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 28, 2008


After getting home late from Nottingham on Saturday night; I got up early on a rainy Sunday to judge. It was really tough to get up at 5am!

I like to judge occasionally; you really learn so much about training and course design. I am probably a bit over the top in that I always set up my courses in my garden before-hand so that I can see how it runs. At least this way I am 100% sure about my course. It is one thing to put a course on paper and another to see it run in real life. My goal in setting this course was to set up something different from the usual straight up and down courses that Grade 1/2 usually gets. Especially in Large, many of the handlers are stuck in Grade 1/2 for years if they do not have fast border collies. It must get boring running up and down in straight lines especially when you know you dog can do so much more complicated stuff. I also wanted to set up something that someone who could not run fast could handle; the course flowed from one thing to another in curves rather than straight lines. Yet it did require some control and good obstacle performance.

Well......I got to the show early to work on my course. Yes it was raining as usual! I think it has rained (and rained and rained) EVERYTIME I have judged! Hopefully this will put off anyone else asking me to judge in the future. HAHA!

It was a bit upsetting to be greeted first thing by a club member by being asked to change my course. I sent my course to the club in advance so that they could set it up the night before and my mistake was sending them the course with the numbers on it. This gave them the opportunity to evaluate MY course and decide that it was too difficult for the level. I was confident in my course; so I politely said "No it is staying as it is" but this really messed up my confidence! The complaining continued by some of the ring party and then by one or two of the competitors walking the course. I am used to the competitors complaining when walking as we all do this somewhat don't we? But some of them were very aggressive; stamping around and saying loudly how bad the course was when they realized I was standing waiting to start. I have never had this happen in the higher grades; I wonder how Grade 1 handlers are taught if they think this is proper agility etiquette?

Anyway off we went and the first 20 dogs ran. Now I was just praying that I would get clears! Well... Almost all were clear! The course ran exactly as I knew it would; there was no nagging, no need to slow the dog down and no handlers struggling to keep up with their dogs. I was really pleased with the level of the dog and handlers. The main issues were the normal missed contacts or dropped bars. I really appreciated the people who came up to me and said how much they liked the course and that they were really pleased to have run it clear. My winner was a Belgian Terv and 4th place(I think) was a lovely powerful Labrador. I had some super GSDs run also and one or two of them placed. Maybe I set ABC courses? :-) The club placed to 23rd place (there was 200+ dogs in Grade 1)and all the places were clear and well in course time. 23rd place was a older lady with a golden retriever and she thanked me for setting a good ABC course. hehe I really like judging Large Grade 1/2 and watching the non-border collies run. Does that make me anti-border collie? Not really, it is just such a nice change! Viva Variety!

This is the course pretty much as it was. The tunnel was more curved than shown and pointed at the right jump. I had very generous spacing; there was almost 5-6m between jump #2 and the see-saw and probably about 10 metres between Jump #3 and the off-course tunnel. Those were the most common off-course mistakes but only if the dog did not respond AT ALL to body language or verbals. The weave pole entrance was easily managed and you could either push the dog to straighten them out or micromanage the entry if they needed help or, if you had good entrances, just send them. Some dogs faffed (is that how you spell Faff?) about here but only lost time. The ending sequence from the dog walk to the tunnel was actually easier than most handlers realized and the dog naturally took that tunnel with out much help.

I saw some strange handling techniques! The one that really confused me were the handlers that held up their opposite arms for everything. Basically they led the dog around indicating obstacles with the arm furthest away from the dog. This was a clear handling technique as a few of them did this; so it must be a certain trainer or club that teaches it. It was NOT the typical throw your outside arm up (wrong arm) in desperation; this was a deliberate running around with that arm up and shoulders turned into every obstacle. The other interesting handling that made me giggle was the "me me me" technique. Obviously I initially thought the dog's name was Mimi; but realized this was not the case after a few dogs came in called Mimi. It seems this is the command for the dog to check into the handler. I call it the "All About Me" technique. I may adopt this system for my own soon if people keep stealing my "Finger Pointy" system.

So that is my judging for the year done and dusted. It may take me awhile to recover and agree to judge again! And I promise I will not complain about any courses again (well we know that is not really true but I will try!) I will just try and remember that Variety is the spice of life!

Monday, May 26, 2008

More Nottingham Agility

I was putting away all the trophies we earned on Saturday at Nottingham and decided to get Dennis to take a photo of the girls with their loot! Well, not really theirs as they don't care either way;but a good chance to get a photo of the two stars with their girlpower harnesses on.

Nice to have Dennis around on this bank holiday Monday. I decided to skip Supadogs today even though I was entered. Instead we slept late and lazed around. This turned out to be a good choice on my part as I just heard that Supadogs was cancelled today and for the rest of the week due to the flooding and rain! Horrible for everyone already there! But made me glad I slept in! Dennis also put together this video of Hex and Indy at Nottingham Champ. Isn't he good?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Nottingham Agility Championship

Lisa and I were going to drive up to Nottingham together for the Championship classes on Saturday. Unfortunately Lisa couldn't make it; so Dennis offered to drive up with me. This was a great help as it was a long drive up and I had to be back Saturday night because I was due to judge on Sunday.

So we drove up late Friday afternoon. We hit loads of traffic before the Dartford Tunnel, so we stopped after the tunnel to check out some furniture stores and take a break. This was fortunate as we found two new sofas! Since we did the floors in the living room and foyer; we thought it was time for new sofas. I was not looking forward to shopping for them; I think it is almost as bad as car shopping! So this was great as we walked into this store (which Dennis did not want to go in!) and saw these two sofas which were on sale as display sofas. Result! Not only just what we wanted but they can be delivered almost right away AND were a great price. The funny thing is that Dennis and I now officially join the "Ole Gits Club" as they are RECLINER sofas!! Dennis and I can recline together and have room for a dog in between us. Woo-hoo, feet up while surfing on my laptop AND watching TV at the same time with a dog next to me. Heaven! Oh and we can invite two friends at a time to recline on the other sofa. Geez if it wasn't for dog agility I would be so darn lazy.

We got up to Nottingham and stopped by show grounds to let the dogs out for a run and had a chance to sit with Karen, Hannah and Chris and steal some of their snacks and drinks. Then we headed to the hotel for a good nights sleep. Of course, first we had to try and sneak the dogs in as this hotel charges 10 pounds extra per dog. This was a bit of a fiasco as Dennis wanted to hand them to me through the window but the windows had these security things on and the windows only opened a crack; barely big enough for a Mouse! He then thought he could use his technical prowess to remove these security thingies but that did not work either. Dennis wouldn't make a good burglar that is for sure. We finally went for the direct approach and just marched past the reception each with one dog while trying not to make eye contact. We got into the room and then waited guiltily to see if they would come knocking on the door. Obviously we were so stealth that they didn't notice and we saved the money!

Up bright and early on Saturday to the cold and windy showgrounds. What a day! Both Zen and Hex were on form and running so well. Each one won their Crufts Singles Agility (woo-hoo that means a good chance they have qualified for Crufts Singles!) Then I used their 1-7 Agility for training and working on holding their stays and contacts.

Onto the Champ. Both girls ran double clears in their agility and jumping Champ qualifiers! And each one did so well they ended up running last in the finals. What great dogs they both are; I am so lucky. In the end, Hex came close but I pushed her in the finals (needed to as that Nicky and Indy had run a near perfect run!)and we ended up eliminated. This isn't awful as I have decided I would rather get eliminated in the finals than settle for the reserve knowing I hadn't pushed it. This is what is great about the champs; you really need to go for it! Just what I need to learn not to play it safe.

Zen... well Zen is Zen and she is just perfect.(even though she is practically bald after her pups; but she is streamlined!) She won another Medium Champ Ticket giving it her all in each run. She is on the edge lately; the break from agility for pups has made her a little insane but I don't care. This is Zen's 7th championship ticket. Considering how many breaks she has had from agility and how many champs I pulled out of after she finished her Championship; I think that is amazing.

Indy won the small Champ ticket and Zen won the medium. This is the second time they have done the double! Lisa and I decided that we would really like for the next double to be Chi winning his 1st Medium Ticket and Hex winning her 3rd small ticket. Keep those positive thoughts coming for that!

Here is the video. Thanks Dennis for being there to video (and drive) and for putting the runs on the computer for me today while I was out judging. (more about THAT later!)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Empty house

Well the Mouse has flown away. Terry and the Little Mouse left on the plane for NY this morning.

We met Terry at the airport on Sunday at early o'clock with Little Mouse in tow. Mouse trotted through the airport like a trooper; only deviating when someone interesting walked past her. Then she would zoom off suddenly screaming her little mouse head off. She is so funny and luckily she had her harness (thanks to Godmother Karen) on and we could reign her back in.

I wasn't sure if Terry would fall in love with Mouse because all along she thought she was getting the Big Girl who we called Zest. Dennis and I had sort of come to the terms that we were keeping Mouse. I would not have been sad to have kept her; I even couldn't have cared less if she never entered any dog show ring, I just loved her. I could just imagine us with this little black dynamo carrying her around in a handbag just like Paris Hilton. :-) She is such a little personality; she is not as meek and sweet as she looks! She has her own little idea of what she should be doing at any particular time. She is really quite naughty and will be a challenge to train!

Terry did fall for the Mouse (well really how could she not) and decided she would take her back to NY with her. I am happy for this as Terry is used to small dogs as she has had papillons for over 10 years now. I feel like Mouse will be safe and happy there and hopefully will make Terry happy over the next 15 years.

Here is Terry meeting the Mouse for the first time.

I am so happy the Mouse will be staying in the family but really really miss her and am obviously crying as I write this. Here is Terry and the Mouse who now has a new name.

OBay Tiz Amazin

I enjoyed Terry's visit here although it was much too short. We even made her run Zen on some agility courses and I think Terry was suprised at how well she did. Little did she realize that it was Zen running her instead of her running Zen. Ha!

Once we knew Terry was taking Mouse; we had to turn our thoughts to the Big Girl formally known as "Zest". Johanna and I thought of every possible way that we could keep her! She is so lovely with the gorgeous structure of her mom Zen and grandma True. As a breeder I knew I should keep her to continue on with; but as a trainer I knew that I was not ready to work with another pup just yet. Johanna tried her best to get me to send her Zen for a few months so that I could work with Zest but that was just not happening! :-) And Johanna is not ready for another dog yet either. So we made the decision to offer Zest to Nancy. Nancy has been waiting awhile for her sheltie and I couldn't imagine a better home for Zest. She get lovely and spoiled yet have great training and maybe even learn some manners. Hmmmmm here is Zest last week using my coffee table as her own personal bed. Yes, she is under the glass top.

We called Nancy on Sunday morning and told her that if she wanted a sheltie puppy to please come over immediately! Do you know that Nancy was still in bed at 8 am Sunday morning? Poor Nancy who is usually so organized was made to come get her puppy with no prior planning! hehe!

Please meet Nancy's first sheltie of her very own.

OBay Tiz Zensational

As fitting for this puppy and to match Nancy's crocs; here is Zeki showing off her new harness.

So that is it....I have just returned from the airport and my house is quiet. My other dogs will now start getting some much need attention and my floors will get a much needed wash!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I have both Terry and Johanna whinging that they haven't made the blog! I HAVE TWO NAUGHTY PUPPIES TO TAKE CARE OF! Please remind me never to keep 2 puppies until 10 weeks! These darn puppies get me up before 5 am every morning; I jump up so that they will not mess their crates and am working on housebreaking YOUR puppy! I am so tired at night that I have no energy to blog. So you are gonna have to wait. When they are gone I promise I will tell the world about how wonderful One and Keeper are. :-) I have been really lax about One who deserves a space on the website finally after winning his first breed Champ ticket. I promise I will try and do this soon.

Today Lisa took the Mouse to work with her in Brighton. Thanks Lisa! It gave me time alone with Zest who is much better behaved by herself. Lisa says Mouse had a good time and met lots of people. Everyone wants a Mouse for themselves!

Heaven: in 3 days I will have NO puppies left! Peace and quiet and saving money on paper towels!And no more baby gates! And I can leave the house for more than 2 hours at a time!

In the meantime.......Hob-b in Denmark sporting her lovely new Diva harness! Ahhhh! I do miss the Ms. Hob-noxious.

If anyone is interested in a pink harness like the one Hob-b has; I have an extra one. I ordered two pink ones for Hob-b as I wasn't sure which one would fit her. So I have one extra pink Mini harness.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Beacon Champ runs

Here is the video of our Beacon Championship. One of Hex's qualifier runs and both Hex and Zen in the Finals. Gosh Hex looks as tired as I do! That Final run of Hex was my 16th run of the day and her 9th run of the day! Blah no excuse though I still need to run faster!

Thanks Lisa for thinking to video! We haven't been very good at videoing lately!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Championship classes the saga

We have had a interesting two weekends of shows! Last Monday was a bank holiday here and we went to the Vyne Championship Show. It was Zen's first time back out in agility since pups. I brought her out to this show only because it was a champ show and we have so few Champ shows here. So off we go to the show with Zen and Hex ready to win some champ!

I was extremely relaxed at this show; must have had something to do with still having puppy brain and just being happy to run Zen again. Also maybe the fact that is was a lovely sunny day and we did not need to be to the show until late morning. So a nice relaxing morning and then a drive up to Newbury to have fun with my dogs. I actually almost missed one or two of my champ runs even though I was sitting ringside. HA!

Lisa also was running Chi; so no video as Champ requires so much concentration that we find it hard to video also. I guess we are bad at multitasking; you would think we were men! No actually it is Dennis fault because he wasn't there and he usually does the video. No excuse that he was home watching MY puppies!

These champ results were both good and bad for me. Let's see..Hex got the reserve Champ Ticket to her brother Indy (good that Indy won; bad that he beat Hex!) Zen ran so well but got the reserve ticket also (good that Toni won with lovely Minx; bad that Zen got beaten by a blue merle border collie!) Another good/bad result; Lisa and Chi made it to the finals and ran clear only to be beaten by 2/100 second by Zen! So Chi was 3rd overall and I can see the day that Lisa and Chi get the ticket coming so very soon!

By the way, that monday was Indy and Hex's (and little bro Max)3rd Birthday! Lisa took photos at Vyne; I must ask her for them and will post soon.

Now we come to this Saturday: Beacon Champ. I was really looking forward to this show. It is usually such a nice relaxing day; they have only smalls and medium dogs on Saturday and it is a championship show. Only 4 rings and the dogs get lots of runs; all in all a great show to go to. Good grounds, lots of runs, parking close to the rings; what could be better!

But there was a slight glitch at the show this year.....

For those of you that don't know how our champ classes work. First you have to run the jumping and agility qualifiers. If you don't get eliminated in either of those two classes and you are in the top 50% of the class (up max 20 dogs) you get to go thru to the final. The champ classes are meant to be more difficult. The day you run champs is very long and slightly stressful due to the multiple classes and set running orders

So off we go on a merry way and run the champ qualifiers. The courses were good; not too hard but not too easy. It was hot; the first really hot day we have run in this year. Zen and Hex did well and make it into the finals; as did Nicky and Indy and Lisa and Chi. I think Zen and Chi were 1st and 2nd in the Agility medium and Indy and Hex were 1st and 2nd in the jumping and agility. All was looking good! Then...there was some whispering going on and meetings behind closed doors and then they called all Champ handlers into a room to explain what happened. It seems that there had been a complaint; they did not say who complained. (??!!)It seems that in a Championship class there are required obstacles and if those obstacles are left out; the champ class can be deemed invalid and the champ ticket revoked. (Who knew? I just focus on my dog and my run and try to remember the course! I don't really clock what is going on or not in the course except if I feel it is dangerous to my dog) So because of this complaint; they had to call the KC and get advice. The advice was that THEY HAD TO RESTART THE CHAMP QUALIFIERS! Which meant that all the dogs had to re-run two new jumping and agility qualifiers. So if your dog had made it through to the final; tuff luck! If your dog had previously been eliminated; whoopee for you. But at the end of the day; all the dogs had to start over on a clean slate and run again IN THE HEAT.

( WARNING: Rant ahead) I did think long and hard if I was going to run. I also tried really hard to not feel angry about someone reporting this. After all; jesus it is just agility! There was no moral dilemma here. OK maybe the judge make an error in his course design but really at the end of the day did it make a hill of beans difference?? Whoop-dee-do there was no collapsed tunnel in the course. yeah yeah I know all the rules (now!) and yeah yeah things need to be done by the books. But ARGHHHHHHH! You should have seen some of the poor dogs running once the courses were re-started. They were exhausted. Yeah yeah I know the owners could have pulled them out (and some did) but everyone works really hard to get to champ and it is heart breaker class at best of times! Ohh and by the way, if the person was going to complain why couldn't they do it before we all ran two classes?? Did they think at all of the dog's welfare or how the competitors would feel? (rant over)

The club handled it was well as they could; I still recommend the show! And I hope this doesn't put them off having such a good small/medium show. Lisa says they were still smiling at the end of the night and I heard there was lots of wine flowing AND that some of it was flowing into my little Zev puppy. (see Christine I have eyes and ears everywhere!)

As annoyed as I was about the entire thing; I really tried to put it behind me. Mental management and all that! But it was so hard to keep focus for another two champ qualifiers. Anyway, for the results. Hex and Zen and Indy still made it into the finals again. Hurrah! My two girls really pulled it out for me; how is that for consistent! They were just tremendous and have such love for the game. The heart breaker was Lisa and Chi (who would have been in the finals after the first two runs)but then got eliminated in the 2nd agility qualifier run. I really felt for Lisa; this so could have been her day.

Finally at the end of the day we ran our Champ final. 12 were in the small final; Hex was seeded 11th and Indy was running 12th and last. I watched some of the dogs run and saw a really nice cocker put in a good round so knew it wasn't going to be an easy win and of course, we were being followed by that darn NICOLA Garrett! (ps I am no longer selling puppies to good handlers; crap handlers only allowed to buy my puppies. I am tired of being beaten! ha! PSS Nicky knows I am joking because I am so proud of her and Indy!)

Hex ran really well but I knew that in reality we could only win if Indy made an uncharacteristic error. Off goes Nicky and Indy and they are putting in their usual cool and fast run. At the 4th to last obstacle; I turn to the person next to me and say "She is going to do it again and beat us". And then....Indy makes a mistake! Ohhh so sad yet so happy! :-) Hex has won her 2nd Championship Ticket and needs one more to become the Champion that I know she is. I love this dog!

Then we get to run the medium champ. Zen ran really well; so smooth and tight. She was lying in 1st place up until the last dog to run. What kind of dog was running last you may ask? A BLUE MERLE border collie! ha! Another one! That border collie ran so fast and so smooth there was no way we were going to beat that; so Zen finished with another Reserve Champ ticket. Not too shabby for her first two champ shows of the year. Now only if we could do something about those blue merle border collies.......(and shut up Johanna you can't have one!)

So that's our long champ saga for now. I have video but have to upload it. And by the way; I counted that on the one day of the Beacon show I had 17 runs with 2 dogs. I think Zen ran near 100% clear and Hex wasn't far behind. Bring it on!

Puppy photos

Going back to last weekend. Fat Head was leaving on Saturday so I asked Dennis to take some photos of me with the pups. I have a great photo taken almost 12 years ago with Pax and all her littermates when they were just 8 weeks. 6 pups in the litter and I was able to hold them all and they all sat still for the photo. I must try and get that photo scanned; although my hair was really short and I look fat in the photo so it may never make the blog!

Hmmmm, now fast forward 12 years and try the same with only 4 black puppies.....

Notice the boys are being good! And why is it the girls always fight?

OK get rid of the girls and the boys are so very photogenic.

Now try again with just the girls. Fighting again!


Thursday, May 08, 2008

I am very talented

I can speak Portuguese. :-) Check out this sheltie article

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Meet OBay Tiz Magic "Ziga"

Elizabeth came on Tuesday to pick up Linford. He is now known as "Ziga" which is apparently means something along the lines of winnner/victory. I have looked it up and found it here where it says:

ZIGA (Žiga): Slovene form of Sigmund, meaning "victory protector."

And here where is says:

Sigismund (variants: Sigmund, Siegmund) is a German proper name, meaning "protection through victory", from Old High German sigu "victory" + munt "hand, protection". Tacitus Latinises it Segimundus. It looks like there is an older form of the High German word "Sieg" (victory): sigis, obviously Gothic and an inferred Germanic form, and there is a younger form: sigi, which is Old Saxon or Old High German sigu (both from about 9th century).

Meet OBay Tiz Wild "Zev"

Christine came to pick up her pup on Saturday. She choose "Fat Head" who is now known as "Zev" or "OBay Tiz Wild". Zev is hebrew for Wolf; so the name really fits him!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Happy Sweet 16 Dasher

Yesterday (4 May 2008) was Dasher's 16th Birthday. It was bittersweet for me as I am still missing Joy. And so soon after Terry lost Bell. Certainly if the Dursts are reading this; I am sure it brings back memories of their lovely boy Brandi. A very special litter; my first litter of shelties.

Dash (OBay Dunstanburgh Dasher CDX, AX, AXJ) was always a true gentleman; a real credit to the sheltie breed. He loves everyone and is such a "kind" dog. He was Eleanor's first sheltie and now she has three! So I guess that means she likes them!

Here he is in the photo getting his massage and eating deli Roast Beef! Can we say spoiled? Too right and that is the way it should be!

Here is a email from Eleanor which got me crying even before I could get half way through it.

"Dash turns 16 in just a few hours. The last month has had its ups and downs as age catches up with my determined little pal, most notably robbing him of most of his sight and hearing and his formerly robust appetite. But in true stubborn Dasher fashion, he has recovered from his hospital stay and is now eating a regular diet of deli roast beef (and I am trying deli chicken, too tonight.) He also likes the mini doggie biscotti, and adores milk bones! He also appreciates the fancy dog treats with carob frosting I bought at the local fancy pet boutique to honor this momentous occasion. All this is washed down by water and a chaser of Pepto Bismol. I also make sure he eats his daily vitamin pills. So, an odd regimen, but it seems to be working.

He is thinner and frail, mostly sleeps, but does like to meander around on occasion to get a treat or just see what is going on. He is comfortable and that is what matters. He went for a ½ hour mini-grooming on Tuesday. He loved being fussed over by Marcey, his groomer since puppyhood and he ate lots of cookies. Last month and this month, he gets mini massages. The attached photo shows him with Robin, eating roast beef and getting a massage!

I am sure the non-doggy human race and even some doggy types, think I am insane, but he has been a wonderful companion and as long as he is comfortable and can walk around, get himself inside and outside, then I will happily carry him upstairs, feed him and odd diet and dote on him until the end!

Happy 16th Birthday to my wonderful little man and thanks to all of you who have helped make his life so very special. I have never owned a dog who lived for 16 years. We do not have too much longer, so I cherish the time left."

Thursday, May 01, 2008

World Dog Show 2008 Sweden

We are going to the World Dog Show 2008 in Stockholm in July. This is quite a cute yet slightly mad commerical for the show.

World Dog Show 2008

Crazy Swedes!

Dennis and I are flying over and will meet Johanna. I have never been to my "homeland" of Sweden before so I am looking forward to it. My grandparents were from Sweden. Although my grandfather died before I was born; my grandmother who we called "Famar" was around until I was almost 20. She never really spoke Swedish around us (at that time most immigrants felt it necessary to learn English) but I remember her accently fondly. Every word that started with a "J" was pronounced with a "Y". It was very cute. "Jump" would be "Yump" and "Jersey" would be "Yersey". I do wish they would have spoke Swedish to us so that we could have been multi-lingual.

Luckily Johanna (girl of many talents) speaks Swedish! I am just going to watch and enjoy the show but Johanna will be competing in breed with the little Hob-noxious and in Dog Dancing with Spook-ster and Soda. I will finally get to meet Soda!

Pups are getting ready to leave soon! This morning I put the doors on the crates.After they ate their breakfast and had their morning frenzy, I put two in each crate to have a nap. Fat Head was the most put out about the situation and expressed his unhappiness with a chorus of howls and screams for about 2 minutes.

Yes the madness continues. We also expect our guests to get on the floor and play "hair raggy" with the pups. My secret is out; this is how we get the best tugging dogs in the world. It is up to the new puppy owners to continue this.

I have spoken very severely to the Lil'Mouse and told her that smoking will stunt her growth. Between that and the red wine it is no wonder she hasn't grown! It may be the smallest rolled ciggie in the world but it doesn't mean it was meant for her!

Who can resist a little bling? Godmother Karen has loaned Mouse this bling collar. It was the only collar that has fit her so far!