Friday, 30 January 2009

I've been tagged!


Thanks Charlotte.

So here it is!
It's Buzz on Holiday in Cornwall - of course.

He was 4 years old here, having just been in the sea swimming with Ian, and I'd say he has a little water in his left ear! it's funny how all the dogs will swim if we are in the water with them, but just paddle along the shore line if that is what we are doing, don't get me wrong Buzz paddling is equivalent to Red, Mindy and Harry swimming, they will go out and get the ball, well Buzz does, he brings it half way back and Red takes it from him, then drops it a little bit further and Harry collects it!

So now I have to tag others and as there is only one of my list of "Bloggers" that hasn't been tagged I will Tag them and hopefully that will kick them into action in updating their blog!!!!
I wonder if it will work?

So Lisa at Perranfell, or rather Lisa "down on the dunes" - you've been tagged. http://perranfell.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Very Happy........


BIRTHDAY to my one in a million Mum.
Sorry Mum, all 41 countries that follow our blog now know too......

and here's some flowers for you, from our home here in Cornwall.
(last years ones though!)

Have a great day xxxx

Sunday, 25 January 2009

A Year of ..........


Well Almost a year, since I started blogging, thanks Lisa for showing the way! Although I think she might disagree!

I’ve really enjoyed it, WHY:
Lots of reasons
It helped me keep in touch with my friends and family (those that want too)
It teaches me to think before I write/Speak,
Makes me check my spelling!
Keeps my mind active
I feel like I have a purpose (weird but true)

Poppy has truelly settled in! (on a Wednesday)

I really think I need to find a job and get out more, but I just love it here, pottering around the garden, giving the odd lesson or two and spending time with my dogs. Before I know it, Ian is home waiting for his tea – mind you, we would get the house and grounds finished quicker if I was working full time and Ian was at home doing all the “Blue”(man) jobs
But then he wouldn’t train the dogs (pink) girl job! Or exercise them. Yes, gosh I do have a great time, I hope Ian's not too upset ?

We collected a trailer full of rotted horse manure at the weekend, some of it we covered the compost heat, as that had virtually nothing but grass clippings and we won’t be able to use this for another couple of years, the rest we have piled up in the corner ready to mix with some top soil to make a raised vegetable patch, we thought as we have all this ground we aught to have a go!

As you can see, it’s rather muddy down here!



The Bongo has gone to the bongo hospital and hopefully they will be able to get the “glow” plug out and replaced with a new one!

Buzz came training with Harry on Wednesday, we trained him over medium height, as it was his first time back training for 10 weeks, he was on the ceiling and maybe next week the height should go up, just to slow him down a bit and make him think, at least then he hopefully won’t hurt himself – if my ground was dry he could have trained at home along with Red for a few weeks, before going to club, but April and their first show will be here and neither him or Red will have been up to full height or fit!
I’m hoping Red will be able to carry on full height for the rest of this year, we will have to just wait and watch her. Suddenly she is reaching retiring age and we’ve only just started competing! Well that is what it seems like; I can’t believe she is almost 10.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Sign of old age?

.....I keep losing my gloves, I’ve now lost, one and half pairs in one month! Both where bought for me a few Christmas’s ago, by Ian’s Mum and Dad, they where perfect size and just right for walking the dogs and pottering around the garden, they fitted that well, I was even able to use them for training and treat rewards, I have looked high and low, in pockets, in the car, I know I had the last pair last week at training, so no doubt I left them in the middle of the car park!
It’s a right pain in the bum.

Rugby
Not the lovely, two-day agility show in July, but the game!
Ian took me to my first real life match last weekend.
I had asked Ian to take me one day – just so I could cross it off the list of “non doggy” things that I had done in my life! We do watch it on the telly, when we get chance, especially if it’s a rainy day and neither of us fancy doing any work out side – we light the fire and warm up a bottle of red wine and that’s it for the afternoon. Anyway Saturday arrived and it wasn’t raining, we had walked the dogs and planted about 8 of the 20 trees and off we went to St Austell Rugby ground, they where playing Chipping sodbury in the EDF cup (the final would be held at Twickenham) We happened to know Lads, on both sides, and weren’t sure who to cheer for, so we cheered them all! …… It started off evenly matched (not sure whether that is the correct terminology?) St Austell (saints) kept bringing on new players and I don’t think the “Sods” had many with them, there where some good scraps and some good kicks etc! St Austell won 26 –18 I think, I was shivering so much I could barely cheer, neither of us wanted to go into the bar in case we missed something.
Would I go again – YES But I will remember to take my gloves and hat next time.


As promised I got the “Old” camera out and filmed the “Smalls” doing their “are you shy” trick, I still need them to hold it for a bit longer, otherwise it just looks like they are waving at you.
I did try Buzz, but like Red he just wants to cross his front legs, but at least doing it in the bedroom, he didn’t bark as much and was focused and thinking about what I was asking of him. Red was a lot better this time. I keep forgetting they haven’t been taught as many tricks with the clicker, so it’s all new for them, to use their heads and think.

But we are having lots of fun whilst it’s raining outside.

video

Got to go, Sue told me how to make Stew and home made dumplings, so that's what we are having for our tea tonight!

Friday, 16 January 2009

...All thawed out

So now we have to deal with wet muddy dogs every day, washing down, drying and the “Smalls” groomed every day - roll on the summer.

What have we been up to?

Well we managed to pick up some flooring for the kitchen at the famous Trago’s store, they have 3 days of sales each week in January, it wasn’t what I really wanted, but it will do until we manage to get around to doing the kitchen up, which I expect won’t be until the roof is re-done (flat one), which won’t be until the sun room and utility are done – some time this year – Maybe!

Out side, Ian is still trying to water tight the sheds – doors are on two of them now and he has started to move into his workshop, so I get the garden shed back.
We have planted half the plants we had bought with our Christmas money, and have just bought, 3-4 foot high Scotspine, Red oaks and wild cherries and then for the fruit side we have bought a couple of apple trees, a pear tree and plum – I like this buying game!
Hopefully we will be going to get a trailer full of horse manure in the next few weeks – when the trailer is empty of ballast (stuff you mix with sand and cement to make concrete)

Agility Training wise, what have I been up too…..

The “Reds” have had a two month rest from training, each year they get a month off from agility, although I do carry on walking them, but what with the weather, me having been poorly and Ian needing a hand with his projects, one month led into two, anyway they all had the all clear from Emma the chiropractor, they needed tweaking and have had 2 days on lead exercise(they still managed to get muddy!) so now they will have a couple of days free running, then I will be able to start them back on small/medium height and see how we go, Buzz may go to club on Wednesday with Harry, as Harry can’t make the whole 1 hour 45 mins training, he gets bored, Mindy had been coming too, to socialise, she had been really good, she is able to play with her tuggy do a few sit stays and retrieve her toys, whilst the other dogs are working around her, until last night when there where a lot of “High drive dogs” and she felt they should shut up! I can understand that, it was hard to hear your self think let alone shout commands to your dog, Buzz will no doubt add to the noise over the next following weeks.

Harry ended up having two weeks off from agility. I wasn’t going to give him any this year, as he started back at training two weeks before he competed last April, I felt a winter indoor training would help with his confidence and my ground has been so wet that I could only use the dog walk on low height and the weaves, I had been able to move them around the garden to dry areas to train on – both these pieces of equipment are his poorest, so that was the plan, train his contacts (speed) and weaves speed also.


Mindy is coming along, she works harder than Harry; she wants those rewards and works hard to find out what I want from her.
We are doing lots of straight lines between wings- rewards being: Ian at the end with her tuggy or me leaving her in a wait going two jumps down the line, releasing her and throwing her toy towards the end of the line of jumps, I have also left her “Pringles” lid or tile or mouse mat at the end of the jumps for her to target and get a treat when I’ve caught up!
We have been running in circles with her on the outside and inside, sending her around wings/bollards, backs (lefts) and right, she now runs the lowered dog walk to her target, I have slightly changed what I was asking her to do which was to run the plank go into the down half on plank at end and nose touch the target, but found as the plank was raised that she looked more uncomfortable, I think because of the angle between the plank and the floor and that she is a lot smaller than Harry, whether I will go back to this, as now I’m expecting her just to do 2o 2o and touch the target, she get very impatient and try’s to get away with foot touch’s, so I have to watch her.
Weaves, I am teaching her three uprights and treat/toy method, which we have used on Buzz, Harry and now Mindy, Red was taught channel (once a week at club method) and she really can’t weave that well, Buzz as long as he know that’s what I’ve asked will get 99%, Harry, it didn’t work so well with him, but we where living in our two berth caravan at the time, so the basics weren’t as good, as with Buzz, as he isn’t as confidant as Buzz or Red and doesn’t have the speed, Lisa suggested “V” weaves and wow that certainly helped him, so far! we have them slightly angled and he whizzes through them. what I’m getting at, is you have to choose a method that suits you and your dog, I don’t know enough about the 2 x 2 method although I’m hearing a lot of good reports, as long as you put in the correct amount of work and reward correctly, so maybe I will give this ago with the next dog!
I will carry on with uprights and “v” for the time being, and look forward to watching others and their new dogs coming out, having been taught 2 x 2.

The trick they are all learning this week is “are you shy” the “smalls” have learnt it very quickly, Red has to do it, with a hand touch (so basically she is just crossing her front legs) but hey she is learning something new, although she would rather we where outside jumping! Buzz, I’ve been really bad and not taught him, he gets so frustrated and barks at me too much, but now I’m feeling mean having written it down, so I promise I have a go!!

I have tried to video it, but kept getting me in the shot, so you will just have to wait and in the mean time here is Mindy doing her “walking the plank bit” (she was about 6-7 moths here) and “V” weaves, this week 8.5 months, I won’t be moving them anymore than that, until she is older.

videoMindy has been introduced to most of the agility equipment, tyres, tunnels - I wanted her to have new experiences in a safe enviroment, before we venture out into different places. The only one she won't have seen is the A frame as mine won't lower enough for young dogs, so she will have fun using the lowered ADW.
I think doing the full height one too early is wrong and I have learnt from experience with Harry's injury, you can do more harm than good.

video

Thursday, 8 January 2009

The Big Freeze !.........

.....For the first time, in 3 Winters.
Ian had to scrape the ice off the windows of his Landrover before going to work this week!
I had to use the dog "Bone" axe (the axe is to chop the pork and lamb bones up that are too big for the "smalls" dogs) to chip holes in the birds water and the loo frooze! Don't panic it was the loo in the utility room, which also houses the washing machine, so no washing clothes for a few days, until it thaws out, the utility room has to be pulled down this year and re-built, double skinned with double glazing and heating to match the rest of the Bungalow!

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I was catching up on people's blogs the other day and came across Susan Garrett talking about dealing with grief, loss of a pet or person and how her Mum had taught her a great lesson - Any of you who are trying to deal with the loss of someone special, need to go and check her blog out - Link to it from My Blog list, scan down about 4/5 entries, if you see a picture of a Loon with ducklings, you are in the right area. Worth Reading.

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Still waiting for Mindy to come into season, she is 8 months now and everyone keeps telling me, small dogs can start as early as 6 months. Over the last month she has become very different, she has been very yappy/spooky.
I thought Poppy (my Wednesday, day care dog) coming into season would have helped things along, Harry (castrated) was really interested in her (Mindy not Poppy) for a few days, about two weeks ago, which made me think, here we go too!
It will happen, when it happens!




Ahhhhh

Mindy and Harry, caught snuggled together!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Which is your dog..........

"A leap before you look" or "look before your leap?"
Why am I asking this question.
Well I'm still recovering after witnessing a "Leap before you look"

Your never guess which dog???
But anyway after a week, all looks fine so I'll tell you the story.

Last Wednesday late morning - New Year's Eve, Ian dropped myself, two friends and all four dogs at Hawkers Cove, he then drove around to Padstow and parked in car park and walked along the coast path to meet us all, it was a beautiful sunny day, but with cold winds (that's Cornwall) the tide was on it's way out - I'd checked the times.

We had walked down through the fields to the path to the beach and had walked along the sea line with the dogs doing their normal, charging around, barking, running in and out the water thing.
I could still see the sea up against some of the rocks further down the coast and as one of our friends (and Buzz) aren't great on climbing over rocks, I thought we had better go up onto the sand dunes and walk a little way along the coast path, past the rocks and then back down again. So we climbed up on to the dunes about 20 foot, to be met by a Tractor and it's workers picking cabbages, nothing wrong with that, we turned left and started towards Padstow.
We had only gone 20-30 yards, when Buzz decided he was going back to the sea, straight over the side of the cliff, followed by Red, who stopped dead in her tracks and peered over the edge, which is when I started to panic - not a good idea, as Red and Mindy went into "run wildly around on the cliff edge" mode, Harry (My soul Mate) stayed glued to my legs, watching my every move and trying to calm me down, unfortuantly not successfully!
I ran over to the cliff edge, to see this sheer drop of 20-30 foot, no way would he have been able to run down that and the speed he ran towards it, would have sent him two or three feet away from the cliff edge, I yelled his name, but couldn't see him, part of the cliff went in under us, so you couldn't see all the way to the sand (luckily it was sand and not the sea, which 2 hours previous to this it would have been) I yelled his name again and started to run back the way we had come, to go back down on the beach, he appeared, looking slightly sheepish, wondering what had happened, by which time Mindy and Red had made their way down to him via another slightly easier route !
When we eventually greeted each other, he had the biggest hug he had had for a long time, I checked him over as much as I could, he looked fine, all four legs touched the floor!
The two friends where still in shock and said whilst I was running back towards the beach they had looked at the sand that was directly below where he had gone over and said all they could see was his paws prints, nothing that looked like he had gone down on his side.

He stayed on the lead for the rest of the walk.

The rest of the walk, was enjoyable, mind you by the time we got back to the car, I was a little spaced out!

Anyway almost a week has gone by and although he was very stiff that night, that eased off with two hourly Arnicas pills, the only thing you can see, is raised hair along his rib cages, so we are waiting for an appointment to see the chiropractor.

It still make me feel sick, thinking about it.
I took Ian back there at the weekend (from the beach side, we didn't go up on the cliff) to take a photo of the spot!

Ian is 5 foot 10 inch, so you can see it was a fair "leap before you look" jump!

Friday, 2 January 2009

Oh No, no more Cornish.......

Ian is devastated! St Austell Brewary aren't going to sell his favorite dark beer.
Cornish Cream!

Whilst on one of many walks over the holidays, we walked down into Padstow to our favorite ale house, so we could have a meal and Ian could have his favorite drink and I could drive us all home, to find this bad news.

When we went to Cornwall from Bristol for the weekend dog shows, Ian used to drive out to the brewary with various "Cornish Cream" Lovers and come back to the show ground with a couple of "Keg" fulls (8 pints)- Ian always had a smile on his face at shows!

So now he has to make do with just "Tribute"

Life goes on. xx