Monday, 30 June 2008

All Grown UP!

From this - to this

Suddenly, my baby boy, Harry has grown up, he is two now, where has the time gone!?

Because look what's arrived!

Meet Mindy, yes it is another Chinese Crested powder puff''et!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

The Good, The bad Crestie and the ugly one! (only kidding)

Ian joined me this weekend!

We hadn’t been to an agility show for 2 weeks!
Boy I had missed them!
Anyway the videos will show what we got up too, a couple of clear rounds, but no places.

Red worked well and I had a couple of really good E’s and a clear round.

Harry had 5 faults all weekend and they where entirely my fault!

Buzz was Buzz, his best was a pole, his worst was, lets leave the ring via the nearest exit!

Roll on the weekend, for the next show!

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Spring Watch

Both Ian and I love watching “Spring watch” on BBC2 every year and this year was no exception, we decided to join in with a few of their tips on how to encourage wildlife to your garden and as we love watching the birds feeding from the feeders, which we have located in various places around the garden, we thought we would attempt to make a few bird boxes – Yes, even I used a hammer and off course I got to paint them too (outside of the boxes only) Ian’s boxes that where made free hand were rather large, so I got the measurements from the web site and made some suitable for Blue Tit/Robin rather than blackbird, woodpecker ones!
Not that we have seen any woodpeckers here – Yet !

We had strong winds over the weekend and unfortunately it was too much for one large tree which fell over into the garden at the top near the house – I was very sad and “Mrs Grumpy" all day long. I wouldn’t let Ian chop it up, I made myself do it later on in the day, Yes we get some wood to burn in the winter, we have had to cut so many down since we have been here and I have a soft spot for trees. This one seemed so strong and healthy,we had put some feeders in the branches and enjoyed many an evening watching the birds feeding. That's life, I know.

Ian, started on the foundations of the new sheds today, thankfully the digger helped dig the trench, that's why we bought it – to make life easier.

I worked all the dogs on Saturday, before it rained. We tried doing some “grid” exercises (my interpretation of it!) and also an “S” shape line of jumps, this exercise was mainly for Harry, to get him to see things at different angles and pick up on them, he was good at picking up on the jumps, but I struggled turning him at the end to come back down the line of 6 jumps – it was like turning the QE2. So this morning I did some wrapping around wings with food and a clicker, then a toy and then progressed on to using my "stop arm" as a “Q” – Charlotte on her web page (Red’s mate Ricky, on my links) has done a great video of teaching Ember it, when she came to stay with her, this was totally alien for me, as I have always worked my dogs from behind, I’m gradually learning it! Red is great with it, this may be because now that she is slowing down, I can be nearer to her, Buzz can’t cope with it at all, too many hands/arms moving around and he hates me being anywhere near him (some times!)
Red has her second injection tomorrow, she is becoming a lot more relaxed now and not quite so "Mrs Angry", she has been playing a lot with Buzz, so I think she may be feeling a lot happier. Harry is missing out, as she only wants to rough and tumble with Buzz, he seems to only get to play with us or other dogs at shows or at club, perhaps we will have to get him his own play mate!!!!!
Watch this space.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Dog's Update

Well, Red and her Cartrophen! She is so bad tempered!
Maybe she is just feeling “so” good. I have had to restrict part of her exercise at the moment as, usually they can have run of all the gardens, as and when they want, but because she has been guarding all entrances and galloping along the footpath at the side of the property telling people with and without dogs that they are on her land and “get off”, I’ve shut two of the gates so she can only stay up by the house with us, she normally wants to stay with us all, but since Monday well!
I’ve spoken to a few people who’s dogs are on this and they have only noticed that the dogs are feeling more comfortable, getting up easier, want to play more, none have mentioned temperament changes. Red likes to be different.
Well, agility wise I trained her for the first time for over a week yesterday and haven’t noticed any difference yet, she kept all the poles up and grabed her toy at the end, she still has been stiff at night but that might be because she has been more active! So on too her second injection next Monday. She is learning the “Elephant” trick which for her has been more enjoyable than sticking her front feet in the washing up bowl (what is the point of all this - just a different experience for her!)

Buzz, has had his second day of Metacam, as recommended by the vets to see if that helps his blue tongue issue! Tricks wise, He is still struggling at putting his feet in the washing up bowl and there’s no way I’d ever show him how to do the “Elephant” trick, he is too tall, I would need to be stood on a couple of yellow pages, unless of course I’m teaching him the wrong way!
If you aren’t sure what the elephant trick is check out the Obay sheltie blog on my links or go to Utube and put in “elephant trick” I’m sure they will all come up.
He is great at waving thou and can even wave when he is in the down position, Bless him.

Harry can crawl now, but just following a titbit, I’m not going to do too much on that with his shoulder injury – just in case it hurts him, so we a proofing “the Bow” and a small amount of walking around on his hind legs, which he finds easy as that’s how he get to see further! He can put all of himself in the washing up bowl!
He has been a bad boy this week and taught Red how to jump on the dinning room table, I came home today from just being out for 15 mins, walked down to the garage for the paper and loaf of bread, to return to find her stood on the table with Harry! Ummmm Bad dogs.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Time Flies

Buzzy being Buzzy!

Another week has pasted – I’m sure time goes quicker the older you get!

Buzz’s results are back: basically the report says that: He (Vet) can’t really comment on pulmonary infiltrate on these films (x-rays) but there is nothing grossly significant!
Conclusions in association with history supplied:
I recognize a syndrome in Border Collies, which may fit this case. Unfortunately it is not properly documented so the name I give it in my report is “hot border Collies syndrome” affected dogs lie on their fronts and pant excessively, appearing to be week and have difficulty continuing exercise. The mechanism for these presumed hyperthermia cases is not established so management is the only option.
A muscle biopsy may give a definitive answer, but this is a difficult thing to get done on a practical basis.
You should consider other possible causes including intermittent arrhythmias, neurological problems and musculoskeletal pain.
Treatment of these: a short course of NSAIDs

So I can continue for a long as we see that he is not stressed (if we start seeing him stressed then we need to stop doing the things that are stressing him), cooling off before and after exercise might also help, I do already do the after exercise, but hadn’t the before exercise but he is sitting on his cool mat with a cool coat on at shows!
If signs start to get worse and he starts to cough etc. then we need to go back to the vets.

Prognosis – few cases are “cured”

Red started her Cartrophen injections to-day, the information on that said she may be a little quiet for the a day – not a chance she charging around guarding the front gate, but boy is she bad tempered.

Friday was spent mowing all the lawns, clipping the hedges and weeding (well I think they where weeds!) and changing the agility course that had been up for a week.

The weekend was spent being Ian’s Mate! Hold this, pass that etc. The Barn is now finished and has racking shelves, clock and now a dartboard fitted! Next project is the area in front of the sheds/barns, which in the winter becomes a nice mud bath, so we need to put something down, Ian wants to put chippings because it’s cheap, I hate chippings, Cornish chippings are all granite down here and would cost a fortune up country, but its white! You can get the other more colourful stuff but the price difference is silly! One of my friends has just invested in the Grass mat stuff, to do part of her drive. Hope that works, much nicer than looking at chippings!

Sunday – Ian took me too our local Vintage Tractor Rally!!!!!!!
Including, bikes and steam engines, ferret racing, lurcher racing and a dog show!
I should have taken my camera! (May-be not) I get the dreadful feeling Ian wants to change his hobby!
But they did have a little car boot sale and I managed to find some future garden pots, they are old iron drain pipe tops, I thought they may look nice on the end of the only concert stone wall that we have (the other shed) I said I could paint them black, Ian said green! Ummm we will see who wins that one at a later date.

Thursday, 12 June 2008


I’ve been trying to work out why we do them?

Keeping in touch with friends and family, was my main aim. One tends to blab away about nothing sometimes and then realise the world can read all about you! Where you live, what you are doing, when your be away. Now that is scary and be warned not to put too much detail down just in case someone out there really really wants to know! And if they do, they can come and ask you in person.!!!!

My blog came about because of Lisa (she knows who I’m talking about)
She was doing one for her pups, “its ever so easy” she said (if it is so easy, why haven't you updated yours!!!) and that was that really.
I always used to keep a sort of diary when I was younger, well I say a diary it was more of a journal I suppose.

When Ian and I took time out and went travelling for 2 months (after my dog Tessa had gone to doggy heaven and before Cassie arrived, we where without dogs for 3 years!) I left my full time job, which I hated as an assistant manageress of a large shoe shop in Bristol (that was such a long time ago!) Ian’s boss kept his job open for him. We packed our 110 land rover and off we went, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Spain, France and back to the Uk – I kept a journal of where we stayed, how many miles we had travelled, what we had eaten, how the LR had behaved, what the weather was like, how much it cost us! Etc. What is strange is that little pink book has come all the way down to Cornwall and hasn’t been looked at by Ian or I since the day we came back from France! (Mind you, Ian couldn’t read it even if he wanted too – as my hand writing is so very bad – Mum say’s I’ve taken Dads hand writing!)

Family have rung up and said they had fun catching up with what we have been up too and then I heard from friends that “Joe Blogs” came up them to say had they seen what I had to say about….. bla bla bla yes I am surprised at who does actually read it and how they found it!
But then I realise that I too enjoy reading other peoples blogs, mainly people I know, or have heard about, catching up on the agility side and what they are teaching their new young dogs – whether it be a Collie or a Chinese Crested (not that I have found mainly blogs for Chinese Crested!) I love reading about their latest courses they have put up in the garden to train and how they handled it etc. It gives me the push to go out and put something like that up for “me and mine” to practise on.

I haven’t worked out how to put one of those counters on it yet, so we can actually see how many people check in to see what we are up too, the one that also tell us what countries they are all from, looks great.
Maybe someone will email to tell me how to do it? Or even make a comment or two.

So, carry on everyone writing your blogs, I love them.

Now I must go and do some work outside - if I can get that darn strimmer to jump into life with just one pull of the cord! otherwise Ian will be home saying that I have spent all day on the computer! ummmm

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Cousins Across the water!

...I went to see my Mum up in Dorset yesterday and my Cousin David and his wife Margarite where over from America, thankfully they are used to dogs as Mum has two retriever's and I turned up with 2 collies and a puff! and my Brother has his 4 dogs, 2 dobb's and two collies for them to meet! Dave and Margarite have a Rotty and a Lab. So by the end of our visit they where well used to other breeds!

Ian has almost finished the new shed, so now we have to empty the other 3 sheds into this one, so we can knock them down and re-build those out of brick! Good job Ian has a digger!
Check out Ian's scary mask on the welder - if you can see it!

Agility wise:

Well Harry pulled it off again, staying in the ring for both of his classes and winning the 1-5 jumping (yes we actually had a class this weekend, without having to compete against the 6/7's, not that I mind!) and his agility was totally my fault, I decided I wanted to practise crossing behind him when he entered the weaves, I just got my timing wrong and nearly kicked him - Poor dog.
note. to my self, must practise harder weave entries.
Red was 2nd in her 6-7 agility, which surprised me as we had a long run to home with a long jump and spread, she has never been good with that, she took off too early for the long jump, but managed to sort her self out for the spread. The Vet called and wants to start Red on a weekly course of Cartrophen (spelling) injection and see if that will help ease her spondylosis, so we start that next week. Thank fully I have some great friends out there in the agility world, that will tell me if they think its time to hang up her boots, if I don't realise it before them. There is nothing worse than watching a dog (whatever grade) struggling around a course, when they could just have a go at any size or retire altogether, I watched a German shepherd this past weekend that should be doing any size, I was surprised that the judge didn't say anything to the bloke! perhaps he just doesn't have the same friends as I have!

Weeds !

I am sure I'm cultivating weeds in the green house, I've even re-potted them! cant find them in any books that I've looked through, I'm sure one of you buding gardeners out there will email and let me know, but in the mean time I will carry on watering them until they flower, then maybe I will be able to tell what they are - The story goes, along the line that I was given a whole load of out of date seed packets from a friend who said "just see if anything comes up" ummmmm
I know they aren't stinging nettles, but they could be anything from Dahlias - lupins for all I know!!! they almost look like "Docks" except the leaves are softer and not wax-ish! ummmmmmm

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Barn - reconstruction!

Well we had to just do it, in the end!
You just get so far and just have to go the whole hog, the landrover came in to use, to give the last pull! and down it came.
I think the only thing holding it up, was the tin! none of the wood could be saved as it had rather a lot of wood worm! so roll on bonfire night! But we have been able to save all the tin sheets bar one, so that was good, this will re-roof the new one.

The new shed will be taller, so Ian can put the Landrover and Bongo in it to work on, and wider so I can put all the contact equipment in it in the winter - just in case!

Here is the start of the new one!

So if we don't answer the phone for a little while, you know where we are! "Down the Shed/barn"

We might have to move Harry's Hot tub, so it can have some sun to warm it up! or Ian will have to hurry up and fit Elaine's old wood burner to warm it up!

I'm looking forward to seeing our beginner dogs at training tonight, just hope they have been doing their "homework"- ummm we will see.

Oh yes, I've started to teach Harry some different things, it's the "crawl" this week! Buzz is learning to put his feet in the washing up bowl! we have so far managed his front feet. Red on the other hand just thinks this is far to boring and where's the agility equipment! but that is Red.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Not one but two...!

First's in one day.

1-7 agility (his first clear round in agility class) and 1-7 steeple chase!

He also did a cracking 1-7 jumping round, but added an extra jump. was also, his first time in doing agility at a show, in the DRY!

So now on to Grade 4.