Dear God I am so rubbish at blogging!! After a promising start I keep forgetting to do it!! Anyway going to do a quick update
Flyball - We have had a fantastic year and gone well beyond what we expected with our top team. The Echoes achieved a seed time of 17.30 and won Div 3 at the British Champs! The team struggled at the end of the year with Jamie being pulled down by a virus that he took ages to recover from but still managed a 17.60 at the last show the year and very nearly a 17.12 with the tiniest early light!! Grrrrrr. Every team did really well this year breaking into the next second barrier. The Extras team got a second at the Champs too. We have had lots of new dogs come into open and new team members join too and I think we are in a really strong position as a team. We have a very strong group of Core handlers who come to every show which allows us the freedom to let people just do the shows they want to do.
We have broken down the training into parts this winter and gone back to basics with Box work. We are varying the training every week and rarely doing full runs at all. We are seeing a big improvement already as we are not competing around it.
Right the dogs.....
Fly - Old age has hit her quite hard this year and her performance has been erratic. She will have a competition where she will hit 4.3's and then another where she will do 4.7's. We have put her as a fifth dog so that she is not relied on. Even so I am very pleased with how she is still running at 11 years old, she helped the team go sub 17 for the first ever time and is generally still amazing :)
Neo - Neo hit his form in the middle of the season and then it tailed off again. he helped the team get their 17.30 but then started to slow down. I don't whether it was his stamina or the same virus as Jamie but his performance went downhill and he was mainly replaced by Echo in the top team when we needed the extra speed. He is definitely past his best at 7 years old but he still tries so hard - bless him.
Jamie - Jamie was absolutely amazing at the beginning of the year, hitting consistant low 4's. He hit a 4.09, then a 4.07 then a 4.00. I thought he was actually going to go sub 4 when he got really ill and that was that. He went a little off colour at the champs and then just got lower and lower until we had to pull him completely from two shows. Strong antibiotics and rest seemed to make him better but he had lost so much condition and weight that he is only getting back onto form now. The fireworks also have set him back massively as he stops eating when they are constantly going off as they have this year. Poor little man.
Fox - Well.... I don't even know where to go with him. At the beginning of the year 4.4 all day and now one 4.4 if I'm lucky then his performance is up and down all day. There is no consistancy. I am going to have him castrated this winter as I think a lot of the problem is that it has become very apparent that Fox also got Barley too (Pip is a little tri colour mini me!!) and now his brain has been replaced by another part of his anatomy!! If this doesn't work I will probably give Fly and Fox a place together as one dog and bring out the strongest dog at the relevant time.
Tia - OMG this little dog has been amazing this year!! Bearing in mind that she only came out into open at the beginning of this year, she has been mainly very consistant. She has got more and more confidence and become very speedy. She hit her peak at Paws in the Park hitting a 4.37 and doing 4.4 all day. Gt Barford was destined to be very exciting for the second team as we had our fastest dogs there for the first time all year. I did two legs with Tia and she didn't seem right so I put her away as I thought she was stiff. China had to be rushed to the vets which left us with four dogs. I got Tia out of the car and went to warm her up and do some stretches with her so she could run when I realised she was totally lame. She was diagnosed with a pulled cruciate ligament! I was devastated!. The killer blow was that we ran the other three dogs and they got 14.05 with Tia running properly the team would have easily got 18.50! Half a second of their seed time. I seriously wanted to cry!! The good news is that after six weeks of cage rest and a slow build up on her exercise, she is looking promising again. She has lost an awful lot of condition and weight due to stress (partly the cage rest and also fireworks) but was looking strong at training today, We managed 6 lots of eight jump runbacks and she was fine - phew!
Barley - I love this little dog, she is so funny. She is so sweet and innocent, so quiet and obedient until she is lining up to do flyball! Then she screams her head off and tries to bite Soph! Little monkey! She is getting better all the time as her and Soph build up a bond. She gone under 5 secs a few times which I'm really pleased with and she was in the Extras team that came second. It was only her second competition and she was part of a four dog team so I was really pleased with her :) Her training is coming on really well and I think she will come out much better next year. She is now single striding really well and her box has improved massively! Looking forward to her next year.
Rocky - Aww little Rockstar! He is a little character. He is totally Soph's dog which is really nice. He is a one person dog and he is Soph's. He will come and say hello to me but he runs straight back to her which is brilliant and what I wanted. He is a very slow maturer and his training is coming on slowly but thats fine. He is doing a nice box (no ball) and his runbacks to a tuggy are coming on really well. He works with other dogs around and isn't phased by them at all, he just isn't interested. He managed to do one proper run with a ball at training today before he was distracted - bless him, he has the attention span of a gold fish!
Millie - Millie?? Who's Millie?? I hear you say!! Millie is the new rather unplanned addition - aren't they always!? Millie is a Beardie x Border pup. She is now 7 months old. I got her at 6 months. I saw this beautiful little face and it was absolute love at first sight. I was feeling a bit low and she is like a little ray of sunshine. She is so funny and sweet - so Beardie! She looks like a mini Jamie. She has only done two training sessions and we have just kept it fun for her as she is so nervy. She is running up to the lane to someone for a treat and then running back to me for a treat. Just to get confidence and so we can make it a positive experience. I will publish some more on her progress as we go on.