Thursday, 15 April 2010

Good News Re Magic

Thanks again to everyone who has pm'd, emailed etc.

Well, there is good news on Magic. He went to see Kieran yesterday and extensive x-rays and shoulder fluids were taken. We've not yet got the results of the shoulder fluids yet. However what the extensive x-rays show is that nothing has broken, even in the wrist area. He is however in a great deal of pain.

Marushka, the sports physio came round with the vet this morning and she feels that it is the nerves that go from the neck to the shoulder that are bruised and there is impact on the wrist area due to this. IE very similar to whiplash. So she has started a course of magnetic and laser therapy and given me various exercises to do with the shoulder and a cold pack.

Subject to a further assessment and ongoing monitoring we anticipate Magic will return to his sporting hobbies after about a month.

Meanwhile the baby rhino, Smartie, got taken to puppy flyball training. He has such a herdy eye he gets quickly distracted and obsessive by dogs moving around him, so Michelle thought we should start doing some age appropriate training in these conditions to sort out this problem now. Jordan handled him and we had the second team in one lane with netting while Smartie used the other lane to run and fetch a ball and do a recall without keeping a collie eye on the other dogs. It was a great success as he soon started to focus on what he had to do and stopped eyeing and trying to chase the dogs in the other lane. He watched the rest of the training without lunging at the dogs running up and down and is a lot calmer around other animals. I'll start doing some pre-agility puppy training as he seems to benefit from doing a little more than obedience.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Magic Update

Thanks to all of you for your messages, emails, PMs etc. Here's an update.

I took Magic to see Kieran, the orthopaedic vet yesterday. I know Kieran really well as he reconstructed my cats paws when they were crushed and she has become one of his lecture case studies! The cat that would never walk again now climbs trees, jumps walls, catches mice but all her digits were reconstructed and pinned.

Kieran did an examination of Magic before talking to me or looking at the emergency vets x rays - he always likes to talk to the animal first. He confirmed that Magic's shoulder is very painful and there is a great deal of trauma. The x rays taken by the emergency vet don't show a fracture but I could tell he wasn't impressed by them at all and she didn't take shoulder fluids. What he discovered doing this examination is that it is the wrist area that is the cause of the problem. Interesting as just before we went Magic was lying beside me on the chaise lounge and I was doing Tellington Touch. I noticed when he was very relaxed that I could move his shoulder but when I touched his pads this was very painful.

So poor little Magic has to have more x rays on Weds. I don't want this but I feel and he feels better to know exactly what this is rather than treat the symptoms and return him to sport with a problem that we haven't discovered.

I am really annoyed as the emergency vet cost more than my caravan and we need to
redo the shoulder x rays and do the wrist. Why the lower leg was not done as procedure I do not know. So he is booked in with Kieran on Wednesday. He's off to Marushka, the physio this afternoon.

Please continue with positive thoughts. Magic is on very high pain relief but still wagging his cockerish tail and playing with his toys.I feel just awful.

Vicki took these lovely photos of Magic on Sunday. It wasn't one of his winning rounds but it does how the form he had that day. Please let our talented little dog carry on doing what he loved.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

UKA Thatcham Success and Devastation

We were at UKA Thatcham this weekend. Due to mug not being able to tow the caravan and it needing to be serviced, I decided to commute to Mapledurham for the 3 days of the show.

I was determined to use the show to get Jordan and Magic running as they were before Crufts as both seem to have lost confidence in each other. The show started off disastrously. Day parking is behind some trees and you can't see the rings. Toilets are quite some way away. You can't exercise the cockers near the river.... So the first day we missed 2 runs and 3 course walks. We've only ever done this at big KC shows like Thames. In the end the show sec said best to park by the rings. Problem solved.

We started off with some training runs and then for real in the steeplechase. Magic ran really well but stopped to do an archaeological dig for a treat from a previous show but Jordan got him to carry on. Unbelievable he was 2nd - only 6 seconds behind Nancy Hudson's impressive, technically perfect and fast round. If Magic hadn't stopped he might have beaten that round!!!!! It was then that the penny dropped with Jordan - that Magic is a very fast little dog, who covers a lot of ground in his long stride, who is also very accurate and at home in tricky courses and fast flowing courses. The only thing is keeping him going by sound to stop him leaving the ring and sniffing. A 4th in Gamblers followed - except Magic jumped the last fence and ran straight into the Thames. Then came the revelation that Magic was no longer novice steeplechase - he was now senior!!!! Just when I wanted flowing steeplechase courses to promote the partnership!

The next day Jordan was up for it with Magic. The senior course was one of the nicer courses at this level but still tricky - several Es came. Magic flew the course - running with great speed and accuracy. He was 1st!!!! Jordan was really celebrating. Especially as he came 2nd in the Champ steeplechase with Rupert, only points of a second behind Virginia Harry's Zoe.

Then one of the worse days of my life came.

I still don't know how this happened. We took all 3 dogs for a walk and play at lunchtime. I'm encouraging Jordan to take Smartie off on his own with a ball to build up that partnership. They must have been 400 yards away from the cockers. Magic had his ball and Rup was sniffing. I told Jordan to get Smartie off the field of charf onto the edge of the field as it was a bit brittle. I still don't know what happened next as I was picking up Rup poo. I looked up and Magic was holding up his left leg in a classic dislocated shoulder position, wagging his tail with Smartie's football in his mouth. Smartie was miles away. According to Jordan, Smartie pointed and rammed Magic. I'm wondering if J kicked Smartie's football and Magic landed awkwardly in the charfy,uneven field that I had told Jordan to get off.

I gave Magic arnica and checked him but there was little forward movement in his shoulder. I decided to drive him to the emergency vet in Guildford, not Reading and we arrived at 1.30. The vet told me that he probably had a fracture and it was likely he would never do flyball or agility again. Jordan was in tears, I was in tears. I blame myself for this happening. Smartie can be like a little charging rhino and you have to stop these charges verbally or by a whistle as he just keeps going and Magic doesn't seem to get out of the way or hold his own like Rup. I often keep him on a lead if Magic has a ball or walk both separately, while we are sorting this out. It's not happened in the last 4 weeks and I thought that behaviour had gone.

Well, we left Moo for an x - ray and went home in tears, extremely anxious. Dunno what I'd have done without Michelle form the Dream Team who kept in touch. By 9pm we were out of our minds waiting for a text from the vet. Finally at 10.30pm the x rays were done, so we drove over for 11.30pm to collect Magic.

Well, the good news is that there is no obvious fracture. But Moo is still in considerable pain and holding his shoulder at an odd angle. The vet said 10 days off but I feel this is a month at the very least. I'm now waiting for the vets to open as the orthopaedic specialist is in today and our physio is gong to slot Magic in as an emergency. I can feel a hot spot at the front of his shoulder that I think the physio will be able to work on.

Positive thoughts for Magic, please.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Flyball Glastonbury at Stockbridge

All of us at the Dream Team were looking forward to Easter. Three open teams and one starters team launching the season, mostly with dogs new to flyball. However I decided not to run Rupert in the starters as the forecast wasn't good so we arrived on the Saturday.

Having spent Friday in the sunshine 40 miles away, It was a real surprise to arrive on the Saturday and see a field knee deep in mud. The Jets took one look at my van and I had to park it miles away from the rings in a farm yard!!! We then staggered across the mud with Magic to be measured. This was a real pain as we were late and the measuring took place just by the rings, so mad cocker stood on tip toe and barked and barked and measured 12" not 11". Back we went in the mud. It was only 8.30and already Jordan was covered in it, Magic was grey and it was all the way down my wellies.

There were 2 rings and both were OK - just. Understand the Starters were cancelled at lunchtime the day before. As the rings were surrounded by this mud - there was nowhere to move them if it got worse.

We launched the new Maddogz - Magic, Mawgan, Tia and, as Kip wasn't there Wellie and one of our staters dogs Zen joined the team. The first race Magic ran down and stopped and was eating a large piece of sausage - got cocker in the lane!!! We then cleared out the remaining sausage and treats from the starters the day before. From then onwards Magic, Mawgan and Tia really came together as a strong team of 3 dogs made to run together. Tia and Magic really complement each other well as Magic doesn't chase back in after Tia and Tia is quite focused going in after Magic. It's nice not having to run 4th leg. Wellie was his usual reliable self.

It was good to chat to Mark Peck from Cambridge as Magic was gong to join forces with his father, Drake, and run as a height dog for Cambridge in the multi breed on the Monday. Drake in one team, Magic in the other. I was so excited!!!

By the afternoon we were borderline about racing, the rings were so bad. With more rain forecast, we weren't sure if we would race the other 2 teams the next day.

Well, Magic got his flyball dog award presented and we came 2nd in our division - would have won if it wasn't for that sausage!!!! But it was announced the tournament was cancelled for the Sunday and Monday. It took 4 4X4 to tow off the team minibus - I'll upload photos when I get them!!!!

We arrived home with mud everywheere. We hosed Jordan down at Stockbridge but he was disgusting. The dogs were. The van was and soon the house had mud everywhere. I am still washing clothes, dog blankets, and scrubbing the van.

Sunday we drove to Verwood to buy a caravan off an agility person. I arrived terrified with an armour of positive mental attitude. Armed with this I towed it out of a narrow entrance, down country lanes, petrol station and arrived home. Shame!! I could not for the life of me reverse it in our driveway. In the end the man up the road with his 4 sons came down and we pulled it in the driveway. So I am booked on a towing course and fitting a mover.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Jordan and Rupert Go Champ!!!!!

A big congratulations to Jordan and Rupert for winning into Championship class at Waverunners last Saturday in the Steeplechase programme. A great achievement for a 10year old.

Way to go!!! I'm sure the performance will follow only points to go!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


After an age of hype and waiting Crufts finally arrived. Our first Crufts. Well, we didn't have any expectations and were just happy to get there and use this year as a learning experience. I was very stressed with the YKC Agility Dog of the Year at 13.10 and the flyball at 13.55. We stayed at a lovely farmhouse and arrived at 8.30 and managed to get 2 cages for the flyball and YKC benches on our tiny trolley. We benched with both the YKC and Dream Team but left Magic in the flyball benching as it was quieter. What I had not realised was that parents are not allowed to walk the course with children or queue with them. Jordan is quite able to course walk on his own but he walked it as if he was handling Rupert!!!! What really freaked Jordan out was having to queue without me and communicate with ring staff. I could see his panic and stress and Magic who soaks up stress looking very uncomfortable. An inevitable E followed when Jordan slipped and knocked over a jump wing when he realised he had to switch not turn with his shoulder, which hit Magic on the head who then fled the ring and into the crowd!!! I really felt for Jordan of all the times for this to happen. I think next time I will defiantly make sure he has someone with him in the queue. We then fled to join the Dream Team in the flyball quarter finals. Considering they only really got going as a team the week before the Crufts qualifier it was a real achievement to be at Crufts. The first race was fabulous as we won by lengths. However the heat and lack of water took its toil on the dogs and Jordan and I were in search of water and wet towels. Eventually we came 2nd!!!! We were organised for the semis with buckets of water and soaking towels. Sadly luck went against us against Warrington in the first heat and we were out. But what an experience. It's a real buzz to have 8 flyball teams escorted through Crufts by a phalanx of security officers. Since Crufts the hits on the Dream team web page have been considerable. I do hope that we will get to Crufts again. And if we do we'll have time to chat to people. Time just flew and everybody is busy but we did see some friends, many of whom doing so well. I'll leave people off if I name them. I did get offered £1000 for Magic!!!!! Well, he's not for sale and certainly not to soemone who thinks he's teh most beautiful dog and hasn't got a 10 foot fence, willing to do long walks everyday and cope with a compusive flusher on a dog walk!!!!! On Sunday we went to UKA AJAXS. Poor Magic wasn't at all keen on going in the ring after Crufts and ran out of the ring and into the Thames twice. After 2 practice runs and understanding judges we got a 3rd in the steeplechase. Rup was stonking and left with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Well, J and R are not on the brink of Champ class - only the 6 games points to go.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Good Luck Magic and Congratulations

Good luck to Jordan and Magic for DfS Crufts 2010. On Thursday 11th March they will be competing in the semi finals of YKC Agility Dog of the Year in the YKC ring in Hall 3. At 13.55 in the Main Arena Magic will be the reserve for the Dream Team South East when they race the Wimslow Wagtails. It's Crufts flyball, 2 fast teams in the quarter finals, first year of BFA style boxes, so anything could happen. I'm sure Magic will enjoy his adventure whatever happens and someway along the line we will get cockered!!!!
Congratulations to Magic for gaining his flyball dog award at St Leger Horse Park. And thanks to Roland for running him that day.

Friday, 19 February 2010

The Year Kicks Off

The Agility Year kicked off with the Traval Crystal Challenge. This meant a 6am start and, after a week of leaving the house at 7am to go to a new school in Brighton, it was a bridge too far for J. We ended up leaving an hour late and arrived as the medium dogs were doing the agility. J was devastated. He decided to have a go but due to not course walking didn't see the weaves at no 2 demanded the correct line from jump one. Ahhh!!! He lined up Rup wrong and an E followed as Rup missed the weaves. Started again and did a cracking round. Never mind. They went on to come 3rd in the open agility later that day and 5th on the Starters jumping. So they have at least scraped through to the finals of the Crystal challenge next December. Magic's mind was on other matters that day and wasn't fired up. He did a good agility round with Jordan with his usual A frame 5 faults! We have got to fix that for Crufts!!!!!!

Then disaster struck a few days later!!! Magic was on a walk on the downs when he saw bunny. A fast chase followed and a scrabble. Magic came back with bunny and blood everywhere. Got him to Pachesham for training and whist cleaning him up in the yard discovered he'd torn a dew claw. So out of action for 10 days.

Magic's injury was really bad timing as Jordan was on half term and had planned to train and bond with him. So those plans went out the window. We had UKA Valentines Show at Cheltenham and The Gun Dog Show at Telford that weekend. Both these shows were to be Jordan and Magic's Crufts warm up. But what a weekend!!!!

The vet has decided to put Rup onto a long lasting pain relief that you take monthly to see if we can get him using his back legs properly and avoid the back problems. I've also got a back on track rung and a new warm out routine. The downside is that Rup in now 19 kilos having put on weight due to being less active. He's now on a diet. But Rup was definately back and once he looses weight!!!! At UKA they were 2nd in the senior jumping and 3rd in the agility sadly with 5 faults for a close call dog walk contact that the judge changed her mind about twice. But the gun dog show was staggering. Given that they were competing against Grade 7 dogs in some classes and handlers like Amanda Hampson - the third and 5th were well deserved. I am so pleased with the steeplechase timings. The winner was 20.2 and Rupert was 5th with 20.8 Once he looses that weight ...and once we get the wide turns sorted out Rupert could be back and I hope he and J have a good season in senior and eventually Champ at UKA (only 6 agility and 6 games points to go) and novice plus at BAA.

We ran into problems with Magic's dew claw as the bandage became damp over that weekend. I got it changed when the vet opened Monday. We've decided to go without a bandage but this set back means no trianing till next week. But I might risk some light training with Jordan at the weekend in a boot. I'm also going to do some light training with Rup at flyball. I'm very undecided about Rup and flyball as he tends to drop the ball on tight crossovers after being attacked last year and he can't run all day due to risk of a flare up. But he could get his flyball dog on 90 points to go. He was a good reliable 5 second dog before that. I'm going to see how he is on Sunday and I might put him in the multi breed at Stockbridge if he can run as anchor dog for part of the day in a team. I also need to find a team for Magic with a nice steady dog to cross into and out of. He is very near or has his flyball dog.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Here's To 2010

Well folks it has taken me a month to fulfill my New Year's resolution to keep the blog going. In all the problems of last year the blog went by the way side. I hope it won't be the case this year!

Firstly thanks to everyone who has supported Jordan and I over the past extremely horrendous year. Things look brighter this year for us.

Well, this year kicked off with flyball at Gap Farm. Magic made his debut with the Dream Team last year as reserve for the Crufts qualifier and at Maidstone doing runs ups and running when we were 2 up. He got 50 flyball points. Gap Farm was his first proper debut. Apart from running out once when I turned my shoulder the wrong way and a sniff up on one run, he ran reliably for the day and was an asset as an 11" height dog. Running in the low 5s. As most of the dogs in the 6 dog team had never raced before flyball points were the last thing on our mind that day. I don't think he has his flyball dog but he is not far off.

The next weekend Magic returned to Doncaster for more flyball. Due to Jordan starting a new school I couldn't go. As you some of you know the tumour on my hand has returned and I will have to have more surgery. I'm hoping that during this time Roland will run Magic so he doesn't go without flyball. This partnership has been developing well in training. In retrospect it might have been better if I had been there as poor Roland got well and truly cockered.

Agility starts next week with the Crystal Challenge. Due to 4 weeks of snow and ice and now a new school, we've not trained Magic and Jordan which is a real pity as Jordan lacks confidence running with Magic. They need to be ready for Crufts!!!! Ahhhh!!! Don't ask about Crufts!! On the Thursday Magic is due at 13.10 in the YKC ring with Jordan for the semis of the YKC ADOTY and at 13.50 in the main arena with the Dream Team for flyball. Luckily he is reserve but I'd still like to be there with him.

Rupert has spent the winter resting. His hip dysplasia is definitely affecting him. He has had a full veterinary and physio assessment. He should be capable of almost full range movement but he is not producing this and still getting compensatory back problems. I am trying a Back On Track Rug and pain killers on training/show days with a full 20 minute warm up. So we'll see.

Last but not least we have been joined by Smartie (Rosmak Smart Choc). With our decision to retire Rupert from KC shows, it was essential to get Jordan another dog that could compete in the all heights junior classes. After much discussion with Jordan's trainers and Alan Bray who has been training Jordan over the summer, we decided that Jordan is ready for a large, fast collie. During the summer he ran several friends collies. So we set about finding the right collie which was a tall order. The quest was to find a bomb proof, happy go lucky, fast collie with a quick eye who would respond to hand signals and non verbal commands. I noticed that Rosmarinus collies not only ran well with the other juniors but were very responsive to hand signals. Despite my own wish for a Sandhyl/Canen dog, I decided these lines could produce a dog which for Jordan might be a step too far at this stage. So we took advantage to visit Rosie whilst we were at DINAS as Clip, who is litter sister to a friend's highly successful agility dog has a litter. Rosie used to teach deaf children and knew what we were looking for. We carefully chose a name that Jordan will be able to recognise both as a pet and KC name and is inspirational. In September we picked up the Smart Choc and turned to the dark side.

Well, collie pups are a lot less hassel than cocker pups. Collie are easier than cockers!!!! I would have another collie any day. (But wockers are still dogs of my heart).

Smartie has really bonded with Jordan. The pair are inseparable. A brilliant play relationship has developed and Smartie is instant on hand signals. Over Christmas it was brilliant watching Jordan on his sledge going across the downs flanked by Smartie. The next stage is to start on games that will get Smartie working away from Jordan following hand signals. And more work on the wait!!!!!!!! We have started pre-agility 2 by 2 training.

Well, the Smart Choc is smart, fast and driven. Barks in frenzy when he watches agility but seems less turned on by flyball. He is a compulsive herder with a quick eye and would have a tendency to herd our cat if he wasn't well integrated with her. He is obcessed with Magic and they are like 2 pups from the same litter and often have to be walked separately so Smartie focuses on us. At home he is very happy go lucky, laid back, once he is satisfied the cat is in one of the right places. He is a lot calmer than the ever busy cockers.

Hopfully Smarite will launch on the agility circuit at UKA in January 2011 and officially in Feburary 2011.