Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

I can't wait to say Goodbye to 2008. Obviously this is a very sad year for me ...
TWO very sad things happened this year:
on 1st July, I took Saturn to the vet for his biopsy. The reason being ... the vet wanted to know why he is so easily affected by campylobacter. I was happily dropping him off in the morning, hoping to see my bouncy Saturn in the evening. Unfortunately, when I picked him up later in the evening, he looks very miserable and I was shocked to find out that the vet had operated 7" inches along his tummy, for the three full thickness biopsy!
My "always happy" boy was very miserable for a very long time. The result came back as "VERY SENSITIVE STOMACH"!! After that, we have been sending in fecal samples every month for a regular check up if the campylobacter has returned. The good news is he is ALL CLEAR!
I have been feeling very guilty for taking him to the biopsy for not knowing better what the vet was going to do to him. I know he was on and off catching this nasty campylobacter for 10 months, both the vet and I wanted to get to the bottom of this problem but when I saw how this boy suffered from the opeartion, I just wish that I haven't agree to this biopsy!
He was on steriods since August but I have weaned him off three weeks ago. He is looking much happier now. The fur (from the chest all the way down) that the vet shaved off for the operation does not grow back properly, eventhough they look long but they are very loose, they didn't cover his tummy very well, in this very cold weather is not going to do him any good. I have heard that the steriods may have stop anything from growing. His breeder suggested I could give him some Yumega in his dinner and someone from the Sheltie Forum also have a secret recipe for coat regrow ... boiled the dandelion leaves and leave the "tea" in the fridge for 4 days then start giving a teaspoon of the tea in his dinner. Someone has already tried that and within 10 weeks, the fur is in full groom! Now, where can I find dandelion in winter???
We have a lot to catch up in training but first of all, I need to get him fit before return fully into agility, so we do hill walking daily and we will go back swimming after the New Year, hopefully he will be ready for the new season.
bare tummy Saturn sun bathing

On 10th December, I lost my very brave brother to liver cancer. He is the greatest brother! I miss him dearly!
my beloved brother, photo taken on my 40th birthday family dinner

I have also look back to find out some good things that I have achieved with my boys ...

Sing and I were on the reserved for ESSC TriStars Sheltie Team. The TriStars (Zen, Chi, Ace and Taz) has qualified for Crufts. Zen was whelping and I was told that Sing and I will be running at Crufts. I was very proud of Sing. He took eveything in his on stride.
The TriStars Shelties came 2nd in the Semi-Final and 2nd in the Final
above photo left to right: Karen & Ace, Amy & Taz, Lian & Sing, Lisa & Chi
Sing and I also had a brilliant year together, from 2o/2o to running contacts, he is just fantastic. He won into Grade 5 at Summer Agility Show in August, he then went on to have two more agility wins at Prestbury Park in September.
I am very proud of Sing
Sing also won the Agility Club anuual award ... Medium Grade 4 Dog of The Year 2008

Sing does not look very impress with his crystal but mummy does!!

Saturn won into Grade 4 at Landsdown in June, it was a good win, he was 5 seconds ahead of the 2nd place and I am so proud of him. I know once he gets it, he will win in style.

way to go, Saturn!

Sizzle's breeder sent me this photo of him at 7 weeks and I fell in love straight away! So, this boy comes home with me on 5th July and I enjoy having this little mischief every moment.

lost of words

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Mr dopey

Happy Birthday SEAGULL
6th today! This photo was taken this morning at -5.5c!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

the end

I had a very sad Christmas. My very brave brother has lost his battle on the 10th of December, early hours, Malaysian time to liver cancer. He was a great fighter. He spent his last 3.5 months in China waiting for a liver transplant but the Chinese doctors had let him down not only once but many times. He was very poorly and drifted in and out of unconsciousness when I visited him late November. My sister-in-law then decided we could wait no more and arranged to send him home. A very kind and generous doctor (also a friend of my brother) went to China to fly him home, he survived the 4 hours journey on the air with low blood pressure. Sadly, he passed away after 4 hours arriving in Kuala Lumpur.
He was a great son to my mother and a great brother to me! He took the responsibility to look after me and my mum when my dad passed away 27 years ago. We can never asked anyone better than him.
He was a great husband to my sister-in-law and a great father to his three young children.
He was a great boss to all his employees! He was once President to the Rotary Club, he helped raise a lot of money for charities and the poor.
He was a great person to all his friends and family.
He was very successful in life!
He is sadly missed by all of us.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Agility Club Medium Grade 4 Dog of the Year 2008

Sing and I had a great year together, from 2o/2o to running contact, he is everything I could ask for!
We won the Agility Club Medium Grade 4 Dog of the Year 2008
The award presentation was on 23rd November, the day before I left for China. We received a beautiful crystal jar engraved with my name and his KC name.

Happy Belated Birthday to SKYE

I've just got back from China, some news to catch up... first of all
Happy Belated Birthday to my gorgeous merlie SKYE

He turned 3 on 24th November. The day I was on my way to China. He had a lots of cuddles from his daddy, uncle Jimmy & auntie Joan.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

missing them

I did a last minute booking and will be leaving on Monday to China. Again, this is a very difficult and emotional trip to visit my poorly brother.
Thank God I have so many lovely friends who offer to help looking after the boys for me. As usual, the big boys will be staying with Jim & Joan during the day and come home in the evening, so Colin can take them out walking after he comes back from work. Mmmmm ... more late night walks for the boys (Colin don't usually back home til 9pm)!! Sizzle will be staying with Eleanor this time, hopefully he will learn to get on with children. I know Sophie can't wait to have him and he has Smokey and Trouble to play with!
We took the boys out for a good long walk in the Common this morning. Brrrrrr ...It is freezing cold, we have some sunshine here and there but it is not warm enough! The weatherma said the wind comes from the North and forecast for snow tonight!! Yipee!!!
I am MISSING all my good boys already!!

the boys with their daddy
the happy bunch

the evil pairs!

the one I am missing the most!!! My LOVER BOY!!
I feel very sorry for him as I have been leaving him twice within 8 weeks. I do not like to leave my puppy until they are about two years old but I know this is the most difficult time in my life and I have no choice but to be with my brother. I know Sizzle is a bit confused and he started to "back off" from me for the last couple of weeks, hopefully he will get to settle down again when I come back from China.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Richmond Park walk

I decided not to go to C Side today eventhough I always enjoy the show very much. I am waiting to visit my brother in China very soon so I just wanted to spend more times with the boys and Colin before I leave them again. A good long walk is what I really want now!
We have Russell and Kyung Yeon to join us for the walk, it turn out to a five hours long walk! All the boys are very tired now, including Colin!! They are going to have a good sleep tonight!!

I am very proud of my well behaved boys

The KNIGHTs Shelties Christmas Tree

Colin found this ballon and tie it on Seagull, he was happy to carry it around and looks very cute!!

we always take the boys to the big lake so Sing can have a good swim.
Sing is a great swimmer as well as a great diver.
I just love this photo of him diving!! Such a great diver!
I wonder how many shelties are like him, crazy about water!!

prepare to take off!

for some strange reason, this photo makes me think he looks like an alligator!!!

Skye loves swimming too!!

he can go a distance now, very brave little merlie

Titan is always wild, he likes the challenge from the Swans

five hours is a long walk and these three people went a bit crazy at the end of the walk, they decided they want to catch leaf to entertain themselves!!!

which one should I catch?

Kyung Yeon catch with style

Saturday, November 15, 2008

catch me if you can

Sorry, these are some silly photos taken this morning. Other than foxes and squirrels, Sing likes to chase crows, he taught Sizzle to chase crows too. These crows sometimes can be very naughty, they know the dogs are never going to get them, so they fly really low and tease them and when we all think the dogs are going to get them, they fly high again!!!
big brother almost get the crow!

new kid on the block ... so close

you can see Sing and Sizzle always in the front

at least this photo show the front view!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

teaching Sizzle to SHY

This has been a very WET autumn so far. I can't do much training in the garden as it is very wet and soggy most of the time, so I have to think of some new tricks to teach the dogs to keep their mind occupy.
This week's trick is SHY, Saturn and Sing have both master this trick; Skye and Titan are doing alright; so I am focusing on Sizzle. Normally to begin with, I will either try to blow into their face or put a sticky tape on their nose. Saturn, Titan and Skye are the blow type, so that made it easy to teach them. Sing and Sizzle needed a lot more hardwork. The sticky tape didn't work on Sing but last year I discovered a new way of teaching him, to put a piece of willow tree leaf on his nose, that works for him.
I have tried sticky tape, leaf, a piece of string and other stuff to put on Sizzle's nose but he just shocked it off instead of using his paw. He really is a little crazy monster, I have to keep laughing while teaching him this trick (he is fun to teach! a real character!). I guess he was frustrated that I tried to put all sort of things on his nose and he bark and bark and bark and bark and bark (at me)! It did take us a while to get him to use his paw and to understand the paw movement is what I am asking for.
I am pretty sure he understands SHY now:
Look! I know how to SHY

... roll over and SHY on my right ...

... and roll over to the other side and SHY on my left!
and mummy said I am a clever little monkey!!

here is the little video:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bully Boy, Lover Boy, Happy Boy

Sizzle becomes quite a puller when I walk him on the pavement lately, when he sees a bird, he pulls to chase it; when he sees a motorbike vroom by, he pulls to chase it; he also pulls when we stand by the ringside watching other dogs doing agility ... that makes him choke on the lead. This is the least thing I want it to happen to my dogs. The other five boys are as good as gold when they are on the lead, I must have trained them so well. I didn't restrain Sizzle's behaviour as much as I did with the others, I want him to show more of his personality, especially the naughty side of him.
The only way to stop him from pulling is HARNESS. Funnily enough, everytime I put the harness on him, he hardly pull, so now he inherited Titan's BULLY BOY harness! When I first bought the Bully Boy harness, I thought that really suits Titan, he was very naughty and always bullied the others when we went out walking. Since Sizzle joined the family, he seems to take over Titan's role!
my first generation of BULLY BOY - Titan

These two always play fight and Titan is the all time winner!!
the NEW BULLY BOY - Sizzle


well, the other side of this bully boy is LOVER BOY

do you think he really is a LOVER BOY?

he maybe a BULLY BOY sometimes, a possible LOVER BOY but he definitely is a HAPPY BOY!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

motivational toys

I have been trying very hard to encourage/teach Sizzle to tug, well, every since the first day he came home but he nevers is a keen tugger. He will tug if he feels like it but that is not what I want. I want him to be able to tug/hang on to the toy when I show it to him.
When he was much younger, some people told me him being so dante and in the teething stage, tugging will hurt him, so leave it a bit later, so I listen to their advice. After he finised teething, I tried again, with various toys ... rope, rugs, sock, fleece ... anything you name it, I have tried it but he still show no interest in tugging.
I then read on Sara's blog ( a few weeks ago, she got Oreo this very nice "bunny fur tug" motivational toy from Cleanrun. That looks very interesting, so I thought I will get him one to try on, maybe with this rabbit fur, he might show interest and wanted to chase it. Unfortunately Cleanrun is out of stock, so I looked around and decided to choose these similar toys for him:
I keep these toys for training, so they are totally out of sight. When these toys arrived from America last week, I showed him the Ralphine Tug, he was so interested and started to chase and tug with it (eventhough he still prefers me to throw the toy so he can retrieves it). We play for 10 minutes and I quickly hide it away, so he doesn't know where I keep it.
I went back to Pachesham this morning for my weekly training, gosh! I didn't realised I have been away for 6 weeks and the boys were very keen, which is a good thing. Since there were only 3 students in the first class including me, so we finished off a little early so me and the other lady can do a bit with our puppies. Her red merle Border Collie puppy Skipper is a full grown dog (11 months old today), so much bigger than Sizzle, very bouncy and they have already started their puppy agility class at Pachesham.
We did some jump, jump, tunnel, jump, jump (just jump wings and poles on the ground for the babies), didn't we all enjoy it, both Skipper and Sizzle flew around the course with a lot of enthusiasm. I am very pleased with Sizzle, he didn't show any sign of nerves in the new environment and I just like his little wildness flying around the course eventhough most of the time I handled him wrong (basically I moved too fast when I should stand still!!!). Oh dear! He is a little too fast for me!! I love seeing him enjoy his training, he is a clever little man and he learns very fast.
Sizzle learns how to tug with his ralphine tug

he definitely prefers RETRIEVE

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

all well now

Sizzle is now back to his bouncy naughty self! What a great relieve! He started to eat quite a bit on Sunday and kept all the food down, there were no vomitting or diarrhoea since. I still give him 4 small meals a day for him to catch up what he have lost. He didn't do any poo all day yesterday and I was getting very anxious again but this morning, he did a solid/firm one and you don't believe how happy I was! Am I easily satisfied by just a tiny good poo? If you know what I went through last week, YES, I am easily satisfy by this silly thing!
Since the first day he came home, he is sleeping on our bed with us at night. This little monkey is his "recent" nightime cuddly toy. He has quite a few plush toys and he would like to change them from time to time. Sorry, quality of the picture is not good as it was taken with my mobile. A cute picture can never wait.
I need to post this picture of Saturn. He looks sooooooooo content. He is the sweetest dog!