Thursday, 28 May 2009

Mister Big's Hair Cut

Well, well Mr Bigs has been given a new hair cut. A nod towards the lion clip. Marc has taken to poodle grooming, like a duck takes to water. We are not sure what style he will end up with, knowing Marc he will try a few styles and perhaps create one of his own, an agility clip perhaps? It will also depend on the heat, as summer seems to be coming at last. So possibly a summer trim and a winter trim?

Whatever the look, we just know that Big is impossibly cute.
P.s Marc, this is for you so you know I can take and load a photo ha ha ;-)

Monday, 25 May 2009

Rivi's Grade 4 win at Nottingham May 09

Well, this was our second grade 4 show. And crikey did Rivi’s need her pilot to get it together, on Saturday there was some great courses set, but I had a hard case of ‘doubt’ an mental teaser that really has no place in sport. I seemed to get this each time we progress, will I be good enough to handle my Superoli? The doubt stemmed from the concern of not having trained a particular sequence. I knew the doubt was irrational, but the human brain it can be hard to train! ;-) And let’s face it in agility; it is unlikely you can train for every sequence. That is what makes agility exciting you never know what the judge is going to set. After Rivi, indulging me on Saturday, I thought I really need to do my PMA, focus, repeat our strengths and believe. And we achieved 3 places in three rounds of which one was first place in Grade 4 Jumping.

Marc, teased me then, “oh you train those sequences then?” which of caused much laughter and made me realised that some bits I had not, the difference was my belief and conviction that we were giving it our best shot. “thank you, Darling” Once again I must thank Lanny Bassham and his book, for agility training is so focused on teaching obstacles, the psychological elements – the mental game is often overlooked both for the canine and the human. Some books can have such a profound and beneficial influence. I find them terrific guides in my aspiration to have a fabulous journey with great goals for myself and my guys.

Congratulations to everyone I know that had great results over the weekend with their guys. Special mentions to Nicky Garrett and Indiana - OBay Truly Driven, who won I believe their 14th Championship Ticket. They are just fabulous to watch. And another up and coming OBay Team Karen Cole and Todd – OBay One Helluva Charmer who had a great result too – a combined 4-7 win.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

End of an Era - Storm, Jasmine and now Spooky-dukes

Lifes journey, full of ups and downs. From the night before of complete joy, to the tears and sadness of today, as Spooky is now at Rainbows Bridge. It's the end of an era as my Storm and Caroline's girls Jasmine and Spooky have all joined together, leaving us to run free over the rainbow bridge.

Oh how these three guys indulged me and Caroline in our fledgling training and aspirations to compete. We can look back at our early video's at training and laugh at how crap we were and what a journey we have been on, and oh how so patient our guys were with us as we learnt.

Spooky had many talents and her most impressive was as chief bin raider. No counter to high, no gap to narrow, no lid tough enough. This was no mean feat as she was a hugh shepherd and nimble is not a word that springs to mind.

"Why rainbow bridge?" Anyone knows how hard it is get to the end of a rainbow, it is like a mystical quest - that seems just too far today:-(

Monday, 18 May 2009

I could have danced all night

Training Zev tonight, this song came to mind,, It so made me smile as Zev makes my heart sing. The words would have to be

'I could have trained all night, could have played all night, could have run all night, could have hugged all night.'

How is it possible a dog can make you feel like this? Zev you rock :-)

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Big and Zev

Mr Big’s fan club continues to grow, mind you he is so darn cute it is not surprising. He has been directly responsible for at least one additional home succumbing to having a poodle puppy! This photo made me chuckle, how perfectly Big blends in with the bedding. Talking of photos check out the OBay blog posting dated Sunday 10th of May, there is some fabulous photos of Zev playing with his baby sister, they had a great time. What was also lovely but not captured on photo was Zev’s sheer joy at seeing Bernadette and Dennis again, it was humbling to watch the greeting ritual and the sheer delight of it. It was one of life’s lovely moments.

Today, Big and Zev found a baby bird in the garden, they just looked and did not try to get the bird but were curious. So I suggested they leave alone and they did so. They are such good dogs :-) And we watched for a while and baby bird just could not make the flight path high enough to get back over the fence. I thought what do I do? I did not want to pick up as I was worried that it was so delicate. So I put my hand down on the floor and waited for the response. Baby bird climbed on! Very carefully I went to the fence and just held my hand out until baby bird decided to fly off back to its nest in the hedgerow. What a special moment, I was thrilled that I helped the baby bird, and by letting it make its own decision, the problem was solved as if it was the most natural thing in the world to give a lift in my hand.

Life sure does have some magic moments sometimes.

Friday, 8 May 2009

UKA and Vyne May 2009

We did our first weekend UKA show last weekend, which backed on to Vyne KC show. In KC shows you do not have snooker and gamblers anymore and I thought they would be a good thing to learn to do. Another perspective on how to approach courses, in terms of flow, timing and points. Gamblers we came second, thanks to Rivi being a smoothie girl. The snooker, I got in a right b-gg--s muddle as having had it explained to me, I thought I had to do it in a particular set sequence, and you do kinda, as a result we only did three obstacles and then I sent Rivi off course, so I left the ring, a bit confused and bemused. Rivi was like “what do you mean we have finished, I can count you know!” Rivi, my apologies. However I am now a bit wiser so look forward to entering them again. I rewarded the contacts and poles in the agilities. So for Rivi two 2nds and a 3rd. No more grade 3 classes YAHOO!!! My next aim at UKA is to reward Rivi in the jumping classes, in the past I have been told theoretically you can’t ‘train’ a jumping round, I do not take this view, as I am rewarding performance. So I am going in to reward Rivi being a darling, the effort for doing jumps and taking direction from me at the same time. That is the beauty of UKA I can choose to reward performance as I would in training by running a NFC round.
The funny bit of the weekend was Marc being the next dog on the line and someone said, your trousers are ripped and indeed they were, it caused much laugher, however his dignity was intact as he had his boxer shorts on. Ha Ha :-) (Sorry darling, had to put it in, it did make us laugh, just like when I knocked the jump down the other week.)
This week I have been trying to work on pull thrus using cones rather than jump wings, as Rivi and I need to move from ‘baby’ ones to good technical ones. And I need to make my training of pull thrus in a way that I get a buzz rather than feeling like I am teaching my guys a drill. My main aspect was that I wanted to convey the information that a pull thru was occurring before reaching the cones. This is so that they understand to commit to the cone and then do the pull thru turn. And last night at training we had to do a pull through the wings and both Rivi and Zev, picked it up I was well chuffed. Knowledge, understanding and insight are bliss when it starts coming together…