Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Flyball Training 18th Jan

I finally got to go training, yay :-D! We had a fab session, with all the dogs performing really well and Asher actually getting a proper work out now that everyone knows what they're doing with the box training. Box training was really good we put the netting in like we planned and had the dogs turning off the box and chasing the ball over the 1st jump back (after I learnt to throw properly!).

The video shows 3 of our dogs turning on the box. The 1st is Elliot who is still only a baby and won't be a yr old for a few more days. He is a rescue and is doing brilliantly well, definitely a star of the future! The 2nd is Bunty who is a patterdale/bedlington cross we think, she is a total nutter but also a very valuable height dog. The 3rd dog is Sonny, otherwise known as Bryning Falcon. The difference in his turn is incredible! Again sorry for the bad quality!

Monday, 19 January 2009

More Agility Training

If I'm honest I was a little bit disappointed with training on Wednesday. It was our first week back after a months break but I guess I just expect alot from him. It all started really well with a couple of jumping courses, they were fairly straight forward but did have front crosses which we haven't done before (I really had to run to get there lol) and he was really good. Then we did weaves and it was not good. He took the entry on the wrong side and then he was coming out around the 9th pole. I think it was because we had crappy plastic poles in and on the last ones were the thicker channel poles as some of his class have the guides on. Well he didn't like them rattling so he wouldn't do them. He is an odd dog sometimes. Was abit annoyed that they then wouldn't take them off so that he could finish on doing them right. Next was agility and his contacts were a bit rubbish for the 1st time in ages. He wasn't holding his 2o2o as well as usual and was spinning round to look for me although he was driving the down planks quicker than I've seen him before so I guess that is a positive. He flew his seesaw and would of been fine after that if it wasn't for our trainer insisting on standing at the end of the seesaw with a treat so that as the seesaw tipped he was just walking off the end to get the treat off of him so there was no 2o2o and no release which is NOT what I want!

The good thing about bad sessions is that they kick you in to doing something about it. So I spent sunday afternoon on his weaves and shadow handling. I focused on his entrys and got him wrapping the 1st pole from the left and going in between 1 and 2 from the right. I was surprised at how quickly he picked this up and the difficulty of entries he managed by the end. I took a couple of videos but they are really bad quality, you kinda have to squint to see them but you get the idea. Still need to work on his forward focus after the weaves and me in different positions and running past him etc.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

R.I.P Jack

It was with great sadness that we had to say goodbye to Jack last week aged 14yrs. He was probably the nicest, friendliest dog I've ever known. He was also the greatest flyball dog I have ever seen.

I started flyball with Tess not long after Jack achieved his amazing times of 3.85secs making him at that time the fastest dog in Europe. I just remember being totally gobsmacked that a dog could complete a run in that time. I felt honoured to train with him and couldn't believe it when I got to run Tess in a team with him. He was so easy to change to as he was so consistent and unflappable. A few years later I was also priviledged to run Jack in competition whilst June went through her many injuries (she is so accident prone!), he would never stop barking from the time you put his harness on until the time you took it off. I really felt like I was handling a superstar. He would run in any position over any height and was totally reliable. Jack raced until he was 12, he achieved his Jade award.

Jack had a special relationship with Tess, they were so in love! Neither of them had really taken much notice of other dogs until they met each other. I'd never seen Tess try to play with another dog before but her and Jack would play all the time. We used to have to ask for ground floor rooms when we stayed at travel lodges cuz all they would do the whole time would be bounce around the room together, it was very sweet.

Jack was such a softy, he didn't have a bad bone is his body and he was very cuddly. He was everyones friend but he was so loyal to June and would howl when left in the car at flyball.

He really was a very special dog and he has left a big gap in the lives of those who knew him. I loved him like he was my own and I'm sure alot of others felt the same. He will be greatly missed.

R.I.P Jack


Tuesday, 13 January 2009

The Last 3 Weeks

Well Christmas has come and gone and we are now in the brand new year. Christmas wasn't a great time as Tess hasn't been well to the point where I thought I might lose her. She lost coordination in her legs so couldn't walk properly and was falling over. The vet suspected a neurological problem but before we proceded with any further treatment he wanted to check that a lump on her back wasn't cancerous so she went in for a biopsy christmas eve. She was only supposed to be in there a few hours but she reacted quite badly to the anaestetic and took ages to come round which meant she had to stay in overnight, the vet was quite worried about her. I picked her up Christmas day and luckily she was ok and the lump isn't cancerous. Next had to decide whether to put her through mri scan but as this would also require a lengthly anaestetic I've decided against it as it would only (maybe) show the problem and the vet doesn't think that whatever is wrong with her would be easily fixed. So I had her on steriod tablets for a week to see if this would reverse some of her coordination problems and to be quite honest I'm not sure if it has worked or not. They made her very sick and she was very ill over the weekend so I took her off of them. She is fine again now and oddly her front legs seem alot better, she is not knuckling over like she was and seems less wobbly on them. I'm guessing this is an effect of the tablets but I didn't see any improvement whilst she was actually on them?!?! Maybe she is just being more careful. So I think I need another chat with my lovely vet. I'm happy that she hasn't deteriorated any further and she is perfectly happy in herself, I just hope we can keep her that way. I'm not ready to lose my princess, she isn't even 12 yet :-(.

Asher has kinda suffered abit over this time too, It has all felt a bit wrong walking him without Tess so he hasn't had as much exercise as usual and then just as I was getting to grips with the whole walking 1 dog thing he took a chunk out of the top of his paw, he is totally kamikaze when he's out and runs full pelt in to everything so he's always cutting himself but this was quite deep and kept opening when he ran so i had to rest him for a week meaning we missed agility training last week. We've started getting back in to a regime in the last few days and I finally did some weave and wall training with him this afternoon. He was really good but totally manic and i had to move the weave poles like everytime he went through them as he was moving them so much. His wall work was great, he was taking off from further away and pushing further off the wall, he was also achieving the height I wanted without my hand with the ragger in position and then he was driving off the wall to get his ragger on the ground about 10ft away.

Ball-istics started training again on Sunday but i couldn't go as I had to work, I was gutted but apparently they all did really well. I'll be there this Sunday to push the training forward another step. I'm planning on putting the first jump in in front of the box but still not loading a ball as i don't want to start loading until we actually have our new box. Were going to put netting in a tear drop shape around the box area to the 1st jump so that the dogs have plenty of space (and it allows for errors in my ball throwing!) but do actually have to straighten up as the plan is that when they jump on to the box I will throw the ball over the 1st jump so that they really spring off the box and drive over the jump going back. Then we can start to shape the turn by altering the position and height of the prop. Hopefully won't be too long til we get the new box, feels like we could be pushing on alot quicker but that is holding us back. Although I'm sure taking it slow will pay off in the end.

Agility training tomorrow aswell, really looking forward to it :-)