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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sad endings and new beginnings,

I still managed to miss a week of blogging, even though I had good intentions to get back to my weekly update! Not enough hours in the day.
So, 2 weeks ago we travelled to Prestbury Champ show a day early, so we could leave there at 6.30am on the Friday to whip across to Stoneleigh and the Olympia semi finals. Fern and Cove were as ready as they could be and the excitement built. Unfortunately the day before we had left a tragic accident cut short the life of a gorgeous young talented dog that Fern loved like her own. No matter how she tried, she couldnt shake off her grief and just wasnt able to get in the right frame of mind to compete, so inevitabley they were unsucessful in their goal of Olympia. It was a very sad day, and Fern was gutted that she felt she had let Cove down, but the fact is he is so tuned into her, so totally connected with her, that he knew she wasnt right and he just didnt run as we know he can. Proof of a true partnership. So back to Prestbury with heavy hearts we went.
The new venue at Frampton on Severn was lovely and we took the dogs to the lake for a swim in the afternoon. What a laugh watching Cove trying to swim! Not a natural at all bless him, where as Lily Olli & Dave were like otters. Twiggy just loves swimming and even George seemed to love his first real experience in the water.

Saturday and it was Georgies first time in the ring. My nerves were shot!! I just couldnt believe how much I was shaking as I set him on the start line but I improved with each run. 3 runs and no clears but mainly because George went up a gear and I was being left behind!! Rubbish handling, bad timing but what a good boy he was. Sunday I felt a lot more relaxed, and in the 3-5 agility he did it!! Clear and although he nearly fell off the dogwalk as the judge ran alongside (something he will learn to get used to) it was a lovely run. Then in the Grade 3 agility he did it again, and was placed 10th!! I was so thrilled with him at his first show.
Cove and Fern got it back together and had 3 good places, inc a 3rd place in agility and Twiggy was a star getting 5 top 10 places and starting to look as confident and fast as she does at home. :-) Finished the weekend with 3rd in the Jumping, and a lovely run it was too.
Lily & Olli are still trying hard, and doing a mix of great things and not so great things LOL! Olli is just hilarious, and on a good day beats Lily in grade 6 jumping, but on another day he doesnt even get round the course without me walking out laughing as he gobs off. Lily still looks great just not so well trained as our youngsters, and I am a bit concerned at how un fit she is. She is just that type, that hardly needs any food to keep weight on, and not very highly strung so as she is chilled most of the time she just doesnt keep fit and as she is now nearly 7 yrs old its getting harder.  I will be taking them all to be checked out in a months time, and see what exercises and fitness regimes we can start after their winter break.
This weekend we were away at Gillingham Champ show, and the weather was amazing. I always like this show, and was looking forward to running Georgie again, and trying to handle him a bit better. He just went faster again and left me looking like a fool as I tried to get my timing right! He was so lovely though and managed a clear on Saturday in Agility, and finished 11th out of 190 dogs! When we get it together the future is going to be very interesting! Twiggy was a star again and finished 4th in Agility and 5th in Jumping. Cove was also successful in Agility and finished 3rd in one and 5th in the other.
Sunday has to go down as one of the best days ever for me. First run was Georgie in the agility, and although he was eliminated for putting his head in the wrong end of the tunnel (my timing again) he flew round the rest of the course, looking even more focused and determined than before, and his dog walk was so fast and confident I was thrilled. His jumping I messed up the middle section, but the last line of 4 jumps he bounced every one! Stunning to see. Last run was a fairly hard 3-5 jumping, and although I nearly crashed into a jump, we were clear!! He finished 10th and I was chuffed to bits :-) Twiggy then ran her jumping and flew round like a pro, squealing again as she was enjoying herself so much! She then went clear in the agility, with a slightly naughty A frame, but lovely dogwalk to make up for it, and followed that by another super fast run in G3-5 jumping, around a tricky course, clear again! 3 out of 3 clears and I was nearly in tears when she was presented with 1st in the jumping, 2nd in the 3-5 and 4th in the agility!!! 5 top 5 places over the 2 days, and not a worry in sight. Even spent some time barking at dogs in the ring while we queued, and whilst with some of my dogs that would be naughty and annoying, with Twiggy is was a total break through. 
Lily had a stunning run in the agility but just a pole cost her a place. She looked happy and fast though, and I really enjoyed the run. Olli just forgot what contacts were again so no rounds finished for him :-)
Cove had 11th in the Crufts 6/7 Agility, and beat some really good dogs in that with a very tight confident run. All too soon another weekend has gone, and our calendar is starting to look bear.
It is weird how hard it is to run different dogs even when they are trained exactly the same. Running 4 now is proving quite hard and Fern will run Olli and Lily now and then to give me a break, as I am not as young as she is :-) The one dog at the moment who I feel 100% in tune with is Twiggy. I know exactly how far I can push her, when I can leave her to do it alone, and its a thrill. I know she will win again soon and she really does feel like a dog who will go to the top. Georgie and me have a partnership to build, and I am sure it will come, but its harder than I thought. He is very genuine and tries to please me in every run, but I do need to get my brain in gear a bit more. In training we are fine but as his excitement levels go up in competition I am struggling a bit.
Off to a 2 day show near to us this weekend, so no camping just 2 early mornings to cope with. I love this sport and just love my dogs so much. Life is good.

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