The Chertsey Show – 2015
So here we are at the Chertsey Show.
Another early morning start….. Anyone say anything about a lie in? No don’t be silly! Do we have ahhhhhh leads, harnesses, poo bags, water, bowls, sun shades, fans, cool coats, back on track coats, toys, treats, Molly’s treats (she is allergic to everything) human food, human everything, keys, cages! Does Jack have his RUFF wear boots (he keeps putting holes in his pads as he runs so much on walks).
The list is endless. In fact we now have to have a list to tick off to make sure we don’t forget anything.
Has Rich played World of Warcraft before we have left home at 6.30! Though as its Chertsey and local we have got up at 8 :-)! Very civilised and a bit exciting to be in bed still at that time on a weekend.
As usual Chertsey show put on a fantastic weekend with lots to do and see. Fran, who ran the agility side, excelled herself and made sure everything ran nice and smoothly. So a big shout out to her and her team. Plus we throughly like the trophies we won too. If you didn’t go this year (2015)I throughly suggest you go next year (2016). We had great fun seeing all the different animals. The dogs obviously had different ideas and decided most of the livestock were fair game for a little bit of herding.
The dogs also had some fantastic rounds. A few wobbles here and there with Molly being a little bit of a madam. However, she redeemed herself by winning the steeplechase today. Rich was over the moon and very proud her. She worked her little socks off to win that last class. I am very pleased with both of them.
Jack, of course, was a little angel and did me proud. Over the weekend we came away with two 1st’s and a 2nd. He did some cracking rounds and some lovely work. All in all the dogs were fantastic. They coped well in the heat with lots of paddling pool adventures and their nice cool coats.
I think I am ready for a nice shower, glass of wine and bed :-)! Until we go again next week! Oh I can hardly wait ;-)! (Of course I can’t, Kennel Club International next. Biggest agility show of the year)
Kennel Club International Agility Festival – 2015
So the preparation for KCIAF begins! That is Kennel Club International Agility Festival. This is the biggest agility show of the year, consisting of 15 rings and competitors from all around the world. USA, Canada, France, Spain, Finland, Switzerland, Germany, to name but a few. I have never been before so the excitement is way way up high!
The standard of agility will be the best in the world, with all of the big names and trainers there. Eeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkk.
It began Monday! Can you believe that, we started packing Monday, we don’t leave until Thursday morning haha. So as per usual I had to have a clean car to go in. The OCD cannot cope with a dirty and unorganised car. So bless Rich he went outside last night, emptied it and cleaned it for me :-)! Everything has gone back in, bar the camping gear. We don’t want to give the lovely people who broke into my other car, another opportunity to steal my camping stuff again! Errrrrrrrrr.
THE Jackanory is on strict lead walks to ensure he does not put anymore holes in his pads before we go and compete. Molly is on restricted diet to ensure she doesn’t do her usual trick (pooing in the ring) such a little darling. Bear is off to nannies to keep her Benjaroo company, and to basically be stuffed with food as mum insists all my animals are anorexic! The cat, Jasperwookie has also been shipped off to nannies and the chickens are fending for themselves. Ponies are having the week off and auntie Karen and auntie Stephanie will ensure they have lots of cuddles.
So the day has arrived!
My friends thrilled me last night by informing me storms are on their way, oh just great! Ever tried putting a six man tent up while it is pouring with rain. I can hardly wait. 🙁 alarm set for five, everything is packed to ensure Rich and I do not scream at each other at some god forsaken hour. One is very excited to be going, and cannot wait to watch all the top international handlers work their dogs.
We get in the car, already to go. Damn no fuel, one thing we forgot to do.
So, off to Shell, and of course COFFEEEEEE.
Rich managed to not play World of Warcraft this morning, I think it was too early. Thank god for that, that is always a sticking point.
We hit the M25 and therefore the Honda Jazz game commences. Let me bring you up to speed. To make the journey a little more interesting we play a game to see how many Honda Jazz’s we see on the road. In fact this has become such a staple game for us we even bought a ding bell, that you have to ding in order to get the point. I won’t explain why, as I don’t want to offend any Honda Jazz drivers. It does bring much amusement to our journey and most of my friends have got on board with it as well. Simple things, simple minds, comes to mind, I know. So while we are playing this (by the way I am three up. Rich is getting stressy because as usual I am winning) while Rich is busy bullying everyone outside the fast lane, he has to be in it.
Apparently now driving a big car entitles him to drive like a nutcase, fling the car and drive in the boot of the car in front. Obviously driving that close helps with wind resistance. I am only joking, he is being very sensible today.
Anyway we are singing along to Kiss FM (well screeching would be probably be a more appropriate term) and doing some weird dance, basically because I am so excited :-)! I love being with my puppies, always makes me happy to take them out and work them.
We arrive up at Rockingham Castle and it is a stunning venue. The grounds are beautiful and there is a HUGE cross-country course for the ponies. I look at them and think, would Kimmi get over them, absolutely not. Some are about 6ft high and 4ft wide. Anyway, lots of places to walk the dogs and hills for them to run up and down, basically to remove any excess energy :-).
I have three runs with THE Jackanory, two agility and one jumping. To clarify jumping and agility are slightly different. The agility will include an a-frame, a dog walk and a see saw. These are called contacts. The dog has to touch both the up and the down planks on each contact, otherwise they will be faulted. Agility is considered the harder of the two, and more points are gained in the agility than the jumping. Which is good because apparently in the last six months I am unable to get anywhere in jumping. It appears my brain does not compute a jumping course.
And as per usual I let my Jackanory down. Beautiful agility and my brain malfunctions and I send him over a jump the wrong way. My poor dog I do him no justice. We redeem ourselves in the jumping (not sure how I managed to as I didn’t walk it) and he went beautifully, just knocking the long jump on the second to last jump. Gutting! Even the judge clapped and said what a fantastic round, despite the knock. I was still pleased as jack jack did everything i asked of him, so I cant complain.
Next up, the Molly moo. She has had several walks and we have ensured she has been to the toilet several times, before she goes on the ring. So the runs were not quite up to scratch, but the two runs Rich did do with her she didn’t go to the toilet in the ring. Result! Moron here forgot to put him in for the rest of the competition so Rich and Molly only got two rounds. I am definitely in the dog house this week 🙁 Not only that but I have forgotten all our frozen food so we can’t have dinner. Oh dear, not doing well!
So one of the weirdest things I have seen on this day is something called the Lamb National. I went over to make sure my vision was not failing me. No it definitely wasn’t. I am looking at sheep, wearing different coloured coats, with a collie chasing them round a circuit and all the sheep jumping hurdles. One of the strangest things I have seen in a while. Anyway, it brought much amusement and we all thought it was fairly dangerous idea considering that the whole place is filled with collies that need to herd!
So last run of the day, and a stonking round by THE Jackanory which put him into first place near the end of the class. Then one of the top handlers went in and beat me by 0.3 seconds 🙁 boo! However, at such a high standard of competition I can hardly complain. After walking approximately 15km that day I am shattered, even the dogs won’t move.
Day two and the rain has been coming down in sheets. The tent is practically raining in the inside, we have no dry shoes, bedding, matting and basically I have become the most miserable person alive and am considering going home. I DO NOT LIKE THE RAIN! I take Jack to run his jumping and all he did was slide everywhere. He went round beautifully, just hitting two poles. This was expected the ground was awful. I concluded it was not a wise idea to try the agility as no doubt he will brake a leg or something. I am going to find something positive somewhere hidden in the misery and it’s this. My favourite coffee people are here, Kookaburra Coffee and we have discovered the best spud people in the world. They have GARLIC BUTTER!
This made my day. Just remember small things on a god awful miserable day. I don’t really have much to say as I think all I can remember is being cold and miserable.
However, day three has dawned and the sun has made an appearance. I am a happy bunny again with renewed energy. Maybe I am like one of those solar powered flowers that bob in the sun and die in the dark. Today we also have Scruffts qualifiers, which you can put cross breeds into. So I decided that Flea fly can go into it and do best rescue and prettiest bitch.
She is currently in the dog house as she has apparently taking a liking to attacking people walking past who have flappy clothes on. Not massively happy about this, so next training session is to walk her round and try to make her become some sort of civilised dog. She has also chewed one of the guy ropes on the tent and Rich had hit the roof! He is absolutely fuming with her and has taken to refusing to talk to her. Fly is doing her creep mode and insisting he loves her. Nope she is not getting round him today.
Oh dear! I am just laughing which is not helping matters.
We are chilling in our new ‘garden’ picture enclosed, and Jack is being a weirdo by sitting in the corner, staring at the floor, occasionally jumping up and then licking the grass. At this point I am happy to pretend he does not belong to me. Molly is obsessing over a tennis ball and for once fly is chewing something she is actually allowed. A bone. We are throughly used to our habitation looking like some graveyard with bones everywhere. The benefits of raw feeding, which makes look like part of the Adams family.
Everything has been put out to dry and is slowly getting there, this has made my happy :-).
Our bank balances are significantly reduced having bought new memory foam mats for the dogs, new mesh fencing to go round our camp, new tuggies, leads and other various camping clips etc. I might declare myself bankrupt, and we still have a week in Wales to go. Oops. Needless to say my diet has been binned, just trying to find any food to eat is a miracle, let alone good healthy food. Another epic fail by me. However, the miles and miles of walking I am doing will hopefully redeems some of the rubbish I have eaten.
So off to Scruffts. Wish me luck! I need all I can get when it comes to Flea fly. I have to say she waited very patiently and was a very good girl, though the judge did not think much of her, which was a shame. I think she is the prettiest bitch. Back to my dog that wins :-)! Of course THE Jackanory. Another agility round grade 4 & 5 and another clear. This time coming third, which I am immensely proud about as it was a tough class with some fab handlers.
We go to walk the puppies and Jack collapses. It wouldn’t be a weekend without any dramas. I thought he had had a stroke, his backend was completely malcoordinated, I honestly thought that was it. I carried him to the vet and insisted she do something with him. She was lovely, checked him over and gave him some pain killers and some accupuncture. He had no reflexes in the left behind, so an MRI was possibly on the cards. I think hysterical is not enough. Absolutely devastated and crying my eyes out. My poor little man was crippled. Anyway, we carried him back to camp and put him to bed. The accupuncture seemed to have done wonders, he was up and about the next day, though still a little dazed on the behind. The vet checked him again and was very happy with him, though chiro and physio are on the cards. It looks like a pulled muscle on the back. And breathe!
Lead walks, ice packs and rest, some good massages and we should be good again.
Time to pack up, no more competing and probably just Molly and Fly in Wales, to ensure Jack is back on track. Very gutting, but I need to make sure my little man is ok and not in pain. Back home for a nice bath, some gorgeous sushi from Hello Sushi, sleep and then Pembrokeshire bound tomorrow. Oh and of course WINE! 🙂
Wales – 2015!
So the story of Wales!
Where do I begin. After three days I finally feel like a human being again. A serious scrub, face mask, and now stuffing chorizo sausage and whisky flavoured cheese. Can’t even touch wine, too tired. Fly is trying to steal my cheese and has had a good smack and shouting at. Nobody steals the expensive cheese and chorizo from Pembrokeshire. This expensive food has now officially bankrupted me. I don’t even dare look at my bank balance. Though for once it is nice not spending money on the animals and on moi. New wax jacket, new thin waterproof to teach Flyball in the winter, gorgeous duck carvings and ummmm food 🙂 hmmm non nom.
Anyway so we left Monday am, absolutely stunning weather. We were hopeful that when we crossed the bridge over the Severn that we would take the nice weather with us. This time there were five of us going. We persuaded three of our close friends that they would like to enjoy three days in Wales at the Pembrokeshire county show.
The journey alone is close on five hours and is a seriously long drive down the M4, infact until the end of it. I never realised that there are 49 junctions, and we drove until it ran out. Yawn. It started off quite fun, two Honda Jazz games, obviously I won again, and some stupid singing to Little Mix and then Phil Collins and Meatloaf. Well you got to have a range of taste. Then we hit the services at Newport and my will to live had left me! Only half way, my god. This is the farthest show I will go to, but it is a long and boring journey. Especially when you get stuck behind the local tractor and people driving 10miles under the speed limit. To say my patience was slowly disappearing is an understatement. We arrived, no damage to anyone and no screaming at anyone. I am doing well. The poor dogs have given up even speaking to us, I think they have slowly lost the will to live as well.
Andddddd we arrive and decide where to pitch up. Of course, no where to go, so we decide to park in the corner, out the way, in the exercise area. Well within twenty minutes one miserable so and so already complained and whinged at us for ‘being in the exercise area’. Forget the millions of acres that is Pembrokeshire National Park. Some people are never happy. So she proceeded to try and wind us up by allowing her twelve dogs to come over to our area and wind all of our dogs up. We did have the last laugh when we realised she had no recall on any of her twelve dogs and I’m sure we can remember all the names of her dogs cause she just could not get any of them back! Not that I should laugh, but karma and all.
The flying wind sock is always the first item up. This is a coloured dragon. Franco the Dragiony! (That’s his name by the way) then the fencing so no puppies could escape, the tents and then the water (ALCOHOL). Oh and the solar powered fairy lights. I love them, they always make the camp look that little bit more awesome. Better than a hobbit hovel!
It takes about two hours to get everything up and sorted. We sit down and no one can talk, tired tired tired. So rum and coke is a must, and then some nom nom food on the bbq. Forget the diet, I just can’t be bothered anymore I just want to eat and drink.
Emma does her usual and assume ‘mummy’ role, along with Karen. They are very good at cooking, making much needed tea and Karen is excellent at pouring the alcohol out. It goes something like this. 3/4 rum and 1/4 coke, but hey who’s counting. We decide to forget there is about 4 ‘syns’ in each drink. This is a slimming world term. We are only allowed about 15 a day. So once you have had some of those, dunked your sausages in loads of ketchup, you are well and truly over the daily allowance. Forget the Vice Versa and the Oreo cookies that have been brought along and scoffed within 24 hours!
Our camp looks awesome, dead chuffed with it. So we have our first meal in Wales. Stunning weather, beautiful scenery and great laughs at people who are miserable and can’t control their dogs! What could possibly go wrong.
Mwhahahaha the weather of course. It’s Wales don’t you know. To be fair to it the weather on the Tuesday was stunning. Mol did some fantastic rounds with Rich and only marginally missed a place because she got caught up in the flat tunnel. Really was such a shame, and neither of their fault. Such as life. Fly was dreadful, she was too scared to move, let alone perform. We managed about four jumps, two tunnels then she ran out looking for daddy. There was me looking like a moron running round saying “ok Fly, just have fun”! Never mind, there were loads of people sitting round watching and I think it was just too much for her. To stay in as long as she did was a miracle. Bless her!
Then proceeded another argument with a most unsavoury character who screamed at me for retrieving her dog from another ring that it had run into and disrupted. All I needed was a thank you, not the abuse I got. However, as you can imagine I can more than hold my own and we did manage to do some crowd stopping! I still laugh about it now, it was all very mature. Pah!
To calm everyone down we went shopping :-)! That always helps. The sun was out and we decided that lots of things needed to be bought. First thing on my list was CHEESE. The cheese is so good down there. Three rolls of it. Oh yes very yummy. We had a gander round the poultry. (See what I did, did you like that?) haha. I concluded that I wanted two chickens and two ducks. All going on sale on the Wednesday. The next problem I had was to try and manoeuvre this around Rich without him finding out.
We walked round and discussed (argued) about many of the birds. Then I concluded that we wouldn’t know which ones we could buy until the Wednesday anyway. Karen and Mich promptly dragged him outside for a cigarette before things got too heated. Very good move.
Peace prevailed as we continued to shop and try all the nice bits of food :-). Weather was so nice and we sat down and had a lovely bbq, played cards and drank, lots and lots. All very civilised.
All it did with rain. I was determined to look at my ducks and chickens, so at 8.30, waterproofed to the hilt, including plastic bags on my feet, inside my shoes, I trudged over to the chicken barn. I am dripping by the time I get there, and to make it even better the rain is getting heavier by the minute. I am doing stupid ninja moves to try and lose Rich so that I can get away with buying what I want. Not going to happen, he knows me too well! I am not allowed to move anywhere without being followed.
No ducks, no cockerels. Yadada. In the end I got so annoyed I walked out with none. Do not think he had the last laugh on this. We will revisit this saga later.
The weather slowly got worse and our spirits were dropping rapidly. The tent started to rain on the inside again, and there was no letting up. We decided tarpaulin was the way forward, and we ran out of gas, so no more cups of tea. Rich and I were despatched to find tarpaulin and another gas cooker so we can at least have tea. We find everything we need and traipse back to the tent.
The show ground is literally just mud, with straw being mixed in with it. My god it was miserable. We have given up even considering running the dogs. In my personal opinion it is just too dangerous, for dogs and humans. Mich went into hibernation as she was just too cold and wet, and being exceptionally skinny (so yes, no need for her to go to slimming world grrrrr) of course she just becomes some kind of hibernating grizzly bear.
However, by the evening it has stopped a little bit, so we ‘bravely’ venture back down to the main rings and watch some showjumping, and then some team relay called inter hunt relay. This was great fun to watch and was a source of much amusement on that awful day. That was it for the day we dragged ourselves off to bed after that. We had all had enough, but thankfully it had at least stopped raining.
Thursday dawns and it is still dry. WAHHHHOOOO. We all get up and start packing. We need to get home and get in a nice hot shower. I decided to run my class with Fly just to give her some more experience. She managed a few more jumps in that class, but was still very scared, plus the ground was still pretty bad so i didn’t really bother running much. Mol did one round and it was awful, so we just decided to go and do some more shopping, pack up and go home. I think we were all relieved to get in the car and drive home. Four hours later and we were home.
Where do you think i went the next day?oh yes.
Welcome Jemima and Puddles mwhahahaha!!!
After Wales 2015
My family and other animals, by Gerald Durrell (the Holly Phillips version) – This weeks news
Bear is in the dog house, she has pulled all the recycling off the side and smashed a bolognese jar in the process. It has gone literally everywhere and all four of the dogs are being prats by jumping in and out of the glass. I am not happy, nor do I have time to mess about, I need to get to work. Bear decided to hide for a bit, good move. Though I can’t be angry for long, she is my best friend.
THE Jackanory has seen the chiropractor and it looks like he is going to be ok. One vertebrae out, which she put back in, and he came out looking like a different animal. Tail wagging and much more life in him again. One more session and he can go back to agility. And breathe.
Molly moo moo has cost us another small fortune at the vets with her skin condition. We have tried everything to clear this up. She has put holes all over her back and it’s constantly bleeding. She looks like some kind of rescue case. I’m surprised someone hasn’t reported us to the rspca for animal neglect. Bloody spaniel is allergic to everything. Princess Molly can only have a certain diet and Daddy makes sure she gets the best. Of course. Anyways six weeks of antibiotics and £150 later we leave.
Baby grows are the only way to stop the scratching!
Fly is BAD AGAIN!
Might just assign that Michael Jackson song to her. BAD! So apt for her. While washing all the damp clothes and bedding from Wales, we have discovered that she has chewed the zip on Richs’ sleeping bag. Well, that went down well. NOT! She doesn’t bother hiding like Bear. She just throws herself on the floor, sticks her back legs out, like some kind of frog, and drags herself along the kitchen floor. Then you can’t help but laugh because she looks so ridiculous. I will try and get a video of this tantrum as it does brighten a dull day.
Puddles has been issued with an asbo, but isn’t taking the slightest bit of notice so she is up for rehoming. (I’m joking) I’m sure that’s usual behaviour once given an asbo, one just carries on as before. We have also discovered that if she spots us in the windows that’s when she starts. We have now taken to moving like ninjas round the house so she can’t see us. No more said.
The chickens are petrified of the ducks, and it makes for amusing viewing to watch them literally hop over them as if they are on fire. I have just been out to the coop and they are so fed up they have locked themselves in their bedroom. I think I maybe removing the ducks and putting them in their own pen. I do not want to give batty Betty and Florence any excuse for not laying. Don’t they know that eggs, when cooked in fry lite, are ‘syn’ free. God dammit!
Always good fun in our household 🙂
So Wednesday comes around and we have our agility lesson in Effingham. Molly has forgotten how to weave, just about manages to stay on her contacts and a wait, well, what the hell is a wait? Daddy says wait and well it’s shuffle, move a couple of steps while his back is turned,and quickly sit back down as though nothing in the slightest has happened! Cheeky little cow!
Fly, well is Fly. Zooming around the sand school was way more fun than actually doing any agility. I try and keep very calm, very calm. Otherwise I maybe leaving this dog in a stable and going home without her. Breathe. Now I wish I could run THE Jackanory. He is such a good boy, but another week of rest and he can train next week.
Saturday and we have another agility show in Horsham. For once we can leave home at a reasonable hour as we are only taking Molly.
Witch, witch, witch.
She clearly had no intention of doing anything she was asked to do! She ran rings round Rich so I ran her in her last jumping class. She redeemed herself slightly, until the weaves where she actually couldn’t be bothered to go in them, let alone complete them. I think we all came away fairly disheartened on that day. Bar Molly who clearly had a great time running around like a prat and barking her head off. So, my sensible head comes on. I am very nice and inform Rich that this is agility. Molly is a particularly difficult dog and he is new to it. He will get there. He is having none of it, he is so disheartened by her clear disregard for anything he said to her. However, this made him cheer up. ‘Think you could run Fly instead’. We both laughed at that. Molly is now being ignored by Daddy and she is most put out by this.
After this you are going to ask the question, why do we bother?
Here’s why. We have bonds with our dogs that are so special. We wouldn’t dream of hurting them in anyway, they get the best we can offer and that closeness makes for such a happy household. They cuddle us when we are down and cheer us up with their quirky ways. Even now I think how naughty Fly was last week at training and I’m laughing.
Yes 90% of runs are eliminations, and about 60% of the time they are naughty, but if you think that it’s taken maybe six months to train a difficult dog a certain piece of equipment, and then suddenly it clicks and they do it, it’s like someones child finally walking. When Molly gets her weaves first time in the ring, the rest might be rubbish, but Rich comes out and feels great. That feeling of achieving something has been so hard to get, it might be a long road, but it definitely is rewarding. Fly has taken me nearly six months to go over a see saw. She was petrified of them. Now she does them and I clap and give her huge cuddles for achieving that. Now all she does is run up it! Dammit, back to retraining other things she likes haha.
Not only that, we have a laugh, we have met so many friends and everyone is in the same boat. The reward and the joy of watching the dogs go round and enjoying every bit of it is what keeps us going through the rain, bad runs and eliminations.
Then next week I will be back to threatening to send Fly back to Many Tears and Molly to another home! 😉
God I need a glass of wine just thinking about going back to training(4 syns for a small glass, is it worth it?, ALWAYS)
Part 3 – http://thehershamhub.co.uk/nutty-dog-agility-family-2016-adventures/
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