Wednesday, June 30, 2010

poor Seagull

Our poor "old" Seagull got traumatised! 

Since the weather got hot, we develop into a new routine to walk them later in the evening. As I am not comfortable to walk the dogs on my own after 7:30pm, we wait for Colin to come back so we can all go together. We normally have our dinner then walkies, so it would be anytime around 9ish.

As usual, Monday night, we took all the dogs out to the Common. Colin brought some bread to feed the gosling and cootie. At that time, all the geese were gather on the land. When they saw us approaching, they actually came forward! I thought these lots look tame.

I have heard from other dog owners to say these geese have attacked their dogs but I thought, they don't look aggressive and they are not swan, surely they won't attack a dog.

As Colin got closer, some geese actually got some bread off his hand! My mobile camera is not good enough to capture that, all pictures turn out blur, so you have to imagine it.

Sing, Saturn, Sizzle and Samber were staying from a good distance away from those geese, they are the sensible one! They never aggressive/chase/round the geese, so we were quite comfortable walking them off lead around those geese. After all, they see them year after year.

As Colin pour the last bread crumbs out from the bag, stupid Seagull got so excited, he wanted the bread crumbs as badly as those geese. I think he was rushing to get the bread crumbs as the geese came forward to get the bread crumbs ... one of the geese started to attack him! I mean ATTACK. The goose open up his wings and wrap around Seagull, you gotto see this to believe it. He managed to turn Seagull upside down and stand on top of him and peck him! Poor Seagull was screaming and I was so scared. I have no stick or anything handy that I can shoo off the goose. I got Colin to distract Sing, Saturn, Sizzle and Samber as far as possible and I stepped in to use the dog leads to hit the goose. I don't know what will I get, I hope he would not chase me or the other attack me if I hit him. Luckily the goose jump off Seagull and walked away, poor Seagull got traumatised and ran as far as he can be! Eventhough the other four were standing from a distance from us, as I hit the goose, Sing and Saturn being a real mummy's boys sense the danger, they came closer to help me and they got peck from the same goose! What a disaster!! I had to use the dog leads as a whip to shooo them back into the pond!

 aggressive or tame? I told Colin not to feed them in future!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

wonderful Landsdown

  Beautiful view, Bath in the horizon.

Well, Landsdown is over for another year! I always enjoy going to Landsdown, not only the venue is lovely; the dog exercise area is enormous, you can walk the dogs for miles and miles; the people are friendly and the whole show is so relaxing. Each dog has 2 individual classes maximum, this is what I need for a very hot day!

This is my 4th year going to Landsdown, big thank you to Sueeeeeee for saving me a spot so I could wait for Colin to finish work and travel together. We left home around 6pm and stuck in M25 then M4 and managed to get there just slightly passed 9pm. Luckily it was still daylight for me to set up the garden. We didn't get to bed until nearly midnight and I awake at 5:30am on Saturday!

we saw at least 5 hot air balloons on Saturday morning, quite entertaining
 and this very cute little flying thing

Saturday - the pull through day!
I had 2 classes first thing in the morning, Medium Jumping and Small Crufts Team. The Jumping (G4-7) involved some of my "favourite" (NOT!) - PULL THROUGH! I walked it both ways, the pull through way and the push through way. The gaps between the tunnel #7 and the jumps #8, #9 #10 were very tight, even with Saturn, I don't feel comfortable of doing the pull through with him, he has such a long stride. I decided I will do push through with him and Sizzle. My plan was to start my push through from #7 (tunnel) to #8, then #9, then #10 and a front cross to #11. It proof a disaster! My handling that is! Saturn and I managed to get to #8, then I didn't give him enough room (I forgot he is much bigger dog to do a small gap), so he went behind me and back jump #9! I thought I will take him to redo from the tunnel but I frustrate him and he went wild, so I have to pick him up and leave! 

When I did the same course with Sizzle, I was cautious. Well, the correct word is NERVOUS. I know I am being stupid, I have nothing to loose but still I hate to do things wrong! We did all the push through ok and ran clear! Getting a 3rd place is a bonus!

this is our G4-7 Jumping, my own draft, scale may not be correct:

The Crufts Team course is a tricky one, there were traps everywhere, there is no single all clear Team in Small and Medium! I was told the Small Team that qualified had 215 faults! Our Team has 400 faults! That is every dog got eliminated! Hahaha ... Hey, but all our dogs and handlers ran very well. Thanks Team, without you guys, we cannot run! I love being in the Team with these superb Team-mates, each and everyone of them are very supportive of each other! Thanks Arley & Todd, Dawn & DeeDee and Matt & Brax, Sizzle and I are proud to be one of yours!

Sing got to run in the Medium Team to replace Tyler because Lisa was taken ill. We hope Lisa is feeling better. We were missing you and Tyler! Our Medium Team was the first Team to run, unfortunately Sing picked up 5 faults on the weave and another 5 faults for missing his DW.I forgot he can actually run fast so pushing in the weave was my mistake! I blamed the DW for lack of practice! All the other dogs ran so well and we got beaten by the last Team to go and no qualification for us again. Our Team came 2nd. We are getting closer each time. Thanks to all my Team-mates (Eleanor & Smo; Paul & Fudge and M & Paige) for being patient with me and Sing. 

this is the Crufts Team, my own draft, scale may not be correct:

Small Team run:

 Medium Team run:

Sizzle's G4-7 Agility came after lunch. It was roasting hot with no breeze. I was in two minds again, to run him or not to run him in this heat? I wanted to run him so much because this is his last Grade 6 show. Luckily the sun went behind the cloud when we were on the startline. I walked the course before lunch, I was quite comfortable the way I plan to run which is to have him on my left on the DW, then pull and flip him over jump#4 but of course after a relaxing one hour rest in the caravan, by the time I stood on the startline, I did something else! I put in a front cross after the DW! I ran too far ahead (near the weave) then front cross, poor Sizzle nearly miss the jump #4 because I was in his way, blocking the jump! Bad handling! He was such a good boy, he took the jump with a tight turn into the weave. I also managed to do another front cross after weave, so I could have him on my left to do the jump #6 and #7. There is no way I could do a push through in this case, so I have to be brave to make the pull through happened! I wrap him around the right wing of #7, then it gives me a better position to do my pull through. Yes! You've got it, I did the pull through perfectly! WooHoo! Bonus? We won that class!

this is G4-7 Agility, my own draft, scale may not be correct:

It was so hot on Saturday, even by 8:30pm, it was still hot. Seagull refuse to go for a walk, he only walk 50 yards away from our caravan and stop. We were so lucky to have Sue saves up the spot near the exercise area. Sizzle was getting slower, so we decided not to take them for the 2 miles round trip this year. It was a shamed as we love the walk to the pub, have a drink and walk back. For the first time in my camping time, I slept very well on Saturday, hardly awake or being disturb/worried, maybe I was brave enough to drink a full can of Stella Artois!! Well, not really! I drank two pints of Stella Shandy! I guess I was too drunk to wake up! Hahaha ...

The weather forecast said the temperature will reach as high as the sky! 30c plus! When I heard that, I nearly fainted! When Sunday came, it wasn't too bad at all, it was very sunny but we have a lot of breeze, it makes the morning ok for running. I was so lucky that all my dogs are in Grade 6 this year at Landsdown, the  Small & Medium 6,7 classes ran early. I was done by 10:45am!

My first class was with Sizzle in the Crufts Singles (C6-7). It was a fast course, like Helter Skelter with contacts in between but also with a couple of traps. Sizzle ran well but we lost time in couple of places, one being on the see-saw, eventhough he ran all the way to the end but the see-saw was too heavy and it took him ages to tip it; then I got slight lost in one of the trap, I nearly send him over the wrong jump but managed to pull him off it and go in the right course. I have heard he ended up in 6th place but I didn't get to check and left early.

Then, in the G6,7 Jumping. Sizzle was flat, he even yawn on the startline, I thought, not a good sign. I was trying to motivate him and push him and he back jump to get eliminated. Later, Saturn ran over the same course, to my surprised, he won the class! WOW!

No individual video this weekend, I was given a new video camera as a birthday present from my nephew (Lucky me!). My good old Sony is well pass it best date. Colin was filming me in the rain a couple of years ago at the KC Festival and the rain got into the screen, so the screen sometimes work and sometimes don't but just lately, it hasn't been improve at all, so Colin has to guess which way I was going and try to move the camera around without actually seeing the screen. So, my nephew bought me a new waterproof camera. Colin doesn't like new stuff, he hates to learn to use a new camera but he tried hard for me. He used the old Sony to film the Teams but the new Sanyo to film my individual runs. You guess it, nothing come out as a whole!  I think he is not used to all the buttons and this particular camera is tiny compare to our good old Sony.  Also, this camera seems to go into sleep mode if it is not use for a few minutes. Nevermind, hopefully he will get used to it in no time but he managed to film Saturn's winning class!

Saturn's G6 Jumping:

Boys and their winning this weekend

The weather is getting hotter each day, I have to sleep in the lounge last night with the french window open wide! The shelties got a bit confused, they think I am mad. When I told them bed-time, they ran up-stairs to the bedroom waiting for me to come up but they soon realised I am missing and they found me sleeping somewhere "strange"! Hahaha ...

 it is too hot to even go out in the garden, so we are learning some new trick. BALANCED!

they like to stay in the cool tile during the day

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

agility is not my life but my life involves agility

I was a little bit behind my schedule last week. I was busy cleaning and tidying the caravan for Axstane but decided to travel each day so Colin could stayed at home to watch the football and support England on Friday. I am not a great football fan but I agreed to support England provided Colin buy me a nice pizza! Hehehe ... while he was getting excited shouting and screaming for England, I concentrate eating my yummy pizza! Well, I didn't missed much of the game anyway, it turned out to be a very disappointed game! To make me stay to watch the second half of the game, Colin has to buy me a nice cake too! Can you imagine with all those pizza and cake, how am I going to run the next day? Anyway, I am not complaining as the pizza and cake are really yummy!

I didn't realise travelling to Axstane isn't that bad, we got there just slightly after an hour. I had two classes first thing in the morning, the DFS Crufts Agility Challenge and DFS Crufts Small/Mixi Pairs. Both classes are quite nice to run. The judging starts at 8:30. By the time I've got Sizzle to the Agility Challenge ring, I was amazed there were already 5 or 6 shelties there waiting to run! It was so funny that we have about 10 shelties in the queue with no other breed in between!

Sizzle was running ok in the Agility Challenge, he went clear but no speed. I do not know why. He hasn't show any sign of discomfort before. We weren't quite connect on Saturday. I wanted to turn him left the jump before the DW to give him more space and not losing any momentum but he decided to turn right. Luckily I was able to straighten him to go up the DW. Phew! I have been practicing the left and right with him a lot but I still cannot see why he still turn right when I said "left"!! 

Then, we have to run straight to the DFS Small/Mixi pairs. This is the first heat of the year. Sizzle is pairing with Smo and Saturn is pairing with Brax. This is the first time that I have to walk the Mixi and the Small courses. Saturn is the Mixi and Sizzle is the Small. I am sure I will get confuse one day. Luckily the Small/Mixi pairs course looks flowy so I managed to do the Mixi and the Small bit right! Both pairs ran well. I am rather please with Sizzle as this is the first time he ran in the pairs. There is a bit that I dare not do a pull through eventhough it was quite a good gap, I am worried I will send him over the wrong jump, so I decided to do a front cross, that slow him down as I was a little behind to do the front cross. Also, the snake, he nearly didn't take the jump but he was a good boy, he knew his job well. Saturn was very happy and ran well in the pairs too. 

Then, we have Sizzle in the G6,7 Jumping. It was a tricky challenging course. We ran clear but not fast enough for a placing!

After that, we have quite about three hours wait before I ran Saturn in his Jumping. He ran very well but I mishandled and sent him into the wrong end of the tunnel, absolutely my fault! 

I have entered Sizzle in the DFS Crufts Circular Knockout. I thought it was a good one to put a young dog in as it is a fast course. I realised I was wrong after talking to my guru, it could be harmful to the young one if there is an aggressive dog running together ... I was having two minds, to run or not to run. I didn't walk the course like I want to run my dog, I just briefly walk the course once for each side. When the class started, I was quite twitchy, I decided to have Sizzle out and watch who is us running against. If the other dog is the one I know, I will run or else I will pass. Our first K/O was against another sheltie, Poppy is very good, so I decided to run. Sizzle ran very well and we got through to the second round. I was a bit unlucky in the second round because I was sent to queue in the wrong queue. Normally if I have to run in the pairs or K/O, I always watch a couple of dogs in front of me to remind me the course, so I have been watching the dogs in front of me to remember which way I should go but as I step in, they told me I was in the wrong queue. Bummer! I don't even remember the course on the other side. We were against Fudge, a very fast and nice Cairn Terrier, so any wrong foot/paw, we will be out. You've got it! I lost where I was going after Sizzle came out from the tunnel, I wasn't sure to jump 2 jumps ahead then turn or 1 jump then turn so I sent him to take 2 jumps! Hahaha ... I was actually quite happy to be knocked out, at least I have got Sizzle experienced to run in a K/O with some nice dogs. That's enough for us for now. We might do it one day but not in the near future.

some of our runs from Axstane:

We didn't go back to Axstane on Sunday eventhough we have entered. I think I need a break and the dogs need a break from agility too. We have been doing a lot of agility for the last few weekends. We have a nice long lie-in, I didn't get out of bed until 9am! Then, we took the dogs out for a good long walk. After lunch, we spent the whole day in the garden doing the much needed gardening, well, at the same time playing with the dogs.

the boys enjoying the sun in the garden:

Sing loves his frisbee:

Sizzle is learning:

Saturn always have his beautiful "saturn" walk:

and yes, my life involves agility!

recalling the see-saw:
reaching for the ham:

Sizzle: I am nearly there!!

mmm ... yummy

that's better!

I have been moving the equipments around again. I lower the A Frame to its lowest height to retrain Saturn's contact. I am not given up on him, I just wanted to take time and do the right thing. I have gone back to the very beginning. It may take me a long time but I am in no rush. I have my manners minder out to get him to focus to run down to the bottom and at the same time to look ahead and not me. I also put a long jump on the peak to teach him to jump over the peak. Saturn has always creep at the peak of the A Frame, so I need to break the creep. I have been doing that as a separate thing to the target at the bottom. He got a little confused when we started it as I click each time he jump over the long jump. He wasn't sure where to stop but he soon learned. I didn't use the clicker on the peak for too long as I don't want him to get more confused.

the long jump on the peak is a stepping stone:

you can see how happy he is at the bottom, he carries on with the speed and stop at 2o/2o:

he is looking at the manners minder in front and awaiting for my release word:

this is us practicing on the AFrame:

I decided to see the doctor yesterday about my foot. I hurt the ball of my foot nearly a year ago. I think I was running (either in agility or playing with the dogs last year), I probably ran on a rock/stone or anything hard. I never thought seriously about it. I was hoping it will heal on its own. The pain comes and goes at times. It gets very painful lately so I made an appointment to see my GP yesterday. Well, what can I say? I went to see him and explain to him about the pain. He examine my foot, then he turned and tapping away on the computer. I thought he is going to prescribe me with some medicine, in fact, he was searching on the web for more info. That's really scarry! How can I trust a doctor who needs to refer to the web? :(

Friday, June 18, 2010

agility and football

I don't know where all these times go ... I seems to struggle to catch up with my blog! I am always busy with small little things ... 

The past week seems to flash by in blur. I was worried about my caravan. I found this company on the Internet and have the guy came to the house to look at the "damage" and give me a quote. I was rather happy with the price and for some reason, I trusted him so much and let him tow away my caravan! Is only after I spoke to others, they said: how come you trust this guy to let him tow away your caravan? Then, it hit me! I started to worry about my caravan and started ringing this guy. Well, for some reason, he didn't pick up the call, that got me worried even more. I rang the office and they didn't know anything about it. I nearly fainted! ... anyway, I got to talk this guy at last and arranged to pick up the caravan on my way back from Thames on Sunday. Then, Sunday morning, he rang me to say he is unable to access to his workshop, the industrial park has a big security gate, so I have to wait until Monday.

To cut the story short. I've got my caravan back on Monday. I am very happy with his work on the bodywork which I had damaged. It looks like nothing has happened to the caravan before, a very good job indeed. I also have the caravan service at the same time but I am not too happy with the mess they left inside my caravan. I left the floor mat to cover the original carpet but there is a dirty big foot print on the mat and the fridge door fell off. I can only guess the caravan was tow in a high speed as I found the nut from the fridge door on the carpet!
I had a silly feeling that there is something not right about the caravan but not until I have tested it, so I cannot tell. We were supposed to take the caravan to Axstane today but Colin wanted to watch England playing football. We have no TV in our caravan, the best solution is to stay at home and travel each day. He did suggested we go to the pub to watch it but I do not want to leave the dogs in the caravan for that length of time we are in the pub! So, we have to wait for another week to test the caravan is function properly.

Other than the caravan problem, our garden needs some work done. The weeds are growing so quick and the lawn needs mowing every week! Arrrggghhh ... If I am not walking the dogs, I am in the garden doing little jobs; if I am not at training, I am in the garden mowing the lawn! I wanted a big garden but I hate a big garden too!

I cannot believe I have no time to read blogs, update my blog ... where all the times gone?

I have entered Thames on both days but only managed to go on Sunday. I finished all my runs with Sizzle by 9:30am! I didn't run Sing because he is not looking too good, so he is on the rest again. We stayed to watch the Medium and Small Championship. It was relaxing and good fun. Matt & Brax were in the Small Champ, they were awesome. They did a lovely fast round in the Final and got their 1st Reserved Ticket! WOW! Such fantastic news! Huge Congratulations to them! You can read all about it on their blog.

Roger set up a nice Comb 1-7 KC Olympia course, I cannot believe I once again messed up the pull through! Arrrrggghhh ... WHEN am I going to learn this pull through? I am getting very frustrated with myself. I know it is all my body language to send the wrong signal to poor Sizzle.

Then, we ran in the G6,7 Agility. It was a handling tricky course. Not many dogs go clear in that course. There are a couple of kinda pull through the gaps in the course, after my failure in the pull through in the KC Olympia, I haven't got much hope doing this course but I keep reminding myself, treat every run like you are going to win it. This is the only way I motivate myself. Sizzle ran beautifully, I knew I cannot push him to go fast due to the traps. Other than the two "pull through" gaps, I was also worried about the jump after DW. There is the tunnel right in front of the DW, that is Sizzle's favourite! I do not want to call him off too early just in case he missed his contact but he was a good boy that morning, he listened and he responded well. And boy! His See-Saw was good too. There is only one slight mistake, when he came out from the green tunnel, I push him too far/too much that he needed to collect himself to find the weave entry, Bless him! BAD mummy. On the good side, I am so please to know he understands the weave entry!

Then, I did badly in the Jumping with Saturn and Sizzle. For some reason, that morning, every courses we ran, got at least a pull through.  With an awkward start, I cannot position myself in the right place to send the dog but Saturn pick up the first tunnel (red) well but I was so far behind that my body sent him the wrong jump. Poor Saturn has a crash into the spread! With Sizzle, I was lucky that I managed to push him into the red tunnel and didn't get a refusal for that but we had a little miscommunication on the black tunnel! I was pleased with the two boys on the weave to the jump part. I know I need to learn the pull through to be able to get them to jump the last jump the correct way!

here is the video:

I have been practicing some weave entries with the boys this week, I picked up this Wild Weavers from Bud Houston's blog. Both Saturn and Sizzle did really well the first time I tried it, then I moved the two jumps in the middle to make it a little difficult. Saturn is a good weaver and he has no problem but Sizzle struggled. To my surprised he was good at the flat entry on the 90degree but not the on the other side that he has to wrap around the first weave pole. Then, after I got him to wrap around the first pole, he now messed up the flat entry!! Boooooooooo ...

Right, more football tonight, hopefully England will do better this time!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Come On England

Come On England
that's the way to keep the ball out!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday to Zap

Happy 1st Birthday to this Precious little boy
look out for his grown up photos on his own blog

licks from daddy Sing and mama Gem xxx

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Saturn and I had a wonderful birthday weekend surrounded by shelties (we have more than 14 shelties at one time in my little camping garden!) and agility! What can be better than that? Saturn got a 4th place in the Comb 6-7 Jumping on his birthday (4th June), just behind 3 Border Collies! Ain't bad, hei? The icing on the cake was Sizzle gained his Final win towards Grade 7 on Saturday, my official birthday date! My BEST birthday present ever! 

 Sizzle with his Final win towards Grade 7

A lot of people are confusing by my birthday(s)! Well, I was born on the 4th of June but then back in those old golden age time (that how old I am!), my grand-father went to register me a day later, so 5th of June has become my Official birthday. I am so lucky that I can choose whichever day to suit me, or I can have both days as my birthdays! I vote 4th, so I can celebrate with Saturn!

Sorry for the poor quality of this picture. Here is me with Saturn and our birthday cake

I took the caravan and the shelties to JDA show at Littleport on Thursday. I haven't have a good start of the day, I nearly got hit by a BMW on M25 that morning. The BMW was whizzing like crazy and I was driving carefully on my lane and thank God, we were safe. I pulled over to South Mimms service station to stretch my legs and let the dogs out for toilet. Then, I remembered I haven't got my caravan key with me! Ooops! I got panic! Luckily my 2nd nephew who is staying with me has been very kind to jump on the train to bring me the key. A big Thank You to Boon.

We got to Littleport around 11am. Without the caravan key, there is nothing much I can do but Boon arrived with my key an hour later so I was all set up before other campers turned up. I was very lucky to be able to camp with so many shelties and their handlers. Eventhough Colin won't be able to join me until Friday evening but I was feeling safe and happy to camp with friends.

I was so happy to see Tig-let again. She has become very friendly with me this weekend. Sally was camping two doors/caravans from us, so Tig-let always found her way to visit us. It was very funny to watch her trying hard to tease Sing to play with her. Also, I found I have mistaken her to Sing from a distance. When Tig was wandered around outside my garden, I thought that was Sing on the loose (that doesn't sound like Sing as he is always behaving himself), so I've got panic. I kept calling "Sing, Sing ..." but she totally ignored me and I didn't even realised Sing was actually stood beside me wandering why I keep calling his name! But from close, they look quite different.

Tig enjoying the sun in our garden

I love JDA, it is such a nice relaxing show. Thanks to James and Lisa for putting on a nice show at a nice Leisure Centre. I've really enjoyed this weekend. All the courses I have ran were brilliant. They weren't any easy fast course but needed handling and flow nicely if you get it right. I've entered Sizzle in 3 classes each day, a Jumping class for Saturn and an Agility class for Sing. I managed Friday just fine without Colin being my groom, I missed his filming though. I would like to watch back my runs to see my mistakes for improvement and also to see some of my good handling to boost my confidence.

Friday - no video
From my memory, Sizzle went clear (they placed up to 3rd and he was just one place out of placing) in the Combined 6-7 Agility. It was a tricky course and I was very pleased with myself to go clear in that course. Then, I've got him eliminated in the Graded 6,7 Agility. It was a handling course but we didn't quite managed the "handling" bit and once we went off course, I fell into pieces and went horribly wrong! We then went clear in the Combined 6-7 Jumping, also just one placed out of the placing.

I ran Sing in the Graded 6,7 Agility. We got eliminated too! It was the same course I ran with Sizzle later and we went wrong in the same place!

Saturn seems to put up a gear this weekend. He was very happy. He got 4th in the Combined 6-7 Jumping, just behind 3 Border Collies. I am so happy with him.

I was glad to have Colin back to being my groom and our cameraman.

Sizzle was first up at the Combined 6-7 Agility. Graham Burgess put in a very tricky course, obstacle discrimination. Tunnel next to DW. I like the challenge! Sizzle was running as Grade 6 and I do need some challenging courses to proof our training. Sizzle handled really well with the obstacle discrimination part, the dog has to take the Tunnel the first time then DW the second time. Sizzle wasn't even hesitate at all. When I was walking the course, I only have one mind, with a running contact, there is only one way to walk it, that is to trust your dog to go up the DW and ran with him. I saw so many handlers tried to be on the other side of the DW, tried to block the tunnel entrance and scoop the dog up the DW. I cannot do that as I will be stuck behind and there is no way I can smoother the run if I tried to block the tunnel as the next obstacle after the DW is the jump on the right. I stick with my instinct and I glad I did. Sizzle handled the beginning beautifully, I cannot ask for more for a baby like him but of course I pulled him off the DW too early. My timing was wrong and he missed the DW contact. Then I got stuck behind and didn't managed to do a front cross before the 2nd tunnel and he went into the wrong end of the tunnel. And guess what? We still can't do the pull through! Arrrrggghhh ... Just a little note, I saw so many people tried to block the tunnel next to the DW, that didn't work for all, some got it ok but most of them missed the DW anyway.

My 2nd run was Sing's Graded 6,7 Agility. This was a nice course but there is a trap near the end, it was a See-Saw into the straight Tunnel, then a pull through/push through a jump, into the other tunnel and spread to finish. I tried to draw the diagram:

Sing ran well until the SS-Tunnel, I tried to do a front cross then push through but it didn't work, he went straight into the next tunnel! This course has caught so many dogs, most of them just did Tunnel-Tunnel to get eliminated. I ran Sizzle over the same course, this time instead of doing a front cross push through, I stayed back and did a deep pull through. The gap between the straight tunnel and the jump was very tight. I saw many people did pull through and the dog went back into the straight tunnel again. Sizzle and I went clear and we won that class. This is the Final win that take him up to Grade 7. You can see Colin must have been shaking watching us as his camera wasn't steady.

Then we have our Combined 6-7 Jumping. The beginning was quite challenging for the dogs that has no wait. The judge's briefing was that the dog is not allow past the start beam. I tried to draw the diagram of the course, scale not according, just my own draft:

I thought Saturn ran very well in that class apart from him nearly taking the spread instead of the tunnel. He did went into the Tunnel though but lost time. That cost us a place! Then, Sizzle ran in the same course but he missed the last pole. I redo once, again his missed the last pole so I carried on.

I am still not used to 3 days of agility. I get very tired and exhausted. My first run of Combined 6-7 Agility with Sizzle didn't go as planned. Firstly, he went into the tunnel instead of turning right after the DW, so we got eliminated straightaway. Then, I went off course and he missed the weave entry and at the end I lost everything, so it was a disaster run.

Then, it was Sing's Graded 6,7 Agility. Due to lack of practice, poor Sing missed the DW contact, otherwise good. Sizzle ran over the same course later and won that class.

Good Saturn has been a very good boy this weekend, he got a 4th in the Combined 6-7 Jumping. Sizzle also ran over the same course but again I was at the wrong place at the wrong time, that led him to miss the weave entry.

this is Saturn's Jumping rounds from Saturday & Sunday: 

I have compiled this little video of Sizzle from Grade 3 to Grade 7:
 these lots taking him to his G7 journey

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

another 500 miles of craziness!

We had yet another crazy long weekend! Colin has to take Friday off work to travel with me to Derbyshire.  We left home just after 6am to avoid the traffic on M25 and M1, we had an hour stop somewhere on M1 and got to Dog Vegas around 11:30, after all, it was an easy journey.

This is our first time camping at Bakewell showground. It was suggested to me by many agility friends that this showground is lovely so we decided to withdraw from Nottingham and camp at Dog Vegas. Bakewell showground indeed is lovely, the scenery is so beautiful, you have miles and miles of walking area where you can walk your dogs; also there is only 100 yards between the showground and the town centre, so it is very convenient.

I've entered the boys at Dog Vegas on Saturday and Monday; then Nottingham on Sunday. There is the Crufts Team qualifier at Nottingham on Sunday, Sizzle is in the Team, the plan is to leave the caravan at Dog Vegas and drive up to Nottingham on Sunday.

Sizzle has 4 runs on Saturday, two Agility and two Jumping. He won the first Agility (G4-7), this is his first G6 win. Then, we messed up the second agility. It was G1-7, I never thought he will miss the weave entry but I knew it was my fault. I let him find the entry where the angle wasn't quite obvious to him. Otherwise, it was lovely. After lunch, he had two Jumping, he got 2nd in one and 3rd in the other. Saturday's weather was wet, eventhough the rain wasn't too heavy but the ground is slippery, at the very last jumping course, I dare not push, I am worry that I may slip on the ground and also there is a wall that we need to do twice. We never have a wall at training and so far, he been only jump over a wall once. The angle of the wall is about 45 degree, so I was afraid that he might not jump over it. Hey, I am a worrier, he has no problem at all!

Sizzle with his winnings

Saturn surprised me with his first Jumping win after so many weeks/months of eliminations! This is also his first G6 win! I guess he is getting himself an early birthday present! 


After a good Saturday, Sunday suddenly became a disaster day. I've got a phone call from one of our team-mates that he has been unwell, so he is not able to run for the Team. We haven't have a reserve, so the Small Team is not able to run. I still want to go to Nottingham knowing we are not going to run as I am the Team Captain and I like to be there to be able to support the Medium Team. We got to Nottingham very early and it was gale force wind all day. I have entered Sizzle and Saturn in the individual classes but only ran Sizzle in the Agility and a Jumping. The reason I want to run the Agility because the course was challenging,  there were a couple of pull through and I really are not sure if I can make it clear and I was right, I got eliminated at the first pull through! Then, the Medium Team was on, unfortunately they didn't qualified this time. I think the high wind must have set the shelties off as each one of them has a fault! The Small Team decided to run as NFC (Nor For Competition) so we can train in the ring. By 11am, the wind has become unbearable (to me), I decided we should go back to the caravan at Dog Vegas. We got  back to Bakewell at around 2:30pm, more bad news. As I have left my awning and it got ripped off in the high wind and  all the metal poles has broken and it left a few scratch mark on the caravan too! I was most upset!

I was so stressed that I turned into comfort eating! You cannot believe that I have ate 1.5 tin of Chili Con Carne, two burgers and a sausage with two big bowl of rice! Of course, I feel so sick afterward and I fell asleep just before 8pm! Such a tough life!

I was hoping I will do better on Monday, Sizzle has three runs, an Agility and two Jumping. I messed up our only Agility run! Arrrrgggghhhh ... Sizzle was going so well. He was really good boy, even I feel good running with him. We whizzed around until the See-Saw. I guess I was running hard (after a big meal the night before!) and suddenly came to a stop (I wanted to stop with Sizzle at the See-Saw to make sure he is tipping the SS), I heard my knee go crack! Sh*t! I was hoping he will GO ON but poor Sizzle took the long jump and thought we have finished! I guess this is my fault. At home, I set up a jump-SS-jump sequence to practice the SS, so I guess he will not go on after one jump! Poor little man! It was such a shamed that he missed the last jump, that was really a good round.

After our first run (before 9am), I have ages to wait for my other runs. I am not a patient kinda person. I have even packed up the caravan and still waiting to do my 2nd run. At the end, I decided to enter a Pay On the Day with Sing. I haven't run Sing for a while and I would like to give him a little run. After I entered Sing, I went back to enter Sizzle and Saturn too. Crazy! Just as the judge set the course for my POD Combined 5-7 Agility course, Saturn's first jumping course is up for walking! Arrrggghhh ...

Anyway, I walked the POD then Saturn's Jumping course. The POD is a combined class for Small & Medium, they combined the results together into one. They decided to start the Small so Sizzle is up first. It was a challenging course, probably the best course I have ran so far this weekend.  I wasn't sure if we will go clear as I find it hard to remember the course but Sizzle ran very well. He was the first one to go and clear. Then, I ran Sing, he gave me a shock! He was all over the place. He was so hyper and crazy, he was fast but he wasn't listen too well, so got eliminated! Then, I ran Saturn. I treated this as a training round to train his contact. Hey, for the first time in long time that he actually did all his contact nicely, he wasn't very fast over the contacts but definitely no hesitation going into position. I was so happy! I gave him a big piece of beef after that! That really make my day. I hope he will stay that way. To my surprised Sizzle won the POD by 3 seconds! 

After lunch, we had our Jumping rounds. I never thought Sizzle will win a Jumping class as there were a few very fast small dogs there but he won it, not just one class but two Jumping classes! WooHoo! We are now 3/4 way to Grade 7! We need another Agility win now.

Luckily the traffic was good on the way home on Monday evening. We didn't finish until 5pm, so we left Bakewell  just before 6pm and got home around 9:30 with a 45min stop. So far, we made a 500 miles round trip again! 

I try to recover from exhaustion but I don't think I am getting a proper rest as I am off again early tomorrow to Littleport! Another three days show!