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.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Many Faces of Zen

We have to give back the Working section sheltie trophies soon so we took this photo of Zen. These were the Sheltie of the Year and Agility Sheltie of the Year trophies. I think Zen won them every year for the past 4 years except for the year that Hex won. The Sheltie of the Year trophy is absolutely gorgeous and I will miss that one. But Zen has done enough winning and I know that she will always be the Sheltie of a Lifetime for me; so I will pass these trophies on this year and not apply for them anymore for Zen. Maybe one of her babies will be lucky enough to win them another year.

Zen looks so relaxed and mellow in this photo. You could not tell that she actually hates cameras and would like to launch off the table and attack the lens!

Zen does not care about trophies or ribbons. Give her a ball and she is happy (or actually slightly crazy!) I love this photo as it is so very ZEN.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Zaz and Itz training Jan 2010

I have started entering agility shows for the next season and realized that I can start entering the dynamic duo in UKA shows in April and KC shows in June! That was quick!

Zaz and Itz are almost 14 months old. I am just blown away by how much they know already yet realize there is so much more to teach them. Not being able to work in our garden for 4 months has really slowed down their training. So right now I have two lovely pups who enjoy training and enjoy running in agility. The fine tuning and details will come later.

I am constantly amazed by how quickly dogs learn agility. While they are certainly not polished; the pups are now doing full upright weaves. How did that happen so quickly? Weaves are one obstacle that I really admire the dogs for understanding. We have alot of proofing to do working on entries and exits and speed but they both have a nice foundation already.

We did a little training this week and I tried to do video with my new Iphone. Not the greatest video quality but not bad for a phone! I am not sure what happened at the end of the clip; it must have had something to do with the editing or transfer to You tube as the skipping did not show up on the original video. How consistant am I; Zaz and Itz both have iffy startlines! I think it must be genetic rather than bad training? VBG Here are the Naughty sisters.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Noel and Tess 1993

In the "olden" days I used to do obedience with my dogs. I really did enjoy it and wish I had more time to do obedience here in England. I dabbled with obedience with Joy and Pax when I first came here but have not put in the training to do it with my younger dogs. Zen is trained up but we have not competed. Obedience heelwork here is so different and I really do not like the extreme heel positions needed so I will stick with agility for now!

These photos were taken at the same venue where we took the photos of the dogs with the Twin Towers in the background. It was a beautiful park in NJ (Pallisades Park) that looked over at Manhattan. I loved that show and have so many photos from there in my many boxes trickling in from New York. The obedience took place in an old railway station and was so pretty.

Now don't laugh (really stop laughing! I am warning you!) I was so proud of that outfit! I have never been a fashion expert that is for sure!

This was my lovely rescue GSP Tess. One of the best dogs EVER. I was so proud of her that day as we had a run-off for 3rd place. Unfortunately we lost the run-off but I did not care and I still had to have a photo taken.

Noel was my first sheltie. We picked her up as a puppy on the day we returned home from our honeymoon. She was a shy and ornery but we loved her anyway. She got over her fears and did quite well in obedience considering she was the first dog I had ever trained.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Everyone Loves Jordan: 14 years old

There is a great TV show in the US called "Everyone Loves Raymond". That show used to just crack me up as it was based on Long Island and I could just relate. For the UK folk: it was kind of a "Gavin and Stacey" for Long Island. VBG

Anyway that is just an introduction to my "Happy 14th Birthday Jordan" blog post. We have a saying on our house about Jordan and it is "Everyone Loves Jordan". All dogs and all people cannot help but love Jordan. Sweet, friendly and good hearted is our Jordan. She has never known a stranger. From the time I met her at 10 months old to the day I brought her home at 2 years old to today 12 years later... she has never changed. She is the dog that taught me the most about clicker training. She came to me knowing nothing, had no training foundations and was not even housebroken but quickly caught on to training and went on to complete her MX and AXJ in agility. She had breed points but the same injury caused her to gait strangely and I decided not to waste my money anymore.

Most people in the UK do not really know Jordan as well as my other dogs as she never did agility here. During her last year in agility in the US she slowed down tremendously and it took me a long time to realize it was due to an injury. I was always sad that I did not pick it up sooner and retire her earlier. But here she is now at 14 years old; happy and healthy and sound. You would never know she was 14 except for her white eyelashes. She has no stiffness, no lameness and no arthritis. She jumps out of bed in the morning as she never wants to miss a meal. She constantly trips us up as she lays at our feet hoping that she will catch us if we head to the kitchen for anything.

Happy 14th Birthday to my beautiful Jordan. Nite nite.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lots going on yet nothing going on!

We have had more snow today. It really puts a damper on puppy training! I actually got my clicker out and started working on new tricks with Zaz and Itz. It made me laugh as I realized I have done very few tricks or basic obedience with these two hooligans. Zaz was killing my fingers grabbing the chicken when I tried to reward her and all I could think of was "Susan G. would think I was a crap trainer"! I must be reading too many Susan Garrett blog posts lately!

I just puttered around with trying to teach either pup to pick up a dumbbell (waste of time as all they wanted to do was target it or hit it out of my hands with their feet!) and trying to teach them to weave between my legs. Zaz got the weave between my legs but was killing my fingers and Itz thought all she should do is go behind my back and try and do her "set-up" routine. Hmmmm not a productive morning!

We have alot going on that is exciting. We have sold our New York house and hopefully it should close next week if the new buyers don't try anymore shenanigans. Also we have decided to sell our house here in England and look for another place nearby. I would like something a little more quiet and off the main road. This house is great but I wish I could just push it a few hundred yards away from the road. We have started looking and that seems like it will be quite an adventure. I get so excited when I see something that looks good only to find out it is on a main road, too close to neighbors or under the Gatwick flight path! The right house will come along but I do hate to wait for things!

The nice thing about the snow is that the road in front of us had been quiet lately!

Our New York house is now empty and slowly boxes are coming over. It is so exciting to open the boxes and see things that I haven't seen for years. Some things are so sentimental that I cannot help crying. I just opened a box with my Scrapbook photo albums from Joy, Pax and Jordan's show careers. I was amazed at how much I did with each dog from herding to breed showing to agility and travel all over the US, Canada and Bermuda. My three gorgeous sable girls. What great times we had. Maybe I cannot get my next sable girl as she will have a hard time being compared to those three.

Here are my gorgeous sable girls (and one handsome black boy!) when we first came over to England. (L to R Pax, Monty, Jordan and Joy)

Now I have loads of old photos to scan and I also realize how nice it was to have those scrapbooks. I really need to do the same with Zaz and Itz so that I have something I can look at without opening the computer.

So opening boxes, talking on the phone with ten gazillion estate agents and scouring the internet for houses is taking up my time while I watch the snow fall. The pups get exercise by running around like fools in the snow while I watch and laugh. Occasionally I get out there and run around with them!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hob-b and Max

Before the "big snow" we had a lovely visit from Hob-b and Max. Max is Hex and Indy's full litter brother. And, of course, you all know little gorgeous Hob-b! Little Hob-let, Hob-noxious or Hob-stinate as she is fondly called by all who know and love her. She is now spoiled and living with Max and his family a few towns over. I love this photo of Hob-b as it epitomizes her life's philosophy! She is a little diva and still as cute as a button.

It is always a little heart-wrenching for me to see Max but it is getting easier. He is so similar to Hex; right down to his mannerisms. Max and Hob-b are so well matched; two little fluff balls. I am have been so lucky with the homes I have found for my pup-lets.

Well we are still bored here but the snow is thawing slowly. All training classes cancelled again this week. sigh.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Bored now!

The BIG snow hit the UK this week. I have been stuck in the house now for 3 days and we had no electric and no INTERNET for one of those days! Dennis was very resourceful and got the caravan generator out to fire up a space heater for us as I was worried it was going to get too cold for Pax. We also fired up the caravan and were able to put the cold food in the caravan refrig. The frozen food went into bags and into the snow!

Sadly all my agility classes have been cancelled and I cannot train the pups at all. Boo hoo! But really I cannot complain as this is so unusual for us here in England and we used to have to put up with the snow and ice in New York for the entire winter. That said, at least when in snowed in NY you could still travel once they cleared the roads. Here in the southeast of England they don't do snow plows and salt. They are just not prepared as it is an unusual occurrence. So it can be very dangerous to head out and I am keeping any driving to a minimum. On the positive side it has been so peaceful and quiet without cars driving by on the road in front of our house. Heaven!

Dennis actually had to shut down the factory for 2 days. They finally opened today but only after a few hardworking employees (including Dennis) came in and shovelled snow all day yesterday just to try and clear an area to park. They only had ONE snow shovel between them and the rest had to shovel with garden spades. Folks in the US probably could not imagine a factory not being able to even hire a snow plow but they don't have them here.

The other crazy thing is that yesterday after he left the factory he stopped at the supermarket only to find out that it was practically empty! No milk or bread to be found! Crazy!

We did have a chance to play in the snow and build a snowman but I am bored now! The pups love it and Itzy will whine at the door just to get me to let her out to play. Strangely, before the snow, we received a pirate chest in the post. Not just any pirate chest but a pirate chest that may be used in a Crufts Freestyle routine in the main ring. Don't fall off your chairs; it is not me that will be doing a Crufts Freestyle routine. Johanna and Soda will be at Crufts this year representing Denmark in the International Freestyle Competition. So she bought this pirate chest on Ebay and sent it to me until she can come get it at the end of the month. I just cannot let a pirate chest hang around doing nothing so Zaz and Itz got to play. The first photo is funny to me because Pax got tired of hearing the pups carrying on and getting the attention and she just wandered into the photo.

Zaz is so cute! But, please, when is her coat going to come back? She looks like a little tiny waif with no hair. Itz is just now going through the same major coat shed and pretty soon the two of them will be totally bald.

Just to keep me motivated; here is a little clip of Zaz and Itz weaving just after Christmas. Luckily we took the little video clips because we were just trying out a new camera (which we returned). I am glad now as it gives me something to look back on over the next few weeks of no training! They were getting the idea and I am glad I waited to introduce weaves until they were ready to progress quickly. After watching the video, I wasn't happy with the way they slipped on the patio slabs, so I moved the weaves back into the grass. Since they are little girls, as long as we did not do too much work in one area, we could keep the mud down now that the ground is frozen. Of course all that was before the snow! Now all training has come to a halt. I look forward to the thaw!

I have two questions..Why do I use the same praise all the time?! and Why did I not fix that one weave pole that was tilting?! LOL Enjoy!


Friday, January 01, 2010

Christmas Part 2

Another Christmas has gone. Dennis knows really well now how to give me the best Christmas pressies! I am now the owner of a new PINK and WHITE A-frame and See-saw! No photos yet as the weather has been so wet and I don't want my new Pink agility obstacles to get wet!

We had a few nice relaxing days with long walks, some visits and relaxing at home. Dennis and I took a great 6 mile walk with Shimmer, Zen, Zaz and Itz on Christmas day. Shimmer was really well-behaved unlike my two hooligan pups who had to run at least 12 miles that day! On boxing day we met up with Nancy and Andy and they took us on a great walk in Ashdown forest.

It is sad not to be able to take Pax walking with us anymore and I hate leaving her behind. She is more comfortable at home and I make sure to take her out in the back garden each day to have a wander around. She cannot walk very far as she is uncomfortable walking. But, like a true OBay sheltie, she still has a great appetite and can still boss the other dogs around. Shimmer had no chance as Pax was determined to let him know that he was the bottom of the pack. He actually perked up up a little as he gave her a reason to get up (to bite him!)

Sonia and Bob came to pick up Shimmer on the Sunday after Boxing Day. He was a good dog but I am glad to be back to just five! They have renamed him "Skipper" and he seems to be settling into their house. This is a photo of Bob when he came to pick up Skipper. Lucky realized what was happening and planted himself on Bob's lap as if to say "This is MY Dad"!

On Monday we met up with Karen and Hannah for lunch and then had a lovely walk in Chobham common.

It was nice going to a house that had a Christmas tree! Dennis and I have not put up a Christmas tree since we came to England in 2001. It just never seemed appropriate as we don't have family coming to visit. Also all our Christmas stuff was back packed up in New York. I had to take a photo of Zaz under the tree.

We got to meet Hannah's new addition, Deece and I got my puppy fix.

Zaz vascillated between loving to play with Deece and trying to put him in his place. She learned well from Pax!

After lunch, we took a walk in Chobham common. It was lovely but a little muddy (again!). I am glad we took the time to take this photo. What well behaved dogs!

Zaz and Itzy are usually in their own world when they walk together. I often have to put one of them on lead to stop them from constantly chasing each other.

No one believes me when I tell them that Itzy can be a little naughty! She loves to chase Zaz and hang onto her tail which is why Zaz has no tail hair! Luckily Zaz is going through a major shed anyway so hopefully, with time, the tail will grow back. I just need to keep Itzy away from it!

Karen did not believe that "butter couldn't melt" Itzy could be naughty. That is until Itzy decides that Yaz has a tasty tail also! Watch how fast Karen can move! This photo is so funny that I had to include it even though it is blurry.

We were trying out our new camera (another pressie!) and tried to take some photos of Todd. He was funny as everytime the camera came out he would grab a toy and shake it around. At least he is better than Zen who will try and attack the camera.

I tried to be very domestic this Christmas and not only cooked Dennis a Christmas roast dinner but also baked the dogs Christmas cookies. I used a recipe from Cadie (Acadia Shelties). I liked the recipe because it did not involve any cooking of liver! (Yuck!) Itz, Zen and Zaz wait to be allowed their cookies. Ahh bless!

The rest of the week flew by and now it is New Years Day 2010. I am looking forward to 2010 and realize everyday how lucky I am to have my wonderful husband and my fantastic dogs. We spent New Years eve at home following my mother in law Helene's tradition. At midnight you must have keys and money in your hand to insure that you always have money in your pocket and a roof over your head. I have added to that tradition and make sure that I always have a sheltie by my side. This year we had 5 shelties by our side and each one has a special place in our hearts.

Happy 2010 to All! Let us all enjoy life as much as these two!