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, May 30, 2007

Photos of MACH 2 Presto

Here is a slideshow of photos of Presto (Jordan's little boy) done by his owner Eleanor. I have to say I am glad I didn't go to Supadogs today as it is raining hard! Time to catch up on things around the house and on the computer!

View this slideshow created at One True Media
Presto running agility 5/11/2007

Ups and downs and queuing in agility

Last Saturday began the week-long agility event called Supadogs. I was pretty down on Saturday after a fight with jet-lagged hubby on Friday and then a 5 minute walk back and forth to the day parking at the show on Saturday. I was just about ready to pack it up and go home! Added to the stress I had offered to help and ended up as a "caller" for a ring. Remind me never to do that job again! I think every person running in agility should have to work at every job at least once. Then they can understand WHY things are done as they are.

At a show like Supadogs with such distances from parking and camping to the rings it is really hard to tell someone they cannot queue. But when the queue is 12-25 dogs long is it right to let people queue up when they are not really due to run? What does that mean then for the people who are scheduled to run, show up at the correct time and then still have to wait 30 minutes standing in line? It was such a tough call as I really sympathized with the people who had just walked miles only to find out that it was not their running orders yet. I felt like a mean person! Should I have just let anyone run in any order?

The excuses I got for running out of order were funny at times. Almost all centered around the fact that they did not want to walk back to their car or camping. While I fully understood their dilemma; did they not realize that everyone had this problem? As usual I got one or two really grumpy and down right rude people. I was proud of myself though and just ignored them and didn't stoop to their low level. For the most part people, after their initial begging, were understanding.

Anyway no more calling for me! I will stick to judging, scribing, pads or poles! :-)

So obviously we had no luck at the first day of Supadogs in our own runs. Some close calls with Hex who was an absolute star but we just had some minor errors. Zen was the worst I have even seen her and I had to carry her out of the ring at one point! I have never ever had to do that with Zen before and hope to never have to do that again. She usually tries so hard for me and I do not know what went wrong that day.

BUT there was some really positive great news from the first day at Supadogs! Two of Zen's brothers had some fabulous runs and results:

  • Bailey (Obay Truly Daniel's Dream) run and trained by 9 year old Daniel had his first ever 1st place!! Since Saturday he has put in quite a few clear rounds during supadogs week and has had even more placements not only in his junior classes but also in regular classes competing against the adults! This is really a special achievement as his mom, Linda, runs and organizes the Supadogs show. At such a huge event Linda is busy 24/7 and how wonderful for her to be able to award her own son a First prize! She was starting to choke up when reading out his results and I, of course, started crying also! Daniel and Bailey have such a special relationship. I have been promised photos and also have a video from later on in the week.

  • Lucky (OBay Truly Lucky) started later in agility as he was focusing mainly on obedience. Recently he has started to be trained in agility by a young handler named Catherine. They have only been working together for around 2 months. Catherine is running Lucky this week at Supadogs and on the first day he won his jumping class! Lucky is a powerful dog and when he gets it right he will do fabulous and Catherine is just the right handler for him. He has had another clear (2nd place) and few near misses during the rest of the week but is getting great experience and now Catherine knows what he needs to work on.

So I was grateful to Lucky and Bailey (and Catherine and Daniel) for improving my outlook on Saturday! Sunday and the rest of the week at Supadogs turned out to be much much better! More news to come.....

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Yoga today

Bridge, Reverse triangle, swordsman and fig tree. Those are the only ones I can remember today!

I was so tempted to skip yoga this morning and was feeling lazy. When it is over I am always glad that I went; I just have to get my enthusiasm up to get there. What I do for dog agility is mind boggling! Unfortunately it still doesn't help me run faster....

Supadogs Agility Week starts on Saturday. We are not camping (obviously as we have no caravan!) but I am planning on going Saturday, Monday, Tues and Wed. I have my fingers and toes crossed that Hex can win 4 classes this week and move up to Advanced. It will be tough as Supadogs usually attracts EVERYONE! We will do our best!

Good news on the caravan front. The insurance has gone thru and we can order a new caravan. They promised us that we will have it on the Thursday before Thames. So hopefully we will get it home, load it up and head out to Newbury on that Friday morning. The following week we are off with the new caravan for our holiday up to Scotland. No rain please!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Eastbourne show

Yesterday I took Zen and Pax to the Eastbourne show. We went there rather than BATS because it is much closer. It was a nice show with only 2 rings! Fantastic! Such a nice change from these huge 12 ring shows. It was nice to just sit ringside and watch some runs. Unfortunately it was quite windy and that got annoying after awhile and finally had to go sit in the car to get out of the wind. Luckily it wasn't a strong wind and it didn't affect the dogs.

Zen was running nicely after coming back from being in season. Hex has to stay home for another week and will be back out at Supadogs. I can't wait to start running her again. The courses were definitely geared towards easy at this show. I do wish judges would learn how to set simple courses without putting straight lines in. I know that many people would like courses with small challenges even at the lower grades. Give them something to do rather than run in straight lines up and down the ring. And that doesn't mean pull-thrus!

My medium and small classes were geared correctly for the lower grades (small and medium classes were open or Grade 1-7 so it had to be simple courses) but that doesn't mean that we necessarily run clear on them. haha

In Zen's jumping she ran lovely but after the collapsed tunnel she did something weird and actually ran BETWEEN 13 and 14. If I had tried to do that I couldn't have as the gap was pretty darn small! Oh well no clear in that class. Zen did win the pay-on the day jumping which was also pretty simple except for a three jump pull thru which she handled well. She also won the agility which was a very simple course but involved a 5 JUMP sprint down the long side of the ring (in a very BIG ring) at the end. I think these judges are out to kill me.
Here is a rough draft of the jumping course.

I am not sure why I entered Pax except that I knew it was a small local show. She was glad to be out running but I still think I am going to restrict her only to jumping from now on. She fell off the dog walk yesterday and that really worries me. I do not think it was the wind but a combination of her just not getting alot of training, losing her balance and a bit of the wind. It is quite a long way down from our dogwalks and she hit with a thud. She got up and shook herself off and seems fine; but she will be 11 in September and I want her sound in her old age. I have been lucky in that she has not had any lameness in her entire life and never had any agility-related injuries. Joy was the same way and she was sound and agile up until she left us this year. I don't know if it was genetics or just my being careful with them but I want the same for Pax. So no more agility classes for her and only the occasional jumping classes to keep us both happy. It was nice to have her out around the rings and playing with her; she is such a fun dog.
Today no agility for us. Hopefully a nice long walk with the dogs and I think the sun is shining. Hurrah!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bitches in Season

This is the first time I have had so many intact bitches at once. It is got me thinking about bitches in season competing in agility.

I can understand not letting bitches in season compete at every show; but it is really necessary to stop them from competing at major finals and championship classes? They do allow bitches in seaons at the World Agility Championships. I wonder if it is worth putting forward a proposal for the same in England for major competitions. (Olympia and Crufts)? How can someone who wants to breed from bitches who compete work this out? My options are:

  1. risk missing out on Crufts, Olympia, Championship classes ect.

  2. spay the bitches and not continue a line of working dogs

  3. Only breed from non-working bitches

  4. inject the bitches with hormones to delay the seasons.

Obviously I pick number 1 especially for bitches that I want to breed that year. I am unsure what to do about Hex. She will not be bred this year or even next but I am really concerned about the side effects of the hormone injections. I must talk more with people who have used them and then had succesful breedings. I will have to make a decision soon especially if she qualifies for Olympia this year.

I am always planning litters and puppies in my head. I saw a gorgeous tri sheltie boy 2 years ago at Clean Run Camp. and luckily he belonged to a good friend of mine. Jif comes from show breed lines but has some good working dogs in his pedigree. But the reason I liked him was that Jif himself is a super worker with intense drive and speed and had good structure and type. I also met his brother, Spooner, who was the same way. That really excited me as it shows that the drive is genetic not trained! Now Diane just sent me this link to a video of the third brother in that litter. Wow! Now I am even more determined to breed Hex to Jif. It will, of course, produce another ALL BLACK litter! hahaha I am doomed! Check out the video of Jif's brother Seeker in Round 5 of the USA World Team Tryouts .


Here are some photos of Jif. The funny thing is that I first met Diane back in 1994 or 1995 at the Boston ASSA sheltie national when I saw and liked another one of her male shelties called Teller (Ch. Aylmere Premonition). I ended up breeding Joy to him and that produced my soul-mate Pax. So maybe it is fate that I have fell in love with Jif. Or maybe we just have similar tastes in shelties! haha

Dennis is off golfing in France for two days, the lucky boy. He deserves a little break as he has been stressed about work lately. I have been doing too much gardening (Who needs trees they take up room and I always need more room for agility equipment) and have been very achy yesterday and today. Yoga this morning helped a little. We did:

  • Open and closed sitting spinal twists
  • Rocking horse.
  • Warrior and Archer
  • swordsman
  • Fig tree

Now my instructor is about 70 years old and can do everything! What's my excuse?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Beacon Grade1-5 jumping course

We may have cracked it! Hope you can view this course. It wasn't as easy as just saving it as a jpeg or bmp because the CRCD wouldn't let me do that. Maybe because it is the older program? Anyhoo....we had to actually copy it and open it up in another program (we used Paint) and then paste and save as a jpeg. I have to thank my wonderful marvellous genius of a husband for figuring it out. Yes....he made me say that!
I do not think I quite have the exact spacing correct and I have to work that out as sometimes I design a course and then it just doesn't fit as I expect. It may be my lack of "spatial awareness" as Lisa likes to tease me about. The same reason I sometimes run into agility obstacles and knock them over or trip over my own feet! HA!
The course did run well and I liked it better than some of the straight up and down courses I sometimes see at the lower levels. The dogs that won had more independent weave pole entries which shaved time off of their runs because they didn't need to push the dogs forward and waste time. There were almost no dogs eliminated by going into the tunnel after 5/9 or by going in the wrong tunnel entrance. The majority of eliminations were from lack of start line stays and dogs blasting over #5 instead of turning right to #3. And the majority of 5 faults were due to knocked bars and incorrect weave entries. I should have written down the numbers of clears, faults and eliminations as well as winning times but the weather was so bad I didn't have the ambition. I just wanted to get back on the road for the 3 hour drive home!
No more judging for me this year as I want to concentrate on Hex and Zen and getting ready for the try-outs. I have printed out some of the USA world team tryout courses and am going to set some of them up. I would think that they put sequences in that they felt were representative of what they will see in Norway.

Congratulations PRESTO!

Congratulations to Presto on his MACH 2!

Congratulations to Eleanor and Presto on Presto's second Master Agility Championship!

Presto is now MACH2 O'Bay Dunstnburgh Rapid Tempo. I do not think Presto cares if he is Mach 1, 2 or 100 he just loves to do agility! Presto is one of the special ones; he inherited Jordan's sweet temperment which also makes him a great therapy dog as well as a fantastic agility dog. What a good boy! Rock on Presto!

how do I post agility courses on the blog?

I'd like to start posting some courses and sequences on the blog to discuss. Any clever people out there that can tell me how? I have the old clean run course designer. I am sure it has something to do with saving it as a jpeg....but I opened my course up and there doesn't seem to be that option.

Judging yesterday at Beacon was good . Unfortunately no one else should ever ask me to judge again as I think it always rains when I judge! I seriously (except for the Sheltie of the year show which was indoors) think every show I judged at has been rained on. And not just light rain but heavy downpours! Lisa has this fancy long wax coat that has now been dubbed "the judging coat" as I think the only time it is worn is when I judge. I don't even think Lisa has ever worn it for judging as it doesn't rain when SHE judges.

Since my good rain hats were stolen along with the caravan I had to make do with an older wax hat. Not a great idea as 1/2 way thru the class it soaked thru and I had rain dripping down my face. I had to switch over to Dennis' hat and that just about lasted until my last few dogs. The long wax coat kept me pretty dry and warm but even that was starting to get soaked thru by around 2pm.

So I think I judged about 350 dogs yesterday. 268 in Grade 1-5 jumping and 80-ish in Grade 6-7 jumping. I was happy with both courses but especially the Grade 1-5 course. I still think the Grade 6-7 course was almost too easy but at that point it was so wet that it was probably for the best. Once I figure out how to post courses I will try and post them here.

I enjoyed watching the dogs weave yesterday. Since it was jumping classes I could just position myself on the side of the weaves and really watch the action close-up. The cool part is that, even though alot of dogs missed their entries, once they got in very few popped out. The weaving action of almost all the dogs, including the novice dogs, was phenomenal. I has some super gundogs in my novice class (pointers, German shorthair pointers and vislas) and they all had great weaving style.

Unfortunately I did not know most of the people in my classes as they were from UP north. So I don't know who won the classes or if some of the gundogs placed at all. I do know that in my 6-7 class the top two places were won by the same guy and the 3rd and 4th place was won by another guy. Isn't that strange that 1/2 was the same handler and 3/4 was the same handler. That is pretty consistent! I guess my courses suited those two at least!

Caravan news......Well hmmmm.....got a call on Friday that the caravan had been "found". Turns out it was being sold off some dodgy lot in Bedfordshire. Some guy went to see it and was interested in purchasing . So he took down the VIN number and checked it out with the caravan club and, of course, it came up as stolen. So they asked the guy where he saw it and told him it was stolen and not to go back to the lot. Now the insurance company "investigates" it and brings the police in on it too. The police do not go in as we would do in NY with sirens blazing and cops with guns descending on the place. No way.......they check the place out and decide it is too RISKY and DANGEROUS for the police to go in! So the police have to get "back up" and search warrants and by the time they go back on Sunday the caravan is no longer there. Arghhhh!

The positive news is that the insurance company has been good in keeping us informed so that makes us feel better. But they would not tell us where the caravan was nor does the police contact us at all. All in all a very frustrating experience and , if our caravan doesn't show up again, still no idea when we will be able to get a new caravan.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Now Hob-b makes three!

Ok I have heard that bitches in season will bring other bitches in but this is crazy! Now Hob-b is in season! Three bitches in season in one house! And Zen is the worst as she wants to hump everything in sight!

We went shopping today so I didn't feel sad about missing ANOTHER champ show with Zen. Retail therapy! I actually bought a dress; I am not sure why but it was pretty. I need a friend to have a proper English garden party as it would be a good dress for that. Any takers? A jug of Pimms and finger sandwiches would be perfect!

Tomorrow off up to Beacon DTC to judge. It is a 3 hour drive up so we have to be up at 4:20 am. Uggghh. Best laid plans and all that. We were originally going up on Friday, camping at the show, competing in Champs and then hanging out and relaxing to judge on Sunday. NOT! First Zen in season, then caravan stolen, then Hex in season....Now driving up just to judge. I better not get any complaints on my courses or I just might lose my temper! Hehehe Actually I am really hoping they enjoy the courses I made as I did test them out in my backgarden and feel pretty comfortable with them. Fingers crossed!

The USA has now picked their world agility championship team. It is really cool that another Long Island person has made the team again with her papillon. Congrats to Andrea and her little papillon Chase. I am now starting to get excited about our own GB tryouts and being able to try out with TWO dogs!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

mellowed out

I have thought about it during Yoga class this morning (when I was supposed to be emptying my thoughts instead of thinking) and have decided that I am now glad that Hex is not yet advanced. Well...not actually glad but more accepting.

Really she just turned 2 and has been competing in all of EIGHT Kennel club shows! What is my rush? We certainly have lots of training to do and stuff to work on. So no more moaning (well about that anyway!) and lots more training for me and the Hex-ster.

Now lets have no rain today so we can go out and train straight lines and pull-thrus and serpentines and push-thrus and contacts and dodgy weave entrances........HA!

I am sure to be sore later as we did the bridge, the dolphin, the frog, the warrior (my fav), the cat, the swaying palm tree and the dog in Yoga class. I am writing these down because the instructor will say things like "Ok we are going to do the Dolphin and you ALL remember how to do the dolphin, right?" And I am like looking around trying to copy what everyone else is doing because I have NO idea how to do the dolphin! But I hope that if I start writing them down in the blog I will start to actually remember. Or, at the very least, when Lisa says "what do you do in your yoga class?" I will actually know what to say.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Dennis should move out

Our house is way too full of female hormones! Hex came in season on Monday. Now I have two bitches in season which I guess is almost easier in some ways. We don't want to discuss what Zen and Hex have been doing to each other and poor Hob-b! Thank goodness I don't have anymore male dogs in the house.

So I am now missing MORE agility shows! And to make my moaning worse, our next show was to be Hex's first official Grade 6 class (where she can finally have her wins count towards Grade 7-advanced). She has been stuck in Grade 5 for the past two months. She has won 15 classes including 4 "intermediate" or "open" agility classes. So not only was she blocking lots of other Grade 5 dogs from moving up(and I did feel bad about that!) but if this was last year's rules she would already be advanced and able to compete at Championship classes.

I think I will be voting for allowing dogs to move-up up to 10 days before show date ! I hope it comes up this year for review with the Kennel club. This rule about not being able to move up if the show has already closed is crazy. I remember very well (not so long ago) how disappointed I was when I started out and Pax would get 2nd in starters to a dog that had already won out. So I can understand how people would be disappointed to get 2nd to a dog that could have easily moved up two months ago! I do realize how lucky I am to have such a special dog in Hex which is why I would love to see how she does in the upper classes not stuck doing courses that run up and down in straight lines.

Speaking of straight lines........what can my sweet Grade 6 Hex not do? FIVE straight jumps in a row! Hahaha Both jumping classes on Monday had 5 jumps straight down the long side of the ring (what is that 100 feet?) to finish. THAT she cannot do. SIGH. Guess what we are training this week once the rain stops? And for all you who say I should learn to run faster.....I say pssh

News from Denmark is that Monty has sired another litter of 5 this week. Yeah go Monty stud- man! In Denmark stud dogs are limited by KC law in the amount of litters they can sire in their lifetime. If I am not mistaken it is 25 litters for shelties. Monty is soon reaching that number so Johanna now has to start restricting his fun! I think Tazz is more than ready to take his place as the super stud dog!

Of course no news on the stolen caravan. Yet each day Dennis and I realize more and more things that were in it. I am hoping we have a new caravan in time for the Thames agility show; as that is the next one we planned to go camping. Yet I have a bad feeling that is being too optimistic!....

Bob (Lucky's human dad) is in the Brighton hospital. He had his surgery on his abdominal aorta today. I spoke to Sonia and he is out of surgery and all seemed to go well. If all goes to plan, he can be home by the weekend. Fingers crossed he is back home soon! And hopefuly Lucky will do what he can to help Bob's recovery. Even though Lucky can be quite strong, he is also so sensitive to Bob and Sonia and I can imagine he is missing Bob terribly. Get well soon Bob!!!
Here is a photo of Bob feeding Lucky birthday cake at Lucky's 1st birthday party. Do you think Lucky is spoiled or what? Ha!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hob-b and the Antique Motorcycle Show

So I didn't go to the UKA show on Sunday. I am glad I gave Hex the day off and did not push her. It is hard to miss a show but there is always another... On the plus side I almost have my full set of 1st place UKA wine glasses to replace the stolen caravan ones! Hex won one on Saturday and Nicky and Indy won so many on Saturday and sunday that they donated some to our cause! So maybe by the time we get a replacement caravan we can have a full set of UKA first place wine glasses to put in it.

Dennis and I went to the Antique Motorcycle show at the Amberely Working Museum. What does this have to do with shelties? Well,of course, we had to bring one along for the ride. And how cool is that being able to bring your dog to a museum? That would NOT be happening in New York!

Hob-b got to spend the day out with us. She doesn't get as much attention as Hex and Zen because I have not started any training with her. Yet she is so easy going and fun to take anywhere. This was a good opportunity just to get her out alone without the other dogs demanding our attention. And, when necessary, she is quite portable! They have a cute little steam train that goes around the museum and Hob-b was quite good sitting on my lap for the ride.

We just had to pose Hob-b in the phone booth that was in the communication section of the museum.

Just in case there are any motorcycle fans reading this....here are some motorcycle photos.

I liked the motorcycles with the side cars. Some of them were really interesting in how they had them decorated; many had the cute old straw baskets on the back. Perfect for a sunday afternoon out with a picnic lunch? You can just picture it.

The thing that I don't understand is why I could not pose Hob-b in the side cars of these old motorcycles? Dennis wouldn't even ask! What is the point of photos without a cute sheltie in it? Geesh!

Now I may have done a silly thing on saturday! I made a deal with Nicky and Indy. And considering Indy just about won EVERYTHING this weekend I think I may have to pay up eventually. I told Nicky that if Indy gets to the World Agility championships this year in Norway and wins 1st, 2nd or 3rd in individual she can have her next OBay sheltie for free! Uh-oh! There was a witness so I cannot back out. hahaha

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Dennis' agility debut

For the first time Dennis went into the agility ring! At the ESSC Working Section Agility show last week he ran Pax in the Helter Skelter. He was dissapointed that he didn't get a placement ribbon but he did get a clear round ribbon. Pax enjoyed herself and at 10 1/2 years old she still loves her agility.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hex's monster name and her 2nd Birthday!

Hitchhiker-Eating Xenomorph

Get Your Monster Name

I found this on another blog and it is way too funny. And amazing what can cheer me up! Try and put your own names in! Hex is as close to a wicked monster as you can get being born on 05/05/05. We are just lucky it wasn't 06/06/06 or could you imagine how evil she would be then? I do adore her and can't believe she turned TWO today! Happy birthday Hex,Indy and Max. Such a special litter to almost be born on Joy's birthday.

We spent yesterday looking at caravans and trying to remember what was in our caravan before it was stolen. I had just put my bag of rain gear in it and so there went my raincoat and rain trousers, goretex rain hat, scarves and gloves. But worse, the bag was something that was handpainted by a sheltie friend when I left New York. It had "OBay Shelties" handpainted on with a sable sheltie. Boo-hoo! I have had that bag for 6 years and loved it! One of a kind! And all my sheep fleeces that we put to cover the upholstery. I had some great stuff that had waterproof backing that was perfect in the caravan for those wet doggie feet AND it matched the caravan! AND my set of 6 UKA 1st place wineglasses that I was saving just for the caravan. Priceless stuff! HA!

The caravan that we had (2006 Sprite Alpine fixed bed 4 berth) has now been changed for 2007 and NOT for the better! So we are hoping to get a Bailey Ranger instead. It is the same price and the same layout as our Sprite. Fingers crossed that things don't take forever as we were looking forward to camping at Thames next and then Scotland. We were resigned to missing this weekend at UKA and Vyne and next weekend at Beacon; but really don't want to miss Thames and Scotland.

Today Hex and I went to the UKA show at Newbury. I probably should have stayed home as I was not really focused. Hex ran OK in the morning, but not as good as she could. In Steeplechase she knocked one bar and thus I am STILL stuck in Novice steeplechase forever. Moan moan moan.... In senior jumping she did nicely but not as fast as she could. But no problems as it was an OBay Sheltie sweep with Indy 1st and Hex 2nd. Hex did win 1st in the senior agility with a really good round.

In senior gamblers all was going smashing until Hex decided to cut in front of me and I stepped on her! Poor thing let out a scream and held her leg up. Oh shit! After she finished telling me off, I picked her up and checked her leg. She was fine but truly pissed off at me. I put her down and finished the last tunnel and jump and took her for a walk to cool her down. Popped some arnica in her mouth and after the walk let her rest. About an hour later took her out and she seemed fine but the poor thing had grass stains on her leg where I trod on her. I am going to rest her tomorrow and skip the show just to be sure. If she seems ok tomorrow I will do the Vyne KC show on Monday.

All in all a good OBay Sheltie birthday show! Indy won three of his classes! He is just on fire and running fantastic. Hex won her agility and 2nd in Jumping. And the biggest news.....tada..... In Denmark Johanna had a clear run with the One-derful One! Wahoo! One-bunny is a bit of a handful but with all the right attitude and speed; just always having something go wrong to prevent a clear. The boys sometimes mature slower and I think One is finally maturing. It might have something to do with the obedience he has been doing lately I think!

I saw Fat Boy Todd today. He is so cute! What a gorgeous boy he will be (if those darn ears stay tipped!) and so outgoing. Todd's "dad" owns a fancy sportscar called a Lotus. He kindly let me pose Hex in it for some photos. I think we definitely need to park the car in an open green field and do a proper OBay photo session and get a new potential calendar photo. Dennis will touch this photo up later but I thought I would post it now.

Since we are skipping the agility show tomorrow I will take Dennis to the Amberley Working Museum which has an Antique Motorcycle show on this weekend. We have been trying to go to this museum since we moved here and never had the chance.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Birthdays and goodbyes

Today would have been Joy's 15th birthday. So last night Dennis and I took all the dogs up to Bignor Hill and spread Joy's ashes. There is a lovely spot up there with a large open field and great 360 degree views. We spread her ashes in the same spot that we spread Noel's ashes a few years ago. This photo of Joy was taken at Bignor Hill in 2003 when she was 11.
This stone used to be at Bignor Hill. I remember when Dennis and I first saw it and we tried to figure out what it meant. I do not know why the stone was there and it is now gone. When I read it for the first time my heart broke for whoever put the stone there. The words are " You shall wake grown young with perfect sleep". It turns out to be from a sonnet by Belloc.
I can imagine Joy grown young again running thru those fields herding sheep as that was her favorite thing to do. The spot reminds me of where I used to take Joy herding upstate NY when was just a baby. We would train with Jackie and the farm was just beautiful. Although we did alot of herding and training; the real reason I went was just to enjoy watching the dogs run run run in open fields and countryside. This was something they did not often get the chance to do. This is the same reason why I now love England.

These are sheep at Bignor Hill. God help them with Joy loose and chasing them for all eternity. She did not quite understand the clear distinction between herding and chasing. Bless her!

So today Joy's littermates, Bell and Dash turn 15. Happy Birthday Bell and Dash! Eleanor sent me some photos of Dash taken this week. (ps eleanor who did his ears?! - see even at 15 years old I want to groom my puppies!) Eleanor says Dash is doing well; he is still always hungry as shelties tend to be and still enjoys being fussed over. A friend of Eleanor's brought a cake into dog class to celebrate Dash's birthday and he got to eat some icing. Dash was always a gentleman and quite the social butterfly so I am glad he got to spend some time being fussed over.

Yesterday we also said good-bye to our caravan. This was not planned and it was stolen right off of our front drive. I am remarkably calm about it and thank goodness for insurance. When I pulled up at the house and realized that the caravan was missing I just started to shake. All I could think about was the dogs in the house. Thank God the burglars just took the caravan and never went into the house with the dogs. Caravans are replaceable.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Good Bye to Yogi

Ann Marie and Norman made the decision to end Yogi's suffering last night.

Good bye sweet little Yogi. You were such a sweet golden boy and you have left us way too soon. I will miss you and your little chirps.

Please keep Ann Marie in your prayers this week. She will need all her strength to get thru this.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Weekend antics

We had a busy dog weekend. On Saturday was a nice local agility show. Haslemere is held at a garden center which is really pretty. You would think we would have all day to socialize and take photos at the garden center wouldn't you? Well no, as usual the day passes way too fast and we only get to chat to people in passing. I am glad we had Avril and Richard for dinner the night before as it is so nice to chat without having to keep an eye on the dogs and wondering if you are missing your runs.

Lisa judged all day and I scribed part of the day for her. Well I will certainly help at that show again! The judges and scribes got super lunches at the garden center and they had yummy pecan pie. My mom always made fantastic pecan pie and I have to admit that this was the first time I have had pecan pie almost as good as mom's! Plus the club also gave the scribes some cash and dog toys. Cool!

I was particularly glad to be back at that show as they had not had classes for smalls and mediums for the past 3-4 years. This was the first time back there for us in awhile. I think they had some teething problems as they didn't expect such large entries. But overall a good show for us with Hex going 100% clear again. Two runs and two first places for my wicked one. Zen did well also with one 1st place in agility. Which run was she eliminated in......Lisa's course! Figures the one course I should get right after watching 170 large dogs go round in the morning while scribing! Nah, I still got it wrong! I blame it on Lisa, yeah that is it, it is her fault! haha Oh and the trophies were great. They were silver photo frames engraved with "Haslemere Dog Training Club: 1st Place". Now I have to actually print some photos to put in them; something we rarely do these days with all the photos on the computer.

I was determined to get photos of the three Zen puppies that would be there on Saturday. They turn 6 months old this week so it was the perfect time for photos. Yeah right. ...Try and get three groups of people and three puppies together at one agility show. I was dreaming. But we will definitely blame it on Mary as they left the earliest. We went by the pedigree van to grab her for the group photo and she was already gone. Bummer!

But we did eventually get some photos of the pups, just not all together...

Here is Oz looking especially pleased with himself. I cannot figure who he looks like; he doesn't look like his Dad Tazz. I am wondering if he kinda looks like his grand-dad Monty.

And here is Mary demonstrating Oz's heelwork.

Here is Zen and little Zoe. Zoe seems to be the smallest at this stage; she is very fine boned and petite. But she has all of Zen's mannerisms and is very...hmm.... how can we say politely... manic!

But the most photogenic and the most like Zen in looks is Kizzy. She is the spitting image of Zen at the same age.

Sunday was the ESSC Working Section Agility show. It is so fantastic seeing so many shelties doing agility. I hope to post some vidoes soon. The best one will be an OBay FIRST......tada......Dennis actually ran a course!! He ran Pax around a simple Circular Helter Skelter course. It was so nice to see Pax out running again and Dennis running with her. We tried to get Dennis to run Zen on the same course but he chickened out!

We didn't get many photos at the show as we were busy running the sales stall (which did really well). But be sure to check out Lisa and Chi's blog for a photo montage and Lian's sheltie blog for some chat about the sheltie show.