zaterdag 25 april 2009

Single Tracking

Today I went to a show in Belgium woth Howard and Tinsel, I was hoping to get the qualifying CC for his Belgian title with Howard.
I took Tinsel and not Flirt as Tinsel doesn't have Belgian CC's yet and Flirt has 1, as there needs to be 1 year in between the first and the last CC I wanted that first for Tinsel as soon as possible.

Howard was alone in his class, got 1st Excellent but the judge (which wasn't the one I had entered under but it is not the first time judges are being changed into someone I wouldn't enter under normally) came up to me and asked me if I knew what single tracking was.

I told her I did and than the judge told me Howard was doing that, I told her I know and I can't see any problem in it as most Shelties are single tracking when moving a little faster.
I was told his feet were too much in one line but in my opinion that is the meaning of the word single tracking or am I wrong here?

Anyway, she asked me to move Howard again which I did but this time I made sure he was moving slower, when I got back to the judge she asked me if I adjusted the speed I walked him with because he was not doing it now so I told her that was the essence of single tracking.

It is judges like this that sometimes make me feel it is not about dogs anymore. Howard got Reserve Best Dog because he was doing what he is supposed to do???

I still had to go in with Tinsel, she is carrying a very big coat and I spent the past 2 weeks stripping it off bit by bit so there's a shape to see.
Well, Tinsel is definately NOT single tracking so that couldn't be the problem today ;-)
She got 1st Excellent in her class and was the only adult bitch that was graded Excellent and therefor the only bitch competing for the CC.
She got the CC and in the end also got Best of Breed.
Despite the results of today this was a 'once but never again' judge for me, she is not on my list anymore ;-)

Here's a picture of Tinsel made in the ring by Jan and Joost van der Meijden after she got Best of Breed.
Off to the dirt again tomorrow!!

zondag 19 april 2009

Lovely weather

It is great weather for walks with the dogs. The sun is shining but not too hot and there's a soft wind blowing.
I have a sore arm from throwing balls for the dogs but they love chasing that ball so much that I can't resist to keep throwing it :-)

After a while chasing balls they get hot and run for the water surrounding the place where I walk them.

Even Flirt starts to learn to get into the water, she is the most fanatic ball chaser we have and it is hard at times to get the ball back from her as she likes to walk around with it but she gets a little overheated from her sprints:

Our other Canadian girl: Ch.Grandgables Tri A Pose.
Tempo is never getting her feet dirty but she made an exception today:

We have Swamp dogs ;-) Here are some pictures of or dogs enjoying getting their feet cold and eat grass in the meantime:

Sad news

Dawnville Enough And To Spare
*24-05-1996 - †17-04-2009
Last Friday we had to say farewell to another of our oldies. Totally unexpected and in such a short time after we had lost our beloved Mister Magoo of Blue Tails.

Kayla started to show signs of not being well on Wednesday, she refused to eat in the evening which is not really something for her.
On Thursday morning she was back to her food again but still showed like if she was not feeling well. Late afternoon she started to bleed from her vulva and we thought that maybe after 3 years she started a season again but the males were not interested and after a couple of more hours the bleeding got worse.
We knew this was not normal and Kayla had a slight fever. We phoned the vet and could go and see him first thing on Friday morning.
The outcome was devastating: there was a tumor in her bladder that erupted and caused massive bleeding, according to the vet it must be very painful and there is nothing we could do about it. He advised us to put her to sleep.

We needed some time to get used to the idea and took her home but asked the vet if he could come over at our place later that day to put her to sleep.
Kayla went with me in the afternoon for her daily walk and had a great time barking and chasing the others although I could see it must have hurt her to walk.
When we got home I fed the dogs and she ate without hesitation, it was so hard to know this was her last meal and it had been her last walk....

Kayla was put to sleep at 20:00 hours because we knew it was the best thing to do but it never gets any easier....

We have 3 more dogs older than 12 years of age but hope it will take a very long time before we have to say goodbye to another one of them.
Two in a little over 2 months time is just too much.

dinsdag 14 april 2009

Easter show

Easter Monday we had another show in The Netherlands. I had entered our tricolor girls Tia (Intermediate class) and Flirt (Championclass).

After days of running through the sand, mud and water they looked a little shaggy and it took me quite a while to make them look clean and fresh again but I managed :-)
I already knew there were over 60 Shelties entered under judge Roger Bathurst from England (Auldlyn Shelties) and as he was judging Border Collies before the Shelties we would have a long day waiting :-(

Flirt was entered only because after she had won the FCI group 1 at her first show in Holland there had been a lot of comments about the judges (both breed and group) that they didn't know what they were looking for and made funny decisions.....
I thought that when Flirt would get graded 'Excellent' under an English breeder/judge it would show everyone she is a Sheltie that can be perfectly well accepted everywhere as long as she is being judged on her virtues and not her pedigree.

Tia was the first of the two to go into the ring and as usual misbehaved terribly in the ring. I don't know what it isbut she just doesn't seem to be able to stand still for more than 10 seconds.
Maybe once she gets older it will get better, I just hope so as she really is a nice little girl but I can imagine judges can't do much with her like it is now.
She nevertheless got graded 'Excellent' and ofcourse wasn't placed but I was happy as it was already.

After a long wait untill the open bitch class was finished it finally was Flirt's turn, I felt so stupid I had entered her just before going into the ring......
She was in with another champion bitch, imported from England so I had already settled for getting 2nd with Flirt but just hoped she would get graded 'Excellent' as that was were we came for.
I was quite surprised to get 1st with Flirt but it did get even better as in the challenge for Best Bitch she got the Reserve CAC/Reserve CACIB (Reserve Winners Bitch) and that out of an entry of over 40 bitches!

Flirt's judging report was as follows:
Tricolour, gleaming black colour.
Nice head and expression (!!)
Good bone and angulations.
Moving nicely.
Attractive profile

So proud of what she has accomplished so far.

donderdag 9 april 2009

Ready for the show ;-)

Easter Monday we have a show coming up and because I have time off from work untill Tuesday there's lots of time to go for walks with the dogs.
The weather has been quite OK the last couple of days but it has been raining a little as well so there's lots of water where we walk and the dogs just LOVE it!

I remember someone telling me Shelties do not like water, well..... I don't know where it went wrong but my dogs apparantly haven't read the same books about Shelties.

The biggest 'pig' we have is ofcourse Tinsel: It's hard to keep her clean for more than a day. Ever since Tinsel was a baby she knew perfectly well how to get herself dirty, her sister Aspen was exactly the opposite, never getting herself dirty being a real Princess :-)

Tinsel is a good teacher as well:
This is her and Tia, they are best friends and Tia is following Tinsel where ever she goes because you just never know when the excitement starts again :-(

Our 'oldies' also enjoy getting themselves dirty, here's Gale, she just turned 9 years at the end of March.
We almost lost her a little over a year ago, she survived thanks to the bloodtransfusion she had from our vet's Boxer so it's a great sight to see her enjoy herself so much :-)

And here's another one of our oldies:
On the left is our 13 1/2 years old Robin (Ch.Dawnville Darn Handsome), he still enjoys his walks with the younger ones and when you see him chasing the others it hard to believe he really is over 13 years of age. We hope he will stay like this for a long time to come, we so much enjoy our oldies and hope to have them around many more years.

It will be a lot of work to get the 2 that have to go to the show on Monday clean but untill Sunday they can get dirty as much as they like :-)

vrijdag 3 april 2009

More shownews :-)

A little late but still wanted to share..
Last weekend we went to the international show in Luxembourg with 3 dogs: Trae, Boots and Flirt.
I actually hoped for Flirt to be succesfull at this show so with a little bit of luck she could have gained an FCI title which would have made it easier for her to gain some other titles in certain countries.
Unfortunately it was not to be..... when she was on the table the judge told me she thought her face was too long and than asked me if she was American.
Didn't know anything else to do than tell the judge she was and was told than that she did not like the heads on a lot of American dogs but they were excellent in body, bone and movement and sometimes you have to make compromises (don't we all know that?).
Flirt got 2nd in her class and after we had left the ring we had some really great comments from others (including some judges) about Flirt and that she had deserved more than she got.

We had a great day anyway as Trae who was entered in the champion class males did win the CAC and reserve CACIB, this CAC makes him a Luxembourg champion!
The little guy has not been shown much after he gained his Dutch title and he behaved like a fool in the ring but apparantly the judge liked him enough to give him the class and Reserve Best Dog in the end...
Boots saved the day by winning the open class - her first outing in open class - and she gained the CAC and CACIB as she was the best adult female.
The junior bitch winner was Howard's blue merle daughter Hope of the Golden Fir, she's a lovely girl with great neck and shape and lovely coat for her age.
She got Best Bitch against Boots and both of these girls are now Crufts 2010 qualified !!
Congratulations to Thea (Boots' owner) and Jenny (Hope's breeder/owner).

Our next show is Easter Monday, we will be spending our coming weekends walking at different places with the dogs getting them dirty and in shape ;-)