Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Late News!

Phew! Not easy to keep my blog up to date! Can't believe how busy I am, always in and out doing something or just playing with the shelties :) Life is too short to spend time on computer lol.

Boys @ Le Shuttle, Folkstone

The IFCS trip went well. We drove out to Eerbeek, The Netherlands on early Monday morning to catch the earliest EuroTunnel across. From Calais, it was about 4 hours journey but we got caught in the busy traffic in Belgium, so we didn't get to the hotel past 3:30pm local time. The Hotel set in the beautiful and peaceful countryside surrounded by lots of dog walks. You could walk miles and miles or just a short walk. That's so convenient for us all as everyday after the event, you can just go back to the hotel and take the dogs for a relaxing walk and a night time walk before bed. In front of the hotel, there is plenty of green and you can sit out there with the dogs ...

We got to meet all Sing's babies who reside in The Netherlands. Mariska came with App (Sing x Skye) on Monday. Thank you very much to Mariska who showed me around the area and took me to the pancake house. People who knows me knew how crazy I am over pancake :)

 App & Sonic
Jazz (Mariska's other sheltie, App's big brother), App, Sonic & Sizzle 
 App, Sizzle & Sonic
 Sonic, Sizzle, App & Jazz
 I LOVE PANCAKE! And I ate two BIG pancakes :D


Later on that evening, one of our team-mate Kim arrived with her BC Bubtee and hubby Justin. The rest of the team arrived on Tuesday. Jolanda who has Skye (Sing x Samber, Sonic's full sister from previous litter) and Rona (Sing x Sipzie) came to visit us on Tuesday. We went for a little walk around the hotel and then went for a stroll in the town. 

Bubtee, Sizzle, Sonic, Skye & Rona


On Wednesday, it's Team check-in, practice and open ceremony. I absolutely LOVE my Team, every single one of them are so friendly, supportive and cheerful. We have a great team spirit which I missed terribly since I came home. We laugh and cheer for every single one, there is no selfishness in them at all.

You can see how happy we are!! Team photo after the open ceremony. 


Due to the large number of competitors entered at this championship show, they have to extend the show from 3 days to 4 days event. Originally, Thursday was the Individual competition day but they have cancel and replaced it for the championship classes. Both Sizzle and Sonic work their little legs off in these four days event. It's very tiring, although the hotel it's only 5-10 minutes drive from the venue but it's the waiting and hanging around. We have allocated with a kennel area but it was too sandy and dusty, after day 1, I've only take the dogs out and leave them in the kennel when they are about the run. I think they are more settle and happier in the car, especially Sizzle. He doesn't like to be crated. Sonic in fact loves the crate, this shows you what a "crate game" dog is all about :) I couldn't highly recommend enough the "crate game"!

The whole event went really well, the only stressful part that I found is I only get my running order of the day in the morning when they posted it out by the kennel area. I like to know my running order early so I can be prepared to warm my dogs. I have two dogs running in this event and I want to be able to space out my time to warm up properly and cool down properly. Sadly, there are a couple of times that Sonic was followed soon after Sizzle. I got really wound up by that. 


Thursday
Individual Jumping and Individual Snooker

Individual Jumping course map, judge by our English judge Jackie Gardner
this is one nice flowy course


Sizzle @ Individual Jumping: 


Sonic @ Individual Jumping: 


Both boys ran clear in their first run. I was rather nervous and go cautious when I handle them. I was too scared to push them! Such silly me! As the day progress, I got better and got over my nerve as well. The next round was Snooker. 

P/S: I don't like the collapsible tunnel material. It is so heavy (same type of material of the pipe tunnel) that little dogs has to push so hard and some even got stuck!


Individual Snooker course map, judge by Dutch judge Peter Borsje


With both boys, I attempted 3 x 7 points in the opening and they both did well. Judge Peter Borsje has set out the way to plot the #7, you can only go one direction. If you chose to do the opposite site of the number, then, you must do all 3 obstacles the same way. Sonic ran well until the closing and at #7, he came out of the tunnel. I don't know why! Did I turn my body too quick? He later (next day) did that again, came out from the tunnel again!

Sonic @ Individual Snooker: 

Sizzle @ Individual Snooker: 


Note: I didn't like the judge not using a whistle as it's hard to understand the accent when he shout "no more". And also when you run, you don't normally care about what people say, well, that's me anyway. I can only concentrate on what I am doing ... RUN :)


Friday
Biathlon Jumping, Team Triathlon Jumping and Individual Gambler

Goodness me, Friday is a very LONG day. Sizzle was the last Team GB member to run and I am not kidding, he ran at 10:20pm! Also, the weather got worst by Friday. It started raining NON-STOP since Wednesday night. Thursday was wet but by Friday, it was flooded in the venue. It was so muddy that they have to open up the bar/cafe so we can all walk through from the carpark/kennel area straight onto the arena. 

Biathlon Jumping, judge by Japanese judge Tetsu Watanabe


Biathlon Jumping didn't went well with the boys. Sonic was too gobby and got refusals. With Sizzle, I didn't trust my pull through, so I thought I will go a longer and safter route and of course that went horribly wrong!


Sonic @ Biathlon Jumping:

Sizzle @ Biathlon Jumping:


Note: There were too many dogs refused or didn't take the Tyre correctly. It had became quite an issue in this event. Thank God, both of my boys have no problem taking the tyre at all. 


Team Triathlon Jumping course map, judge by Peter Borsje


There is a new rule this year, handler that has more than one dog in this event, is only allow to run ONE dog. In our Team GB, there were 3 handlers including me that ran 2 dogs; due to this, two of our other team members didn't get to run in the Team event as we weren't able to put another Team in. I chose to run Sizzle over Sonic as Sonic will be too gobby in the Team Relay. 

Sizzle @ Team Triathlon Jumping:

As you can see, I was rather worried about the weave entry as it's too close to the tunnel entrance. There were way too many dogs that took the tunnel instead of the weave that got eliminated/disqualified. With Team event, we have to try so hard not to get elimination that will cost extra 100 time faults add on to the total time. I am glad I have faults in the weave and that put our Team in a good position for the next round. 

Individual Gambler course map, judge by Jackie Gardner.

OMG! This course caused some scene! When Jackie set the course out and ready for walking, the Americans weren't happy with the Gambling line at all. They were argued over the distance of the line. Their Team manager was getting her iPad out to show the rules and regulations. Then, our team member Matt also shown the rules and regulations that he had printed out. It turned out that they had 2 sets of rules and regulations!! Well, it took 2 hours for discussion and changing the gambling line ... at the end, Jackie has to move the line to the bottom of the DW. 

Sonic @ Individual Gambler:


Just before Sonic went into the collecting ring, the weather was really bad, thunder and lightning and gales force wind. I was trying to delay getting into the collecting ring because the gazebo by the entrance wasn't looking too good. The side panel was flapping about and it looks like it's not going to stand up for very long but in the international event, you just can't fool around. There were only 3 dogs in front of me and I MUST get into the collecting ring. I thought I am going to run to the building and that will be alright. I was wrong. Sonic got frightened by the crazy flapping side panel and just as we entered the building, one of the gazebo pole landed on top of him. I don't think he was hurt. It's more of shock than anything else. By then, the dog in front of him was in the ring and running. There's no time for me to do anything to comfort him. I really wasn't sure how he will react but thank God, when he was on the startline, he's totally a different dog. This is why I always say, this dog lives for agility :) You can hear the thunder and rain in the video!

Yes, we ran so well until he decided to take the wrong jump to finish lol. I was mad with myself that I didn't stop the clock as he has collected enough points to be on the podium eventhough he didn't get the Gambling bonus. Arghh ...


Sizzle @ Individual Gambler: 


As you can see from the beginning of the video, poor Sizzle didn't want to start. It took me a while to wake him up and he was so hungry (left food in the hotel!) and angry with me :) He's such a good little boy to do what I asked him to do and he finished at 5th place. 


Saturday
Individual Agility and Team Triathlon Agility

Individual Agility course map, judge by Tetsu Watanabe

I didn't do well in this course with both boys. Sizzle was drifted on the start line but he soon pick up speed. We ran well until I tried to do the turn before the Dog Walk. Sonic went wrong in the very beginning. I have been practicing quite a bit of that kind of startline with him and I think my shoulder moved too quickly that he took the #2 wrong way.

Sonic @ Individual Agility: 


Sizzle @ Individual Agility:



Team Triathlon Agility course map, judge by Peter Borsje

 Sizzle @ Team Triathlon Agility:


Sizzle almost run clear in this course, he missed his DW contact, that's the only fault we had, otherwise I am happy. Our Team has not got any elimination. After the combined of Jumping and Agility result, we were lying 4th on the chart and we were 4th from last to run in the Team Relay on Sunday. 

Saturday evening was rather stressful and eventful for me. Colin has an important work seminar that he HAS TO attend on Monday morning at 9am. This means, no matter what, we MUST get back to England on Sunday night. From the venue to Calais will take 4 hours (no stopping!) and we fear that we might miss the last train to UK. So, we have to pack all our stuff into the car to make sure that we are leaving on time. I was busy packing and sent Colin to walk the dogs; and then to find out he lost the car key in the wood. Our Team agreed me to meet at the hotel lobby to go out for something to eat. Eerbeek is a very small town, everything closed at 6pm and restaurants closed at 8pm! The whole Team helped searching for the car key in the wood (in the rain and darkness!). Anyway, he did found the key. Phew! But, I was too wound up by it.  


Sunday
Biathlon Agility and Team Relay


 Biathlon Agility course map, judge by Jackie Gardner


Sonic @ Biathlon Agility:

Sizzle @ Biathlon Agility:


Boys did good in the Biathlon Agility. Sizzle ran clear and Sonic got a refusal after the DW.


Team Relay course map, judge by Tetsu Watanabe




This is the most emotional run of all. Colin still wanted to get away early and tried so hard to persuade me to leave the competition. Grr ... I think that is the last thing I want! Our Team is lying 4th and we are in the very good position to get on the podium. Team GB has two teams in the top 4 and we are fighting chance to win a medal. I know Sizzle loves the Relay (he gets excited to see his team mates run and he loves to chase) but I have never run with a baton on my hand before. All new to me!

Sizzle and I are the last team member to run in our Team Relay. First toy dog Tink ran clear and 2nd Maxi dog Oggy just clipped the last pole. Sizzle was off like a rocket and I thought I am going to lost him in the tunnel and he was so good to save it by coming to my scream! We ran clear and our time was really good. With the added 5 faults onto our time, it's nail biting moment. The 3rd from last to run is South Africa and they all ran clear. Then, our other Team GB1, they had a good time with a drop pole, so 5 faults added onto the time. The last Team to run is the Russian. Their 2nd dog missed the tunnel and then went into wrong end of tunnel! Whaaaaaaaa! I was screaming so loud that I lost my voice! Team GB1 won the GOLD medal. We were waiting to hear if our Team (Team GB3) won a Bronze or Silver. Either one I am happy! I was crying so emotionally, for our Team GB1 (Matt & Brax, Angela & Tiff and Pat & Diva); and for our Team GB3 (Tracy & Tink, Abigail & Oggy and me & Sizzle).

Team GB3, Bronze medalist!

Team GB1 and Team GB3 on the podium

my little Sizz-man and his Bronze medal. 

 Team Shelties and their Italian friend :)

Bracken, Sonic, Sizzle and his 3/4 bother Brodie


All in all I am very happy both boys' performance over the four days. It's a very long tough days for them. Sonic is still very young and we haven't done much with him. Hopefully he will learn a lot from the experienced and I am hoping he get to do more international event. 

And, I did drove like bat out of hell to Calais after the prize giving; and just managed to catch the last train. Colin was very happy that he made to his seminar in time. Everyone is happy although we were exhausted. Glad to be home to see the others as well.


Here are some pictures from IFCS:














Thursday, May 01, 2014

IFCS ... prepared and getting ready for the journey

I can't believe we are ready to hit the road to IFCS in The Netherlands. Both Sonic and Sizzle were good boys to qualified and picked to represent Team GB. I am one very proud mummy. Although I have whole lots of training plan planning for the winter, sadly, it was too wet and windy and I didn't get to train on my own field. Thank God, I have booked The Dog Barn once in January, once in February and once in March, at least we got to do something. 

I have not done much with Sizzle at all, we are very rusty as a Team partnership. He is one good little boy and I am hoping he will run well at the event. I have noticed that he has pulled off jumps very often at training. Although we don't do much which worried me but he's up to date with all the physio, chiro, massage ... finger crossed he will be running well.

As for Sonic, he is still the gobby ginger monster :) He is always UP for agility. I have done more on the weave and not much on the contact which is a bad thing :) For a DW crazy dog like him, he now will pull off to do tunnel underneath the DW instead of DW. Oops! Do I have time to fix the problem? Probably not. I am just happy that he is part of the Team and we will do our best and that will be a great experienced for him. 

Sonic, Sizzle will join The Burdett Shelties Bracken and Brodie competing in IFCS


We went to Devon Dogs last weekend to do some training. Friday was the weave and contact workshop. Sonic did some fab contact works, I am very happy with his performance. I think I know what to expect from him and I am ready for the challenge. Our main problem at the moment (always the problem) is we can't run a clear round for a full course. I am always too slow to tell him where to go and he gets frustrated and he barks at me. 

On Saturday and Sunday, it was a handling weekend. The exercises were very basic, so I only work my young dog as I do not want to change and messed up my handling with Sonic and Sizzle. I think that's unfair to change a dog in a week. 

We are travelling out to The Netherlands on Sunday midnight. I now missed Mitcham where it's much closer to the Tunnel crossing. Hopefully, it will be a nice and smooth long journey. I just wanted to get there and settle, stretch the dogs' legs and get used to the surroundings. It's all about me, not the dogs lol.



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

AGILITY ... catching up

Well, I haven't been competing much with the shelties, the boys were rested most of the time throughout the winter, due to the amount of rain we had, we haven't been able to go outside to train either. Our Farm lives up to its name, if there's no rain, it's always windy and I would not risk training them. I've only done only one of the Bitz N Bobz winter series last October, the first show of the series and Sonic won all his classes and he got into the Final of Midlands Master in March. Poor Sizzle was avoiding and measuring some jumps.

Sonic @ Combined 4-7 Agility:


Sonic @ Combined 4-7 Jumping:


Sonic @ Combined 4-7 Steeplechase: 


Sizzle @ Combined 4-7 Jumping:


Sizzle @ Combined 4-7 Agility:



Then, in December, Sonic was in the UKA Final. He was in for two events, the CSJ Grand Prix and The Beginners Steeplechase. I've posted the event in my earlier post and I am very proud of mai boy winning the Steeplechase. 

Our first agility competition of the year was about 4 weeks ago at ABAA show where Sonic was in for the Midlands Master Final. I've managed to enter him and Sizzle for a couple of Agility runs as well. At this show, you get to run the same course twice and they will pick your best time. This is my first time doing the show and I find it very funny and different. I rather enjoyed it as I get to tryout both ways to handle the same course. Well, I intend to but my timing was wrong and at the end I have to run it the same way :)


Sonic side by side Agility run at ABAA:


Sadly, in the Final, I let him down with my poor handling, my timing was out and I drop my arm too early for turn and him being a good honest boy responded to my body too well. I have been thinking and reviewing about my handling skill, I have to admit, it's gone all rusty! Since I started to tryout for ketschker turn and I forgot all about the old pivot turn but I really like the ketschker turn and I would like to handle it better. I think poor Sonic is confused in what I am asking him for. Or, maybe he really does not understand the ketschker turn. He turns more naturally on the left but the right. 


Sonic @ Midlands Master Final, Agility round:


Sonic @ Midlands Master Final, Jumping round:



Last Saturday, we went to UKA Easter. I was hoping to give Sonic and Sizzle a couple of runs before IFCS. UKA heights are the same to IFCS, both boys will jump their own heights. According to the running order, we should be finished by mid-day but sadly, things always gone out of its way, so rings were running behind schedule. I've managed to do 4 runs with Sonic but only able to do a Gambling with Sizzle. I so wanted to do the Champ Agility with him but I've asked Emma of Pet Rehab to come and treat the boys at the showground, so I can't keep her waiting forever. Both boys were very tight in various places, they both have been adjusted and also massage by Gemma Dorman of Full Stretch Canine Massage yesterday. Hopefully they are all good to GO now. 


This is Sizzle's Champ Gambler, he didn't do the "Gamble" in time. We are definitely out of sync at the moment as I don't train him as much. At home, he is reluctant to work away from me now which is very unusual for him. I am really worried if he has underlying health issue. After our IFCS trip, he will be semi retired and just do some fun runs every now and then. I rather him enjoy being just a normal pet then doing Agility if that hurts him. It is so sad not to know if he is unwell or if he is not motivated. I personally don't think he is unmotivated but you just don't know :(


This is Sonic's Novice Gambler, the course is the same, they have not move any of the obstacles but change the Gambling to slightly longer time and sequence. Sonic won that class and presented his daddy with an Easter Egg, Colin is a very happy man :) I didn't like the opening sequence, I don't like how the judge place the DW, the plank (either end or beginning) is so close to the ring with a pole nearby holding up the rope. Not so much of a problem for stop contact dogs but with running, I find it a bit risky. With superb running contact dogs, the dog probably won't travel as far but I am no expert and I know my dogs go all the way. I have to send both Sizzle and Sonic to wrap around the pole to be on the safe side, I am actually very happy that what I've taught them, they put it in used :) "go around" works well here. You can see the ring rope and the pole clearer in Sizzle's video. 


This is Sonic's Novice Agility, I was a little bit disappointed with his weave, not that I want to win the class but I have been working hard on his weave at home getting ready for IFCS and I thought he did so well with all the difficult entries and I have not expect him to look back at me and come out of the weave! Hmm ... more work in progress! Otherwise, I think he ran rather well. 


This is Sonic's Novice Jumping. This was supposed to be a NFC round. I've learned not to carry a toy in my hand as if I have ball in my hand, he will gob all the way around the course and demanding his ball and not even look at where he is going. I placed the ball at the end but we still made a big messed at the course!


When I ran him, I didn't realised this is The Beginners Steeplechase Heat. Oops! Poor Sonic is still in the Beginners in Steeplechase. The reason is he has not run a clear round last year. He has only two clear rounds (one was eliminated well before he started because I carried a ball into the ring; the other one he won that heat and got into the Final). He is not allow to qualify again. He got 2nd in the class and he was announced to be one of the finalist. I have left by the time they presented the result and was not aware until I saw that on Facebook: 
I've emailed UKA to tell them about it and they are calling the 3rd place to be in the Final. 


Side note: One of Sing x Sunny's babies Savannah, together with her "Shouty Shelties" team-mates Rommy and Brodie have qualified themselves to Dog Central Team Tournament at the UKA Final at the end of the year. Good Luck Savannah, Rommy and Brodie. 




Mama Sipzie is slowly coming back to Agility game :) We still struggling to get her to weave properly at show but she is making progress:




I am off to Devon Dogs with the boys and Sipzie tomorrow to have 3 days training before IFCS. WooHoo! I am so excited and I will be watching Tula (a Sonic x Sunny baby) train as well. How proud am I. I need the gorgeous Lauren Langman to push me all the way. She's pretty good to get me "going". I think I am getting very lazy with my handling, especially I've been eaten far too many yummy easter eggs!



Coming up next ... prepare for IFCS

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Birthday month ... 3rd Birthday - Sizzle

Happy very Belated Birthday to my little ray of sunshine Sizzle. 
I can't believe he is 6 already!
on 27th March 2014


I have been distracted by too many things in life and neglect my blog update again. Sizzle has a wonderful time on his birthday. We went for a very long walk and did some fun thing together. This little boy makes me laugh all the time. He maybe small but mighty :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pups-date!

We had a very busy weekend waving good bye to the puppies. It's such a joy in the last few weeks watching these little hooligans grow up and develop into strong little characters. Six of them has gone to their perfect homes and will be doing Agility when they mature. Little Jack is going to a pet home on Friday. I am looking forward to seeing them soon. 

I have never had SO MANY puppies in a litter or even two litters before, having cleaning up after seven puppies is hard work :) They are all good puppies. When we had the two weeks of sunny and dry weather, they spent most of their times outdoor and they pretty much potty outside then. Shamed the weather turns cold, windy and wet again after that. Poor puppies were very angry that they couldn't get out to play. 

First puppy that leave the nest is LICOSATERIA SHADE OF BLUE, aka Mr Blue, now known as FRANKIE, after Frank Sinatra's blue eyes lol. Frankie goes to live with Sam Towe. I am very lucky to be able to see him on a regular basis. Sam and her mum come to train with me weekly, so I will be able to watch him grow :) 

Frankie settled in right away. He has two big sisters Penny and Milly to play with. He is a real crown, he makes everyone that meet him very happy. 





this is Frankie helping Sam studying, Aww ... studying is hard work! Bless!


The second puppy that leave is LICOSATERIA ICONIC DREAM, aka Spot, now known as ICON or IKE. Icon gone to live with Karen James who always have shelties. He will have 3 other sheltie brothers to play with . Also, he is not very far from his half brother Chestnut, aka Fat Boy (a Sing x Sipzie puppy). Ike is one very pushy puppy since he was little, he isn't the biggest in the litter but always the first one that explored everything and anything. He probably is the best tugger (well, all of them all) but he really can easily pull your arm off. 





This is Icon at his new home. Background is two of the 3 big brothers, Harley (blue merle) and Joker (tri)


Soon after Icon left, LICOSATERIA IZ A CHARMER, aka Star (has not got a name yet) went to join his new family in East Sussex with Angie Brooks and a big brother Tobi (a Sonic x Sunny puppy). Star is the smallest in the litter, I mean SMALL but with big attitude! He is a very loving puppy. Always there ready for a cuddle. His favourite toy is a ball. I think he will be a ball maniac when he grows up. It was funny watching him fetch a full size tennis ball which is bigger than him!





 This is little man with big brother Tobi

 These two pictures are little man with Angie's 14 year old Rough Collie Poppy. 
Little man is so taken to her :) Poor Poppy, being so good with him. 


Then, there were four puppies left but yesterday, I have to save good bye to Quey, Quiz and Roy. Quey and Quiz gone to live with Jacqui Wood. Jacqui's daughter Kelsey has a Sing's son Ace bred by the still sadly missed Jayne Bray of Upanova Shelties. 

Madam Quey's posh name is LICOSATERIA BLAZE OF GLORY. Quey (pronounced as "key") is the biggest in the litter, she is a real madam. When she was younger (from the day she opened her eyes and ears until she was 6.5 weeks old), she likes to do her own thing, she occasionally beat her brothers up. When she turned nearly 7 weeks old, she become a very loving girl, she likes all the fuss and attention to herself. She is very agile, she likes to dive from a high point (either on top of a wobble cushion or on the mini DW). She is photogenic like Icon. 





Quiz is the black and white boy LICOSATERIA BI ONIC. He is going to live with his half sister Quey with mummy Jacqui. He has finally come out of himself and being a real bully now. He is a very cheeky boy. He was born the smallest but he soon catches up. He is quite an adventurous little boy.  


 


 This is Quiz and Quey in their new home together :)


The last of the big boys to leave is Roy, LICOSATERIA ROY TO THE WORLD, aka little Mouse. Oh yes, little mouse is not so little anymore. He is one very neat puppy :) He has always been very polite, he plays nicely with his siblings, he was very calm but not until the last week, he became very bouncy, always the first one to get out of the puppy pen and conquer the playground :) He gone to stay with mummy Joy Goh-Mah, I am sure he will give his mummy a lot of fun times. 





Roy in his new home :)

 Quiz and Jack

 Roy and Icon

 Icon and Star

 Jack and Quey

 Quey and Quiz

 Quiz and Jack

 Roy and Icon

 Frankie and Star

 Frankie and Icon

 Jack and Quiz

 Quey, Star and Frankie

 Jack and Quiz

 Roy and Star

 Quiz and Jack

 Frankie, Roy and Icon
Star, Quey, Icon


Jack, LICOSATERI JUMPIN JAK FLAZ is very lost without all his playmates. He will be staying with us a bit longer before joining his new family in Basingstoke :)