Saturday, 23 August 2008

Summer ?? holiday

We set off earlier this month on our trek around the country to go to Peterborough, Ipswich and Chester for the dog shows there- I reckon we had about 2 full days without any rain, and the wind was appalling all the time. It was like running in the Autumn/winter, with lots and lots of mud.
It wasn't a great time away as far as the agility was concerned, we had a couple of good runs, with lots and lots of bad runs. KC festival was a mixed bag, blew out in the qualifiers for the British Open and won the other run we had for the day! (Typical Ruby). Blossom our sheltie was away on a bonking holiday, but also whilst we were away our Smooth Collie Beryl came into season. Puck was dramatically affected by this. He has shown in the past a bit of interest in the girls- but never excessively so. But he was behaving like a sex mad maniac whilst we were away. What I always liked about Puck was that he wasn't sex mad, but here we were at the start of our holiday with a dog who wasn't focused on the job. I worked out why he was so bad, earlier in the year we lost our Alpha male dog Io- I believe having him there kept Puck's desires in check, so I have now to deal with Puck as the Alpha male dog in our household.

His behaviour in the ring manifests as missed weaves and a love for tunnels- invariably the wrong end. He ended up at the end of our holiday with one clear round to his name!! A good one it was though, coming second in the EO qualifier at the KC festival.

On the Saturday at the festival I judged and I enjoyed this- especially the 6 and 7 smalls and mediums. Though found the presentations frustrating- announcements for them were made so poorly that hardly anybody turned up for them- and I do try my very best to get to presentations.

DIN started well- champ jumping- finishing 2nd! Then the wheels fell off the week, E'd in the champ agility at the end of the round, and subsequently many more E's the rest of the week- Ruby's worst sequence of events- ever!

DD wasn't much better- but we stopped the rot slightly with a 6-7 agility win, her A frame started to go off the rails , and in two jumping courses she inexplicably missed jumps out on the course- so video's in the next round or two!

Pucks weaves are in the process of being retrained now I'm home (grass cut yesterday) to many runs being destroyed by his impetuosity and poor wait!

For him I'm putting this season down as a learning experience- not much more than this that I can do !

A week or two off now ( thank dog) I have the pairs final with Tom next week his dog panic has finally gone grade 6 with the 3rd jumping win coming at DD- well done to them.
Saw all of the pups ( except Qui) when we were away and I must say I am so very proud of the way they have all grown up, all very striking kelpies in their own way.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


It took us over 6 hours to get to this fab show, marie was judging and I was scriming so I new we would be well looked after and would have a fabulous lunch as well.
One week on after molli/brie went and as far as i know she has settled in as if she has always been there, Andrea must be photo mad as she's taken literally hundreds of pics of brie, and she looks great in them- what is it about seeing the trees for the woods? In these pics she looks great- at home she was another red and tan kelpie ( in a nice sense). I'm so happy she has found a fantastic and loving home- so now all the litter have their respective homes, I love to see them all and to see the "pairings" ie Bel and Kaiser look spits of each other and Flash and Qui are similar, Draco stands out as being hairy- though it's all fallen out, come winter ( and hormones) it'll be back as hairy as ever. It's fun to take them to the big open spaces at shows and let them off the lead- they aren't as bad as Puck and Tink at coming back to you, but Ruby prefers to run with them ( Draco & Bel as they don't try to bite chunks out of her and aren't faster than her - yet!) 

Weather at scunny was fab- nor blistering hot but just right, the runs started badly ( we had 4 runs a day- not used to this many- but grateful for them anyway. First up was the EO combined 6-7 , it was an intentionally trappy course - far, far too trappy IMO jump traps, tunnel traps, wrong side of tunnels, jumps etc, I've stated before that I like to see handler and dog enjoy the course and not go around nagging and roaring, in 6-7 the pairing will make their own mistakes and you don't need a trappy course to test the partnership. I have found this yoer a prevalence of pull throughs in course design for 6-7 and though I can do them- rather well i think, I confess to being bored by them as they are coming up again and again- surely our judges can come up with more innovative course designs? Maybe this is why I enjoyed Amanda Rogers and Andy Hudsons champ courses this year ( I'll reserve judgement on John Gilberts design at NH) Their courses showed thought and flair and I got my teeth into them., any way both puck and Ruby  cocked up on the first tunnel trap! Ruby following my flicked out hand puck just seeing a tunnel at the end of the dog walk!
Puck weekend did not get any better- his best and only non- E was in a lovely grade 6 jumping with a 2 jump recall !! it was the last run of the weekend and I think he could tell that all was not well in the dad-puck relationship so he tried his very best and only had one plastic pole down.
I also ran Tom's dog panic, both jumping runs were unlucky, but resulted in E's- she need's one more win to go grade 6 , but she (for once) saved the best run for her agility, coming 6th in grade 5 agility, her contacts are very slow (especially the A frame), but I'd actually done a wee bit of training with her earlier in the week and it paid off as her contacts were a bit quicker and more confident than before and she enjoyed herself, which is the most important factor!
Ruby's Saturday did get better with a third in the agility and 2x 1sts in the jumping! Sunday continued in the same vein with 2 x 2nd's and a third- so from 8 runs 6 trophies, she is such a good girl just now, but with a missed dog walk in one of the courses it'll be back to a bit of training for her!
I may look into getting her seen by a chiropracter thingummygig as I've mentioned before her lack of a "right" turn- whereas her left turns are very flexible, I noticed it on the weekend where I could watch her turning over the jumps ( one course) and It occurred to me whilst watching her that I'll get her looked at.

I've never been one for this sort of thing, but when people say it has improved their dog I think it must be worth a try- just a bit worried about the over-dramatisation people attribute top this ie after seeing the chiropracter you hear people say " oh- the spine was horrendously out of alignement " etc But will get her checked out just the same - think there will be one at KC Fest DIN etc.

A six hour journey home on Sunday and I'm still recovering!
Big hols coming soon- so no blog for a while KC Fest , DIN and Dashin Dogs! Should be fun, I'm judging at the KC fest so all you small / medium 6-7 handlers out there as I've stated here your jumping course will have NO pull throughs but it'll be a runners course for the dogs to have a great time!