Monday, September 29, 2008


I am sitting in Gatwick Airport waiting to fly to China to visit my dear brother ... I have at least 6 hours to kill, so I thought I just quickly update my blog before I go. The Internet in this airport is sooooooooooooo slow, I think the snail mail is faster, so hopefully, I can finish this post in one hour!!
The last 10 days have been very difficult, firstly my brother is very poorly, we are hoping the Chinese doctors will treat him well, unfortunately he seems to suffer more pain than he was in Malaysia. The worst thing is the hospital needs CASH everyday! If you haven't have enough cash to pay, they will not treat you, no matter how urgent or how poorly are you!! When my nephew sent me his photos, I was flooded with tears! I can't wait to see him!!
Secondly, Bernadette has lost her precious girl. Eventhough Hex was not my dog but I love that little wicked sheltie, she was the dog that everyone would dream of and when I saw the news on the agility forum, I also collapsed! This world is so unfair!! Why they always take the good ones away far too quickly?
All the boys are in good hands, I know I will miss them terribly! I am missing them now!!
We were at Lincoln over the weekend, 6 hours there and 6 hours back! I think the actual journey could be around 3 hours but the M25 and M1 were dreadful, apart from the traffic, I like show, the people were very nice and the showground was flat and good for human and dogs to run. I have to say I like the courses up there, I found they are more challenging than the one down here. That suit my "steady" shelties better. Sing did well, he came back with three lovely trophies. I am so glad that Lincoln is so generous with their placings and trophies. In most show, they only place to first place in Medium Grade 4 and Sing was always lie in 2nd or 3rd, so no trophy or rosette for him. I was so glad that he earned three trophies this weekend. Saturn wasn't up for running, he knocked 3 bars down in one jumping round, so I have to rest him but he did a nice agility round on Sunday though. I am very pleased with that and he came 4th, just behind Sing.
We also got to meet Breeze, Brian and Rachel's little Tri girl, she is 10 weeks younger than Sizzle. Sizzle and Breeze had a good play, they were so sweet together, I think Brian took some lovely photos of them toghether, hopefully he will send me some when I get home.
I also ran Titan in the All Sort Agility, to my surprised, we did the weave in style, I ran with him from a jump to the weave, he didn't miss the entry and finished the 6 weave poles in speed BUT, he missed the rigid tunnel ahead! Ha!
I also ran Skye in the Grade 3 agility, on Saturday, he was very fast and did very well in the beginning part but then I lost him after the tunnel. I am glad he was up for the run. We tried again on Sunday, the course was hard, even harder than the Grade 4 & 5, he started well, than after the first part, I lost him totally, he suddenly ran off to the hedge, so I have to pick him up and took him out, then to find out he was unwell and sick all over, poor lad!!
... Til I am back.

Monday, September 22, 2008


We have a weekend with no agility! I thought we deserved a quiet and peaceful time with the dogs, going for a long walk, maybe do a bit of gardening or even tidy up the house ... but NO, we ended up pretty busy and I ended up very stressed and frustrated at some points.
We went to Postmouth to visit Jim & Joan on Saturday, they are on holiday, we spent some time catching up and had dinner with them, we didn't come back till late so we have to go to bed almost immediately because I have Dawn Weaver training on Sunday morning.
Dawn's training was fantastic, it was a shamed that the training was a bit too short but I have something to work on, especially with Sing. Unfortunately I will be away very soon, hopefully I still remember what I want to work with him when I come back.
I shall leave for China once I've got my visa, hopefully the visa will come back sometimes this week. My brother is very ill and I need to be with him. There were so many twist and turn regarding his illness for the last few days, that gave me a few sleepless nights. I wish I can just go but this dam visa is a pain! My plan is to go for at least two weeks but depending on the situation, I may have to stay longer.
For those who ask how is Sizzle ... he is great, he is a wonderful puppy. I must admit I haven't spend much time doing anything with him but I keep the play whenever I can and I have to say, if I ignore him when he brings his toy to me, he will bark at me till I play with him, he is so sweet.
I have asked Colin to do a quick video of him doing something with me in the garden yesterday:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sing is on fire?

I like this picture of Sing so very much! It was taken on Sunday at Prestbury Park.

Colin had a day off last Friday so we can take time to travel to Prestbury Park. We have never been to Cirencester Park before but had heard a lot of good things about this park, so Colin determined to get there early on Friday so we can have a good long walk with the dogs. I think Colin went a little crazy, instead of taking our time, he woke me up at 5am (YES! 5 o'clock in the morning!) to say "let's go now!". I think his job drives him crazy and he always get so stress, so when he has a day off, he normally is crazy and driving me mad!!
We got to Cirencester Park at 10:30am after a long break at M4. Obviously it was too early and the show organiser was not too impress with us arriving at that time. The ground was wet after they have a few days of rain and they are hoping all the campers will arrive after 3pm to let the ground dry up a little bit and thank God we were there early, as we got stuck when I drove to our pitch. I purposely chosen a pitch further in so if Sizzle jumps off the fence, it will not directly near the road. I wish I will take the risk to camp near the road and close to the rings. The car was absolutely stuck in the thick mud and wouldn't move, luckily the members were very friendly and helpful, the nice lady Mary moved us to our pitch for the weekend.
Since we got there early, we helped them setting up the seven rings, which was good fun eventhough I felt so tired and achy afterwards!! We managed to take the dogs for a long walk in the Park in the afternoon, we all came back to the caravan looking miserable and horribly muddy! Yes, the rain started around 3pm and places were like swamp and bog, I cannot describled our "garden" and the carvan and all the dogs defintely needs a good clean up after this weekend.
Both Saturday and Sunday had a mixture of sunshine, fog and shower, the rings weren't too bad but the camping areas weren't very impress. Luckily the people at the show were very friendly and cheery. I was very tense and stress due to the mud and worrying the car and caravan sinking ...
Sing was a good boy the whole weekend. I have been trying to work hard in pushing him to go faster lately and I am still working on that, I still make silly pilot errors especially in Marie's Jumping class. It was a very nice flowing course but I pushed him too fast and I was behind him and won't be able to direct him and that got him eliminated! Hopefully we will be better next season. Sing won the Grade 4 Agility on Saturday afternoon which surprised me a lot! He also won the Combined 1-4 Agility on Sunday, that gave me a "heart attack". I have never dream of him winning so many first places in a grade, especially 2 first places in one weekend, that was just fanstastic! And, this also gives me confidence at Grade 5!
They also have Flyball "competition" on Saturday evening. Prestbury Park DTC have their own flyball teams and I thought it would be good to reward Sing to have a go at the flyball since he won the agility. I have never thought of asking what flyball box they are using, so I was very keen, can't wait to let Sing enjoys his flyball.
The Flyball started at 6pm, some people gather around the ring side, not a lot, especially those that hate noises, they will try to stay away from Flyball as far as possible. When I look at the box, I thought I made a big mistake as Sing has never train on the Crufts Flyball Box before and they are so different to the BFA (British Flyball Association) type, that got me worried, I don't want him to injured himself on that box if he did something wrong but the people told me just go for fun and they will throw the ball to him if he does not know how to trigger the box.

this is the BFA box that Sing used to train with, it is called the American Flat Fronted Box.

If you look at the first flyball video, Sing actually "accidentally" trigger the box and he was surprised where the ball came from. Also, Sing used to be the "height" dog when we were running with Ball Buster Flyball Club. He jump 10", so he can do his "bunny" jump which he just bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce ... but at this fun game, the jumps were about 12"-14" (I guess) and the first round, Sing probably miss judging the jump and tried to do his bounce, he hit the 2nd jump and fell over but he is a good dog, that didn't freak him, he continue to bounce towards the box.
In the second round, his cheeky self made everyone laugh, he is so intelligent to know where the ball is and instead of trying to trigger the box, he jump over the cushion and fetch the ball, you can see the two box loaders were laughing and all the audience were laughing too!
The last two were actually "competition" runs. We (Sing with a terrier and two collies) of course can't beat the Prestbury Park Team but I was very happy that Sing enjoyed himself and I have promised him that once he goes Grade 5, I will take him back to Flyball.
As for Saturn, I did a couple of runs with him and his best one was the Sunday Graded 1-4 Jumping, not because he came 2nd but he actually run with his happy self.
Again, I haven't got time for Sizzle this weekend but I took him out a couple of time to the rings watching the world goes by. He is still shy with people handling him. I took him to visit a treat stall where the lady owner has been very kind to offer sausage to him and made him feel relax at the end. Colin was holding him while Sing and I did flyball. Colin said he was so excited and winding watching us, maybe I can have a go with him at the flyball?
I can't wait to go back next year, eventhough it was wet and muddy but the Prestbury Park members made you feel so welcome!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chasing crows

I like to see Sizzle grows ... everyday is a new chapter for both of us, he has learned a lot since he came to live with me and he also learned something from the other dogs. I have been very careful watching him interacting with the others. I know Sing and Saturn are perfectly "good" behaving dogs and he is allow to learn from them but I am careful to let him interact with Titan and Skye, these two are little barkers, Titan will bark for fun and Skye barks when he is excited, either way is no good. Two noisy shelties are more than enough to upset the neighbours and I do not want a third one! Also, Titan gets a bit nervous when he meets other dogs (especially those big ones and boisterous ones) when we go out walking, he will bark his head off and started shaking when the dogs come closer. There were a couple of time I've noticed when he got nervous and that passed it on to Sizzle.
Sing used to chase squirrels and rabbits and I remembered very well that three four years ago he chased the squirrel and he ended up on the tree himself. I am not exaggerate, the branch was very low and it was a 45 degree angle, so Sing just ran up and up and up, till the end! Of course the branch was curving all the way up and the tree is not low. I nearly had a heart attack (I don't want to lose a dog in this way!) as Sing has realised that he has to somehow come down. Thank God he is always a good dog, so I have to calm myself down and to clam him down by telling him to turn and steady, do you think a two year old dog will go steady? Definitely not, he turned and ran staright down and I was under the tree holding my arms out, hope to catch him when necessary!! Since then, I never take him down that path again!!
Maybe he is getting old and realised he never catch a squirrel or a rabbit, so he started to chase crows in the Common. It is so funny to watch, he really have his eyes on those crows everytime we see one and he also passed this on to Sizzle.
This is not a good video but just show you how these shelties are crazy about crows:

Monday, September 08, 2008

Stour Valley

I am so glad that Stour Valley went ahead with their show. Despite the cold wet windy weather, we had a very nice relaxing weekend in the well drain showground. We didn't get there till 9pm on Friday night, it was pitch black, pouring down with rain while we setting up the garden but the weather has been very kind to us all weekend, both days have the mixture of showers, sunshine and storm and most of all, I know all the people that at the show were enjoying themselves!
We had a good fun weekend. Sing went clear on all his classes and have good places in all of them. He was a very good lad. I wanted to push him for speed but I knew if I did, he will miss his rhythm in the weave which we have tried at Letchworth and failed each time! That will be my winter project with my Singy B! All in all, I have to say Sing worked really well this weekend.
As for Saturn, I don't really know what is going on with him. He just doesn't seem to gain his speed back after his biopsy operation, maybe he needs more rest? His contacts are still dodgy, so we need to work on that over the winter after his good rest.
As for Sizzle, I have to say I have left him quite a bit this weekend. I wasn't helping on Saturday but the weather was not good enough to take him out and play. I was helping on Sunday and he was trying to escape many times due to boredom!!
On Saturday, we had the mini/mixi jumping pairs at the end of the day. It was a fun class. Thanks to Andy Longley, we have an "evil" course. The course had two parts, the small jump the same course and the medium and large jump the same course. I think the Medium/Large course was easier than the Small course. There were 20 pairs but NO 2 clear rounds in a pair!!! At the end, Eleanor & Ian won the pairs with one elimination; Bracken and Sing got 2nd with Bracken decided to take the medium jump to get herself eliminated. Saturn was pairing with Kodac, unfortunately the two boys got too excited and get themselves eliminated! Hehehe ...
On Sunday, we have Trio Team fun class, the Team consisting of one small dog, one medium dog and one large dog. Both Sing and Saturn were in two separate Blachin Teams. What can I say? The Pachesham have a really good weekend, all dogs in the two Teams went clear and we took the 1st and 2nd!!
Colin has slightly damaged the video camera at the KC Festival. He "over used" it in the rain, so the water gets into the camera, it is ok sometimes and sometimes not! He didn't video the individual runs but have captured the Pairs and Teams runs this weekend.
Here are the videos of the Pairs and Teams at Stour Valley and I also put in the Eukanuba Mini/Mixi Pairs ran from Letchworth. That was our first Eukanuba pairs, Matthew and Bracken did a cracking round, unfortunately Saturn knocked a bar down. Their combined time was very fast too, I think if Saturn didn't have a bar down, we will be in the top 5 but it is good to know they made a good pairs!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Starters memories

It has been raining non stop this morning, so there is no more excuse NOT to tidy up my work table and my office, well basically the doggie room!! While sorting out all the paperworks, I found a white envelope with this content:This trace my memories back to August 2006, Sing won out of Medium Starters Agility at BridgeHouse. Their show manager Christina Wilkin was very kind to send out pictures taken that day, it really is a very sweet memory espeically I was just a beginner then.
I didn't start to train Sing in agility when he was nearly 3, that was back in 2005. Sing is always a great dog but I was struggling with handling skills and running at the same time! I can't quite get him to weave but our trainer Eleanor said to me he is more than ready to compete. So, we did try a couple of shows in 2005 and mainly Sing ran out of the rings to greet Colin.
He was a midi when we started competing, we only did 3 open shows and 2 limited shows in a year then! He got his first ever trophy at Haslemere Limited Show in 2005. He won that Agility class, I remembered there is no weave in the class. I don't know if that is the reason he won or was it because we had Saturn and Titan that made him jealous and he ran faster!!
Then, we met Bernadette at the Sheltie Agility Show in April 2006, watching Zen, Chi and Timmy weaving that lead me pluck up my courage to ask if she can give me some private lessons to sort out Sing's weave. She is a very nice lady and we arranged to go to her to have some weave lessons. So, back to basic where we never know what channel weave and V weave is all about but Sing is a fast learner, he got the idea (but not me!). After 3 lessons, we entered BridgeHouse and amazingly, he won out of Starters! The following week, we competed at Trent Park where he had the Starters Jumping win! That is the best way to end a grade, an agility win and a jumping win.
Well, now I regret that I never have a chance to do Starters Challenge. It is unfair!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Clicker Sizzle

some training videos taken last night:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Quick update

I am a little bit behind ... there were so many things happened in the last couple of weeks and I am trying to cope with my emotions.
First of all, Sing won into Grade 5 at The Summer Agility Show. Sorry no video, it happened on the Friday and I was on my own, no Colin there to film us. I was very pleased with Sing's performance, I think he was at least 3 or 4 seconds ahead, he was a good boy!
Then, my brother flew to China last Friday to seek for the alternative treatment to his liver cancer. The journey wasn't an easy one but I am glad he was coping. He is a very friendly, helpful guy, so he has a lot of friends there ready to help at anytime. A couple of his friends flew to China a day early to arrange the hospital and other things for him. He even has a doctor friend equiped with all necessary (mainly 3 pints of blood) acompany him on the plane just in case he needed him. The whole family was touch, we can't thank the doctor friend enough. Unfortunately, he is still bleeding and the Chinese doctors can't start the treatment until he stops bleeding.
Sizzle is a great puppy. I call Sing my Heart, Saturn my soul and Sizzle my sunshine! I haven't been doing any training with him for the last couple of weeks, I have learned not to train your dogs when you are emotion, so the training was on hold. I have continue to do a little bit basic training (those he already knows) with a clicker, hopefully he will get the idea of a clicker. Just two days ago, he suddenly CLICK!
It is very funny how a dog react to something, I have tried to teach Sing "SHY" for nearly two years and he couldn't get it but just last summer, he suddenly click and you can't stop him to shy now!! Sizzle is the same, he now loves the clicker!!
I started using the clicker to teach him the "elephant" trick, "in the box" and "target", his "elephant" trick is still in progress but he started to move his back legs half way round the box, not bad after two days training! He is also getting keen on the "target" but I have to wait until he is very hungry!! Will try to capture these on the video, but not easy when I am on my own most of the time, you can't do two things at once!
For time being, here are a couple of photos of little Sizzle growing up ...
his favourite bird toy!
naughty Titan had taught him to jump over the garden fence when we camp at the dog shows, so if you find a little tri colour sheltie at show, please bring him back to me!!

evil + evil = DEVIL