Monday, 26 April 2010

Scotland Trip!

Last weekend we went up to Scotland to visit my Mum and Dad and have a wee break in St Andrews where Kingdom of Fife show was on. Matthew and I met at St Andrews University ten years ago so it was weird being back there visiting old haunts, including Janettas amazing ice cream shop (52 flavours, oh yeah!!). My Mum lives a couple of hours north and my Dad lives near Edinburgh so it was lovely to see both of them over the weekend as we don't get up to Scotland very often.

The dogs did really well over the weekend, Brax got a couple of wins at her first show as a grade 7 and also a 2nd and a 3rd. One of her wins was a stunning agility run on a very windy day and we wondered if she would manage to tip the seesaw! Brodie got a couple of 2nds and won the c1-4 agility which means he goes into Grade 5 at his first show in Grade 4. It wasn't quite the plan as I didn't want him to win out too fast but the agility he won was a bit quirky so some of the faster dogs struggled. Brodie seems to be more confident this year so hopefully we won't be too out of his depth once we get into Grade 5!

We met the cutest sheltie puppy that was for sale and I would have popped her in my pocket if it wasn't such a long way home. I couldn't resist a cuddle! We met up with a couple more gorgeous shelties and my Mum took this cute pic of what must be three of the smallest shelties and one of each colour! Brax is sitting with merle Ava and tri Ellie who is (Lians) Sizzles sister. Awwww aren't they sweet!

New Agility Arena!!

I'm such a bad blogger! So much has happened in the last couple of weeks that I don't know where to start!! We have been to Scotland to see my folks, done two competitions and had the new arena finished at work. I'm going to shamelessly advertise this new facility as I think its fantastic for agility training, especially with a young dog as its fully fenced. We (my boss, me and the other two trainers) did so much research for what surface to use and after debating for ages, we decided that artificial grass with a deep pile was going to be best for the dogs joints and for the humans running on it. We also teach a lot of puppy and pet dog classes so we decided against rubber or sand. I have run my two on it and its fantastic. Its 25x20m and we have a full set of equipment and also a 'mini' Aframe, dog walk and seesaw for younger dogs. I can see me being entertained in my lunch hours!!

Triche is hiring it out as well as doing classes for £20 an hour for up to 2 dogs (each subsequent dog is £5) or £10 for 30 minutes. The website for the kennels is and it doesn't have info on it about the arena yet but it does have contact details and a map. We will also be hiring it out for training days.

On the subject of work, we have an 14 year old Jack Russell in the kennels at the moment called Snowy who is looking for a home. His lady owner died and he has been taken on by Oldies Club which is a great charity specialising in rehoming veteran dogs. Unfortunately he didn't get on with the foster carers cats so he is staying with us at the moment. He is a very spritely 14 and certainly doesn't act his age!! He was recently castrated as he can be a bit too interested in the ladies and he is used to being an only dog so ideally he is looking for a quieter home where he would be the only animal. He still loves his walks and will happily potter around for an hour sniffing! If anyone knows a home for Snowy please let me know or call the kennel number 01582 794862.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Spring @ Shuttleworth and naked pony!!

Finally now the weather is a bit nicer, my pony is staying out 24/7 so no mucking out - woohoo!! He couldn't even be bothered lifting his head this morning when I went to get him, obviously not missing his cosy stable at all. I always that a field of spring grass for horses must be like us living in a house of chocolate!!
The dogs had Spring at Shuttleworth show this weekend, Brax did both days but Brodie only did Sunday. Sometimes I need him to do trick demos or help socialise puppies at work in puppy class. I'm sure he'd rather be doing agility though! They both did really well as it was a big show and there were some very good dogs competing. Brodie got a 3rd in the C1-3 agility and 3rd in the G1-3 jumping which I hadn't walked so it was a bit 'wing and a prayer!' I must apologise to my poor dog for me messing up the weaves in the TFO so he only got to do 3 obstacles!

Brax was flying (off her contacts in the agility!) in her jumping runs. She got a 2nd in G4-7 jumping and by far her best result was a 5th in the C1-7 jumping. There were some incredible dogs in the class so to even be placed was an achievement as the course wasn't a Bracken sort of course (not enough tight turns and twiddly bits to make up time!). She also did the TFO but wasn't placed as Matthew used it as a good chance to practice those darn contacts!!

Here is a rubbish video of Brax doing the C1-7, sorry my videoing skills are so terrible!

Matthew and I both had the chance to run someone elses dog yesterday which was great fun. Lian asked Matthew to run Sizzle in the C1-7 and bless him he did work for Matthew despite looking slightly confused at the start! Matthew really enjoyed running him as we only have one dog each and we never run dogs other than ours so its a good experience. Gladys asked me to run her cute terrier Benji in small TFO and he was fab! We got quite far round and were clear. I really enjoyed it and it was funny standing in the queue and running in the same class as Matthew!

Brodie was so tired yesterday evening that he fell asleep on his Bretford rosettes from last weekend (thats how badly I need to do some housework today!) He looked so cute I had to take a pic of him.When we were filling in Brodies warrant book we realised he has enough points for his silver warrant! In fact he needs less than 300 points to get his gold warrant! He is my little superstar :)

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Bretford Easter Eggility Show!

We had a fun weekend at Solihull although it was a bit windy! The best thing was catching up with so many agility friends that we hadn't seen for months. The dogs did really well and even got a few easter eggs for their troubles!

I felt that Brodie is finally getting more consistent with the speed of his contacts and weaves in his runs. In fact I think that the cold windy weather suits him well. The only class he didn't go clear in was the special 1-7 jumping and that was because I handled it like a numpty!! I adore running Brodie as he is really starting to work with me at shows now he is a bit older, instead of having confidence crisis moments!

Brax did some lovely runs and managed not to get blown off the dog walk. The weather was not quite to her majestys satisfaction but at least she didn't have one of her diva moments and stop in the weaves like she did last year!

Congratulations to Lian and the super Sizzle who won two agility classes, moving them up to Grade 6 in style!! Also well done to Jane and Millie who won into Grade 3 and Tamar who won into Grade 4, Helen with Sweep and Jackie with Ellie and George (at his first KC show!) getting good placings. Congratulations to fellow Letchworth doggies Mirk and Willow who both won their agility classes and Angie with Midge who won both agility and jumping to go Grade 4 at her first show-clever girly!

We got given some Creme eggs for helping on the rings and we couldn't resist practising 'hold it'. (Maybe if chocolate was on offer at all shows, more people might help on rings?!) Sorry about the scary eyes in the photo, Brodie looks a bit wild!!