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.