Wednesday, 17 December 2014

We are expecting!!


Brodie and Brooke are pleased to announce that they are expecting puppies in January! We are very excited as this will be a first litter for us all but we have some great mentors on standby and have had lots of good advice. We have lovely homes lined up for them as well, all agility people :-) They only tied once so I was very relieved when we had her scanned and confirmed she was pregnant. She is enjoying the extra food and is even more snuggly than normal at the moment! We are very excited about this litter, they are such lovely dogs and just love their agility - we can't think of any other litters that have had two UK based G7 agility parents?


They look like blobs to me but apparently there are three little babies in total!


Brooke on Day 24


Not a good pic but this is Brooke on Day 42-filling out!


Still loves her Daddy snuggles!


Sparkle is looking after Brooke...


In between helping me wrap presents!!


They are all enjoying their winter walks at the moment but we are sticking to pavements more than normal due to the mud! 



And what does the Daddy think about all the fuss?? Not much!!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

UKA Finals and Agility Club AGM


Brodie and I attended the UKA Finals over the weekend. It is the fourth year in the row that my little man has qualified but we have never done the team event before. You run the first round as an individual agility run and the second run is a team relay event. There are three in a team and as all three of ours were midi they run the individual run at midi and the relay at toy height! Brodie and I were running with Jenni and Rommy and Chantal and Savannah. Our team name is the 'Shouty Shelties' and it was very appropriate!!

This is the relay course plan


Brodie demonstrating where the team name came from!


This was Brodie's individual run-wow we had fun! He was a bit cheeky on his seesaw and I got in hos way massively before the dog walk but we managed to pull off a clear!



Our team relay was fast and furious! Brodie and I were the middle dog to run and had the right hand course on the plan. We got eliminated for the wrong end of the tunnel after the a frame-I was so pleased with the previous bit that I forgot to handle him! I thought it would put us out of the placings but we finished 2nd overall!!!

Here is a podium picture :-)


On Sunday we went to Stoneleigh for the Agility Club AGM. We were thrilled that Brooke bean was runner up in the Small Grade 4 catergory and she got a lovely trophy. They look very pleased with themselves!



Sheltie contact practice last week!


Brodie has also been doing really well at his Rally classes. I am going to try a competition next year and see how he does. He likes any sort of work really and I think its something that we could do more of as he gets older.


Thursday, 27 November 2014

Up to date doglet video

I was feeling a bit wistful looking back on videos from the summer and thought I'd make a compilation video for our YouTube with clips of our four working. Here it is, sorry its a bit long but we have had such a fun year and there were so many more clips I wanted to put in it!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Agility Madness!

So on the last day of our stay at home holiday, I took Sparkle to a show to do one nfc run...mad or what?! The reason for the madness? A wooden seesaw! She has been doing my plastic one confidently for a couple of months (she is now 21months old) and recently has mastered aluminium seesaws as well. The problem is that you never know what you are going to get in the ring! So the hunt was on to find a wooden seesaw with rubber that she could play on. I noticed that one of the independent shows allows training rounds so off we went! My plan was a set of weaves and a seesaw in the ring for the first time. Well...clever puppy exceeded expectations :-) Perfect weaves and lovely seesaw-straight into position, tugged and waited for her release. Couldn't ask for more! Here she is with a bit of celebratory popcorn-it makes me laugh!!

video


It got me thinking though. Our first two dogs were not as lucky, they did club training once a week. All the equipment was wooden so at least that was consistent but we started competing them when training rounds didn't really exist. Brodie and Brax just kind of learnt on the job really! They hadn't been to different venues, worked on varying surfaces or met different equipment. Luckily for us (and says a lot about the nature of them both) that they just got on with it and worked! I would have loved to have seen how their agility careers had panned out had we known what we know now about training.


Sparkle is the first young dog that we have had since owning our own equipment. Brooke was 14 months when we got it and that was when she started weaves and contacts properly...her training up till then had been very sporadic with the odd lesson or workshop. Sparkle and Brooke have benefited loads from doing nfc runs and playing in the ring. Bracken was 3 before she started competing and Brodie was two at his first show. Brooke and Sparkle both were in the ring at 18 months but only playing nfc! I have done some jumping runs at KC shows with her for competition (as you can't do nfc) but there is no way she is ready to do agility in the ring yet. What is the hurry?


I know a couple of dogs who are the same age ish as Spark. One has gone up three grades since coming out in August and the other has gone up almost four grades and they aren't even two yet. Not meaning to get on my soap box but it makes me sad as both dogs already have ropey contacts and have slowed down since I saw them come out :-( Sparkle will be racing up and down in Grade 3 classes while they are tackling G6-7 and champ courses! Spark is still very much a baby, she gets tired mentally quite quickly and lacks stamina. I'm not saying that we are right taking so long but we want our dogs to be as happy and confident in their agility as possible. We do soooo much foundation work so when you come to trickier handling and things like seesaws they know their job already. I do think that training running contacts takes longer than stopped though, well thats my excuse!!


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Stay-cation

Matthew and I are having a lovely week off off work. For a few reason decided not to go anywhere but instead we thought we would stay at home and spend some time doing things we enjoy and going for some nice dog walks locally. The weather has been kind to us so far and hope it continues!

Here are some photos from our long walk yesterday-this is the track 5 mins from our place. We are lucky!


Brooke showing off her lovely heelwork :-)


Three shelties in a row!


Stopped for a sniff



Also shot a very cute video of Brodie and Brooke in the field this week. I love Brodies cheeky face at the end of this! Brooke and Brax have both had 4 weeks off doing agility so Brooke was very excited! Brodie will have his agility break over Christmas and Sparkle will have hers when she comes into season. Its nice for them all to have some agility down time


Monday, 10 November 2014

Shelties Love Agility!

As Matthew and I are on the ESSC Working Section committee we help to run the Sheltie Agility Show which was at the Dog Barn in Banbury this year. Lian did a great job as show secretary and sheltie owners are so nice and really helped us keeping the ring running smoothly. The shelties entered ranged from newbies at their first show up to Grade 7's and there were some amazing dogs entered! Watching them really sums up how almost feline shelties can be. I don't mean it in an offensive way for anyone who is anti cat but anyone who has a sheltie will understand what I mean! They are so agile when they move and jump, very dainty and effortless to watch. (Most shelties clean themselves like cats if they are dirty as well!)

Only Brodie was entered and he only did pairs with his best mate Rommy. Rommy was foot perfect but Brodie was bonkers and did a tunnel send to the other side of the ring by accident...he had great fun though and definitely made everyone laugh! Our judge Marie Douglas was lovely and set such well pitched courses :-)

Kevin Hicks was there with his camera and got some lovely pics of three of ours-poor Brooke was in season so had a very dull day being taken for short walks up the road and back. And she missed out on her photo being taken-her second favourite thing to agility!

Here is my most gorgeous boy-I just love this photo!


And little Brax


Here is a funny pic that Kevin got of me and Sparkle! She was an honorary sheltie for the day (she thinks she is one anyway!)

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A day in the life of little diddly Brax

My name is Bracken and I am the most important of all the Burdett doglets. I am the oldest and boss the others around! This picture wasn't taken today but I look pretty here after my pamper session at Auntie Jenni's. I am possibly one of the smallest shelties in Britain as I am only 11" tall but Mum and Dad say I make up for it by having something called attitude!


My Mummy was away in Scotland over the weekend visiting my Nanna and Auntie Amy and their dog Tresca. I love seeing my Nanna and like to scrabble my paws on her feet. Here they are in Aberdeen doing one of the favourite human things, drinking coffee and blethering! 


Nanna plays hand bells and my Mummy went to watch the Cushnie handbell ringers at a rally in Inverness-look at how much Nanna is concentrating :-)


 Normally if my Daddy is at home working, my favourite thing is to sleep on my special cushion by his chair and Brooke (my fellow ginger) sleeps under his chair. In this picture the stupid collie got in the way-grrrr.


Sometimes even if Daddy is at home, I go out with Mummy for the day and help her train dogs or go on her walks. Today was a training day and Brodie and I were more than happy to have a go on the balance equipment. It keeps me fit and healthy even if I am not very coordinated!


This afternoon we went to a local hospice to entertain some of the people. I love going as they drop cake crumbs and I like hoovering them up-yummy! I love showing off my tricks and getting fuss.


We then went to the bank and waited beautifully while the humans do the boring stuff!


After such a busy day I had to put my feet up for a snooze! Love Brax x


Sunday, 19 October 2014

A day in the life of Brooke

My name is Brooke and I thought I'd tell you a bit about what I did on Saturday. Weekends normally start with going to an agility party but this weekend we got up a bit later and went for a walk round the common. It was nice to have a bit of a lie in as I'm a lazy girl at heart!


Its not a very good picture as I wouldn't keep still but I found a 'treasure' on the common. Ever since I was a little puppy I have picked up treasures and carried them around-I love old tissues but this was the best find yet!! Mum let me bring it home which was really exciting :-) 


Normally when Mum and Dad go shopping they take a couple of us shelties or that silly collie but today I got to go by myself-woohoo!! Here is me trotting along to the shops with my Dad.


But then he kept disappearing into shops which was a bit disconcerting. It was ok though as lots of nice people stopped to talk to me.


Humans always have to have coffee and cake...I waited very patiently while Dad went into the shop...again! Its nice to have an outing as they keep talking about seasons and puppies and mentioning my name, not sure why? I know that I have no more agility parties to go to which is a shame as I have just got to Grade 7!


Mum and Dad have been having a sort out and sorting the house out-these are all of our rosettes from this April onwards. Luckily Dads Mum recycles them for her childrens gym sessions along with some of our trophies. 


Some of the rosettes have printing on the tails which means we can't give them to Granny. These ones from Dog Vegas are so pretty though!! Really nice colours-I like pink ones best!


We went to Grannys house to give her the rosettes and we had a nice play in the garden. This is me and Brodie posing-aren't we a sweet couple?


Then after all that cleaning me and Sparkle had to have a little sleep in the spare room to recover!


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Last party of the show season and a rant about a stupid rule!

We had a very busy weekend doing shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We went to Adams on Friday pretty much for the sole reason of getting Dolly out to a show that has 4 combined classes! Annoyingly most of the other shows only have one combined class-no wonder dogs win up a bit too easily sometimes particularly in small and medium with the smaller class sizes. I was very pleased with Dolly as she isn't mine so has to compete in combined 1-3 or 1-4 classes as her owner is Grade 1. Its a stupid KC rule really as if she was mine she would now be G4 by virtue of having won a C1-4 agility (she also came 2nd in a C1-4 jumping!) Unfortunately she moves up to G2 so we have to go through beating much higher grade dogs again before she gets to G3 and can enter graded classes. It seems that this particular rule is a bit silly as its like you are being handicapped for running someone elses dog-generally a dog that you don't train as much as your own either!! Anyway, we have done it now and she has come 2nd so many times I'm very pleased with the little choccy one! My little dude Brodie also won his C5-7 jumping class and it wasn't even twisty or tricky. He was on rocket fuel that day!! Here they are with their rosettes :-)


On Saturday and Sunday we went to Dog Vegas which was at a venue not too far from us. Bracken had a good couple of runs being just out of the placings in one jumping and coming 2nd in the other. We pulled her and Brodie from a jumping run on Sunday as the ring was just a bit slippy and poached up after quite a crazy storm on the Saturday afternoon. Brodie had three runs at DV, one slowish clear straight after the storm and two runs where I was in the wrong place at the wrong time! My goal for the weekend was to work on his stopped dog walk in a show environment and he did well with it, stopping nicely in both agility runs. This was my favourite run of the weekend with him-I just needed to move faster after the seesaw! None of the courses were what I'd call Brodie courses as they were generally very flowing and blasty but we both really enjoyed running them.


Brooke bean was a little star-she obviously decided that being a career girl was higher on her agenda that being a Mum just yet as she STILL hasn't come into season!! She loved her last weekend of being in Grade 6 and won two agility classes, 3rd in another  one and 2nd in a jumping class. Matt's favourite run from the weekend with her was her 3rd in C6-7 agility (only 0.6 seconds behind the winner-very tight times!) and she was really working nicely now her neck issue is resolved, better weaves and no poles at all. It was a fast course that let them just stretch out and run the majority of the time-just what Brooke loves!


Here is the last sofa picture of the season-sad!


My Sparkler had three runs in total over two days at the weekend (still all jumping). She did some lovely work in all of her courses, got her weaves first time in two out of the three-including a rear cross into 12! She was eliminated in every course but we were working as a team much more effectively. Even managed a wait and a ketchker in the ring! Really looking forward to a winter of training contacts and getting her out in the ring next year :-)


Must say a well done to all the J9-ers competing at the weekend. We might be a little club but we have some great dogs both competing and coming out-yes I'm a proud trainer! Jenni and Rommy got two Grade 6 wins so are now only needed one to go Grade 7. Chester beagle won a G7 jumping and Paul and Marias younger dog Willow is finishing her first season of competing in G4 but showing so much promise. Now to get on with some winter training before giving the dogs their agility break! 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Positivity



They are going over a bit now but I got given a lovely bunch of flowers and a card by one of my clients for helping her with her dog. It was a lovely surprise and to be honest the hard work is down to her for her dedication in doing homework and keeping positive with her dog despite him giving her grief occasionally! I really enjoy my job so much no matter what the weather (it has rained a lot this week!) I love working with any dog handler combination as long as they are keen to learn and enjoy teaching young dog, beginners right through to Grade 7's. I learnt a while ago that life is too short to carry on with something that makes you frustrated and unhappy, no matter what security it may offer. We are only here once and life is too short to be miserable! A positive outlook on life is so much more healthy and I have got to the age/stage where I find negative people pretty draining to be around. A friend put this on Facebook and it is so true.


This little boy is Mr Positive personified!! This is him in my 'throw my ball pose!'


It rained all day Monday so I did lots of balance and coordination work with my lot-here is the obligatory posing picture! 


Sparkle has been a bit cheeky with her waits around agility equipment recently. I have been practicing lots and I love this picture of my two-they look so regal!! It also shows that even next to a medium jump, Spark can only just see over the pole and Brodie is sitting up really tall for a change :-)


And a cute picture of Brooke having snuggles with Matthew, bless her!