Friday, August 15, 2008


I have been quite emotional since I came back from the KC International Festival, for so many reasons ... will talk about them later but I've got more emotional again this morning watching the Olympic, men's single semi-final. The game was between Malaysian LEE Chong Wei and the Korean LEE Hyunil.
I haven't been watching much of the Olympic this year due to having a puppy around, he takes up most of my time, if I were to ignore him to watch the Olympic, he will bark at me for attention!!!
Anyway, I was lucky enough to catch the badminton this morning and to watch a Malaysian playing. When I first saw LEE Chong Wei on the telly this morning, I was rather shock, my memory goes back to the late 80s and 90s for the Sidek Brothers (you can guess how old I am!), I never knew any other players than the Sidek Brothers! I watched the game with a lot of interest and apparently LEE Chong Wei is the 2nd World Ranking player. He did rather well in the first set, he was leading and I just like his way of playing, always jump up in the air and smash the shuttlecox, that is so beautiful to watch. I like an enthusiatic player. I even remember the longest rally between him and the Korean player was 49 strokes and of course LEE Chong Wei won the rally!
Unfortunately he lost in the 2nd set, the commentators was right though, she said as a fan of his, it is very frustrating to watch. He wasn't too far behind to start with, always 2-3 points between the two of them but the Malaysian hasn't in the lead at all in this set. At the end, it was a big gap and LEE Chong Wei kinda give up and let the Korean win the set. I think the Korean player is quite a technical player, he likes to drop the shuttlecox in front of the net and he has quite a high success rate where the Malaysian is more of a sporting player that like to pull and smash.
In the 3rd set, the deciding set, the Malaysian was once leading by 8-1, you just can't believe he lost the 2nd set, would you? He is a fantastic player and he won the match at last! He is guarantee a Silver medal for Malaysia, I don't know when is the final and who is he playing to but I am keeping my eye out for him and I am hoping he will bring a GOLD medal for Malaysia!
Malaysia BOLEH!! Lee Chong Wei BOLEH!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

KC International Agility Festival 2008

What can I say? Extremely Excited before the show, Extremely Enjoyable at the show and Extremely Exhausted at the end of the show!!
I took the boys and the caravan with me on early Thursday morning and we got to the showground at 10am and still we were camping miles away from the rings, I am not complaining but I was just amazed how BIG the show was!! Thursday was a very humid and sticky day and thank God we were there early, so I just took my time to set up the caravan and garden for the dogs then took them for a good long walk. It is a shamed that you are only allow three dogs off the lead at a time. I know my lots love to run and play together but I tried to be good, I love to follow the rules and I do not want any complain from others, that will spoil my mood.
I was once thinking to take the dogs to the nearby Nene Park, so all of them can go off the lead and tear around but the weather hit me so badly that I decided I will stay in the caravan instead. Colin joined us later in the evening and I have to go into Peterborough to pick him up and we sneaked into the local Weatherspoon pub for the Curry Night. I have to say they did some beautiful currys where we can't get from the London Weatherspoons (what a shamed!) but I do not like the area. I took all the dogs with me in the car and we were lucky to have a parking spot right outside the pub. I was worry about the dogs being disturbed so I quickly finished my dinner and rushed out to be with them so Colin can takes his time to enjoy his food. While I was in the car, someone came up to me to ask if my dogs are for sale!! I think he must be mad or crazy!! Then, after that, there was a young bloke which I think he must be drunk and he was shouting at me and using all those abusing words!! I got really scared and locked up the car and tried to hug all my dogs, anyway, I will never go back to the pub again eventhough it is cheap and nice!
By the time we got back to the showground, it was nearly 9:30pm and I do fancy an early night as the Novice Cup qualifier rounds are first thing in the morning. I didn't come prepare as I know Saturn is returning from the operation and I don't want to push him too hard and Sing has been unsteady for the last four weeks, so I thought I just go and enjoy every minute since this is an International Festival. I feel good when there is no pressure, I walked the Agility Qualifier course and thought my boys will never get qualify as it is an easy flowing course, the fast dogs will get it. There were about 80+ dogs competing but they are only taking the top 15 dogs to the Final. Sing was out of my expectation, he was quite fast compare to his usual speed, so the plan of front cross at the end of the DW didn't work out well and we got a messy clear and lost probably a second or so!! I tried to play safe with Saturn, I know he still has his dodgy contacts but I just want him to go clear, so he can stand a chance and he was a good boy and went clear eventhough the A Frame wasn't good enough.
While waiting for the Jumping round, Sing did his Grade 4 Agility and got a 3rd in it. I was very surprised as the standard was higher here and of course I am very glad with him. Saturn got a 5th in his Grade 3 Jumping, again, I was reluctant to push him for the speed. After a long wait, we finally got to walk the Jumping course, we watched many big dogs got stuck at the beginning as the #1, #2 and #3 looked like a trap but funnily enough, it didn't bother the small and medium dogs and we all were worried sick and walked extra hard on the 3 jumps!! Again, Jumping is not Sing's cup of tea, he hasn't got that speed especially when you have so many collies in the class!! He went clear, but in his own time, bless him! Saturn was a little faster but still not fast enough to be placed! That got me worried as we haven't been placed in the Agility round either eventhough there were only 20 clear rounds! All the classes in the KC (I am talking about the Medium classes) are placed up to 6th only.
I was anxious waiting for the Final list and of course, the eager you are, the slower they release the results! But I have to say, they are much faster this year than last!! It was dreadful for me to look at the list. I wanted both Sing and Saturn in the Final and I was so afriad non of them are in the Final. Eventhough they both went clear in the Agility and Jumping but in the KC Festival, they accumulate the points, so even if you have an elimination, you can still go through!! This happened to me last year. Sing was in the top 10 and Saturn was at the 15th together with another border collie (they shared the same points), the border collie was eliminated in the Jumping but got 4th in the Agility, so she went through to the Final and Saturn was pushed out eventhough he has two clear rounds!!
Unfortunately, it happened again this year but with different dog!! Saturn was lying 10th on the Final list and Sing was 16th, just one point less to squueze in. Poor soul! I was really gutted. I never thought Saturn will be in the Final and I have high hope for Sing. This got me emotion all night and all Saturday morning. I was worried about Saturn's contacts, I am still in the stage of getting him to do his perfect target. I know if Sing is in the Final, I don't have to worry about anything other than the speed. Well, the Final was on Saturday afternoon in the Main Ring, I have been stuggling with myself. I want Saturn to look good and I just don't know how to handle the situation and the weather didn't help either. It has been raining all day Saturday, a real miserable day! I have to accept Sing didn't make it through to the Final, so I push him really hard in the Grade 4 Agility and he came 2nd. I was really pleased with that.
I thought I am going to train Saturn in his Grade 3 Agility before going into the Final but the rain got heavier when we got in the ring, so it definitely didn't help, it was pouring so hard and Saturn got creepy on his contacts, I thought I will pull him out from the Final but I managed to "control" myself and keep telling myself how great to be in the Final and we will do our best.
At last, the Final is about to start and the weather has dried up a little. I watched a few large dogs ran the course and get my mind sorted and I told myself, YES! I AM READY! I got Saturn out and played with him and walked him around the ring, since we were lying at 10th placed, we were about 6th to go. I didn't get to watch the other dogs go as we were tucked behind the commentary box and you can see nothing. The closer I get, my nerve started to kick in, I think this is the worst than me and Sing went to Crufts! I got really panic when I set Saturn up on the start line, but there is no turning back, I have to go ... we whizz around ok, he got his DW but he went into the "wrong" end of the tunnel (the number was placed in the middle of the tunnel, so you can take whichever end but I was planned to send him to the right end instead of left) and luckily I was still under control and continue whizzing, I told myself, one more contact to go, if he gets the A Frame, we will be fine, and I know how much I panic about the A Frame as he either freeze on top of the A Frame or he leaps and wasn't he a good boy? He got his A Frame but I FORGOT the course!!! I saw two jumps in front of me and I tried to figure which one to take and of course my maths was no good, 17 first or 18 first? I am such an idiot!!! That of course cost us a 5 faults!! Otherwise, it was a good round from my young boy. I am very proud of him!

Colin was very sweet, he knew I was very upset for messing up the course, so he took me into Peterborough for a nice meal. We were planning to go for a pub meal but I've got a phobia after Thursday night, so we went into a very nice Chinese Buffet next to a pub. I have to say it was a very tasty meal, you can hardly find those cooking in London anymore!
After two days of running, I started to get very tired on Sunday, especially I knew we have to pack and go home in the evening. I hope we have an early finish but both boys were in the Nation Cup, and the Agility round will be the last thing in the main ring. Sing was with the Rest Of the World (ROW) 3, the other two team mates were a Spanish lady Alos with her Spanish Water Dog called Tila and Sally Rees from Jersey with her Pyrenean Sheepdog; Saturn was with ROW 2, together with Evelyn Thomas originally from Belgium and her Italian Greyhound Kaiser and a Swis girl Claire and her cracking little spaniel that won many classes this weekend. We (me and Evelyn) were missing Johanna and One terribly!!! We were in the same team last year and had a lot of good fun together.
Sing did a steady clear in the Jumping but I think the other two members had faults in their jumping rounds and we were out of placed; Saturn got eliminated in his round and the other two have faults too, so we were out of placed as well. In the Agility Round, Sing's ROW 3 was running 3rd and Saturn's ROW 2 was running 4th, and I was the 2nd team member to run for both team, as they want to finish it quick, so you can imagine I tried to catch my breath in between. Again, both Sing and Saturn did rather well in their Agility round and they are both IN the course time and I am very pleased. The other two members in the two different teams have faults and time faults, so Sing's ROW 3 finished in 2nd and Saturn's ROW 2 finished in 3rd in the Agility Round and in the overall results, ROW 2 came 6th and ROW 3 came 5th!
Oh, I forgot to mention, the Large and the Medium were very lucky to avoid the rain in the main ring but some of the Small teams weren't that lucky! There were a sudden down pour and we had to rush into the marquee!!
After the presentation, we have to rush back to the caravan and packed, so basically we didn't leave the showground until 8:30pm and thank God, M1 and M25 were clear, so we were lucky to be home at around 11:30pm!! Extremely EXHAUSTED as you can imagine!! I think I need at least a week to recover!! I never feel so achy and tired after an agility show before.
One thing I still try to figure it out is why Saturn got his contacts in the main ring and not at the other rings? I wonder did I handled him differently?
and here is some individual runs from Sing and Saturn:

Monday, August 04, 2008


After a wet start on Saturday morning at Aylesbury, we decided to go home after the morning runs, Saturn was on good form, unfortunately his "powerful" start cost him a limp, it was an angle to the Dog Walk and I was probably blocking his view and he hit himself very hard on the beginning of the wet DW, that gave him a good shock! There were a lot of dogs slipped and fell off the wet dog walk and see-saw, nearly 8 out ot 10 dogs has the same problem. With Sing, I had to keep shouting "easy" and "steady" and he hardly heard this commands in his run (he does not need those commands), so he was all confused and did a few spins and turns and we finished off in a terribly slow time!! The rain was getting heavier by 10:30 and we decided to have a relaxing weekend at home, so we left at 11:00!!
On Sunday, we go to the Sheltie Club SE Branch Graden Party instead. The weather was very kind to us, it didn't rain until the party has finished. We had an enjoyable and relaxing time with a SEA of SHELTIES!! All the boys had a good time meeting all the shelties, Sizzle was great and he was amazed to see so many shelties and people. He was excellent and handle himself very well in the party. We saw Dave and Margaret and GOSH! Sizzle remembered them well. He seems to be able to smell them from a distance and he went bonkers when he gets to them!!
Eventhough my shelties have NO show quality but they are the BEST COMPANION! It was a shamed that I didn't try to put Sizzle in the baby class, it will be good for him to learn to be handled by others, I saw some lovely puppies there and two in particular catching my eyes and then later I found out they are litter brother and sister!
I didn't know they also have a companion class for those not showable shelties but I managed to squeeze Skye in at the very last minute for some fun. I wish I know so I could plan which dog to put in the "companion" class. Obviously Skye hasn't got the "waggiest tail", no "smiling face", no "best ears" (if I were to know that, I will put Saturn in instead!!) ... but there is an overall Companion prize, I don't know what they are looking for, so I just get Skye to do some tricks and HA! He won the OVERALL BEST COMPANION!! Yipeeee for my good lad.
There was also a "fastest reacll" competition, 25p a go, so I take turn to recall all of them, yes including Sizzle and he was great, didn't run off and staright back to me! Saturn won the over 15" and his time was 161 (I assume that was 1.61 seconds). I could tell you that there is no sheltie can beat him, the average time was over 2 seconds! Titan finished in 191 and the other four boys finished in just over 2 seconds. I also won the under 15" with Starry, he was once my dog for few months, so I gave him a go and he was not far behind Saturn, he finished in 167. Eventhough Jim & Joan was claiming him under 15" but they think he is too big for under 15" but whatever it is, Titan was the fastest in the under 15", basically, I am the overall winners for the fastest recall!
Eventhough they are NO show quality but they are the BEST COMPANION