Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Saturday dawned cold, wet and windy and the journey to Birmingham was very slow as the van kept being blown sideways. The car park was running with muddy water and we were thoroughly soaked by the time we got in the halls. I had only just got the puppies in when, due to a lot of absentees in the other AVNSC classes the Pastoral Group was called. Panic was setting in as I was also showing Tervueren in another 3---well that didn't happen! I missed Bruines' class and I didn't get back over to handle Jazz--sorry Jane and Brian :((
In Puppy Dog there were 6 entries five of which were Bonvivant pups--4 Laekenois and 1 Malinois. Christines' Soli won the class with Wendys' Bristle 2nd, Angies' Mali Cruso 3rd and Martins' Antar 5th. JD Bristle 3rd , Antar 4th. PB Vogue was 3rd, JB 3rd. Brizo was 3rd in Open Bitch. All the puppies did really well and weren't phased by the noise and crowds. We had a photo shoot by the Christmas trees with Carol Ann Johnson ---you will have to make do with a pic on my camera until we get the real ones. It was a very tiring day and Bristle and Vogue chilled out while I packed the trolley. The journey home was no less eventful as it was snowing from Grantham.
I have included a picture of a frosty morning last week with Udall and Basil playing in the paddock.
Ciel is feeling a lot better and I took a pic today to show the extent of her stitches. She hates the plastic collar so I sent off for a Buster collar. Brilliant! Except that Ciel wiggled her head until she turned it round so that the shorter neck piece was under her chin and she could reach her stitches. Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth--it would sizzle and spit!! That's the price you pay for having an intelligent breed. So now she is back to not speaking to me as she has to have the awful bucket on her head which she uses to ramraid her way out of her crate ! She is feeling Much better!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ciel is home after a 2 hour operation and has had a strip down one side and a lump removed from her side. She seems much brighter than the last time she had an anaesthetic and is asleep by the fire. The good news is that she had cysts under her teats not tumours so, hopefully, she is on the mend. She ate some chicken for her dinner with her usual gusto but was not impressed when I put her Bucket on and refused to lie down so I shall keep an eye on her overnight as she tried to have a tug at one of her stitches. Stitches out in 10 days time so fingers crossed she will keep them in as she looks like a patchwork quilt underneath and has shaved bits too.

Thanks to everyone who has phoned or sent messages to see how she is doing.
I didn't want to go home just incase the vets rang me so I met Wendy and went back to see Bristle and have a cup of coffee. Celine and Chatter had a great time "helping" to move agility equipment (well they raced through tunnels as we were moving them and kept nipping over jumps and through tyres for the fun of it). They have missed their lessons so hopefully we will get some more in after Christmas. Celine can go just to do a few low jumps and weaves until nearer her whelping date as she needs to keep toned up. Thanks Wendy it was good to take my mind off Ciel for a few hours until I could go and collect her.
Bristle comes to stay tomorrow ready for LKA on Saturday . Christine emailed to say that Soli has passed his GoodCits Bronze too!! Well Done!!
Dana, Bonvivant Sorciere, won the Christmas Match at her club in Stafford. Brilliant stuff.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Well we didn't get our Sky installed after all today :(( some technical problem and the job didn't get scheduled. I had got up really early and, against my better judgement, put the house dogs up the paddocks. When I finally found out it wasn't going to happen I retrieved four chocolate dogs, and had to hose Brizo down, which she didn't appreciate. The other three were plastered and I decided to let them dry off-surely the mud would fall out? No.
Nicked this pic of Jos' mob off her blog :)) spot the odd one out.

I gave Ciel a good blast as she is moulting badly and she was leaping around like a spring chicken belying her almost 12yrs. Just to make me feel guilty, I reckon, about taking her for her op tomorrow. She thinks she is ready for a show and wanted to get in the van so I wouldn't forget her. I had to force her to go to bed tonight as she was waiting in her run all ready to go.

Trying not to worry too much but going to have a mug of Horlicks and try and get some sleep.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jo and Natalie arrived today to choose their puppies. Natalie has a Malinois type dog , Kiros, who is Grade 6 agility. Jo, of course, owns Ronny, the father of the pups, who excells in agility and Flyball. We had a lovely day and took hundreds of photos of the six puppies. The first pic is of Reno, Natalies' choice and the single pup photos are of Zippy, Jos' choice (or did they just choose their new owners anyway?) . Zippy decided to get his ears up today in honour of the occasion. His female "twin" was chosen by Richard on Saturday and, as yet, hasn't been named by him. They are going to have lots of fun and were keen to show how they liked to play tuggy with the new toys Natalie had brought them. Three pups still to find ideal active homes. This is the "W" litter so we are having fun choosing fast names! Hard to believe they will be ready to leave home in a couple of weeks although Reno will be staying until after Christmas now.
Hopefully we have a Sky box arriving tomorrow so we won't miss any of Olympia agility this year and any dog show and Discover Dogs coverage on the Horse and Country channel !!
The weather has degenerated to rain again and the mud is mostly on the dogs and in the house yet again--I preferred the hard frosts !

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I don't know where this last week has gone but it has been very busy. Cello had his last obedience lesson before Christmas which was combined with some lovely cakes and savouries which we both enjoyed. Audrey was very pleased with Cellos' progress and I must admit to being very proud of how he has learn't so much in 6 weeks. The good news is we have a couple of classes after Christmas too and have booked on some Training Days next year too. I was all set for Vogue to try her paws at the GCits Bronze on Thursday but went shopping with Mum in the afternoon and somehow managed to drop my purse in a very dark Asda car park. I then had to cancel my cards and cheque book and report my drivers license missing too by which time we were late. Then, amazingly, I got a call to say someone had found it! so then had to drive half an hour towards Skegness to pick it up. What a relief, but of course all my cards are now cancelled so that has made things rather awkward. We never did make it to training class :((
News from Guernsey that Venus has passed her puppy course and is booked into her GCits course soon.
Ciel took a trip to the vets on Friday as she has a mammary tumour which I think is starting to bother her.Because of her reaction to the anaesthetics when she was spayed earlier this year(pyometria just starting) my vet has been very reluctant to remove it before now--but it is a bit bigger. This is really the last chance to remove it or it will kill her anyway so we have not much choice either way. I decided we shall risk it so Wednesday will be her op day (please send her as many healing thoughts as you can spare).
The weather has been wet, cold, wetter and colder which makes the regular kennel chores take even longer. Webbed feet are now not just an optional extra and all visitors must come suitably attired in wellies. Saturday we had visitors to see the puppies so, after Chatter and Celine had mugged them, we went over to Lisa and Chris' house and the pups had a great time charging about practising their agility over my legs and trying to remove toes, keys and trousers. Jo and Natalie arrive tomorrow to choose their pups so I shall get armed with my camera. They are 6 weeks old now, where has the time gone? Such a shame the weather has been so awful as I like to get them out in the fresh air. Blame Chamonix for being 2 months late coming in season !! We still have 3 available pups which seems unbelievable as we originally had at least 10 bookings for this combination, but the credit crunch has affected so many people.
I am hoping all will be ok for Saturday, I have a Ciel sitter lined up ready, as it is LKA and we have 7 of Brizos' litter entered in AVNSC Pastoral along with Brizo--bit much to hope that they may all qualify but we'll give it a shot :))

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I've not had a chance to write up the blog this week as it has been so busy. We had a smattering of snow one day which the dogs thought was great fun but of course it made the mud worse once it melted. Basil and Udall spend most of their time pulling each other upside down through the muddiest bits and come in plastered--not that they care! Cello went to his obedience and is really getting the hang of it-his favourite is his dumbell and he is putting the present and holding the bell together nicely. He is beginning to get a steady position in his heelwork too so we can start to bring him in closer soon. I took Vogue up to Obedience on Thursday night and was pleasantly surprised that she wanted to work despite not having been there before. Bad news is we have a GCits next week and we haven't mastered the stay yet !!!! Martin came up for the weekend as we had an eye testing session at Newark on Saturday and had booked hip scoring on Monday at my vets. Femme had a clear eye test and the plates looked good too. Chili and Tier had hip scoring too and both looked good. Chili is Rustys' sister and I am hoping to mate her to Cliche, so hopefully the pups would be good for agility homes. Chamonixs' puppies are looking very good and I have put a couple of 3 weeks and 4 day photos on here but there are some up to date ones on the Witherbark gallery, which you can access from the links at the bottom of this blog. I went over tonight to do nails and worming again and spent ages just having cuddles and Malikisses. Their personalities are staring to emerge now and they have waggy tails. Chamonix spent most of her time with a smile on her face,a very proud Mum.I will try and put some up to date pics on asap of the pups. News from Yvonne from Wales and Brye (a Brizo pup) passd the GCits Bronze test. Brilliant!! (we must sort the stays out for next week Vogue). Christine took Soli to an Open show and was 2nd in AVNSC Puppy and had a 2nd in the Puppy Stakes too under Ann Arch, Well Done!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The weather stayed fine and the paddocks wre dry enough for the dogs to have an afternoon out. They made the most of it racing up and down barking and generally having a good time. The upside of living out on the fens is the wonderfully different sunsets we get. It is a strange landscape, especially in the winter months, and the large amount of sky takes a bit of getting used to. The sunset yesterday was absolutely stunning, colours you couldn't imagine, if someone painted it you wouldn't belive it. I stood and watched it for ages and didn't have my camera at the ready for once, so I thought I would put this one up which I took out on Bicker fen earlier in the summer just after the wind turbines had ben put up.
The new kennel block is up and we are just waiting for the matching one to face it now. The dogs seem to like it and the kennel space is big and roomy but warm with covered runs.
I went up to Newark to see the flyball where Ronnie and Keisha were running. It was really noisy inside but the dogs were having a great time. Pudsey was enjoying his day out and was pleased to see me, I took Brizo and Vogue, Psyche and Rhodes with me and they had a wander round with me. Not sure Vogue was too impressed with all the barking collies but once she realised this was another of those free hand out days she was getting treats from everyone.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jo came up today to see the puppies. Chamonix was very proud of them and let Jo pick them up for a cuddle. They had their first solid meal today and tucked in well.
We took Ronnie, Keisha,Kody,Keisha, Pudsey and Vogue up the field and they played in the new lake. Keisha decided to beat up Pudsey whilst the others looked on.
It was lovely to see how they are all maturing. Ronnie has a flyball competition at Newark on Saturday so I am hoping to go and watch---but I shall be buying some earplugs this time as it is indoors!
The weather has been so wet and miserable for the last few days and the wind is so cold. It speaks of fine weather tomorrow and then MORE rain. The yard is still a quagmire as are the paddocks so the dogs are fed up not being able to stay out for long.

Discover Dogs and it was really busy, I had to wait to take some pics until after 5pm when the place was closing and we were taking the stands down. The Laekenois were a great hit and Antar, Martins' Brizo puppy, took most of the fuss on offer. Femme was rough housing with Brizo, and Zinka was trying to ignore such uncouth behaviour. Calla, Lexi and Cougar manned the Malinois stand and I must say I wasn't too sure if Cougar would enjoy it as he doesn't usually do the "mauled by children" thing. However he was kissed to death by quite a few and was very well behaved.
Frank Kane came round with the film crew at one point and we had one of each variety for the cameras and a brief spiel by him on the breed. To my horror he wanted me to talk about the Belgians but, thankfully, it was very short and I think it will be on Sky, Horse and Country Channel sometime.
Vogue took most things in her stride and did a lot of sleeping, ignoring the noises around her. She walked through the streets from the carpark between her mum and dad as if it was an every day occurrence. The dogs have been very tired today as have I, that's the trouble with DD it mentally wears you out.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chamonixs' puppies are 2 weeks old now and I went round to see them and cut their nails. All their eyes are open at last, they were very reluctant as they were so content. Chamonix has taken after her Granny Cachet and has full cream milk and they are like little seal pups.
They will soon be charging about.
Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Zippy mated Celine tonight, his first in almost twelve years, and was far quicker than some experienced stud dogs. I think he will sleep well tonight!
Cello went to his obedience class this week and thoroughly enjoyed himself, we had to work really hard and both had brain ache by the end of it. He is learning really fast, no class next week so we have two weeks to crack that dumbell.
Discover Dogs in London tomorrow so I should really get some sleep as it will be an early start. Travelling up with Jacqui and Sue and I shall take my camera and see if I can get a few pics for the blog.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The computer decided to crash so I haven't had a chance to catch up with all the news. Friday was Midland Counties and also the day that Chamonix decided to have her puppies. Lisa was in control of the situation and I picked up Solo for his first show. Basil had a 3rd in PD and Solo a VHC. I had the honour of handling Jazz in Open Dog to his 3rd CC as Carol was not well enough to be there. In Groenendael Udall was 2nd PD, Psyche had 4th OB but Scarlet won PB and was BP, BB and BOS! Lexi had a 2nd in Malinois Junior and Cougar won OD and was BOB. Dana won Junior Bitch and Crusoe Junior Dog and BP, Deepha was BB.

By then Chamonix had had her puppies, 4 dogs and 2 bitches, and was being a very good mum.

Sunday was Sheffield GSD and Obedience, and I ended up being a stay steward and a decoy in C Scent. It was a lovely day with just an odd shower and I met up with lots of friends. Cello had his obedience class on wednesday and really enjoyed it, he especially likes the scent--you get lots of cheese in that one.

News from Janet Weller that Tainn has passed her Bronze Good Citizen and will be working towards her Silver now.

Lexi came to stay for a few days and then Bristle arrived for a week whilst Wendy is competing with Scout in Holland. He has been a good boy and been to two different ringcraft classes, shopping and generally out and about. Exciting news that Celine has come in season at last and hopefully I will be mating her to Zippy very soon. Zippy is Ciels ' brother and will be 12 in February, so fingers crossed we can get a couple of puppies as he hasn't sired a litter before. He has clear eyes and hips as does she.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I took Cello to obedience on Wednesday, only his 2nd class, and he seems to be picking things up really quickly. The weather was foul so we trained indoors. He was a good boy and didn't mind being outnumbered by clever collies and a very lovely Beardie called Maggie. We did recalls, heelwork and Audrey started him off on the basics of scentwork. His tail never stopped wagging the whole time and he is very enthusiastic. The weather cheered up a bit for the weekend and I took Celine and Chatter with me, they enjoyed themselves watching a game fair from the comfort of the van.
Cheltenham show was at Malvern:-in Malinois, Bonvivant Tete a Tete was BP and BOB with a 4th in the Group. In Groenendael Bonvivant Uschia at Janallan was BP and BOB, with Bonvivant Moondust at Grizwold BOB Tervueren. Well Done all of you!! Solli went along NFC and had a great time, picking up more admirers as usual. He wasn't fazed by anything.
Today was a sort of rest day as I was tired, but I did go down to the reservoir with Celine and Vogue. We went for a nice walk first and they had a good gallop round and posed a lot for the camera. Afterwards I did some training with Vogue up and down the road, there are seldom any cars, so it was good to do some heelwork without distractions. I still can't get her interested in toys so I shall have a look round the charity shops tomorrow for something small and furry to get her interested.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Saturday night Jacqui arrived with Lexi as we had to get away quite early the next day for the NBSDC Club show in Co Durham, some 3.5 hrs drive at least. Brizo and Lexi had a great time doing the wall of death round the room, over the backs of the settees and generally causing chaos. Psyche was not amused at all, especially when Lexi had tried out all the donut beds too.
Sunday morning was a very early start--the alarm went off at 3.30 and after a quick dunk in the bath I loaded the dogs up, hitched up the dog trailer and we were away by 5am.We went through some rain, sunshine and mist but the roads were fairly clear and we made good time arriving at around 8.20.
Udall had a 2nd in PDGron, Psyche a 4th in OB. It was Basils' first show and he thought it was great making loads of new friends who wanted cuddles. He bounced round the ring a bit, liked the bit where he got a chance to kiss the judge and had BPDog. I handled Jazz for Jane and Brian and he was 2nd in OD, RBD and RBoBreed. Bridgit had come down from Scotland with Tiva and had a 4th.
In Malinois Kobra won Junior dog/bitch and Lexi was 2nd. Cliche won OD/B and was RBoB, Deepha was 2nd and RBB, Cher won Veteran Bitch and was BOB and BVIBreed.Ciel was 2nd in Veteran. Brizo stood alone so was BB and BOB and was her usual bouncy self.
It was great to meet up with Laura and Bert who had brought Connor and Mistral to see me, so we had big hugs. Then Gerry and Steve arrived with Teazle, who has grown again and was her usual boisterous self.
I saw 3 of Mandrakes sons and took some photos. The sun was out and was such a contrast to last weekend. Bridgit had brought a hamper with some lovely food and Laura and Bert arrived bearing Stotties and pease pudding! Bridgit is a chiropractor and whisked me off to the car park and, as she had treated me in August and it had helped me a lot, I was overdue for a bit of torture(only joking). It certainly makes a difference and I wish she were a bit nearer. I will have to do Scottish shows more often just so I can get treated as I am too much of a coward to go to anyone else. After that, once we had loaded some very tired dogs, we had a picnic in the carpark before the long drive home.
The dogs have been asleep all day (Monday), (all except Ciel who was convinced that she was going somewhere today), and I hadn't any energy to do very much either and slept quite a bit too. I must do some training tomorrow with Vogue and Cello ready for Wednesday. Cello seems to be getting the hang of it now and looks forward to it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I was most impressed with Bristle today who was doing some very good control work whilst other dogs were working at agility round him. He is getting to be a big lad now and has far more coat this week.
Chatter and Celine joined in a lesson and were ok despite some selected deafness.
Lessons over and it was playtime for Tadpole the Buhund and Bristle---it was always going to be payback time and it was quite spectacular--I can't quite believe though that a year on from now Tadpole will be in the lead.

It was a beautiful sunny morning and the dogs had a great time down the field. It was enough for Pye to shed his eleven years and become a puppy again, he spotted a dreaded Fensnake lurking in the grass, pounced and tossed it in the air. It fought back and he had to wrestle with until it gave in ! Once it had given in for about the third time it turned into a hoover hose and he was satisfied he had despatched it.
This afternoon we had been lucky enough to have secured a place with Audrey Johnston for Obedience classes and I took Vogue and Cello. Training methods have changed considerably since I started over 20 yrs ago and it was refreshing to watch talented dogs and handlers working happily in the sunshine. Cello is ready for a career change and I realised that, with his 7th birthday looming, we had better do something quickly. Just to prove that an older dog can soon learn some new tricks, he thoroughly enjoyed himself, after the initial shock of all those Border Collies whizzing about. His eyes were on stalks for a while but, when he was asked to try a few exercises (and yummy treats) well, what could a boy do but give it a go.
Vogue soon got the hang of offering behaviour as food was involved, but we have to try and get more toy orientated. We have a lot of homework, mostly on my behalf, but two tired dogs seemed to have a good time, as did I.