Thursday, 29 May 2008

Tia's a ticket dog woohoooooooooo!

(And the internet is restored, yayyy!)

I went to the BC Club of Wales obedience show today. Ummed and ahhed a million times, but decided to go, as we had a major break through with her scent. Didn't realise until I programmed TomTom that it was in fact 190 miles each way but there we go, I am officially mad/stupid/crazy! Tia worked a nice round, teeny bit drifty if I'm being picky, which I'm trying not to be! She was 3rd before scent. I didn't get my hopes up at all! So used to her getting the decoy. She went out. Found the right cloth. Picked it up and ran a pace to me and dropped the cloth. AHHH!! Turned round and searched the rest of the cloths, including going over the decoy twice before running straight back to the right cloth and zooming back to me. Now to some, that may sound like a crap scent, but I was SO pleased with it, as it's the first time I've felt that Tia has had some sort of confidence, and some sort of idea with what she was doing. She defo smelt the decoy each time but didn't even think about picking it up. The dog that was lying 2nd also dropped the cloth, and it needed an extra command, so lost more points than Tia and ended up 3rd, with Tia moving up to 2nd. So giving us our final qualifier, yipppeeeee!

Our first ticket show is 2nd August, then I am planning on doing ones on the 10th, 17th, 23rd as well! Seeing as I have the bug (I really didn't think it was possible to get an 'obedience bug') I may as well make the most of it!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

No internet! Ahhh!

We've had no internet for a week now, ahhhh! I'm at uni logging on now, hopefully we'll get a new modum (or what ever it is)

Dad went to Supadogs for the 2 days it actually went ahead, and Bex was fab with 1st 1-4 jumping, 1st 1-2 jumping, 2nd 1-3 agility and 2nd 1-2 jumping. He was even more pleased as in the 1-4 jumping he beat Mr Hudson and the lovely Kizzle (sorry Nancy, it was the first thing he said when he rang, lololol!!!). Bex has only done about 5 weekends of competing, and in that time she's had 4 wins, 4 2nds and 2 3rds which I think is just brilliant, especially as most of the wins/places have been in 1-3's and 1-4's.

Tia meanwhile was useless, she had xrays on Friday and I think she was still drowsy from the anaesthetic as Saturday wore on, so I pulled her out of her class, and then didn't bother going on Sunday. We have a show tomorrow (Thursday) which is a bit random, not sure I will go yet as I don't like obedience in the rain (or the wind... or the cold). However Tia really needs the practice so it's likely that we will.

We went back to Lowri's yesterday, Tia still has some swelling in the muscles in her back, however she has a lot more flexibility. This week I have to start jogging with her (bl**dy great!) according to Lowri "starting at 20 minutes, building up to 40 minutes" ummm I think it'll be more likely starting at 10 and building up to 20 lol!!! Tia is very bright and happy now, and the little bits of obedience training I do, she goes ccccrazy for, she is so happy to be working again!!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

A non-moany post... for a change!!

I thought, after all the moany posts recently, that I will post a happy one :o)

Tia went back to the specialist today and Lowri is REALLY pleased with how much progress she has made in the last week! She has a vastly improved range of movement in her back, shoulders and hips, is arc-ing her back leg in a much smoother fashion and her movement is much more fluent down her spine, rather than rocking side to side. Her walks are now 4x 30 mins a day, and maybe in the next couple of weeks I can start running with her, or even better, off lead! We are going back on Friday for another session of acupuncture and water walker, and also xrays etc to assess the damage. I have entered Tia in anysize (low jumps) at Lansdown at the end of June... it will be exactly 2 months since WBSDS when she hurt herself. I soooo hope she will be ready for it, I think she will be, if she does do it, she will be sooooo loopy, bless her she doesn't normally get that excited watching me train other people but on Monday she was crazily excited and wouldn't stop barking, I think she is saying ME ME MEEEE!!

I'm such a rubbish trainer!!! Grrr!!

Even more frustrated now... I'm sure people have areas they find easier to train in than others. I find teaching heelwork easy... and teaching scent to a dog with no brains... about as hard as you can get!! I just CAN'T get her to understand what she's meant to be doing!

We have gone back to not putting the right cloth down until she's sniffed all the cloths, as in the ring she tends to sniff 6 or 7 then make a snapshot decision that the decoy (if she hasn't yet gone over the right cloth) will do. She will ignore the decoy 1st time round, but if she hasn't found the right one on the 2nd time round she'll just grab the decoy. You could have 3 decoys, and she'd ignore them all the first time round, but the next time it could be any of the three. So I don't quite know how to progress with her?? She is quite hard to teach in that she doesn't grasp anything quickly, and she doesn't 'link' what she's doing with anything else, so I think somehow I've taught her that scent has to be done in under 10 seconds, not that she can take as long as she wants as long as she finds the right one. It's so frustrating as it's the only thing really holding her back now, and the more frustrating thing is I have no idea how to put it right!!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Arghhh!!! The Frustration!!!!

I've just come back from a weekend at Loughborough obedience, lovely show. Had THE most annoying day in the world on Saturday, Tia was leading C by MILES and then failed scent!!!!! Then today she had a 4th (bit gutted as 1st-3rd give you a qualifier for ticket) her heelwork wasn't as sharp as it was yesterday, I think because she is used to only doing 1 show a week of obedience, as she's always worse on the 2nd day. Just SO gutted about Saturday as she worked absolutely fantasticly, best heelwork marks of the day, I really couldn't have asked for anything more, then she had a ditzy moment in her scent and did the I'm-a-retard-lets-choose-the-decoy!!

So then, I got back to Bristol about 8pm and decided to give the dogs a quick walk, so off I go up to the first field, just planning on walking around that as it'd be Tia's 15 min walk. Just as I'm up the top of the field I see a couple of people I know, and they ask about dog training, etc, so I decided to let Tia off the lead so she could have a mooch round. Was chatting to these people for about 10 mins where I did a head count (lol) and came to the grand total of... 1 doglet. Tia is never normally far from my side, so I start to panic! Say a rapid goodbye to these people (who were saying how impressed with my well behaved dogs they are) and start to leg it down the field, as I was running down I see a hot air balloon, in the farrrrr distance (its so small its the size of a golf ball) which was obviously what Tia had stressed at! Get home (as I was hoping thats where she'd gone) and waiting in the garden is a very stressed Tia, hiding in the corner and in panic mode, panting a lot, and looking in balloon-monster's direction!!!! So, a reminder to me to do balloon-check before letting her off lead in future! Still can't believe she ran off, she's meant to get better, not worse, as she gets older!!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Poor Poor Tia :o(

Several people have asked what the outcome was at the specialist yesterday (thanks, nice to know people are interested :o)) well - she is one sore little doggie.

I am really upset as when the vet got me to move Tia in a particular way, it was clear she was still lame, she isn't moving one of her legs in a smooth 'arc' but keeping it low to the ground.

The biggie... she has a HUGE amount of back pain which until now, has NEVER been picked up (by an osteo, 2 chiros, and a physio) which I am frustrated about, we think she has had it since she started training, so 5 years. She has got hardly any awareness in her back end and when the vet pushed her back end from side to side Tia didn't even resist - she should be able to stand rigidly. One side of her is more toned than the other - but the side that's not as toned has hardly any flexibility. This is why I've always had a problem with getting Tia to extend over every jump. She was worse when she was younger because she hadn't learnt to cope with the pain, and the tucking up was an evasion as by doing this it hurt less. And also a reason why she is worse jumping on indoor 'soft' surfaces, as she doesn't have the spring in her back. So when she has 'tucked up' when she is jumping it isn't to do with her legs but the fact she cant flex her back, which is why it was even worse when she was bouncing a jump as she needed to flex and extend even more. The vet was doing exercises with her and getting Tia to bend her head to the left and right - she could do the right easily (heelwork side) but the other way she was really uncomfortable, and then Lowri tried to push Tia's head down and Tia used every muscle she could to resist, coz it obviously hurt so much, and roached all her back, to resist even more :o(

She had some accupuncture, and also did 6 minutes in the water walker. (I did have to have a little giggle at Tia trying to work out how to use a treadmill, and gripping hold of the sides with her paws so she didn't have to walk) I have 4 sets of exercises I have to do with her 4 times a day, including using a wobble cushion to get her resistance in her back end up (which has to be said, is quite fun!!)

I cannot believe that no one has ever picked up her back problems, as yesterday it was clear from the moment Lowri touched Tia's back, that there were going to be problems... it really does make me question how good they are.

Char and sore Tia Pia

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Tia... and my Pup!!

I went to an obedience show yesterday... Tia had a 2nd in C, what a star!! She came joint 1st but I didn't do the run off. She now has a 1st, 2nd and 3rd in C, so just needs one more top 3 place to qualify for ticket! In obedience you get a write up, which gets posted either to the obedience magazine or online - this is what it says "Declined the run off with the above due to her dog just recovering from a leg injury, a very good all over performance worked with accuracy and style, I predict this team will have a bright future in the sport of obedience, I shall watch with interest, well done."

And on to puppy news... could possibly be getting a pup later this year, or early 2009. The mum is Ant/Jackie Clarke's Ruby, who is out of Canen Rio and Shanowl If Only (a Quincy son). The sire will hopefully be Flynntastic Red Jaff of Tarnforce.



Quincy (photo by Sue James)

So I await with baited breath!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Another Tia update

Well Tia is off to see a specialist on Monday. I have been in contact with Lowri Davies who is a vet at the SMART clinic in Wales, and she said that with Tia's injury, she thinks that something else was niggling at Tia, so she has been compensating on this leg, and then the ligament has gone 'ping'. She is meant to be doing 2x 20min lead walks a day, with 5 mins of that off lead, but I can't let her off lead now as all she wants to do is do the biggest outrun in the world, so Lowri has said to keep her on lead the whole time.

So Tia will have an appointment Monday morning, and they will also start off her treatment at the same time, which may consist of ultrasound, accupuncture or hydrotherapy using a water walker.

I may be being slightly paranoid, however I am taking no chances, after paying the price and not getting Ricky to see a specialist due to the vets saying 'metacam and rest' and him having to retire at 8, so I want to get Tia totally sound before I even think about bringing her back to agility!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Running contacts

Running contacts have hit the UK! Lol, this is Tracy Flower and Barbie, Barbie hasn't long been doing contacts in the ring, I also watched her do them on the Sunday and they were even more awesome! Thanks for letting me put this on, Trace!

Monday, 5 May 2008

Bank holiday weekend

Well what a great day we had at Vyne today!
Dad won out of grade 2 with Bex hooray!! He won the 1-2 combined agility by a second, he really pushed Bex and she ran soooo much better! She's been running much faster the whole weekend, also getting a 2nd in 2-3 jumping, we worked out that of the 90+ dogs in the class, there was only about 20 grade 2 dogs so to beat 70+ grade 3s is fab! Dad also managed to make Bex do a big loop as he nearly tripped up over a jump due to having to shift a lot quicker as Bex decided she wasn't going to loiter!

Ember's going home day today, in the jumping she missed her weave entry, so I took her back to the previous jump and redid it, she then got a lovely weave entry, had a pole but everything else was nice. In the agility I didn't care what happened as long as she stopped on her contacts as she thought she could get away with pinging them at Dordale. I got infront of her on her aframe and said STOP and made her come all the way into 2o2o which she did nicely (much to my suprise, I thought she'd try and race past me). She then got a slightly offset weave entry, and I was so pleased/suprised that I forgot to say anything so she came out, probably coz she expected me to call her back and redo, as thats what we've spent most of the weekend doing! So I took her back and did jump-weaves again and she did them lovely, then we sort of went rather wrong, although she got a lovely seesaw and stopped on her dogwalk! She can do it!

The 4-5 jumping (course below) - well I took a gamble as I worked it totally different to everyone else, (I worked the tunnel on the outside and than the second she committed to the tunnel ran on the outside of 4 and 5, so I could just push her over them rather than crossing behind (and it was too spread out to do a front cross between 4 and 5) as I'm useless at getting my timing right! This involving a huuuuuge recall as I had to get past the tunnel, above where the number 13 is. I thought Ember would break her wait, as she has been perfect for ages and it'd be a shame to have to take her out on her last run! Anyway I got to the second jump and she thought I was going to release her so went to go, however my brain reacted fast enough to say nooooooo, and I put her back, then knew for sure she wouldn't try it twice so I just ran to the position I wanted to get in, turned round and good little Ember was still led down waiting to be released! She absolutely flew the rest of the course, my goodness she's so fast, when you can really keep the lid on her she's fabulous! She won the class by 2 seconds, pretty good methinks! This is her third jumping win so she's now grade 6!

Dordale - what a lovely show. Dad had two 1-4's and a 1-7 each day, he managed to stuff up his 1-4's but got a 5th in 1-7 jumping and 6th in 1-7 agility which he was very pleased with. Ember was diabolical (hence the suprise at aforementioned win) as in the agility she flew her dogwalk (I made her lie down by it, then made the mistake of carrying on) and then she flew her aframe (I took her out). In the two jumpings she was on a total mission, she was completely ignoring me and turning like a tank, barking like mad and not concentrating. She missed her weave entries in both classes, if she does this I give her one more chance of redoing jump-weaves (no point in just redoing the weaves as she can get weave entries from a standstill perfectly) and she still missed the entry on her second go so I took her out of both classes! She has to learn, if she won't weave, that she isn't allowed chance after chance, and loses her go!

Hence I didn't bother getting anyone to film the runs at Vyne, a shame as I think that jumping run is one of the runs I'm most ever pleased with, it felt like we were a team, rather than a battle!

Friday, 2 May 2008


My lovely little sheltie goes back to Gina on Monday *sob* I have really loved having her she is such an outgoing happy little dog, who really should not be a sheltie as she doesn't seem to realise most are quite nervous! I will try and get a last video of her training later, as keep meaning to show a few people what I meant by a long jump weave guard lol! I have the Saturday of Dordale and Monday at Vyne with her, I'm not competing on Sunday as was meant to be at an obedience show but am going to stay at Dordale for the weekend and hopefully do a lot of revision.

She has done a great job of keeping Tia entertained, they play together LOADS but as Tia has to be kept as quiet as possible at the moment they've adapted by Tia lying down and Ember running round her, and then pawing and nipping each others faces, sooo funny to watch.

I've just got a free sample of Joint Aid for Tia and much to my suprise she ate her dinner even faster than normal (on average 5mins), I got the sample as I didn't think she would like it as she's so fussy, but looks like we'll be buying a tub of it!