I just don't know where to begin to update my blog. I have been SOooo busy in the last few months. The weather has been awful up here, we had too much snow! Not that I am complaining as I rather enjoyed walking the dogs in the snow, they are much cleaner that way :) but on the other hand, farmers are suffering with their live stock being left outside in the fields. We sadly lost a few in this terrible cold snowy weather.
The lambing started early March, just before the puppies flew their nest. After that, we had a few solid weeks of lambing! This is my first year helping to lamb and I am loving the experienced. I was amazed by the new born lamb. I am so used to whelping puppies and seeing a new born lamb stand up, walking towards their mums finding teats and happily suckling in just a few minutes old was purely amazing! At that moment, life is good!
Again, I am so used to whelping puppies, watching the lamb grows is another new chapter add to my knowledge. We also have some "care" lambs that taken away from the ewes who are not capable of looking after them. Every feeding time was fun, some just suck the bottle naturally and some needs a bit of help but all in all, watching how they progress is satisfying. Those little lambs are so friendly as well. Lambs are not like shelties, they grow big too quickly!
Watching them skipping, jumping up and down the hay is so much fun. Now that the weather warm up, they are out in the field grazing and learning from their mums. These little ones get to see the shelties very often, especially Sonic, they actually come up to the fence to greet him whenever he is out and about. They even kissing each other over the fence!
We have quite a few of these "cow" lamb that I really like. They are cross breed. I call them "BC" lol
This is my little BC with his mum. He is such a good little lamb, always follow his mum around and she is a very good mum to him as well.
The weather was awful that we have to turn one of the machinery barns to keep the young lamb in for a while. These little lambs love playing around the old tractor.
and some strong and older ones have to stay out in the snow :(
You can see "BC" is my favourite :) I guess he unusual marking makes all the difference.
typical lamb, too cute!
I love this one's marking too and he is a very happy chappie. He spent most of the time skipping around.
mummy and baby
this is a premature new born
This is Boy Badge, he has like Badger marking. His mum is a white sheep but his aunt looks just like him. Sadly we lost him last week. Not sure how and where! He was in the field with the others but we can't find him. There is nothing to be trace so we don't think Mr Fox has got him, we can only guess he was stolen! Nature is very cruel sometimes!
This is me sledging when we had the 2nd heavy snow.
During this busy lambing time, Sizzle and I went away to Spain to compete in the IFCS. We were very honour to be invited to join Team UK. We only have a couple of months to prepare for the trip. Colin couldn't take time off, so he can't join us. This is the first time that I go away to do a big event without him and to be quite honest, I am not used to it. I am so pampered to have him with me with almost every shows I went to. I wouldn't be able to drive there by myself and all the other team-mates already fixed up. The only option was to fly out there. After much research, we planned to fly from Gatwick to Barcelona, that way, Sizzle is flying in the same flight but in the hold with me. Unfortunately, our Spain trip was a disaster and eventful.
We flew out there on Tuesday early morning and arrived in Barcelona about 10:30am their local time. After picking up my rental car (they gave me a posh new sporty looking Audi!), I drove to the airport cargo to collect Sizzle. With me not speaking Spanish and the Spanish don't speak English, everything was extra difficult! I was driving around the cargo area trying to locate Sizzle and no one send me the right way. After landing 4 hours, me in tears and trying to ring the UK flight carriage to find where my poor Sizzle is, I was then sent to the cargo port (different name on the paper I have!). After another 40 minutes of the slow moving Spanish, I finally got my release document to collect Sizzle from the warehouse! My poor poor Sizzle was stuck in the IATA box for more than 10 hours already! He was stressed and so do I. I just can't stop crying. Actually I cried all the way driving from Barcelona to the hotel in Girona!
Well, driving on the wrong side of the road is bad enough and now I have to get used to driving on the wrong side of the car. I constantly looking for the gear box on my left! But, we safely arrived at the hotel. Phew! We stayed in the ibis budget, I was disappointed with the service of the hotel. I emailed them to ask if I can leave Sizzle's raw diet in their fridge/freezer for the week I stay with them and the answer is NO. I was worried that the new diet I am going to feed Sizzle will upset his stomach and I was right. Eventhough I have been trying to wean him off the raw diet and switch to the new diet 2-3 weeks before and he still has diarrhea :( I have to put him back to the raw diet 2 days before travel as I can't have him diarrhea while traveling. Surely that was bad enough as the whole week we were in Spain, he was sick and diarrhea. Friday and Saturday were the worst two days. He was violently sick and constantly need to go toilet. We only did three runs for the entire journey. The USDAA on Thursday and the first Jumping run on Friday. On the USDAA, he was on snail pace which worried me a lot but he brighten up on Friday morning, we were the first one in the ring, that leave me to no choice. Just as we entered into the warm up area, he threw up. He actually did a nice round in the Jumping but got eliminated towards the 3rd from last jump! I didn't turn my shoulder enough so he took the wrong jump but I was very happy.
Sadly, Team UK didn't have a good start of the competition. After the Jumping round, one of our team-mate when to the parking and came back to alarm us that the GB cars got targeted. ALL the GB cars tyres got punctured! Not just that the air been released but the tyres were push through with some sharp object. One of our cars got all four tyres down and the replacement cost 2000 euros! All the others either got 2 tyres down or 1 tyre down but still a lot of replacement. Apart from Team UK, some of the Dutch cars got the same disaster as us. The competition was put on hold for 5 hours to discuss the criminal. Police and the local Mayor were involved!
By the time we ran again, it was 2pm. Sizzle was beside himself in the Agility round. I have not known Sizzle being like this, he was out of focus, kept going under the warm up jump. In the actual run, he was looking miserable and he snail through the weave and pop out to walk up to the judge. I just couldn't get him round the course at all :( It was very sad and frustrated. When we came off the ring, he was looking very pale and he spent an hour toileting! From then on, I've decided to scratch off his run, I felt terrible to let the Team down but I know he wasn't right.
I have no idea what causing Sizzle's performance. He obviously been diarrhea since Thursday. I've also think that he missed his daddy a lot. Everytime I mentioned about daddy and Saturn, Sonic, Sing ... he went crazy. He never is an interdependent dog. He loves to be with the pack. I have been thinking hard since I came home from Spain. I have noticed that everytime when he is on his own doing agility, his performance was not so good, meaning, he was slow and un-motivated. If Colin is with us or one of the other dog, he is totally a different dog. They don't have to be there watching but if he knew they are in the car/caravan, he is different. I know this entire Spain trip was full of stressed. He must be so scared to fly in the hold and then got left for more than 10 hours, plus the upset tummy ... etc.
I know I spent more then £2000 on this trip (Sizzle's flight cost £1050 alone!) but what more important is to bring my dog home safely. Yes, I was gutted not to be able to compete but my immediate instinct is not to run an ill dog.
I was disappointed with this competition, I don't think it was well organised at all. First of all, I dislike the surface. It's kinda rough and sharp sand, I know I am spoilt with the good indoor surface we have in the UK. The other thing is they sometimes forgot to lower the A Frame for the lower height class and the European tyre! Also, we struggled with the extra long tunnel as well. In the first 2 days of the competition, our dogs seem to take forever to come out from the tunnel, hence our timing was wrong. The big one took longer to come out and the little ones took forever!
The real disappointment was that in the venue, they actually allow puppy farming! There is a stall that have 4 big blue container filled with sawdust and puppies! They have pedigree and mixed breeds for sale! How disgusting! It is very sad to see this happen in a big International event!
Apart from all the bad things, I was very happy to make some new friends, they came to help me and Sizzle when I was so helpless sitting in the corner, they made me feel comfortable and support me throughout the tough time I had. Thank You very much, you know who you are!
I can't wait to get home, the 7 days passed like 7 years! The minute I was landed at Gatwick, I was so relief. Collecting Sizzle was no problem at all. By the time I got there (40 min after landed), he was out of his IATA box and in the big kennel area where he can stretch his legs and toilet. What a difference!
Sizzle has since been rested, we have not done any shows since home but he is looking very happy at the moment and his blood test result came back all normal, there is nothing I have to worry he has picked up during the trip.
We are now back to our normal life and the weather is getting drier and warmer :) We are spending lots of time outdoor doing little things. Oh, I can spend a little time on the computer each day now as well :)