, now she is so settled with us, so easy to please and amazing with the other dogs, cats and people, we really don't want to part with her. However after a few phone calls, her prospective new owner is coming to collect her tomorrow. It will be almost impossible for me to go through with this, but I know its the right decision............at least I think it is..........but I have told Poppy to nip her dog, who she is bringing with her, and maybe poo on her shoe or something so she may decide not to take her at all :-)
Anyway, back to the comp last week, and Cove & Twiggy did extremely well for their first attempt. We trained them in the ring, just seeing how the atmosphere affected them, but apart from a few distractions they were great. Really pleased with them both, but a bit extra specially pleased with Twiggy for coming on so far in confidence. Lovely girl, and great fun.
Cove being a good boy.
Twiggy being so brave and fun!
Lily was full on hyper and we had a few silly errors, but we had so much fun, and she is my special girl so at such a small show I really wasn't bothered. She managed 5th in the Steeplechase in the afternoon. Olli was fun too, getting 3rd in the jumping, but I did think he wasn't his normal fluent self in the air. Discovered why when we got home. Poor boy had 2 rock hard lumps of mud, obviously been building over the past few weeks of mucky weather, in between his middle toes on his front feet!! Big fluffy spaniel feet were sore when I delved inside, so he has now been clipped and tidied up and is sound and a lot happier. Poor boy and bad mum for not noticing before!!
As we now have no competitions until the end of March :-( I decided finally that I would book Lily in to be speyed. It is 1 of the hardest decisions I have had to make, for a number of reasons.
Firstly she is a brilliant Agility dog, now Grade 6, and is a very tough easy to keep collie, and I would love nothing more than to have a Lily pup to carry on her line. However as she is not a pedigree or ISDS registered, I would not be able to use good Pedigree dogs, and even if I did (which I did have a few lovely offers of) the puppies would not really be of much interest to the right people. Also Lily is very wary of other dogs invading her space, and can be pretty sharp, and I did wonder if she would cope with puppies, or find it to much of a worry trying to be a good mum and coping with the other 6 dogs anywhere in the vicinity.
Secondly she has had 2 bad experiences in the vets. At 9 months old she suffered Toxic Shock Syndrome, due to withholding her own urine and feaces for 27 hrs. Totally my fault as this was before my agility days and I just never thought about teaching her to go whilst on a lead. (We had travelled to Southern Ireland by Ferry, and there was nowhere safe to let her off lead until we arrived home, 4am in the morning.) 3 days on a drip and I thought we would lose her. Then last year she had a butchers job done on a simple operation for her dew claws to be removed, the wounds re opened and had to be re done. 2 anaesthetics in 10 days and she didn't cope well. Its so hard to decide to have your dog opened up and operated on, when she is fit and healthy, as you can not explain it to them. However the possible later life problems of mammary tumours or pyometra (womb infection) gave me no option. Yesterday she was speyed, and I had told nobody apart from my good mate Lolly because she is so un opinionated I knew she wouldn't question my decision, and Lauren because she was going through the same thing with Poppi and Fern wanted today, Friday off so she could help me with the dogs and leave me to devote my time to nursing Lily. Lily was shaking from head to toe when I left her at the vets yesterday, and I was in bits. Tears rolling down my face as I got back in the van. However when I collected her and she nuzzled into my neck in the nurses treatment room, I knew she wouldn't hold it against me, and I just hugged her close as she sleepily wagged her tail.
Lily Fudge in her temporary bedroom.So Lily Fudge Cake, no stopping us now!! No excuses of Hormones for bad runs, no seasons for you to cope with, Grade 7 here we come!!!!
Of course that's just you, I may have hormones, hot flushes, blonde moments, and basic crap handler syndrome, but I will try to do my best for Lily, Olli & Twiggy this season, and make sure above all I enjoy every minute of every day with my dogs.
And as famous quotes seem to be the theme at the moment, I will end with one from one of my favourite comedian/writers/directors Mel Brookes. This certainly applies to me :-)
"As long as the world is turning and spinning, we're gonna be dizzy and we're gonna make mistakes."