Friday, January 27, 2012

Fitness Friday

I think I am getting a bit "too sensitive" on my dogs' health. Since Sizzle and I got picked for WAO Team England, the first thing in my mind is to get him and myself fit for this event. Unfortunately, things keep going wrong ... I fell ill just before Christmas and injured my arm and Sizzle has not been 100% fit. Everytime when I started to practice see-saw and polish his running DW in the garden, I realised he isn't running full power. Apart from him usual sensitive tummy problem which I think we are fixing it now by feeding raw. Took him to club training, he was on and off for 3 weeks and just yesterday, he started measuring jump! Oh dear Lord! I am going crazy! We haven't been able to train properly. I seriously hope we can get to some serious training in February!

I have been doing some "fitness" training with all dogs this winter, it is hard work and tiring especially I have to work all SEVEN of them. I can only do one dog at a time but I enjoy that. It is good fun and we all learned things together which I think that is brilliant to strengthen my relationship with all of them. The shelties love the exercise too. 

I am running out of exercise ideas and I was hoping some blogger friends can join in with me to keep their dogs fit as well, so I would like to play a pass-on game, so hopefully we can have more dogs to join and have more exercise ideas ...

I am going to start off with my new fitness exercise, this is to strengthen the core muscle. I recently purchased this Dome Ball, it is very similar to Bosu Ball, so you guess it, it is not cheap at all but the shelties deserved some posh equipment :)

I have my week 1 model ... Little Miss Sipzie:

I am going to pick 4 of my shelties blogger friends to play this fitness game, you don't have to play if you do not wish to ...

Shelties No 1: Oreo & Chewy

Shelties No 3: Ricky

Shelties No 4: Bentley & Lexi

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

working wednesday #3

I took Sonic to a McTimoney Chiropractor to have him thoroughly check-up as I wasn't happy with his right hind leg. I didn't take him to the vet because I know he isn't in pain as he was running fine and tearing around like nothing has bother him. I know what the vet would said or suggest if I bring him in ... anti-inflammatory! Anyway, Susan Sargeant is highly recommended by our friend Lisa. Susan is lovely and she is only about 7 miles distance. I really like the way she treated Sonic, knowing Sonic is not "human-friendly". Sonic was relax and calm while treated, towards the end, he actually turned mellow! Mellow? Yes, I was very surprised of his reaction too.

Susan has a good assessment on him and told me his right side is very tight in many spots. I always think he is a clumsy dog. He is really crazy, although he didn't like people but he likes to jump up on me and bite my sleeve to tug and then landed badly on the side. Too many times that I can remember! Also, last Friday, I took him to train with Toni (because Sizzle wasn't well). He fell off the DW on the top plank. He was crazily fast (he loves contacts) and probably losing the balance. The good thing was he immediately run back up again with his usual speed without any hesitation. That is more reason that I would like to get him check over. The lovely Susan has done some adjustments (is that the right word?), so prescribed REST and QUIET! Damn! How can I keep this sheltie rest and quiet?

He was allow walk on the lead but Susan suggested not to take him anywhere he can run and chase squirrels/rabbits ... so we didn't go out yesterday. The weather was absolutely poorly anyway, bitterly cold rain all day, so there is more reason not to go out, instead, I decided to wash and blow dry the shelties. The boys were alright but the two girls were fighting with me in the bath and when blow dry! Hmmm ...

Also, I thought I could teach him a new trick or two to keep his mind busy. You all know how difficult he being a puppy, not liking me to touch his paw or any part of the body. I have done so much clicker with him, just to make him come and sit on my lap and all sort of things that you can think about but whenever we come to "touching", he runs miles! I always wanted to teach him tricks involving his rear end awareness and the one that I would like to try most is the to get him to give me his hind legs. As he is so sensitive about his body, I couldn't get close to him or even using a foreign object as a training aid, so I have left the trick once again. Yesterday, I thought it's about time I try that again. JACKPOT! He is so clever, and he picked that up almost immediately. I was really impressed. 

This video was taken this morning and it's his second attempt. I used "leg" for his right hind leg and "kick" for left hind leg. When I first started it, it was the right hind leg and my automatic reaction is "leg" and when I watched back the videos, I've realised it should be the other way round. He looks more like "kick" with his right hind leg and "leg" with left hind leg. Oh Well!

Monday, January 23, 2012

confused dot com

We got back late from Canada last evening ... nope, NOT that Canada, but the Canada in Hampshire, England. Sometimes these same names confused me A LOT. I remembered the first time I came across Washington in West Sussex. I've ordered some pvc jumps and weave poles for garden used. That was many years ago when I first started training Sing. I haven't got a Sat Nav, so I was rather confused this "Washington" is in America! This tells you how bad my sense of directions are! Then, later, I heard there is New Jersey and Little Hampton but they are in America!

I think English is a funny language, they repeat the same names so many times and too often. I've known a few Colin living in this area and there are about 10 of my friends named Patrick!!! Phew! Most Chinese names are unique and of course there are some common names too but the chances of same Chinese name is very rare!

I've booked a puppy/teenage dog training training day with Lesley Olden down in Romsey. She was very close to New Forest. We always like the walk at New Forest, so we took all the dogs down there. It was quite windy during training and the walk too. The sun was in and out, basically a good dry day but windy and brrrr .. cold. 

I will make a separate post about Sonic's puppy training with Lesley Olden. This post is all about our lovely walk and some photos ...

 this photo of Sonic chasing the tennis ball is slightly out of focus but I won't want to edit/crop as I think it looks very nice with the beautiful landscape behind him
 Sonic is a very happy dog, just like his daddy Sing and mama Samber. They definitely has passed on the happy gene to him. I have never thought I will get a picture of him running this fast and showing his hind legs crossing the front legs ... if you are on Silvia Trkman's "running contacts January", you will know what I mean.
Sonic is having a ball :D
I like this photo of him because it shows he has COAT, in reality, he hasn't :(
As we walked along, we met so many wild ponies but this one in particular is VERY friendly. I am always scared of horses/ponies but I can feed her and stroke her and she was very calm and let me do everything. She even go VERY close to the shelties without scaring them or harm them. I guess all my shelties are very calm that helps.
This photo is of Colin and Sipzie trying to lure the pony to follow us back to the car. Hahaha ...
This reminded me many years ago when we only have Sing and Seagull, we went to New Forest quite a bit. We parked the car at the carpark. After our walk, we open up the car boot to fetch drinks and lunch, we have 3 gorgeous ponies tried to get into the car boot. It was hilarious and I was very scared then!
 Sonic is such a brave little guy, he approached the ponies carefully, calmly, gently and he managed to get so close to the pony and they actually have a little "kiss" but it was too dark and my flash didn't work so I missed that LOVELY moment.
 this is another picture of Sonic went up to a different pony to say his warm hello.
this is the lovely pony that I wish to take home :) maybe next time I should go with a truck so I can bring her home but how can I get her to come through the front door and not get stuck? Mmmm ...

and here are some of Little Miss Sipzie having fun ...
LOL! Yes, she still has the chewing gum stuck on her right ear, that is one very stubborn ear!!!

 Oh! and Saturn also has a stubborn year after nearly 7 years! Hahaha ...

 Water + Ball = Heaven for Sing!
always leading the way ...

 always so agile!

I am really happy to have my camera with me yesterday, I have a lot of good photos but I can't post them all up here :(

Just before I end this post, I've mentioned earlier that I've joined Silvia Trkman's "running contacts" distant learning. We have our first assignment and it took me two weekends to complete as I need Colin there to video us and here is our Lesson 1 video:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sonic - 10 month-old

Mai handsome boy Sonic and his beautiful sister Brooke is 10 month-old today! Where does all this 10 months gone? Just like yesterday when Samber was uncomfortable ... all the midnight rushing to the emergency vet to have him, Brooke and "Charlie & Angel" out. 
Thank you Samber for giving us these two beautiful babies, we are very proud of them!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New arrival

We are pleased to announced Sing x Skye puppy dog App arrived safely on Friday, the 13th, born only 4oz. Although he is tiny at birth but he is very strong, he put on weight nicely and at Day 4, he weight 5.9oz! Skye is a good mama, as she always is. 

He is full brother to beautiful Silky. I have quite a few people asking me if I am superstitious? The answer is NO. I feel blessed to have this little boy, although he is a singleton again! I think I can top the breeder chart of breeding "singleton" sheltie puppy!

Skye was scanned for two puppies, we can only think she reabsorbed the other one. For whatever reason. Skye is very content with this little boy. Both of them are still with Chris & Gail who own Skye, they will come back to me next week and I am so looking forward to have a puppy running around the house again for a few weeks. I am sure big brother Sonic would like to play with him.

photos on Day 4:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sizzle update and a bit of Sipzie ...

I THINK in general Sizzle is getting better. He started to perk up on the weekend after spending the whole week acting like a yoyo. He was good for an hour in the morning, then spent the whole day lying down and does not want to know anything. Although he is not a greedy dog but I can't get him to show any interest in his favourite treats :(  He has been acting like that from Monday to Friday and I was beginning to get really worry. The vet suggested I walk him on the lead but I don't really need that, he walked really slowly, even a 10 year old Sing and 9 year old walk faster than him :)  He didn't even want to chase the crows ...

On Saturday, he woke me up wanting to play with his toy. Good sign, I thought. We had a little play, he was happy and I was happy. We went out for a nice crispy morning walk. He was a little happier at walk, although not chasing rabbits/squirrels/crows. Same thing on Sunday. All good!

We went to Lisa for another Reiki today, thanks Lisa for making Sizzle and me feel better :)

See, not all my group photos are good. This is the time, when some shelties refused to look the same way! Obviously, Sonic and Sizzle got distracted as there was a dog running around that direction. It is good that they STAY and not moving at inch! At the end, I gave up taking the "good" photo. 
You can see from this picture that Sizzle was so much happier. This photo was taken on Sunday morning walk.

After our lovely morning walk, we set off to Scrambles for Toni Dawkins' Training Day. I like Toni, she is one of the top handlers in the UK and is very successful in the Agility with her Border Collies. Toni used to have Sheltie, that was many years ago, well before I know her. Toni's mum got two lovely shelties. I only just came across the training day and was lucky to get a place. As Sizzle was not 100%, I decided to train Sipzie. 

I am thinking to give Sipzie a little rest this year, not doing too much agility with her. I think when I got her at 9 months old, I lost the puppyhood and the bond/relationship with her. That time, I probably rushing too much to get her into competition and I have realised after one agility season, she wasn't very happy or confidence at some shows and her running Dog Walk has become a disaster towards the end of the season. I am hoping to continue doing training and doing tricks to build up her confidence and also decided to go back to 2o/2o on the DW.

Our DW is progressing slowly and I am rushing it. I think I want her fully understand the criteria and she is doing great at the moment. I am hoping when I get her on the full DW, I can start doing a bit of training with her at UKA shows as well. 

She was a good girl, doing really well at Toni's training day yesterday. I am really pleased with her, although she can get a little wild and crazy but I like the way she is. Colin tried to film all our rounds/sequences but I think our little video camera is packing up. It sometimes get blurry and won't go back to clear screen for a long time. I think I need to invest a new video camera :(  

Here are a couple of sequence we did yesterday. I really like to learn the European funny turn properly!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sizzle update and a bit here and there ...

Sorry I haven't been update about Sizzle. My right arm is still very stiff and sometimes painful is not helping me wanted to go anywhere near a keyboard. Sizzle is up and down. One day he is fine, bright as a button and the next day he could be all quiet and lay down on his bed, not wanted to know the world! I took him back to the vet for a check up on Monday where he got more pain killer and prescribed with longer rest! He is allow lead walking which I don't really restrict to as he is very slow and clam at walk these days, so that is fine with me. I haven't done any training with him, of course but we did some tricks to keep his mind stimulate while physically resting.

handsome boy at walk this morning, not very happy as you can see from his face :(

here is him with the energetic Sonic

My right arm is still not 100% function yet. Well, it is better than before. At least I can brush my teeth and brush the dogs slowly. I still cannot carry heavy stuff or putting pressure on it. Mixing the dog meat and biscuits is a struggle and I realise how "bad" my left hand is. It is absolutely useless. I just can't do what I want to do with my left hand. I can certainly feel for the disabled now. I get very frustrated with my right hand.

We have frost this morning, the first one of 2012! The weather has been very mild this winter, it didn't feel like winter at all but this morning, we woke up at -1c. I took the boys out and the sun was shinning. We had a little stroll in Mitcham Common and took a few photos. Taking photos with the heavy camera made my right hand ache so I didn't take that many but here are a few ...

 Saturn found a stix
 he is always the photogenic sheltie
and one from the proud daddy ... one of the pups have been born today :D
he is hoping this little boy will like ball as much as he does :))

Mai boy Sonic is nearly 10 months old now

I've taught Sonic Channel Weave back in October, not a serious taught really, just a play with agility equipment. I want to get him to get used to different type of equipments when he is young so he won't be afraid of anything in future. He's always been a brave boy and take things into his stride. He took on the channel weave very quickly without much help. I didn't do too much last year and soon the Channel Weave got put away. Last weekend, I pulled it out again. Sonic hasn't forgot what he learned in October and soon, I get to close it up to 8" wide. We have been doing on Monday and Tuesday on the 8" wide, different angles of the entries and swing around; then I closed it up to 6" on Wednesday and did the same things with him. He was really good and I am very happy with it. I have never been a Channel Weave person and I don't really know how to teach Channel Weave properly so I decided I should proceed to V Weave at some point. 

 Sonic on Channel Weave:

I took the V Weave out on Thursday, open it up really wide, the poles were almost touching the ground. I remembered when I taught Saturn, Sizzle and Sipzie the V Weave, they took the time, especially Sizzle. I even have to run Saturn over it so he saw him going through and realised it is safe for him to go through those poles and metal base. He never was an easy dog to teach weave with. Instead of 12 poles, we stuck on 6 poles for a very long time. 

I thought Sonic will have issue on the V Weave because of the metal base that he has to run on but to my surprised, NO trouble at all and he proceed very quickly. I did the send on with the toy from 3rd pole, 5th pole, 7th pole, 9th pole and 12th pole, he did everything perfectly and even with the recall, he never missed any pole or popping out. Good sign! I close up bit by bit and I am happy to what we are now (still very wide). Sonic is not even 10 months old yet so I would not like him to do too much of weaving yet.

Sonic on V Weave:

The videos are not brilliant, imagine I have to throw the ball with my useless left hand and almost everytime I throw the ball at the camera! Doh! I've also noticed one thing that I haven't follow. I should have put the lead on Sonic to do the swing around on V Weaves, that is to restrain him to find the entry. He got the entry everytime but he just can't collect himself at the 2nd pole. I love video, that's how I can see my mistake! Oh, you noticed I haven't practice the right hand side? I did, it's just that everytime I throw the ball, the ball hit the camera!!!! I need my right hand back to normal!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

working wednesday #2

Today, I am working on stretching out the "hind legs". I've only just realised after doing so much hind legs awareness exercises with Sonic, his hind legs are still not stretching out well, so we are going back to do more ... also with the others as well ...

this is Sonic reversing onto a low height box:

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Sizzle update, Sonic TD and me cripple!

Thank you for all your emails asking about Sizzle. He was very quiet on Friday and would not eat. Big Thanks to Lisa for offering Reiki to Sizzle. She was wonderful with him, Sizzle went away happily and content. Although he was quiet on Friday night but he perk up on Saturday. Back to his old self, very cheeky and playful. I was very careful with him, not to get him too excited but today, he was very happy in the morning and went all quiet in the afternoon :( He has to go back to the vet for check-up tomorrow afternoon. 

poor Sizzle :(

Yesterday, I took Sonic to Hannah Banks' Co-Blanaced class. We wanted to attend this class for months but everytime it's on, we have something pre-booked and could not attend. Sonic's clever sister Brooke attended the November class and really enjoyed it and she was so clever and brilliant at it. Sonic was a good little boy, I am very happy that he worked through distractions (from other dogs) beautifully. I am so proud that when he putting his working head on, nothing could distract him. He just wanted to WORK all the time. Well, he many be crazy but I love him. We did ladder work to start with. Sonic was brilliant, he knew exactly what to do, he work through all his four feet. We then moved on to Cavaletti and Sonic again was very good at it. He didn't rush any of them and he walked through them carefully and lifting all his four feet. We also do figure of eight with cones. Sonic loves the wobble board. That is his favourite. I just can't get him off the wobble boards!! We also did "elephant tricks" to make him aware of his hind legs and the peanut shape wobble cushion to make him aware of his front legs as well as the hind legs. This is the first time he saw a peanut wobble cushion and I was really surprised how good he is with it. 

Sonic on peanut cushion:

We didn't get many videos as Colin was busy making tea/coffee for everyone. He was so happy to has another job other than cameraman! You can read all about Hannah's Co-Balanced on here.

And lastly, I have an injured right arm. I don't know how I sprint/twist it. I've only realised my arm got heavier everytime I used it, that involved a small task like brushing my teeth in the morning to feeding the dogs and brushing them. It really got stiff lately and while I took Sizzle to Lisa on Friday, she gave ma Reiki as well. I have to say, since the Reiki, my arm feels freely a little bit, at least I can change/dress without a big effort but this morning, when I let Miss Zoombie out, BTW, that is Scara's new nick name because she only zooming around and not walking around, she knocked/trip me over and I lost my balanced. I fell onto a wall, so naturally I used my arm to support me but everything was a blur and I knocked my elbow hard. I ended up in the hospital on Sunday morning looking very grumpy and agony. The doctor gave me 10 days of high dose Ibuprofen and said I have "frozen shoulder"! Arrrggghhh ...

Thursday, January 05, 2012

storm casualty

We resumed training at Pachesham this morning. I was so looking forward to it. We had a good break in December, it does the shelties good to have a break after a full season of agility. I missed training very much. I know I can get very lazy once I've stopped. 

We are training in the indoor sands school at the moment. We have had this stormy weather for the last couple of days. The HIGH wind speed has done some big damage and killed a few people. Our garden is right in the mess at the moment. The jumps were flying around and the garden plastic chairs were everywhere.

Sadly, Sizzle got injured today by the high wind. We were doing a sequence, one of the jump kept blowing down. Unfortunately, the jump wing hit Sizzle when he took the jump. He did a tight turn to take the next jump, so the heavy jump wing crashed into him. I didn't take much notice then because he carried on and I thought he was brave and quite happy with him not bother by it. Only when he took the last jump and he started limping back to me then I realised he got knocked!

He won't put his left front leg down for a while but didn't seems too bad then. After our class, we went walking in Oxshott Common, our usual routine on Thursday. He was walking slowly for a couple of hundred yards, then he got further and further back ... I beginning to get worry. I called him, he came to me very slowly, extremely slowly. I picked him up and carry him around. I can feel the heat coming out from the leg. I got concern. This is the last thing I want now! I rang the vet and made an appointment.

Vet Liz checked on him, she said nothing is broken (thank God for that!) but she is not happy with the toes area but she agreed with me the heat actually come from the arm area. She reckon is kinda of bruise, so she gave him an anti-inflammatory jab and 5 days of caprieve. Complete rest for him and recheck on Saturday. Poor boy is looking very sorry for himself.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

working wednesday #1

Although Sonic is weird meeting people, he is very interested in people who totally IGNORE him, he will want to jump up on them to say hello and let them pet him but when a dog friendly person wanted to say hello to him, he will back off! Sonic is a very clever little dog, he works things out very quickly and is a keen worker. He can easily switch from food to toy or toy to food. I bought him this Nina Ottosson Dog Interactive toy "casino" for Christmas. I originally wanted to get the "twister" but all places online have sold out or discontinued, so I ended up with "casino". I think this "casino" and "twister" are similar level of difficulty.

I show him how to work this on Christmas Day, we played for 10 minutes and put them away; then again on Boxing Day for 10 minutes; then on New Year's Day for 10 minutes and this is what I get this evening, without me interacting with him. He works it all out on his own.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

End of holiday

Colin took a week off work between Christmas and New Year. It was very good for him to shake the stressed off working in a very stressful environment and go out walking with the dogs. We were very lucky the weather has been so mild in December, although some days it was a big wet but nothing stopping us for some good long walks.

Also, it is very good for the shelties to be able to spend some quality times with their daddy. Colin goes out before 7am every week day and didn't come home until 8pm or 9pm, sometimes even later. The shelties really enjoyed having him, an extra lap to lean on :)

This is one of our lovely walks with The Hennessy @ Banstead Wood/Common:

Just before the end of 2011, we got to meet up with Savannah, aka Sweep, a Sing x Sunny pup @ Nonsuch Park to celebrate Seagull's Ninth Birthday. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't good that day. It was very gloomy and overcast and we did some spell of rain during our walk but all the shelties enjoyed it. It was very good to see Savannah, she just turned 13 weeks that day when we met up. She was very bold like I expect her to be. She was happy to meet all dogs, big or small in the park. Most of all, she was so happy to see her big brother Sonic. They had a lovely play together.

 such an effort to take this photo, Savannah and Scara's wait is so limited. I've taken many too many with either Savannah missing on the picture of Scary. When I got ALL in the picture, they don't all look this way! Grrr ...

 Savannah @ 13 weeks
 meeting a pug
 Savannah: I saw something big coming this way ...
 Oh! He is huge!

 playing with big brother Sonic:
 funny enough, all Sing's babies like to chase crows!!!

To finish off Colin's holiday, we were so lucky to have a lovely sunny morning yesterday where we could take the shelties for another long walk. We walked locally, crossing Mitcham and Pollards Hill, we've walked for 3-4 hours, starting with Pollards Hill (very steep hill), then round to Mitcham Common, we've walked 3 pieces of the Common lands. It was very enjoyable until Scara started rolling on the fox poo, then soon follow by Sonic. YUK! Oh, to top it worst, Sipzie did her share at the end of our walk! WELL, three of them have a full bath which they hate! Sonic isn't bad but the two girls take a lot of effort to wash them. Sonic hates the blow dry bit but Sipzie loves it and Scary? Mmmm ... you know what I am going to say.

 The KNIGHTs Shelties on top of Pollards Hill

 Seagull and Scara, such a lovely pair :)

 I always worried to have two puppies growing up together as I am sure one of them will have more attention than the others. I had experienced that once with Saturn and Titan, although Colin said that Titan is his dog. I never want to go down that road again but we did that again. This time, Colin is very sure Scara is his dog and he determined to train her his way :) To be honest, I think having two puppies growing up together is such a lovely thing, especially Sonic and Scara both getting on so well. They love and adore each other. It is so good to see them playing together. I don't want it other way.

two pups "bullied" uncle Seagull

 Sing show off his jumping in the air catching ball skill
 the only thing that makes him happy ... tennis ball
 Sonic is getting obsess with ball like his daddy
 ... and this jumping in the air catching ball skill
 Sonic is the clown in the family
 ... teasing uncle Sizzle
 happy girl
 Oooops! Not quite get the ball
 Sonic: Don't worry Scary, I'll catch it for you.
 Typical Sing x Samber baby ... prick ears like daddy Sing and rolling in the fox poo like mama Samber!

why holiday has to end so soon? 

Colin is back to work now and I am back to my old routine. It's hard getting up this morning but I know it will get better and I have WAO to look forward to!