Monday, 30 September 2013

A week in the life of Sparkle (aged 8 months)

Hi I'm Sparkle and I thought I'd tell you what I did last week. One of my favourite places is Mum's field - I am a VIP (very important puppy) as I help her set all the equipment out and also keep the field clear of stupid crane flies. This is me catching flies while my big sister Brooke sneaks up behind me, she is very cheeky!

This is me with the rest of my doggy family - Mum calls them shelties. My ears are like sheltie ears so I must be one too, right?!

This is me and my oldest sister Bracken at a fun place called Heartwood. It is lots and lots of fields and woods and I can just run and run :)

We go into St Albans on Saturdays when we don't go to agility parties. My Mum and Dad love having something called coffee so I have to wait around while they sit down - boring!! Last time we went it was cold so they hugged me to warm up - I am very snuggly. This is me and Dad.

I love this lady! She is called my Nanna and she lives in a very far away place called Scotland. She visited me last weekend and I just love snuggling with her on the sofa with my hoof. Here (Mum says if you click on a mouse(?!) you can make the picture bigger) you can see we are having a serious chat.

Sometimes I actually stop running around - here I am with my brother Brodie. He is the best big brother but I think I annoy him sometimes. This is me after my class on Wednesday at Auntie Anna's. We were doing something called heelwork, it was good fun but very tiring! I am very good about letting Auntie Anna hold me now - I can reverse my back feet onto her lap for a sweetie - lots of people laugh at me but its cos I am so clever I think!

When I am really tired I have to sleep with all my feet in the air-its tough being a puppy.

I get to play in Mum's field lots - this is me and one of my toys. I could play all day!

I also like balancing on things and take this very seriously. If my brother and sisters try and join in, I push them off!

Sometimes its nice to have a nap here, it is very comfortable.

We went to an agility party this weekend and although I get to watch and play I can't wait until I can join in! I have been learning little bits at Uncle Dan's field where I have my weekly lesson. I have some good friends in my lesson and I love running around and doing tunnels. 

Brodie and Brooke are very clever - I want to be like them when I grow up. Mum says that Brodie won Grade 7 jumping and agility and Brooke won G4 jumping - wow look at those pink medals. One day I want to win one!!

 Yesterday Mum and Dad took us into Harpenden to do something called food shopping. I like watching people walking past and enticing them to speak to me by staring at them - I am very good at this game of 'catch the human'!

This is me and one of my other favourite toys - I like to carry this round the house all the time, it is funny as I drop it and let Brooke think she can get it and then grab it again - haha!! 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

This will make you smile!

Had a lovely weekend with my Mum who stopped over with us on route to America-fab time seeing her and a weekend totally agility free which was weird in a good way! All the dogs loved seeing 'Nanna' again and my Mum couldn't believe how much Sparkle had grown up. I still can't believe that she is 8 months this weekend :)

Anyway, we trained all four doglets at the field on friday - if you really want to be bothered look at my Youtube page but here is a funny video of Matthew proofing his weaves which is guaranteed to make you smile!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Super shelties :)

The doglets have had a crazy agility weekend but loved every minute! We couldn't decide whether to do EASS UKA at Littleport or Ajaxs at Mapledurham so we decided as we live half way between the two that we would do the Masters qualifiers at each. Bracken had already qualified and I was hoping that I could qualify Brodie as that meant all three would then be doing something at the Grand Finals in December and also that I wouldn't just be Matthew's groom, lol!!

Brooke did three runs on Saturday, two nfc's so that Matt could reward her contacts and a jumping. She came 2nd in the jumping, not sure how as she managed to come out of the tunnel on her head - it was a bit wet and slippery and she got mud all over her eyebrows - bless! Her agility run was stunning - her speed over the contacts equated to what she does in training :) Only her nfc runs were filmed over the whole weekend as the video camera died on saturday and we forgot it on sunday!!

Little Brax did lovely clears in both the Masters agility and jumping (the results are combined to get the overall so it's like champ without the final) and finished 3rd overall. Brodie was running like a nutcase iin the jumping and idiot mother managed to get him E'd but he managed everything well. The agility course was great fun - I had an unfortunate refusal as got in his way doing a front cross before the dog walk - I'm just not fast enough on my sore knee so winter training is to focus on blinds and rear crosses! He was such a little dude managing a great running dog walk back to the jump (see course below) and got his weave entry with no help from me as I was miles away-love my boy :) I think he finished 3rd or 4th overall but we as it was late we headed home. Thanks to Amanda Pigg for great fun courses! This is the agility course (click to see it properly)

Yesterday we went to Ajaxs and Brooke did two runs and the older two did Masters again. Brooke puppy WON the jumping class!! It was really fast and flowy and little bean was the fastest over all heights by 3 seconds! It was probably the first time that she ran a whole course at the speed she does in training.

Bracken was on form again and talk about consistent! 3rd in jumping, 3rd in agility (5r) and 3rd overall!! She was running so well and her times were really decent considering again the jumping course was quite fast and flowing. Brodie toad managed to win the jumping with 5r as I tried to send him half a mile away into a tunnel  and he wasn't convinced I meant it! Apart from that he did really well, again I struggled to get into position using front crosses so ended up going to plan B and rear crossing loads of it - stupid knee. In the agility all of the midi's got E'd for going in the tunnel under the dog walk so Brodie and I won it overall!! I'm really proud of all three of our shelties, especially little diddle who was retired this time last year. We are going to have fun at the Finals but lots of work to do before then, for me and Brodie its definitely blind crosses, tightening rear crosses and speeding up his seesaw. Brax needs to keep up with her contact work - she actually managed 2o/2o in the ring!! Bless her tiny cotton socks :)

Sparkley bumble had fun playing at the shows and getting cuddles! Her eyes almost popped out of her head when she saw a canoe race at Ajaxs on the Thames. What was even funnier is one of the people passing in a canoe called out to her and it was my wonderful osteopath Gina who was competing in the race!! Sparkle almost jumped in her canoe!! :)

Took a video of Sparkle catching daddy long legs in my field - she is hilarious!! Brooke keeps looking up as though to say 'what on earth is she doiing??!!'

Monday, 9 September 2013

Definitely progress...

We had no shows planned this weekend so managed to get lots of important things done like catching up on my books and sheltie club stuff. Lian invited us to her lovely farm on Saturday to do some training with the doglets. Brooke and Sonic have both qualified for the Beginners Steeplechase at the UKA Finals in December and Brooke still finds it hard to concentrate when her Grandma Lian and brother are around! She has got much better recently thanks to Lians help but we all thought it would be productive to meet up a few times before the finals to get her used to training with Lian present. Can't thank Lian enough for all her help with Miss Brooke - I have loads of videos of her training but can't get the off the blooming video camera - grrr!! At one point Brooke was working and Lian was playing tug with Sonic in the middle of the course - definitely huge progress!!

Sparkle and Seren did a wee bit of training as well and were very good! Just some wing wraps, tunnels and go-ons but Sparkle was very focused on her toy and tried really hard. She also did some jumping on the end of Lians aluminium seesaw which was good as everyone I know has plastic or wood ones and the metals ones are much louder. She jumped a bit the first time and was then fine. We also let her run up to the end for a sweetie with it held up which she did no probs :) I do teach the seesaw quite early (not with it tipping but just the running up to a sweet and the banging it down) as I think its important that the dogs learn that planks can move! I see a lot of dogs that learn it last and by then they have got it into their brains that planks don't move and they find the seesaw too much of a shock. We don't let them tip it all for ages but it just gets their confidence high :)

Sparkle being a flirt with Sonic and Saturn!

Brooke and Sonic posing - she is very out of coat!!

Brooke with brother Sonic, Daddy Sing, Uncles Saturn and Sizzle. What a beautiful variety of sable colours!!

Brodie and Brax were very tired after a morning socialising!!

Sparkle thinks paperwork is boring - yep!!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Run Diddle Run!!

Awwww we have had a fun weekend!!

Firstly thanks to everyone who commented about Sparkles restrains and has put up with listening to me brainstorm about it! She is getting better but I also have some good exercises to work on that don't need a restraint which also means I can train her on my own more effectively! Very exciting :) She was a model pupil at her Multi Skills class and worked really well with new dogs in a new environment. Anna is a lovely fun trainer and gave me hope as her little collie bitch doesn't particularly like restrains either.

Family photo - I love that Brooke is doing her plank work in the background!!

Sparkle in her favourite sleeping place!

And before going to 'school' with her magic box :)

Anyway, onto the shelties weekend! We went to UKA HADS and had a lovely day on Saturday. We arrived too late to walk the Beginners agility so Dolly and Brooke were sadly let down by their handlers, lol! Both girls had a much better run in the jumping as the sat navs were working and had walked the course! Brooke had a pole but was the fastest 5f and Dolly Spanner came 2nd!! Clever girly and that moves her up to Novice Performance at UKA! Some of the runs from Saturday are on my YouTube page.

Brodie did two runs as well and won champ jumping and got a refusal in the steeplechase as I dropped my arm and good boy came in to me. Little Brax did one nfc agility to practice her dog walks which were v good and also did the Circular Knockout Qualifier. (Two dogs racing against each other and if not knocked out you progress to the next round) Well blooming heck it was a fast big course and little diddly (all 11" of her) managed to win it and qualify for the final in December!! I can't tell you how amazing this little dog is - retired last year, then diagnosed and treated for thyroid problems and now not only won lots of the IFCS qualifiers but won and qualified for Knockout and Masters at the UKA Finals at her only attempts. I had to do a photo of Brax with her rosettes as we are so very proud of her xxx

This is round 2 from the knockout - this was her closest one. The crowd really got behind it!! Brax loves the attention - she loved Crufts and the more people cheer the faster she goes!!

Couple of posing pictures from this morning