Monday, December 31, 2012

Here to a bright and a brand NEW YEAR!

2012 is a mixed year for us ...

In January, Sizzle was injured during Club training. An old heavy wooden jump landed on his right shoulder and sadly, he is never the same again. His Agility career is up and down since! He was rested most of the year to recover and get better. His only big event in 2012 was represent Team England to compete at WAO in Belgium. Without much training, but with trust in each other, we made the dream comes true. He was fantastic little boy, with our Team physio Tace Allen's warming him up for me at each run by the ring side, he worked his sock off all weekend. We had some very good runs and a couple of unfortunate runs to cost us the podium placing but I love this boy so very much. He is my little ray of sunshine. Having him around is a true blessing!

Sizzle @ WAO May 2012 Belgium 

Sizzle has acupuncture and physio every now and then to help maintain physical condition. Finger crossed he will be sound again to hit the ring again in 2013.

The other bad news was that Colin got made redundant earlier in 2012; that was a big hit and we tried to readjust our lifestyle; this means cutting down dog training and dog shows! I was "lost" for a while as I was trying so hard to get Sonic ready to compete at 16 months at UKA and 18 months at KC. I kinda given up Agility and didn't bother to train my poor puppy anymore for a long time. 

Sonic competing at UKA

Poor Sonic actually started to compete when he was old enough but his career isn't smooth like Sizzle. We hit a lot of bumpy roads and curves and we both learned along the way. Part of me was sad that being such a good puppy, he should have done better if we have better training and training facilities. Another part of me was very glad that he is still in the lower grade to gain more experienced. He needed some foundation!

Then, in the middle of everything, we decided it's time to leave London and find our dream home. As Colin decided he is retiring, we don't have to restrict ourselves to the South East areas only, that gave us better choice. We even considered moving up to Scotland as I loved my little (too short!) holiday last August. Everything was beautiful up in Scotland, the scenery, the people ... what a lovely place to live in. 

On holiday in Scotland, August 2011

We keep searching and keep searching ... we knew our dream home will come ... one day. It was a tough and stressed few months driving up and down the country looking for the right home. A lot to consider and a lot to give and take ... On my and Saturn's birthday this year, we drove up to Windy Ridge to have a second viewing and came back to London to finalise our thought. 

me and Saturn on our Birthday visiting our dream home

I know I am a country girl and I know the shelties will love all the space they could have, herding sheep, running around being a real country dog! Colin and I set our heart on this amazing view surrounding the farmhouse, what else can you ask for? We are some lucky person that could live up to our dream. I always believe in working hard, never give up and all your dreams will come true ... eventually. 

the country boys

We moved in to Windy Ridge Farm at the end of September, I sacrificed the WAO Spain 2013 tryout but I never regret. You only live once! Colin and I and the shelties are so happy to be able to live in this beautiful countryside. Plenty of fresh air and plenty of land for the shelties to run around safely, I don't have to worry about any of them being attack by some stupid owners' dogs!

Things are just getting better ... Sipzie has her first litter by Sing in late August. Although she scanned for 6 puppies but only 4 were born and we sadly lost two after a very difficult labour. We were very pleased with  Rona and Fat Boy Chessie. They are so precious to us and to their owners. 

Fat Boy Chessie and Rona having fun in the garden

Other puppy news, we have Sing's tri colour son Flint staying with us for a little while and he is now loved and trained by Kay. 

Flint being Flint!

And my bi-black dream puppy Sen came from Czech Republic to join the family in October ....

Seny, taken at 6 months

The KNIGHTs Shelties posing for Halloween 2012

Other exciting puppy news ... Sonic will be a daddy for the first time! Mama Sunny is expecting some puppies from anytime now! Fingers and paws crossed for the safe arrival of some pitty patty paws ...

Other additions to The KNIGHTs Family are ...

 some chicken

and a miniature Shetland Pony, still can't decide his name yet!

Agility news ... we went to Adams Agility show yesterday. Unfortunately, we didn't have a good end to the Agility year. First of all, I did't receive my running order so I have to print it off from the Internet (luckily, the show organiser has post the ring plan and running order on the forum); secondly, I was too busy doing my morning farm chaos before leaving to the show, I forgot my jacket and video camera! I was freezing cold with a thin fleece (it was only 4c!) standing outside! When we got to the venue around 8:15am (I didn't have the first class in the morning so I can be a bit casual with time but judging didn't start until 8:30am), there were nobody to guide us where to park the car and I saw many cars already park by the entrance and I just followed the car pulling up before us. It was miles walking up to the rings. I then decided I will take the risk/luck to find a parking closer. I drove the car up to the carpark and they were all full up. I was driving round and round ... and decided I can squeeze between a van and small car! Trust my driving/parking skill. I am pretty good at it! I have to say I wasn't too happy then! The outside jumping rings were tiny, they squeezed 3 rings in such a small area and the courses were so tight that one jump is on top of the other! Oh, the worst thing is, there is NO weave! I was truly disappointed! All my shelties need proving on weave and we haven't got much chance this winter to do weave in a competition environment! I was cold and grumpy and my brain turned mushy. You won't believe that I walked the wrong course! I walked a course that I wasn't even running in it! And I also forgot to walk Sonic's Jumping course! I was really crossed with myself. You guess it, all my 4 runs with Sonic were rubbish! The only one that we ran clear is the Combined 1-7 Jumping, Bless him, he got a 6th place in that. There were about 80+ dogs and there were some really good Grade 7 dogs, I was really proud that he even get a placing. It wasn't an easy course at all. It required layering and a lot of pull through! Sipzie also ran clear in her Combined 4-7 Jumping, got placed 4th. It was an extremely tight course. I was so afraid that I am going to knock the jump wing down as I have no room to run! I've only did one run with Sizzle as he wasn't jumping very well. I can see he isn't lifting his back end easily, I've decided I will scratch his other run. Although he ran clear in the Agility but I am not sure if we got a place as I really don't want to stay any longer!

Here are some videos taken with my iPhone, you have to excuse Colin as he is not good at it :), he missed most a few of my runs as well :(

Sipzie's Combined 4-7 Jumping, placed 4th:

Sipzie's Graded 4-7 Agility. She got called on the A Frame. I was very happy with her run although her Dog Walk can be much better but I am not complaining as she has a bad couple of weeks just leaping off the contact. I am very please with her "so called stop contact". We can make that better, I hope! Just need a lot more practicing!

This is Sonic's Combined 1-7 Jumping. I think this is a very tough course for a baby dog. I can't do the layering of #3 to #4 as I have never taught him "layering", so I have to take the risk of him taking #7. He was rather a good boy, being responsive but Gosh, can he bark! I've never have a sheltie that bark all the way around a course :D and we managed 2 pull through easily. WooHoo!!

This is Sonic's Graded 1-4 Agility, his other Agility run which is not video is very similar (a bit of reverse of this course). You can see we will have a lot of winter training on straight tunnel :) he is not looking for the next obstacle yet and we still have problem when there is an angle jump too! He is too busy barking! Bad puppy LOL

And this is Sizzle's only run in Graded 4-7 Agility: 

Hopefully we will have a better Agility year in 2013!
I am going to sit down and have a good think about our New Year Resolutions. For now, I wish all my blogging friends a Bright and Successful 2013!


Christine said...

Happy New Year :-)

corbinwooten said...

Happy New Year to you! Sounds like you have really been blessed this year despite a few frustrations.

Sara said...

What a year!

Here's to a good 2013!

Anonymous said...

And off course 2012 was the year of App!! Hope to see you in 2013 again :)

Vonnie said...

An eventful year with a happy ending :)