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.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Mouse at 6 months!

Dennis is home in NY this week; so he got to visit with Terry and Zinna (aka The Mouse). Not the greatest photo but I thought it was funny that she had the "Zen" tongue hanging out!

Zinna now weighs 6 pounds. It is amazing how far she has come!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sexy Hexy at KC International Festival 2008

Here are some random runs from Hex aka The Wicked One at the KC International Festival 2008. She had a great weekend with 100% clear runs! I feel like Hex and I are getting our groove back! :-)

I should update the blog with videos as soon as I get back; but it takes me a few days to be able to sit down and watch my runs. Is it just me? I am so critical of myself when I watch and I need a few days before I am brave enough to watch them! That aside, I do find it invaluable to have the runs videoed as I can then look at the runs and realize that I still have some work to do. It would be boring if we were perfect and had nothing to train! Notice on the first run I had two push-thrus or go-arounds! Yeah! They are still not as effortless as Ms. Leah Gardner's go-rounds but I was pleased we could do them. Same time last year I would have been hesitant about doing them in a course.

This past weekend was a nice one with relaxing and no agility shows. I have done some training with the girls but mostly just nice walks with Dennis and the dogs. This coming weekend is a nice local agility show; just 15 minutes away! Perfect! I can even go early just to watch some runs from friends and students which is always great. Some of the shows are just too big and I do not get the chance to watch other people.

The new car will get it's first outing at an agility show. Look out for the Turquoise Sheltie Machine; it might blind you with it's brilliant shine!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My New Car!

We picked up my new car today! It was sad to say good-bye to my Suzuki as it was my first car here in the UK. I have had it for 7 years now and it was a great little car. I initially bought it because I was so scared of the narrow roads and small parking spaces here in England. Now I am a little braver and have upgraded to a slightly larger car. It is still no where as big as my old Dodge Grand Caravan or the huge SUV's back in the ole USA; but I am very happy with it! It is a Renault Kangoo.

Above is a side by side comparison of the old and the new! Yes the colour is almost the same; although the Suzuki was more Aqua and this car is more Turquoise. I really wanted a yellow car (my first two cars ever were yellow) but there were no yellow kangoos in all of England and I did not want to wait until next year. So here it is!

I am so excited as I have ordered bespoke crates for the back of the car. They will be two levels with two crates up and two crates down. Room for lots of shelties! This is the company that will be doing my cages.
MMG Dog Cages

I saw the exact same car as mine at the recent KC International Agility Festival. The cages she had were done by MMG and were really nice. They fit the back of the Kangoo perfectly. I cannot find any photos of my type of cages on his website but it will look something like this (although the cages will be black and the cages can be removed). I looked at alot of different manufacturers but like the sturdiness of the MMG cages. Also they had a good reputation whereas there were other manufacturers who I know have sold dodgy cars to friends (just ask!) so I will not patronize them. Also I think the strength of the cages are so important and not worth skimping on; they will be protecting very important doggies!

So soon all the shelties will have their own little cages to sit in rather than all being smooshed into one big cage like my old car. Still it worked really well for 7 years! I will be selling this cage once I get my new ones in case anyone is interested (it is a Barjo). Unfortunately my cages will be taking 8 weeks to make! So this one will go in the new car until then.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Zen will run for anyone!

We had so many runs over the weekend at the KC International Festival. I actually missed quite a few runs with Hex. I do not let anyone else run Hex; but almost anyone can run Zen in jumping as long as they promise to reinforce her start line stay. This jumping course did not suit me as it was too big and I dread those straight lines and straight tunnels. HA!

Andy has run Zen once last year so I asked him if he wanted to run her on this course. He is on a winning streak as the last time he ran her he won the class also!

For Pat (and Grady and baby Clipper)

Sorry I have taken so long to do this course map for you! Hope you still love us! :-)

For everyone else; Pat wanted the course map for this 6-7 Jumping course from the Lune and Barrow show.

The course itself wasn't too hard; it was just trying to remember the darn course.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

KC International Festival Days 3 and 4

This is a neat photo; you need to click on it and open it up in full screen to really see it better. Dennis took a few photos of the venue and then "knitted" them together with some program. It looks like a panoramic photo and just shows the size of the venue and the camping areas.

It did take me days after coming home on Sunday night to recover! I do not know how people had the enthusiasm to go onto Dogs In Need (a week-long agility show) after the Festival. I am agiliter-ized-out! The dogs were tired and I was tired and I still haven't finished clearing out and cleaning out the caravan.

I forgot to mention that on Friday Nancy and Naught Niamh also qualified for Olympia in the large division! I know she will do a full write up on her own blog but thought I would put this funny photo on here. I know she is at DIN so she won't see this for over a week and I won't get in trouble! haha Don't you love how both Nancy and Niamh both have their tongues sticking out to the right?

Saturday's finals were fun to watch but unfortunately Andy and Kizzy and Daniel and Bailey both incurred faults in their runs so no Crufts wins for them this year. Even so, both teams looked good and the dogs enjoyed themselves and that is what counts in my eyes; I like to see my pups happy in the ring!

On Sunday in the British Open finals the Obay shelties did really well. From the qualifiers on Friday the top three dogs going into the final were: Nicky and Indy in first, Me and Hex in second and Peggy and Timmy in third! More of that please!

The British Open finals are run with the top 15 dogs from the qualifiers on Friday in each height (small, medium and large). The top dogs compete against each other for the title of British Open Winner. In addition, they make up teams of 3 to compete in a "Nations Cup" against all the foreign teams that have attended. So there are two separate competitions: The British Open and the Nations Cup. They combine the top 6 english dogs at each height division and make two teams for "The Nations Cup". So the "England 1" team was actually an OBAY team of shelties!

The British Open Course was fun to run. Hex ended up in 3rd (is this becoming a habit?). It was won (for the 2nd year in a row) by Nicky and Indy. This sends them to Crufts to represent England in the international competition. A poodle came in second, Hex came in 3rd and Timmy came in 4th! Too bad that poodle snuck in there or we would have had a nice OBay sheltie sweep on the podium!

Here is a photo of the Small British Open winners. I wish Nicky would work on her podium photos in preparation for Finland! hehe

In the medium Open, Lisa and Chi put in a really good run to win. So I guess having one OBay win the small and one winning the medium is pretty cool.

The "Nations Cup" consisted of a jumping and agility course. Although Indy and Hex ran lovely double clears, unfortunately Timmy picked up 2 Eliminations. Poor Peggy! Usually Timmy is so consistent; I think Peggy was feeling the nerves. No worries; it could have been any of us that made mistakes. Well except Nicky as she is always perfect and we hate her for it! hahaha

By the end of the last final; the heavens opened up and a huge rain storm blew in for about 1/2 hour. What a shame as it sent all the spectators running back to their caravans. I don't even know who ended up winning the Nations cup. I did hear the Japanese Large team won which is awesome!

I am working on getting some videos together and will post separately.

All in all a great long weekend of agility. The KC did a great job in organizing this show and I only see it getting bigger and bigger. I was very proud of my two girls. Girl Power!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

KC International 2008 Day one and two

We arrived at the KC International Agility Festival on Thursday morning. It was nice to be allowed to set up early; this year you could arrive at 10am and that gives you all day Thursday to set up the caravan and garden and just relax.

I actually didn't relax too much and helped out a little in checking campers in. What an amazing amount of work to try and sort out over 500 campers! The set-up crew had been at the showgrounds since Monday marking out all the camping spaces. I just helped check people in; which was good fun as everyone (well mostly everyone!) was in a good mood and excited about the show. I enjoy helping when everyone is relaxed and having a good time.

Thursday was Dennis' birthday so I brought along a cake and we did a little BBQ to celebrate. Thanks to everyone who came by to wish Dennis Happy Birthday. And thanks to Mandy and Arthur for giving us such a nice camping spot with a special welcome for Dennis painted on the ground! Here is a photo of our camping spot before we had the doggie-garden set up. You can see Happy Birthday painted on the grass.

I had a cake made for Dennis with this photo of him and Pax taken up in the Lake District last month. I love that photo of the two of them.

Friday was the first day of competition. We did not get much video during the day as Dennis was working on a ring. He is really great and puts down to help at most of the bigger shows. I had some fantastic runs with Hex that I was really pleased with but she came 2nd each time to her brother Indy. Indy and Nicky are so on form for the Worlds in Finland; I am expecting great things from the two of them! Anyway those two 2nd places qualifed her for the British Open Final on Sunday afternoon. Lisa and Chi also qualifed for the medium finals along with Nicky and Indy and Peggy and Timmy in the small open final. To add to the great showing of the OBay Shelties this weekend: Andy and Kizzy qualified for the Novice Cup and Daniel and Bailey qualifed for the Starters cup which were both held on Saturday afernoon. If only Karen and Toddy had ENTERED The novice cup qualifers we could have had a 100% showing of Obay shelties in the finals! Ahh bless her; Karen didn't enter the qualifiers as she did not know back a few months ago if Toddy would be ready. As it turns out he is more than ready and racked up three 1st places this weekend in his other classes. Good boy Todd!

Zen had some great runs on Friday but we got eliminated in the British Open jumping so that put us out of the British open finals for Sunday. I wasn't really too dissapointed because I knew that Hex qualifed for the small finals and Zen still had the Olympia Semi-final to do on Friday Afternoon and that was our main goal.

So did we achieve our goal?? Ta-da.........Zen is going to Olympia 2008! She has come back from pups better than ever and I am so glad we took this year slow and let her recover from pups. Zen came in 2nd in the Olympia Semi-finals and joins the 9 other medium dogs that are going to Olympia. As we did not tryout this year for the World Champs nor the EO; Olympia was my big 2008 goal for Zen and me. What a sweetheart she was in helping me achieve that goal.

I pushed her as hard as I could (yeah really I was pushing and don't laugh at me as I really thought I was running!) as we ran in the middle and there were still loads of the medium border collies left to run. I could not play it safe. Last year the semi-finals were dominated by the medium border collies and in the end 8 out of the 10 medium dogs qualifed to go to Olympia 2007 were border collies. This year turned out very different and we only had 1 border collie qualify to go onto Olympia 2008. Look at the line up of the dogs qualifed; a nice variety if you ask me!

Here is the Medium Olympia line-up for 2008.

And here is our semi-final run. Hurrah for Zen!

More about the KC Festival later as I get more videos and photos sorted out.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

KC International Agility Festival 2008

We leave early Thursday for the Kennel Club International Agility Festival. It is a 3-day show.It is unbelievable how big this show is!!! My feet hurt just thinking about it. I have fingers crossed for good weather; we deserve one show this year with nice weather.

Here are the numbers for this show. You are reading them correctly! It is now billed as the LARGEST Agility show in the WORLD! I have not found out how many foreign competitors will be there; but know there will be a few different countries represented.

  • 2545 dog competing. Yes that is 2545 dogs!
  • over 18,000 runs! (not including finals)
  • all over 18 rings

On Friday is our Medium Olympia qualifier. Yippee!