Sunday, 20 December 2009

Snowy Meerkat!

Finlay's yoga class!

I have been trying some balance exercises with Fin to improve his leg awareness!
He isn't quite confident enough to sit on the ball, but that is our ultimate aim!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

There's a moose, loose...

All action shots, thanks to Grace. xx
Beautiful as my labrador is normally, she definitely loses some of her looks in agility! xx

Fin likes to be beside the seaside....

Fin and Molly came with us to Charmouth for a week. The Irish terror has clearly not seen the sea before and was slightly alarmed but by the end of the week he was happy paddling. No swimming out to sea like the labrador-seal though!

A restful week, but 4 days home and it feels as though we never went away! Always have to work twice as hard before going on holiday and when I get back so feels like no holiday at all!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

8 Paws in the Park.

In between working I took my two to Paws in the Park today, for two reasons (a) more Fin socialisation (b) unnecessary dog bed shopping. Both aims achieved! Fin improves every day, OK he did flip out a couple of times but with a good telling off followed by a clear positive instruction he would go straight back to his lovely little self. He clearly found the whole thing exhausting as he slept for the rest of the day. Molly & Fin both sat and watched the agility without any barking, twisting or Labrador lunging! Very good indeed.
Back to training this week. Trying really hard to get my act together with Molly as I see how much potential she has, just need to coordinate ourselves! Little Fin had his first session and I was very pleased with his response, lots of homework though! xx

Monday, 7 September 2009


KC Festival - no weaves
DINAS - no contacts at all, some weaves
Prestbury Park - no waits, no A-frames, nice weaves (minus 1).

Our 1st clear round in a while (Prestbury Park) was the most hideous run we have ever done. I thought we'd been eliminated right at the start so I held her dog walk and achieved a few nose touches, and stopped her on the weaves to ensure she got them. Because we broke the course up she twirled after most jumps so i was shocked we went clear. They were placing to 20 and we were 21st in a 1-2 combined class, with almost the worst run ever! We concluded the weekend with officially the worst run ever - a real u-tube moment. I had to jump over her twice when she cut me up with no warning. She broke her wait - AGAIN and she lost it entirely on the weaves, deteriorated into Labrador madness by the 3rd attempt so we jumped our way out as quickly as possible. Her speed is awesome but oh so much work to do!

New Toys!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Spot the difference...

A lesson for beer drinking boys!
I arrived home from work to find an inebriated Jonathan, fast asleep (following a very beery evening), curled up on the sofa with Fin. However, Fin was not asleep, he was busy committing a Fin crime. Can you spot the difference?

Luckily for Fin, the shoes are leather and with a bit of extra fibre, shouldn't cause him any problems. I have warned Jonathan not to leave his shoes lying around!!!!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Some pretty pics...

Agility club, flying Labradors and sprinting judges!

Well then, KC show number 3.
After a shaky start, late leaving work, car too small to fit anything but me and the dogs in, and a temperamental roof box, we set off to Newbury. The tent's first outing was overall a success, I won't go into the details, but needless to say I forgot the exact method of putting it away!
Molly and I didn't gel on Saturday, tiredness on my part and perhaps the wrong frame of mind. Six weaves seem to be our nemesis at the moment. She looks at 12 and goes full pelt, show her 6 and she seems to say, "only 6, why bother?!" Now in reality it is more likely that I see 6 weaves and think "ahhh she hates 6 weaves" and she senses the panic and comes out. Will be working on this in the coming weeks.
Sunday was a much better day, although we had a pole in the jumping she flew and the agility would have been great but she missed her dog walk. Still a plan has already been developed to mitigate against that next time. Although Sunday didn't provide us with a clear (which at her speed would have stood a good chance of being placed), it has given us some areas to work on. The highlight of the weekend, was the judge in one of the classes, who 200 grade 1 dogs in, must have been pretty fed up. His expression from the start line read, "how dull, yet more pet agility and a Labrador to boot"! As I let Molly go, he was casually sauntering towards the dog walk, as she took off, he looked alarmed for a wee moment and then sprinted to get to the end of the walk! I was chuckling and very proud of my girl. I like it when she turns heads. When we really get it together she will be immense. Lots of compliments on her looks and ability! Jason very kindly videoed Sunday's runs, so I'll add them when the Gardners return from their week away.
And little Fin, the hooligan, had lots of trips round the rings, met many previously alien breeds of dog (particularly fascinated by a standard Poodle!) and did some intensive Leah training! He is coming along in leaps and bounds. Still highly strung (Collie after all) and wary of peculiar things - this weekend's fear was a stuffed purple Labrador toy, but he's a clever boy!
I have a good feeling about KC Festival and DINAS, and can't wait. The search has begun for a bigger car, the clock is ticking.....

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Thames - 2nd ever KC Show - 4th place woo hoo!!

Yay Molly! 4th place in G1 Agility, out of 230 dogs! So thrilled with my clever girlie. So we are now eligible to enter the starters cup at KC Festival! Keen to get into Grade 2 so must keep up the momentum!
Thames was great fun, wine, sunshine & shopping - couldn't be more up my street! Thx to Leah & Jason for putting me up again! Definitely going tent shopping after pay day, promise!xx

Boot Camp 6th - 8th June 2009.

Boot Camp was awesome, thanks to Leah & Nancy and please do another one! Unfortunately I started the weekend exhausted, having worked very late the night before (definitely try to avoid that next year!) Molly was ace, worked well, despite one or two moments of Labrador brain tiredness (there were many more blond brain tired moments!)
Mr. Fin was exhausting but loves to learn. Good behaviour so quick to learn, but correcting preexisting bad habits - A nightmare!!!! Fin camped well, despite a thunder storm he seemed quite happy. Good practice for Thames wk-end!

What a beautiful Giraffe!

6th - 8th June!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Furries and the A Frame!

Well, Fin went to obedience last week but I haven't had any time to write about it! I thought socialisation with dogs that might actually complain if he hangs off their face would be good. The plan was to watch the 1st session but as they remembered me from Molly's early days they asked Fin and I to be the unknown person and dog the others have to meet as part of their KC Puppy Foundation. This was a success! As we were out in the hall we continued with the rest of the class. Fin was surprisingly brilliant! Although he didn't exactly walk to heel, he didn't wrench my arm out of its socket and was very controlled! His sit and flat were solid and his wait is really getting there. I expected him to completely lose his mind in a room full of strange dogs and people but he was fantastic!
Unfortunately work kept me from taking him this week, but we'll be back next week!
We were lucky enough to borrow someones field, complete with A frame and Dog walk for 20 minutes over the weekend, so Fin has experienced some equipment. Only on the lead but his response was definitely positive. His play biting of Molly and Me is diminishing but still needs constant corrections. All in all he has settled brilliantly and has the makings of a lovely little boy!
Molly got a quick go on the agility equipment too and did some lovely, smooth snakes and pull thrus, achieved with some excellent shoulder turning from me. Leah would've been proud!

Very cute boy, but oh so naughty!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Fin Update!

This Collie x ??? is the most loving (if a little crazy) dog. We have been working on "sit" still, which is now pretty solid and is offered frequently and also recalls on a long lead. His 1st walk across fields seemed to be the most mind blowing experience, he just loved it and even went for a little paddle in the river. There has also been a lot of walking up and down the road to try and address the car herding issue. He now tries to herd only 1 in 4 cars as opposed to every 1, so some progress! There seems to be a bit of an issue with soft furnishings - he thinks they all belong to him, but other than this he is settling in nicely. He knows where his bed is and even removes it from his crate to put it beside molly's bed rather than force his way onto hers! He is going to take a fair bit of work but I have no doubt he's worth it. x


Saturday, 9 May 2009

New Addition!

Introducing Fin!

What a day! Jonathan came with me to MTAR to meet Fin (formerly Joe) and we brought him home to join the other furries. He won't sit still long enough to take a good photo but he has a lovely colliesque face with a very odd shaped body! Jonathan I struggled to agree on any name as he said all my suggestions were too different. He has really taken to him so I let J name him (after rejecting just a few of his suggestions).

He is lovely, he wants to be friends with everybody. A little too friendly with Molly at times but she is doing a good job of telling him off. He has no manners and seems to know very little about the world but he travelled without a sound or an accident and seems very happy and content here. He has been to 3 houses, met about 10 people, a number of cats (including our 2) and some passing children who stopped to make a fuss of him, all meetings were a great success. This evening we learnt about TV, washing machines, toys, which seemed to be unknown to him but he is now playing nicely with some of Molly's rejected toys. He has also learnt "sit" and "get out of my kitchen"! He is currently asleep under the coffee table. First walk tomorrow and if he continues to handle this baptism of fire like a little trooper we may chance by the T Wells show. Molly is a little grumpy about this home invasion but is bearing it with her usual fortitude!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Some photos of clever dogs, chilling & having fun!

What a lot of lovely doggies! Hex and Molly loved playing together this weekend and Hexy was fascinated by the zoom on my camera (hence the extreme closeup)!!

Sun/Windburn & Rosettes!

Wow, 1st camping show for Molly Dog and I! I have succeeded in burning my face in Berkshire, something only a blonde could do. Molly was very sleepy on our return yesterday. This is her with her best rosettes. Two 10th place (over 100 dogs each class) in steeplechases and a 3rd in UKA Gamblers. The Labrador & the blonde's brain are both a little fried but we had a fantastic time and are looking forward to the next show that we can escape work for!
It turns out Vyne was not at all scary for us. I had failed to realise that the courses we run at training are so far beyond a KC Grade 1 that even I remembered the courses and although we didn't go clear in either, the knocked pole in jumping and the missed weaves (we repeated them until we got them right) were actually because she ran so fast and cornered so well and I didn't reign her in enough! The ABC Olympia was hysterical, I was so pleased that she offered a touch on the dog walk I completely forgot the rest of the course and giggled through a very shoddy 2nd half! All in all we had lots of fun and gained more invaluable experience. Thanks to Leah who let us crash in the caravan and apologies again that Molly cost you a night's sleep on Wednesday! xx

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


I know it is daft to be nervous about shows when you're grade 1 and have nothing to lose, but I can't help it. Molly is more beanful and mischevious than ever and has stopped listening again, we are seriously unprepared following a week away with no training. I am continuously disappointed by my poor (and what often seems like lazy) handling, but I do try.

For inspiration and tips I've been watching some of Nat's videos with Kai, she has a nice handling style! Must remember Malcolm's advise .... you are doing this for FUN!! Still Nat's gorgeous pics of Ham put a smile on my face, he looks fab!

Leah, bring on the wine!

The Lakes!

Well, we all had a fantastic time in the Lake District! Molly (despite plentiful pilchards) has dropped the few pounds I'd managed to get on her! Even bigger dinners I think.

This little dog has the most incredible stamina, and wasn't phased by fell walking!

Not quite sure how UKA and Vyne came round so quickly. They seemed so far away when we signed up! Ooopps.