Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mid season review

I am soooo pleased for Karen. To win with two dogs so quickly , one of which was a 'thrown away dog,' a rescue, most certainly highlights that the driving force behind the success is the trainer and handler. Way to go! And keep up the good work (Don't worry Karen, once we are partied-out, you can trust us to keep your feet on the ground, lol!)

I am really pleased with Zazzy. She is really enjoying her agility, and I love running her. Last night I noticed how much she has tuned into me, I only have to think about what is coming next and it happens. Good thing really, although I haven't noticed her run faster, I have noticed that she is taking less strides between obstacles, so it's getting more and more important that my handling is clear and that the timing is right! Last weekend we met a tough running A-frame sequence in the KC Olympia course ( I love Dave Jolly's courses, they are always clever, interesting and testing, well more testing for the handler than for the dog, as long as the handler does his/her job properly!). Coming out of the weaves Zazzy had a 180 degree turn and space for just one stride before the AF. I knew she would find it hard to get the impulsion to hurdle the top of the AF and get her striding long enough to hit the contact on the down side. Zazzy naturally has a long stride, the drawback of this is that it takes her a while to build up momentum. Like Becky, her best runs have been when I can keep her flowing without too much stopping and starting. I have began to work more on training acceleration, and I can see her gradually getting stronger, but I must admit Kaydee had it naturally, she can go from stationary to flat out, and flat out to stationary in the blink of an eye! Anyway I had about a 5 minute opportunity to do some proofing on the AF this week, and the course at Bookham turned out to be a perfect opportunity to test it. The tunnel was under the AF, so no run up at all! Whereas I really struggled with such things when she was first learning the AF, I was really happy to find her much more successful last night. Just a couple of instances of being higher than I would like. She is such good fun and so lovely to have around. I am also over the moon with Becky, she is really enjoying herself and is really impressing me with hard she is trying. Of course, I am still sad for poor Kaydee, but I am still looking for ways to get her looking and feeling on top form.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thundery downpours!

Visitors often ask why the Brits talk so much about the weather. After a short while it becomes obvious that there is a lot to discuss! After I had to leave the girls at home during the day last week because it was so hot (feeling guilty because they missed an hour of free running every lunchtime), yesterday we went for a walk in Richmond Park at lunchtime, during which we got caught in a torrential downpour of rain. We took shelter under a huge old oak tree, some of those trees are up to 500 years old, isn't that incredible? I guess they have seen a lot of weather! Then it started to thunder and I decided it might be better to leave!
Actually perhaps we don't talk about the weather enough, more dogs died in hot cars last week, including two police dogs. It's appalling and really upsets me.

Now that I've got the camera phone working again, I can show a couple of good reasons why it is good to be home! The smell of Jasmine in the evenings, and fresh strawberries!

Monday, July 6, 2009


What a great show! When I read that the venue was in the grounds of Berkley Castle, I didn't realise that I would actually be camping under the castle!
Berkeley Castle has been lived in by the same family for over 900 years. It is where Edward II was murdered, where the Barons of the West gathered before Magna Carta, and where Queen Elizabeth I hunted and played bowls. It was a lovely weekend, cooler than of late thank goodness! We started getting heavy showers Sunday afternoon, but it only really badly affected one of my runs. Zazzy seemed to be enjoying each run a little more, and it made me really happy. She came home with more trophies! Becky also had a couple of runs, and although she had some faults, wow! She really enjoyed herself!! Kaydee had a special walk exploring the area with me. There was plenty going on, lots of great people and interesting conversations. I was reminded of how sensitive Zazzy's litter are when Shaun told me how badly Fix (or is that Phix?) was affected by the sounds of sizzling from a nearby burger van at the show last week. Fix didn't want to do any agility most of the week, and he is a dog that is obsessed (or is that transfixed? ha ha sorry) by agility. After a week of work, however, Shaun seems to have sorted out (or is that fixed - sorry I'll stop that now) the problem, he looked fantastic in the run I saw, really powerful, and he came second. Well done Shaun! I also saw Cookie (with Claire Murray), who is also looking phenominally powerful, fast and keen! Claire said Zazzy is the polite one of the litter, that made me laugh!

Karen Cole Superstar

What can I say? Karen won more classes with Todd over the last couple of weekends than I can count, but not only that, she also won some with Jess. So not just Todd, but also Jessica are now grade 7. Champion!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Zazzy is attacked

It has been really hot this week, I thought I would take the girls down to the river near Chertsey Bridge where they could have a paddle and swim. We had just got out the van and they were running through the long grass, when out of nowhere a large tan and white greyhound/lurcher appeared, chasing them down. I only had time to call once, as they came back to me the lurcher chased down and pounced on Zazzy, knocked her to the ground and held her down as it stood over her tearing chunks of fur out of her as she screamed. Luckily she was close and I was over there in a heartbeat, lifted it up and backwards by grabbing under its hips, taking its hind legs off the ground, I threw it away from Zazzy. Thank goodness for all involved it reconsidered going back in, as I was now in its way and left it no doubt it would have to go through me first; it turned and ran off. No owner in sight. Poor Zazzy was whimpering and crying and staggering to her feet.

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