Surprisingly how well cat and dog get on well in a family but still when a dog sees a cat in the street or outside their boundary, they have the instinct to chase!
Our Tortoiseshell Vindi is always the best playmate to our puppies. She came to us the same day we picked up Sipzie from Belgium. She was a real surprised. We weren't plan to have anymore cat after we lost our beautiful Persian Tikka. Tikka is very special to Colin. I offered to get him another Persian but he keeps saying, no other cat could replace Tikka. Oh well! Vindi was a surprised from our neighbour. When we were in Belgium, my neighbour rang, I normally don't pick up any calls when I am abroad but I thought that was something wrong to the house as we always watch out for each other's. I didn't tell her that we were away as we only plan half a day out. Anyway, she told me she bought this cat for her children but her husband warned her to get rid of it within 24 hours! My first reaction was: No, thank you. We just got a puppy (Sipzie). She kept begging us to have her so that her children can still see the cat if she lives with us. Crazy? I told Colin about it and he wasn't keen to have a kitten. When we got home and play with Sipzie in the garden, the neighbour saw us and kept begging us to have her. Guess what? Colin gave in!
both Sipzie and Vindi became friends immediately! Photo taken at Day 3 after they arrived
Well, she settled in well with our shelties, so she stays :) In fact, she is always a good playmates to my puppies. She is so crazy about them. She and singleton Silky were the BEST playmate. I was worried that Silky will be so left out being the only one but I need not worry. They play and play and play ... I think Silky ended up thinking she is a cat! Silky's mummy and daddy once said Silky actually acted like a cat sometimes :)
Vindi and Silky puppy
Mai boy Sonic is obsess with cat. He grew up with Vindi being a naughty playmate to him. I surely think he acts more like a cat than a dog sometimes! I remembered so well that when Sonic was a little puppy, I took him out a lot to socialise, when he saw a cat in the street, he wanted to go and say hello to them. You know your dog and you know he is not aggressive that he wanted to chase. Sonic just wanted to lick the cat he saw in the street. There was a cat (could be a kitten as well last year) in the neighbourhood, whenever I took Sonic out on the pavement, he always come out to meet him and I think they both trying to make friends. Sonic probably is the only dog I knew that is not chasing a street cat!
Right, I better get off the computer now, we have a Surprise Guest arriving soon ...
Sipzie is in season and we have three very "devoting" guarding angels. They are constantly by her side. I have been busy "moving" her around. I find it very unfair to keep her in the crate all the time. The first week sailed peacefully, she was with us and the boys didn't bother her at all. They occasionally sniff her butt but that is pretty normal. We had visitors when she was in Day 7, this family came to meet our shelties because they are not sure whether to buy a sheltie puppy or a cavalier puppy. They've spoken to Saturn's breeder and she asked me if I can "entertain" this family as I am closer for them to come by. Surely, this family was impressed by our shelties. I am not surprised as they all have great temperament, even Seagull is beginning to accept strangers at a grand age of 9.5 :) I have Sipzie with us most of the time but put her away every now and then, the family was amazed how well the boys behaved around a bitch in season. I have to say I was really proud of them too.
This week, Sipzie is in full blown heat, Sing beginning to take "notice" of her; Sonic, Saturn and Sizzle are all crazy. Thank God they don't make noise, it is their behaviour that irritate me. If I put Sipzie in the kitchen area, the three boys will sit in front of the gate and Sipzie will tease them from the other side! If I put her in the crate, they will lying around her crate like a guarding angel.
Funny how these boys behave. Sing and Sonic are very similar, they both are keen but soon I take them out in the garden, Sing immediately will fetch me a ball and forget all about her and Sonic keeps barking at me to tell me he wants to do agility. Everytime I move, these two immediately thinks there are more exciting thing then a bitch in season. I love that kind of behaviour :)
Saturn and Sizzle are more difficult. If I have treat/food, Saturn is happily move away from his guarding position; Sizzle is what I called "bitch sick"! He would not eat (yes, he refused to eat!), he would not want to play, he would not want to do agility either! Mmmm ... he tried to hump me :(
Not sure what happened to my poor old Sing. There's some hair missing just down below his left eye. He was normal when we went to bed last night. Yes, I know he was absolutely normal as I gave him a quick brush and tidy up before bed time. I do that every night to all my dogs as I like to brush off the mud before they climb into the bed with us.
you can click to enlarge the photo to be able to see bald patch immediately down below his left eye
Eventhough he is 10.5 years old with a dodgy paw but still very active and agile. Love my old boy so much. He is the dog that never fails me.
After a couple of weeks of cold, wet weather; the sky turns blue and sunny again! The boys enjoy their early morning sun bathing on the patio. You thought shelties with a full coat will try to stay in the shade? Nah, not my lots. They love their sun bathing, especially Sizzle!
the boys enjoy the morning sun on the patio
The only one that does not learn how to chill is crazy Little Miss Sipzie! She is always busy, while the others happily lie down and she is busy pacing up and down, bring me all the toys one by one ... she likes to tease me with the toy but never give it to me; then she will snatch it back and shake it like a rag doll. If I ignore her, she will go up to the boys, one by one to tease them to play with her ... normally, Sonic will give up and play with her.
this is Sipzie teasing Sing!
As the weather been so wet, and Sonic has his hip scored last Thursday, I didn't get a chance to do some practice with him in the garden. This morning, I was full of enthusiasm and determined to do something with him. He was so happy to be able to do what he loves. We were practicing the weave poles but somehow, I was putting a "pull through" in our practice and I realised I haven't taught him that. Ooops! I know why! I am hoping to put that till last as my pull through is my weakest of all handling.
So, I started the basic pull through exercise with him. I have to say that was a big failure! He was very hyper and well up for it. He ignored all my handling and ran the three jumps as a snake (serpentine) sequence! I tried breaking it down but still, he ignoring me! In the last 4 hours, we have been out every 30-45 minutes for a 5 minutes practice. I've learned to walk away if the failure continue. I know I am not a strong person in this handling, so I rather walk away then being frustrated get everything screw up for the rest of my agility life with Sonic.
Although Sizzle is looking very good at the moment but I am not ready to put him back to Agility training yet. I have Saturn out to assist me with the practice. He is such a good boy. He made me think that I am not a bad handler at all. I sometimes wonder why Sizzle's pull through is so awful? Did I train them differently?
Saturn showing off how to do "pull through" properly:
and here is Sonic learning some basic pull through. I have deleted all the bad ones :) It was really awful :( These are the good ones, still not the best but I am hoping we can improve. Also, you can see Saturn barking at Sonic, he tried to tell him how to do it right! Love my dogs! They really made me laugh so much!
I took Sizzle to his 3rd acupuncture appointment today, he was a different dog! As usual, the vet tried to "feel" him before she poke the needles into him. I didn't see any spasm anywhere! Is that a good sign? After the treatment, the vet removed all the needles, non of them bend! WOW! Amazing! I thought Sizzle looks rather happy in the last 2 days as well. I hope this is all good from now on. We are still not taking agility easy, no training, no competition ... just enjoy walking, playing .
Mai handsome boy Sonic and his sister Brooke turned 15 months yesterday! Where did all the times go? We had a lesson with Bernadette yesterday and he worked so well. He definitely has grown up and is going through adolescent at the moment. He is still very good at his recall but is getting more distracted or should I say ... have his own mind? The only time that he will not come to me when call is time to go home after walk!
this picture taken yesterday after we came back from a long day out, he looked very tired but still very handsome :) I thought I must take a picture of my 15 months old boy.
this is one of my favourite Sonic puppy picture, taken in Burgehead, Scotland last August when he was 20 weeks old.
To get him to post a standing still photo is never easy and to be honest, all my shelties are so active, a stand still photo is abnormal for us :)
so, here go some action shots:
We better get full used of the good weather, here are more from the boys ...
I just loved this lightweight frisbee, present from Silky. Not only that it is gentle to the shelties teeth but it also fly low easily. I've learned from my experienced and I am aware the way I play with my shelties now. Although, occasionally I still like to throw a ball/frisbee high up in the air for them to catch but I control myself for making such a bad habit for the safety of the dog's health. This frisbee flies low and it stays in one direction and the boys still enjoy catching it in the low air! Thank you Silky!!
We went to Axstane on Saturday, it's our second Kennel Club Open show this year. The first one we went to was Wye Valley Champ in March. Although, we have been to a few UKA shows in between but after my performance at Axstane, I came back and had a good thought about it. I wasn't happy with myself on Saturday. I ran Sizzle in the small/mixi pairs with Toni Dawkins, I've let her down by getting Sizzle eliminated. I feel like I haven't try hard enough. I knew there is "one" tricky bit and I was seriously worried about it. I wanted Sizzle to turn left at jump #12 but he turned right, to stop him back jump to get eliminated, I tried to block the jump and made myself totally in the wrong position and when I turned around and lost jump #13! I can kick myself for that stupid mistake, to top it worst, I lost my sporting manner :( I feel very angry about myself!
Watching the video a few times, I sat down and think WHY I am such a bad handler. I know our current changes made me very stressed but I shouldn't bring that to agility; maybe running in the UKA made me very casual? I'm quite relax when competing at UKA shows. I always go thinking training the dogs in the ring, is that it? I really should collect myself and "seriously" compete at some KC shows.
Sizzle & Minx @ Axstane, small/mixi pairs:
It was gales force wind on Saturday, although the judges were very considerate to take the Dog Walk down but I decided not to run Sizzle in the Agility and Jumping, I think one class is good enough for him. We had a long wait before Sipzie's run. I've entered her in the Jumping only. I want to fix the weave problem with her in the ring before the DW problem. I think one at a time suit us. She is getting more confidence and happy in the ring again after a few UKA shows. One issue sorted :)
I wanted to get in front of the 2nd pull through but I was far behind, so I was in a bad position again, that Sipzie back jump; but never mind, we carried on as nothing is wrong and she was weaving well but I must have pull her off the poles. I was really happy with her.
Sipzie @ Axstane, G4-7 Jumping:
I really should be consistent with the weave at competition like we did at training. She is brilliant at home and at Club but at competition, 50/50. This video was taken this morning, she was great, although I have to pay the price :) I've got "bitten" twice, just because she was too excited and hyper!
Having viewers are painful, especially those that come with kids. Well, we have a big garden, family with young children are our potential buyer. The first family that came on Thursday evening, I was out training taking all the dogs with me. When I got home, look into the garden, it looked like someone had a party with my V Weave and jumping poles! I asked Colin about it and he said he isn't aware of anything. All the nuts and bolts of my V weave had come loose, it took me some efforts to put it all right again. Then, the family return with a 2nd view, the minute the child came through the door, he ran into the garden and straight up the Dog Walk, the see-saw, then the A Frame, it just like what Sonic will do! Hell!!! At one point, he ran up the DW and stood at the top plank and ready to jump down. I got the parent's attention, the father said: let him be, he will be alright and he will be happy! I told him but that is not human safe, his replied was: he will be ok! Grrrr ...
Anyway, we have weaves and jumps put away but it is a lot of hassle to put the contacts away! Yesterday, we had a dry day so we managed to mow the lawn and for the first time in many years, I've decided to put the A Frame full height to train Sonic. I've never bother to raise the A Frame up for Sizzle and Sipzie and never thought that will be a problem but I thought if I raise the AF to full height, at least that will stop the kids climbing up.
Having spending my effort in fixing the V Weave, I now put that away and bring out the upright weave. And Sonic amazed me! He can't weave upright at training but he is brilliant at home. There is not issue, he is like he has done this before and in speed :)
Sonic, this afternoon, doing upright weave and full height AF:
Happy Daddy's Day to my golden boy Sing. He really is the one and only special dog to me! A BIG thank you to his beautiful and clever daughter Silky and Coco for this extra soft and lightweight Frisbee, all the way from Japan. I have been admired this extra soft Frisbee when we visited Silky and Coco, it is gentle for the shelties teeth. Silky and Coco's mummy very kindly bought us a couple of the Frisbee for the shelties to play with.
The weather hasn't been great lately and we didn't get a chance to go and play until today. Again, the weather was funny, one minute sunny, one minute cloudy, so the pictures didn't turn out great :( but the shelties have a lovely walk and play. Sizzle and Sonic got to swim as well, that made them very happy. That make Sing very unhappy! There is no special reason that I would not allow him to swim but sometimes I think he should let the youngsters learn to swim independently and be confident. Sonic needs that. Eventhough Sonic is pushy but when comes to play fetching tennis ball and swimming, Sing wants it all :)
Happy daddy Sing :)
and here are some photos taken today:
and here are some of the Nature from Mitcham Common:
BTW, this is chewing gum! I don't know who started it first but the square is getting bigger ...
Shelties are very confused for sure! Since we have been tidying up the house for sale, and over the years, I have my nephews from Malaysia staying with us; and friends as well ... we stick to the master bedroom since we moved in 9 years ago. Just a couple of years ago, we have the privacy back to ourselves! ALL our shelties sleep in the master bedroom with us, some on the floor but mostly, they are on the bed with us! They, just like us, pretty much stick to the routine. Whenever it's bedtime, they know where to go.
Sizzle gets himself very comfy on the bed
Just a couple of days ago, after we have all the rooms clean up, Colin suggested we should try to sleep in every room before we move. The mission is on. We both thought, if we sneakily sleep in another room, we will see if the shelties are aware? Tuesday night, all the shelties settled in the room, I picked up my pillow (I like my very own pillow!) from our master bedroom, turn the light off and walked into another room. That used to be the boys (my nephews') room while they were here, so we only have a single bed. Poor Colin has to sleep on the floor :) as I don't sleep on a hard flooring. The bed was comfy as I have many layer of duvets on the mattress but I can't fall asleep :( I missed the shelties on the bed with us, I lay awake thinking WHO will come to join me first. I heard Colin snoring loudly into the night ... 40 minutes later, I heard some gentle paws walking into the room, that was my soul mate Saturn; then an hour later, came Sing, closely followed by Sonic. Where is Sizzle? Since the boys had joined me, I thought I better call him. I called and called ... no sign of him? We guess he is running around the house looking for us! It took him about 15 minutes to find me and when he did find me, he was very angry. Yes, I can't believe how angry he was! He was growling at me (not aggressive of course but you can see the frustration in him), hahaha ... That reminded me on my birthday, we went to visit the farm house, we were walking in the field. Some part was over grown. Colin went to investigate and I stayed back. I didn't fancy walking in a long grass with no footpath. Sizzle was staying with me for a little while, I guess he also struggled in the long grass as he was very clever to follow behind me, he walked on top when I've walked so the grass was tampered. As Saturn, Sonic and Sing went with Colin, he felt left out, so I sent him to find "daddy". Off he shot off, but after a few hundred yards, he changed direction, instead of turning right where Colin and the others went, he turned left! He ran so fast that he almost disappear, all I can see was the grass moving. I was very nervous and kept calling him, the more I called, the more he ran further! In a panic, my tone changed and I can't see anymore grass moving. I nearly got heart attacked! Probably the others also sense my tone change, they ran towards me and then I saw Sizzle running back this way. He met the others half way. Phew! What a scared! Since then, Colin called him "small brain! LOL!
P/S: Seagull and Sipzie sleep in the crate at night.
The purchasing of our new farm house is progressing smoothly, finger crossed in the next 4 to 6 weeks we will be IN our dream home. On the other hand, selling the current house is a lot of stress. I just don't know how to tidy the house. There is always dog stuff in every part of the house, from a teeny weeny thing like a clicker to a big thing like dog crate ... there are just everywhere, in the bedrooms, in the kitchen, in the bathroom. Don't be surprised. I collected at least a couple of clickers and old dog treat (well past dated!) in the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom! Crazy!
As the professional photographer was coming to take some photos of the house, we were "force" to disappear all the stuff, to make all the rooms look neat & tidy and bigger? Believe me, we have a massive loft space and half of the space was filled with DOG STUFF! Colin is not impressed! I've packed at least 8 big boxes of dog toys, I know I can get rid some of them but it seems each toy means something to me or to the dogs, so I decided to keep them ... not all but MOST :) and I've just found 2 more boxes in the house! Doh! Also, I cannot imagine I have SO MANY dog beds! The boys are spoilt, they don't sleep on the dog beds but on our bed or the settee, how on earth I've got that many dog beds? Ridiculous! Again, I keep them ALL because every bed has a story.
The other human stuff that take up all the house is BOOKs! Colin and I love reading and the worst habit is we find it hard to part with the books that we have read! Grrr ... although we have taken tons to the charity but we will have tons left in the house!
After a massive tidy up, Colin and I felt HOMELESS, this is not like a home to us. It is too empty. The shelties got very confused, especially Seagull and Sizpie. These two love their crate. We always have two crates in the kitchen area, they go in and out as they wish. Seagull in particular, he finds the crate is his comfort zone.