Wednesday, 18 July 2012


Me and the Foof have just been to an agility workshop taught by Dan,and based around 2 'stars' of jumps.
He said you can practice just about all the handling moves you will need.

Wow did it show that I have NOT been practicing the most basic stuff :(

Things we need more work on include,
 Having Flooz drive on when I am static.
 Driving into tunnels when there is other equipment very near them.
 Sending up a line to a dead toy,and just dead toy work in general.
 Checking her stride when she has done 2 or 3 obstacles at top speed.Our first few goes at a front cross after 2 jumps then a tunnel she did check her stride and turned,which was really nice,but she can do better and be more consistent at it.
There is more,but my notes are in the van,these are the really glaring ones which need work on!

Another thing which has always been funny,but has reached a level where it is definitely become a hindrance,is how vocal the Foof is during a restrain.
I've always loved it cos it really shows how excited she is,and how desperate she is to get on with the job.
But now when I restrain her,she's can't really hear what on earth I am trying to say to her!!
So I'm afraid I will have to put a stop to it,its a little sad,but she can be just as excited but just stop making the alien noises!

What has come hand in hand with the increase in frustration/noise is that she looks at me whilst she's screaming,which means she is not looking at where she's about to go,which is just about useless in agility,so its all gonna have to go.
It will also make me leave her in waits more,which I am often happy to avoid,which is pretty ridiculous seeing as how Mookie has a perfect wait,and Foof's is pretty much bombproof too,but its one of my secret nemesis,cos I lost it with Shady!
I find it hard to let go off some of my training baggage sometimes.I still have a 'thing' about contacts,down to how badly I handled them with Shady!He hasn't trained or competed in nearly 2 years...for God's sake Nicola,let it go!! lol.

So,LOTS to work on!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

What a great day.....

Yesterday I had a really busy,but hugely rewarding day.
It started off in the morning when I went to London to visit the Queen...hahaha ok not to visit the Queen but its a children's rhyme here,and just trips off your tongue when you say that you went to London!
I went to attend a protest against the DDA (Dangerous Dogs act) I'd never been to any sort of protest before,and was a bit sceptical to how many people would turn up,and what they would be like.
I wanted to go to challenge myself to actually get up and do something visible against this ridiculous,and hugely ineffective law.
There were more people than I thought there,including some celebrities,Robert Alleyne from Dog Borstal was there,an actor called Peter Egan who I recognised,but wasn't familiar with,and Anthony Head (from Buffy) and his wife Sarah Fischer.
I chatted with them a bit and as everyone else was getting photos I though why not,not every day that you chat with a TV star.

I stayed for around 2 and a half hours,having chatted to quite a few people who passed by and who knew nothing of the law,and who were keen to learn about it.
Whenever someone would drive past a honk their cars horn the crowd would let up a bit cheer,it was quite something :)
I left and made my way back home alone,I got some photos of the Houses of Parliament as Westminster tube station is right next to them,and I was also right next to the London Eye,I felt like a complete tourist!

I took Shady to his 2nd flyball lesson in the evening.It was his first time in this equestrian centre,he went in as usual,ready for action,and he rocked it.
He's doing great on his turns,and completly got it that there is a beloved tennis ball on there for him to get.
We ran him from behind the 2nd jump to go get the ball,but he was reluctant to go all the way down there without his mummy lol.
We never did a lot of 'going on' with him in  agility,so I'm going to have to do some dead toy work.
I'm also going to get someone to help me with doing fast recalls between 2 people with 2 dogs,with them passing along the way,to start to prepare him for races when he is crossing with other dogs.

I am just SOOO happy to have something for me and Shady all of our own again!!

Monday, 9 July 2012

2 posts before half 8 in the morning!

Floozie's 3rd '1st show' has been and gone without her competing AGAIN,my bad,I hadn't got her measured yet,and had wrongly assumed they have someone doing it there,but no,so poor Foof got to do no runs.
I did do some weave entry training with the 2 x 2 poles Becky had bought with her.
On saturday I had 2 lovely clear runs with Mookie,both with 9th places,one was a grades 1 - 7 combined steeplchase,so I was pleased with that place considering Mookie is only grade 3,and steeplechases favour the faster dogs as it is just a blast round.
The 9th in the agility was cool too as I'd held her contacts.she had 3 nice contacts,could have done the Aframe faster (that run is the run in the vid above) but went straight into position with no confusion,which has been our problem,due to me being inconsistent about criteria at shows.
Our other run she only had one mistake where I sent her into a tunnel instead of the weaves,rather stupidly as I'd seen that as a potential problem,and still let it happen duh ;)

When I got back I discovered that my van has a huge bloody oil leak :( So I didn't think I'd be able go to the show on Sunday,luckily Liv took me,what a star:)
We arrived too late to walk courses,and it showed oops! I would have gone clear,but the little minx came off her Aframe contact before I released her,so I told her to get back on it,which meant we got eliminated.I don't care though,my goal is perfect contacts,not going clear.I'm thinking of long term goals,not short term gain :) Other than the E for getting back on the equipment,we ran clear.
She came off her dog walk too,so it would seem that I have fixed the creeping down the contact equipment problem,and created instead a coming off early problem.
I'm pretty sure I know why.I am too rigid with how I behave at contacts.I notice from the vid that I have very stupidly been releasing her with a verbal que but at the same time also moving my arm,so she is probably now releasing off my body movement :( No worries though,I just need to start being more unpredictable about how/when I release.
Its so important to watch yourself on video,you see all the stupid stuff you do haha.
The jumping round was pretty rubbish, till half way round,then there were some nice bits.

No shows next weekend,then a 2 day show at Rugby,providing it doesn't get cancelled due to the weather.They are going to decide on Wednsday,really hope its not cancelled!

The brilliant Trevor Greenslade took some lovely photos of Mooks doing her thang on her runs :) He did a really good job,considering the lighting was awful for a good part of the day....good ol' English summer,rain and cloud :(

Random photos...(and little vid)

The gang at Wellingborough show last weekend :) These 4 just seem to belong together.

Some random phone photos from the past few days.

Do my dogs scrounge whilst I eat my dinner?  NO never!! ;)

Sixx found her daddy at the show! :)

Uh oh,Foofie is armed and dangerous!!

Mookie in the pet store...'can't reach the biscuit'!!

At least Mookie can still laugh about having such a crap mummy!

Shady always has his eye on me!!

Little,badly filmed clip of the 3 amigos having a run.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Newfie agility?

I finally found a use for the Newfies,agility obstacles to practice direction commands on :)

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Wallowing pigs!!

After work today Elaine and Ella met me at the kennels.I just took Flooz in with me this afternoon so we could take them for a run,just the 2 of them.
They had a wicked time,charging around the countryside together.They are a good match as playmates,cos Ella chases Flooz,which they both love,and also,when Flooz chases her Ella isn't so exciting or fast as to awaken Flooz's prey drive,which she used to channel onto other dogs!

I didn't get very nice photos unfortunatly,but Ella continues to be as photogenic as ever.....even if she does have a freakishly long tongue!

It was so hot Ella started melting lol.

Pigs...the pair of them!

'What's going on over there?'

Luckily as it was so hot they found a nice stagnant pool to wallow in,like a pair of hippos!

Vampire Foofie!

Put those teeth away Foof!

Elaine and Ella posing....this was taken before the wallowing in stagnant water!

Traditional  'the end' shot :)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


After a busy day grooming I took the girls for a little training session.Dan kindly let me borrow his field,and I had a very productive little session with Flooz and Mookie.

With Floozie I worked on weaving,she's pretty much fine with them now,though I can definatly do much harder entries,but for now,the entries which she will encounter at shows,she should be able to manage no problem.She is weaving fast and furious like everything else she does,nice low head,and she does some screaming as she does it,which means she is getting frustrated that she can't do it faster lol Still she looks about as fast as a dog shaped like a brick can go.

I did a few seesaws with her too,the first one she FLEW!! Only once though,she listened after that :)

With Mooks I concentrated on building value for my RZ's.(Reinforcement zone) She did good too and we had a lot of fun too.

I'm really looking forward to the weekend,a show Sat and Sunday running both girls.

Mooks is going grey early! Like her mummy :)

Not sure why Mookie looks so fat and out of condition in this photo,but I like her happy face :)

I've had plenty of work lately,as usual I've been taking the dogs with me when I go to work,and they have the free run of the grooming room or garden,and mostly spend time alternating between mooching about outside,and coming in to lie near me as I work.
Mindy really likes to make the most of the opportunity of getting outside,she spends the majority of her time outdoors,just coming in to check on me every now and again.
Today though as I was there over 7 hours,even she gave up and came inside for a snooze.

From the time it became obvious that Pete and I were going to split,I have stopped having any expectation of Pete to help me with the dogs.He is just responsible for Bug,who is on crate rest anyway due to being lame.
Because I haven't been able to take Bug to work I have changed how I do things with the dogs.
The routine used to be that Pete would take Mindy and Bug for a run in the morning,whilst I walked the other 3.Then I would take 'my' 3 to work for the morning,then bring them home at lunchtime,and swap them for Bug and Mindy.But seeing as Bug is out of action,I've been taking everyone else with me all day,and walking/running them together too.
Its really bought me and Mindy closer together,ecspecially being able to let her off the lead now,that really makes life easier.
So we're settling into a new nice routine :)

Random photos taken whilst the dogs are enjoying being outside whilst I have a break from working.

Lol floozie looks like she's grovelling towards me,but actually she's stalking Mookie!

Shady is just so happy,all of the time,specially if there is a toy he can play with.

I don't know what Mindy was concentrating so hard on?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Show time!

I had a wicked time training the girls yesterday :)
I ran the Foof first,a half hour one to one with Dan.we worked on contacts and weaves,and she smashed it! She is such an easy dog to train,she just tries and tries and tries,and failure doesn't dappen her collosal spirit,it just makes her try harder :)
Foof is the first dog which I've done alot of shaping with,it opened a whole new world of understanding for me,and I am really interested to see if all my dogs which I have in the future will be as motivated as the Foof.

I think that the Foof has something special,she is SO headstrong,which lends well to shaping and having been taught (thank God) to work through frustration.I just love that she is 'That is what I want,I'm gonna do whatever I have to do to get it!!'

She's getting her weaves correst probably 90% of the time,and the problem is always popping out one pole too early,I'm happy that I finally knuckled down and taught her,I was really resisting training it,if I don't understand how to do something right,I often think it is better not to do it at all!

Contacts look great too :) This weekend is Foof's third 'first' KC show,lets hope its 3rd time lucky and we actually get to bloody compete! Her first show I had to miss because my van was out of action,the 2nd show was cancelled because the ground was water logged,which was a real pain in the ass considering it was my most local show ever,literally less than 10 minutes from my house.

Mookie shared a lesson with Leo,and we had the best time! Dan set us some nice challenging courses,and told us to attack them,and me and Mooks,we did good.Contacts looked good,her weaves are as fast as they have ever been,she seems to really like the new spacing the weaves are at now.

I'm really looking forward to the weekend,fingers crossed I actually get to the show!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Just me....

I don't normally blog about my personal life,don't think I ever have actually.But this next photo represents my family now.
Pete and I have split up,and Bug is his dog,and I've stopped asking/expecting any help with the other dogs from Pete.
Its amicable thankfully,we just want totally different things out of life these days,12 years is a long time to be with someone,and is a long time in which people change.
I am excited to have a new begining,I'm excited to see what the future holds,and most of all I'm excited to be me,just me.Not someone's girlfriend which I have been since I was 14!
Onwards and upwards :)

Girls,girls,everywhere girls!These girls are Pippy and Poppy,mother and daughter Basset Fauve de Bretagne.Very nice girls,who love coming out and mixing with my dogs.

Lol Mookie's got a big butt!

I took B out for a half an hour walk once I'd bought everyone else home.He held his leg up as he got out of the cage,but once on a lead and outside he walked perfectly normally the whole time which is promising :) Should have the orthapedic specialists opinion on the xrays sometime this week,and he is seeing the osteopath this Fri,so hopefully by the end of the week we'll have a better idea of what's causing the lameness.
He was a really good boy in his walk,did some sits,downs and hand touches for treats,and just looked really pleased with himself the whole way round :)