Tuesday, June 30, 2009


It has been getting hotter and hotter, going over 30 centigrade now, so keeping the dogs cool has become my priority. I saw my friends dog collapse from the heat once (and it wasn't as hot as this!) so get quite anxious. I have got them cooling coats, electrolyte drink, and covet shade for them. I get upset when I see dogs in cars if the owner has not taken precautions to keep them cool.
Last weekend I went to a UKA show nearby, intending to do some training runs. Unfortunately, after Zazzy's contacts didn't seem that good on Saturday I noticed that she had scraped a pad. Not too badly, but I decided not to do any more contacts with her. Instead, I used the time to reward her waits. After having to put an enormous amount of work into Kaydee's waits (she is a nervous, can't sit still for a second, twitchy fidget!), Zazzy has been a dream. But it can't hurt to take the opportunity to reward her anyway! However, she did do (and win) a senior jumping run (can't remember if I mentioned she has won up to senior level in UKA). Becky also did some training runs, and also won a champ jumping (and got a couple of seconds). As I only do one or two runs a day with her now, I usually enter agility runs. But I noticed that she only needed a jumping win to gain her the UKA title of Win Champion of Agility Performance (WCAP). So clever girl, she has got that now. Actually she also has nearly enough points for a second CAP. I am very glad for UKA shows, providing a place to train if you want to, where Becky can compete at a lower height which has brought her back out of retirement, and where even Kaydee got to do a casual run over low jumps and tunnels. She was very happy about that, and grinned for the rest of the day!

Karen and Todd win into grade 7

Huge congratulations to Karen Cole and Todd, who have won more classes than required to take them up to the highest level, grade 7.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The last week and Golden Valley show

Last week was full on, and full of things breaking.... the van needed some new bits, the caravan needs new bits, even the zip on my fleece broke....
Zazzy's training went really well last week, I was trying to keep her flowing forward smoothly and things seemed to be clicking into place (dog walk will need more work though!). I'm still doing very short sessions with her, and she shares her training at Bookham with Becky now. I have been doing a bit more with Becky and she is loving it! I keep a close eye on her though, at 9 1/2 I worry that I will make her shoulders stiff if I do too much. I am pretty sure it's to do with her conformation, her wrists and back are not very flexible and she has always jumped in straight lines and then turned on her shoulders. Anyway, she is really enjoying herself and I am enjoying running her. She can't be faulted for lack of keeness! I have done something crazy, and entered her into the championship class at Rugby(July). It will be her last champ class, a bit of fun.
At Golden Valley (lovely venue, on a hill, great views, new toilet and shower block!) we had a quiet weekend, as Karen et al. had gone to Axstane. I was very pleased that Zazzy qualified for the Alpha Agility final (out of a class of around 430 dogs!) which will be at Stoneleigh on the same weekend as the Olympia semis and pedigree pairs and team finals. She came second in her agility on Saturday, and I was kept in suspence as she was in the lead for around 230 dogs in her agility on Sunday, but in the end, bridesmaid again!

Karen and Todd - two more wins!!

Sadly I missed seeing Karen and Todd winning two more classes, as we went to different shows, but huge congratulations, just one more win will take them to championship level, grade 7.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thames Champ show

Well last week, the day after I cancelled the holiday in the Lake District, Kaydee looked completely sound again! I can only guess that it was a bad reaction to a sting. This weekend we went to the Thames show. Fantastic weather, fantastic company, and a fantastic band Saturday night! Agility people love to dance! I judged grade 6 agility Saturday . I was pleased with my course, and it was interesting watching all the different ways of handling, I think I learnt a lot. It was won by Lesley Osborne with Fizz (Nedlo Lets Get Fizzical) (A fabulous run, and no doubts about that dog getting her contacts!), Fizz's mum is Zazzy's mums' sister!

On Sunday Zazzy had three runs, a pairs run where she met a wall for the first time (it took two attempts, sorry Karen!). She is looking happier and that is such a relief to me! It was horrible running her when she was flat, in fact I realise now probably a big mistake, as apart from the obvious, that it isn't nice, I wondered if long term I have taught her to do agility slowly. But I was stuck between a rock and a hard place, as I didn't really know what what going on until we tried it and it wasn't right, and also with her three months off over the winter for various other things, she would easily have had six months off and we would be starting from scratch about now! Anyway things are what they are, and I have what is in front of me. I am very pleased with her performance over the weekend. Her running A-frame was good, and her dog walk was not too bad. We have had some homework because of my bad handling; in the last few shows she had been hitting the AF contact a bit high, and her dog walk was getting slower and more creepy. Both of these problems were my fault. I had been trying to encourage her to go a bit faster, so she was trying to leave the AF faster (shorter strides = not hitting low enough) and I was releasing her DW too early (confusing her criteria therefore uncertainty was making her creep - how many times have I advised other people not to do that!!!). Thames is a large competitive show, and so I was pleased that she came 6th in ther KC Olympia qualifier with a very shabby wide turn (bit of homework needed there!), and 8th in her jumping where she got caught up in the cloth tunnel and had a real struggle getting out! I thought that the KC qualifier course (judeged by Rob Davies) was really good, it looked deceptively easy! Zazzy's brother Spider (with Laura Derret) came third, and we thought had qualified for the semi, but I am still to find out whether they have, as Lauren Langman (who won it) has already qualified, but there was uncertainty about whether it was Matt's dog that she was running in that class. (By the way Lauren, is there any chance that I could have my wobble board back, please?) I couldn't decide what to enter Becky into (choice was highly demanding KC or Crufts qualifier courses, championship.... or veterans - talk about extremes!) wallowing in my indecision I ended up missing the closing date! So apart from helping me to test out my course, she didn't run. I really enjoyed watching the championship, the pangs of not running in them myself any more are still there but not as bad, although I still miss running Kay terribly. It was great to have a chat with Char about Tia who is going through the same type of thing. Thames is a very well organised show, and top of the list of 'must do's ' because of the Saturday nights! Overall a very enjoyable weekend! (I didn't want to come home - shame I have to go to work now!)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Poor Kaydee

Poor Kaydee was running round a field when she suddenly came to me tail between her legs and very distressed. She was skipping on one back leg, after much examination we wondered if she had been stung by a bee. However over the weekend she began to look worse, hopping on both back legs Saturday and looking lame on three legs by Sunday. I took her to the vet today and he could not find anything, nor can I. No heat or swelling anywhere, no pain response to manipulation, no loss of range of movement. I was looking forward to a week of walking in the Lake District hills and was due to leave Friday..... as she doesn't want to walk anywhere right now I guess I had better cancel! It breaks my heart to see her so miserable. And so frustrating that I don't know what's wrong and don't know how to help her.

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For a bit about what I do for a living, see: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=AeEKryTUo-Q