Welcome to The OBay Shelties blog! Our blog is an honest diary of our life with our dogs along with news from Obay shelties around the world.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Lots of agility

We had a great visit with Johanna this weekend. Johanna came over from Denmark to do an Agility training day for the Sheltie club. Our first international trainer! It is always good to have Johanna over, as she is usually full of good ideas for training! Of course, we don't only love her for her agility! She is a great friend too!

But we put her to work and kept her busy all weekend. On Saturday, we gathered at Sue's sand school. I am going to be teaching a new puppy agility class there in December and this was a good chance to get all the students together. Since Johanna has just recently done a good puppy class in Denmark, I asked her to help my class get started. She gave them some things to work on for the next few weeks and this should help get all the students and dogs on equal footing when the class starts. Luckily all the dogs are around the same age and it seems to be a well matched class. It is hard when the students are all at different levels.

I think (hope) she got across to them about how important it is to have a motivated dog BEFORE they actually get on equipment. Finding out what motivates YOUR dog is key to making training fun for both handler and dog. Anyway, I am looking forward to starting this puppy class in December and watching the dogs progress. I have high hopes for all of them!

In the afternoon, we got a few friends together to run some interesting (evil!) agility courses set up by Johanna. I basically just wanted her to set a good European-type course to test us. We get used to running the same type of courses and it is fun to see a different twist on things. As usual, Johanna thought she was the energizer bunny and wanted to work us until it was dark! We had to drag her away from the agility equipment and take her home to feed her! I was pleased with Hex, she worked well and because she is so motivated, I can concentrate on my handling which, of course, needs work!

Isn't this photo adorable! This is little Dylan (Sarah and Leslie's baby) going for his first "pony" ride on the tolerant golden retriever Archie. Sarah and Leslie are both competing for the first time at Olympia this year. Hmmm, husband and wife competing in the same class.....and they are not competitive at all (hehehe)..... But I am hoping they get 1st and 2nd and any order will do!

Saturday night we made a fantastic (if I say so myself!) roast beef dinner for Johanna, Lisa and Tony. Complete with Roast potatoes, yorkshire pudding, red cabbage (homemade following my mom's recipe) AND PUMPKIN PIE! I carefully carried canned pumpkin pie mix and a graham cracker crust all the way from New York on the last visit. YUMMY!

Sunday was the Sheltie agility training. I didn't participate but acted as Johanna's chauffeur and just enjoyed watching. It is funny how shelties can be so different in attitude, size and drive. They are such a difficult breed at times! But Johanna knows shelties and I think that helped. She really got the handlers running and working and again, kept going until we turned the lights out on her! HAHA. She really worked the handlers and they looked exhausted but happy at the end.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

ESSC Champ Show and the Working Sheltie

The Working Section of the English Sheltie club was started many years ago (30?) by Rosemary Seys. Rosemary was at the show today, signing her new little book called "The History of the Working Shetland Sheepdog: The Marriage of Brains and Beauty". Rosemary has such a great spirit and knowledge of the working sheltie. At 90+ years young, Rosemary looks great and she just wrote a book! I can only hope that I will be so strong in mind and body at 90 years old! Rosemary has a passion for the working sheltie. I think you need passion for something (anything!) to keep fit mentally and physically. Hey, I would be 30 pounds heavier and a huge couch potato if it wasn't for agility!

This is a photo of Rosemary, Hex and I. Not the best photo of Hex, but Rosemary looked great and she was worried she doesn't photograph well!

Hex had her obedience debut today at the show. I like to support the Sheltie club and enter someone in obedience, whether they are ready or not. As usual, when I entered this show 2 months ago, I had great intentions of actually training Hex in obedience. But trips to the US, weddings, breedings and life seemed happen and thus, no training for Hex! So last week, Hex and I worked intensively (ok, well not really, maybe 5 minutes 2x per day) on teaching her heelwork and polishing up the retrieve and recall. Then, at the show, I realized we have never actually done sit/down stays in a group! Talk about being prepared... NOT!

Well, bless her, little Hex pulled it off. She won 2nd place in beginners, only 1/2 point behind first place. She did a perfect retrieve, really flashy but not very accurate heelwork and perfect sit/down stays. Not bad for her first time in a ring and the first time doing obedience in public. She lives up to her Ms. Perfect name again.......What a blast she is to train, she makes it easy for me. My wicked wicked little Hex. Here is a photo of her with her trophy (ignore the funny shade of her eyes, the flash does that).

This may be the extent of Hex's obedience career, as she soon turns 18 months and her agility debut is coming up next month. Agility will soon take over and I am not sure we have it in us to train obedience so seriously. It takes dedication to train and fuss about each step of heelwork. I think agility will soon again take preference. But, hey, we can always end her obedience career/ debut on a high note!

We also went confidently (haha) into the breed ring with Hob-b. Adorable Hob-b is not looking her best right now as she has gone into her first big shed and looks quite hairless. This is why I haven't posted any new photos of Hob-b recently! But, again, it was the sheltie show and I also like the judge. He is very knowledgeable and I respect his opinion. Hob-b showed lovely and I was proud of her for our first time together in the breed ring. She ended up with 4th place in maiden bitch out of 23 entered in her class. I would have liked to have shown a beautifully coated up Hob-b and seen if we could have done better. Maybe not, but I can dream! My dogs look so different from the "English type" shelties, that I am always happy just not to get thrown out the ring! I think I have higher expectations with Hob-b though, as she is the least "american" looking of all my dogs. Time will tell if she is competitive at all.

These are some photos Dennis took while we were in the breed ring. Hob-b is so little you can hardly see her!

No matter what ribbons or trophies we won or didn't win today, I still left the show with the best dogs in my car! And the husband driving isn't bad either!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Spoiled Old Shelties

I confess we spoil Joy. She turns 14 1/2 on the 4th November. (this photo is of her on her 10th birthday when I thought she looked her most beautiful). Joy used to be an ace obedience dog and had pretty good house manners. Now...This morning, as has become usual, I let her beg and bark at me to lick the oatmeal bowl! She deserves to spend the next few years totally and utterly spoiled.

Many friends have lost their oldies this year. Brandi, Sally, Timmy were all special shelties who have passed away in the last few months. Each time I hear the sad news, I hold Joy close and cry into her neck. She bears with it in her special Joy way and then when I put her down she barks at me to feed her! My Joy has never been the cuddly type, she was more of a working "let's get down to business" girl! She doesn't need the mushy sentimental stuff, she has never once doubted, from the time she was born into my hands, that she is loved.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Puppy Fever

This is a silly photo of Hex and Zen doing their "shame on you" trick. How cute are they?

Zen continues to grow big and I am having visions of a large litter of Zen-like puppies taking over the house! Zen was the most perfect puppy (almost as perfect as Hex) so I can't wait. :-)

I am in MY nesting phase and most breeders will understand what I mean....I have cleaned the house, organized things that needed organizing and dusted off the whelping box! The whelping box is in our living room next to a nice comfy couch and the TV. At least something to do while we wait and worry. So we are getting prepared for the big day and, ironically, Bonfire Night (5th November) is Zen's first due date. Luckily no big fireworks displays will be going on near us and we do not have too many close neighbors. Even better, the closest neighbors have decided to cancel their display this year. That was a big relief but we still may have to deal with some fireworks from across the road. I can only hope Zen is not bothered too much.

I have pulled out all the books to have on hands, as well as all my puppy notes from the past 15 years of breeding. It helps to look back and see what I had written during each whelping. It is something I was taught to do from very experienced breeders and I am glad I listened. When you only breed once every 2 years or so, it is amazing what you forget! I also picked up some new books. They are "Canine Reproduction and Whelping" and "Puppy Intensive Care" by Myra Savant-Harris R.N. They look to be very detailed and I am looking forward to reading thru them over the next week.

We are starting to think of names and maybe going with a theme based on Tazz's registered name (Toven Catch Me If You Can). So far I have come up with these possibilities:

OBay Caught Ur Attention
OBay Caught U Looking
OBay Caught U By Surprise
OBay Caught Speeding
OBay Caught Red Handed
OBay Caught In The Act
OBay Catch A Wave
OBay Catch a Rising Star

Any other suggestions greatly appreciated! I would also like the call names to have "Z" for the first letter. Zest, Zing, Zip, Zoom (Johanna wants that one saved for her!) Zowee ect. I cannot figure out a way to combine the registered names with the call names though. Oh well, all this may change by tomorrow!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Goodbye to Timmy

BIS/BISS Am/Can Ch. Toven Wintertide, Can CD, ROMC

I was just writing this week about a special sheltie named Timmy. Timmy has made a great impact on our breeding program here at OBay Shelties. Sadly Toni Mapes has lost her best friend today as she held Timmy in her arms and let him go to a better place.
Timmy was 12 1/2 years old.

Timmy was a gorgeous blue boy who had an incredible show career. But he was not only a show dog; he was an obedience dog, a beloved family pet, a fantastic stud dog and a ball-catcher extraordinaire. We are grateful to have Timmy in the pedigrees of many of our shelties.
Our sympathies go out to Toni and Steven Mapes of Toven Shelties.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Puppies and World Champs!

We just got back from the wedding in New York. The bride was gorgeous and the weather was perfect! What's this got to do with dogs? Well nothing really..But if I have to make it dog-related, I am lucky that most of my family (even the in-laws) are doggie crazy! Dennis' sister has 5 dogs, my sister has 5 dogs and so I am not alone in my craziness!

The good news is that after one week away from home, it is obvious that Zen is pregnant! I can't tell if it is a small litter or a big litter, but at least there are puppies! Hurrah! Now we wait and worry and pray for healthy pups and healthy Zen.

The World Agility Championships are over. Suzanne and Unique had some fantastic results. A second place in small individual Agility is awesome! Unfortunately faults in the jumping put them out of a medal, but still that is a great result! Plus two fast clears in the team runs. 3 clear fast runs out of 4, not too shabby! Now how to convince Suzanne to try out again next year????

As an interesting fact, Unique's granddad (Ch. Toven Wintertide aka Timmy) had both a grandson (Unique) and a daughter (Sydney-running in small team for the usa) at the World Champs this year. In addition Zen ran last year and Tazz ran two years ago, so that gives Timmy one daughter and three grandkids that have run at the World Agility Championships! For three different countries! How's that for consistancy?!