Just a quick post to add a video of some of Mika's and Lenny's runs from Easter.
Mika is now much more responsive to run and we managed some lovely tight turns... as well as some very...... very ....wide ones! ha ha lots to work on, mainly my handling ;-)
Lenny and Jon made their return to the ring for the first time since before christmas, they have had loads of time off for Lenny to recover fully after his operation to remove a ball from his intestines, but as you can see, he is now 100% fit n' well and considering the training he's missed out on over the winter doing quite well :-), Jon is still adjusting to being back running and handling again, but is improving with every run and is enjoying running his pride and joy again, Jon is still not pushing Lenny and is staying calm and letting Len find his feet again, i'm sure it wont be long before they are back to where they were last year :-)
OHHH and the most important news is that Jon and Lenny won the Gr.4 jumping beating the time of the Gr5's by over a second too :-), this is Lenny's 2nd win towards grade 5 so im sure it wont be long now!
The whole weekend was great, brilliant company, some good laughs and some fun courses, I also got to see 4 of Lenny's puppies who are growing up fast and at 7 months old are seriously gorgeous :-)
Here is a photo taken last week of Lenny with his son Tarn, I love this photo, I will nag the owners of the other pups for some photos to post soon.
Our first show of the year finally arrived and what a lovely weekend we had, the weather was stunning and to top it off, Mika ran well :-)
Over the winter I have spent a lot of time changing my handling as I want to achieve tighter turns. I have also been on a diet since January and so far have lost 2 stone 8 pounds!! this was mainly because I wanted to be able to really run and get to parts of the courses that required careful handling which previously I would have had to handle from behind using verbals and flapping my arms about frantically!! ha ha
Its been a tough winter and I was actually told by a friend that I seemed quite depressed with it all and had lost all my confidence (which is true as changing the way you run completely after 20 years almost feels like starting all over again!) but I was very pleased how It all came together at the show! As the video below shows, I ran!.. I was able to get to places I would have never thought possible and my turns were much better! Watching the video back I can see I still have a lot to improve upon, particularly where my arms are but I can defiantly see a vast improvement so I'm hoping for a good season!
Mika's first clear of the weekend was in a tricky grade 5 Agility, I walked the course with a "can do" attitude and decided on turns that I would never have done before. However my plan was very much to train the contacts as although Mika is now ready for Grade 6, my plan for the year was to have a good crack at the Novice Olympia qualifiers..... Somehow because of the difficulty of the course my contact training was not enough and with mixed feelings we won the class.. taking us grade 6 and away from those Novice chums I so wanted :-(.... Still it was a great feeling to get clear around this course as it required handling and running, neither of which were my strongest points! Mika got a steak dinner for his achievement, and Jon and I shared a bottle of Champagne so a happy evening was had by all!
Ive obviously had a lot of help in my complete change af handling so I'd Like to thank Laura for helping... Id like to say for also being so patient but that's not one of her strong points!.. nether-less thanks Laura and also Lee as who taught Laura the handling I'm trying to use... with variable results!! Lol
Jon ran Dylon in a couple of jumping classes and started to get the feeling back for being in the ring :-D
Lenny is all healed now after his operation to remove a ball from his guts! and is ready to come back. Having nursed him steadily back to full height, it is now just a question of Jon feeling confident to get back in the ring with him maybe Wallingford but if not, i'm really hoping by Easter they will feel ready!
Here is the video of some of Mika's work over the weekend, still lots to improve upon, but we are heading in the right direction!! :-D
Its been a very scary week and we had to rush him back to the vets Friday when he started being sick again but after a few more injections and extra tablets we seemed to have turned a corner and hopefully Lenny is on the road to recovery :-)
In the last 24 hours he has really perked up and is eating plenty and playing with is kong like nothings happened! Infact our biggest problem at the moment is keeping him quiet to allow the wonds to heal!
Obviously we couldnt go to Mid downs so our first Agility show wont now be till April, although of course Lenny will have to sit the first few out till he's back to full fittness! which judging by the way he's bounced back from all this will be along time after HE thinks he's ready! Lol
One week to go till our first agility show of the year! It seems so long since we last competed and we are sure to be rusty as hell... but I can't wait! Its been such a such a long wet winter!
Lenny is getting back to himself after his mystery illness, the vet and we were almost convinced he had either a partial blockage or a foreign body in his stomach, yet there were niggling doubts that stopped the vet opening him up and although we are not out of the woods yet, touch wood he seems so much better! he is his normal bouncy self is eating properly and is now back working :-) but we are constantly on watch incase the symptoms reoccur - yet are hopeful it was some strange prolonged gastro bug!
Inca is coming on in leaps and bounds in both her Agility and Flyball and is picking things up quickly we missed alot of her starter Flyball class due to her season, but last week she did her first proper full runs and her box is looking lovely :-) here is a video of her at training on friday, im so pleased with her and hopefully she will speed up even more over the next few weeks as her confidence grows :-)
Woody as usual is his normal unflappable self at Flyball! he's such a good boy and knows his job so well hardly ever putting a foot wrong! here he is training with some of his team on friday.
Lastly there is Mika, he like Woody knows his job and loves Flyball as much as he does his Agility, I think the plan is to move him from lead dog to running 2nd or 3rd this year so it will be me that messes up as I really need to work on my passes! bellow is a video taken on friday of the Mika man in action.
Well it seems like ages since i've last posted on here!! Mainly because there's not been much going on! We have had the winter off Agility and Flyball shows and have been instead enjoying long walks with the dogs, we are so lucky to live in Wiltshire, such beautiful countryside on our doorstep :-)
Inca has been attending a beginers Flyball class since October and is starting to get the hang of it, though progress is slow as we missed quite a few lessons due to her season etc. But she seems to be enjoying it and I think everyone at club is enjoying watching me nearly collapse from trying to run three dogs on one night!!
Inca had her hip scored last week so we are now impatiently awaiting the results, the vet said they looked good but its always a nervous wait!
Now that the hip scoring is out of the way its time to start her Agility training properly as she has been wrapped up in cotton wool until her x-ray!! but I've now realised that we only have 5 months until she can compete so I'm starting to pull my finger out!
She is an incredibly fast learner and is a pleasure to train :-) below is a video of her taken at training today, what a good girlie!!
Im not sure what i've decided about her contacts yet, I've just started teaching her a stop on the dogwalk as after considering trying for a running contact I decided I just couldn't see the stride patten needed to achieve consistency on this obsticle, however I am at this time considering a running A-Frame. Im lucky enough to Train with a friend who has great running contacts and have enlisted her help in achieving this, however if im not 100% sure that I can do it correctly I will revert to a stop at the bottom so Ill wait and see what happens before making a final decision!!
Lastly Must say a massive CONGRATULATIONS to Laura Chudleigh and Rodney for their brilliant win at Olympia. Rodney is a Dylon pup and litter brother to my Mika and Lenny so to say im proud is an understatement :-D
So in the end I decided on Mika and Lenny and Dylon, leaving poor Woody, Saffie and Inca at home looking after a hungover Jon!!
It was great to see everybody again and despite the long day I had a really great time.
I took the camera to video the runs but the batteries died as soon as Laura tried to use it so that was the end of that! :-(
His first class was the 3-4 combined Jumping, I tried to run this the way Jon would as Lenny is used to his style of handling so I put some effort in and got into all the correct places to put in the turns needed! He was such a good boy, and flew round. He's so nice to run very much like Dylon - responsive and fast. His one only wide turn on the pullthrough at the end (my fault) cost us some time but we had done enough and WON the class :-D what a good boy! Thats his first win towards grade 5 as we havn't done any shows since he went grade 4, so made the journey well worth it!!
His second class was the 4-5 Agility and this was just contact training for us so we put in a steady clear but held the contacts for ages (at Jons strict instructions) he came off his seesaw contact as I ran past and did a turn so I led him down and held him there for a few seconds, but appart from that he was a good boy :-)
His last class was the 4-5 Jumping which was quite a tricky course in parts, and he was such a good boy, he tried to take the obvious path at each trap but really listened to my instructions so although a bit messy in places we got round with just 5 faults for a pole down.
All in all Lenny was Brill today :-)
MIkas first class was the tricky 4-5 Jumping, having done no shows and very limited training since the begining of September, combined with the fact that this was the first proper indoor multi ring show he has done he just wasnt listening at all! He fell into every trap possible and really wasnt firing on all cylinders. I was quite dissapointed with this round and felt a bit embarrased slinking out the ring having been E'd about 5 times!! Lol
His second class was the 4-5 Agility. This again was contact training for us, and he had started to get his confidence back, he pulled off a steady clear but I was a bit dissapointed with his contacts as he did stop on each one nicely in the correct position, but self released after a couple of seconds on each (so I led him down for a further couple of seconds after each self release). Im not sure what to do about this his contacts are so nice and he fires down the the correct place and stops dead and will happily stay there waiting for his release command but if it doesnt come soonish he seems to loose interest and dis-mount! Do I insist upon him waiting there for ages (something he obviously doesnt enjoy) or should I just do 2 second holds before releasing when training in the ring? I havnt got a contact problem with him he knows and always goes to the correct postition , he just seems to "switch off" if waiting there too long!! Silly boy Lol
His last round of the day was the Graded 5-7 jumping, I liked this course it was mostly all things in my comfort zone and I think because of this I ran it much more positively, he was like a little rocket, I love running him when he's like this, such fun! :-) he ran the course like a dream apart from the pull through which was the only part I was worried about with him and I babied him making the turn wide and a bit slow as a result, apart from this he did a stonking clear and finished 2nd, What a good boy :-)
Id only entered Dylon in the 2 jumping courses as I have a continual battle with his contacts and at nearly 10 years old i've given up nagging him!
I was so pleased with my Mr D, he may not be as fast as he was in his hey day but he is just so responsive and we just seem to understand each other so well.
The 6-7 jumping felt great! apart from the small matter of an E for going into the wrong end of the tunnel he was lovely and faster than hes been for a while too. I always leave the ring Buzzing after running Dylon when he goes like that :-)
His second class was the graded 5-7 jumping, again he was on form! he has at last tightened his turns up and now whips round the wings, just an unlucky pole down but Oh how I love running Dylbert!! :-D
Well the Agility and Flyball season is over for another year and with just a few indoor shows planned we now have the winter to relax and also get in some much needed training!
Inca is 10 months now and has just started a beginners Flyball course which she's picking up quickly and loving it! Ive also started to do a little bit of Agility with her, she has a great "wait" and really enjoys it. Shes only done a couple of short sessions and we have so much more to do, but shes just a baby and I cant see the rush. Inca's happily running over very low jumps(poles on the feet of the jumps) and working on to tunnels, we have also done a bit of directional work.
Woody, Mika and Lennon have all moved up a couple of grades in Agility this year, so we now have the winter to prepare them for the more technical courses.
Lennys puppies are growing up fast and are off to their new homes this weekend, they are such a lovely litter, both in looks and attitude Im so happy with what Lenny has produced as this was his first litter.
Unfortunately one of the little boys "Rex" (my pick of litter) is still looking for a home, he was booked but unfortuantly his new owner became ill and was unable to have him after all :-(
Here are a couple of pictures I took when I went to visit them at 5 weeks old.
Rex (still looking for his forever home)
Phaze going to live with Sarah Woolley
Holly going to live with Sue Osgood
I Know I Know I should be shot for not updating this blog sooner especially when there is so much to tell! I just never seemed to have had the time!
Where to start!... Hummm The British Flyball Championships back in August were as great as usual. We arrived Friday night and took full advantage of the entertainment and the bar!!
Sunday was the big day, our team the Bassett Hotdogs were competing in Division 1 and the atmosphere once again was amazing!
All the other rings stop to watch which does nothing to calm your nerves when there is a crowd many deep all cheering and watching your every move!!
Last year we were so confident and many expected us to win which we did, but this year was different, we didn't know what to expect due to not having competed against several of the "top teams" in this division mainly due to the fact that they compete further up t'north in fact it seemed that many had written us off this year as an on line poll predicting the 2010 winners put us at a distant 3rd!!... Oh how I wish we had put a bet on as...... we romped to victory winning 5-0!!!!!
OMG!!! The Bassett Hotdogs were once again The British Flyball Champions!
The week afterwards we were off on our holidays a week at Dashin Dogs and a week at Northern week. On arrival at Dashin Dogs we found that our allocated camping spot was right at the back as far as you could be away from the rings.. this is mainly my fault as we hadn't put down to help on a specific day due to the fact that with 5 dogs to run we now prefer to offer to help when we know we can rather than committing to a whole day then spending most of it away from the rings running our dogs so the plan was to help between runs etc this was not to be as due to the time taken back and forward to the caravan to collect/change/run dogs etc some days from 8.30 in the morning I was on the go constantly up and down, up and down, up and down.... (u get my drift!) and did not even re-enter the caravan until after 3 pm and that was just for a five minute breather before we were off again! We were knackered!
It must have been the most stressful show ive ever done! and that was with dropping several runs a day because to tell the truth we just couldn't face it! Nigel and Emma do a fantasic job organizing and running this show and all credit to them they are great, but for the above reason and a few others we have decided that perhaps next year we may give this show a miss :-(
Anyway from Dashin Dogs we traveled up to Northern week.. still my favorite show of the year.. despite the somewhat "bumpy" ground ;-)We had a great week, it was so relaxed, we were camped about 30 seconds away from the rings and the dogs ran fantastically!
I really wanted Mika to go grade 5 this week as it was the end of the season so I felt that I had all winter to put in the training needed for the more technical classes, happy to oblige Mika won the Grade 4 Agility on the first day! :-), pheww pressure off we could enjoy the rest of the week and train the contacts! Mika wasn't happy with just that though and went on to win a grade 4 jumping and got a 2nd and two thirds in open 1-7 classes as well as some lower top tens so all in all a great week for the Mee Moo man! :-)
Lenny definitely was not going to be out-done by his brother He won grade 3 Agility and Grade 3 Jumping on the same day taking him well and truly into Grade 4, during the week he won another jumping and gained some other top tens in combined 1-7's! (this is not to mention the if only classes which were only lost by some slightly dubious contact judging!!! ie when does 5 paws on.. a complete clean run through caught on video equal 5 faults!!) We had a great holiday and were sad to be coming home :-(
The next weekend we travelled down to Paws in the Park in Kent which is a massive dog show open to the public with every modern dog sport available to either compete at or "have a go"!. Woody was entered along with his team in the Flyball competition, whilst Jon and Lenny entered the agility! once again we had a great weekend, this was Jon and Lens last show at grade 3 so to win the Agility on the Sunday really put a smile on Jon's face!!.. As for Woody... well the team marched into the ring happy to be doing flyball but not expecting much speed wise as the year before the ground at the venue was really hard work and the team struggled to pull even average times.... HOWEVER!... what a difference a year makes!! Bassett Hotdogs ran a 16.59 gaining a new British Record.
(we also went on to run an amazing time of 16.34!!!!!.... UNFORTUNATELY this was not a record breaker as one of the dogs dropped her ball just short of the finish line! still it showed us what could be achieved!!!! ONE DAY!....????????)
We hardly took any videos on our holiday but we did capture this one of Mika in his 1-7 Agility.
Forgot to add the video of the Flyball presentation! here it is below :-)
Well what can I say? My aim for Woody at the begining of this year was to just get a clear round! His pole knocking was driving me crazy! However back in May Woody won in to grade 5 and at Newlands today we won Grade 5 Agility taking us Grade 6!
Unfortunately as with most of mine and Jons better rounds we didnt video :-(
We got to the show late thanks to the wrong postcode on Agilitynet and only just managed to half walk the early courses before the start of judging but Jon loved his grade 3 Agility and decided to really go for it, He and Len ran a blistering round finishing 2 seconds faster than it was won in but with an unlucky pole down towards the end of the run! Here is a video of the round.
Mika also took a pole out in his combined 4-5 jumping but he felt like he was really flying and I was so chuffed with him although he is still soooo wide! Here is the video.
Videos we unfortunately missed! Obviously woodys grade 5 win! And Dylon's and Mika's clears in the 4-7 Helterskelter (we had to leave before the end so not sure what places they got). Must try harder with the camera!
NOt much to report again Agility wise from the weekend, We only managed one clear round between us! (Video below), But they all worked nicely with just minor mistakes. Mika did a lovely round in the 4-7 Agility but just took a pole out on the last few jumps and Woody decided a snake was easier than a pull through!
Here is the video of Jon and Lenny in the Grade 3 Agility They lost a bit of time with a very wide start into the tunnel but a great round nether-a-less :-)
Flyball on Sunday was great fun as usual and Woodys team won division 1 with a best time of 16.88 :-)
Unfortuantly 2 of our club members lost their dogs this week RIP Shilo and Breeze you will be missed :-(