Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy New Year Everybody

Weeeeheeeeeeeee, new year, new season. I am excited as I will have Rivi to run in agility, so game on. Happy New Year. The video shows the guys opening their Christmas presents. The photos are a bit smeary as, we got mud on the lens whilst walking and did not realise until uploading the photos ha ha

Monday, 29 December 2008


What a lovely Christmas Break, it is great being home with the guys, having great food and having time to just chill out. It is sheer bliss, but today we are getting back to normal. Got some great presents and have some agility DVD review, such as Susan Salo covering jumping, Susan Garrett- Success with One Jump. I am really looking foward to getting some serious swotting and analysising done. That is one of the good things about training, it keeps you mentally on your toes as you always look for ways to improve your performance and how you coach yourself and your canine team mate to stronger and more effective teamwork. Thank gosh for clean run and the lightness of dvds that make it so much easier to widen your knowledge base.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas Everybody

Have a lovely christmas and get dancing. Enjoy the spirit of Christmas.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Christmas nearly here :-)

Well, the tension at the weekend was hard to take, never done so much physical work in the garden. It is so much easier to compete than rooting for people for sure. Didn't Nancy, Nicky, Ken and Marc do well, guiding their partners into the final round. Way to go guys! Its a sort of commiserations and congratulations thing. It is great seeing dogs flourish through their agility training. To the eventual winners, well done dudes.

I was gutted with the tv coverage, let me explain...... I watched some of the Olympia coverage in the afternoon, had to have a break from the gardening at some point! The presenter said "there will be coverage of the evening programme on the red button channel". I was like woohoo, I will see the Novice Stakes final. Thank you, I was so pleased, a bonus Christmas Treat. Only to find due to technical difficulties it was not on. OOHHHHHHHHHH I was so so disappointed. Next year will have to sort out a solution as I do not want to miss the holiday treat?
.........................In the meantime, Zev has been telling the Santa Bears what he and guys would like for Christmas, as they have all been so so good;-)

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Woohoooooooo Olympia - Good luck

Good luck to all friends and their wonderful canine team mates, at Olympia. Nancy of Hudson doglets has written such a nice good luck and even sweeter tribute to Bernadette & Hex. Hope everyone has a fanstastic time, sorry I won't there to cheer you all on, especially my Marc and Wings (sorry, but he is my hubby, I have to say that ;-)!)

Why am I not going to cheer everybody on? I just could not face putting Zev, Rivi and Big in kennels. I did it for Marc last year and the Rivioli, was not impressed at all, complete opposite to the rest of our guys who look upon it as another adventure. Also with the trauma of having to have her urgently spayed recently, it turns out my staying at home plan, was all for the best anyway.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Christmas is A - coming.......

Yesterday we put up the Christmas Tree, tiz only little but it was brought for us, when we first started to live together, and we do not see the need to change it. So it is well over 15 years old, and I guess that is our sustainable contribution, if it is good and lasts we will use it as long as we can. I made the mat for it with embroidered holly leaves and berries, and ribbon edging. Each year we get them out, hoping that they will be ok to use for another year. I love arranging the decorations, and seeing the lights a-twinkling. I hope I never grow out of that, that sense of Chrismassyness (not sure if that is a real word!) and a warm glow of the excitement of a special holiday break to come. For years we did the family trips, now we hole up together and make it a special together time, giving Marc a chance to recharge his batteries and have extra quality time. The other special thing this year is that it will be Zev and Big's first Christmas with us. It will be fun to wrap their presents and give them for the first time. Zev, was fascinated by the whole ritual and then he did the cutest pose, just as we were about to take a photo. Nuts is really clever at unwrapping, and gets real excited. He checks the parcels under the tree on Christmas morning and then trots back to me, waiting for permission to get his present. Yep, Christmas is a-coming.............

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Mr Big Writes Again

This dog is just so darn cute. He is a poser'holic. Just look at him using the lap top and sticking his head over to pose for the camera. He now has learnt the following on cue, sits, downs, target. He has a real zest for joining in everything that the collies do, something he picked up from Zev no doubt, as Zev cannot be left out of anything or he is most miffed. Despite his tender age and tiny size, he is clearly part of the pack. And he loves walking. He cares not if its wet or muddy, running he must go (restricted to a suitable time duration for a youngster). On a soppy note, we really feel so lucky and blessed that this year both Zev and Big, have joined us in life's journey. They never fail to make us smile and keep us entertained with their enthusiasm for life and exploring everything they come across even if to us it is gross as finding a dead rabbit on the field, yuck! ;-) P.S Rivi continuing to improve:-)

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Babyoli doing ok :-)

I know the blog has been pretty focused on Rivoli, but boy has she needed lots of attention. 48 hours on from her spay, she seems to be doing ok, the wound is neatly done and today joy of joy she wagged her tail. Which is a hugh relief, I do like to see waggy tails of the happy kind. Marc, was super on the first night and kindly slept in the guest room, so that Rivi could be on the bed right next to me. She stayed in the same spot all night, and it was reassuring to have her so close.
Zev, has been oh so good as a maturing male, he has had to cope with living with a bitch that was rumbling/false starts since May and then a full season in Oct/Nov and another in Dec. Whilst he has clearly been frustrated and many bits of furniture have been humped, he has never been over the top. That is one of the things I love about him, his ability to communicate his feelings in a way that is to me is a fascinating and intelligent use of canine body language both body and vocalisation. And as the photo from the summer shows, Rivi and Zev are so good together, and have great fun.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Botheroli!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Poor Rivi :-(

Poor Rivioli, took her to the vets today, as I was thought that she was coming back into season and my concerns were confirmed. This was really disappointing as she only finished her last season, on the 10th of November and I had arranged after much research for her to have an ovariectomy in the New Year, at a practice near Norwich. Which despite being a considerable distance to get to, seemed to offer the best solution. (As far as I can work out.) However, that has all changed as today my vets are concerned that she has polycystic ovaries and that they need to investigate what is going on immediately. So tomorrow she is booked in for surgery and its in all likihood she will end up being conventionally spayed. Poor Rivi has struggled with the hormones having rumbling starts on and off from May until October this year. She was 18 months and 2 days when her first proper season occurred. Poor thing, she must feel like she has semi-permanent PMT. Hopefully, she will be all sorted out tomorrow and no more hormones that are going 'haywire'.

Sunday, 7 December 2008


Went to UKA yesterday, and it was really good, as it told me where the missing link was in my A-frame training. Rivi's dw & s-s are coming along a treat, but I always felt the a-f was bult on air, nice but how far can I push it. The UKA course was perfect to try, sent Rivi to a-f and cut across to pick her up on the jump wing that followed. Rivi said 'hang on I'm coming' which is lovely but from a technical view point I want her driving down the a-f. not looking at me. Then clarity rained upon me so hard, it was really hard not to be cross with myself. Poor Rivi, what a crapioli moment by me of cause. But "dont worry Rivi I have seen the light" so to speak. Generalisation training for the a-f coming up, I am on a mission.Yahoo to yoga mats and simulation of contacts.

Raz and Marc did perfect training round for agilty, as you can see. Although actually watching the vid you can see he should run harder when training, it is all to easy to fall into 'training mode'.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Big is Now officially Vanitonia Mister Big

Marc & Big
Its cool, Big's KC papers arrived from the breeders, he is now officially known as Vanitonia Mister Big. Well for a tiny man, he sure has had a big impact, he is so bold and feisty it is great taking him out and about. In fact he is 'me, me, me' . Zev has a play buddy who is smaller than him and the collies are very indulgent and gentle. Marc, is really smitten, which is great as he was starting to take way to much interest in Zev. I thought no way is he having my Zev, but who can blame him, Zev is so super! So I launched my action plan to get him a toy poodle. Nothing like the persistence of a Wynne in action. The action plan was successful executed in the form of Big. Mind you, Big was so cute when Marc met him, I did not need to convince him at all. I had always said when Jigs was 10, it would be time for Marc to have another little 'un, and the little 'un has arrived well and truly.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

The Chilled Man aka Zev

I love these two photos of Zev from last week, technically they are not great, but Zev, is so chilled and sound asleep, with some socks he had found. It was beautiful to capture, one of those blissful moments. I think it was Lisa who said "you know their a true OBay if they sleep on their back" ha ha. And I have to agree with Karen, that Mr Todd, is the most Handsome Sable Sheltie. My, my all the girlie sheilties will be swooning on the agility circuit;-)

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Getting the hang of this not hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Today, my blog was to be about Zev, but somehow I deleted the runs. 2 hours of you tube and blogging later, I have managed to get them back on. How long before one becomes proficient and whizzy with snazzy captions? I need help, its like when you first start competing, you know the end goal but you do not have all the pieces at once
............ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh frustrating

Any rate the darling Zev is definitely pushing the boundaries, yesterday I said "Rivi's turn" whilst doing some playing. Zev, was not impressed and promptly peed on the rug. I was so shocked, and said "Mr Zev" but he looked as if he did not have a care in the world. Today on Rivi's turn, he wrecked is lovely puffy bed, that I brought him as a puppy! I should have photo'd the evidence as no one will believe my perfect man, who is just that, being a hooligan indeed. You have to chuckle he does it oh so nicely. But I am chuffed as his loose lead walking is finally coming along, hurrah:-)

Rivi GR3 J Win.mpg

Raz G6 Ag Win.mpg

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Newton Heath 22 08 08 - We are on a high

On to the start line, Rivi's first class was gr 3 jm. And what a good little girl she was, she did everything I asked including her OBay start, and she went clear. I was relieved as play back of the video showed that I still had agility moves. Missing a whole season and a bit, I did wonder. Phew. Marc checked the time and she was in the lead, but would we hold on to it? We did, wow Rivi what a way to start your agility career, and then in her agility's she came second in both of them. It was totally amazing, the whole day was like a surreal dream. Raz not to be outdone won his gr 6 jm and ag, now needing just one more ag win to get to gr 7 and then Wings got placed in both of her first gr 6s. Blimey, it was so nice for us to both do well, as often it seems to be one or the other of us. But my Rivioli, the one and only. I am so proud and chuffed with her, she enjoyed the whole thing, loved her rewards at the end of each round, and seemed to get off on the whole event. We had praise from LO, which is praise indeed ;-) Ty to Beacon gang for being supportive and pulling my leg, that is one of the great things with Beacon agility gang they keep you grounded for sure. Also well dones to Nikki and Wych winning gr 4 ag, they are grade 5 now, Dave and Ziggy won their gr 7 ag classes and Helen with Luna won their ag and jm classes. What a day. Caroline, was able to say "I told you to get that dog", much laughter and celebratory chat on the phone. Rivi, thank you!

I was told by a couple that Zev was the most handsome boy sheltie they had seen and I have to agree, to me he is the most handsome boy and it a lovely compliment. He had a good time round the rings in the less busy periods and did his obedience and tuggy games. He is really getting quite opinionated, and certainly does not agree, with standing there, if he is not the centre of attention! I think at 9 months, he is testing the boundaries so to speak.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

I'm so excited, i just cant hide it

I am getting so excited, me and Rivi will have our first runs at newton heath. I feel like a kid waiting for Santa. That song that has the words 'I'm so excited, I just cant hide it' keeps popping into my brain. So if I am a little ott, it has been a hard year and a half being on the sidelines of agility and one thing I have really learnt is how much zest I have for it. Riv has been interesting, thought-provoking and exciting to train.. I am sure if she could talk in human terms she would probably say the same about me. So Rivi, thank you for bearing with me, I hope you come to enjoy the competing like you have the training. Nuts is a tough act to follow, but you my girl seem up for the challenge and I thank you for that.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Hampshire Days 3&4

Zev being the leader of the collie pack, all 7 dogs and 2 handlers loved it.
Saturday morning Caroline, put me through my obedience paces. Having moved away, without a training buddy, it was so useful to have someone I trust cast an 'eye' over what I am doing needless to say, I am being far to grateful for too little, and as my guys love it, they want to and can to more. So time to start extending duration and precision. OK, then as a reward we went for a lovely walk near Burley, but far away enough to miss the key touristy bits. Then lunch and time to say farewell to Caroline and her guys -Ty for great few days, it was a laugh. Then off to meet Marc and his guys at Lesley's at she was running a course analysis for grade 5-7 dogs. They had a good and productive session, then takeaway and Strictly, a chilled out eveing. The guys thoroughly relaxed and satisfied. Sunday morning and Rivi and I were put thru our paces. As Rivi is so intense we only do half hour, but what a great half hour. Then for the remaining time, Lesley set me courses to run without a dog, but handling as if I had a dog running. Since Rivi's first competition, is coming up and I have not run a dog properly since 2007, a whole season on the sidelines, gutted that I could not run with my beloved Nuts, due to it being discovered that he had osteoA in both elbows. Zev, was most put out that he could not do stuff, he is not a year until next march, so he had to demo to Lesley how cute is obedience sendaway is. Then all too soon it was time to leave and return home......

Monday, 17 November 2008

Hampshire Day 2

The boys totally at home at Carolines & Neils.

Yes, the weather cleared for Friday. First was a visit to AS, who is a brilliant animal physio. I was taking Rivi & Zev for a routine check up. It is really humbling watching her communication through touch and talk with my guys. The level of trust is really awesome to see. Zev's little face by the finish was so dreamy and relaxed, the little tension in his shoulders eased. This has been caused by Zev, having a crazy brainwave that in his impatience to get down the stairs he should launch off mid way and land with a splat. Blimey did that cause me a major worry. And since then we do the stairs by lead or carry. Fortunately there was no apparent injuries, but I thought there was no way he could come away from that without there being some effect, but thankfully the tension was small, so no need for follow up. But when he is a year old and starts agility he will go pre and post agility season for checks and proper massage. Rivi, who is a tad more sensible just enjoyed the massage. This meant no walk for Zev, so we lunched took him back to Carolines and left Rivi with him to doggy sit, whilst we walked the forest. Then after spending more time with the guys it was off to see Mama Mia, which was absolutely fabulous an emotional mix of joy and tugging at the heart strings. Neil kindly dog sat for us, and we were cracked up, as Zev apparently was humping Neil's leg for part of the evening. Gosh I could not help it, it was so funny, I laughed till I cried.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Long Weekend at Hampshire - Day 1

Despite living in the midlands for the last three years, I still miss Hampshire and had a real treat as I had a long weekend with my guys. We travelled ahead of Marc, so that I would catch up with girly friends without thinking 'Oh is Marc, sufficiently entertained'. The drive down was a 'total poo' it rained all the way, and arriving at one of my most favourite walks at Ocknell Pond, I was dismayed that the rain was not easing. Do I walk or not?I was desperate to walk on the open heaths and my guys had been so good we took the plunged, and how they loved it. Rivi and Zev, had not yet done the forest before, and they were so good ignoring the deer and nf ponies. They had learnt leave the bunnies on our morning walks and just translated that across. Which meant the walk would mean great freedom. And Nuts, remembered the walk, all the paths, and they weren't main paths, I was so touched, I promised him that I would not leave it so long again. First I went to see Sally and her Mum, which was great, but I had to cut it short as despite 5 towels and a highly recommended 'drying' coat, Zev was not dry. I was worried about my little man, so phone call to Caroline where I was heading, bailed me out, her hubby came home let us in so that I could get him all dry and then he went back to work leaving us home alone. How kind was that, Zev in the norm of central heating and more towels, rapidly dried out. Phew, I could not bear it if he got a chill. Many Tys to Caroline and hubby Neil, greatly appreciated and I could relax again. SSD coat definately not like Rivi and Nuts BC coat, which with a brisk rub were soon dry and warm. A lesson learnt indeed. All followed by and evening of much catching up and yummy pizza and garlic & cheesey bread, which I had not had before and although very naughty was very nice, as is always the case.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Zev 8 months old & Rivi 18 months Old

Zev getting that darn garden hose, good & proper
It is hard to believe, that Zev is already 8 months. He came into my life, when he was 8 weeks old. His personality is determined, quick and at times impatient. When he moves he seems to float, he is so light on his paws and totally handsome. I will be bias about this, as he is mine, and I am well and truly smitten. One of the things I love about Zev, Rivi and Nuts, is they always reminds me of the joys of life. Zev is there with some treasure he has found, whether it be a leaf, the garden hose, a toy or he zooming around the garden with Rivi as they play a doggy game of tag. Nuts is prancing around in the background with is favourite toy. Their sheer enjoyment is so restorative for the spirit. Riv, is my beautiful sensitive girl, so perfect with Zev, always careful of her own strength and size in relation to him. She is so light and dainty, more like a gazelle than a collie. Yep, dogs do sure put things in perspective and bring you cheer, even on yucky days.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Back to Training

Woooooohooooooooooooo, back to training, Rivi's season is now finished and we are back out and about including agility training. I love it, the sheer enjoyment and fun tonight, both socially and training. It is such a buzz, Rivi was such a good girl, on the DW I released and rewarded and then she hopped back on the contact for more reward. Considering she has not done them for a month and is coming up to 19th months I was chuffed with how cute the offering of behaviour was. Zev is only 9 months so he is not ready for agiliity, he has done some foundation/flatwork such as cones, wobble boards, targets and a few planks on the ground. I have now stopped this happy that I have planted the basic ideas so to speak and that he has great drive and want to do. For now with Zev I can focus on the obedience ensuring great attitude and bonding whilst giving him time to mature and develop.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

The Lion - Love and Freedom

This story is just amazing, I missed it in the summer, the link is to timesonline,
and find further information. I always think the bond between our species and another is humbling and takes you to another level in respect, compassion and love. What brilliant gentlemen for rescuing Christian from a potentially dreadful life, and to enable him to fulfil his Lion life free in the wild.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Well, here.........we are set up to blog

Well, here I will take a while to get it all set up properly. Normally I really get on and do things. But setting up a blog, the whole thing seemed daunting. But then you start typing and it all just starts to flow. It has been an amazing week, seeing Barack Obama elected President of the USA and having read the Independents special today, he is so inspiring I am in awe. And really looking forward to the changes he and his administration will bring.
Why have I called the blog a journey? - life is a journey, I am lucky to have such great dogs and partner to share it with.