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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Agility....getting the training edge..Johanna's Way

Johanna just keeps developing cutting edge agility training techniques. She is known internationally for her innovative training and cannot keep up with requests for seminars.

Now we see why.....

Oh... poor Spooky! Those Danish people are crazy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Snow in Denmark

Johanna sent these photos today. I guess the snow is better than the mud we have! But it puts a damper on agility training. Well it would for normal people.....

Johanna likes to worry me with crazy talk about teaching One a running Aframe. (crazy blasphemous talk!) This must be her patented technique. Now we all know! How is she going to charge loads of money for seminars, DVDs and books if she keeps giving all her secrets away?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tough days but getting better

It has been a sad few days realizing that Joy is gone forever. Each day it gets easier and it helps to remember all the good days we had with her. She had such a full life and gave me so much happiness. I will never forget all our trips to Bermuda, our trips to Canada or even just our trips upstate New York to run around together trying to learn how to herd sheep. Joy must have travelled more than most people! I think she had taken around 10 or more plane flights in her life.

I have been so blessed by having so many good friends to help me thru this. For many people, when they lose a pet, their grieving is brushed off by well-intentioned people. It is "just" a dog or you can get another ect ect. Or even if they are sympathetic, they cannot understand just how deep the loss is. When you work and train a dog, they become your friend, your team-mate, your family. The connection is so deep; you just understand each other. I always felt that I could read Joy's mind and she could definitely read mine.

Thank you to all my friends and family who have reached out to us.

  • Dennis who sat down for hours and put together the slide show of Joy's photos. I don't know how he did it thru all his tears.

  • Lisa and Tony who got us out over the weekend on nice long walks to the pub with the dogs. Keeping us from sitting around the house being sad.

  • Diane G. and Ann H. who somehow knew in advance that I needed a boost. And sent me a goodie bag from Rhode Island which made me laugh on a really tough day. I don't know how Diane and I (who only see each other once every few years!) can be so in touch in an almost psychic way.

  • My "new" friends, Andy and Nancy and Lian who touchingly sent us flowers to cheer us up. That was so sweet and meant alot.

  • My "old" friend Eleanor who is donating a trophy at the ASSA sheltie national in memory of Joy. You are just so thoughtful.

  • All my friends who have called or just written an email to sympathise and to share a memory they had of Joy. That means so much.

The dynamics of the dogs in the household has changed a little. They all seem a bit on edge and clingy. I wonder what they know and what they are feeling? Is it just a shift in the pack dynamics or is it something deeper? Or is that just me putting my feelings on them? Pax has never been apart from her mom, Joy since she was born. Yet, she seems to be the least effected. Was it is because we let her be in the room with Joy at the end?

We must have a million photos of Joy. She was so photogenic and just seemed to pose for hours. Most of them are "real" photos ( from the days before digital) and most are back in New York. I look forward to being able to go thru those photos on my next trip home to New York.

This photo was Joy on her 10th birthday. It is my most favorite photo of her in England.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


OBay Joy to the World

4 May 1992 - 16 Feb 2007

We had to say Goodbye to Joy last night. It has been one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Joy has been with me for almost 15 years. Right from the time she was born into my hands, she has never been far from my side. She was a dog in a million, always eager and always fun. She was the dog of my heart.

Yesterday, I laid her out on the deck in the sun and she fell asleep there. She still looked beautiful. But I knew it was time to let her go, she was in so much pain. Thankfully the vet came to the house and Joy was able to leave us peacefully with both Dennis and I holding her. Her daughter Pax was also there with us.

All her obedience, breed, herding and agility titles mean nothing compared to the love she gave us. She was so beautiful and so smart. All my dogs forever will be compared to her.
Goodbye little Joy.

Goodbye to Joy

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Joy Update and Fat Boy is in his new home

It has been a tough few days (and long nights). Joy has been quite ill and we really thought we were going to lose her. Somehow it is worse when you are dealing with a dog so full of life as Joy is. To see her lying flat out and unresponsive is so scary. Thanks to everyone who has called or written to see how Joy is doing.

She began with vomitting and diarrhea late monday afternoon. By Monday night she got worse aand quickly became very lethargic and disoriented. I lay on the floor with her all night on Monday and we took her to the vet on Tuesday. The vet wanted to keep her at the clinic, but we refused. They thought she was in liver failure and the prognosis was not good. The last thing I wanted was for her to die in the vet's office alone. So after some injections (antibiotic, anti-vomiting and something to bring her fever down) we took her home. She was still very poorly all Tuesday and Tuesday night. Dennis stayed downstairs with her most of Tuesday night.

This morning she actually looked a little brighter. Instead of lying on her side with her head down, she was lying on her stomach and able to hold her head up. We took her to the vet again today and they repeated the injections and also added some sub-cutaneous fluids to help boost her up. She cannot seem to keep any fluids down; when I syringe water into her mouth, she vomits it up within 5 minutes. Now the vet thinks that maybe she ate something that triggered this event. That could be likely as Joy was in the back garden for quite awhile and she will eat anything.

Anyway, that is where we are at now. Joy will be 15 in May but she has never seemed old. I am certainly not ready for her to go yet and I don't think she is ready to leave us. We will try all we can to keep her around, but know that we will not let her suffer if this goes on. Please pray that she comes out of this and we don't need to make any tough decisions.

Here is a photo of Joy taken in August at the KC International Agility Festival. As you can see in the background, Joy was "the face" of all the signs and posters at this show!

Now onto the happier news! Fat Boy (now and forever to be known as Todd!) was due to go into his new home tomorrow. But I asked Karen to come and get him today as Joy is taking all our energy. Poor Todd has not gotten much attention these past two days. He is so energetic and when we would take him out, he would do laps around the living room! He needed to go where he could get more attention.

It is both a sad and happy day when a puppy leaves. Todd was such an easy puppy (other than his birth which made him my most expensive puppy!) so it was especially sad to see him go. But singleton puppies are like that. You give all your attention to just one puppy, so you get very attached to them.

Todd has gone into a great home with a few border collies and one little poodle. Karen, his new owner, mostly does agility. Luckily, she also works from home where she helps run a dog supply company (www.doggiesolutions.co.uk) so Todd will get loads of attention. We look forward to watching Todd grow up and hopefully he will make Karen very happy!

I forgot to take a photo of Karen and Todd together (maybe Karen will send me one?) but did get new photos of Todd before he left. He shows alot of potential in many ways. He is a beautiful boy, very bright and bold. I cannot wait to repeat this breeding next year and maybe get a sable girl for myself!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fat Boy at 8 weeks

It has been a tough night as Joy has been ill. I was up with her all night; it is so hard to see her like that. We have an appointment with the vet this afternoon. I do not want them keeping her there, as at her age she deserves to be at home until the end. I am hoping they can make her comfortable so we can bring her home.

In order not to sit staring at Joy all day, I went outside and I tried to get some photos of Hob-b and Fat Boy together. It is Fat Boy's 8 week birthday today. He is due to go into his new home on Thursday.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Surfer Todd (aka Fat Boy)

Yesterday we went to see Mary Ray do one of her dog training Cabaret Nights in Worthing. The highlight for me was seeing Mary work with Zen's puppy Oz. (previously known as Pickle!) Mary has such a way with the dogs, she makes it look easy.

Anyway, I will take more about Mary and Oz, hopefully with some videos, in a day or two. But I was inspired to go home and work with Fat Boy (who will soon be known as Todd or "OBay One Helluva Charmer") Fat Boy is now 7 1/2 weeks old and I hope you enjoy his first music video!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sheltie Snow Day 2007

We woke up to snow this morning. Not a over-the- top New York type snow storm but a polite English snow storm! The dogs enjoyed it and it was nice that they could run around without getting muddy! These photos are not the greatest but give a general idea of the fun they all had. I stayed inside while taking the photos!

Joy will be 15 years old in 3 months. She is still gorgeous.

Since she used to live in Idaho I think Hob-b is the most used to snow!

I love how they take the obstacles as they are running. I missed so many shots of Zen, Hex and Hob-b leaping over snow covered jumps. I wish I was a better photographer.

The snow will probably be melted by this afternoon. Good things as we have lots to do today. We have a nice agility girl coming to be bred to Timmy this weekend. Fingers crossed as this will be the first breeding for the both of them. Hopefully we will have good news in a few weeks.

This evening I am going to see Mary Ray at one of her Doggie Cabaret Nights. She does demos with her dogs and discusses dog training in general. It is a really fun night. She has started to use little Oz as a demonstration dog and at only 14 weeks old he is already wowing the audiences! This will be the first time I have seen him since he left at 8 weeks old. Gosh how I miss those little black hooligans.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

This is too funny when put to music

Fat Boy Updates

Fat Boy turned 7 weeks old today. He weighs 4 lbs 2 ounces which is a nice safe weight for his age. I think that he will neither be too small or too big... but just right!

Yesterday he took a car ride with me down to Suzuki get my car timing belt replaced and a full service and oil change. While the car was being worked on we went to visit with Sonia and Bob and their shelties. Fat Boy made himself at home and charged around the house playing with all the dog toys. He seemed very comfortable there and even Sam (who doesn't like puppies) tolerated him. FatBoy is very respectful about adult dogs.....it must have something to do with being raised with Joy, Pax and Hex the evil bitches! Those three don't put up with any puppy foolishness!

Today we had big plans to go into our local town of Billingshurst and walk around. These plans were ruined when my NEWLY SERVICED car started to act up only 1 mile from home. The car made some funny noises, seemed to run sluggish and then the smell of burning filled the car! A little scarey so I pulled over and called Dennis. I made a call to Suzuki to get my car picked up (which they may or may not pay as they say it may not be related to their servicing. ARGHHH Yeah right!!) and then Dennis picked me and Fat boy up on the road. After we drove Dennis back to work, Fat boy and I took his car to our local Tescos. There I walked Fat Boy up and down and let him watch the world go by. They are doing some building work next to Tesco, so there was lots of noise for him to hear. He watched (and chased) the shopping trollies and said Hello to some people. We played little games with bits of paper flying by and then a little game of tuggy with his rope bone.

Tonight we went over to Lisa and Tonys to do the first part of the Puppy Temperment test. Fat Boy tested well and I have no concerns about his temperment. Basically the test is just to evaluate how the puppy reacts in a new situation with a person other than their breeder. Fat boy was very social and not fazed by the new place. He has a lovely natural retrieve and does not seem to be sight or sound sensitive at this point.

I thought I would share these cute photos of Fat Boy playing with the umbrella (part of the test to see how they react to being startled by an umbrella opening near them). As you can see he was not really bothered by it! Ha ha

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Zen at C-side agility show

Here is the Zenny Zenster at the show today. Thanks to Lian for videoing for us. This is Zen's first run since August due to her maternity leave! She is looking so small with no coat! It was a simple course but she attacked it with her usual Zen style. First place out of 25 medium dogs.

Hex at today's agility show to music!

Today we went to an unaffiliated (non-kennel club) agility show. I am going to try to put some videos on the blog. First starting with little wicked Hex. We are just starting out in her agility career but she is already so much fun to run. I am looking forward to our first season together starting in March. The runs are far from perfect (of course her PERFECT run was her jumpers run which wasn't videoed!) but I was so happy with her attitude and effort.

I was suprised at her hesitation at the bottom of the first dog walk (first run of the day) as she usually is fast to the bottom. But it does show that she needs some proofing. I also misread which way she would turn at the end of the second run but that is both our faults. She ended up in first place in both starters agility and jumping out of 63 small dogs. Not too shabby.