Monday, 29 September 2008


When I heard the news about Hex last week I was truely shocked, I couldn't believe that a dog so healthy one week would no longer be with us the next. When dads Bex was younger and dad knew hardly any one, one of the only small/medium handlers he recognised was Bernadette and Zen/Hex. When Bernadette was in the queue I was always saying "dad watch this, this is how you do it". After I heard about Hex it brought it all to reality how we really never know what is round the corner and to enjoy every moment we have with the dogs.

This wasn't really emphasised when I took Tia to the show this weekend. I don't know what has happened in the last few weeks but not only have we got a lot worse, we have got so bad we've nearly dug a hole down to Australia. Tia is hating every moment of champ, and I know it is my attitude. I think I started in champ in August all happy that we had even got there, and then she got two places in her first 4 shows, and I knew she could've got the reserve CC had it not been for my useless handling getting marked. And then I piled on the pressure, and Tia decided the only way to resolve this was to go in to shut down mode. I can turn and face her in distance control and she will be watching me, but I give a position and its like there is a screen in front of her and you get no response. I know it is because she is unhappy. Even training this last week was bad, I was away for 3 days, came back, and had 2 really bad training sessions, and then 2 bad shows. Even someone who has known me and Tia for a long time, and has helped me a lot, said on Saturday what an earth is wrong with you at the moment, you are acting like a spoilt brat. Of course that has really got on my nellie, and I had a big long think on the way home on Sunday and decided that I will go back to what I was doing in the summer, before the operation on her neck, when she was working amazingly. Put my ear phones in, turn the music up, and have fun, life is too short to get churned up about winning. We did that tonight and boy did we have a good time. We have one show left this weekend and I don't care what she does, as long as she at least in part enjoys it, and I am going to stop taking it seriously :-)

Sunday, 21 September 2008

~*Tia*~ September

Update on Tia taken Sept 20th

Thursday, 18 September 2008

There may be hope!

Well we had a bit of hope tonight!

I'd almost given up hope of Tia doing agility again as we keep having setbacks and it seemed the only thing could keep her sound was going to Lowri's twice a week and I just can't do that at the moment, so a couple of weeks ago I stopped training her as she kept slipping and hurting herself, it seemed like she had a big problem with her balance. However on talking to Lowri she said if I stopped, it would probably get worse, so the best thing to do is keep persaveering without pushing her too much.

So, tonight, Hannah did Tia's physio and did some different exercises with T, we found although she kept trying to set her spine in a curve to the right, if you try and bend her to the right she is now worse than bending her to the left! We also did some work on turns round poles and some jumping work and Tia was really good, I'm going to up the turn work as it will aid her balance leaning around corners.

We also did some exercises on the exercise ball. Tia's always hated this! Now I realise why... this is my view... so it's not scientific! I think the reason Tia hates the ball so much is because it makes her stretch her back legs EXACTLY like the jumping shape I'm trying to get her to do. When you put her on the ball (her front feet are on the ground), instead of being happy to have her back legs extended over the ball she tries hard as possible to tuck them up (like she tucks them up over jumps!) After lots of wriggling Tia finally stopped tensing up and then was fine, we did some stretches over the ball and then some exercises with her back feet on the ground and her balancing her front feet on the ball - she really struggles with this, did it with Rix and he got the idea within seconds but the ball was toddling off in all directions with Tia - so we have loadssssssss to do! Now, my (unscientific!) theory is that if I can get her to relax and stretch her back legs over the ball, it MAY be the key to teaching her to jump extended in agility. She just has to relearn that jumping and stretching her back legs does not equal pain!!

Excitement over!!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Kipcroft Maybe at 5 months

I went for a walk with my friend Laura on Wednesday and took a few pics of her collie pup Be... I thought Be was about 7 months but she's only 5 months! She's sooo lovely. Here are some pics of her taken today, the quality is pants because my battery is dying and I've lost the charger, it hasn't been charged since last year!!! So I am trying to take the pics ultra quickly so as not to waste too much battery and therefore I miss the split second that Be is posing! She moves so quickly!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Interesting jumping action

A while ago I took some screen shots of Tia jumping, in April, and at Lansdown in June. It seems crazy that at the show in April the physio had seen her just before (or poss just after) the show (because I'd been moaning that she wasn't jumping right) but she couldn't find anything wrong with her!!! How obvious it is now that there was something terribly wrong with her! The photos of her at Lansdown show the enormous difference a course of acupuncuture, physio and a water treadmill can do.

The quality of the pics isn't great as its just from my (ancient) video camera but it seems soooo obvious that Tia's in discomfort - believe me I really do cringe looking at them! But to take her out the ring when people who, in your eyes, know a lot more than you do, say that she is fine/sound, is really hard, and I didn't really have a "plan B" until Toni mentioned Lowri. Anyway pics below. You can see why she was unable to clear long jumps!!!

After 7 weeks of rehab:

Tia yesterday

Tia at Thames Ch Obedience yesterday - hmmm!!

For some reason yesterday I was totally not with it and did not watch the round properly... I also didn't do nearly enough heelwork practice with Tia before I went in the ring. So we are mid heelwork and she's going nicely, until the steward said about-turn-right-turn. Now, for some unknown reason I had absolutely NO idea where I was supposed to go, my mind went completely blank and I went the wrong way, what an idiot!!! So we lost marks for that. Then there were several left turns and left about turns in normal pace and I nearly stood on her and so for the next few lefts she wouldn't turn properly as she was concerned she may get crushed.

She did a lovely sendaway (a box sendaway much to Tia's joy) and she only last half a mark for a wide pick up on the recall in to heelwork - I then had to go and train 4 sendaways in her C as she wanted to keep dropping herself before she got to the back marker naughty girlie! Clear distance control, I am really pleased with this as have gone back to the way I was taught to do it in April and it's worked! Lost half on retrieve for her finish.

Then scent, she sniffed one decoy, then found the right clot and picked it up, dropped it, checked a decoy, ran back to the other end, checked another decoy, before running back to the right cloth and picking it up! Grrr! Her scent is SO SO much better than at the beginning of the year, we just haven't got that last bit of confidence that she needs if she finds it quickly - she doubts herself. Still, its a HUGE improvement on running out, getting to the first decoy and bringing it back!

Then stays, did the sit, then in the down she got up at 1min 32secs for a scratch and then laid back down again! I think her and Ricky have fleas and they were both scratching yest, grrr! They weren't frontlined long ago but they will defo be done tomorrow!!!

So, to compare Tia's score with the dog that won it. she'd have been on 14. Looking at how far away from the leader she was, it was won on either 11 or 11.5... so had I not gone the wrong way she'd have been on 12. And had she not dropped the scent cloth she'd be on 11. I know there are a lot of 'if onlys' here, but she CAN do it, it's just a matter of perfecting those little niggles and most of all sorting out my handling!!! I have got to start having lessons again but at the moment I'm not sure who with, as the guy I want to have lessons with doesn't do private lessons and the training days are on week days which I can't do. Oooh the problems that working full time bring, hehehe!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008


I've been quite lax in posts recently, I guess because I haven't had much to post about! Tia's back was bad again last week so I have done hardly anything with her the last 10 days, so I'm not sure what to expect on Saturday at the Ch show! I've pretty much given up any ideas of bringing her back into agility now, we're stopping training (agility) for the rest of the year - I may bring her back next year, I really really want to, but I think the way Tia's shaped means that she won't be able to do high level of agility and high level obedience at the same time, I think it is just too much pressure on her. It's pretty gutting really as back in June I really thought it was onwards and upwards and kinda didn't expect setbacks and certainly not now - 5 months since her last full height show.

I'm training a couple of people at the moment who hopefully should be going to their first show in November - UKA Agility - 3 x steeplechase classes! I'll be going along to watch of course - I'm well excited! They also have a casual class so I'll put Ricky in that and may be Tia as well, as she'll be having a rest from obedience at that point so doing mini height should hopefully be ok.

Had someone new come for a lesson on Sunday - Nat and merlie collie Asher - the pair of them are obsessed (gonna have to work on this!!) with flyball, Asher runs sub 4 so from what people had told me I expected him to be fast, but oh heck not nearly as fast as he was!!! One of the fastest dogs I have ever seen, his power is awesome, but he can also turn on a sixpence. He's crazy, but totally key'd in to what Nat's doing. Nat, you're so gonna have to give some flyball shows a miss next year!!! Hehe.

I've been at Airbus just over 2 months now - hard to believe really as it's flown by! Got loads of plans for when I graduate........ although not quite sure where having a pup fits into those plans... eeeeek!!