Monday, 29 April 2013

Woohoo - Brax is BACK!!

We went to K9 Sports UKA at the weekend and had a really mixed bag of runs! Brodie was a clever boy on Saturday getting 3rd in Champ jumping and 2nd (unplaced) in champ agility. I was really pleased with his dog walk as I have been practicing loads of stops and this was a perfect course for a running dog walk and he did it well :)

Here is his champ agility run - thanks to Colin for filming it!

Dolly was a tad WILD in the Beg steeplechase!! It was a fun course and involved eight straight tunnels, she did about two and then her brain exploded and she had a fit of the zoomies. I laughed at her all the way round which probably made her worse but we had fun!! She did a good run in the jumping but missed her weave entry. Her agility run was lovely and she would have been 3rd (held contacts) but they placed to 2nd. Her speed totally threw me over the weekend, she was so much faster and more confident which is great but I need to speed up my handling!! Thats the great thing about agility, you and your dog are always evolving as a partnership and learning new things about working together.

On Sunday we had all five doglets with us as Matthew came to run Brax. My two were not on form, poor Brodie took off over the first jump in the CSJ agility qualifier and pulled up lame :( I have just been to the vets and he has anti-inflam tablets and a weeks rest. She wasn't exactly sure what he has done but thinks he must have just tweaked something, poor boy. This was Brodie looking sorry for himself last night having mummy cuddles.

Dolly was threatening a fit of the zoomies again on Sunday! She had a minor zoom off to the scrimer in the jumping (very unlike her) and then missed the weave entry. Totally my fault as I haven't trained her for a couple of weeks so def doing some homework this week. Matthew did film my jumping but stopped after her second fault on the weaves - she did them after he stopped filming! As her speed has increased I have lost some of the tight turns so need to work on that as well. I forget she is only a baby sometimes! She had a 'moment' in agility and after coming off her contacts which she NEVER does (in fact getting her off them is hard!) she had a poo in the ring! Poor girly must have been desperate!! We had walked her round for ages and nothing so the excitement obviously got to her - oops. She did her run in pairs beautifully and got her contacts so made up for the poo incident!!

Matthew ran ickle Brax in champ agility and she went really well to the point that he wasn't fast enough to get his front crosses in! She likes her handler to be right with her so is the total opposite of Brooke who prefers a bit of space. This is Brax's first competitive run in almost a year, yes she got E'd and missed her A-frame but look how excited she is to be running again!! Spending the winter building her fitness up has worked as she managed to win Champ jumping (ok she was the only one in it) and do a cracking clear in the pairs. I looked at her time for champ jumping and despite Matt almost falling over and Brax stopping, she was only a second behind the midi and standard winners, bless her. This is her crazy agility run! :)

Because Brodie was lame, Vanessa very kindly lent me her fab poodle Tia to run in the pairs with Jenni and Rommy. Tia is amazing - almost 13 years old but still runs faster than a lot of younger dogs! They were a great pair and we both went clear! Jenni had to steer Rommy round on toy height and did really well and clever boy did his weaves to tunnel beautifully which caught a lot of dogs out. I really enjoy running different dogs as it is so good for my handling :)

It was my little Sparklers first outing at a show and she was FAB! So confident with all the things we take for granted - the tannoy, people shouting commands at their dogs, barking and loads of people. Well in fact she was in her element - the more people the better! Thanks to everyone who came and said Hi to her, she loved meeting everyone :) This is Sparkle and Matthew watching a dog run - she was fascinated but very attentive to us for food and a toy which was great. We did some restrained recalls and she was such a good girly :) 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Sparkle 11 weeks and Wallingford

I went to Wallingford show with Brodie on Saturday as Brooke is in season (no puppies this time round, lol!)   so Matthew stayed at home with the two younger doglets. Brodie ran well over KC height and I enjoyed the courses loads as they were challenging enough without everything being a go round!! It was also lovely to catch up with people that I haven't seen for months :) The sun was out and it was perfect agility weather! Brodie had two refusals in the agility for coming out of a tunnel twice. It was a very dark tunnel wrapped under the dog walk but a few male dogs reversed out of it so whether there had been a funny smell in it I'm not sure!! The rest of the course he did well. He went clear in the jumping and although he wasn't  placed he finished somewhere in the top ten out of sixty so I'm really pleased with that (I didn't hang around to find out exactly as had cracking sunburn by this point!!)

My Mum came south for a reunion so spent a couple of days with us and met Sparkle. Wee Sparkle was very taken with Nanna and I think the feeling was mutual!

We walked the doglets to the field on Sunday and had chocolate brownie and coffee from the coffee shop - it was so warm that even Brax was panting!

The two smalls getting shade from Matthew

Sparkle and her 'treasure' !!

 Brodie and Brooke having a sunny snooze.

Even Max pony went out in the field naked!!

Sparkle and I have been going for little walks by ourselves and having great fun! She is a very good puppy and so far not much different to the shelties apart from being bolder with people to the point that she dive bombs at people when you are carrying her! She has done a couple of puppy classes with Dan and is very focused generally despite being still very young. Her tugging in different places is a work in progress - she will tug beautifully in my lounge or field but now she is old enough to be down on the ground we are taking the new behaviours 'on the road' so to speak. She wasn't sure about tugging in Dans field yesterday but then tugged like a nutter in the hall so that was good. Brodie shared a lesson with Helen and Sweep yesterday and was fab. One exercise was getting him to run through a gap between jumps and we got it eventually - I need someone to kick my butt once in a while!! Thanks Dan :)

Sparkle and I went to the bank in St Albans today - nothing phased her which was great as it was market day and v busy. She is gradually learning to pose for pictures!!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Drum roll please...

We finally have a kennel name!! This arrived in the post today :)

Although I didn't get my first choice I'm really pleased that they gave us this one. It means that Brax gets to be even more infamous!! It is fairly short as well so puppy names shouldn't be too traumatic to think up!!

Sparkle had her first 'big girl' walk today as it is a week since her last jab. I took her to the common for a potter with Jess (who is 12.5 and doesn't go far) and she was brilliant, off lead the whole time and happily recalling. She offers me down constantly so I think she might be like Brax in that respect too as Brodie and Brooke both do a start line sit. 

Crazy ears blowing in the wind!!

Puppy on a mission!

Learning to pose nicely for pictures :) Ears aren't blowing around in this one either! Love my little Sparkler, she is so much fun!!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Spring at Shuttleworth

We had a nice weekend competing at Shuttleworth. We hadn't been to this show since 2010 so thought as its not far we would go for a day out. Brodie unfortunately wasn't running but Dolly and Brooke did. Dolly had two runs in jumping (combined and graded 1-3) at the start of the day and Brooke had her two at the end of the day by which time it was raining!

I was absolutely THRILLED with the spanner!! We got a refusal on each course but I just loved running her, it was the first time that I felt that great team work feeling with her. It was like we were really on the same wavelength :) The courses weren't that straight forward - weaves to tunnel in one and tunnel to weaves in the other and a staircase of 4 jumps to two pull throughs. In the first run she went off to investigate the weave number and then did the weaves perfectly. In the second run she did all the complicated stuff including the pull throughs and tunnel to 12 weaves and I was so excited and proud of her that I dropped my arm and pulled her off a jump - what a muppet!! :) She was amazing despite me :)

Brooke was a little star as well - exactly the same thing in her first run as Dolly, she went off to look at the weave number! Other than that she did a lovely run. I took a video of it on my phone so its not good quality unfortunately. Her second course was C1-3 jumping and it was a tough one. She had a pole, got E'd and missed her weave entry (coming out of a tunnel) but she worked so well and kept her speed up despite having the pole and having to re-focus. She completed her weaves and did some really nice work and Matthew came away with the same buzz I got from my runs - we were soooo proud of the baby doglets. Just can't wait for the next show now!!

I have to say well done to the J9ers who were competing, Caroline and Bobby with champ S/C wins  at Broadlands and Paul and Chester getting their first G6 win - just three more to go!! Jenni and Rommy had an incident with the cloth tunnel where he got twisted quite badly in it :( Such a shame that they can't just get rid of them. Matthew and I have had so many issues with wee Brax over the years trying to get through wet cloth tunnels. It is not a consistent piece of equipment for each dog on the same course is what I hate about it. I remember at Rugby Champ a couple of years ago there were about 75 ish in the smalls. The first half of the class had done the jumping run with the wind blowing the tunnel open. Unfortunately Brax was towards the end of the class and it had started raining and so many small dogs got stuck trying to get through it in the rain. Brax is less than 4 kg and took a good 3 seconds in there!! Sadly a really good foreign dog had to be PTS after an injury in the cloth tunnel recently. Ok rant over now!

I took some photos of the shelties posing in the field this week. I just love the one of Brodie - he is such a handsome boy. The gingers are the better posers though! I can't get a decent photo of Sparkle so will try again today. She is just a blur in all of them!! She is now 10.5 weeks old and almost ready to be out meeting the world - I'm not sure if the world is ready for my little bundle of energy!! :D

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The sun has come out!

It has been so nice to see the sun appear this week. I have taken a layer off Max pony and he is shedding his hair but little Diva is still mostly hanging on to hers at the moment! I don't blame her, the weather has been bizarre so far this year. The dogs have been enjoying it too, Brodie was actually panting on his walk today. Brax is starting to follow the sun round from room to room again, just one of her many feline tendencies!

We didn't have a show at the weekend as we went to a family wedding on Saturday and I was training on Sunday. We did do some training with Dolly and the two gingers but poor Brodie is ouot of action for a week after falling off the dogwalk on Friday :( I had taught all day on it and not had a problem, it was a sudden gust of wind that took him off. He is just under 7kg so there is not much of him under the fluff! Luckily Sally the physio was able to fit us in on Monday so he has exercises to do but can't run at Shuttleworth this weekend. Its a shame as I was looking forward to doing the ABC agility with him. He is still being walked mainly on lead so here are some pics of the gingers and their mate Jess walking today.

Brooke watching birds in the hedge

All in a line having a sniff :)

These photos actually prove that the sun was out!! I love how both girls coats are coming back in, Brooke has a lovely coat at the moment which has got darker and she is finally filling out!

Bunch of posers!! They love pottering around together :)

Sparkle will be 10 weeks old tomorrow! She is just gorgeous - very quick to pick things up and plenty of attitude. She still reminds us so much of Brax as a puppy - a cheeky monkey!! While I'm typing this she has just managed to get on the other sofa for the first time and has found the stash of toys up there :) She still loves auntie Brooke best as she will play with her. We don't let them play too much as I know it can create masses of problems physically  being bashed around even though Brooke is gentle there is still quite a size difference! Here they are having a little play earlier after a walk (or carry in Sparkles case!) 

Who us??!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Bretford Easter Show

Bretford was Dolly and Brookes first KC show and fortunately it went ahead as they managed to move the rings indoors. There was still a lot of snow lying on the ground and like most indoor schools it was bitterly cold but at least it was dry!

Brooke, Dolly and Rommy were all entered in G1-3J, C1-3J and the C1-3 Easter special class. Dolly also did C-13 agility. The Easter special was up first and the two mediums did lovely runs, with Rommy winning by 4 seconds and Dolly coming second. It was the first time Rommy had done a running Aframe in the ring and it was lovely! Brooke did the same course and had a pole (tends to happen when she is racing Matthew) and then jumped like a fairy but worked well. Videos of all runs are on YouTube so I don't clutter up the blog too much! I have posted one of each doglet here though.

Brodie had been entered into C4-7 agility and we had a total blast despite getting E'd. I LOVE running my boy! I didn't call him at all coming out of the tunnel the second time so he whizzed off - bad mummy. It was his first KC height run for over a year and I was really pleased with his speed. Seesaw needs some work but other contacts were nice :)

The jumping courses were a good test as they were in a fairly little ring and there was a serpentine in both. I realised when walking it that Dolls and I have not practiced them recently so I knew it might be a case of winging it! I was really pleased with how she worked as although she got E'd in one (spotted the tunnel and shot off) and had a pole in the other, her speed it coming and her need to be velcro'd to my side is disappearing! She got her weaves confidently too, clever spanner :)

I have to say now that I am very proud trainer as Jenni and Rommy won all three classes that they had entered - wow!! Totally on fire, super sheltie!!

Little Brooke had a bit of a brain freeze in the C1-3J although she managed her weaves well. She was far more confident in the G1-3J and WON it by a good margin!! They had taken the weaves out which was a shame but she did the serpentine lovely and her turns were nice. So proud of her and Matthew!!

Little Brax hadn't done any agility at Bretford so we took them to the field and played on Monday. Brax was CRAZY!! Think she was taking it out on Matthew as she hadn't done anything the day before. Here is a video of her royal shortness doing a jumping sequence - funny little crazy ginger!

Sparkle hasn't had a video posted yet so I did a short one of what she has learnt so far. She is a total dude - willing to try anything, doesn't give up easily and very motivated. She reminds us of Brax in attitude so if she is half the agility dog Brax is I'll be thrilled!!