Tuesday, 9 August 2011

It's been a while...

So I haven't updated for a while, apologies. A lot has happened in and out of agility, but I'll try to start at the beginning...

At the end of June I lost Kip very expectantly. The Saturday evening of Lansdown he had a funny turn and collapsed and couldn't get up. When he had been laying down for a long period of time and then went to get up, he would struggle a little but only through old age being 13. However, this was different. Mum and I took him to the vets on Sunday morning as they were going to do various different tests to see what might be happening. My vet suggested it could be heat stroke or internal bleeding of the spleen.

After several scans she called me back Sunday evening to tell me that they had discovered several tumours on his spleen and he was collapsing because of them bleeding and therefore he became anemic. There were a few options that the vet game me and because of how fit he was she also suggested the option to remove his spleen. I was home alone on the Sunday and broke down when the vet told me that the maximum she's had a dog live for after having these particular tumours was 5 months. In the end I didn't even get 5 days.

After his op on the Monday he came home Tuesday evening. He was whining and very unstable but we all put that down to the big op he had and also the anesthetic. I dragged a mattress downstairs and slept in the hall. He couldn't stop whining and panting and couldn't settle at all. Anyone who knows Kip will know how much of a big sop he was and that even a quick rub of his ear would satisfy him, even if he did keep nudging for more!

Wednesday morning Mum and I tok him back to the vets because he wasn't right at all. The vets put him back on a red blood cell drip and upped his pain killers but he was showing signs of other things. The vet wasn't happy with how he was and thought it might be more than what showed up on the previous scans and tests. I went to see him on Wednesday evening along with my Mum and Aunt (strength in numbers and all that...) Again he wouldn't settle and kept flicking his head and just totally in distress, which suggested that it could be neurological. I could have had more tests and scans done but I didn't want to put him through anything else.

It was the hardest decision but I think it was the best thing to do. It's been just over a month and I'm still absolutely devastated :( He was the kindest, soppiest dog ever and I miss him so much.

Moving onto agility, Pie has been working aaaaamazing, which is quite weird. We made our first champ final at The Agility Club running 4th from the end with a double clear!! We did crap in the final because I pushed him a liiiittle bit too much and he missed his contact. I need to practice more pushing him but still holding his contacts. I ponce around too much and then when I actually run Pie is shocking and comes with me - oops!!

Here are some vids from The Agility Club...

Roll on KC Festival!

L x

Sunday, 5 June 2011


I was so tempted to roll back over in bed when my alarm went off at 5.45! However, I managed to drag myself out of bed and managed to get to the show ground at 8, which makes a change from me usually rocking up at 8.20 and rushing around trying to walk courses.

Anyway, first up was G7 Power & Speed. A nice warm up before the chum and a chance to train Pie's contacts. Alan Stiff was judging and I think I'm safe in saying that the timing trouble didn't set him up for a good day judging! I nearly sent P over the wrong jump in the speed section as I was rushing off to put in a reverse turn, however we managed to finish 3rd!

Alan then went onto set a fantastic chum course. I loved it! It's very rare that I actually like a course, but it was great. There wasn't only one way to handle it so I was looking forward to seeing the variation. About 30 dogs in, the timing got questioned as dogs were throwing out times that varied from 10 - 25 seconds. Even if these dogs had rockets up their bums, i'm pretty sure it would of been very hard to get round in 10 seconds! The timing equipment had been changed three times in the power and speed before it actually working, so Alan made the sensible decision of restarting the class and do manual timing. The course had to be changed as the dogs who had already run where at an advantage and tweaked enough so that Alan didn't remember his previous course. Having walked this class, I didn't like it as much as the previous one! I had already made my excuse up if I didn't get round it... 'I would have got round the previous one...!'. After being very indecisive as to which side to run the home straight (after walking it both ways) Barry helped me make up my mind. We finished 3rd, therefore qualifying for day two semis. Wahoo! Ian Balchin won, Pete Catt 2nd, can't remember 4th and Elspeth finished 5th. Well done all :) See below for the course plan.

Last run of the day was Sue Culmer's Grade 5-7 jumping, which I had walked! This could of been due to a number of reasons... 1) too busy talking, 2) too busy 'sun bathing' - which then led me to looking like an utter lobster! or 3) because I literally couldn't see, so was sat feeling sorry for myself. I think I have conjunctivitis and my left eye was semi closed (stuck) together for part of the day!! I think it could have been all three though haha! Anyway, after watching a few I was pretty certain that I knew where I was meant to be going and how I was going to handle it. Pie was obviously a good boy, and did everything pretty much perfectly, which is rather strange! He queued on every single turn (I have actually been training turns and wraps properly for once!) and he was just fab. We went into the lead in a time of 27.570. John Cook and beautiful Mac run after me with an absolute stonker which I was sure would beat Pie's time. Mac's time was 27.754! Thank goodness for electronic timing! To be so close to Mac's time after we both had great runs was amazing. Below is the course plan although I have just noticed that I have put 20 the wrong side!

So although I look like a lobster and have conjunctivitis, we have a pretty successful weekend. Roll on Thames.

L x

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Wallingford, Easter Celebration and general catch up!

Finally the season is starting to kick in and Wallingford was my first show of the season. I was really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. My friend was back from uni so she came along too. Pie's first run of the day was 4-7 jumping at 10ish and then nothing until 4.30!! It was silly, as both his other classes suddenly came up at the same time and I was rushing all over the place, resulting in me doing veryyy badly! However, we did manage a 4th in the jumping. Although it wasn't neat at all, he is working really nicely :)

I've just got back from Easter Celebration and thought I would write a post before I forget! Pie was super. We had 4/6 clear rounds (1 was a run off).

First up was Leslie Osbourne's chum. I had seen quite a few good rounds, but there was a few parts in the course that I was worried about, but I just went in with a can-do attitude and went for it. There was a few blips where I nearly pulled him off a jump but he was a star! We went into 3rd and finished 6th, meaning that we didn't get into the Olympia semi, however, it has made me realise that Pie can actually be up there with the big boys! Ian Jackson did a stonker of a run with one blip to win the class, with Dave Munnings 2nd & Lee Windeatt 3rd.

So still on a high, I messed up the G7 jumping oops. Trained contacts in the Power & Speed and then had a run-off with Will Rolfe for 8th. Pie took a pole out in the speed section but Will told me that Pie's time was quicker, therefore would of beaten Scoot (Crufts Singles winner this year). Lee watched the run off and said that Will's run was nice and neat so it's definitely given me a boost to know that Pie can set close times.

Then we also managed another clear in 6-7 jumping. I even did a cross-behind!! Ahhh Piddles is such a good boy and i let him down far too much so couldn't believe it when we managed to get so many clears in one day! Normally that would be my quota for the whole year! Pie finished 6th in that jumping only o.something off Lee & Bold's time, who won.

Then lastly was the weird connection agility. It was sooo hot and I did the run on the way back from the Power & Speed run-off and I think I was more exhausted than Pie!! We managed a clear round with me training doing a stop-go on aframe and seesaw.

All-in-all it was a great day. Glorious weather resulting in me having an unattractive tshirt tan, a chance to catch up with everyone, and to top it off Pie and I actually did good. Ahh roll on WBSDS tomorrow... :) I will try to get some videos too!

L x

Friday, 31 December 2010

Pie's first Grade 7 win :)

Wahoo!! At North Downs back in November Pie and I won our first Grade 7 class. I've always liked North Downs as a show despite it always being cold. It's nice to catch up people and also there were 4 available runs for Pie.

Recent training had been going really well and Pie worked really nicely. He won Grade 7 agility by 3/4 of a second - clever dog!!

I know Pie isn't the fastest dog but I never thought he would be competitive at the highest level. Through no fault of his own though, I just don't have the self believe and confidence that I deserve to be competing in champ. Ok not every grade 7 dog ran in that agility class nor did every dog in that class run their contacts but I do know that, from the dogs Pie beat, those dogs do compete successfully in the higher grades and those dogs are always some of the ones to beat.

I say this time and time again, so sorry for sounding like a scratched record, but I'm fed up of people putting me down and next season is going to be so so different! Watch this space ;)

L x

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Suffering and sneezing

Bonjour all,

A lovely colleague of mine as inspired me to write a little more on my blog. You might not even be interested but either way, here I am on my new app on my iPhone. Check me out eh?!

I have just arrived at my Dads to be greeted with a box full of cardboard cutouts that he found whilst moving out of his house. Many many moons ago, i had cardboard cutouts of people and clothes that went over them. Haha!! Those were my only 'toys' I kept there so was quite funny to see them.

Tomorrow I am up in London for the last day of my CIPR course, although I think getting up is going to be a struggle. I have been sneezing all day, and annoying the girls in the office to say the least!! Hopefully the good old lemsip tablets will do the trick and work wonders for the weekend! Who knows.

L x

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Laura and I had been planning to head over to Luxembourg since November, last year, I think to compete in a show called Agility by Night. It's pretty much what it says on the tin. Competing starts at about 6pm and finishes at 2.30am ish.

We left Friday morning at 3.15am and headed down to the Eurotunnel. As soon as we got on, Laura and I took the first opportunity we could get to sleep! Even if it was for just half an hour!! We only stopped twice I think which was very short, and just enough time to let the dogs out for a stretch and also so that we could also nip to the toilet. At about 11.30 we had already driven through 4 countries... England, France, Belgium & Luxembourg. We arrived in Bettembourg at about 12 however, didn't actually get into the venue until about 1pm as we had been driving up and down, through the village and past the venue for an hour!! Jana had told us to look out for the sign that said dog show. Laura and I took that in the literal sense and didn't even think that it would be in German... until my year 8 German skills of remember 'hund' meant dog. We eventually managed to find everyone.

In comparison to shows over here, it was such a small show but sooo laid back but still very structured and well organised. Camping was where ever you wanted to camp and however big you wanted your pitch. If only it was like that here in England!

Our first run wasat 6pm I think.... To put it bluntly.... we did crap hahaha!! Pie jumped wrong way of number 1 and it just went from bad to worse!! Unfortunately Rod was freaked out by the loud music and PA system all weekend. Bless him. After doing our runs and watching everyone else's from 'our camp' we headed to bed at about 3.30am!! It may have been even later, but I just remember saying to everyone that we had been up for 24 hours urgghh!! The nights over there were very cold, and probably colder than here, but then during the day it was BOILING! We were staying in a tent (I know, I couldn't believe it either!) all weekend and as the tent got rather hot in the morning we were up bright and early for a shower at about 11.

We all headed off to the lake which wasn't far from the show at all, however, we ended up being an hour walking around, trying to find a safe and suitable place to swim and for the dogs to get in too. We were unsuccessful and headed back!

I had nearly recovered from the lack of sleep until everyone started whipping out random drinks for Laura and I to share. Soo many included sugar sachets or sticks and then washing it down with Vodka. The taste seemed quite pleasant although Lucas decided that helping me drink the vodka quicker by pushing the cup into my face, would help. It didn't. It just ended up running down my chin!! It got rather messy with us discovering the amazing cocktail bar too!! I think it should be a rule that there should be one at ALL shows haha! I ran my last run veeeery drunk and was quite surprised that i didn't fall over, although Pie did completely crash into a jump - thankfully he was ok though! Laura was a loser and went to bed at about 2am, which was early considering Jana, Lucas, Paul and I were dancing, singing, drinking, talking until 4/5!

Oh... I must mention a few things. On Saturday afternoon Paul came into the caravan garden and went to sit on his chair. It broke and he fell completely through it! I've never laughed so much - it was brilliant. He then went on to take his anger out with the chair by literally smashing it and throwing it about. I think it made him feel a little better. He did say that he hated it!

On Sunday afternoon, Laura and I went for a little nap in Jana's tent. Here is Laura's description of what happened.
"Lucy and I decided to try for a power nap in Jana's tent. Something moved under Lucy (I had already told her, I had felt something the night before) I left the tent and was talking on my pho...ne in the van, she then came and told me she wasn't going back in the tent cos she thinks there is something under her. She had gone mad and started hitting the ground with her shoe when she was in there. Later on, Jana picked up the ground sheet to see what was under there, there was lots of little run ways and a dead mouse. Lucy had killed it! I pretended to pick it up and throw it at Lucas... he got scared and started screaming like a 5 year old school girl... very very funny."

I still laugh when thinking about both of those!!

Neither of us made the final however Pie did manage to win a jumping class on Sunday. It was the day of the final and there was one jumping class for everyone that was split by the handler's age!! So Pie and I won the under 50s, which then meant we got an extra run against the winner of the large over 50s, who went on to beat us because Pie flew past 2 jumps oooooops!!

I had such a great weekend and meet some fantastic people. Everyone was so friendly and their English was amazing. It must of been hard to understand Laura and I, as our English (well mainly Laura's) isn't good at the best of times!

Thanks guys for a great weekend, see you in October and definitely next year for Thames!!

I'll upload the videos once Laura has popped them onto YouTube.

L x

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Well I think I have just about recovered from the weekend, or was it just Saturday night?! Thames is where I train so it I was pretty much on the go all weekend. Last year I clocked up 6/6 Es, So even 5 Es would of been progress on last year. Over the 2 days Pie and I managed 3 Es, 2 5Rs and 1 Clear. Woohoo! I wont bore you with each run but I was really pleased with how we both did. On the Saturday, it was just silly mistakes from me.

I was working on the champ ring both days so got to watch a fair amount of the large on Saturday. Greg won the ticket, even with a hairy round. That dog is too bloody quick - it's not fair!! haha! Ian & Bobbie where have an absolute STONKING round until number 16 where he went crazy and panicked and got E'd... BOOOO! I reaaaaaally want Ian to get a ticket this year and I'm pretty sure that he will soon, he's too close not to get one.

We finished our ring at about 3pm which meant i could go for a shower early and sort Pie out before the football and entertainment. We had electric hook up, thanks to Laura doing some flesh flashing to Andrew (nothing to do with be being a Thames member!!), which meant we had power for hairdryer and straighteners!! WOOOP! We also borrowed the Stokoe's TV to watch the football. We nearly had a nightmare with the aerial as Laura wanted the picture to be clearer which almost led us to us having no picture at all!! I think I can safely say that I was a liiiiiittle drunk... OK very drunk on Saturday night. I arrived back to the caravan at 2am where Laura & Emily were asleep and I woke up at 8.10 still fully clothed!! I was meant to be helping out on the ring at 8.30... that didn't happen! I eventually made it to the rings at about 9, where I had missed walking my courses.... oh dear!!

The chum was quite a tough course but I liked it. As it was split and was being run over 2 different courses in separate rings, only the top 3 qualified. The top 3, I knew we could only beat with a spotless round, which lets face it, never really happens with us! So i decided to train P's contacts, and also because in the Crufts Singles on Sat, he decided he now did 4-off contacts?! ERMMMMM NO! We got E'd at the end due to be being a muppet, but the beginning seemed to go well.

I was scriming for EVERY single small & medium champ dog on Sunday so had to make the most of when the heights changed etc, as that was when I could let Pie out for a wee or to run him! Whilst the medium handlers were walking their jumping course, I decided to make a dash and run P in the Graded 6/7 jumping. The course wasn't the best for us as it had 2 cross behinds in, and because I unfortunately can't run as fast as Usain Bolt, I had to do them! The round wasn't perfect as Pie turn towards me instead of away from me on one bit, which left me behind going 'aaaaaaaaah'!! I didn't bother to check my time as a)I didn't think the round was neat enough and b)because I had to get back to scrime. Later on, again on my quick dash back to the caravan, I had noticed that the class had finished and that the ring was all packed up. On the off chance, i thought i would go and see if we got a place, only to see that we had won the class!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! Pie & I are finally grade 7!! OH MY GOD!! Anyone see someone jumping around screaming on Sunday afternoon? Oh that would of been me! Our first champ will be Rugby... exciting!

I just want to say quickly thank you to everyone who has helped me. Just to think... I few months ago, i was considering giving up agility! Laura, you little gem, I've done it!! Thank you to you and Lee who have supported and helped me out so much. Without you guys we wouldn't of done it! And also to those who didn't think we would do it (which was me at times)... we've done it now, so nerrrrr!

I'm heading up to Northwich this weekend for Newton Heath. It is going to be so chilled as no pressure for last win. Ahh so nice :) Oh and also a half day at work, to prep for the hideous drive. Hello red bull and ipod!!

L x

Sunday, 16 May 2010

It's been a while...

... since I last blogged. Sorry! Nothing has really happened to be honest. Pie was working really well at Vyne on bank holiday monday and managed a 2nd in Grade 6 Agility. I didn't think I would be able to get past number 3 let alone get a clear and finish 2nd! Laura got the run on video but hasn't uploaded it onto her YouTube page. Then Tunbridge Wells went downhill... My confidence has gone out the window again after a few bad training sessions at club. We managed a 6th in Grade 6 Jumping, with a twirl before the weaves which I think should of be a refusual.

Short and sweet I know, but things are so hectic with work at the moment and my roast is ready yum! Next show is Thames - See you all there x

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Agility For Great Britain

Firstly how nice was the weather?!

Laura and I rocked up to the show ground on Friday evening at 10... came in through the wrong entrance... then got stuck in the wet grass. Oops! Thankfully Yvonne and Graham were there to help us.

First run on Saturday was the EO wild card class. The dogs finishing in the top 5 qualified for the European Open try-outs the next day. Pie and I managed a scary clear round and finished 8th. However, 3 people who finished above me had already qualified
which meant we got the last place to get us through to the try-outs the next day. OH MY!!

Then was Graded 6-7 Agility. I decided to train this and we managed another clear - Weird! 2 clears in one day!

Graded 5-7 Jumping was quite a tough course for me, because there were several places where I would usually dummy. I was late sending back over after a pull through so Pie flew past me taking another jump whilst barking! Haha!

Last run of the day was Combined 5-7 Agility. The course was too quick for Pie, and I had already decided that I wanted to train his contacts ready for try-outs on Sunday. On the start line, Pie managed to get his tail over the ring rope and got caught. He wasn't happy in his wait, so I did a quick release, which meant I wasn't able to handle the beginning of the course as I wished but meant I didn't have to leave him on start line unhappy and also meant I had to do a cross behind further on. We managed to do it woo!!

I was really looking forward to the EO try-outs. Lee was judging which eased my nerves a little. But on the whole, I was quite calm about the whole event.
I missed my normal entered courses as Pie had 3 try-out rounds and potentially a 4th final round, if we finished in the top 30.

Here is the video of Pie's clear in Round 1 Jumping. Couldn't believe we managed it!

Round 2 was Agility. Unfortunately, we got E'd at number 16... :( We were soo close aswell. Tried not to think about it too much as many people were getting E'd so I just had to focus for Round 3.

Another Agility, I was running fairly early. 13 or 14. I was worried about pulling him off the jump after weaves as I was hoping to make the second reverse. Again, it was all a little messy and we got 2 refusals for it. Then Pie took off too late and I was in his way which meant he had the pole down. We finished the round with 15 faults, hoping it would be enough for us to finish in the top 30 in order to qualify for the Final 4th Round. We finished 29th!! The final ran in reverse order which meant I was running 2nd! I over worked the weaves and got a refusal... oops! I don't really know why I over worked it, as if it was any other round, I would of let Pie pick up the entry himself as I KNOW he can get it, but I guess the pressure and things, I just thought I'd play safe - which back fired!

Overall, I was so pleased how we both coped with some of the 'big boys'. Pie is still Grade 6 and it's both of our first times under proper pressure, and our first 'proper' class. It was a great day and I thoroughly enjoyed trying-out, and it was a great experience for next year in case we manage to get in again. Just want to say a quick thank you to everyone who was supportive on the day and thanks to Lee for fab courses, and also being supportive too. Well done to those who qualified too!!

p.s. Laura is still uploading other videos, so I will put them up once they're on YouTube.

L x

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Easter Celebration

First camping show of the season... It went really well and I'm really pleased with how Pie and I both worked.

As neither I or Laura were working Friday, we strolled up Friday afternoon to a very windy show ground and to be camped miiiiles away. As the ground was very wet everyone who was mad enough to still camp were being parked on the hard standing roads.

Our chum was on Saturday and was a nice course. Although I decided to train the round as I didn't think Pie would be quick enough on the course. Mainly because of my attitude towards courses at the moment. Following on from my long post a couple of posts ago, I'm not 100% confident in myself or Pie so i can't expect to go into a ring and win. Things are getting better though!

I hadn't planned to hold him that long on his see-saw but as I was running off he didn't hear me say 'go'. oops!

Grade 6 Jumping he came out of weaves as I haven't done enough proofing of obstacles at the end and around the weaves. *Need to practice*!

Then my last run of the day was 6/7 Jumping. I wasn't a big fan of the course as there was CROSS BEHIND and also a few places where I would usually dummy. Somehow I managed to do the cross behind, although he jumping a little long, I wasn't worried about it as it's a HUGE step since last season, when we couldn't do any, let alone worrying about him jumping long! Unfortunately he had a pole down near the end, but something else that I was pleased with, was that he was only 0.5 behind both Dave Alderson's dogs, one of which won the class. I think Pie's speed can be very deceiving. Just need to sort his sluggish weaves out now.

Saturday evening, Laura cooked crispy chicken and carbonara pasta which was yum. Followed by Lee's egg that he won for winning Grade 7 Jumping (which we conveniently stole! Haha!) I think we ate at about 5.30ish which was accompanied by vodka... which is never good!!

Sarah Stokoe & Ian came over to the caravan after their meal at the pub at about 10ish and the drinking continued until 2 I think in the end. They are such good company though so no one really thought about competing the next day, so what were we going to drink now that we had gone through all we had... Oh yes that's right... Port and diet coke... yuk! Laura turned out the worst I think!!

Pie's first run was 5/6 Agility. I wasn't keen on the course, but after both Laura and Lee had walked it with me, I seemed a little more confident as to where I had to get to etc. Pie came out of weaves again :( Must practice!!

Then was Grade 6 Jumping. Leslie Osbourne was judging and it was a really good course - Well I thought so anyway! Again Lee and Laura walked it with me, and I was pretty sure I could get round it. I've never said GO so many times and don't think I've ever run as fast as I did in this course! I was late calling him after tunnel so jumped long going into the pull throughs, however we managed a clear woohoo!! We finished 7th - and wasn't far behind winner, which I was pleased with as I think we could of finished in top 3 without the little blip before the pull throughs.

Then last run was silly connection agility. Needless to say mine didn't go to plan! But it wasn't my course - as I gave Laura mine and she finished 3rd. With courses like that I don't focus on the way I plan as I know it doesn't really matter what course I take.

I had a really good training session at club last night. I worked 80% of exercises from behind to practice my cross behinds - and I was really surprised and pleased at how well we did. No shows until Agility for GB next weekend, however I might do 1 day of a local UKA or just go down to the field and try and attempt push-throughs!!

L x