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Monday, 29 August 2011

End of an era.

I think this is my longest gap between blogging but its been an eventful month.
Before we left for KCI & DINAS I went to see my Nan in the care home she has called home for the last year. I wasn't planning on it but Mum needed to drop her some lip cream in, and as she is not driving I took her. It was probably one of the most shocking experiences of my life to date. To see my Nan looking so frail, and distressed was not something I would wish on anyone. I broke down I have to admit. My heart broke and I felt physically sick. It was obvious that she was closing down, and Mum told me to still go away as it was our agility holiday and she may last for weeks yet. Thats the sad thing, and although I am not going to turn my Blog into a debate about legal human euthanasia, if there ever was a time it was needed was then. I would never let any of my dogs suffer that way. 
My brother left Norwich to come to Devon to see her on the day we left to head to KCI, and he did an amazing job of supporting Mum, and comforting Nan, getting her all the best care in the world until she passed away on the 13th August. He was the one to ring and tell me, and she died peacefully aged 93.
Our agility holiday was obviously subdued, but I knew that Nan was now in a much better place, reunited with her Husband & youngest Daughter, and there was nothing else to do now so I tried to concentrate on my dogs. Lily & I had some clears, including an 11th in Agility. Olli had a few places to finish his stint in grade 5, Twiggy had some nearly runs and then ended the week with 2 clears, one being a 16th place in agility!!!!  Fern & Cove were on usual form and managed to get some top places including a 2nd at KCI, which is incredible as they are only just in grade 3, and a 3rd & 5th at DINAS and qualified for the final on Sunday! 
Sharon & Chris came to DINAS for a couple of days, and I was thrilled that they managed to see Twiggy get one of her clear rounds :-) There were a lot of highs, some fab ones when our great mate Lolly got 2 3rd place trophies and ended up 3rd in the final on Sunday!!! Lots of tears. Also when we won £133 on the Bingo, and Claire got so drunk she staggered home and threw up on her clothes :-)) Great times, and it was lovely to be surrounded by good friends and Rog & Fern and the dogs, at a time like that. I love my family so much and am very lucky to have them.

Spending time with the Rog, Fern and the dogs and relaxing really helped me have time to think about all the time spent with Nan and Grandad when I was growing up. We had some real giggles, lovely holidays by the sea, and nothing was ever too much trouble. I was spoilt and I will never forget a single moment. 
Fern, Nathan, Neil, Me & Rog :-)
Nans funeral was a celebration of her life, not a sad affair but a happy time to remember all those moments we all cherish. A piece of me is missing now, but life is like that. Little bits get taken all the time, if you are lucky enough to love. If you never want to experience pain and hurt then dont ever allow yourself to love anyone or anything. That would be a lot easier, but an empty life. Below is a poem I wrote and read out at Nans funeral. I am sure there are a lot of Nans, Grandmas, that this relates too. Life goes on and I am going to enjoy every minute of it, and suffer the pain of losing people or dogs I love because as the saying goes "Its better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all"

My Nan & Grandad so in love. x

Its good here innit?

What do you fancy to drink?
Sit down and put up your feet
I have a fridge, freezer and cupboard full,
What do you fancy to eat?

Have a good look in my wardrobe
My drawers, see what you can see
If there's something that takes your fancy
You have it, anything, feel free.

Have you enough money, clothes, shoes?
Plants and shrubs, small or large
Anything I have, anything you like
Just say and it's yours, no charge.

"it's good here innit?" you'd always say
Those words still ring in my ears
Yes it was Nan, the best place ever
We won't lose those memories in our tears

You gave us everything you had, always
But much more than all the above
For all of us in your family
You gave unconditional love. X

My Mum, Brother, Nephew & Fern :-)

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Twiggys day.

Today was a trip to Gwythian Towen in Cornwall to meet up with Sharon, Chris and Sam Mitchell and deliver a small present.
It was another chance for Twiggy to meet the family who gave her the first love she had ever known, and for us to catch up with very special friends. Not much else to say this week, but here is the poem that Twiggy wrote for Sharon accompanied by her first clear round rosette..............

To Sharon, my first real mum.

I had a scary trip across the sea
Not knowing where it would end
My brother & sister were with me
For ourselves we’d had to fend

My tail was down, I was dirty
Thin and not very strong
My life had no meaning at all
It seemed the end wouldn’t be long.

But you took me into your home and your hearts
And shadows started to lift
I started to see new beginnings
You had an amazing gift

You made me see life was worth living
And loved me with all of your heart
The strength you gave me was everything
The courage to try a new start

The van ride to Devon was scary
New people and dogs to fear
Another step in my journey
And I worried you all shed a tear?

But now I can see why you sent me
To live with these people down here
You knew I’d be safe and happy
No longer live life in fear.

I have fun playing games and running
For miles across fields so green
With so many dog friends around me
A world I had never seen

I love life and new things don’t deter me
I am no longer scared of the world
I try everything life throws at me
Because I know I’m a special girl.

I know I am safe now, no worries
Cared for and loved all the time
Mum puts up with my strange little ways
As she knows I will be just fine.

So I wanted to say a big thank you
And as hard as it was to part
You gave me love and affection,
And the strength to make a new start.

So this is my first ever rosette!
I’m going to get loads you will see
But all my life I will never forget you
As I know you will not forget me.

Twiggy xx

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Agility Club in tropical heat!!

What a beautiful weekend we just had for the Agility Club show. Its one of my favourite shows although it is one of the most annoying journeys. This year we thought we had planned it right, but yet again we found ourselves winding our way through tiny villages on B roads and it took us 5 hours. Admittedly there are some beautiful typically English villages around the Sussex countryside, but in 28 degree sunshine, 3 adults and 8 dogs stuffed in a van, towing a rather large caravan, they are not best appreciated! When we arrived finally, we had a spot saved for us really close to the rings, thanks to some new friends we have made over the last month, and we were soon set up and ready for the weekend.
It was Coves first Grade 3 show, all the dogs had Olympia qualifiers and it was promised to be a scorching weekend. 
To cut a long story short, not one of the 4 dogs managed to get a clear in an Olympia Qualifier, so it will just be Olli to represent team Feroda at the semis in September. On the subject of Olli, he spent most of this weekend forgetting what contacts were, and twice popped out of the weaves!!!! He is obviously relaxing now he has a couple of weeks of limbo in grade 5, but he better buck up, as the Olympia semi is the same weekend as his first Grade 6 comp!! 
He did manage 2 nice clears though.

Cove had good and bad, but it was a bit different for Fern & him at a show this size and new harder courses. However he managed a 20th and believe it or not a 2nd in Grade 3 jumping!! Beautiful glass trophy, and a well deserved result, it was a lovely run. Watching him & Fern work together is very special, and I have so much pride in them both. Such an exciting future, and Cove is one of the sweetest dogs in our family.

Twiggy was fun but I think the size of the show and the amount of rings and people got to her a bit so no clears, and a bit of an issue back in the weaves. However, she didnt leave the ring and is certainly a lot better when we queue now, playing and not worrying too much where Fern or Rog are. I am continuing to make every run fun, although being a bit firmer on her now as she can be quite cheeky, and I just know that next year she will shine. Her and Cove are not 2 years old yet, so plenty of time to grow.

Lily, well she was on form!! I was still off time, and blonde in places but she totally listened and we had some great runs. Only 2 clears out of 5, but they were all tricky courses and I was pleased at some of the really handly stuff we pulled off well. 12th in Jumping and 13th in Agility. For us handlers who didnt start as juniors, and came into the sport pretty late on, it is a quite tough in grade 6, but I am loving the challenge, and Lily only needs 2 more wins to become grade 7. Who knows :-)
Georgie is growing up! His focus is becoming more & more on me and although he still watches the rings with wild eyes, he is starting to turn to grab his toy and take his frustration out on that rather than scream and lunge at the ring. He has started to get a beautiful silky coat, long legs and finally his floppy ear has decided to stand up a bit again. I have to admit whilst watching the champ class on Sunday I did drift into a day dream of this handsome blue merle, sailing round the same course in a year or twos time, gliding through the air, swimming through the weaves and racing across contacts................all I need to do is get him a decent bloody handler!!!

Great friends, great laughs, meeting facebook friends for the first time and a lovely relaxing weekend in between the miles of walking to different rings! Have to say the caterers are my favourite too, with gorgeous food, huge portions and such friendly cockney banter. Big up for Smiffys :-) 404 miles added.
A weekend off now, and a trip to sunny Cornwall for the day to meet up with the Mitchells. So looking forward to seeing them and having a chill with the dogs before we set off on Thursday for our Agility marathon 10 days. Just so sad that after that its the beginning of the end of the agility season for us, and its gone so quick! Soon be working out a winter training program.