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, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009 Part 1

Christmas always seems to start with Olympia; so here, finally, is the video clips from our two runs at Olympia 2009. It took me 2 weeks to get up the courage to watch them! I have no idea why Zen pulled off that penultimate jump in the final; she was fully committed to it and at the last second looked like she thought I wanted her to come away from it.

No matter; I was happy to be there with my amazing dog and enjoyed every second. The noise is absolutely deafening and I was so proud at how she handled it all this year. She just has gotten so mature and so much more confident. The courses at Olympia are just so big and she is just so little compared to the other dogs. For the first time watching the video I could see how hard she need to work to run on that surface and jump those jumps. What a little star!

Christmas was a pretty quiet affair for us this year. It would have been nice to go back to New York or get away for Christmas but Pax is not well and we could not leave her. Sadly Pax has bladder cancer and we do not know how much time she has left. We are glad for the time left with her so that we can just enjoy her and remember all the wonderful times with my special girl. Here is a photo recently scanned (from the days of non-digital photos) of Pax when she was younger and I still tried to do breed showing. I cannot say I miss the breed ring! For me there was nothing more boring or semi-ridiculous! I give people alot of credit who do it successfully every weekend because I know they love it just as much as I love agility. But it was just not for me. Pax was such a good dog to show in everything; we did so much together and it seems like we have been together much more than 13 years. But I refuse to get sentimental about her yet; she is still with us and I did not think she would make Christmas this year. She is my little Christmas miracle.

Our other "oldie" Jordan just keeps plugging along as Jordan always does. She never does anything wrong; she just "is" Jordan! Perfect, happy and always hungry! Here she is with her Christmas present: a rawhide shoe. The shelties love it as a special treat because I do not let them have it very often.

Our other little Christmas "miracle": Both Tickle and Shimmer have found new homes! Tickle went quickly as I knew she would. She went home with her new family during the week of Christmas. Shimmer took a little longer and spent Christmas with us. Then I got a call on Boxing day from Sonia asking if Shimmer had been adopted yet. It seems like Bob had finally given in and said YES they could take Shimmer! Hurrah! I think it will be a great match. Below is Shimmer with his Christmas pressies; he enjoyed himself with us over the holiday but I am sure glad he now has a permanent home. As much as I enjoyed having both dogs; I am glad to get the house back to normal.

Our Christmas activities included alot of muddy walks! Itz and Zaz get so much muddier than every other dog; I think because they are constantly chasing each other and rolling around in the mud!

More later!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Some new additions to the household

Well Olympia is over for another year. Zen was fantastic in both her runs; she ran her little socks off over two HUGE courses. I will eventually post the videos but it takes me a few days to be able to watch them!

Meanwhile we have two little additions staying for a little while. Don't worry they are not permanent additions! I have been very careful to keep our little OBay household numbers down so I thought it was time to take in a few rescues for christmas. I have not done fostering for at least 9 years when we used to run the sheltie rescue on Long Island. Back then it seems like we constantly had a foster dog or two living with us and it can get very stressful after awhile. Once I "retired" from sheltie rescue I made the sad decision to not take in anymore fosters. I would support with donations but my own dogs were being neglected and being exposed to alot of disease as I did not have the room to keep them isolated.

Luckily time helps us forget and I offered to take in two rescues last week. I expected to get a little mixed breed and was surprised when the rescue asked me to foster a sheltie! So on Wednesday night I came home with two little foster dogs. Each had their own sad story but I like to forget the sad stories and just help the dogs look to their happy futures. I think dwelling on their past only keeps them down and they need to be happy now.

Meet Shimmer (the sheltie) and Tickle (shitzu x JRT)

Shimmer is only 10 months old. He was badly matted and did not smell very nice when he arrived.

After a bath and a few hours of grooming! Shimmer is a beautiful boy and needs a home. You can contact Many Tears Rescue for an application or for more information.

Tickle is a tiny shitzu x JRT. She is 14 months old and absolutely adorable. She loves to lie on the back of the sofa like a cat. Tickle is also needs a home and you can contact Many Tears Rescue.

Isn't she adorable?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nordic Championship winner!

I am very proud to announce that Susanne and Unique (OBay Truly Unique) won the Nordic Championships in Sweden yesterday! What a great partnership they are and we are very proud!

Luckily they were able to drive from Denmark to Sweden or they would not have been able to bring home all the loot!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Zaz's 1st full course!

Today we went to a practice show as an Olympia warm-up for Zen. I wanted to only do the agility runs with Zen; so I tried Zaz around the simple jumpers (with no weaves) course. I was amazed at how well Zaz handled the new venue and an entire course of 20 obstacles! What a little star. I drank a few mulled wines during the day and have decided that nice warm Mulled wine is a great beverage to keep one warm at a cold agility show!

Here is a little video of Zaz but ignore the sound as for some reason it did not sync and I cannot be arsed to try and download it again. I regret not bringing my actual video camera as I cannot edit the video from my little digital camera with Movie maker. My digital camera only takes video clips in Quicktime and I just cannot seem to get on with the quicktime-pro.

Karen and Yaz also ran the jumpers course even though Karen was convinced that Yaz could not do more than 7 obstacles in a row. Luckily Yaz showed her that she was ready for the big league and I have video proof! I just have to upload it and I am sure Karen will put it on her blog.

Sadly Itzy did not get to come with us today but will go with me tomorrow to different practice show. I decided to spend one day alone with each puppy this weekend. Of course now I do wish I had brought Itzy today so that she could have had a go also. Unfortunately the practice show tomorrow is a little more "official" so Itzy won't get a run. Poor Itz! She showed her opinion of being left home today by howling during the X-factor semi-finals.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Using the Manners Minder to teach contacts to Zaz and Itz

First I just want to say that I am NOT an expert on running contacts. I am playing around with them with Zaz and Itz simply because I wanted to see if I could train it. It took me awhile to feel inspired to train the pups and trying something new helped me get some enthusiasm back. I watched videos and analyzed blogs from people who have seemed to have been successful teaching their pups from beginning training through to competition. (Cflyrun and Adventures of the Millers Four Pack). These two trainers are now successfuly running their dogs in competition. I also read and re-read Sylvia Trkman's Running Contacts Information on her website. Obviously Sylvia is the running contacts guru! All this information was free! Amazing in this day and age when everyone wants to hide their "agility secrets" or charge ridiculous amounts of money for information. I also watched Nancy and Zeki work through the process and was inspired by Zeki's lovely running Aframe.

What I did find was that I either needed another person to reward the dog for me (to prevent the pup from looking back at me) or I needed to invest in a Manner Minder Treat Dispenser. Luckily Dennis was back in NY and he brought one home for me! (Now you can buy them in the UK).

I looked through some of the videos today to see if I could find any that showed how I used the manners minder. Unfortunately I did not take that many videos as I found it was too much to try and train both dogs, set up video, look at video, download video ect ect. The earliest videos I took (of the pups on the plank on the ground) were with Quicktime video and I just cannot easily make a movie of those. If the pups end up competing successfully with running contacts I will eventually show those early videos as they are very very funny!

So here are two clips of the more advanced stage where the plank was first propped up on a caravan step and then propped up on a table. The Manners minder is set up about 15 feet away from the bottom of the plank. I tried to work through sending, recalling, running with ect ect at each stage. You cannot see the Manners minder but you can occasionally hear it beep and you can see the small remote in my hand. I took the videos focused on the contacts so that I could see if I was rewarding the right behavior. The most difficult thing for me was trying to decide in a split second if the contact "hit" was as I wanted it. So I took some videos to watch back after training to see if I was correct in my calls. These videos were taken in June and July. I found the Manners minder very helpful as I could concentrate on watching the dog's performance and not worry that they would be looking at treats in my hand.

I hope some of you find this interesting and take it all with an understanding that I am also learning something new. Use what you can from this information but realize there is no substitute for just getting out there with your dog and working on it! I am so glad we did the majority of the work already as my garden is now flooded and I think puppy training is going to be limited over the next month or two as this rain seems to be never ending! My weave poles have now been moved onto the patio slabs and I may be able to do some weave pole training only if the rain and wind would stop.

Friday, November 27, 2009

More OBay pups at the Girlpower 1st Birthday party

I invited the pups from Zen's second litter to the Girlpower pup's party. This was the litter with Zinna (puppy name Mouse), Zeki (Zest), Ziga (Linford) and Zev (Fathead). It was so nice to see them all run; they all are just loving their agility and have great trainers and handlers who love them. What more could I want?

Nancy and OBay Tiz Zensational "Zeki". Zeki is named appropriately! Doesn't she look so much like Zen on the Start line?

Christine and OBay Tiz Wild "Zev". Zev was "Fathead" in Zen's last litter. Hmmm I think he has changed a little!

Elizabeth and OBay Tiz Magic "Ziga". Ziga was "Linford" in the same litter. He is such a fluffball now!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Girlpower Pups 1st birthday party!!

Zaz, Itz, Zavvi and Yazoo will be 1 year old on 4th December! What a special litter they are and I had to celebrate this milestone for them. I could have never believed I would have kept two puppies; yet I cannot imagine not having both Zaz and Itzy. They are Yin and Yang; Frick and Frack and The Terrible Twosome all rolled together and I love them both dearly.

We had the GirlPower Pups 1st Birthday Party a week or so early as Johanna was in this weekend for a Freestyle Competition with her Border Collies Soda and Spooky. So I thought it would be nice to have everyone together so Johanna could see all the pups. Johanna is such a big part of all these pups especially as she owns the Daddy Tazz and Grandaddy Monty. If it was not for all her help over the years I would not have any of these special little shelties.

Of course we couldn't have Johanna over without putting her to work setting us up some courses. I had the great idea of inviting everyone from this litter plus everyone from the previous Zen x Tazz litter to come do a little training with Johanna in my back garden. Best laid plans and all that....the weather turned unbelievably awful and I thought I would have to cancel. Luckily we have a small local agility club nearby and their venue was available for a few hours on that day. I was able to contact everyone to meet at the riding hall instead and the training still went ahead. Phew!

It was so cool to see all the pups running agility. They are all so similar yet all so different! First Johanna set up some complicated sequences with Zeki, Zev, Ziga and Kizzy and Todd as they are all competing already. Then we did about 30 minutes training with the Zaz, Yaz and Zavvi(Itzy got left out as I couldn't run two pups!). Johanna thought we were all so funny as all three of us (Karen, Marilyn and myself) told Johanna that the pups haven't done much yet so do not give us anything complicated. Yet the pups acted like they had been doing it all their lives and made us all look like great trainers! What good pups!

I took some videos of all the OBay pups at the training day. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my video camera and used my little digital camera instead. It fustrates me as it uses Quicktime and I do not know how to make movies from Quicktime clips. So I have to publish each clip seperately instead of combining on one movie. Sorry! So it may take me a little longer to do any of the older dogs videos but I will start with some clips of the puppies. I have been very fustrated trying to do these videos! I think I need a new compact video camera; we just need to decide which one!

Here is a little jumping sequence with Yazz and Karen.

Here is Marilyn and Zavvi on her jumping sequence.

While the older dogs trained Karen and I did a few Aframes with Zaz and Yazz. (yes we often get those names mixed up!)

Here is Yazz.

And here is my gorgeous amazing Zaz.

After the training session we all went back to our house for lunch and cake and birthday presents. All the shelties joined in on the gifts and there was alot of paper shredded around the living room!

Zeki looks like she is saying that she had NOTHING to do with the mess.

Little Vinnie was invited to the party since he won't have any littermates to join him in his own 1st birthday next year! We were all surprised at how small he turned out. Shelties are not easy to breed and you never know just what you will get! He is adorable anyway and he doesn't realize how small he is!

We had cake for the humans.

But even better was the "doggie" cake that Marilyn and Zavvi brought to the party. It was gorgeous and had all the 4 pups names on the cake and had "here come the girls" on pink ribbon wrapped around the cake.

This doggie cake was made with liver and other things but actually smelled delicious! The dogs all waited patiently for their piece of cake. Well most waited but you cannot blame Zavvi for stealing her piece off the table. She had to endure the 4 hour ride with the cake in her car and just could NOT wait any longer!

It was great to see so many of the OBay shelties together. Zen and Tazz did a great job producing these puppies and it is so gratifying for me to see them all in loving happy homes. Thanks to all who came to the GIRLPOWER 1st birthday party! And PS it was not as noisy as expected!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Girlpower pups 1st birthday Party Portraits

There were alot of black shelties around the house today! The party game should have been "Who can correctly name each sheltie?" OR "Who can find their own black sheltie?". But the stars of the day were the Girl Power pups themselves. From left to right: Zaz, Itz, Zavvi and Yazoo. A photo of the proud mum Zen (far right) with her year old pups. And not to forget Zev, Ziga and Zeki who are just missing their last littermate Zinna. They never had their own birthday party so they joined in today! More photos and videos in a day or so. All the dogs were so good together; there were no problems other than some cake stealing going on.....That is little Vinny (Luna's pup Neil who is now 5.5 months old) eating the "doggie cake". Grandma (me) is allowed to teach them bad habits like eating off coffee tables! Oh yes in case you are wondering: Vinnie is teeny tiny! Another Zinna in the making!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Little Witch and A Birthday Party coming up!

My sister Terry sent me this photo of Little Zinna dressed up for Halloween. Oh what we put our dogs through....

Sadly Zinna will be missed this weekend at Zaz and Itz's 1st Birthday party. This is the first time in over 5 years that I am doing a "birthday party" for one of my litters. We did have a party 5 years ago for Zen and her littermates (Lucky,Bailey, Timmy, Chi and Unique). It was a great party BUT it was exceptionally LOUD! It has taken me 5 years to get up the courage to do it again! haha. But Zaz and Itz are such special little pups to me and I had to celebrate their 1st birthday. So joining Zaz, Itzy, Yaz and Zavvi at their first birthday party will be Zinna's littermates Zeki, Zev and Ziga. Do you think I will be able to keep ANY of those names straight? I will be going zzzzzzzzzzzzz oh whatever!

For those who have asked me about how I used the Manner's Minder for Contacts. I will try and find a video of the pups when I first started them on the plank. Unfortunately it won't show much as I usually just focused the camera on the plank and you cannot see the manners minder as it is much further away. I also turned off the "beep" sound on the manners minder so that it wouldn't turn into another cue for the pup. If I get a chance I will do this tonight or tomorrow but first I have to clean the house to get ready for our guests!

Here is a photo of Zen's 1st Birthday bash. The only missing pup from that litter was Unique who was in Denmark.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Manners Minder Remote Reward and fantastic customer service!

So I must say that lately I have just come to expect bad customer service as that is what seems to be the norm. In contrast, this past month, I have received some of the best customer service I have ever experienced!

I have been using the "Manners Minder" Remote Reward Training System to help train Zaz and Itzy on their contacts. The Manners Minder is a remote food dispensing reward machine. It has been very successful but I had been having some small glitches with the machine itself being slightly temperamental.

The Manners Minder is produced by Premier Pet Products. Dennis brought this back for me during the summer when he was back in New York. Although I was pleased with it and it accomplished what I wanted it for (running contacts); I had trouble with the remote at times. So I contacted the company this month (a few months after I initially purchased it) to see if they could help and they immediately mailed me a new remote to see if that would solve the problem.

Unfortunately that did not solve the problem and the machine was still acting temperamental. In response to that they immediately offered to mail me a WHOLE NEW MACHINE! I did NOT expect such an immediate response. What a pleasant surprise: a company that has fantastic CUSTOMER SERVICE!

I received the new Manners Minder today and it works like a dream! I can stand a huge distance from the machine with the remote behind my back and it still works! yeah!! I thought it was a good product but now I think it is a GREAT product. I can't wait to use it in teaching other behaviors now.

BTW, Our LI Sheltie rescue always used their martingale collars for our sheltie rescues (as shelties are prone to backing out of their collars). They do have some great products and how refreshing to deal with a company like this!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Zaz and Itz Training November 2009

I am pretty confident that Zaz and Itz are done growing. They have both been in season and they both seem physically grown up. So now agility training can really begin and it is such an exciting time for us! This is the stuff that I just love; the feeling that all our foundation work is coming together and the obstacle training itself is just a bonus.

Each puppy has their own little agility class during the week as well as our own training right here in my back garden. I am so lucky as both Zaz and Itz's agility classes are small and safe with friendly dogs and we get so much done in each class. I do most of my "real" obstacle training at home and use the classes to train around distractions and work on jumping sequences. I also try to take both puppies to private lessons with Lesley whenever I can. In between Nancy has been a great help to me with both puppies; a great sounding board because she has been playing around with running contacts also. :-) This past weekend I took Zaz to her first training day with Nancy and we had a great time. A puppy agility class with three shelties Zaz, Yaz and Wish; what could be better? And, no it wasn't a noisy class at all!

Since today was so beautiful we just had to be outside. When Dennis got home from golfing I grabbed him to do a little video of the pups obstacle training to show how they are progressing. After that we had a great walk with all the dogs and enjoyed the beautiful November sunshine. What a gorgeous day!

It was Bonfire night on Thursday and we have been so lucky not to have fireworks nearby. I feel awful for the dogs that have to put up with the fireworks all weekend. Lucky has come to stay with us for the weekend because the fireworks are so loud around his house. Lucky (Zen's brother) has been such a joy to have around and it has been a nice change to have a dog that likes to sit on your lap when we watch TV at night. Unlike my girls who are always scattered around the floor or in other rooms, Lucky loves to cuddle.

Anyway enjoy Zaz and Itzy's video and don't laugh at my constant "good girls"! I just cannot help it as they are just so GOOD and so cute and I just love both of them!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

ArchAngel Halo Extraordinare

I just wanted to share a note I received last month about one of my pups. Halo is Jordan's baby girl; one of only two pups that Jordan gave me those many years ago. Halo was to have been my dog; the sable girl I had been wanting so badly. But things were not meant to be and Halo went to live with Karen in New Jersey almost 9 years ago. I know that these things always happen for a reason and I think that reason was that Halo was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago. Karen fought as hard as Halo and with determination together they came through.

Can you believe the size of that Rosette?! I think it is appropriate that our Angel "Halo" (O'Bay Say a Little Prayer) has been awarded the title of ARCHex.

From Karen:
Just a quick note

Little miss Halo, the miracle dog fought cancer and has achieved more since that battle than many pups without her handicap. 2 years ago we could only hope that Halo would live to have a quality life after her battle with cancer. And, although she is somewhat challenged by the scars left by the radiation and staph infection, she has gone forward with the class and determination that is Halo.

This past week-end she earned her ARCHEX (APDT Rally Champion Extraordinaire). To get to this point she had to earn 10 QQs in Rally levels 2 and 3 and do so with scores of 195 or better for each Q. The ribbon we were awarded is bigger than Halo, but can't compare to the size of her heart. She is truly the apple of her mother's eye and loved to pieces. I have never had a dog like her and probably never will again. I've attached a pic of Halo, the judge under whom we earned the last qualifying leg, the ribbon and me. .

Gotta love this dog to pieces. Now we're back to some serious work in utility and herding. Yes Bernadette, Halo is back to herding along with Kismet. Halo's leg doesn't seem to be able to handle agility with the zeal that Halo likes to move, but she does very well with the sheep. She's not wild, listens and loves to work.

Thanks Karen for giving Halo the best home and a helping her recover from that awful cancer. Even though I cried all the way there and back; I think I made the right decision when I drove her to your home all those years ago!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Kizzy, Wizz, Zoe and Oz (and the blog!)

It is hard to believe that it was back in September 2006 that this blog was started to keep everyone up to date on these potential puppies! Three years ago today Zen gave birth to her first litter of pups. Happy birthday to Kizzy, Wizz, Zoe and Oz.

The very first "Z" litter! Gosh what a hard time I had getting those owners to give their puppy "Z" names. I finally had to compromise and let them just pick names with "z" in the name instead of starting with "Z" as I really had preferred. Meanwhile the 2nd Zen litter had very obedient owners who named their puppies Zeki, Zinna, Ziga and Zev! They must have really wanted their puppies!

Here is Zen with her first litter.

Three years later and this blog has been a fantastic way to keep in touch with the growing OBay Family. I find it hard to believe that we have had over 190,000 visitors to the blog from 100 different countries! How fabulous is that?

Thanks to everyone who reads the blog and makes such lovely comments. I feel like I have so many more friends in so many different countries and maybe one day will get to meet everyone in person!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I have some favorite blogs; ones that I look at everyday. I find them almost like reading the newspaper in the morning, entertaining and educational also. Some blogs I only check once and awhile; they are the ones that are mainly outlets for brags. There is nothing wrong with those blogs, they are just different, not as interesting for me to read everyday, but I like them to keep up with what friends and acquaintances are doing. Then, of course, there are the blogs of my own pups and those I like to check all the time!

Some blogs just make me laugh or cry as they are so honest. It seems as if the blogger is just chatting with me,the reader, from the other side of the world. You will see many of those blogs on my blog list. They are there because I enjoy reading them.

My favorite blogs discuss training and my most favorite ones discuss puppy training. I love to watch the blogs that bring on pups and their training right from the start up until competition. Ones like Elite Forces of Fuzzy Destruction. This blog details training and competition with videos AND she has a new puppy! With some of these blogs I can see what worked and what did not and it helps me decide what I might like to do with my own dogs. Those are the honest blogs, the ones that tell the bad and the good! Actually many of these blogs have shaped my training over the years. When you train on your own often, like I do, it is nice to watch how other people train and handle. I liken it to training days; I sometimes get more out of watching other people and what the trainer advises them than I do when I run my own dog. Watching videos and reading training discussions on blogs can be done in my own time and when I have few distractions. That is why I enjoy it so much.

Anyway another one of my favorite blogs is The Dog Blog!. (As an aside the blogger, Sassie, is getting a new puppy soon and I look forward to watching that puppy grow and learn as she is an interesting trainer!) While I like to watch her training and competition videos; today I just wanted to share a blog post from Sassie that for some reason just hit me as particularly insightful and I thought some of you would enjoy it. You can read it at
Want some Advice?.

Since I find any blog post without video or photos boring; here is another Pink Croc Bed photo! This time we found Pax asleep in the croc.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Supadogs Final 2009

Last weekend we competed at the Supadog Final. The other day I was looking at the videos that Dennis took of the runs. I was very pleased with Zen's performances but I laughed when I saw the end of the video. Thank goodness Ian kept his dog on lead! I never even noticed what nearly happened nor did Zen even show that she noticed. A good reason to have the start and finish line further apart I think!

Zen won this class and it was great to be out running her again. She has been on a break since the World champs and her last show before that was nearly 2 months ago!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Photos from Austria

A german friend on facebook posted some action shots of her dog from the world champs. So I asked her for links to try and find ANY action photos of Zen. So far not much luck. :-( If anyone knows of any out there please let me know? Sometimes I think Zen has a action shot photo filter on her because the photographers either never seem to get photos of her or the ones they get are blurry.

So I am searching photo after photo of any photo that has a tri sheltie and nothing. But I found this! This must have been taken after our last run. I love Zen's face which says "Enough of this love stuff let me run again!"

Monday, October 19, 2009

Zaz and Itz Training Oct 2009

I haven't said too much about Zaz and Itz's training lately. Mostly because it is only just starting to come all together now and we can begin focus on obstacles. The pups are now nearly 11 months old and I feel that they are mature enough mentally and physically to do most obstacles fully. The only two agility obstacles that we will be waiting on will be the A-Frame and the Weaves.

I have struggled to find appropriate classes for the pups especially as I need TWO classes. Thankfully Nandy has put on a puppy class that is just fabulous for Zaz and I have found a local class (with all small dogs!) for Itz. Now I am a happy trainer!

While I mostly train on my own; the pups do need to get to places to experience other dogs running and get on other equipment. And it is just nice to socialize and see how other people are training. On the other hand I am so protective of my two little girls and worry about them getting hurt by out of control big dogs; so classes scare me also! How many times have I heard about a dog getting bowled down by another dog during class and it either ruins the dogs enthusiasm for agility or damages it physically. I am lucky that so far all the dogs in my classes seem friendly and calm. Itz is probably the one most likely to chase at this point!

So the next few months are going to be focusing on the pup's training. It is a very exciting time to watch them each develop and show their potential. Watch this space!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I have been going through old photos that I brought back from our New York house. Dennis has scanned some for me (the old days of non-digital!) We have some changes going on right now and it makes me want to look back at happy days.

I thought it fitting to start with the above photo of Joy taken at Liberty State Park with the Twin Towers behind her. Those were the pre-agility days when I would spend my time at breed and obedience shows. I always loved the show at Liberty State Park because the obedience was inside and the breed show outside. Joy was the greatest dog to show in both breed and obedience as she was up for anything. I still miss her...

My best New York training buddies had golden retrievers. I love this photo of a very young Pax with Viva, Bounty and Teddy. The funny thing is that, for no reason, Pax (as only Pax could do) took a huge dislike to all Golden retrievers! But you couldn't tell that from this happy photo. I think it was taken during the time that Pax had begun to suffer from seizures and I thought I would lose her. Thank God she is still with us 12 years later.

This was the England-four. These were the 4 dogs we orginally brought over to England with us. It was an exciting yet scary time and I am glad we made the leap. Monty had just joined our household around that time and almost returned him to his breeder instead of bringing him over to England. I bought Monty when he was 1.5 years old and had only had him for a few months when we decided to come to England. I thought his breeder would want him back instead of letting him go to another country where she would lose the chance to breed from him. I was in the process of turning him over when I just broke down in tears and told her I really wanted to keep him. She went into tears and said she really wanted me to have him but thought I did not want him. So we both cried and luckily I was able to take him to England with me. Without Monty I would not have Zen nor her gorgeous pups Zaz and Itz. I think I made the right choice in bringing Monty along!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Little Mouse and Pink Crocs

I have just returned from a trip back "home" to New York. It was only for a week so it seemed like it was hard to pack everything in. But my main concern was finally getting to see the little "Mouse". Mouse, now re-named Zinna, was that special hand fed puppy from Zen's litter 1 1/2 years ago. I have not seen her in person since she left England at 10 weeks.

Zinna has stayed the size of an actual mouse and is officially the smallest sheltie ever produced here at OBay! She is only 10.5" and 7 pounds. That is sheltie breeding for you! You never know what will come out!

Here is a photo of Zinna and me. (If we had any better photos I would show them but we only had my little camera with us.)

And little Zinna's face in a photo taken on our boat trip around the lake. Look at those perfect sheltie ears!

Zinna bought a present for her mum Zen's achievements at the World Champs. Well really I think it was my sister Terry that bought it but I go with what I am told! I have to honestly say I have NEVER seen a dog bed like this before! haha Unfortunately Zen refuses to lay in it and says she was cheated. Her puppies on the other hand love it!


Itz is most often found in the croc bed with her head hanging over the side. How can that be comfortable?

Zaz likes it also but is more refined in her positioning in the bed!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our World Agility Championships 2009

Well I had loads of thoughts to put down in the blog about the World Championships but they have left my head. I have just returned from a quick trip back to NY and we have too much going on! So all organized thoughts of the World Champs have gone. I wish I could be organized and efficient like some bloggers and put the thoughts down immediately. This could have been done if we actually had internet access but that never seems to be the case.

What can I say except we had a great time and Zen was my little star. Whether I go again next year will depend on alot of things but I do enjoy the experience each and every time. I have been so fortunate to be on Team GB five times with two dogs and it does get easier each time. We all deal with nerves differently and it is so interesting to "people watch" at the World Championships. I have heard a few times about how "cool" I am on the start line and that makes me smile. It has taken a long time to feel that way and I am so glad that I can enjoy stepping to the line instead of being nervous. I attended my first World Championships as a spectator back in 2002 in Dortmund and then 2003 in Leiven and 2004 in Italy. I made a vow back then to eventually get there myself and to be as cool as Nicola Garrett when I enter the arena. While I will never be as cool as Nicky when I run I just pretend as I step to the line! ha!

I would suggest any agility fanatics think about going at least once in their lives. It is an experience not to be missed. AND the support means so much to the team. I greatly appreciated each and eveyone who came each year that I have run even if I do not know them personally. To step onto that line and hear the cheering is a once in a life time experience that I have been lucky to experience more than once!

So no long winded course analysis or deep thoughts. Enjoy some photos that were taken during the weekend.

This photo was taken after our warm up practice which consisted of a few of our dogs (yes Zen too!) running into cardboard tunnels that were supposed to be barriers between the practice rings! She even mother-flickered away from me into one and that should have clued me into a later mother-flicker that got us E'd! Darn Austrian cardboard tunnels! haha

I love Zen's tongue in this photo. And how about the sign above our heads!

You know how everyone talks about getting on the "world team" as if it is so prestigious and exciting. Well check out our prestigious and classy locker room! They were metal caging covered in plastic sheeting! hahaha It felt as if we were either in a crazy room in a mental instituion or that they expected some bloodshed.

By the way that is my bum in the photo as my team-mates and I warmed up before our runs. One of my teammates is a serious excercise freak and the other is a very young agile 20-something....hmmm guess who really needed the warmup! me!

Alan continues his warm-ups in our fancy locker room. Indy thinks he is crazy but then again Indy spends alot of time with Nicky (not big into our warm-up routine were you Nicky?) But please notice the carpet on our locker room floor! It was "borrowed" (read stolen) by our fearless assistant coach who shall be nameless. When he brought it into the locker room he said "Just don't ask"....so we didn't.

I was very proud to have been asked to hold the flag during the opening ceromony and tried not to cry when walking in. The flag did get heavy though and I handed it to my team mate Alan during the speeches!

The team was given fleecy pompom toys for the dogs by a very nice lady who I have forgotten to thank (thanks to the lady who breeds the borderstorm border collies!). But the team used them instead as cheerleader's pompoms to wave around! Here is Alan shaking his pom-poms. I must say that Alan is the best team-mate to have around. Thanks Alan for all your support and your cheerfullness and your positive attitude.

Here is our medium team. Yes we had two medium border collies on our team; just get over it world!

A picture is worth a thousand words. Ohh dear Roger.

Zen and I know how to pose for our photos! Please note donated fleecy pom pom AND Snugglepet Fleece Harness and Leads donated by SNUGGLEPET the best bestest ever harness makers!

Unlike Team GB who just really cannot totally get it together for any photo. In this shot the small dog handlers refused to pick their dogs up because their feet would get their shirts dirty. Make the Large dog handlers pick up their dogs for once! Small dogs rule!

What is Lee thinking? World domination...running contacts.....tight turns....
But I can make fun of him because he never ever reads blogs so please don't any of you tell him!

Natasha won the world championships with one hand tied behind her back and while being sick and almost slept through her last run! Ok I lied about the one hand behind her back but she was sick all weekend AND she almost slept through her last run!

And this one is just funny. This is Dennis after I ask him ONE MORE TIME if Zen has had a pee/poo.

Until the next time!