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;-)
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:-)
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.
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.
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......
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.
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.
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.
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.
This story is just amazing, I missed it in the summer, the link is to timesonline, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4407100.ece 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.
Well, here I am.........it 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.
Zevman - endearing, passionate and opinionated. Perfect in fact . See Zev's web page for more information. by clicking on his picture.
Ag Ch Vanitonia Mister Big - Marcs tiny bundle of mega fun and attitude
The names Big - Mister Big ! See my webpage for more information on my adventures.
Dixie aka Nedlo Strictly Classic
A Small and Mighty.border collie who is definitely large if a bit tiny!
Rivi aka Nedlo Drives Me Wild - AWG
Christine's Rivioli - the one and only - unique.
Nuts aka Woodsorrel Drives Me Nuts
My Nuts - my beautiful border collie, who is my Forever Nuts...In loving memory
Storm aka Storm's A Brewing
My boy, who taught me so much. Thank you and miss you. Took me from Elementary to Novice, in his final year of agility was second overall for the Novice Classic and finished third in the final - DINAS 2004. In Obedience Storm took me from Pre-Beginner to 'A'
Wings aka Woodsorrel Bright Wings
Marc & Wings, a journey indeed - came to us with more baggage than a airport luggage conveyor belt, not that you would know that now :-) Grade 6 in agility with one agility win to Grade 7. Won the KC Novice Cup 2007 and Qualified Crufts Team 2011. Now retired to watch TV and herd to her hearts content.
Raz aka Woodsorrel Crazy Nut
Marc's crazy sweet dog – Obedience C only and Grade 7 - Championship level in Agility. Raz had floaters in his eyes that cause blurring since birth, which build up and cause the retinal detachment. At 6 he finally became blind in one eye and worsening poor vision in the other due to retinal detachment, which meant he was retired at 6 years old. It is amazing and a testament to Marc's handling that Raz did as well as he did. The problem is hereditary / CEA. Raz also has the occasional 'fit' and intolerant of any cereal ie wheat/maize.
Tri aka No spills Tri Thrills
Marc's girl - sorely missed - one fantastic season going senior and to the semi's before being retired at 3 years old - due to chroic hd/back and heart problems. That one year was a golden summer of agility, watching them run together was simply thrilling. Her previous owners had brought her from a pet shop, fortunately they rehomed her to us when she was a around a year old.