Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Agility Club show - Newbury showground

It was great to see everyone, as I hadn’t been up country, since September 2007 last year.

Reasons being: The price of fuel, I hadn’t got a job to pay for fuel and entries (Ian wouldn’t have minded, I just felt mean spending all his hard earn’t money, just for my pleasure!)

I had managed to get a holiday job, so I started to enter more shows – yippee.

I left Mindy at home with Ian, for the weekend, especially as I was ring party on Saturday morning.

I found it hard, realising that I had only been out of the big competitions for 18 months and it had changed so much, so many new faces, with flying machine dogs, running contacts and the huge numbers in the classes, the standard was amazing, even in the lower levels.
Take for example the “Champ” class, my last Champ class with Red was Chippenham AC 2 years ago, there was 70 ish in the class and at the weekend there was 112 ish No I didn’t enter the champ class, I felt with Reds health issues it was a waste of time and money, I did love them thou and I miss them, I seem to work better with the pressure!
Red’s highest place in a final champ class was a 3rd, but in those days we walked away with not even a rosette to say we had made it too the final, “sad” hey. But I can remember the run really well and Big Bad Bess won the ticket with Shauna Lyons taking the RCC and Red 3rd. Red was clear in all 3 runs. Bless her.

Back to the show, I ran Red in just two of her 4 classes, one was a pairs, but my pairs partners hurt her self the day before, She was clear in both of her runs, but not fast enough, the 4 th class on the Sunday, I pulled her out off, as I felt it was to hard with too many spreads for an old lady to do! (My choice, if she had been 5 years younger, I would have loved to have had a go at it.)

Buzz, all most got a clear in his jumping class on the Sunday, he just landed so far out towards the wrong end of the tunnel, I did managed to pull him back to the right end, but we got a 5R. His agility rounds, he got his contacts, but came through a gap that wasn’t there! That is Buzz.

The main reason for going to this show, was to see how Harry would fair with the top dogs and I wasn’t disappointed, we had a 4-7 jumping, which we did manage to go clear in, but with two baggy turns and our not so fast weaves, we where just 3 seconds behind the winner, his other clear round was in the small KC Olympia, unfortunately he came down the “A” frame soured over the next two jumps and thought he was finished and headed for the lady sat at the ring side (pole picking up) I was screaming at him like a wild women, but he was convinced he was finished! So winter work, is to get Harry weaving faster and speed up his contacts, I think that is just a confidence thing with the contacts, he did get blown off the dog walk and I think his shoulder gets soar at times, which won’t help for contacts. So I will have to keep the holiday job going to earn some money to pay for the fuel and entries for next year and see if I can go up country more often.

Anyway here is video, kindly videoed by Chris's John, off Harry and Nellie doing their bit!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Grow your own!


In Bristol we had tried to grow “hanging tomatoes”, and “runner beans”, yes they where successful until we went to Pembrokeshire show each year and then they all would die! Well they where all in baskets and pots, we didn’t have a garden as such more a concrete parking area for four cars!

So last year we decided to stick them in the ground and see what happened, we grew “runner Beans” mountains of them! And froze a lot, unfortunately that was not successful (freezing part) they tasted horrid and we ended up throwing them away, we had various people telling us that we should have blanched them before freezing them, some said: add salt, others said no, so armed with all this advice, Ian had been given for Christmas some seeds of Runner Beans, Spinach, courgette and Maize, we added tomatoes to the list.

We had decided we would put the beans and Spinach nearer to the house this year as it had been a pain to remember to go down behind the shed’s to water them, so choose a nice sunny spot, nearer to the top. We grew them on in the green house first and then put them out the Spinach was put straight out into the well manured ground (horse) and we waited and waited…………

In the mean time the tomatoes we put in grow bags in the green house and the maize went where the beans where last year, oh we also bought a pumpkin!

…..Back to the runner beans and spinach, we quickly realised the spot we had chosen was very very windy and they struggled, so with sadness I had to admit defeat and pull them out and re-seed the area to grass!
More grass, I hear you say, well I have tried to put some nice flowers in the area, but they too have been affected by the wind and the SLUGS – I hate Slugs and Rats (but that is another story!)

The Maize - I think look okay and the pumpkin seems okay too.

Here is the proof:

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Nice Moon Boots, Harry!

I just couldn’t get it together with Red at this weekends competition, I’m not sure whether it was me or whether she is starting to struggle, we had poles and pull off from jumps, she look like she is doing slow motion over the jumps,Or maybe it was the courses!

Buzz was Buzz, but we did have a nicely controlled clear round with held contacts in the agility, at last our second clear round of the year!

Harry, well we had a strange week this week, he didn’t want to do agility, he came down the garden to train, but didn’t want to play with me, so I put him back in the house and trained the others in stead. We went to club on Wednesday and he did a couple of runs and started sniffing, so I put him back in the car.
Off to the show we went, having had no training!
He was nuts in the exercise area (good sign)
Agility to start, (it was his first as a grade 4) we had a great 3 jump recall and nice contacts even though the “A” frame and seesaw where done twice! The seesaw didn’t even move, I think that was my fault as I went to do a reverse turn in front of it, which pushed him forward and skyward! The “A” frame, well that was a slight d tour! But he was having fun!

Anyway he made up for in the jumping and won it. After, having to have a re-run as some ones collie left the exercise area to chase him through the ring into the tunnel! Harry didn’t notice until he came out and was on the homeward stretch and turned round to see what was chasing him.

Just so you don’t all laugh at him when you next see him, he has had a major haircut! He now has a set of four moon boots! Some say they like it, others say he looks like a poodle now!

I’ve promised him, I wont do it again and it will grow back by winter!

Maybe that's why he wasn't a happy Harry this week!

Monday, 14 July 2008

Very Early Morning Walk


Tips wanted:

How do I become more exciting to Harry, than a teenage boy and a bacon bap in the score tent on the side of a ring!?

I know how Andy Hudson feels now (according to the Hudsondogglets blog) when someone throws their treats on the floor outside the ring, for him and his new young small dog, Kizzy.

Harry started the course (Andy Hudson course too!) fantastically, came around the corner to go past the score tent (on the side of the ring) and past the start, to promptly run into the score tent to see his buddy waiting for him with a bacon roll in his hands - I didn't see who was in the tent at the time, but retrieved him and restarted the rest of the course and he did it beautifully of course! I finished gathered him up after playing with his tuggy for then the "Said "person to come and apologise and say it was all his fault, I must admit I nearly clouted him one! (only kidding)
So I asked "said" person, not to talk, touch or look at Harry whilst he stood talking to me, that was very hard for both of them! We met up later in the day so they could have their usually roll in the grass time together!
Yes I've tried rolling in the grass with Harry too and we love it - he is just too happy to see everyone and loves both two and four legged persons!
Maybe it's just time.
any suggestion greatly received.

Having said that, he ran in jumping class in the next ring, the tent wasn't so close to the ring side and with getting stuck in the flat tunnel and rather a wide "QE2" turn came 3rd. So he can stay in the ring and concentrate.

This weekend he worked a dream in both jumping runs and won one and came 3rd in the other one, I think he's started to read the courses now, so when I have to bring him around on his self, we do have a fight, until he realises we have turned back towards the rest of the course, his weaves are starting to get faster, but I'm sure there is more speed there to come (he is faster at home, but still not as fast as he runs) His agility run, I struggled to get him through a tight pull through, so will be practising more tight stuff, just reluctant to stop his speed, if you know what I mean. But I think as long as I finish on a blast, we might be okay.

Red had a couple of places this weekend, Still waiting for Buzz to have his 2nd clear round of the year!!!!

Mindy has been out and about meeting Ducks, chickens and a noisey cockrell, she is still clean in the house! Her sits and recall are coming on nicely, and I've started to get her walking on different surfaces and started on her downs today.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Drowned Rats!

I took the dogs out for their usual walk this morning, it wasn't raining when I left although I should have realised it would!
.....So I didn't bother putting Harry's coat on, poor lad.

Here he is eating his lamb bone, looking rather rat like!....and now he is wrapped up on the sofa in a nice warn - out of the airing cupboard towel.
Meany Mummy!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Toilet training!

I have read the books and listened to people’s ideas on how they trained their dogs.
I heard one the other day which I hadn’t heard before; which is daft as I do train this way! was to clicker train it – never thought of that one!

Well this is how mine, have coped with it all!

Cassie our first Collie
She was a star, she took only two weeks to house train; she was nine weeks old when we picked her from a farm near Bristol. I was working part time so that made it nice and easy to be around.

Red, took 9 months, yes, nine months, she suffered from separation anxiety, we tried an indoor kennel, which she hated (yet now she loves being in a confined space) and would destroy everything that was in it, bedding would be shredded and she would poo and pee in it, as soon as you opened the door to the house you could smell the stress from her barking, it was awful, she was a nightmare. Eventually we where able to start to leave her out of the kennel, some days she would be fine and then other days we would come home to find the curtains pulled down from the windows and seat cushions in pieces, she managed to get over the stair gate to get upstairs to the spare bedroom and poo on the beds! She still will now and again have an accident (Poo) usually when she is excited to go out for a walk or into the garden!
I know another Gemthorne that does that too!

Buzz (another Gemthorne) he took about 6 months, not as bad as Red. He “lets off wind” like an old horse! He can walk down the road, or jump of the sofa/bed, making all sorts of noises - I promise it’s not ME!

Harry was another star, he joined us at 13 weeks and I would say that within a month he was sorted, he is now known as Mr Iron Bladder and has been known to last 14 hours without a wee, especially if it’s wet outside!

Now Mindy, well I’m shocked, we have not had an accident in the house or her kennel since she arrived at 8 weeks! And she will have been with us for two weeks on Friday. Whether it was because we picked her up on the Friday and went straight to a camping show (in a tent) so she had no option but to wee/poo on the grass outside, this week I have even left her on her own for 4 hours, I don’t know why, or whether me writing this “is the kiss of death!” She sleeps at night from 10 straight through to 5-6 am, the first week she would cry about 2-3am to go out for a pee, then she would return to her bed until morning time.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Mindy Pic's!

Mindy has been with us nearly a week!

She has had her nails cut - Thanks to Gail for doing the deed and Alison for the clippers!
Had a bath, been to the vets for a check up, met a man and a walking stick, with a loud voice!

she has learn't her name!

Oh and been told off by Red, for chewing her tail!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Thanks Charlotte!

...Good job Charlotte was around at the weekend, because you guys get to see Harry again,
with a jumping course, which Clive Hildersley set up for us all to have fun with.