Thursday, 25 June 2020

Lockdown Day 94 - BAC Reserve Champion!

The results were out for the British Agility Championships online competition yesterday, turns out Sparkle is Reserve Champion in medium!! 💜 I'm so proud of her as it was at BAC a couple of years ago that she won one of the rounds, made the final but bolted out of the ring with fear due to a very unhelpful photographer. Since then we have gone back to the venue and she hates it there so I wouldn't compete her there again so I have always felt that we had unfinished business with BAC! So Spark won the agility round and came 4th in the jumping round. Bru came 2nd in the jumping round and 4th in agility and finished 4th in the Final which is amazing for such a young dog! Only the top ten make it to the final 😀

Talking of shows I am one week into my slow motion show at J9 agility! I have loved watching some stunning runs and seeing how the handlers tackle the pressure of trying to run a course clear. I'm so proud as a trainer to watch them get their first clear round or see the young dogs get their weaves in the course! There has been a lot of virtual high fives!!! I have some pretty rosettes to give out after the two weeks is up 😁

 The most recent coronavirus update means that from the 4th July pubs, cafes, cinemas etc will be able to open with 1m plus social distancing in place. Weirdly we still can't train outside in groups of more than 6! So no 'normal' shows are going to be happening any time soon. Football has started up again with the players being tested twice a week as routine. I have been doing Fantasy Premier League for a couple of years now and I am currently 281,000 in the world out of 7 million plus players. Its hard at the moment as not sure about players form, who will play and how fit they are plus there are no crowds allowed to watch which must affect the players a bit? Anyway, enough about football!

I have missed baking so the last couple of weeks I have made ginger biscuits and flapjacks. The ginger biscuits are enormous!!

It has been so hot here this week that I have been starting work really early and finishing by lunchtime. Yesterday the doglets did some free work in the garden in the shade to keep their brains busy.

Its funny having a temperature on the van, 32 degrees is crazy hot!

 We went out for an hours walk at 8pm last night and it was lovely with a little breeze. The doglets were so happy!

Brackens beautiful rose has really come out now and is so pretty

Courgettes for dinner!

And our first beans ready to eat!

Today we spent lunchtime outside paddling!

Lettuce from the garden

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Lockdown Day 86 - Firsts!

So today shops are opening again for the first time in three months! I was in town today and met a friend for a toastie and walk and it was almost back to normal with how busy it was (despite a massive downpour!) This is a long post so I apologise! 

We had a great time on Saturday socially distancing with friends and doing some hoopers and having a take away. Here is Toad in action on the hoopers course (turn volume down as his sheltie friends and family were cheering him on!) He had such a brilliant time! 

Brooke had a run round with Matthew and was brilliant! She really is getting some confidence finding the hoops

Bru had been to a workshop with Dalton in the morning. I usually go along and film but with the current covid restrictions there were no spectators allowed so I was thrilled to be sent a video of what they did!

We entered Spark and Bru in the British Agility Champs online competition back when we were off for the week and ran the jumping then. We get the results tomorrow and see whether we are in the final but this is Sparks agility round, I was really pleased with how she did as its a while since we have run whole courses!

And here are a bunch of random photos! One of my lovely clients gave me these paddling pools and the doglets have loved dipping their feet in! 

These pics are from last week when it rained for a couple of days...the doglets were very disgruntled about wearing coats again!

We had our first courgette!! It was very tasty and we have a lot more almost ready to eat. I have dug out my courgette cake recipe for when we have loads of them!

Our first sunflower!

First runner beans!

Our first ripe strawberry!

First flower on the pink rose

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Lockdown Day 82 - Party

We are off to a party today! We have been doing a weekly quiz with friends on a video chat and we have arranged to meet up and do some hoopers, have a in person quiz and a take away 😁 Looking forward to it as it will be a bit like going to a show! I will get some photos and video hopefully.

I had Brooke with me yesterday and did some distance agility work, she is actually much better with me working her from behind as she tends to rush and take off even earlier if she is chasing us! Here is the video of her distance work. You can see she isn't so brave driving off after the flick away after the aframe, its those little head flicks and extra strides that waste time!

And Bru having a crack at the distance work...sooooo pleased with his weaves! You can't see from the comparison video but he starts on the same wind wrap before the aframe. Like many young dogs my movement gives him confidence so I want him to learn that he can go the same speed even if I'm not moving!

It won't let me upload photos today for some reason so I'll put the on soon!

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Lockdown Day 79 - Shops

I'm not sure I should be using the title of Lockdown any more as for Matt and me life is pretty much back to normal without some of the fun things like meals out and agility shows! I'm very aware tho from speaking to family and clients that for many people it is still lockdown and they are in a strange work less limbo. Shops get to open again from Monday! I'm just listening to the daily Coronavirus briefing and Boris has literally announced this minute that we are allowed to have a 'support bubble' with another household that we can mingle with. This will be very good news for families that are struggling. Plus brilliant news for zoos and safari parks which will be allowed to open from Monday!! It must be such a relief for them as over 90% of their revenue comes from ticket sales.

I have been trying to train each dog once a week at the field to keep them ticking over. Brooke worked on Monday and was brilliant but I didn't film her like a numpty! Today I took Spark and tried a sequence that I have set up with normal handling and with distance handling. As expected she was a bit slower on the distance work but my aim for the summer is to speed up her understanding of moves like threadle wraps from a distance so I can get ahead of her more on a course. Sorry about the weird frame, its the only one I could find to fit the videos!!

After my walk on Monday I was excited to discover that Cafe Nero was open for takeaway coffee again!

Last week one of my lovely clients gave me a couple of paddling pools and Spark was straight in there!

It has rained today for the first time in ages so I dug out their waterproofs, it was wet for both of our walks today typically but I did manage to teach in the dry!

The bonus to the rain was the fields were empty!!

Friday, 5 June 2020

Lockdown Day 74- Lesson

Bru, Spark and I went for a lesson this morning. Unlike the glorious weather we have had over the past few weeks it was cold, wet and windy!! Great fun though, we did a lot of skills work with the dogs and we have some garden homework which I love as I'm such a nerd 😂 Dan work Bru through a jump skills sequence and you can see how much Bru adores his Uncle Dan...he meant business as the crocs came off haha!!

This was Rupert before lesson doing his serious face! 💛

No video of Sparkalina but this was mid lesson!

And her serious face! 💜 Dan was behind me trying to make her get to! 

It was a tad windy!!

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Lockdown Day 73 - Bank

Today was the first time I've been to the bank for months, it was weird being back in town again. Most of the shops are shut and the banks all have queues outside with markings on the pavements. Luckily the doglets could come into the bank with me so they enjoyed watching the world go by while we waited to go in. The lockdown measures have eased a bit but the death toll in the last 24 hours was still 113 people sadly. We are the country with the second highest death toll after the USA which is worrying. Sorry for being a bit morbid but I feel its important to remember that this pandemic is far from over despite life getting back to some sort of normal for many of us.

Waiting to get into the bank. Once we were in there was hand gel at the money paying in machines and a one way system to steer clear of other people.

After the stress of going to the bank I got lunch from the Hatch which is a lovely take away coffee place, Halloumi, avocado and chilli jam muffin with a latte! What a treat!

Spark was sulking as I left her at home today...she was having a bad tail day!! 😂

Bean and Toad spent the day with me, I am trying to get them used to being in the van again while I work now its a bit cooler. We walked up to the showground field and found that the grass was cut which was nice. 

Yesterday I took the shelties to play hoopers at the other field, they had a blast! Toad hadn't played for a while as I was worried he was sore at one point during lockdown but he seems a lot better and was running so well. I kept it really easy for him and he was shattered afterwards!

And we got our prize from Matts cousin Alice for winning the quiz she held via zoom, it tastes amazing!! 

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Lockdown Day 71 - Paddling

Forgot to post this last week but it was so much fun setting up a jumping course and running the doglets round...look how close Bru and Spark were round the same course!!

I remembered to take my little pool home from the field as it needed a clean anyway and my two doglets were straight in it yesterday! Both had been snorkelling so have wet noses!

Our peony has started to flower and looks very pretty!  

Matt dug this up from under our hollyhock, it is a horse chestnut which is weird as there are none round us at all!

Today was so hot that we had a shady walk in the woods, so lucky that these woods are only behind the house. It wasn't a long walk but Spark enjoyed mooching around

And Brooke bean on the fields, she is so pretty!