Saturday, January 31, 2009

The weekend at last!

How wonderful to get up in daylight!! No walking the girls in the dark today! I found myself reading scientific papers on the systematics of mimosoid legumes up to nearly midnight last night, but no work today! This weekend is for my dogs. I have been feeling very stressed at work so it was lovely to go and see Karens new puppy Yazoo last night
Zazzy's weaving progress: I'm happy to say that I did manage to bodge together two weave poles to work in my living room, although it was a bit disconcerting that Zazzy spat out the chicken breast I was using for reward (it was supposed to have been my dinner!!), but that's another story! Anyway, it seems after sleeping on it, Zazzy has remembered about what to do with weave poles, and in five minutes yesterday she worked up to four, she was picking up the entry and driving through really well, from all angles with about 80% success (she missed a couple of really tough angles first go). I was using her favourite toy and she really picked up speed as well for that! I am really pleased with her progress. Amazing what can happen in 5 minutes!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I have to admit that I did think that Zazzy would very quickly remember what we had started doing agility-wise, as it has only been a few months ...... well I'm here to tell you that she cannot remember how to weave! I guess that I have to remember that she only learnt to weave about six months ago, so in actual fact she hasn't weaved for nearly half of that time. Today I went right back to just two poles, and was frustrated to not have enough time to get even that very good today (unless I find a way to get the stick-in poles to work in my living room!!) My 'day job' is very frustrating at the moment, it's taking up too much time! I carry out pollen research, which is very interesting although very poorly paid. The credit crunch is affecting my job in a rather unexpected way. As our budgets are cut, and the liklihood of redundancies grow, the team spirit has dissolved, as some people seem to be going about trying to make themselves look more worthy of employment than anyone else. The outcome of this for me is that my manager has demanded that I drop my own research and take on her 'grunt work', to boost her research credentials instead I suppose. Great. So here I go with a delicate dance, trying to make my work life bearable and worthwhile, without loosing my job!
Oh well never mind that, I am off to find a way to make two weave poles stand up in the middle of my living room...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Zazzy's new start

Zazzy has started agility training, she is such a joy to work with! It is such good fun. We are spending a few weeks on low jumps, and have started targeting at the end of a plank on the ground, gradually raising it and working up to a full dog walk. I am really pleased with how things are going, although it seems like we have a long long way to go! Toni Dawkins was around last weekend with her pup Beep, our two girls get along and play really well together which is lovely. We had a lot of fun with our pups, and she also let me have a go at running her agility champions Kite and Minx, and I am also honoured that Karen let me run her poodle Tika (wooo hooo, what fun!!! And all three heights, small, medium and large!) We did a bit of training with some friends, driving up a line of (low) jumps to tunnels, sending our dogs ahead, running wide of the line etc., then did a bit on snake lines. Zazzy has hardly done any turns as yet (I wanted to make sure she was going on well before I started turns). Luckily for us, then, that we went to Toni's training day on Sunday. Unfortunately we didn't get to run the course she had set up because it poured with rain and the conditions got too dangerous; instead we did some turn exercises over two jumps. I learnt a lot, just what we needed! I want to go over all the turns Zazzy is likely to meet before putting the jumps up. She picks things up really quickly, I am so impressed with her! I have huge respect for Toni, she keeps proving that she is a great dog trainer and is a natural teacher of humans, but her experience and enthusiasm allows her to excel in every situation, and she has the ability to give everyone at every point in their agility career something really useful and positive. It is no accident that she is so popular for training days! All too soon the summer show schedules are appearing, and the camping at some of those will be full within days and I don't want to miss the camping, but with only Zazzy to enter, and knowing that she is only doing small jumps and tunnels as yet, it feels wrong to be even thinking about entering!


I've been tagged too :-)

By Karen (

Open a document or file folder

Click on the fifth folder

and then the fifth photo

Post the photo and describe it

Unfortunately this gives a photo of a teleconverter I have not yet got round to putting on ebay. Boring huh? Sorry!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

An end and a beginning

I have just arrived home from taking Kaydee and Zazzy to a fantastic physiotherapist. There is good news for Zazzy. She has recovered well from the trauma to her back, and we can now start to rebuild her fitness with the aim of returning to normal agility training, which I guess will take about six to eight weeks. (So plenty of time to re-train her targeting, which she seems to have completely forgotten!) (I will be trying hard to ignore her brothers and sisters who have already made stunningly brilliant agility debuts!)
While Zazzy is about to start out, Kaydee has reached the end of her competitive agility career. After a very thorough examination and discussion, I think I have a much clearer picture of what is going on with her. A region of her spine is not mobile, possibly an arthritic response to an old trauma (she suffered a nasty accidental collision when she was younger). This lack of mobility causes a problem during the highly demanding athletic requirements of training and competing in agility, because the muscles in that area cannot function optimally where her back does not flex where it is supposed to. Although she compensates pretty well, the compensation causes soreness and problems in other areas that have to work harder and stretch further. This at first causes muscle soreness, then over-stretching of muscle, ligament or tendon, thus causing tears and injury. So my job now is to think of something she can do that will keep her physically fit and mobile, and mentally challenged, without causing any problems.

About Me

My photo
For a bit about what I do for a living, see: