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, April 30, 2007

Moan and complain!

Ohhh darn! Zen came in season today! Her pups turn 6 months old anyday now so it is not unexpected.... The good news is that her next season should be after the World Championships in September and the Sheltie International Agility Show in October. The bad news is that we are going to miss TWO championship shows in the next two weeks that we have already entered and PAID for. Arghhhhhhh!

It would be so much easier to have a spayed bitch!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Happy 4th Birthday to a great litter!

30 April 2007

From left to right in a photo taken Sunday at the English Shetland Sheepdog Agility show:
  • OBay Truly Taking A Chance "Timmy"
  • Ag. Ch. OBay Truly Balanced "Zen"
  • OBay Truly Lucky "Lucky"
  • OBay Truly Focused "Chi"

Happy Birthday also to Ag. Ch. OBay Truly Unique "Unique" who is in Denmark. And OBay Truly Daniels Dream "Bailey". We missed you two!

I cannot say this was the BEST litter produced here at OBay.....I think some people would argue that point! hehehe And I have been lucky so far in that almost all our litters have had special dogs in them! BUT how special was this litter which includes my girlie Zen? Really truly special! All from True's first litter here in England. Thanks again Truly mom. And, of course, not forgetting our little stud man and father Monty. Monty you did good!

I am so grateful for this litter. It gave me Zen but it also gave me great new friends added to our extended OBay family. We love you all and thank you for giving these pups such great homes for the past 4 years.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Puppy sitting

I spend Tuesday night and wednesday puppy sitting at Lesley O's place. The pups are only one week old so there is really not much to do. I got the easy job. Lyn and Les are watching the pups when they are around 5-6 weeks old. HAHAHA Little do they know!

I was planning on attending the Susan Garrett jumping seminar on Tuesday. But whent the alarm clock went off at 4:30 am I just couldn't do it. The thought of driving 3 hours at that time of the morning by myself was not attractive at that point. Plus I would have had to leave early to get to Lesley's by 5. It just seemed like too much for one day and a recipe for disaster with me tired in the car. I know I will be kicking myself that I missed it but hopefully she will be back.

Lesley's house is surrounded by nothing but fields. My idea of heaven. Dogs can bark and no one can hear or complain. But.....that little guard dog rottie of hers....Bling barked the whole night! Little witch! But I must admit she is awfully cute and I could see myself with a dog like that. Just watch out anybody who tells me I cannot park where I want when I have a butch dog like Bling! hehehe

Beanie is the perfect mother very attentive and sensible; so I had lots of time to do some writing, reading and paperwork. Even better I had time to take Hex and Zen for nice long walks in the fields. It is great to be able to just walk out the door and walk anywhere. We did little bits of agility but not too much.

In the afternoon I took Zen for her swimming appointment at the Doggie Pool down the road from Lesley. This is her 5th time swimming there and although she tolerates it she does not love it as much as Hex does. They suggested I bring Hex in to help Zen get more relaxed which was really nice. I just adore Hex she is up for anything. I popped her in the pool and she swam around, grabbed a toy and proceeded to do laps around the pool. Zen looked at her like she was crazy but started swimming with a little more enthusiasm!

This pool is raised above ground which Hex first found confusing. The pool that Hex learned to swim in is set in the ground so that she can dive in and out on her own. Yesterday after I took Hex out of the pool to give her a rest; she ran around looking to see how to get back in. She realized there was no ramp, so she put her feet up and looked over the top. Once she realized it was above her head she took a flying leap, perched on edge and decided that was the way to get in! That's my Hex always gettting what she wants!

How can I not post some puppy photos? Here are two of the three black and white pups. Nine pupppies total! Damn Lesley is lucky!

And one of the 6 red and white puppies. Awww!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Agility shows, ranting and puppies

Last weekend I took Zen and Hex to a KC agility show. At the last minute the club put out a desperate request for helpers. So I offered my help even though I do not know anyone in this club. I don't mind helping if I can as long as my dogs don't get left alone too long. I enjoy meeting people at different rings and placing names to faces.

Anyway I got to the Wallingford show and was directed where to park in a special helpers area. I put the car along the edge of a fence right next to a row of parked workers cars. I got out started to set up my reflective sheets ( it was going to be a hot day) and was ready to go walk my first course which happened to be team. By the way, please remind me not to organize teams again! haha Way too stressful!

So being slightly occupied the next thing I know, one of the club members come running at me and starts yelling at me from across the way "ARE YOU BLIND?!!" I had no idea what she was talking about, like... WTF ....(see I have been hanging around Lisa too much and now type in funny text speak)... how is that a way to speak to someone you do not even know? She then tells me in an really patronizing tone that I SHOULD have seen the words painted in the grass along the road. It was written "Zoe". Well, excuse me, I was parking next to other people and didn't feel the need to look in the grass for names! Either way, all it required was a polite "Sorry you cannot park there it is reserved for so and so". At that point I really just wanted to get back in my car and leave. Added to the stress of trying to organize a team it was not a good start to the day!

I think I handled it all right. I didn't get too pissy with her although I was "thundering wild" as Sue likes to say. I think I asked her for her name hahaha. Like what was that going to do? It was all I could think of at that point other than saying to her that I was really glad I offered to help her club! I moved the car and ran off to walk the team event. Very confusing event when you have to try and replace team members. Next time I will know that we need to fill in reserve members on the entry form. I must admit I did rant and rave for about 1 hour afterwards about this lady as anyone that was in my vicinity will testify to! hehehe And I still remember her name!

My two teams did not place but it was fun running anyway once the organizing bit was over with. The medium team was an awesome team and could have definitely smoked the competition if we had all clears! But that is the fun of running with fast dogs, anything can happen! The small team was pretty darn good too but 2 mistakes (one by me and Hex!) put us out of contention.

The rest of the show was good. The weather was darn near perfect, sunny yet breezy. I worked on one of the rings for the entire morning and enjoyed it. My favorite dog's name for the day was a little yorkie called "Dinky Doughnut". Is that too cute? This little yorkie was super fast with a good handler. It will be a team to watch out for. Hex and Zen both did well. Hex came home with two 1sts and one 2nd place. Zen came home with a 2nd and a 3rd. The 2nd place was on an agility course that I was not sure we could run clear in. I liked the course as it had some handling in it and I was able to try out some moves that I have been working on. Zen was out of 1st place by 7/100 of a second behind a super fast border collie, so I was well chuffed!

I went for a lesson with Lesley O on friday and did some good work with Hex. I also got to see Beanie's (4th in the world agility championships 2006!) NINE puppies. They looked really good and healthy at only 3 days old. She had 7 bitch puppies and 2 boys. Some were red/whites and some black/whites. I love watching puppies grow up and see how they develop even when they are not mine. I am going over to Lesleys tonight to watch the pups while Lesley is away in Ireland for the day. It will be a good chance to get some cute puppy photos! I will bring Zen and Hex and have a chance to train some tomorrow on Lesleys equipment.

I had to show you all this photo I took today. Hex actually sits at the window in the living room and looks adoringly out at the agility equipment. She can sit there for quite a long time!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hex's new Bling-Bling wardrobe

Like any posh girl Hex has to have a special wardrobe. She just got her new Bling collar and she wore it for the first time at the agility show this weekend. We have gone thru ALOT of collars for Hex. At first I got her a nice red Bling Collar but it was not right for her. Then I tried a nice pink Bling collar and that was not right either. None of them really suited her. In reality there is only one color for Hex...BLACK! So we tried an inexpensive black rhinestone collar. It was OK but it just did not suit her either. Finally we found the perfect agility collar for her at Pet Needs. It is a lovely black leather with swarovski crystal and has a matching lead. She looks great in it!

I spoke with the guy who makes the collars and explained that I wanted a flat tag rivetted onto the collar. In agility they are allowed to wear collars but cannot have dangley (is that a word?) tags attached. The flat rivet-on tag has our mobile number engraved on it in case of emergency. It makes me feel better having a phone number on the dogs collars. Having done sheltie rescue for so long makes me aware of just how often shelties can get lost. A lost sheltie goes into a panic and can run for miles. Collars with tags are the one way you are almost sure to get your dog back if it is found. Microchips only work if the person knows to get the dog scanned. Luckily most people will check a collar for a tag and call if your dog is found.

Hex does have her special collar and lead given to her by Dennis. Her Harley Davidson "Bad to the Bone" lead and collar will be saved for a special occasion. Maybe her first trip to the World Team tryouts or The World Agility Championships?

Hex at UKA Prested Hall Essex

We went to to Wallingford KC show on Saturday. It was a good show in most ways but I will talk about that one later! Plus we went to a Susan Garrett seminar last week AND we saw Beanie's NINE puppies on Friday. Cool! I will give more details later.

On Sunday we went to the UKA show in Essex. It was a really small show but in a nice location and very relaxed. We had some mixed results but overall a good day. Here are some of Hex's runs. She runs funny over the UKA heights which are just under 2" lower (12") than KC heights (14"). She does these funny little bunny jumps instead of extending out. I guess she feels she doesn't need to put as much effort into it! Now if I want to try out for the IFCS world team (thru UKA) I have to move her up to the 16" class. That would be about 2" higher than she jumps in KC. I am not sure if I will do this mostly because I don't think she would be competitive at that height against dogs the size of Zen and larger. We will see; first we need to get her up to the champ level at UKA and that seems to be taking forever.

Hex is running to Dennis' choice of music which is most befitting to my little wicked witch!

Monday, April 16, 2007

UKA this weekend at Just Minis Agility Club

Hex, Zen and I went to the Just Minis UKA show this weekend. I got a funny reaction when I first got there. When I got out of the car and walked to the rings people kept asking me "WHY was I there?" haha I tried not to take it too personally! Well... the reason is that although there was also a KC show this weekend, it was miles away. So I decided to stay local and support the Just Minis club. Plus I do like the UKA shows because, at the higher levels, I am finding the courses just that little more difficult and challenging.

And this is what we need! I don't need to run straight up and down courses that some judges put up to be "nice". It has nothing to do with running clear or not or winning or not. It is because I need to work on difficult sequences to see if we can do them! And if we cannot do them...well we need to go home and work on them! I can bitch and moan with the best of them when I walk a course but it is because I like to psych myself up and not take the course for granted. The more I worry about a certain section of a course, the harder I work on handling it! This is why I am always the last person left walking the course until they kick me off. HA!

The Just Minis show was really nice as it was small and compact! Since we had 8 runs each day (4 with each dog) it was nice to have the car parked close and not have to walk miles back and forth to get the dogs before each run. The weather was HOT HOT HOT! Gosh I certainly don't miss that hot weather that we used to always train and run in back in New York. YUCK! I will take good ole rainy cool England for agility anytime! Give me the wind of Newbury and the cold rain at Ardingly over the hot humid sunny weather of the Tri-state NY/NJ/PA anytime! And don't remind me I said that when I am moaning about the rain at our next agility trial...

We had some really good courses to run this weekend. I loved the two jumping courses that we had on Sunday. They were really difficult! Yeah! Hex and I almost got thru the senior jumping but I had a brain freeze at a certain section. Hex is running so FAST lately that I have no time to think. Hurrah! But I was pleased with her run and was able to go back and rework that section and did eventually get it right. (too bad we can't have do-overs). Zen ran the champ jumping under the same judge. It was very similar to the senior course. She ran great and we ran clear with first place. I HAD to do a few front crosses on that course. They don't come naturally to me; I would rather handle her from behind. But these courses needed a few front crosses. They weren't perfect but we did them.

The only course that I said "No" to was the last steeplechase course of the weekend. It was HOT by that time and I was tired. The course was HUGE and involved two straight side by side tunnels and uphill straight line finishes. No thanks! Not for me! If only I could have brought in a subsitute long legged fast running man (hey dennis) to run for me! So Lisa and I left on a good note and went home for a BBQ!

As for results....

  • Zen finished her UKA Championship and Win Championship. Titles are CAP and WCAP. They somehow don't carry the excitement of her KC Agility Championship but, hey, a championship is a championship!

  • Zen, Hex and Chi all won their respective Royal Canin Agility qualifier classes. It was the same course for each level. Chi and Zen and Hex were all tenths of seconds apart in times. Chi was the fastest of them all! Go Chi, the stud man!

  • Although she isn't running her OBay sheltie yet (well Todd is only 4 months old!) Karen won TWO of her Royal Canin Agility qualifiers. She won both with her little poodle and with her BC. We mention her on this blog because she is a Budding OBay Sheltie handler.(note new term "BOSH") hahaha And we can mention her husband Chris, who won HIS Royal Canin agility qualifier because he is the husband of a Budding OBay Sheltie Handler.

  • Hex also moved up from Novice on Saturday to Senior on Sunday. She ran really well all weekend. But not as good as Zen who ran 3 out of 4 clears on Saturday and 3 out of 3 on Sunday. Go Zen!

  • Lisa had a good weekend also. Billy ran one run in senior jumping and ran clear. This moved him up to the Champ level which was Lisa's goal for him. Go Billy! OK he is not an OBay sheltie but we call him an honorary OBay. Well more often we call him Billy the Bastard but that is another story..... Lisa also ran Chi and they had some great runs and I think won two classes each day.

We arrived home early on Sunday and were able to sit out and enjoy the nice evening on the deck. Dennis and Tony barbequed for us and we had a relaxing evening. Oh and I got to drink some yummy Toasted Almond mixed drinks in my new 1st place UKA glasses! Much better than spending hours driving home from Shuttleworth show....now you see why I didn't go to Shuttleworth??

And to end this very long post...look what Dennis worked on for me this weekend!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

More Zen runs from Easter Celebration

Dennis videoed a few more of Zen's runs at Easter Celebration and I love the song he chose for them. What an appropriate song for an agility team. I hope I always DO praise Zen like I should, she deseverves it!

She was a star also this weekend at the UKA Just Minis show. But more about that later! Right now it is time to BBQ and relax.

Friday, April 13, 2007

OBay Shelties at Easter Celebration Agility Show

Zen, Chi, Hex and Timmy (all are True pups) running the same agility course at the Easter Celebration Agility Show. I love to watch all of them run!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Horses, Eggs and Caravans

What we do on Easter...to my father's horror it wasn't going to church......sorry Dad!

One of the best things I like about agility in the UK is the camping. It is so nice to set up the caravan and "garden" and have all the comforts of home. Of course this weekend it helped that the weather was glorious!

The dogs become very relaxed and comfortable. I think we all perform better at the shows where we camp. We can easily bring all the dogs and get a chance to take them out for socialization and walks. I think Pax and Jordan especially enjoy getting out since they don't compete anymore.

We got to the showgrounds on Friday and had time to set up and relax before the agility show on Saturday and Sunday. Even better we stayed until Monday so no rush to break down the caravan and leave Sunday night. We had a nice time camping next to Andy and Nancy and little Kizzy. It is nice to sit around after the show and chat while drinking and eating. What could be better? Talking dogs and agility and a nice glass or two of red wine! I had a chance to groom Kizzy's ears and spend some time with her. We let Zen and Kizzy play together. Zen isn't so impressed with her children at this moment but she did allow Kizzy near her and let her run around while playing ball.

On Monday (which was a holiday in England) there was a Horse parade. They had fantastic horses and carriages/carts all going by our caravan! We had front row seats. You can see that Hob-b was interested yet not worried in the least. She is such a sweetie and is fun to take anywhere.

Here are some photos of the horses.

At the end of the weekend we had lots of ribbons and crystal. Even better we won Chocolate easter eggs! Zen is wondering....if she did the winning......why doesn't she get the chocolate?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter eggs!

Just a quick post to catch up on this weekend. I will post more details tomorrow when I can sit down and type type type!

Good things:

  • Nicky and Indy went Advanced! (grade 7!) I am so proud of them.

  • One of Monty's pups in Denmark (Sunny) won a Best of Breed at 12 month old! Beauty and Brains!

  • Zen had 6 runs this weekend and went clean in everyone! 100 % clear runs! She won me 4 easter eggs (we got huge chocolate easter eggs for every 1st, 2nd or 3rd place. Zen won 2 first places, 2 second places, 1 fourth place and 1 sixth place. I was so pleased as there was some great competition on the medium classes this weekend. Her three Crufts team-mates were all there competing and they are all so very very good! So I felt great accomplishment to place well in that league of competitors.

  • Hex was WICKED GOOD! Not as consistant as Zen, but only due to some minor errors. She ran 3 clears out of 6 and all three were FIRST PLACES! (and three easter eggs) Again she was running against some super dogs and I was so pleased to see how she compared against the big guns.

  • We camped at the show and had a great time seeing Marion and Tim and catching up with Andy and Nancy. Dennis BBQ'd all weekend and relaxed which he needed.

  • Dennis took loads of photos of both our dogs and other dogs. I need to go thru them and figure out whose dogs they are! Some of the photos are breathtaking.

  • I got to see Zen's babies Zoe and Kizzy! AND Hob-b's baby boy Todd.

Bad things:

  • Lian's little sheltie Titan was injured. Fingers crossed he will be ok.
  • Coming home to find a large bird got into the house thru the chimney! Bird poop and broken items all over the dining room and hallway. How does one clean bird poop off the carpet? Arghhhhhh! And sadly a dead bird at the end of it all.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Our sweet Yogi

They say bad news comes in threes. I only hope that this is it for awhile now, I cannot take the heartache.

My good friend Ann Marie (in NY) just found out that her young Golden Retriever has a brain tumor. Yogi is such a sweet boy and Ann Marie does not deserve this awful news. Ann Marie is the type of person that would do anything for her dogs and she always takes their well being first. She would always be the first person to pull her dogs out of a show if she felt it was not right for them; she always put them first and I always admired her for that. Why then does she have the devastation of twice losing her goldens as young dogs? Life is just not fair.

They are hoping to keep Yogi comfortable on medication for as long as he is happy. Ann Marie says he doesn't seem to be in any pain right now, Thank God for that. I think the ones in the most pain will be Ann Marie and Norman. I only pray that when the time comes that Ann Marie and Norman know they are doing the best thing for Yogi. He has had a great life.

I am so sad that I will probably never see Yogi again. I am glad that I saw him when I was home last year. Yogi has a lovely way of "chirping" when he greets his friends. I cannot think of Yogi without seeing him greet me at Ann Marie's front door with his stuffed duck in his mouth and all the while chirping away.

I had such fun helping Ann Marie train Yogi in agility. He had such potential and was a fun dog to train; he was always keen to do agility! Unfortunately he was one of those "gotta knock just one bar down" dogs! Although Ann Marie always kept things in perspective and still had fun with him. In looking back, who really cares if they knock one bar? They had fun and they were together.

Hug your dogs close and enjoy every minute training them. Keep things in perspective. Train your dogs to win but be happy with them no matter what. They are not around long enough.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

OBay Family Videos

Since we had 4 OBay shelties competing at Downland on Sunday I thought we would do a little video collage. Zen, Chi and Timmy were all running the same Grade 6,7 jumping course but at different heights. Hex ran the Grade 3-5 jumping course in the same ring. But they all run so similar and with such power that I thought we would put them all together on the same video.

We are off to the Easter Celebration Agility show on Friday. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we will get lots of new photos and videos. We are taking the caravan out again this weekend and look forward to relaxing in it after the show each day.

Enjoy the latest OBay production!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Cannot wait for the Small Olympia Agility Semi-Finals!

This past weekend was another fabulous one for the OBay Shelties in agility. Zen and Hex were super on Saturday; coming home with lots of 1st place rosettes and just generally being fun to run. It was a long day as the small dogs had their first run at 9am and then their last three runs at around 5pm (all at the same time of course!) So I was glad to also have Zen to run in the medium classes as that kept us busy in between. The weather was strange; very windy and sudden bursts of heavy rain in between sunshine. Luckily the judges removed the dogwalk for the last few classes as the small dogs would have blown right off. I had decided not to run even Zen in the last agility classes until I saw they were removing the dogwalk. No class and no show is worth risking my dog getting injured. Without the dogwalk we were able to enjoy the rest of the show and our last few classes. My thanks to both judges who made that decision. It was a nice show but way too long.

But really the most exciting thing happened on Sunday at Downlands Agility Show. It was the second small KC Olympia qualifier of the year. The first qualifier was won by Hex's brother Indy back in January. There are 10 qualifiers during the year and the first and second place dogs go thru to the semi-finals. At Downland we had another Obay sheltie sweep! Hex won the class and her uncle Timmy (Zen's litter brother) came in second! This makes three OBay Shelties that will be competing at the semi-finals in the summer. Wow......could all three make it to Olympia 2007? As a breeder, I am allowed to hope and dream aren't I?

I did not get this run on video. I was waiting for Lisa to show up at the show and video us as my running order was towards the end of the class with 105 entered. But at some point, after watching about 30 dogs run, the queue was down to only a few dogs and they needed dogs. I just had the URGE to run and couldn't wait any longer! So I got Hex, warmed her up and ran! I was glad to have seen Peggy and Timmy run as they put in a super fast round. It made me realize that I had to go for it. After Hex ran I checked the times and saw that we just pushed Timmy into second place by about 4/10 of a second. Ooops....now I had to watch the rest of the class run and hope that no-one came between us or ahead of me! I would have felt bad if Timmy got pushed to third and just missed out on qualifying! A little bit of luck came into it as many of the faster dogs kept making mistakes. Whew..... and then I watched a fast little poodle go around and got a bit worried. That dog looked like it was flying. Again, a bit of luck, as she was just 1/10 second behind Timmy. Hurrah!

I have got some of our jumping runs from Sunday on video and will post later in the week.

Bits and pieces

Dennis has been trying to improve his photography as well as learn how to use Adobe Photoshop. It is amazing what he can do with photos with that program; never believe what you see in photos I can tell you!

So Dennis wanted to work on the best way to take weave pole photos in preparation for this weekend at Easter Celebration Agility show. So we took 11 year old Jordan out for a turn. Cute Jordan hasn't done weave poles in 6 years! Once she realized I wanted her to weave (well she is deaf!) she tried her best. It was sort of hit or miss; more like weave two miss one but cute nevertheless.

Johanna sent me this photo of one of Monty's puppies in Denmark. He is so similar to Monty and just gorgeous. I am waiting for more photos as there were a few pups from that litter at that agility show.

While looking for those photos above I found this photo of one of our earlier Christmas' together. It was when we still did Christmas cards! We have been lax about that lately. This is probably from 1992 or 1993. The dogs from left to right are Tess, Joy, Noel and Holly. Tess used to HATE having her photos taken and would look very pitiful when you pointed a camera at her. It is also proof that I REALLY REALLY LOVE SABLE SHELTIES! haha

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Hex's winning ways

Hex and I have had three really good agility weekends. I don't want to brag too much but she is just so good! She really tries hard on every run and although she doesn't have as much ground speed as some of the small dogs, she is efficient and consistant and getting faster every weekend.

Chippenham was a great start to Hex's first season in agility. She moved up to Class 6 by winning the Open Agility with an entry of around 165 dogs. And it was made even better by the fact that the 2nd place dog was her own brother Indy! How nice of Nicky to give us this one for a change!

Anyway, to catch up on Hex's videos here is a collage of some of her runs from two weekends ago at Chippenham. I will hold off on our really really good news about this weekend until the next post! Enjoy this video.