Sunday, 10 July 2011


It was my first time doing Diamond show in Bristol, and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. Mainly I think, because they had good judges, I enjoyed running all 3 of the courses I ran today, so thank you Andrew Dicker, Barrie James and Martin Cavill.

I had figured that Saturday was going to be a rather messy and late night, so had hoped that my runs wouldn't be first on today. Wronggg, two first on, and one mid morning! That hasn't happened all year! Not that I am complaining as it meant that we could get away by 12 and I was in bed asleep by 2!

So walked the two jumping courses, walked them both wrong, and it took me 5 attempts before i managed to walk Barrie's course correctly, and it wasn't even that complicated!

After how great Scandal behaved at Lansdown (out of the ring), my hopes of a repeat of this were dashed when she behaved worse than she has done for months, launching herself around at the end of the lead like a total hooligan, getting her tooth caught under my watch and making all her gums bleed, and just making me wonder why I had got up at 7am at all. Mum came with me to the show today which was highly amusing, she hasn't come to a show for about 4 years so I found it very funny having her with me. She was very good and queued for me so I didn't have to, which was quite lucky as I think i would have murdered Scandal :)

So, first up (9.30...) 6-7 Jumping, once Scandal had slightly calmed down from her wild child antics she behaved very nicely, near-ish to the ring while mum queued. But she still wasn't as focused as she usually is - asked her to sit on the start line and she completely ignored me, just looking round the ring and seeing if she could see any dogs working in the ring in front. Got her into a sit and then we were off... my poor brain just couldn't keep up with my legs, let alone Scandal, who was flying. There were two bits that I so nearly messed up (one was number 3... great start!) the first bit I ended up working from behind and Scandal doing it all by herself and the second right at the end (where my brain had shut down completely) and just wasted a bit of time getting to number 17 as I was about 3 miles away from where I was supposed to be. Still, Scandal was a fabbidy girl and lovely and speedy.

I went back to the car to die for a bit, and then felt a bit better so wandered back to the rings. I seem incapable of dressing for the weather and had a 3/4 sleeve top on and it was soooo hot, but looked so flipping cloudy a few hours before. Luckily the clouds kept covering the sun so it wasn't too hot before we left. That didn't help my mood :)

Anyway they finished the jumping and I wandered over to see where we had come as Laura asked if we had won it and I didn't think we had but thought I'd have a look anyway... well she did and won it by quite a margin too! Yay! 2 down... 2 to go.

Barrie James 4-7 jumping up next and Scandal was blistering, up until a pull through at number 15 where my legs got tangled and I ended up in a heap on the floor! Cringeee.

Last class was Martin Cavill's 6-7 agility. I did tell Martin initially at this course was way way toooo hard, apart from the last 3 jumps that were in a straightish line. Then when most people had left the ring, I re-walked it and told Martin that actually, it wasn't quite so bad and I quite liked it now. :P

I think this was one of my favourite runs I've ever done. Scandal absolutely flew. I left her to get on with stuff and concentrated on saying the right commands and getting into the correct position, and trusted her to do her job and she did. However... lovely dogwalk, to wrong end of the tunnel at 13 into the weaves 14. My brain forgot what we had to do after 13. And I ended up in a heap on the floor again. Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Scandal was foot perfect, and bless her, while I was lying on the floor, re-placed herself into 2o2o very happily, good little girl :) so once I had picked myself up, we re-started from the dogwalk and she absolutely tanked the last bit, the fastest she has ever gone, and I even dared to pull off the weaves a little :)

Scandal is amazing me so much right now, we are getting to be a team and some stuff we are doing is looking pretty cool! Considering all we have trained in the last two weeks is wing wraps for 2mins, on two occasions, and my head was in a different planet for all of today, she did very well. I am finding it hard to get the motivation to train at the moment, just enjoy the long walks we do, but I am determined to train at least once, hopefully go crazy and train twice, this week.

I hope also that Imogen will be at Rugby and will run Honey in her first champ... fingers crossed :) x

Monday, 4 July 2011


Our first show at grade 6!! Eeeeek!!

I drove up to Ant's on the Friday of Lansdown to have a lesson with Sian. It was great fun as usual, Scandal was brilliant, I have no idea how Sian gets Scandal to concentrate for an hour, but she does, and Scandal loves it. Apart from Sian made me run so much I was nearly sick :( :( poor me. Scandal looks so fit now, and really didn't struggle at all with the hour (which was pretty intense from where I was running!!)

Anyway so I'd pretty much decided that Saturday would be a write off as Scandal would be tired from the lesson so wouldn't be going as fast... but I also decided that the lesson was more important because I hadn't had one in nearly 3 months and it was showing.

Soooo first up, grade 6 jumping. Jeepers so much harder than the 3-5s I am used to!! But doable I thought, tested lots of things, pull through, out round, weave entry, etc. Scandal went CLEAR!!!! I have no idea how, I was really scared and only found my voice half way round, handled a bit feebly I thought (although actually doesn't look too bad on the video camera :P) but Scandal was fabs and only one turn a bit wide at the end. She certainly wasn't going at her normal speed but I think that was because I was so hesitant, so poor dog was unsure of what was up.

Anyway, Sian and Ant came over to announce to me that Scandal had gone into the lead :D which I was thrilled with... 170 dogs later and they closed the class, and Scandal WON it!!! Woooooop woooooop!! Sooo clever. And I was even more pleased that she would have been 2nd in the G7s... only Ant and Ruby had a faster time than her (by 0.4). And two of the dogs times in G7 she beat are going to the world champs in Oct! That was a real eye opener for me as I never realised her times could be that competitive against the really great dogs.

G6 Agility, Scandal was absolutely flying, until she got blown off the dog walk :( this was the first DW I'd asked her to run in a couple of months in the ring, I could have picked a better one!! You can see on the vid that a gust of wind just completely took her off balance as she was on the beginning of the middle plank, she went along the middle plank with literally only two legs on the dogwalk, before taking an enormous “ahhhhhhhhhh” leap and somehow getting the contact, bless her. Don very kindly let me re-do the dog walk after I had nearly died of heart failure, and she did a perfect running dog walk, lovely stop seesaw and finished the course really well :-)

Sunday, she had a pole in the G6 jumping when she tried to bounce on a 90 degree angle jump, after a flat tunnel, and tried to turn too tightly for the bounce… this is something I need to practice as she shouldn’t bounce if I ask her to turn, bad Scandal (… read… bad Chars training). In the CRUFTS SINGLES (ahhhh that was scary getting running orders for that!) she was way way better than I thought she’d be. Missed her weave entry because I literally stood still, in completely the wrong place and just said ‘poles’ and Scandal to be fair did try her best to get them! But was very pleased she ignored the dogwalk, which lots of dogs didn’t. Then near the end of the course she got a 5R for coming with me on a pull through instead of doing the 2nd jump… to be fair I did call her… poor Scandals. And another good seesaw :-)

Ricky was also very good, especially since both days I opted for a nice lie in and arrived at the show as they were calling to the end of anysize, hehe. A pole on Saturday and a clear on Sunday where he came 3rd! What a star. Must put a video up of him.

So all in all a good weekend, loved doing the harder courses. Gave Scandal a week off agility last week as I had lots of other stuff to be doing and had a non-dog weekend instead of going to Tuffley. Not actually sure when I’m going to be able to train this week but need to as we should be doing 1 day of Diamond – another local show woop woop!

Newton Heath

I had just entered the Saturday of this, as I've had sooo many shows in June I figured I'd want a day off (which I did... good decision Char :))

Didn't enter Honey either (another good decision!) and I wouldn't have taken her anyway - she ate something Thames weekend and was really, really ill. She is better now, but is still looking pretty anorexic. Luckily she hasn't got any shows for another couple of weeks so she should be fine by then :)

My alarm went off at 4am but on hearing the rain promptly turned it off and went back to sleep. I got an email through at 5am and had the wrong setting on my phone, so it beeped and woke me up. It had stopped raining, so I got up, and managed to leave by just before 6.

We only had 1 run first on, Grade 5 Jumping. We arrived at 8.28 and luckily our ring hadn't started yet, so I was able to walk it several times. It was a lovely course, and to top it off, it was sunny, so good moods all round :)

Scandal did a really nice run in this, listening really well and felt really controlled, with me only having one retard moment when I got in the wrong place when I sent her into a tunnel, making the next two jumps a bit wide. Still, good enough to win it by a good margin :)

Then the 3-5 Novice Olympia, fab course IMO by Dave Deaville, pretty spread out, more like the course you would get at Olympia. Scandal felt lush in this and I think this is the first Olympia qualifier I have ever enjoyed running. The seesaw was near the end and as she went up it, ran to the end, she slightly glanced over her shoulder to see what I was doing and lost her balance and slid off the side, when it was about a foot off the ground. Just one of those things, we needed a bit of luck on our side. But actually I am so happy with how she ran, it doesn't matter.

We then did our last every G5 agility and it was a very flowing course. Started out with 2 jumps, seesaw, jump in a straight line, into wrong end of tunnel. I decided I'd test Scandal's wait, so ran out to the 4th obstacle... beautiful wait. "Go, go, seesaw seesaw". Scandal - beautiful sliding seesaw, stop...go. I was like, ummm, what are you doing Scandal! She has never self released off the seesaw like that! Perhaps her coming off in the Novice Ag made her think seesaws were fine to choose when to release. Anyway I asked her to lie down next to the seesaw and then we were off again and wowww she just flew. Beautiful stop on dog walk, lovely running aframe, nice weaves with me leaving her in them and pulling off to the side, check stride on her turns, couldn't have asked for anything more. Except a nice seesaw ;-) sooo pleased with her, having so much fun x