Friday, 20 March 2009

Happy birthday Ben, 2 today!! and its the 1st day of spring

Shhhhh, dont tell Ben but I almost forgot it was his birthday today

Thats the little guy 2 today. Its been quite a big year for him.

3 Clear run agility shows, 12 runs and 9 of them were clear with only 1 elimination (I got lost)
1 KC show with 3 clear rounds - the agility run he won taking us right up to grade 2

KCGC Bronze and silver awards

and of course Mia entering his life (which he though was the worst thing in the world to start with but now he loves her)

I had the day off work today anyway and was planning giving them a big walk anyway but as I realised that it was such a special day - and the 1st day of spring I thought it would be a good day for a trip to Troon.

and it really was.

Weather perfect, slightly hazy but warm enough that I had my shoes off but not my coat. We walked all the way from Troon to Ayr (I think) along the beech.

Except for the few planes and the thundering of my dogs paws it was sooooo lovely and peacefull

The dogs had a great time, zooming and playing and running in the sea (yes mum, Ben actually went into the sea!!! He will be swimming by the summer)

We met a few dogs - all of which Mia got on great with except for the 1st dog a GSD on the lead, but the dog was so lovely and chilled and just didnt react to Mia at all, I think if the guy had had more time to let his girl off the lead then they would have become friends.

On the way back the dogs found a great log for me to rest on (and of course bug them with some more fotos!!) and then we headed back to the car.

After a quick detour to the garden centre (hopefully the dogs can help me gardening tomorow if the weather stays nice) the post office (more wool arrived - yippee, I have recycled bottles fibre to try now - looks interesting!!) I nipped into the shops to get the dogs and extra special tea of oxtail (dont tell them its a surprise) They are currently totaly zonked out at my feet.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Good boy, good girl!!

Today was Ben and Mias Kennel club good citizen tests, Ben was doing silver and Mia - handled by B was doing bronze

and they passed it

well done dogs!!

The biggest achevment was having Mia in a room with a dozen other dogs and her focused on B. She even took park in a group of dogs as a distraction for those of us doing the silver to call our dogs away from.

Really amazing that she was just chilled the whole way - when B was grooming her she even flopped over onto her back. Through the 1 min down stay her tail was wagging the whole time, and when one of the dogs broke his stay and wondered off she still stayed in the spot.

Ben did really great too considering he hasnt been to classes for a while as I have been concentrating on Mia.

Outwith the test he has started guarding me from other dogs when they come bounding up to me. I can understand that he is just protecting me but I will have to sort that out (not nasty but he is showing his teeth) But he did great. One almost hairy moment on the road walk when the lead went tight - but he was avoiding walking on a drain rather than pulling so that was fine

and in the 2 min stay he did bark a couple of times at other dogs that were barking but he didnt move.

Well done both dogs - and B who did a great job of handling Mia

Monday, 16 March 2009

The car park in the sky walk - and cows!!

It actually wasnt raining yesterday so I took the dogs to the car park in the sky

Weather wasnt so clear - or so warm when I got up there but we still had a good 3 hour walk before the sun set. If it had been a clearer night I would have hung around and taken fotos at night because it is really stunning to see the stars above and the lights of Glasgow below, just like you are in the sky.

I have been told there are all sorts of dodgy things go on in that carpark at night, but it is such a magical place that familys and people go up there and are totaly oblivious to anything but the view.

Mia had a great run about offlead and made friends with lots of different dogs.
Both her and Ben had a great run around but neither were interested in playing with toys or anything, just keeping close to me and having sniffs and zoomies (it is a little worry because I am doing the KCGCC silver award with Ben on wed and one part of it is we are suposed to show playing with a toy - to show I can get it back off him - but I worry that he wont play when there are other dogs around and work to be done - to serious for his own good!!)

Ben did promise me that he wouldnt get too messy or roll in anything nasty but I think you can see from this foto that that promise was broken quite early on
Thankfully by the end of the walk he was clean again - love those teflon collie coats!!

Then when were were heading back on lead Mia was quite well behaived, we met 2 greyhounds and got within 4 feet before one of them started barking at her so she kicked off.
Then we met with a spanial and she got right up sniffing it before she decided she didnt like it. Looking back I shouldnt have made her interact with the dogs at all on lead - I should have just let her have had all the good interactions with dogs offlead and rewarded her for being calm with the other dogs close when she was onlead

But you live and learn - and at least she is soooo much better than when she 1st came here.

One scary moment we did have was when they were romping offlead and I looked round a bush to see a herd of highland cattle - dosent look much in a small foto but trust me they are biiiig!!!

- Now this is a public park where dogs can be (and were) offlead
Mia charged over and barked at them and they were getting up and mooing at her
I didnt think her recal would be good enough so I just ran away waving my arms and yelling 'MIMIMIMIMIMIMIMIMI' and thankfully I was interesting enough to stop her being a kebab on one of those horns

Bit scary to realise that the cows are loose in the same place as all us walkers and dogs!!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Calvin and Hobbes (sort of) and other fuzzies

I have been v neglectful of blogging about my needle felting sculptures so I though it was about time I put some up

and hopefully I will have a little feature of please customers and their sculptures.

1st off I though I would use up some of my bright coloured wool and try for something totaly cartoonie, some of my faves
Calvin and Hobbes, its my 1st propper cartoon people and although not perfect I am pretty happy with how they turned out. (more about the little doggie later I hope)

and this little collie for a friend of my mums (he did look a little like a spanial in real life) I got the cutest little noses to use with them and I think it just finnished him off a treat.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Indoor agility

The rain is back again :o(

So after a long and soggy walk with the dogs today I fancied some more agility training

But I am not going out in that again

So I dug out my in the house agility :)

Only got fotos of Ben at it as I cannot hold the camera and train Mia

But we have homemade contact training, which they are both getting pretty good at - and have transfered the behaviour onto the real dogwalk

As you can see I do a '4 on the floor' where the dog lies down at the end of the dogwalk - better on the joints than a fast '2o2o' , gives me a break when I can catch up if they are too fast and in comp with a quick release then its pretty much a running contact.

Then some weave training - yup Ben is now faster then the camera. Have been practising that lots inside running tru the house and sending him to the weaves. He is 90% there with difficult angles unless he is comming from a sharp left turn onto the weaves - but we will get there.

Mia is confidently following a lure for the 5 poles, and I am starting to phase out the lure so she is following my hand.

Then a bit of a play with the tunnel - Ben dosent need the practise so I used it for stays with distractions - cos what is more distracting than me trying to pose him for fotos??

and finally my homemade indoor seesaw!! this little thing got Ben over his fear of the seesaw and hopefully it will work for Mia although I only really showed it to her today cos I dont want her worrying that the dogwalk is about to drop away from her.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Spring has ........

.... Got snowed on again

Just as all the lovely spring flowers were popping up and the birds returning to our shores the weather decided to chuck a wee bit more snow at us

The dogs were more than happy, zooming about and just totaly having fun. Again Mia eating about her bodyweight in snow and Ben barking and bouncing like a crazy boy.

And later on we met Lucy, who is a timid dog like Mia and the two of them have had a couple of fights.

Mia had one little grumble but then kept out of Lucy' s way for the whole walk. She wasnt happy (even ran home and sat on the doorstep) but at least she wasnt acting aggressive, we can work on building her confidence but it is far easier if she isnt all teeth and barking.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Well done Ben!

Sunday was out club agility compatition. Been at Bedlam the night before so I was a tad sleepy.

Left Mia at home with B so I could concentrait on Ben.

I decided to run him on the practise ring first to see how he was running and he was paw perfect

So there were 4 runs

and ...... My fantastic boy got 4 clear rounds - well done!!! and he was working better at a distance from me, no circling back to check out what I was up to. Speed better than before as well - not as fast as the collies but for his size v good. Beating a couple of our classmates who are much bigger and older than him.


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