The Life of a Nutty Dog Agility Family!
Meet the Lewis-Phillips crowd. Introducing 12 yo Skye (Bear Bear), 4 yo Jack (THE Jackanory), 2 yo Molly (Molly moo moo) & 18month old Fly (Flea Fly)!
To warn you all I am crap at things like this. So apologies now and if I bore you, I am deeply sorry. In fact I don’t even know where to start. Probably the easiest place would be my love (obsession) of animals. I was allowed my first collie at five years old and that was where my collie obsession began. He was put down when I was ten and it took me years to get over it. Hence why I bought Skye when I hit 18.
I grew up in London with my Mum and moved to Walton in 2006. It was the best move we have ever made. Once I finished my degree in economics and politics I moved back to Walton as well. I have the best friends I could possible ask for here and an fantastic way of life.
We spend our Friday nights at the Royal George in Hersham, who might I add have the best Thai around. They now know us personally in the restaurant. Awesome place, we even take the dogs and they get treats too :-).
When I’m not doing agility, yes can you believe that I do have some time for other things. I am training for the Royal Parks Half Marathon, swimming, mountain biking in the winter, socialising and of course nothing better than wine and Netflix and cuddling my little animals. Oh and somewhere in there I do have a full time job too. In fact I’m sure my boss thinks I come to work to rest. Scott I know you will probably read this, you know I work hard for you ;-).
I do nothing that relates in anyway to my degree, so that was probably a waste of time. My job involves customs and making sure that we can pass HMRC audits and imports/exports for an oil company. HRMC and freight forwarders are always good fun to work with. Oh and yes Rich, my other half, and one of my best friends, Emma also run Shambles Flyball in Hersham. That’s our Thursday and Saturdays in the winter accounted for.
Rich works with me and has an obsession (which might I add causes great tension in the home) with World of Warcraft. Every time I walk in he is on the computer….eerrrrr and rant over. Emma is a nurse, which is very apt for me because I have so many accidents. She is never allowed to not be my friend because she always patches me back up and packs me off to a&e. And of course the never ending battle of trying to lose weight…….yawn!
So the family exists of two ponies that I keep at a stunning yard in Hersham. Wispa the Shetland and Kimmi the horse. Kimmi I have had for nine years now. (God that makes me feel old) and Wispa is her companion, who I have had for about 18months. I don’t really ride anymore, but I have a fantastic sharer who loves jumping Kimmi and does well on her. The worst bit about owning a horse?! My God is taking the trailer test. I have never been so scared in my life.
Anyway that’s the ponies done. One cat, boooootiful Birman cat, Jasper, who has the nature of a dog and is cross eyed! The only pedigree in the house and he is crossed eyed! I tell you now rescues are the way forward. Two ducks, Jemima and Puddles. Puddles is close on getting an asbo because she is so gobby. Then there are the two chickens, Batty Betty and Florence. Who are currently not laying so if anyone wants roast chicken on Sunday then let me know. (That’s a joke by the way, I couldn’t do that to my pets, I cuddle these chickens). The fish and of course my mother :-)! Can’t forget her.
I won’t bore you anymore, well to be honest I can’t think of anything else to say that’s is in the slightest bit interesting, so I thought I should end it there. It’s ok. I know your immediate reaction is omg she is mad. That’s cool I already know that!
Enjoy reading my agility diary 🙂
Meet ‘The Dogs’
Pet name: Skye
KC name: Skyebird
Nicknames: Bear Bear, thuggers, food stealer, fun police!
From: Wales as a puppy
Favourite things: looking after the chickens and herding them. Herding my Shetland and horse, telling tales on my cat. Children! Absolute child obsessive. Also a PAT dog.
Most hated thing: loud noises, being without me, Fly!
Pet name: Jack
KC name: White Socks Rising Sun
Nicknames: Jackanory, jackano, little man, ickle angel, Jack Jack
From: rescued from pre loved at 9 months
Favourite things: his paddling pool! He is obsessed with it! Tuggies, agility, Flyball
Most hated thing: loud bangs, not being allowed in his pool and being thrown out of bed in the morning.
Pet name: Molly
KC name: Minx’s Molly Moo Moo
Nicknames: Mol, Molly Moo, Terrorist,wiggle
Age: 2 1/2
From: had from a puppy
Favourite things: FOOD!! anything food wise! Though she is allergic to everything! Her Daddy
Most hated thing: children. Apparently they frighten her silly! No idea why but they make her shake!
Pet name: Fly
KC name: Miss Chioux Fly Bye
Nicknames: Flea Fly, GREMLIN, sh*teeater
From: rescued from many tears at 8months old
Favourite things: stealing daddies expensive sports socks and chewing holes in the toes! Rolling in fox shhhh(poo) eating poo (hence the sh*teeater)
Most hated thing: anyone else in the family getting cuddles but her! Actually using her brain!
So I started this obsession at 18! I thought it would be a cheaper alternative to having ponies and show jumping! I had no money left and I was about to go to uni, so like everyone does I bought a dog! Welcome Bear!
My parents hit the roof, and henceforth proceeded an epic journey of dragging my best friend with me every time I moved or went anywhere! Her agility career was short lived when she jumped out the window of my bungalow at 2 years old! So she has been an officially disabled dog since then. This, however, has not stopped her doing some Agility and Flyball, still running round gobbing off and not listening to a word I say!
She is 12 now and predominantly retired due to her injury. That however, does not stop her wanting to take part.
Rich and I spend most weekends of the summer competing round the county. It’s a great, cheap alternative, to horses. In fact I think I spend more competing the dogs than I do on my horses livery! By the time we have finished we feel like we have worked a 7 day week, but the obsession continues, and let me tell you it’s not always an easy journey. I hate looking at my Agility account, the bills go up and up. I think no more shows…..and then….Ohhhhh I want to do that one, quick enter and add it to the account. Forget the fuel, camping gear and then trying to feed the dogs raw, while living in a tent. Hmmmmmm… Even as I write this I wonder what I am doing!
We have finally swapped our old car for a some more comfortable transport so all the fur babies can travel in style. Yes another expense spared on the little darlings!
My Mum: ” When are you getting the kitchen done”
Me: “Oh, when the we have refurbished the new wheels”.
What is more important? Of course the puppies. Enter the Doggymobile!
So, back to puppies….
Next came Jack, 8 years after Bear.
A rescue from pre loved that the family no longer wanted. The drama was paramount, Bear was having none of it! We had fights for weeks, with almost having to call the fire brigade out because he had got himself caught in the baby gate trying to get away from her. I found him running around the kitchen with a baby gate attached to him. Oh the joy. She still hasn’t forgiven me, four years later.
This is when the obsession really took off. I knew he would be good at agility! He had the speed, the drive, the build and the brains. But boy he wasn’t easy to train! His way or the highway. He was having none of it! Teeth chattering, obsessive need to work, ears closed down and sent himself round courses!
I spent the best part of 2 years training (and despairing) with him. Annnnnd then it clicked. Grade 1-5 in the kennel club scoring system in 3 seasons. He still has his bad days. I say right, he goes left, I say tunnel he goes a-frame, I say wait, he takes off and does what he pleases! Then the ‘holly, breathe’ comes into it, I stand in the middle of the ring and ask if he has finished being a moron? Then it’s take-2.
Then there was darling Molly moo moo!
A spaniel. I thought this was a good idea. I had just met Rich and decided I wanted a medium sized dog to compete with. Wherever In my brain I thought it was a good idea, I’m not quite sure. This spaniel completely and utterly turned my home upside down. No surface was un-paw printed. No food safe! Nothing!
I despaired. She never settled and constantly abused Skye and Jack. She can be walked for five hours and still keep going. However, Rich was firmly in love with her, so I resigned myself to saying he could have her.
I of course had to have another dog as he was having Mol. Then his agility obsession kicked off!
Rich is still learning, Molly has gone into super speed mode and loves to run him and shout at him when he gets it wrong. They have more challenging runs than really good ones, but he is getting there and starting to enjoy it. I expect great things from this pair, I really do.
So Flea Fly appeared, completely out of the blue. Leah, my agility instructor, insisted I should meet one of her mums rescue dogs from Many Tears. A dog saved from the pound in Ireland, where the farmer was about to shoot her. ‘I would fall in love’ and ‘she was a medium sized collie’!
Rich said “No”, I said “Yes!” So then I said if you want to run Mol I am having Fly. So Fly joined us on one of our epic journeys back from Wales. Where, might I add, she vomited everywhere, and still does. And so it begins again.
Fly hit her first season last year just doing jumps and tunnels! Another battle of the wills. Attention span of a gnat and much happier to meet the judge than run round doing the obstacles. However, first time in the ring and she went clear, so my hopes for her are improving.
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