Tuesday, January 26, 2010

getting fit ... and more practice ... and getting ready

With 2 weeks of jury service, I lost a lot of times in getting fit, both myself and Sing! Sing and I are so badly need to be fit for Crufts. As you all know, Sing has been injured since September and he has not done anything since. Me? Probably is the worst! Before I could lost any weight, I have piled up more weight over the Christmas/New Year periods!

We did a lot of flat walking and hill walking before my jury service but then while serving my jury service, I ate more (jury service = sit/wait + eat!) and more weight put up. I am like a full air balloon at the moment!! I tried hard to go back to my daily flat+hill walking routine but I struggled! I am very surprised that two weeks break makes such a huge different!

While I was on my 2 weeks jury service, I woke up extra early to walk the dogs, feed them, go to work; then came back from work, walk the dogs, feed and do some trick training to spend more time with them. By the time everything settled down, it was nearly 10pm and by the time I climb up to my bed, it was nearly midnight! After my released from jury service, I was so tired, both mentally and physically. I still take the dogs out twice a day but I was so tired and spent most of last Friday in bed!

Well, I determined to get fit, so last Saturday, Colin and I did a lot of walking. We took the dogs for a flat walking in the morning, then my brother in-law Russell and sister in-law Kyung came over after lunch, we went out for the hill walking and did a bit of free gym in the park too. I have to say I was tired after that. We went down to our local Weatherspoon pub for Haggis, neeps and tatties, gosh! I ate more than I should. I was thinking, did I managed to loose weight after all?

On Sunday, I booked up a place where we can go practice. I haven't done any agility for 6 weeks, I am getting rusty and lazy! I've got Matthew and Rhoda to join us with their shelties. We were lucky that the day was dry, we don't mind the cold. The owner of the place was very kind to let us use the place for as long as we want. We spent nearly 5 hours there. We ran a bit, stop for tea breaks, have a chat and ran again; then lunch and chat before we decided we have enough. It was a very good practice session. The place is not big but good enough to be practiced on running on the carpet.

Funny thing is, I was worried that we cannot find some courses to practice but when we got there, it all became natural, we started to move the jumps and obstacles around and made up our own courses ...

Saturn and Bracken have qualified for Crufts in the mini/mixi pairs!
The event is on Thursday, 11th of March @ 13:10
for our friends that want to watch our run live at http://www.dfscrufts.tv/
I believe Sat & Brax are the only Shelties pair Team.

The practice session is mainly for Sat and Brax to practice running on the carpet. Matthew and I haven't been running together since our last run at Letchworth but we have a great partnership. Both Sat and Brax are very much tune into their handler, so I don't see any problem there. We did some individual practice as well as practice running as a team with baton changeover. Rhoda was very creative, she used Saturn's fleece lead to make us the baton! Thanks, Rhoda!

Saturn slipped on the carpet three times but that didn't put him off, he was still bouncy and happy after the slipped and continued the sequence.

I've also got to practice with Sing and Sizzle. Sing slipped a couple of times, the first time was from tunnel to the weave poles. He was happy to be doing agility again, this is the first time after his long break. He slipped a few times and lost his bearing. I then learned not to push him and keep telling him "easy ... easy ...".

Sizzle only slipped once, also in the weave, when he came out from the tunnel into the entry, he slipped but he managed to control himself and finished the weave in perfection.

It was very interesting to see how the dogs learning the grip on the carpet. I think Brax and Brodie slipped once or twice, not as bad as my shelties! I also got to run Brax and Brodie, it was something new and I do enjoyed running them, maybe I could steal Brodie to run? Do you think Rhoda would approved? I was surprised that Saturn was happy to run for Matt and Rhoda!

I just loved this photo of Saturn, already turning while he is still inside the tunnel. You can see Matthew crossing behind. I am really amazed how a dog learns so quickly!

Didn't Brax look like a hamster?

Sizzle or Brodie?

here is a few of our silly practice:


Priscilla said...

Looks like the dogs had fun!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

You all look really good - hard to believe you haven't done agility for so long! Nice place to practice - never seen carpet outdoors like that. I know a lot of fast dogs slip on the carpet so it was great that you could practice on it! Congratulations on your pairs team going to Crufts! We watched some last year and will be sure to watch again this year!

Diana said...

That rear cross into the weaves was very cool. You can try just dipping the dogs feet into water ( just a quick dip) and wait less than a minutes. That sometimes helps them grip better the the fake grass. Diana

Nat said...

Great practice, looks like you all had fun! I like how you handled them. Great weave entries!

Vonnie said...

You'll not be long getting back into the swing of it and will be fit in no time. Is there not anything you can put on their paws or would that be more than a hindrence than a help! Maybe the slip pout Sing off at the weave, not like him! Saturn definatley is looking faster! Brax is just super cute and a wee pocket rocket!

Sara said...

Wow! You and Saturn looked great! Saturn was faster than I've seen him in a long time. He looked so happy. Your handling is amazing.

I wish my lawn looked that green and perfect. Too bad it is so slippery.