Wednesday, January 27, 2010

fitness swim

I took Sing to Greyfriars today. I was supposed to start his fitness swim two weeks ago but I was in jury service, everything has to put on hold, so he is two weeks late into his fitness regime.

Due to his unknown back end injury, the friendly assistance at Greyfriars suggested I put a harness on him to help him swim, with the harness on, that helps him float better on the water and put less pressure on his back. He looks very funny with his little harness ... he hates it!

This is Sing's first swim since early last year. I couldn't take Saturn and Sizzle today with Sing because Sing was supposed to swim with a boisterous dog but since I was an hour early and there was only one cute westie in the pool, we were lucky to join Sadie the westie. We will be back swimming again on Friday, Saturn and Sizzle will be joining Sing in the pool! I am looking forward to the Shelties swim!

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
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:

Monday, January 25, 2010

2 weeks of great experience

I can't believe I haven't been posting for a week! Not until Colin said to me on Friday evening: You haven't post anything on your blog, dear?

As I mentioned in my last post that I was called for my jury service for two weeks. I wasn't that willing at first. My first jury service was supposed to be the week that I went to Belgium to see Sipzie, I immediately sent them a reply to say I have already booked a holiday but I've got another letter within a week to send me a new date which I CANNOT defer.

Anyway, I have no choice but to go and perform my jury service. Other than my worries about getting Sing fit for Crufts, I actually enjoyed my juery service very much. It was a lot of waiting, sitting around to be called and you never know when are you going to be called ...

My first day was miserable. Got there early, have my introduction, then the waiting game begin ... I've waited all day first day, my name has not been called at all; then into 2nd day, I finished reading my James Patterson's book from the first day and still my name hasn't been called once! After lunch, I was beginning to doze off ...

Someone call my name! WooHoo! I've got a case, at last! I was so excited!! We were at a different court, so we have to leave the building and went to the satellite court.

My first case was not very excited but it was good to learn some new things, new experienced and meet new friends, non doggie friends! We finished early everyday, I was home before 4pm everyday and we only need to be at the Court by 10:30am! We reached the verdict around lunch, so we got released until the following Monday. Heaven!

Into second week, I've got more excited case, whole new experienced and met more new people from different backgrounds. We can't reach the verdict so the case has to be re-trial but I've got released for good on Thursday before lunch!

All done!!

Now, back to my normal routine!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Green again!

I can't believe the weather changed just like that, in the last couple of days, the temperature was above freezing and during the day, it went up to 6c and it felt WARM. We had some heavy rain and all the snow has gone by now.

I had an early released on Thursday from my jury service, I was home before 2pm and I was released for Friday as well. WooHoo! I do not mind a job like that. This also mean I have an unexpected one and half day off to be with the dogs. We couldn't get to any training this week :( but we have some extra long wet walks on Thursday and Friday. The dogs are happy!

We met up with Lisa yesterday to have a walk in Newlands Corner. It was a wonderful walk although it was very wet and windy and cold but we enjoyed the catch up girlie chat and I was glad to see Chi, Truly and Billy again. Funnily, Sizzle and Sing love Billy, a bit too much. They won't leave Billy in peace for the entire walk. Bless Billy, he is so patient with them for the 2 hours walk!

Today, the sun was shinning and I managed to get the camera out again.

Sizzle is so happy to run on the green again!!

I just loved these pairs, they always make me smile!

Sing is so glad he can GO into the pond again! Look at the smile on his face.

Samber's coat is finally coming back!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

early start, late finish

I have been called for jury service starting this week, so all my routine has to change! First, early start, I have to wake up very early, walk Alan's Cavs in the local park for half an hour; then get home and drop Colin at the Tube station before 7am. With the snow condition, I get home around 7:15am, so feed all the dogs, then I take the shelties out by 7:30am. Walk/quick play for one hour, rush home, have my breakfast and get ready to set off to Croydon.

I normally gets home not later than 5pm, so far, I was home at 4:15pm. Then quickly, I take the Cavs out for half an hour walk in the park, rush back, take the shelties out for an hour's walk in the Common. Feed them. Then in between waiting for Colin to come home for dinner, I managed to squeeze in a quick trick training session with Sing, Saturn and Sizzle. When Colin comes back from work around 8:45pm, after our dinner (yes, we always have our dinner about 9pm!), we go out walking the 8 dogs in the Common again. By the time we get to bed, is nearly midnight! Oh dear! I am very tired!

During my absent, I was very lucky to have my nephew looking after the dogs for me, so they won't left alone. He is still on his holiday from College, that is very handy, phew! Eventhough he is with them all the time but Sing, Saturn and Sizzle aren't too happy, they are very much of a mummy's boys so they just sat by the door waiting for me to come home. They go crazy each day I came back from "work".

My nephew with all the dogs. He loves the dogs and he is very good wtih them and even the two Cavs are making friends with him. Quincey is supposed to be a little bit shy but he loves Boon, he finds it very cozy with him. I always find him lying next to him by his feet. Over the last couple of days, Sizzle tried to get Jaffa to play with him and finally she breaks her ice and now they are good friends. Sizzle like to tease her and then they started to chase each other, well, Jaffa can't run any faster but it was very good to see her playing with Sizzle. Both Jaffa and Quincey are very good, they are so well behaved and easy to live with. There is no problem taking them out walking, although they can't walk the speed the shelties walk but they are good with me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sliding Sunday

I think this is the best winter in Mitcham so far. We have lots of fun with the dogs over the weekend, long walk, plenty of snow to play with and sledging. If you call this a holiday, this would be the best holiday. I enjoyed every minute with my dogs' company.

We were a bit naughty yesterday, didn't want to bring the sledge with us. We planned for a long walk so towing a sledge along is not the best thing. We found a couple of black bin bags so Colin and I have one each to slide down the hills. WooHoo! Such fun with all the shelties running along with us. Sing barked at us a lot, think that we were having fun without him! Hahaha ...

Unfortunately, we have rain instead of snow last night. Part of the snow in our garden has rain out, boohoo! Luckily Mitcham Common still have plenty of snow, so we decided before the rain washes all the snow, we are going to slide down every single hill in Mitcham.

We had a big breakfast, so we have plenty of energy to go out sledging. We were gone for nearly 4 hours!  I supposeed that is a good exercise for me, you have to walk up the hill to slide down, so I cannot count how many times we walk up the hills. The dogs got bored after 3 hours. They really think we were mad! Each sheltie has a ride on the sledge with us once, of course they don't like it! They rather chase us from behind and still they are faster than us!

Friday, January 08, 2010

My little Swiss holiday

The weather is still pretty cold over here, about 1c during the day and -3c to -5c at night. The snow is still powderly in the Common, that makes the walk much easier but the shelties still catch the tiny snowball on their feet! Saturn hates to have thing hanging on his foot, so every now and then he will stop to try to chew the snowballs off his feet.

Colin said to me this morning: You don't need a skiing holiday, here you are, plenty of snow to play with! So, this morning I thought should I bring my little sledge with me to the Common? No, I didn't. I was worried that there will be still children around and taking the dogs and tagging a sledge along the street is quite embarrassing!

We went to the hilly bit of the Common today, it wasn't as beautiful as the Seven Islands I went to for the last few days. We got to do some proper walk, climb a few hills. Luckily it is still quite snowy, so the uphill isn't too slippery, I can managed with a steady walk, so today's walking is on the slow pace.

I found a lot of broken sledges that people dump in the Common, you can see how bad people are! There were also a lot of other stuff that people use to sledge on, like the black bin bag, tarpaulin, a piece of flat plastic tray, I even found a caravan window!!!

I found a nice broken sledge, it was a very thin plastic that kiddie rides on, only the edge is broken, so the edge is very sharp but if I am careful I will be alright. So, there we go ... Lian go sledging! WooHoo! This is my little Swiss holiday with the dogs! How wonderful is that? I took Sing, Saturn, Sizzle and Titan with me today. I know these four dogs are very good to keep up with me so I can do whatever I want and they will keep their eyes on me. The shelties went crazy when they saw me sledging, the first time I am faster than them! Hahaha ...

But one thing, I chose the wrong hill! I thought with my heavy bottom, I will find the most slippery one to sledge on, then I can just zoommmm. Well, I did zoom, UNCONTROLLABLY! Sorry, no video, no photo. I was on my own and I can't possibly take a photo of myself sledging! And luckily I didn't because the ending is quite a disaster!

can you see the hill in the photo above? It probably didn't look too steep at all but it is steep to certain extend. I was coming down so fast, no control, no grip, I have no handle to stir the sledge, the shelties were chasing me ... and what did you see on the right hand side of the photo? ... a POND! Luckily it was frozen solid, so I was ok eventhough I have to end up in there!!!

to cheer me up, here are the snowy photos taken today:

my handsome boy, he always make a lovely photo in the snow

just to show you, I DETERMINED to change, I have been throwing the tennis ball on the ground for Sing to fetch instead of my old habit, throw it high in the air for him to catch.

for those who loves Sizzle

these tri colour make a good contrast in the photo

catch me if you can ...

... continue ... never stop chasing!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

tons of snow make a happy me!

I know most of you think I am crazy but you can't stop me liking snow. We had more snow yesterday and that made at least 3" on top of those we already had on Wednesday morning. I missed my weekly club training today. I don't fancy a long drive at this sondition.

look at the face of my car! he doesn't like the cold weather!

The Common looks absolutely beautiful, truly Winter Wonderland. There are not too many people in the Common today and most of the kids were gone, I think they are back to school as normal. Well, you can't let the snow stopping you from school/work.

I am glad that we have the big space to ourselves again! The shelties love to play in the snow. The snow is powdery today, Sizzle and Saturn have little snowballs attach to them but that didn't stop them from fetching their favourite ball.


here is me throwing Saturn's favourite, the Orbee:


eventhough I keep telling people to keep off the frozen pond and the Friends of Common also put a lot of Notices out there to warn people about THIN ICE but no one is listening at this time, we have a lot of people walking on the frozen pond and the children tried to skate on it! I was tempted to try it myself, so I thought I will be brave today to walk on the 7 Islands pond and hop from one island to the others. Sing wasn't sure about it, he is the only dog that didn't follow me, I think he is a wise dog!

this is him waiting by the edge of the pond, I have to encourage him to come with me. Do you think I am a bad mummy?

I've got practice my photo skill again today, I try to make this picture of Saturn not so sharp, so it looks a little blur (in purpose). I think he has such a sweet, soft expression. And he is one very handsome boy!

the pond is really icy, this is Saturn skating. Do you think ITV could do a series of "Dancing On Ice with Dogs"?

We have two visitors for the next 10 days, Alan is on holiday, so I am having his two Cavis as a house guest.

Quincey (tri colour male) and Jaffa (blenheim female), they are very close to each other.

I am not trying to make the Cavis to drink Stella but these two are not too sure about the garden (or put off by the snow?) and just wanted to go back inside the warm house.

here is Sing inviting them to come and play with him

how do these two Cavis found the fish pond? I don't know! Luckily it is frozen solid!

and ... they seems to like the pond very much!! Both went around investigating the pond

this is Quincey, he is a bit shy

Samber tried to get them to play with her too, but no luck, just looked at Jaffa's face.

on the other hand, Sizzle tried to get Quickey's attention

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

a snowy day and a peanut butter chocolate!

I woke up very disappointed this morning, we haven't have the 10cm of snow that the weatherman promised. We had some snow, not even an inch and definitely didn't cover every bit of the garden but the shelties are very happy. They ran round around for good 10 minutes.

We didn't get out for our morning walk until 11:30am. I have to go to hospital to collect my elderly friend Jim who is still undergoing some chemos to treat his cancer. Luckily the roads were clear and we didn't get stuck in traffic but the car skidded a couple of times. Some small roads were sloshy but all the main roads are clear.

By the time I got home and get the shelties out, it started to snow again, so we have a lovely snowy walk in Mitcham Common today. The Common was very busy, crowded with lots of people, especially parents with kids and their sledges.

We couldn't do our non-stop walk or the hill walk today, the Common was too crowded and everyone wants to say hello to the shelties, so each time I started my WALK, I got to stopby by kids and their parents because they said: Oh, look, lovely dogs! And you know what? All my shelties are friendly and they happily go to say hello to everyone. Hill walk? Nuh, all the hills are covered by parents and children with their sldeges! No chance! So, I got to practice my photo skill:

The snow didn't stop since 11am, it is not heavy, just light dust but it has been snowing for hours ... then, at 3pm, we have a blizzard, it went on for 40 minutes, then back to light dust again. If stops at 5pm but every now and then, it snow again ... I think we have about 3 inches of snow now. Still not a lot. I wish we have a heavy snow and it stays, that would be very pretty.

Our Council put some salt grit on the pavement outside our house this morning. I think they tried to melt the snow/ice already on the pavement. I didn't think that is a problem until I got the dogs out. First, Sizzle was limping, he would not put one of his front paw down, he kept lifting it and hoop around. I tried to brush that paw and make him walk again; then Samber showed the same sign, she lifted a front paw, I did the same to her, and encouraged her to walk; soon, Saturn was the same. I started to think the salt grit must have bother them. As we left the pavement to walk on the snow, they were all fine and happy. How strange? Did any one of you have this problem with your dogs?

I was thinking to take the boys out again but I've got stuck searching for my Photoshop Elements software that I misplaced. I've searched high and low and still cannot find the disc, how annoying? I recently reboot my computer and upgrade myself with Windows 7, so I have to re-install all softwares again.

To distress myself, I am enjoying a lovely Reese's peanut butter chocolate cup that my little friend Ling got me. I just love peanut butter. When Ling first brought back two tiny little peanut butter chocolate cups for me to try, I was addicted. I can't find any in the usual Supermarkets, Colin said this tummy chocolate comes from America and I was looking dying to get some for Christmas but with so much stuff got on my way and I didn't get any at the end, until Ling brought me a packet yesterday. YEAH! Thanks, Ling.

snow + peanut butter chocolate = heaven!