Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Wallingford, 16th/17th April 2011

First show of the season! Was very excited to be packing up the caravan on Friday ready to leave, full of hopes for what the weekend might bring despite a rather disastrous training session on the Thursday evening. I was rather hoping that poor rehearsal, good show might hold true in this instance!

Luckily for the most part this seemed to be the case. One of my more annoying faults as a handler, is remembering a full course, something that I'm sure has a lot to do with my nerves. Whilst I know just what a great dog I am lucky enough to run, knowing that brings its own pressure as I don't want to get it wrong for her. I'm pleased to say that for the most part I didn't let Ella down, and although some of the runs were a bit shaky in parts, we did some good work. Watching back the video I am delighted with how fast she is covering the ground and the speed with which she achieves her contacts and weaves.

Overall it was a good weekend of agility, but of course it's not the only reason people get so addicted to our sport. As you'll see the video clips include several runs from friends; it's also about the friendships that get forged whilst we're all enjoying training and competing with our dogs. Running your dog with a hangover from the night before is quite a normal occurrence! ;o)

I'm also pleased to report that Kai & Diva ran in the Anysize class on Sunday - Kai running a lovely clear, and Diva showing some great potential for the future. Both were rewarded for their efforts with a yummy tripe stick - think Diva could get quite excited about this agility game ;o)

Today I'm grateful for family & friends :o)

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Moving day

This year has been one of great change, so it hardly came as a surprise when we were told that the barn adjacent to our training field is finally ready for conversion. I would like to thank everyone who offered suggestions and leads for a new field, it was touching to have such support on hand. As a result is wasn't very long at all before we found ourselves being shown around Pool Farm in Kingston Seymour. We now have a great new field, enclosed on all sides, larger than previously, and with hard standing for car parking right alongside the field. Thanks must go to Sara Bingham for sourcing the field thanks to her friendship with Margaret Bush our new landlady. We're delighted with our new venue and can't wait to start teaching! :)

Today I'm grateful for the many willing helpers who were there to support Sue & I as we made the rather emotional move from our old venue to the new.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Tonight's training - CANCELLED

My apologies – meant to inform you all last week that training tonight is CANCELLED due to my role as groom for Helen Sharp and Hattie (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) who are entered in the Novice Agility Cup at Crufts tomorrow. We are leaving this afternoon and staying close to the NEC to be there bright and early in the morning.

Hope you've all had a good week and the homework that you've been set is progressing nicely. I owe a couple of you emails regarding queries you've raised - please bear with me, will aim to get a few notes penned whilst away but wouldn't like to promise anything! Any queries that need answering before next week, just drop me a line or give me a call :)

Today I'm grateful for being coach to a very special dog and handler partnership - can't wait to watch you tomorrow girls! :)

Monday, 17 January 2011

Information on classes

Would like to apologise to all those people waiting for information about spaces on classes - it's been an extremely busy time with the puppies, but I hope to be up to date soon. Thanks for your patience! :)


Today I'm grateful that I know about the SMART clinic and that they're helping Ella get back to her old self :)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Preparing to say goodbye..

It's going to be a long day tomorrow as we say goodbye to the majority of Ella & Tigger's puppies who are being collected by their new owners. Ryley (Red), Beep (Lightening), Jet (new name TBC!), Oberon/Obi (Spot) and Ruby (Seven) will be heading out into the world to start the next chapter in their lives.

I can't begin to explain what an experience the whole process has been, from making the decision to breed, choosing the stud dog, the mating, the birth, the puppies themselves - a roller coaster, and one I wouldn't have missed for anything in the world. I loved each of my dogs from the moment they entered my life, and with Ella in particular I've shared many special moments in her agility career as we've moved up the grades. But I think this has to top them all as being her midwife of choice and assisting her first little boy into the world and then being there as one by one the rest joined him - it's an experience I will treasure my whole life.

As they've been socialised in various places, I've often been asked the question 'Are you selling them?' or 'Have they all got homes?', only to be greeted with surprise when I explain the waiting list we had before they were even conceived! That's a good feeling, to know that these puppies were loved and wanted before they were even born - just as their mother is treasured every day of her life.

I expect a few tears will be shed tomorrow, but I want it known that they will be happy ones. There are some good people welcoming these young dogs into their lives and I know that they'll be safe and well within their care. And whilst it's goodbye tomorrow, it's not as if I won't ever see any of them again - with each going to agility homes, I look forward to meeting (and hopefully beating ;)) them as their careers develop. And I'm assured of regular updates as their proud new parents have promised to keep in touch with special news. Plus I take comfort from the fact that as these new puppies fly the nest, my darling Ella puppy will be all mine again and she, Kai & Diva will be able to have more of the attention that they undoubtedly deserve. As a family we've all played our part in these puppies early days, but now's a good time to say farewell. 

Except as I should probably mention, for one particular puppy who seems to have worked her way into my affections - unbeknown to me until just this last week. The dark chocolate puppy we named Galaxy who is so like her mother, but instead a rich, chocolately brown. Sensibility finally deserted me and the heart won out - Borderspirit Temptation is here to stay. We're now a household of 4 dogs - oops! ;)

Today I'm grateful for the wonderful homes awaiting Ella & Tigger's precious puppies - we've done all that we can do, now we're going trust their new owners to do what we know they can do :)

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Christmas Party Postponed

Due to the snowy conditions, we’re going to postpone the Christmas party planned for today until Sunday 2nd January – the week before normal lessons resume. The timings will be the same:

Beginners party at 11.00am
More experienced handlers at 12.00pm

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas meanwhile, and look forward to seeing you in 2011!

Gemma & Sue 

Friday, 17 December 2010

Saturday 18th December lessons - CANCELLED

We've had another impressive dusting of snow and more is forecast, so I'm making the decision to cancel tomorrow's lessons. With luck we might get away with the Christmas party on Sunday - watch this space for updates!

Today I'm grateful for my friend Lucie who was on hand for moral support this morning just when I needed her :-)