Monday, March 29, 2010

Is Saturn's weekend

We had a crazy agility weekend. We had to wake up extra early on both Saturday and Sunday!

Saturday is the Downlands show, the venue is about 1hr 30min from home, judging starts at 8am and we have the first class, so we were up at 5am to get the dogs out for toilet and their morning routine. Samber came into season on Friday, this mean, extra work to separate her from the boys! We left home just before 6am and got to Golden Cross around 7:30, so that give me some time to walk the course and Colin can take the boys for a walk.

Our first class is the Small Olympia Stake. There is a wall in the course (after the DW). My fear was Sizzle might not jump over the wall as he has never seen one before. Sizzle can be a sensitive dog but who knows, so I knew I have to work hard on that. I quite like the course, it was flowy but I found it a bit too crowded after the A Frame. I knew from the beginning I have always stay from a distance while training Sizzle, so he doesn't really like me running close to him and especially on top of him while he is weaving. The finishing is Weave, jump, jump, but the jumps are too close to the weave. I can't be sure how I am going to handle him. Also to have him weaving on my left then flick him into the jumps or cross behind and let him weave on my right?

Anyway, we ran quite early eventhough our running order was much later but there is no dogs in the queue. Sizzle started off well and he jump over the wall no problem. I somehow decided to cross behind the weave as the jump after the blue tunnel is kinda off angle. My worried is if he comes out fast and he will miss the jump but if he is not that fast, then he will take the jump, so I go behind the jump before the blue tunnel to catch him and send. Apparently he had a little tumble in the blue tunnel so he came out slower than I expect but it was too late for me to change my handling, so off we go by me crossing behind the weave. I do not know why he pop out the weave though? I wonder is it me trying to catch him up that he saw me and pop out or something else, I really don't know. He usually ok with me crossing behind him. 

Then, we have the jumping. He wasn't power on but went clear and got 6th. Later in the Helter Skelter, it was a real disaster. He jumps and stop, jumps and stop. I am sure is my handling. It was a big course. I knew I was lazy and hoping he will go ahead but he didn't, he hang back for me, so we got eliminated!

That's the three classes we were entered, so he finished all his runs before 11:00. Then, they set up a course for Pay On The Day. I don't normally do POD class but they set the course exactly the same as the Olympia, so I determined to get it right this time and wanted to see what kind of time he would finish. He ran very well and I decided this time I will pick him up from the jump after the blue tunnel and send him into the weave. He went clear in a very good time, 27.127!

I only entered Saturn in the Jumping and Helter Skelter. He got a 3rd in the Jumping which made me very happy, I managed the pull through, a bit messy but I did it! Also the wrong end of the tunnel caught many dogs an elimination. Then, in the Helter Skelter, I forgot the course! Arrrggghhh ...

this is our Downlands run:

On Sunday, we went to UKA Waverunners. The clock put forward one hour at midnight, this mean we lost an hour in bed! Colin and I were so confused about the new time, we weren't sure if our mobile phones will jump forward automatically or not, so we both stupidly set the alarm to ring an hour earlier, so we were up at 4am! You can see how tired we are!

Waverunners is also 1hr 30min from home, judging starts at 8:30 but I have 2 classes to walk before the judging start, so we got there about 7:45 with me non stop yawning! Not a good sign! I sometimes found UKA show a little bit stressful for me as you have to walk the course at the same time with all heights. It is ok if my classes spread out but if I have to walk 3 or 4 classes together and didn't get to run til much later, I normally just forgot the course especially when I ran one class and waiting to run the others. That really confused me.

Sizzle started off the morning badly. It was my handling. When I walked the Agility course, I was supposed to start him on my right. I was worried about the split jump. It looks a big gap to me and I haven't got much room to set him up further back, so I decided not to lead out too far ahead but just before I went in, Colin passed me my mobile to answer a call and after I finished the call off quickly, I was lost. I started him on my left instead of my right and my body was facing the wrong end of the tunnel so clever Sizzle follow my body and went into the wrong end of the tunnel. Arrrrggghhhh ... who wants a bl**dy mobile phone? Other than that, I think he works beautifully. I decided to put in a lot of switches to see if that works as my plan to run him is exactly how I ran with Saturn later.

Since, our Agility went wrong, our Jumping also went wrong. He missed the weave entry. I wanted to do crossing behind the weave but I don't know why I ran all the way up into the tunnel with him? I guess my brain isn't working at all.
Saturn for a change ran very well, he got placings for all 5 classes he entered. No faults, No eliminations! WooHoo! This is the first time I did a Snooker class. I don't play snooker so I really have no clue what to do in the Snooker class. Luckily I've got my Snooker Guru M to walk the course for me. Thanks M! I know Saturn's contacts are not perfect. He did very well at training for the last 2 weeks, really fast and go into the position but I was very disappointed he didn't perform that at the show. I paid  the practice ring to train his contacts and he was perfect. Go all the way down in speed and stop in position. I praised him like crazy. We did that for 90 seconds. I thought we were ready but I was wrong. He hesitate in the Agility. I have noticed I have my stupid finger pointing the position again when he comes down slow. I must cut off this bad habit!

I didn't realised our Agility and Jumping round are adding up together to enter the Tuff e Nuff performance, Saturn got 1st in the Jumping and 2nd in the Agility and he became an Overall Winner for the Tuff e Nuff. This mean he qualified for the Final in July. Oh dear! We must sort his contacts out before then!

I thought Saturn to "smile" and he looks really funny smiling with his winning from the weekend

he always like to do his "target" position when posing for photos!

a very tired Saturn after this weekend

this is our runs from Sunday:

Sizzle and all his birthday pressies

and this lots from aunty Yvonne, sis Ellie and Khandi

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Sizzle

Happy Birthday to my little sunshine, 2 years old today! 
Where's all the times gone?
Also Happy Birthday to his sister Ellie

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Sing is not limping so badly now but you can still see him limps every now and then. I have been very hard on him, restrict him on lead walking only, short distance, absolutely no ball games. Can you imagine stopping an agile sheltie not to be agile?

Chippenham was quite an emotional show for me. I knew I won't be able to run Sing, for a long time! He is the one that got me into agility, my very first agility dog. We went to our first agility show back in 2005. We only did two to three shows in a year then. I have never not run him when I go to an agility show, he is always healthy and we have been running as a team for years together.

I felt very strange that I am unable to run him at Chippenham. Colin told me that Sing was so very upset each time he fetch me Saturn or Sizzle to run. He cried and cried and cried ... it breaks my heart! I do not want to think that this is the end of his agility career. 

I have retired him from Flyball after we came back from our European Champ in Belgium to prevent him from further injury. I know he is a little dog that always wanted to please me.

Today at training, he tried to jump out from the car to get into the indoor school. I felt so bad.
I was talking to a friend at Chippenham about Back On Track dog coat. I am going to try that on Sing to see if that helps him healing up quicker. Here he is borrowing Sizzle's coat until his one arrives.
you can see he doesn't like to have his coat on!

Monday, March 22, 2010


There were a lot of things/news going on here last week, hopefully I will try to update all news in one post!

Agility training in full swing

I am so glad that my agility training is now back into full swing again. WooHoo! I just loved my agility training. That is the only thing that I am so much looking forward to in a week. I used to train on Thursday morning at Pachesham but now I have an extra class on Wednesday afternoon! Since Sizzle gone Grade 5, I know we can't stay in the beginners class anymore, we need to work on more advance stuff, so I asked Eleanor to slot us in an advance group but I still keep the beginners class to practice on basic stuff. Sing is on the rest, he won't be able to do any exercise for a few months, so I have to run Saturn and Sizzle in three classes in a week but that is good for us.

The weather has improved quite a lot, we get to go into the garden more often to do some practice.

There are a lot of things that I need to improve with Saturn and Sizzle. For Saturn, mainly contacts. We retrain the contacts over the winter. We did a lot of ground work and still doing a lot of ground work. I have withdraw all his agility entries until I am confidence he is going to do his perfect contacts in the ring. 

With my secret Santa's help, we are progressing nicely. I have tested his contacts at training first time last week. His DW was perfect. No hesitation, in full speed and perfect position. His A Frame and  See-Saw are still iffy, so we need to work hard on those two.


Poor Sing is still limping. I tried so hard to restrict his movement. I know with his problem, he needs to keep absolutely STILL for at least TWO weeks. I cannot cage rest him, he gets very stressed when I put him in the cage. He is the only dog that I have not crate train with. He thinks cage is a punishment, this is why he looks so miserable at Crufts! He is an easy dog to live with. He normally lie down by my feet but he is also a very much of mummy's boy, so everytime I move, he moves! He is like my shadow, he will follow me wherever I go. 

I did try to restrict my movement just to help keeping him still (I lie! I am just being lazy!!). Sing is a lively, agile dog. I have hide all the tennis balls so he cannot get to them. The more I restrict him, the more he will tease Sizzle and Saturn to play with him! Can you imagine Saturn and Sizzle are on top of him rumbling? I have tried to separate him in a different room, either I stay with him or stay with the others, one of them is definitely unhappy about that, so more stressed and chaos!

Maybe Sing and I need to go away for a quiet holiday somewhere, just the two of us! Do a lot of sleeping! I still haven't recover from my cold, it has been 6 weeks now. I really had enough of it! Sing and I are both ruin, we need to hibernate for two weeks!

Thank you Matt & Brax

A BIG thank you to Matthew & Bracken for sending us this lovely gift set as a lovely memento from our First Crufts:

Saturn and I are very proud to be able to pair with super Matt & pocket rocket Brax. The four of us have a very good understanding of each other. I think that is so important to do the pairs. Matt & Brax have been brilliant all the time! We can't wait til our next pair!

Also, I have to send our HUGE congratulations to Matt & Brax for winning their last Grade 6 Agility at Chippenham yesterday, this take them up to Grade 7. This pair is going strong all the time. I can't wait to cheer for their first Championship class!! Go Matt! Go Brax! 

Bloody pull through!

We were at Chippenham Agility Show yesterday. For a change, we don't have to lodge in the night before. My first run won't be until about 140 dogs later, so we can get up nice and early and drove on the day. It was very early in the morning when we left home, so the traffic was very good and we got there just over 2 hours.

I was very much looking forward to this show, this would be Sizzle's first Grade 5 show. Our first class was Graded 5-7 Agility. I walked the course in hoping we can do well. There were a pull through which is always my worst nightmare. I already struggled this with my experienced dogs Sing and Saturn. To be honest, in my opinion, I knew I cannot handle this pull through with Sizzle, especially the two jumps were set very close together, so there isn't much room for me to try hard! Sizzle started very well and I managed to stay back to send him to find the weave entry then catch up with him in the weave. The pull through is after the weave. I think to start with, I wasn't in the right place and we didn't managed the pull through and got eliminated straight away! I determined to try the pull through, so I actually did 6 attempts and each time I failed! BooHoo! I wish I could try till I success but I knew I took up too much time so I have to carry on. Sizzle did his beautiful running DW to finish the course.

I never thought I will be unlucky enough to have more pull through but I did! In the Combined 4-6 Agility class, there were TWO pull throughs! Arrrrggghhh ... Of course, we went horribly wrong in that pull through sequence again! After that, I determined I want to be able to handle pull through, so this week is my PULL THROUGH WEEK. I am going to practice a lot of pull through!!!

On the good note, Sizzle did well in the Combined 5-7 Jumping. I know he is not a fast jumper but coming 6th is not too bad at all. The best thing was, we both managed the flat weave entry! WooHoo! A lot of dogs took the longer route to go into the weave but I told myself, I have been practicing the weave entry last week and I want to make sure he understands it and I am glad I did try and succeeded! That really made me very happy!

Sizzle then paired with Brodie. This is the tri boys first time pairing with each other. They ran really well together, with their time, they should have came 3rd but we didn't hear the briefing, I dropped the baton before Brodie finishing and that cause us 25 faults! What a silly rule!

I only entered Saturn in the Jumping, so he only had one Combined 6-7 Jumping class to run and the pair with Bracken. In the Jumping, we managed to do layering and I also got to send him to find the weave entry. I was behind a jump and flick him right to find the weave. I was standing in the middle of the weave, so it was very good for him to find the entry and weave independently. He got 7th in the Jumping.

Unfortunately, Saturn and Bracken didn't do well in the pairs. Saturn missed the weave entry!! Poor Brax must be so confused with all the pull throughs, she took the wrong jump! We don't care! Both Saturn and Bracken have a lovely time!

these were our runs at Chippenham:

and this is our pull through practice this morning:

After the show, we let the dogs run around the exercise area with Brodie and Bracken. 
We only took Sing, Saturn and Sizzle with us:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Phew! It is over for another year!

Phew! Crufts is over for another year! I was too ill to be nervous but I knew I was very excited to be able to compete at Crufts with my lovely boys. I maybe biased but I think they did amazingly well and I am so very proud of them both.

my lovely boys with their ribbons

I decided to run Sing that morning, he didn't look bad but I know I will not push him for speed. I just wanted him to go out and enjoy. He is a very good boy, he always made me feel so proud! He got 3rd in the Jumping; 2nd in the Agility and Runner-Up overall. Not bad huh?

he is always my special boy

Saturn and Bracken did very well in the Small/Mixi pairs. Normally, the small dog course was little harder but this year for a change, the big dog course was harder. It won't be too bad if the big dog go first, so you get a wait and do the tricky bit. Unfortunately that is not the case! Brax started off well, just looked at the little legs run in an 11" body. She shot off like a rocket, with Matthew's perfect handling, they went clear in a very fast time! Again, I was too ill to be nervous, after Matt got my baton, I just ran with Saturn. I knew I did a stupid handling there by going out to push but I wasn't sure if I was able to beat him to the 3rd jump to do a front cross, so on the safe route, I lost a lot of time. Saturn was a good boy, he never lets me down, he went clear in his steady way. We came 4th in the end. I think this pair is just brilliant, both first time at Crufts and have no fear of the big atmosphere!

I just loved this pair ... way too cute

I managed to do some shopping in between runs, mainly to shop for my friends. I did get something for the boys though ... Nina Ottoson interactive toys! I know Sing will be having a long rest after Crufts, so to keep his body rested but mind active at the same time, these Nina Ottoson toys are a must! I tried to keep the two toys for his birthday, isn't sheltie too clever? He cracked the toys within seconds! Duh! At the end, I have to go on the internet to buy a couple more for him!

here is our runs:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy 8th Birthday to Sing

Happy Birthday to my very special boy SING
8th today!
he is one special little dog,
the dog of my heart.
he taught me a lot, 
my life is not complete without him!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Sing update

Thank you very much to everyone who email/text me asking how is Sing. We tried to have a quiet day yesterday. Sing was very clingy, he wanted to follow me everywhere while I tried to organise/pack stuff ready for Crufts. At the end, I have to give up packing and sit down with him so he can rest. It was very stressful for me. I wanted him to get well for Crufts but I can see that would a slim chance that he is able to run. Let's hope for a miracle!

After talking to a few people about Sing's injury, a lot of people suggested different things and to my surprised, it wasn't his paw/pad that is bothering him! I found a heat spot on his shoulder and he would not put his weight on the shoulder, hence he keeps lifting his paw. I took him to an Animal McTimoney chiropractor this morning for a quick treatment, hopefully he will be better tomorrow. Finger crossed!


Monday, March 08, 2010


Poor Sing injured his left front paw this morning at walk! Arrrrggghhhh ... Why this time? This is the last thing I want before Crufts! He is such a tough boy but he struggled to walk, so I have to carry him home and rush him to the Vet. Kevin can't find any dislocated joint/bone, so there is good news but we also can't find any thing that might stuck in his pad or anything in between. He wouldn't show any sign of pain when Kevin tried to work his way through but when he was put on the floor, he would not put his paw down and became limping quite a bit. The walk from the vet clinic to the car park proved to be difficult to him! Kevin suggested to give him the anti-inflammatory jab, hopefully he will put his weight down tomorrow. For now, CAGE REST! I will have to decide on the day whether to run him or not. Finger Crossed! I  hope this is not the sign for an early retirement? I cannot wrap this dog in a cotton wool, he is one happy dog that enjoys his walk/ball/swim!

unhappy Sing force to cage rest!

On the other hand, Saturn is fit and ready for Crufts!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Good Luck to everyone competing at Crufts 2010

Crufts is approaching fast! Four days to go! I can't wait! 
Here to wish everyone competing at Crufts the very best of luck!
... especially Bernadette & Zen; Louise & Smudge
my partner Matthew & Bracken; 
Sophie with Gabi, Scrappy & Smo in the YKC
Ryan with Inky, Tippex & Fizz in the YKC.
Oooops, nearly forgot ...
Johanna & Soda competing in the Freestyle! 
Pat & BeatBeat in the Medium Team!


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Is it Spring?

I can't believe how the weather changed so fast! Last week, we haven't had a dry day but yesterday and today are lovely sunny and warm! I even found some flowers in my garden! WooHoo! I am not a gardening person but I do like to admire flowers sometimes!

I found this lovely crocus growing in one of the flower pot:

I thought I better took a picture of those that grow on the ground before the dogs run over them. Unfortunately, Sizzle had destroyed these purple crocuses while chasing his ball :(
Sizzle: are you talking about me?
We also got to play agility in the garden for a change!