Monday, January 31, 2011


Lovely weather today, wintery sunshine :) The dogs have a lovely long walk in the Common and then spent a couple of hours in the garden enjoyed a bit of sunshine while I train Sipzie.

I was so busy last week that I hardly get a chance to do any training. Our weave is progressing well, towards the end of today's training, I was a bit ambitious to put the weave upright. I started closing 6 poles from one end and she weave through them without any trouble. I think we are weaker on the left hand weave, why? I don't know. I did exactly the same thing but she seems to pop out at 10th pole many times. Then, just before I call it a day, I tried closing the full set (12 poles). Want to know how we did? Watch this video:

Recognise this puppy? She is Silk pup. We got to meet up with her yesterday late afternoon after my long meeting. She lives near by the meeting place so we arranged for a quick meet up. She has grown and she is absolutely gorgeous! She didn't recognise me at first as there were too many distraction but when she finally approached me, she knew who I am. That is the best feeling ever!  She was 15 weeks old yesterday :)

 what a well trained pup, sit nicely for a photo with daddy :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

more training with Little Miss Sipzie

Eventhough the weather is not so bright today but at least it is dry. I got to practice with Sipzie in the garden again today. She was a very good girl on Friday and Sunday but a little moody on Saturday; same this morning, I couldn't get her go focus, she just wanted to do something else. Anyway, we had a break, and back again in the late afternoon just before it gets dark. I started off with see-saw, which is her favourite obstacle. Then, we do more weaving, adding rear across and front cross ...

Sipzie training today:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

busy, busy, and yet very busy ...

Phew! I can't believe how busy I am! The Agility training is definitely into full swing now; I enjoyed every lesson I do. I have so much to learn and practice on, Crufts is not that far away now ... 46 days! All three boys are qualified at different events. I am nervous! Sing is in the Team event, poor boy is so unfit. I am so worry that he is going to injure himself, so he basically is wrapping up in a cotton wool. I occasionally do a bit of weave training in the garden with him when the weather is good. I know his weakest is the weave. Saturn and Sizzle are looking fit and we are training hard for the big event! Also, Miss Sipzie is coming on ...

here is Miss Sipzie and her weave training:

We went to Dawn Weaver's training day yesterday, as usual, I enjoyed my training day with Dawn very much eventhough it was raining. I work Saturn more than I wish because Sizzle easily slip on the wet condition and I am really worried about that. Saturn was a good boy and he does need some practice. I love working him. Sizzle also enjoyed his training and he worked very well too.

and the boys @ Dawn's training day:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Oh dear! They found another body, or torso rather on Mitcham Common on Monday afternoon. A member of public found it. This explained why I keep hearing the siren. You can read about it here. Luckily, I didn't go to this part of the Common with the dogs regularly but it is good enough to put me off now.

I remember a few years ago (2006), there was a body found in Mitcham Common, the bit that we go walking everyday or sometimes two or three times a day in the Summer months. I remembered very clearly, when the body was still there (they only found the body two weeks after she was murdered), young Saturn (he was just a year old then) probably has found the body on Day 1. The body was lie in the bush that we walked pass everytime we go to the Common. Saturn acted unusual then, when we walked passed the bush, he disappear into the bush where the body was later found. He always came when I called. I remembered well that he tried to pull my trouser whenever I walked away. I have never thought him "search", so to me, I thought he was "naughty". He was like that everytime we walked passed the bush until the body was discovered by another dog and his owner two weeks later. You can read about that case here.

When I think back. YUK! I didn't go to the Common for a few months. I have to drive out somewhere to walk the dogs daily.

I am too scare to walk the dogs in the Common now!

Monday, January 17, 2011

nice walk with baby Skye

We have been so busy last week, I went training Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; helping friends on Wednesday and Friday ... the week just flash by! After a good lie-in during the festive period and now we struggled to wake up at 6m again! So, we tried to be lazy on the weekend, at least a lie-in til 8am. Bliss!

We went to visit baby Skye on Saturday. As usual, she was so happy to see us all. She and Sipzie were playing chase all the time, it was so good to watch. I know Sipzie is missing a loonie to play with!

 the Family, baby Skye with daddy Sing and mama Samber! WOW! just realised is all Sss ...

The weather stayed dry for us but the park was so muddy from all the rain in the last few days ... the dogs enjoyed their run, they don't care about the mud. I was hoping that I don't have to bath them but YUK! I cannot stand the smell so Saturn, Sizzle and Sipzie have a full bath and blow dry on Saturday night! Sing and Seagull got escaped but not long, they have their bath on Sunday :)

 always look so happy, that's my boy!

 baby Skye does't like her photo being taken :(

 can you find the camouflage Skye?

personality wise, she is more and more like her daddy but she looks so much like her mama

I am so fed-up with the rain, it has been pouring since 5am and it hasn't stop yet.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daddy's girls

I've received some beautiful photos of Sing x Samber pups over the last few weeks. The girls are well loved by their mummys and daddys and we are so proud of them all.

 here is Sadie enjoying the snow

 this is Tig's first of many rosette and trophy. You small dogs out there, watch this space!

Skye is a traveller, she has travel so many countries in such a short time and of course she has explored most of the good walks, now she has a duty ... to help her mummy watching over her little brother Hidde.


Saturday, January 08, 2011

I am so happy ... I love you Saturn!

I've forgot I have entered a show today. I've received the running order on Wednesday in a shock as I have made an "appointment" today! Of course, Agility wins over the "appointment"! I woke up at 6am with howling wind and heavy rain. I peered through the window and I told Colin: I am going back to bed! He was shocked in disbelief, he cannot understand why? Everybody thinks I am an agility addict! Well, I am not going to drive through the howling wind and heavy rain; after all, it is just a Limited show.

The dogs woke me up at 9am, they want their breakfast! I woke up and looked outside, it was sunny and dry! WEIRD weather!! I fed them, have my breakfast in my own relaxing way ... then Colin appeared at 10am. I thought he told me he was so happy to have a lie-in and I don't expect him to be up before noon. He looked outside and saw the beautiful sunny morning and said: Let's GO!

Hehehe ... my crazy husband understands me too well. I knew I am going to miss the Gamblers class, so I didn't rush. I just took my own time to get the dogs in the car, bring some drinks and treats for the dogs. What I forgot is my rain coat/glove/hat!

It took us an hour to get there. It is a lovely indoor venue. We got there at 11:30, it turned out that I've just missed the Gamblers. They have just closed the class as we arrived! What a shamed! Then, I have to wait for FIVE long hours before my first run! The weather changed again, it started to pour, cold, dark ... dogs got so bored stuck in the car; I was so fed up watching other people running their dogs for 5 hours! I want to run too! By the time the judge set the small Combined 5-7 Agility course, it was 4:30pm! It was dark outside! I was so fugitive. I can't wait to run, so I ran first eventhough my running order was late. Sizzle was so happy to be out of the car and do something. Our starting was ok, I wish he was a bit more powerful but I was also try to play safe on the see-saw (our see-saw training is still in progress), he suddenly power up after the see-saw, I think he probably read my mind. I was very happy with his running DW, well spot on, you cannot fault for that. Unfortunately, I didn't turn my shoulder hard enough to turn him in to the weave, so he took the tunnel to get eliminated! I have saw other people do the other way (recall from the jump after the DW and then flick the dog to weave), I don't think I can possibly handle that way, I just needed to turn harder. More practice!

Sizzle's agility and jumping run:

After Sizzle's 5-7 Agility, I ran Saturn in the Combined 5-7 Jumping. Again, I was the first one to run. You can see how impatient I am. I thought Saturn was not so fast today but I can feel he is more focus and he listen to me. The grid jumping training from November/December paid off, I thought he started off really well with the four jumps in a row. Although he didn't look fast but he bounced nicely. Saturn won the class :) Guess what? They have run out of our Small/Medium rosettes! Saturn did get a glass trophy though.

Saturn's agility and jumping run:
I have entered Sing in the Agility. The ESSC Medium Team has qualified for Crufts and Sing is one of the Team dog. I haven't done many competition with him last year, so he is rusty. I now remember why I have entered this show. The reason is I wanted to do a show in January and a show in February to practice before Crufts and this show is only an hour away from home.

Sing was keen to go, his contacts were good, I needed have to worry too much but he pop out of 2nd weave pole. I wonder is it because of my body language? I forgot he is not so much of a reliable weaver and I guess I was rushing off too quick. Then, he missed the tunnel entrance. I thought the lighting was too strong and he didn't quite see the tunnel but when I watch the video, I pulled away too quickly again, so he was following my movement! I have to be very careful with him. I have not train him for more than 18 months, so our connection is a bit loose there!

Sing's agility run:

Then, I ran Saturn in the Agility. I am always worried to run him in agility, I am worried that I am going to confused him on the contacts again; then he missed them; then I came back kicking myself. I have been working on his contacts (away from the contacts) very hard over the last couple of months. I did a lot of foundation to make him understand the "target". At many occasions, he offered me this very cute behaviour:
Saturn said: I can do "target" anytime, anywhere, mummy!

Apart from his see-saw which needs a lot more training, I am over the moon with his DW and A Frame. Before I went into the ring with him, I kept reminding myself NOT TO do anything different from training, DO NOT get over excited on the contacts, just be the normal training self. One good thing, he has not hesitate on the DW or A Frame, he maybe a little slower on the DW but I have not say a word or do any action to make him to perform his "target" but he went into position straightaway! First WooHoo! I was so happy, I want to shout! I want to sing! I know we went off course after the DW, like Sizzle, he took the tunnel instead of the weave. I tried the "flicky" way, it didn't work for me! Then, onto the A Frame. No more hesitation on the peak, normal speed up the ramp and normal speed down the ramp! I released him quick. This is what I have been doing at training to get him to come down quicker. I think we figure it out that he does not like to stay at the bottom of the A Frame so I have make sure I released him when I see his four paws on the contact area. 2nd WooHoo! I want to hug and kiss him! I am so happy! Again, we went off course, who cares! I hope this is not just a one-off.

To finish off a long day, Sizzle ran clear in Combined 5-7 Jumping. Luckily the traffic home wasn't bad. We managed to get home before 7pm and I am all tired out! A good lie-in tomorrow!

Friday, January 07, 2011

what a depressing weather!!!

 see-saw with style and confident :)

This weather really makes me moody, it has been raining (heavily) since Wednesday; I have to try to find the gap where the rain stops and quickly walk the dogs. All the dogs came back muddy, so more washing and brushing ...

Our agility training resume this week so I am in the mood of training my dogs. I have mentioned in my earlier post that I've enjoyed Lee Windeatt's training day, it was very good and it boost back my confidence I have a lot of things to practice and polish my handling skill but the weather is not co-operating :((((
Tuesday's training with Sipzie didn't go too well, she has moved to a more advanced puppy class. I haven't been able to train her in the garden due to snow and wet weather. She is only a puppy (still), the longer I leave it means I have to teach her all over again, especially on the weave poles.  Last year at her 10 weeks puppy foundation class, we only did short sequences like jump-tunnel-jump and practice contacts individually and the jumps were at very low height.

She will be measured medium no doubt but I have not try to jump her at medium height yet. At home, she is jumping the UKA toy height, which is about 12". She is jumping comfortably. I wanted to do more training with her in the garden, especially with the weave poles but the weather has been so miserably wet. I am worried that she might slip on the contacts or even slip on the muddy ground. I did try today when the rain stops and I wasn't happy about it. She try to weave through the poles quickly on the muddy ground and she slipped a few times, so she pops out of the weave pole or missed the entry ... etc. I am not happy with it. I think I will have to leave it AGAIN! It is no point teaching her the wrong idea, I've gotta be patient!

Yesterday's training with the boys were great. We've got to do some pull through and push through; some front crosses and rear crosses ...
we've got this sequence built up to practice, first loop, we have to recall the dog from #2, handler nearer the tunnel side; then when we do the second loop, we have to front cross between #9 and #10, so the handler is on the right side of the map, the idea is then rear across at #12. It runs really well. I very much like this sequence.

this is a little trickier, I did the pull through in the first loop with not much trouble but from #11 to #12, I ran outside of the wing to do a pull through. Both Saturn and Sizzle turn very tight on that corner but I didn't do too well with Sizzle on the pull through. He looked at me confused. Saturn is a much more experienced dog, eventhough I have a hiccup on my handling, he is still be able to do the right thing. This is not the point at training. We want to be able to improve handling. I have also tried the push through on the #12 to #13, that works very well with Sizzle but not Saturn. He works better on the pull through.

Now, we need some dry weather!!!

took these photos on Tuesday:

 and my baby is having a bad hair day :D

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

how easy do we forget?

Agility training is back to full swing this week. WooHoo! I need to kick my own butt to get myself going, I am soooooo lazy!

After a good training day with Lee on Sunday with Sizzle, I regain my confidence again. Maybe a break is not good for me, I need to keep going ...
Today is the first day we resume training at Pachesham. Sipzie is now moved up to a more advanced puppy class. We do more skillful sequences and longer sequences.

To my surprised, I forgot to teach her the basic stuff such as snake (serpentine), left and right turn dog nearer the side ... Sizzle was only a baby last year and I cannot believe I forgot how to train another puppy already!

After the training, I have to come back and sit down and make notes! Poor Sipzie, she will be so tired tomorrow!

Monday, January 03, 2011

a very busy New Year ...

 Happy New Year from The KNIGHTs Shelties. 
Sorry Samber is missing from the picture because she just came into season :D

This is my first proper post of 2011.

Our New Year started off with a busy life ...  ALREADY!

We always have a small New Year eve countdown gathering, gathered a couple of our close friends and Colin's brother Russell and his wife KY. This year, I cooked an aqua pie, aka fish pie. Colin renamed it to Aqua pie because I put all kind of sea-food in it :) He joked that I have a whole aquarium in the pie.
We didn't get to bed until 2am, so we have a good lie-in again. We spent all New Year day walking dogs, repairing the doors in the house, a bit of DIY here and a bit of DIY there ... I hope 2011 doesn't mean DIY!

Other than DIY, my New Year also kick off with an Agility Training Day with Lee Windeatt. We were supposed to train on last Monday but due to snow forecast, the training day was postponed to yesterday in an indoor school.
I enjoyed my training with Lee. My bones got very lazy since we broke up for Christmas and New Year. I haven't done any agility for more than 3 weeks. With snow and ice and wet/muddy, this mean I can't train in the garden either. I am rusty!
We learned a few skills from Lee; he got us to do a few sequences and from there, we learned how to find the quickest route to cut down the time we wasted. Funnily enough, they way I thought is the quickest for me and my dog prove me wrong! It may look like we took further around a jump wing but that actually save me and Sizzle so much time that I cannot believe it. I think I have to practice and learn how to find our quickest path this year.
I've also learned how to do a "push through" in a better way. I always thought the way I ran is the best and suits me but not after yesterday. I have learned to push through quicker and neater. To my surprised, I always thought if I have a slow dog, which I can keep up with, I should do some front crosses to keep up the momentum and to turn tighter with the dogs. I have not done a lot of front crosses with Saturn or Sizzle much, I guess I am being lazy and not wanted to run too fast as I am so used to my own comfortable pace. Again, I was very wrong about that. If I were to do a front cross or even two front crosses, I would have half a second quicker! Mmmm ... that get me thinking ...

this is one of our earlier sequence that involved two front crosses:
Today, Colin did another long walk from home to Beddington Park with Sipzie. I took the boys in the car to meet them there, after an hour later! Colin and Sipzie has a lot of energy to kill, so that is a good exercise for them. Sadly, my Volvo wouldn't start again! We had trouble to get it started yesterday morning before going training. I thought after a long drive, the battery should charged up but this morning, it refuse to start again! I think it's time for a new battery.

The sky was cloudy this morning, I couldn't take a good picture but here are some of the boys enjoying their walk and play in Beddington Park:

 here is Sipzie coming into the Park and spotted me but this time, I managed to jump to the side before she head-butt me :) She does love her mummy.

she was so happy to see the boys again, especially Saturn:

 she still have a lot of energy to burn after the long walk:

 what Seagull likes the best? Pose for his photo session :)

 a very happy Sing:

Samber decided New Year is the time she should comes into season! I have been waited for her to come into season so I can repeat the mating, hopefully this time she will give me the BOY I've been waiting for. She is three months late but wrong timing. I secretly hope that she will whelp on Sing's birthday (how nice is that?). If I were to mate her this time, and if she is spot on, she will whelp on Sing's birthday, a week after Crufts. Last time, she was exactly a week early, so I cannot take a risk. I have some great supports and offers to watch her for me but I don't think I feel comfortable about it. Not because I do not trust the people that offers help. As a responsible breeder and mummy, I like to be with her and I know if I am at Crufts, I will be stressed and worried about her all the time. It look like I have to wait a bit longer for Sing's son! If I wanted a litter born on Sing's birthday, this means NO Crufts! Mmmm ... what do I want to do?