Well!!! What a fab day through pouring rain, wind and a slightly tired head.
My birthday Friday was a lovely day. I was spoilt by Rog & Fern, had some beautiful flowers arrive from up North, a lot of lovely cards, a pampering session at the hairdressers, a quick bit of retail therapy and then an afternoon of grooming and playing with the dogs. In the evening our closest friends came over for a small party :-) I decided as the weather was a bit unpredictable, we would do a "pot" supper. I did a pot of curry and a chilli, Flo brought a pot of lasagne, Estelle brought a pot of Thai curry and I did a bucket of baked "pot"atoes!! It was a great giggle as always, and far too much alcohol was consumed, so most of Saturday was spent feeling delicate. When did it happen?? I used to be able to party all night long, drink a brewery and be fine by the morning! Guess thats getting old for you :-)
Sunday fern & I set off for a day at a local show. Small and friendly, nice classes and only 45 mins from us. Cove is in Limbo, being a Grade 3 dog as of 25th July, so Fern was going to hold his contacts and just have fun. I wanted to try & get it right with Lily without the pressure of a big event. I also thought it would be the perfect show to really get Twiggys confidence up a gear. Olli I just wanted to have fun with. He is so consistent, so honest and has done me proud already this year with his results.
During the week we had been training grid work with all the dogs, and weaves and contacts with Twiggy. I noticed how much faster Olli was in the field, bouncing grids and flying around as fast as Lily!! Also Twiggys weaves and contacts were amazing, which had to be down to her feeling safe in her field, but also I wondered if the screaming and barking from the other dogs in the van while I worked her, spurred her on. Also Ollis speed and madness may be for the same reasons, as normally he queues quietly, never even watches the agility and does good steady runs at shows, so we had a plan for Sunday.
Olli had Grade 3 - 5 Agility first, and it was a nice handly course, and quite tight so it boded well. I wound him up and teased him before the start and he was full of it. A lovely clear round, great contacts AND for the first time in a while he bounced some of the jumps. Grid work paid off a treat!! 3rd place, behind 2 very fast collies, but by only a second!! In the jumping, Fern held Twiggy by the start, and Olli was buzzing. Another clear, beautifully fast but 1 misjudgement by me meant a wide turn so 9th place, but still thrilled.
Twiggy and Cove were out together walking around with us and for the first time ever, Fern didnt stay with me as I queued for Twiggys agility, but went and sat by the side of the ring with Joy. Cove barked as I set Twiggy on the start and she was off. Jump to weaves, perfect! Pin wheel to dog walk and apart from slowing slightly as she saw Cove, she nailed her contact. For the first time she also went straight over the A frame, without stopping at the top to see if she could see Fern, and stopped dead on the contact! A couple of rear crosses, cloth tunnel, seesaw and over the line she went!! Only her second KC clear round, but a proper run. I felt like I was running a confident young dog, who knew what she was doing. 114 dogs in the class, and Twiggy was 14th!!! Thrilled!!
Fern took Cove into the jumping with a heavy heart. It was a very tight course, and Cove is a very scopey boy, so it looked tough. Sure enough he bounced the first 2, and was over the 3rd........which was actually the 9th or something, but he just didnt pick up the turn. It was like watching a Ferrari on a GoKart track. Impossible to open up, and no way to make the tight turns. The agility was not a lot better, and had a weird pull off on a pin wheel! Bit harsh for Grade 1/2, and again tight. However Cove listened, Fern worked it beautifully and they went clear. He did stunning contacts, which Fern held, and it was a perfect round. So guess what????? He won again!!!! So looking forward to Agility Club show at the end of the month, where he will be in Grade 3 and hopefully start to show what amazing ability he has. He is more than ready.
Lily and me were rubbish again. If we get it right she is top 3 placed, but boy do we get it wrong a lot these days!! She is fast and furious, and I am still not being quick enough to handle her properly. To take the positives, her contacts were 100% and as we had already picked up a fault, I really pushed her weaves. Left her and ran at right angles across to the A frame and she didnt falter. She is an amazing dog and I love her to bits, so I really hope I can get it together as she deserves to win. Just 68 miles added.
I am so lucky to have such wonderful dogs, who love me unconditionally. They dont know if they have done it right or wrong, all they know is that we have worked together and had fun and they always give their all in anyway they know how. I adore them, and just need that lottery win so I can spend all my time with them, as the saying says. "The more people I meet, the more I love my dogs"