Well it was so worth all the hard work this weekend. Reorganising the garden to suit us is a major undertaking. It will probably take about 20 stages in all but stage one - took one fence out for what is to be the agility area - four hours of sheer physical work we were so 'pooped' afterwards, but it was so worth it as tonight we could do our poles. So that part of the garden is now opened up. We certainly are the bounce back kids, have been landed with negative equity not once but twice, yikes!!!!!!!!! It has taken us 20 years to get to this stage. And yesterday the weather was so fab, the guys had a brilliant time just playing, 'sunbathing', exploring and mooching around. It is going to be hard work for sure, but it will be so worth it. It took Marc a good 5 hours to mow the grass, I think Santa will need to get him a sit on mower! Today it has poured with rain so no before and after photos yet. So this weekend our thoughts turn to agility, hence the picture of Wings doing agiity. Hopefully the weather will be better than the forecast. However the temperature has dropped and its mighty chilly, with snow even being forecast! But on Radio BBC West Midlands yesterday I had to chuckle it was talking about: movement for happiness how good is that promoting being happy? Sounds totally surreal. How refreshing to listen to a radio station that makes you laugh and smile :-)
We went to the Border Collie Club show today, I guess it may become the midland equivalent of mid-downs in the south to kick off the season, and we got through the day pretty damm good, Raz was happy to be with us for walks and checking ring duty. This is a very important duty and keeps ours guys that don't compete actively involved in our day, the other is collecting rosettes duties. So it is a busy day for all the guys.
Well me and the Rivioli, what can I say, she is going up a gear and showing more keeness and determination, I wanna run her again and again. So looking forward to Easter and having several days of competition and getting back into the groove. The Zev makes me feel the same, managing to gain a 2nd and a 3rd in combined classes. I was so chuffed at the improvement and know that there is more to come. I did get told that Shelties just run the speed they do at agility and you can't change it, well Zev is a sheltie and his speed is increasing. I just thanked the person for the info and smiled :-) perhaps me and Zev are unique. I do not know? But I would have thought with the right training and appropriate value reward, improvement in performance would be possible, sport is about improving and enhancing unless there was a physical, emotional or psychological reason why that would not have an impact...sure is food for thought.
Good weather, good company and great dogs. Met a young dog that was beautiful and so like Nuts, I was wow, wow and wow. Enough to put a smile on anyone's face, Summerwick is right 'Happy Days'... the gloom is lifted :-)
p.s Zev is now two, and it fab that Bernadette photos them so young, you can see Zev has gone from cutest puppy to most handsome sheltie :-) how lucky am I - loads...how bias am I...totally....
Bummer time, UKA on the 6th of March, should have been a wild and exciting time. Bigs made his debut; Dixie went to her first show. Rivi won, Zev won and Big won. We should have been singing 'zipeedodazipeeday my oh my what a wonderful day' That beautiful song. But we were in a conflict of emotions, as in Raz's run he ran smack in to Marc after turning in towards Marc on a turn. It upset Raz and winded Marc, Raz is a very powerful dog and moving at speed, the bruising says it all. At training the next day Raz was all 'flicky' head as he has to move his whole head as his peripheral vision in his remaining eye has reduced considerably. So Raz at not quite 7 years old is retired. And I was so angry for my sweet, crazy, gorgeous Raz. I ended up with the flu. Writing this I am still angry, hmmm counterproductive and useless.
Managing sight loss is hard with an incredibly fit active dog. At home he manages fantastically well, however on walks he has spooked as he finds it hard to make out what is approaching him. People then make an assumption he is naughty/odd which is so far from the truth. However by using a head collar, it seems to have made him feel more secure on his walks, but that means he needs to be on lead. What a blessing that we have ended up in our current house so that he can safely enjoy the freedom of a large garden. He is no longer so happy travelling, as the poor light of the interior makes it difficult. I am still researching a solution for this.
One of life ironies I guess a dog with so much talent. Shot up through the obedience classes, even coping with sendaways and in agility what a ride and he has done so good with Marc. So the what ifs and what could have been, what might have been are cast aside and Raz moves to another phase of his life with us, what lies ahead we don't really know, all we can do is try to do our best by him and hope he has the mental strenght to cope with it.
I don't write this for pity, I want people to understand the impact for Raz and how it has effected him, and its not just a case of his sight is crap, it effects him mentally, emotionally and physically.
Its weird, how life goes on...Loobie being gone is just so so odd. I did not know her as a youngter...I was just getting to know Lesley towards the end of Loobie' agility career, and I wondered is it to soon to post but Marc took these photo's this week and for our guys's life simply goes on. They might know I am sad, but their simple appreciation of the small pleasure's in the garden on a sunny spring afternoon was so good for the spirit. I had missed the entire thing (working!) so Marc captured on photo a brief insight to one afternoon in Dixie's puppyhood. Seeing the photo's and their captured moments of play and bonding, did make me smile briefly once more.
Crappy Monday...today I learnt the Champ has had to leave us. I can’t believe that she is gone, just 3 weeks shy of 16. She was the champ both in agility and as a dog to live with. She started Lesley's association with the renown Waggerland line of Mike Snows and are the foundation to Lesley's own Nedlo breeding. So Loobie, who to me she was simply the Champ and that is what I called her. When I started out in agility watching Lesley and Loobie work was amazing, she was the first large UK Agility Champion and Peter Lewis sums it up
News dated December 01 - AGILITY HEADLINES - IT'S LESLEY AGAIN! Lesley Olden does it again by winning the Pedigree Agility Stakes with her Working Sheepdog Waggerland Whoosh of Nedlo just prior to Christmas at the Olympia Horse Show. This is Lesley's fourth win at this famous and prestigious final and the second for her bitch she calls Loobie.
Well I could not write that any better than Peter, Lesley and Loobie won so much and in style. I am fortunate that I got to know the Champ away from the agility arena too, and she was just so sorted, so nice to have around and fun to play with and in her twilight years I would take her for a bimble around the farm. Visiting these last few times has been extraordinarily hard, as we never knew if it was going to be the last time we would see her. I think at this point it is all I can write, but I just wanted to pay tribute to one of the most fantastic dogs I have been privileged to meet. And who without a doubt should be remembered as an Agility Legend.
Loobie your the Champ, and we will miss you beautiful girl.
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.