Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Happy Jolly Seagull

It has been a week since Seagull has his operation. We went to see the Vet last Monday to discuss if it is suitable for Seagull to try the Tardak treatment, obviously there are some sight effects, such as skin irritation, change his coat colour ... etc. I am not keen to risk the sight effects, so castration has to be done!

I took him to the Vet last Tuesday early morning, the Vet was not in yet. There was a nurse there. I asked her if anything I could help to reduce Seagull's stress but she told me to go home as they are used to handle difficult dog. I told her, Seagull will bite due to his nerve, she reassured me everything would be alright.

It was hearborken to leave him with stranger as I know he will be nervous. He was so tense and panic when the nurse took him away. I have tear in my eyes when seeing him being drag into the kennel. I felt so guilty to put him on the operation table.

I picked him up in the late afternoon and he was still drwosey from the anestatic, he looked so cute and fragile and he was so happy to see me. I took him home and put him in a pen to separate him from the others. I expected him to be miserable but he was quite happy to be on his own.

I was very excited to know if the castration has changed his temperament slightly eventhough I knew this wouldn't be an overnight thing and it may not happen at all.

He didn't go to toilet at all after the operation, I got very worried after he hold himself for more than 53 hours. I rang the Vet to check if this is normal, the Vet told me to encourage him to have a wee. Well, how can I encourage a dog to wee? He wouldn't drink, so I have to force some water into his mouth and still, he would not do a wee!! I fed him chicken & rice for the first few days, surely he needs toilet but NO, he just wouldn't go.

On the 3rd day, I have to take him on the Common, hopefully he will do his toilet and yes, he did both of them happily and I felt relief.

Well, after one week, the castration didn't seem to stop him sniff less, he still mark as many territory as he could but one thing, he is more relax and happy and he trust people better. He is not as nervous as before, he still would not let strangers touch him but if you call his name he will come to you and look at you. I think this is a good sign and he also like to play with the others more and he love be in the pack!
He is now a Happy Jolly Seagull!

Monday, November 27, 2006


We have a lovely relaxing weekend, no dog show, no puppy training, finally a bit of a lie-in.

We went to see a piece of woodland near Petworth on Saturday, it is a nice woodland but not meant for us. Both human beings and the dogs have a good walk. We enjoyed the day out. Colin found a tree with a bit hanging down, so he fancy a bit of TARZAN mood and off he went for a swing on the vine, unfortunately he is a bit too heavy so the vince snapped, luckily he is alright, no pain no gain! But he did frightened the dogs!!

picture above: New Tarzan in town!

We took the dogs out walking the Common on Sunday, a peaceful long walk, a lot of ball games with the dogs and we enjoyed the relaxing day with them. We wish we have a lot of relaxing weekends but life is always full of something. We will be busy again from next week, more trainings ...

We finally have the Xmas decorations up yesterday ...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

who sleeps on our bed?

I was chatting to a little friend (I am 20 years her senior!!) of mine back home yesterday. She asked me: Who sleeps on your bed? Well, she means which dog? I replied: All of them! She then carry on to say: I thought only Sing sleeps on your bed?

Sing is my special baby and he always has the priority for everything. He is the only dog that I can trust when off the lead, he never let me down at any circumstances!

Before we have the pups, Sing was the only one that slept on our bed. Seagull will join us on the bed when you ask him to. I did restricted him sleeping on our bed when he was younger due to his toilet problem. He did messed a few times on our bed, especially on Colin's side. Since he has housebroken, he is allow on the bed with the others.

When Saturn and Titan came home, Colin asked me: Where are these planets sleep at night? I answered him straightaway: With us! I never leave any of the dogs on their own since the first day they come home, they are a family member and I like them to be closed to us. I knew that the pups will mess up the place but I just can't leave them downstairs. Luckily our bedroom is the beginnig of the landing, so I built a puppy pen and left them inside the pen with a lot of newspaper around. We always have our bedroom door open, so they can hear us and I can talk to them, so they are still close to us. Once they housebroke, they are in the bedroom with us. I did the same to Starry and Skye.

The only problem is, we have SIX dogs now, we cannot have all of them on the bed all night like we did to Sing and Seagull before. I am very glad that they are all very well behaved dog. If I am having a nap in the afternoon, they will be all in the bed with me; at night, before going to bed, Colin and I like to read so all of them are on the bed with us but once we turn the light off and I tell them: bed bed. They will all happily jump off the bed and find their own spot in the bedroom. In the morning, when Colin's alarm goes off, they will all straight up on the bed again while their daddy is getting ready to work. Aren't they sweet?

picture above: Saturn & Skye like our comfy bed!

Monday, November 20, 2006

more agility

It has been very quiet (for agility shows) since September! Our last KC open show was at Trent Park where Sing won his Starers Jumping, well done boy! I'm so proud of him gaining his both Agility & Jumping Titles.

picture above: Sing on the see-saw

We went to C Side Agility Show yesterday. We had to wake up at 5:45am, getting everything ready for the day, set out about 6:45am and got there about 8am. It was cold, freezing cold (about 1c) and wet.
We started with Seagull in the morning. Seagull? Yes, I thought I give him a chance to perform himself. He didn't do too badly though. It was a bit of a shamed that we got eliminated at the Agility course but he did tried very hard. He is just Seagull, can't ask too much from the poor little soul. He then go on to have a CLEAR ROUND in jumping!! His last rosette! When our names were called, they ran out of rosette!! We have to wait for them to send us one!
It was a long day, the show seems to go on forever and I was waiting for ages to run Sing. I knew I will not get more from Seagull but hope Sing will have a good run in the afternoon.
Finally, the time came and Sing was ready for his first round in the Agility ring. He was so eager and he shoot off from the start line. It was so unfortunate we have a 5 faults on the Dog Walk. He normally has a very good contact at the Dog Walk but not yesterday!! He then went on to clear the round.

picture above: Sing on the Dog Walk
After the Agility, we have to wait a long time again to run again! Outside, the temperature started to drop and pouring down and dark! I was very depressed from the environment, I think I must be exhausted. Watching the big ones (Border Collies) jumping the course was fun, most of them were super fast dogs and of course not all accurate. It was a twisty turning course, some speedy dogs got eliminated.

picture above: Sing Jumping my favourite picture of him!

I thought I will not have a clear round with Sing in the Jumping course but again, he proved me wrong!! He is a not a fast dog but a very realiable dog. He did all the jumps perfectly, tight turning and the best of all, he got his Weave Entry correctly and continue to speed up in the weaves. We finished the course in 30 seconds, the fastest dog finished at 25 seconds!! Not a bad one. Before we run the course, I thought that would be a nightmare but when we managed the clear round, I thought it was a good one! hahaha ...

picture above: Sing weaving

The next show (another limited one) will be in 3 weeks time. Saturn will be in the show, for the first time. He recently lost his plot due to some "accident", I need to get his enthusiasm back and hopefully he will have a nice round when we go to competition.

picture above: Sing go through the Tyre

Friday, November 17, 2006

Seagull disasters!

I have decided to castrate Seagull! --- Didn't he looks so cute in the photo? ---
what a shamed I have to do that?

I know this is a touch and go thing, there is no guarantee that all his bad habits will change or his temperament will change but I have to try it and hopefully there will be a miracle. Mind you, this is not cheap, the Vet will charge £170 to castrate him!

A lot of my friends do not agree with me, they are certain the castration will not change what he is now but a small part of my friends tell me to go ahead. I am not going to breed from him for sure, so castration is not going to damage him. I know what others might think of losing his manly hood but in general I think this will do him good. He is not a dominant dog at home but he likes to mark his territory when he is out walking and the worst is when taking him agility training, he will run to the jump and stop and cock his leg against the wing.

He is definitely not an aggressive dog, very friendly when meet other dogs but not children. He is very worry about boisterous child. There were many times he started chasing children in the park and a few times he went after the kids. This behaviour worried me a lot.

Picture above: Seagull playing with Saturn in Lake District

I have mentioned before, he is a dog oriented dog, he loves to meet other dogs and he does not know the others are friendly or unfriendly. A couple of years ago before we have any of the pups, we went to Mitcham Common for our usual walk. We came across a Greyhound, he does not look friendly to me, Sing has not shown any interest in him at all but Seagull without any hesitation, running towards him and it was an awful job to separate an aggressive Greyhound and a stupid sheltie. I thought Seagull at least learned his lesson not to approach all dogs. As we turn away from the Greyhound, we walk to the other side of the Common but after a while, we bounce into the Greyhound again, I thought Seagull should be smart enough not to go near him but I was so wrong. He saw him from a distance and without any hesitation, he ran towards him again and this time me and the Greyhound's owner were panic, we knew what is going to happen, YES, it happened again!! The Greyhound pin Seagull down on the floor and the two of us tried to get our dogs back. When all this happened, smart Sing was standing there watching.

Another Seagull disaster, also before we have all the pups ... one morning, as usual, I took Sing & Seagull to the Common for their walkies. After the walk, on the way back, walking along Manor Road, there are always some park cars by the kerb, can you believe it? Seagull walked into a park car!! There were plenty of room and I can't understand why he decided he should walked and bumb himself into the back of the car??

picture above: how can this beautiful dog is so doppey?

The recent disaster ... I always found some mess in the Utility bit every morning and I blamed the youngsters not until I caught him in action three days ago! I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and I saw him squarting, so I shouted at him, he looked up at me saying: CAN YOU BE QUIET? I AM DOING MY BUSINESS! I was nearly fainted when I have to pick his mess up. I could not belive my eyes when it happened!!

Some friends has told me that it could be me that didn't give him enough attention, well, I must admit I have spent more time training the pups but I have not ignore him at all. He has his walkies, give him treats when he is good, priase him when he does something nice, give him a cuddle every now and then. Tell him off when he is naugthy.
One thing I have realised, he does not like any of the pups when they were young (before they are 6-7 months old). He always bullied them when they were little, chase them off or bite them. When the puppies grew older, he accepted them and sometimes playing chasing games with them, especially with Titan. Also, he does not want to be in the pack, whenever we are out in the garden playing with the dogs or having a cup of tea, he always stay indoor, underneath the dinning table or in my office, he never join us. If I get him out, he will quietly sneak in again.

picture above: playing with Titan

I'm just thinking if we cannot get him clean, it would be very hard for us to go away camping/caravaning/staying overnight somewhere. I think I have to crate him again, poor Seagull, back to square one.


I have searched the Internet to find more about castrating a dog, most of them said it could improve the temperament a little, dog is likely to become more attached and attentive towards its owner.

I've also arranged with the Vet to give Seagull a TARDAK treatment before going ahead the operation, hopefully we can see some changes.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

6 Shelties

Many people (well, almost everybody) asked me why did I have so many dogs? The actual reason why I ended up with 5 shelties is all because of my doppy Seagull.

Sing is my first dog, he is such an intelligent, smart and loving companion. He is a dog that easy to train and keen to pleased. I have no trouble at all with him. When I decided to take up a job, I thought I better find him a company. We were looking to get another dog and I expected he will be as good as Sing. Eventhough there is no 2 similar dogs but I never thought there will be a difficult sheltie BUT Seagull proved me wrong!!

He is an extremely difficult since the first day at home. I train him like how I train Sing but it all went wrong. Seagull was a nervous, timid, shy and reserved puppy (he didn't show any of the sign when we went to see him!). It took us 6 months for him to get used to us and the toilet train was absolutely impossible. He messes everywhere he possibly could. He would not go into the garden and if I lay all the newspaper on the floor, cover up most area, he would find the square that I missed!

I took him to puppy training, he hide himself away from the others, he normally straight underneath a chair for the whole lesson. The other puppies were very boisterous and it didn't do him any good, so we didn't go back again after 3 lessons, well, Seagull refused to go into the hall when we approached the venue. I then spent most of my time trying to train him myself. He learned very slowly, once he master a command (for example: SIT), he will not want to learn another one. He is 4 now and he only know SIT, DOWN, ROLL OVER and PAW. This means he took one command a year, what can I teach him a new command to last him another year?

To be honest, I want to be a Good Citizen and I want a well behaved dog. I did got very worried about Seagull not behaving himself. He is not toilet train, we could not go away for holidays, I don't think any B&B or Dog friendly Hotels would liek to welcome us. Going down to mum and dad for Christmas becomes difficult. I can't tell when he wants to go toilet and you can't let the back door open all day in the winter and staying overnight is a nightmare to me. Mum's house is always tidy and clean and I was so afraid that Seagull will choose the non-paper bit to do his business, travelling becomes so stressful.

I spent a couple of thousand pounds on Behaviourist, yet no improvement. I decided I have to give up and let him grow up on his own.

Now, what about the puppies? Yes, after the disappointment in Seagull, he could not possibly do any obedience nor agility or flyball (I did tried very hard taking him training but he let me down all the time) like Sing does, I have to look for another Sing alike sheltie. I knew I can't find another Sing but at least not another Seagull.

Firstly, I wanted a Blue Merle. I've rang nearly 30 breeders but no one will sell me a dog, God knows why? Just because I am not an English!! I then switch my attention to a Tri, I thought if I already have 2 Sables, I can do with a Tri and Blue Merle to complete the family. I found Titan on a website called epupz. We arranged to see Titan the following weekend. Before we went to see him, something pop up, a BIG sheltie! I always wanted a big sheltie, so I didn't want to let go the chance. I contacted the breeder and tell her if she can reserve the dog and I will see him a bit later. On the Sunday, we drove hundred miles away to Cardiff to look at Titan. I wasn't keen, he was so tiny (only 6 weeks old), no white collar, very plain but Colin fell in love with him, so he came home. The next day, we drive another hundred miles to Suffolk to look at Saturn, straightaway I fell in love with him, he has beautiful marking and full white collar, typical Lassie looking and share the same birthday as me, so he has to come home no matter what. 4 is a good numbers and I was very happy and enjoying their company.

Then, my friends has a litter, they wanted to give me one of the boys, this is how Starry come to me. Just as I think enough is enough. Skye pop up! I always wanted a Blue Merle so much but I was a bit worry I could not cope. I still agreed to see the pup. I thought I probably will not buy the pup as a Blue Merle normally are quite ugly (when all the markings are wrong) so I was very confident I will not come home with a pup. When I saw the pup, I knew I was wrong again. Skye must come home. He is such a handsome Blue Merle. How can you let a beautiful Blue Merle get by?

This is the story of how I ended with so many dogs!

Monday, November 13, 2006

busy weekend

We have quite a busy and stressful weekend.

We went to Discover Dogs on Saturday. It was great fun, eventhough I wish we have more time at the show. The last time we went there was 3 years ago. We have an invitation from the Kennel Club to demonstrate Sing in one of their rings showing the Best Tricks. We didn't get to Earls Court till 10:40am and we have missed the morning events. I went around shopping for the dogs and to say hello to some friends. After a quick coffee and a snack, we decided it is time to settle down somewhere to watch the programmes. We saw the demonstartion of Golden Retriever, amazing demo, amazing handlers and amazing Goldies. Then we have Mary Ray and her dancing dog Foxy. Mary Ray is so well known and of course the stage was absolutely full and cheers. Then, my favourite, agility! The ABC (Anytyhing But Collies) were exciting and I was surprised to see so many Kelpies there. I knew Kelpies are getting more and more popular in the agility world for Large dogs, so do Shelties!! After the ABC, they have Medium dogs agility, I was surprised to see some of my mates are in the ring, it is always excited to see someone you know competing. After the Medium agility, they have a break to have Mary Ray again, this time, she has her little sheltie Gypsy with her, not doing Heelwork to Music but to demonstarte how to train your dog. Little Gypsy is so cute, here is a photo of her doing her trick:

After the training with Mary Ray, they have the Small dogs doing a Circular knockout in agility. This is even more excited. Very sad (for me), all the shelties has been knock out by Poodles!!! Not even a sheltie is going through. Oh well, better luck next time.

Sunday, I thought we are going to have a good lie in but we have to go and see this Lightweight Caravan in Tunbridge Well. The dealer from Stafford has a road show for 2 days and if we miss it we have to go to Stafford to look at the caravans. Anyway, it was very disappointed, the caravans are so tiny and they fill things up and there is not much room in it. How are we going to put 2 adults and 5 dogs??? I think we have to somehow get someone to fix the jocky wheel to this old one.

Friday, November 10, 2006

family photos

I was tidying my pc last night and go through all the files that I wanted to transfer into my hard disk to save more space. I found this family photo. My brother in law and his family visited one weekend and we took the boys out walking in Mitcham Common. We had a nice walk until the gang said it was too cold and we have to RUSH home to keep warm! I should tell them to dress up warmer next time!!

From left: Colin, Russell, Kyung Yeon & Myung Ah
Dogs from left: Titan, Saturn, Sing, Seagull & Skye

This photo was taken at Russell's 40th surprised birthday from Kyung Yeon.

The KNIGHTs family from left: little Daniel, his dad Darren, his mum Vanessa and baby Toby inside her stomach, little brother Matthew, our dad James, our mum Shirley, Russell & Kyung Yeon (both in red), me with Sing and Colin with Seagull. Note: we have not have any of the pups yet!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

TITAN - update

My evil, wicked dog is still very QUIET at the moment but he is gaining his strength little by little. He started to eat and settle in his stomach (at last), which is a good news. I'm hoping to see this bouncy boy back to live again!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

SKYE - update

For those who asked me how is Skye ...

Yes, he is much better, well I would say more or less back to himself now. Very lively and playful. I am still keeping him quiet for a while, no training for ages and keep a close eye on him.

Monday, November 06, 2006

GOOD and BAD weekend

I had a GOOD and BAD weekend.

The GOOD news --- Saturn was doing very well in his agility. Saturday was his first show, eventhough it was just a club show but he showed his ability. This was the first time that he ran a full course, all this time in training, he has not do more than 7 obstacles at once, I can't believe it when he finished the 17 obtacles! Isn't he a good boy?

Now for the BAD news. I've noticed my Titan is not himself on Saturday. He normally is a food obsessed dog but he shows no interest in any thing at all, and he lost his energy. I could not see anything wrong with him but I have a feeling he might have tummy bug. He seems to improved on Sunday morning, running around happily but when I give him his dinner, he turned his nose up, strange! When we took the dogs out in the Common, I can see the different. Even he was happily sniff around but he lost his energy again and at the end I have to carry him all the way home!! He has not been eaten for more than 48 hours now and he is going to see the Vet this evening.

Another BAD news. Skye somehow strain his back (I thought). I've noticed he cannot stand up at all this morning. I tried to lift him up and it looked he is stiff at the back, we don't know whether is the back legs or the back. I rush him to the Vet this morning and get him toroughly check and the Vet said he looked fine to him, temperature and colours vise seems normal. We both can see he is in agony but he just would not show where the pain come from. The Vet gave him 2 jabs, hopefully we can see a walking Skye again.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Winday Day at Leith Hill

Took this picture of the boys on Saturday. I thought they look great in the photo, eventhough they all looked into different directions!! They will be my future agility competing dogs.

Saw this weird yet cute mushroom while walking at Leith Hill with the boys. I have a couple of this mushroom stone decorations in the garden but have not think they have this in the real life until we saw them in Leith Hill. They have quite a lot around. You may not see them easily unless you walk very close to the bushes or in the wood. Aren't they lovely? Don't know if they are poison?