Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

no title

It wasn't very sunny today but Ling wanted to take some photos with the boys, I think she wanted to show them to her family when she goes back for her summer holiday.
somehow, I think this pair looks very funny in the picture!

Mr Handsome with his most appealing eyes!!

always a handsome merlie

very well behaved altogether until ...

... the cat sneak in

The boys with Ling

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

what collar?

I just read in a forum about some people using choke chain/semi choke/slip collar on their shelties. They complain their shelties slip the collar and ran away!
I am very surprised that there are still so many people believes in choke/slip collar! I consider myself a late starter to have my own dogs and when I first have Sing, he wore a puppy collar (those with a hole that you can adjust the size). We went to a brilliant puppy class and I always believe in positive training, so I have no problem of a dog pulling on the lead and slip the collar. When I started to compete in agility 2.5 years ago, I change all my dog collars to the clip type and I always have them loose (big enough for me to put my hand in between). I like it that way because shelties have such a thick coat and I do not want to have it too tight to make a dead hair line round their neck. Walking 5 dogs at a time, I have NO dogs pulling at all, how good is that?
Well, I do have difficult dog that may slip the collar (that is Seagull), if something strikes him, he will get panic and started to struggle, so his collar is slightly tighter than the other but I have my way to calm him down, so I hardly ever slip a collar.
Since I started doing agility, I sometimes wonder, should I rather have a dog that pull on the lead to show some enthusiastic? Unfortunately all my five are as good as gold when walking on the lead!
So, how many of you are still using a choke collar? Does it really help you to shape the behaviour you want?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

my mum has a dog!!

I've been calling my family everyday to catch up with the latest news and I was very surprised my mum got a dog! I remembered when I was young, my dad always have dogs! I remembered we have 2 dobermans and 6 GSDs at a time! My mum always avoid interacting with them, it was me and my dad to feed them, bath them and doing something with them. My mother and brother were always out of sight! She was definitely not keen with small animals even when she first visited me a few years ago, Sing was only 5/6 months old. She was very upset that I let him sleeps on my bed and I play and cuddle him!!! Oh well, now, she has got a dog, what can I say? I am looking forward to meeting this young lad, don't really know what he is but he looks like a Manchester Terrier to me!! Oh dear, I don't even know his name!! Did they have shelties in Malaysia?

Monday, May 19, 2008


Colin and I went to Pembrokeshire with Sing and Saturn for the weekend. Colin is interesting in buying a farm land with house, it seems the farm properties in Wales is much cheaper and bigger compare to the South West of England. We drove like crazy on Saturday morning as we have to meet the estate agent by 12:30 and gosh, it took us nearly 5 hours to get there even with the convertible!
We managed to get there in time and look at the farm house, the property is in the National Park area, located in the valley surrounded by the Preseli Hills. It has a lovely view from the surrounding. Unfortunately the house is 300+ years old and it is too small for us. Colin thought it is big enough for the two of us but I find it too crowded, so we are not buying it!
As I was suffering from terrible migrane, we went straight to the B&B, so I can have a sleep while Colin takes the boys out walking. Well, as you guess, Colin lost Saturn again!! The lady owner of the B&B said Colin can walk the dogs in the big field across the B&B but instead, Colin took the boys walked into the village, he also took some wrong turnings but at the end he found somewhere he could let the boys to run around. I rang him after 30 minutes to find out how is he getting on and he told me he LOST Saturn again!! I jumped off the bed with my pyjamas and quickly ran outside to find him. I've found him where I last left him with Colin. That dog is just too clingy! I was amazed (how he finds his way back to me) and very frightened (to loose him or accident) but I just couldn't tell him off. I never thought Colin went that far and all on the village's main road without pavement! He could be the next potential Lassie if any film making company is interested!! I am so worry when I go back and my friend is taking care of him, I have a feeling that if he gets a chance, he will run away to go and find me!! Colin is not allow to take him out if OFF the lead! That gave me a good scare!!!
I highly recommend the B&B ( if you are going to Pembrokesshire for holiday. Dogs welcome and a 5 stars service!! The room is spotless, neat and tidy, lovely garden. Sue (the lady owner) made some Welsh cake and Welsh bread with endless tea/coffee to welcome us on arrival and the breakfast was just fantastic, tons of cereal, fruits and fried breakfast! Yummy!!
We left quite early on Sunday morning as we wanted to visit the coast before coming back to London. We chose to go to Marloes Sands eventhough we were told the most beautiful beach in the GB is Barafundle Bay. We spent a good three hours in the beach with the boys, they were so happy running around knowing this is not another long agility trip! Unfortunately, Sing had another accident! Colin threw a ball and he was dashing to fetch it, there were many rocks spread everywhere on the sandy beach, we don't know how but Sing bash himself very hard into one of the rock. I could see he hit it very hard as he nearly bounce back (I'm not exaggerate)! He showed a bit of lameness on the front right leg but after a while he was in the sea fighting the wave again!
my LOVER BOY who loves FLYBALL showing off his new harness!!

Saturn enjoying himself

Sing ran into one of those rocks behind

here is a series of picture of Sing fighting the wave:

here it comes!

Sing was in the wave

there he is!

got the ball, at last!
me and the boys at Marloes Sands rock

Skye borrows Sing's harness to show off!

BULLYBOY really suits him!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Saturn is having a BREAK

Saturn is having a break from agility for a couple of months!
For those who follows my post about this boy, he is clear from campylobacter but his bowel is not 100%, so the vet suggested I feed him Hill's prescription ID, both dry and wet mixed. He has been on ID for about four weeks now and he is doing good, no more diarrhoea or passing blood (touch wood!). I have been complaining that he is not on form in agility since Sheltie Show and he lost his stamina for the last two weekends at show. We went to Bernadette yesterday and she kindly check on him and told me Saturn is too thin, that brought my attention. I know he is always a skinny boy but because he is well cover in his lovely coat, nobody could really tell he is thin or fat. I've always made a record whenever I weight him and gosh, he lost nearly a kilo since he is on ID. Eventhough the ID is a highly digestible but it is blend with low energy, this expalin why the poor chap has no stamina!! As I am going away in a week's time, it is not good to change his food while he is staying with my friends but I will definitely put him back on Burns after I return from Malaysia.
I took him to the vet in the evening to ask Kevin to give him a good checkup, Kevin said he is healthy, which is a good sign. After the discussion with him and Bernadette's advice on feeding him extra, I am giving him 3 meals a day + 2 months NO agility, hopefully he will have time to recover and hopefully when I come back from Malaysia, he will fill up more and have a bit of muscle.

Monday, May 12, 2008

we have joy, we have fun, we have season in the sun ...

We went to Godmanchester for the weekend, apart from agility, we had a good weekend camping with friends, catching up with each others and to learn more about my new friends.
The boys were not coping well with the heat wave, especially Saturn, he was as flat as a pancake in this heat!! He was a mummy's boy and he tried so hard to pleased me! I was glad that I pulled him out from some classes. Besides my shelties, I could see there are a lot of dogs out there running very slowly and everybody was suffering in the heat!
The funny thing this weekend was when I ran Skye in the agility class on Saturday, there was a long U tunnel, he decided he will lie down in the middle of the curve and that made all of us laugh!
I like Godmanchester show, first time there, I was very lucky to have my friends save me a camping spot, so we were not miles away from the rings. Colin finished work a bit early but we were stuck in the traffic for hours! We camp next to the leisure centre, so toilet and shower were just a few hundred yards away, so handy! The ground was flat, the best ground I've ever run in! The only downside is the dog exercise area, it was ok in the evening after the day parking is gone but first thing in the morning is dangerous!
We had a nice BBQ on Saturday evening, chilled out with good food and wines, the dogs have a good played. Marion's Tess & Mick (both BC) like Sing so much, they actually fell in love with him!! Oh, Debbie's blue merle collie Saffie likes Sing too!!
On Saturday afternoon, they set up a flyball demo just in front of our camping spot, aren't they cruel? Poor Sing was winding everytime a dog was flyballing!! The poor chap missed flyball so much!! We gave up flyball three years ago due to travel distance and the long term injury. Luckily, there was a pay on the day for people to tryout. You can pay £1 for 3 goes, hopefully paying £1 will stop him winding but I was sooooo wrong, he wanted flyball so much!! He spent whole evening crying his heart out!!! When we were flyballing, we used to train in the American type Flat Fronted box which is better for the dog with swimmer's turn and less injury. Unfortunately at the demo, they have the British Boomerang type and they also adjusted the trigger tighter for the bigger dog (BCs), poor lightweighted Sing was struggling to trigger the box for the first couple of time but he was enjoying himself, that's the main thing! Once Sing gets up to Grade 5 (hopefully 6?), I think I will retire him from agility and take him back flyballing again!! When he was competing, his fastest time was 5.20seconds, I think that is very fast for a little sheltie and at Godmanchester, his fastest time was 5.90seconds. I also gave Skye a go, for a first timer, I think he did brilliantly!!
We got home around 7:30 on Sunday and it was still light and sunny and we decided to visit those goslings (hey Paula, I got it right this time!), so Sing can have a swim to cool down. Unfortunatley we didn't see any of these little things, I wonder if they have moved or hiding, hopefully the foxes didn't have all of them!!
Sing had a good swim in the pond and I thought it was a good time to encourage Skye to have another swim. Again, I need to throw the ball and chuck him in the pond and after that, he did the swim on his on without any help, hooray!!! Colin was amazed!! For some strange reason, I started walking into the pond and call Saturn to me, guess what? Sing was out there retrieving the ball and I have Saturn and Skye swimming round and round me, that's probably the best thing I achieved so far!! Who say shelties can't swim?????? I must try to take some videos next weekend when Colin is around.
My shelties are not great in agility but I think they are multitalented, most of all, I like to see them enjoying themselves. I take every opportunity to encourage a new behaviour. Here are some awful agiltiy runs (as you can see in Saturn's H/S, he almost given up!) but gosh! it was hot, I think they tried very hard. Bless them!

half a willow tree!

When we got back from Godmanchester last night, I was very upset to see I only have HALF a willow tree left!!! Bloody neighbour!!! They even damaged some of my bench in the garden!!! Didn't they upset me enough? They are burning the willow tree branches in their garden early this morning and all the smoke comes into every bit in OUR house!!! I better go and inspect my every piece of agility equipment in the garden!!!

Friday, May 09, 2008

my poor willow tree

When we moved to our current house nearly 5 years ago, we fell in love with the big old willow tree straightaway, we then realised it is a lot of hardwork to maintain the big garden with this big willow tree especially around autumn/winter and spring/summer time. Clearing up the leafs is exhausted!! But we tried to manage year after year and enjoy the shed when it gets too hot. We are very lucky we only have one neighbour, as on our left is a 0-5 nursery, they finish not later than 7pm, so during the day with the noisy children is good for the dogs. Our neighbour on the right does not like trees/shrubs/bushes, anything grows in their garden it has to go and in our front drive, we have some bushy bit that belongs to the council and they chopped everything down, all they want is a CLEAR garden! I like CLEAR garden for my agility equipments but I do like some trees/bushes to lighten up the garden.
I am trying to find a photo of the willow tree when it is in full, unfortunately I can't find any! The above photo is just about to show half of the willow tree in full blossom. My neighbour always get somebody in to chop their side of the branches down evert two-three months!!
I took this photo this morning before they chop the branches

and here is the poor willow tree, they haven't finish yet. They are hiring a scalfolding this time, I think they determine to chop the whole tree down!! They even ask me if I want my bit chop!! I am off to Godmanchester this weekend, I am so afraid to come back to a bald willow tree!!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I went to the Common yesterday and was very surprised to see there are so many ducklings ALREADY! Colin wanted me to take some photos to show them to him. We always see the ducklings grow and counted each day how many are there and hopefully the foxes are not getting too many of them. We always got so upset when some of them are missing.
there are about 6 families I could count today and I lost count of how many ducklings are there

this is a cute little family

I like to see them following their mum or dad, very sweet

it is not easy to take some photos of Sing jumping in the air catching the ball especially when I have to throw the ball at the same time aiming for the action!! Some friends suggested not to let him jump in the air too much, just in case he hurts his joint, well, I have tried so hard to roll the ball on the ground or make him sit and wait and throw the ball and send him to fetch it. He thought I am crazy and refuse to pick it!!

it is quite warm this morning, so there is no stopping Sing swimming in the pond

This photo of evil Titan is espeically for my little friend Ling who is having her final exam today at City U. Titan sends his GOOD LUCK wishes to her to do well in her exam!!

and this sunny photo of Seagull is for my nephews Boy & Boon (Boon is in Kent U). The boys like him so much and I knew Boon is missing him terribly. Boy is also having his final exam starting today, so GOOD LUCK from all of us! Boon's final exam is coming soon, also wish him lots of LUCK.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

May Bank holiday agility

We went to Newbury on Saturday to do the UKA Show. Both boys were doing pretty well, they all have been placed in all classes. We have Sunday off doing much needed gardening! Then, set off about 2:30pm to Somerset to stay with Helen. I've entered the Severnside show on Monday. On the way to Weston Super Mare, we stopped by at Glastonbury so Colin can take the boys to the Tor, so by the time we got to Weston Super Mare, it was quite late and we struggled to find fish and chips!! (Didn't I know fish & chips don't open on Sunday?), we then ended up a long wait Indian!! We got to stop by the beach so the boys and Helen's girlies can run around in the beach for 15 minutes!! It was windy and cold and we were starving!!
Back to agility, I didn't realised the Severnside show is in the country show and Jezz, the crowds and the gunshot ... there were a lot of dogs totally frightened from the gunshot and the kids!! They have 4 rings and they put up the orange plastic netting all around and there is only ONE entrace to the four rings!! By 10am, the four rings were surrounded by crowds!! Colin told me Saturn was worried about the gunshot while they were waiting in the carpark. I then decided to take him to the fields where they do the shooting to do some obedience training with him. He was normal and didn't react to the gunshot at all.
The medium classes were always afer the small and it took them forever to run a class! We didn't get to run our first run until 11:50! Severnside is definitely not Sing's day, he missed the weave (not the entry) in both agility and jumping!! Saturn nearly missed the weave in agility too but he recovered well from the 2nd pole. Both agility and jumping courses were long way round!! I was exhasuted running with two dogs!
Saturn got a 2nd in the Agility and 3rd in Jumping. I have noticed his weave is much slower for the last few weeks, I need to sort this problem out soon!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Saturn and his A Frame

We went to GT Agility today. It is a long day for me, running Saturn in the Novice classes and Sing & Skye in Beginners classes, I am exhausted. I didn't sleep well last night and I have been very tired all day!
The highlight of my day is not Sing won the Beginners RC Agility but Saturn to get a "stunning" A Frame. For those who follow my blog knew that I have problem with Saturn spent last season freezing on top of the A Frame. I spent all winter long trying every method to solve this problem and I am very glad that I have endless support from all who tried to help me, especially Bernadette (who never gives up on me!!). As I thought we are ready for this season, the last two weekends (Wallingford & WBSDS) were nightmares, Saturn freezed on top of the A Frame at Newbury Showground again! I blamed the showground as he was alright at Chippenham and Spring at Shuttleworth.
The RC Agility course today was tricky, it is not a straight forward course, it involved a lot of handling, I found it very difficult to run Sing as he runs all his contacts. I remembered when I went to Toni Dawkins' training day a few months ago, we tried to work out the best way to encourage Saturn to go faster on the dog walk is to recall him and I never really dare to try this in competition (I'm probably a coward!) but in today's situation, the recall is the best thing and I am glad I did and I can see him power on.
For some of you may not find Saturn's A Frame is brilliant but for me, this is a good start, it actually bring some happy tears. His A Frame made my day, nothing is more important than seeing him doing this solid contact!

more news to follow, I am too tired and I need my bed desperately!!

Friday, May 02, 2008

more update on Sing's eye

more update about Sing's poor eye ...

After the little op on Tuesday, Sing's eye didn't seem to clear up, it is still very runny after 48 hours, so I took him back to the Vet last evening to have a further check up. The Vet did the fluorecein dye test and found no ulcer in the eye, which is a good news!! He can't see any conjunctivitis, so he is not carry anything nasty and is allow to go out. He also tried to hold his head down to see if the dye will come out through his nose after a couple of minutes, unfortunately there is no sign of any drip, so the Vet thinks poor Sing has a blockage. He was given some eye drop to unblock it. I need to give him the eye drop at least 4 times a day and the Vet also metioned the drop will stint his eye and feels discomfort for a short while, so poor Sing is on the rest!!!

old garage, new room

Some friends were asking me how is the garage conversion going on? I'm sorry I forgot to update about this. The room is done and we starting to enjoy an extra space since last weekend! This is the only clear/clean/tidy room in the house so far, I have a lot of mess to tidy up. My office and the lounge are full of junkies!!! I am hoping to clear up before going home to visit my family so the boys can have their crazy frap when we are not around!!

We divided the old garage into two parts, the front (bigger part) for dining and the small part for storage!