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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Back with a vengeance!!

Where did June go?? Well we spent most of it at home weekends due to a couple of coughing dogs. Lily started coughing the day after we came back from SWAT show, on the bank holiday Monday, and then Olli Cove & Twiggy. Horrendous, thought that they had kennel cough, so trip to the vets and a few days of honey & Benylin (which they all loved!!) Neither my Vet or me think it was "Kennel cough", although that is actually a very vague term. Dogs like humans, can get a cough, or a bit of a cold, and some will catch others while others dont, but as soon as a dog coughs they get labelled. None of my lot were at all ill, no temperatures, no miserableness and in fact were driving me mad wanting to run miles as usual. The dogs that coughed were also the only dogs that had walked in our field at home that had been spread with fertilizer, and I am still convinced that was the cause. George or Becki didnt get it at all, neither did any of the 8 dogs that live on the farm here, and within 48 hrs everyone was better. Not what you would expect from true kennel cough but we had to stay home for a few weeks to keep the peace. I did feel a bit miffed that certain people felt they had to tell us not to go to shows, and not to take the dogs anywhere public. I am not stupid, and am a very responsible adult, so I managed to make that decision by myself. Its a shame more of these people weren't actually concerned for my dogs wellbeing, but thats people for you.
Missed Hinckley and Thames, 2 of my favourite comps of the season, and although it was lovely hearing how the rest of my agility friends were doing I admit I was jealous. We decided to have a BBQ on the Hinckley weekend and invite all those friends who are not agility addicts, who we rarely see through the summer, and it was a brilliant night. Far too much to drink, but good laughter, great fun and the dogs all enjoyed helping with the clearing up!!!
We have also spent the last few weeks training a lot at our field, and all the dogs have been on fine form. Georgie is growing like weed but is also extremely bright and fun to train. He learns so quickly, and is such a joy I am thrilled he came into my life, even  though unexpected! He had his first puppy workshop last week, and he impressed me a lot with his focus and enthusiasm. 2 hours of concentration, playing tuggy, and various exercises, all carried out with a waggy tail and sparkle. Really looking forward to seeing him develop.
Last weekend we set off to Golden Valley show in Worcester. Its a nice friendly show, although not that small with 8 rings, but always has a good atmosphere. It was Coves first grade 2 show and he also had a Starters cup qualifier, and Georgie is now officially old enough to be round the rings in the thick of things, so after 3 weeks away we were very excited! Cove did some stunning runs, a few silly mistakes but looking more experienced and attacking the courses a lot better as his confidence grows. He pushed himself out of the trophies in the jumping as he almost picked up the wrong tunnel, and how he didn't get 5 faults I dont know, but the judge is a lovely lady who was very fair to the beginner dogs, however it cost him a few seconds so he ended up 7th. In the starters cup he did a lovely round and was 3rd. Beautiful glass trophy as you would expect from the Agility Club, so another successful weekend for Fern & Cove. 

Lily was off her head!! Did some lovely stuff and some mad stuff, so we had 4 E's a 10 and a 5 faulter. Not very productive but she is so much fun to run. Hopefully she will be a bit calmer this weekend!!

Olli was a star and had 3 out of 3 clears Saturday, including a 9th in agility, and another clear on Sunday. Such a great dog, very consistent just needs that extra gear to beat some more collies.

Then Twiggy, who has definitely started to gain confidence in the rings, did her Grade 3 jumping. It was a tricky course with a couple of pull throughs and 12 weaves. She set off at a good pace and was clear up to the weaves. I held my breath as she entered them perfectly on her own and i counted....... as she completed the 12 poles I nearly screamed with delight, forget where I was going and got in her way on the final snake line so she took the jump out. It was my fault but I was thrilled that she weaved and was so happy with herself.
 Next was the grade 3/4 agility, and again not a straight forward course. 8 weaves this time. She was confident on the seesaw, she was through the weaves, over the A frame all be it a bit slow, and 2 jumps and a tunnel later she just had the dog walk and the final jump. Across the dog walk, slowly down the end plank, touched the contact and flew across the last jump. The screams from both myself & Fern could probably be heard across the Malvern Hills!!! Her first KC clear round. I collapsed in a heap of tears and cuddles with my wonderful girl Twiggy. The future now looks very exciting. 

Georgie was great fun all weekend, although he has discovered that what goes on in these rings is very exciting!! Squealing excitedly watching other dogs go round, and pulling hard to go and join them, but with a bit of encouragement he came back to me to play with his tuggy. If we can build on this we should be ok, but he is a very strong character! He had puppy plays, lots of people cuddles and pretend queueing, and was a star.
Even Dave managed a fast fun round in the pay on the day steeplechase. Not clear, but 100% focused on Fern, and its the first time he has run outdoors whilst an agility ring was running next to him, so we think he is finally able to start competing properly. He will be one to watch.
296 miles added.
So off to Lansdown this weekend, and Olli has another bash at qualifying in the ABC Olympia stakes. Its such a shame they dont split the grades. 218 dogs in the class, grades 1 to 7 and only top 4 go through. Dont hold out a lot of hope really, but all I do know is Olli will try his heart out. He is special. Would be nice to try & get a clear with Lily this weekend, instead of running round laughing at her, and who knows maybe even Twiggy may do it again!! Will be the first time for a month that we will be with our gang of witches too, so lets hope the weather cheers up a bit and we all have some successes. 

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