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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Consistency, good training, happy, loved dogs.........Perfick!

Its halfway through the year, the nights are officially drawing in again and we have competed in more shows than we have left to do this season. Where does the time go?! 
10 days ago we were off to Golden Valley in Worcester. Lovely friendly show, with some great classes, good judges and its such a nice venue and we were camping with the Monday Nighters..........(who we sort of tag along with, hoping that their luck rubs off on us :-) ) Its good to be with positive happy people, who are competitive, but fun and genuine. Still way too many moody, stroppy  "divas" in this sport for my liking, but thats another Blog.
Saturday was good weather, warm, dry and breezy and Fern & I were looking forward to the first day. Grade 6/7 Agility was a good course, really interesting, a few traps but I liked it and it looked like it would flow well, if you handled it right. Fern & Cove were the second to run, and having only had 1 clear since going to Grade 7 a few weeks ago, they were like clockwork and went clear! (Lily & I had a fab run, but an over enthusiastic seesaw cost us 5 faults.) Just over an hour until the class finished and they had won!! Leading from the start, and they stayed there. Great start to the weekend!
We then had Twiggy & Cove in the pairs, our first this year, and they went double clear, Cove fast, Twiggy tight and ....... we won! George went on to get a 3rd in Grade 5 Jumping and a 5th in 5-7 jumping and Twiggy 4th in Agility!! What an amazing day!! 

Sunday and it seemed our luck was to continue. George 4th in jumping, Twiggy 5th! Then probably the best 2 runs of the weekend and Twiggy won the Agility, by 2 seconds, and Cove won the Grade 7 Agility again!!! We were floating on cloud 9, and as the trophies at Golden Valley are china apples, we came home with a fruit bowl full!! lol!

The weather held all weekend apart from 1 shower and it really was a fun weekend. I love catching up with distant friends, seeing how other young dogs are coming on and developing. 
Take Will for example. 
A couple of weeks ago we travelled to Swindon to a referral Vets to have a small op on his tooth. Although he has been lucky with his mis-aligned overshot jaw hardly affecting him, he did have a small hole in the roof of his mouth caused by the bottom canine, so it had to be rectified. It was awful leaving him there that morning, and tears were shed, but he was so calm and the perfect patient. We spent a few hours with our dear friend Jilly and did some training at her field to help the time pass, and then collected a very wobbly but happy Will, with a shorter tooth. They had removed approximately 3 mm from the top of his canine, and then shaped the tooth so it looks normal it is just a lot smaller and not protruding into his top pallet now. 

This 3rd photo of him shows how slightly wonky his bottom jaw is if you look at bottom canines in conjunction with his nostrils :-) However you may not notice as you will be too struck by his smouldering good looks :-))

He is currently full on, fab worky boy with no hang ups, spooks or issues at all. Quite aloof in that other people and dogs are not really that interesting, but when he stops focusing on work he gives the best ever cuddles!! Really love having him in our family. :-))
Business  is booming and I cant believe it will be 5 years next month since we started making a few bits of equipment for friends! It just does not stop, and its nice that we now get quite a lot of recommendations. It also helps pay for all these dogs! We do enjoy making the bits and pieces and meeting all the lovely people along the way. Even our fencing is now starting to pop up at most shows, and thats good to see. It does also mean that Rog cant come to all the weekend competitions, as somebody has to make all the orders ready for Fern and I to paint and rubber coat during the weeks, but he manages to take a break and come to the important ones, and we know he is 100% supportive of us even when he is not there. Dont know what I would do without him. 


So this weekend we are off to Lansdown and another attempt for me to get Twiggy and George through to the Olympia semis, although I have to admit I am not as obsessed with getting to Olympia as I was. Its an amazing experience, and I loved it last time, but sometimes these things take over and I ruin my runs with nerves when I think "qualifier" so what will be will be. There is also ABC semi for Olli. This is his last weekend for a while jumping full height, but he was flying round the field last week, like a 2 year old and jumping with ease so we will see what happens!! I dont get nerves running Olli, I am always laughing too much! Cove & Lily have a Crufts run so some interesting courses to look forward to, and another weekend with friends. 
Who knows what results we will get this weekend, but I do know that consistency, patience and reward based training, along with a lot of fun and play times with your dogs, does make for a happy family all round :-) 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Its been 8 weeks since my last confession............

If I were you I wouldnt bother following me... I am useless!!
Sooooo where do I begin to catch up on the last 8 weeks? My dogs are still brilliant, George & Twiggy have gone grade 5, Georgie already a win at Grade 5, and Cove went mad and had 3 wins in 2 weeks to go grade 7!!! Olli is now team coach, and just running in anysize jumping, Lily is still having fun and working well but mad as a hatter, and not very schooled, Stan is getting old and senile, Dave is still a little sh1t, and young William is huge, gorgeous and well into his training.
I have had shingles, a kidney stone, 3 trips to hospital, a cancer scare and am still awaiting more scans (but its not the big C) and I dont have time to be ill. Business is booming, the show season is well under way and life is pretty ok. Roxy the van is still not what I would call "right" but she has had windows fitted, my lovely dogs photos on the side panels, and is doing a pretty good job of getting us everywhere reliably, so we have a love/hate relationship for now. 
So Fern & Cove have now had 2 Champ classes since going to Grade 7, the first was at Hinckley. Ferns nerves were steady as a rock until she walked to the start line, and her legs went to lead, her voice disappeared and Cove knew it. There were some lovely bits to her runs, and only simple little things let them down, but the pressure is on now. Last weekend her second Champ was Thames, and although she didnt get through to the final, this time both her runs were great. Cove was so tight and fast and just 2 simple tiny things cost them a clear round, but its looking more do-able now. They then went on to come 9th in the Olympia qualifier with their first clear in G7 :-) 
Twiggy should have gone to the rescue league finals on Sunday, but when we realised how far it was from Thames, and the costs and logistics of it all we decided to give it a miss. I was close to tears on Saturday as I thought she deserved to go, but she doesnt know what she missed, and she went on to have some amazing runs at Thames, just missing out on qualifying for Olympia by less than a second, and just out of a finals place in Camdwr Cup, which incidentally Georgie was second in so has qualified!
George is becoming Mr consistent, with places in every class bar a couple over the last few weekends. 3 2nd places , 3rds, 4ths and when he matures maybe in a year or so, he is going to be one to beat. I am not in any rush for him to grow up or win up the grades too quick. 
Thats a quick catch up, and I will write again after our weekend away in Worcester this coming weekend. The first show for a few weeks, that doesnt have qualifiers or Champ classes, and one of my favourite friendly shows so hopefully a relaxing fun weekend with our gang.