February is never a good month. People say its the worse as all the Christmas festivities and New Yr Celebrations are over, nobody has any money left and the weather is still very unpredictable. It is a bit of a flat month, but nearly a week in and we have had some good times.
Lily has been a perfect patient since her spay operation just over a week ago. I did sleep downstairs for the first couple of nights with her, as i wanted to be with her in case of any problems, and as she normally sleeps next to my bed I felt like it was only fair to sleep next to hers. I didn't sleep much at all. Every time she moved or her breathing changed I was awake and watching her. She however slept like a baby!! Apart from a rash caused by the clippers, she has had absolutely no problems whatsoever, and has not bothered with the wound at all. She has let me check it and put cream on the rash at regular intervals, just laying down on her back, legs in the air trusting me implicitly. Stitches out this Monday and then we can start to build up her exercise over the next few weeks. Some people rush their dogs back into work, and I can not believe how quickly. Its a Hysterectomy, which when us humans have it done we are told 6 weeks rest minimum. Although dogs are very resilient compared to us feeble beings, and will do anything to please us so probably would work straight away, it is not something I agree with, and Lily will be having a gentle increase in work for the whole of February. Her first show is not until the 26th March, by which time she will be fit and raring to go.
Poppy our little foster collie, went to her new home last Saturday, and I have had regular texts and e mails almost daily since! It was a tearful farewell, but she has really found her forever home, and now called Toffee, is spending hours running on the beach, playing with her new friend Biscuit, and learning new things very quickly. I am thrilled, and admit to being slightly proud of myself. I always said I could not foster as I would never be able to part with them, and Toffee is such a special dog who fitted in with us from day 1, she just confirmed that feeling. Now I have not lost a dog but gained a friend I can smile, and Toffee will always have a little place in our hearts.
Which brings me to Twiggy. Naughty, cheeky, determined, tough and very clever. What a difference in her, and she is such a fun dog to have around. She regularly rough & tumbles with Cove, sometimes at full speed across the field, rolling Cove over in the mud often! Makes me chuckle as she runs back grinning all over her cheeky face, not a speck of dirt on her, followed by a muddy scruffy Cove! She is lightening fast. Her strange muscle spasms a distant memory now as she has developed good tone and now fully matured. She is not as easy to train as Lily or Olli, but I am enjoying the little challenges she keeps throwing at me, and when we get it right I have a feeling she will turn heads. If she doesn't get it right then she will just be my best buddy, always by my side and making me laugh, a very important special girl :-)
I decided to stop taking Olli shooting this year. He is an amazing gundog, and we have had some memorable days working together, but certain things have started to bother me about the whole shooting scene, and Olli has become a better Agility dog than gundog, so I am now going to concentrate on that. He has always played 2nd fiddle to Lily, but that is not fair to him anymore. He always gives 100% when we compete, and his enthusiasm is second to none. He ended last season winning into Grade 5. Not moving up on points but beating 100 other dogs to win the class, which is quite a feat for a large Spaniel against Collies. So I have decided Olli is my priority this season, and he has 3 ABC qualifiers as well as Novice Olympia qualifiers, so that is my goal. Yes I have goals with Lily & Twiggy, but Lily had an amazing year last year, Twiggy is still young and has a lot to learn, but Olli deserves my full commitment now. He is not the fun "extra" anymore, he is a serious and very able Agility boy.
Have had the last 2 days spending time with Fern. Mother & Daughter time, and we have had some fun and giggles, washing our vans, training the dogs, walking the dogs, and today shopping and a trip to the hairdressers. I am very lucky to have Fern, even if we have the odd disagreement, but what Mum & Daughter don't? We are so similar in our outlook on life, and with Rog backing us up we are a team. Team Feroda, and having already entered all the shows that are currently open, we are looking forward to a fun filled and hopefully successful season. We will be broke, but we'll be happy :-)
February? Taken from the Febrau, which means "cleansing" or "Purification", and the rituals undertaken before Spring.
We are not down and miserable, we are ready for the rest of the year!!