Tag Archives: dog agility

Grinning from ear to ear

Batty has excelled herself once again!

Tonight she and Mrs Woofy only went and got 2nd place in the dog agility league!!!  Together they beat able bodied dog handlers, adults and experienced handlers to get their very well deserved rosette.

Is there nothing this girl can’t turn her hand to?

It just goes to show that disability needn’t be a barrier to achievement.  Well done, Batty, you’re an inspiration!! Well done to Mrs Woofy as well, she’s so tuned in to Batty it’s incredible to watch. What a team!



We’re not virgins anymore!

So, this thing I’ve started, the geocaching, has taken off in a big way.  The Rev and Genbolina took the kids and Mrs Woofy out on Sunday in the pouring rain and found four caches.

Len and me were supposed to go this afternoon but he cried off leaving me to get on with some work I really should have been getting on with anyway. So I suppose he did me a favour.

This evening Boofuls and me set off geocaching to a location that I knew didn’t involve a lot of walking. In fact we stopped the car about 1 metre away from the treasure. I found the location and did all the rummaging around in the undergrowth, Boofuls got out the car and said “It’s there.” Dammit! He’s just so jammy!

How silly to be so excited about finding a little plastic box with bits of trivia in it but excited we were. It was great fun. I didn’t think Boofuls was that bothered about it all but on the way home he suggested we try and find some more. Aye, get your walking boots on, Buddy.

Most of the ones I looked at were well off the road so not a lot of use  for him if he  has to walk to find them.

So there we are, Boofuls and me are no longer geocache virgins. I can’t wait to get out and do some more.

It’s a shame that Douggie the doggie is still limited to half hour walks – I got told off by the woman who runs the rescue centre for walking him too much. Still, he’ll be five months old on Thursday, only another three months and we can go where we like – and take Mrs Woofy with us. I miss Mrs Woofy.

The Rev has taken over running her at the agility class, and very good at is he is too. Well, until last week when he pulled a muscle in his er….leg.

Still not really being able to move faster than a slow hobble,  he asked me to run her last night. Of course that aroused interest from the other dog owners;

“Oh, Rev, Why aren’t you running Mrs Woofy tonight?”  “Um, well, I’ve pulled a muscle in my leg.”

Well, I’m sorry but the devil got hold of me and made me do it; “Was it your leg, Rev?” The other ladies were not slow in picking up on my innocently worded question and ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ expression and much ribald  hilarity followed. Poor Rev got redder and redder in the face, all of which served to fuel the banter even more. Hehehee. So funny.

Douggie the doggie, was there with me last night. Obviously he isn’t allowed to join in (with the agility, not the bawdy comments. I’m pretty certain he does join in with the conversation) he just goes for socialisation with the other dogs.

He  had a lovely time with all his doggie friends. I swear to God, he should have his own fan club. I have a veritable list of people who’d like to take him off my hands. BACK OFF, PEOPLE. He’s mine!!!!!

Here are a few photos of us on the beach at St Anne’s a coupe of weeks ago.


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Brushing up on interview techniques

I’m going for an interview today and it’s fair to say I’m more than a bit nervous in case I put my foot in it or say just  plain stupid.

In fact, it’s not just me who’s going for the interview, Boofuls is going as well.

‘Hang on’, I hear you say, ‘An interview? Don’t you have your own businesses?’

Well, yes. It’s not a job interview.

It’s an interview to see if Boofuls and me are suitable candidates to give a home to  an 11 week old golden retriever rescue puppy.  It’s all the fault of  Dory who writes If I Were Brave . She posted a photo of a gorgeous golden retriever on her blog the other day and it brought me right back to my senses. Thanks for the reality check, Dory.

I don’t want a designer dog, I want a real dog not a trumped up mongrel at a stupidly inflated price (they do look cute though – as most mongrels do).  I’ve only ever really wanted a golden retriever. What the hell was I thinking, looking at designer dogs?

Once my heart and brain had taken control again after being dazzled by the designer dogs I took a shufti round some of the local breeders, then I clicked on the rescue site. My sister’s warning was ringing in my ears as loudly as if she was stood next to me; “Don’t do it, Les (no one gets away with calling me Les except my brothers and sisters, I hate it) Don’t do it, you’ll only be taking on someone else’s issues and it could all end in disaster.”

Nonetheless, I called the number and spoke to a very nice lady called Jan. Told her the whole story, including how I’ve never had a dog. At that  part of the conversation her  “Hhhmm” took a downward tone. When I told her that we lived on a farm then the “Hhmm” took  a very definite upward tone. Most of the Hhmm’s following her leading questions were quite noncommittal but I must have said some of the right stuff because at the end of the conversation she informed me that they had two 11 week old puppies and would I like to go and see them. Another leading question which really meant, “Come and be interviewed.”

So that’s today at 1pm. Send out your positive vibes for us, won’t you?

Mrs Woofy was amazing at agility class last night. Every round was a clear round with only one disqualification for a teeny little back jump and that was my fault for getting in her way. The dog’s a genius! The charging round like a fool and searching out horse poo snacks seem to be a thing of the past. maybe I’m not quite so worried about the competition in June after all.

Barking mad

Taking Mrs Woofy for a walk in the rain and the wind yesterday, we arrived at a grim and miserable looking playing field, the rain was sweeping across the ground and it was deserted apart form a couple of other hard core dog walkers, like me dressed from head to foot in waterproof clothing and the obligatory  large furry hat with ear flaps that makes me look extraordinarily like Deputy Dawg. Strangely enough, everyone else looks ok in theirs, it’s just me who looks like a dweeb.

Taking my place in the dog walking circuit, I  trudged round for forty minutes while the dog sniffed, ran, investigated and made a couple of new friends. Before we headed back we  did a little bit of obedience training in readiness for our first class of the year on Thursday.  Even though the rain lashed into my eyes and the wind stuck his cold fingers on my neck, trying to to find a way in past my many layers it was worth it because  the dog performed perfectly. Responding to my every command quickly and smoothly. Genius dog. It was worth braving the weather for. How I wished we were in a competition at that moment, she’d have won it, hands (paws) down!

When I got home I was recounting the story to Big N about how brilliant the dog had been,  particularly  at her recall command. “I don’t need to shout, we do it by signals. I lift both arms in the air like so” , I said as I lifted both arms up, “Then I drop one arm  like so and move it to the side so she knows to come to heel and not in front of me. Brilliant, eh?”

Big N looked at me thoughtfully. “Right. So what you’re saying is that when you’re in a public place and the dog is miles away you basically stand alone in the middle of a field and do the YMCA dance? Bet that attracts attention.”

Mmm, never though about that. Maybe a voice command  might be better after all. Thanks, Big N.

All this praise and rapture about how fantastic the dog is in direct contrast to Monday night at agility training where she was a royal pain in the arse. Dashing  away mid circuit  to snack on the delicious and nutritious goodness that is the pile of horse poo in the corner of the training ring. Many and varied were my futile attempts to get her to come back, calling her name and following her round as she skipped just out of reach every time I got near enough to grab her were just two of my dog retrieval techniques. GGrrrfeckingggggrrrr!!

Dagnabbit dog! Why can’t you disobey me in private and obey me in public?

Twice on Monday she was thrown out of the ring for running round like something demented, drooling and smiling her stupid big doggy smile  instead of completing the set tasks.

Once she was finally caught, I silently clipped up back and led out of the ring she realised she was in serious trouble and gave me the old sad eye. ‘I’m sorry,’ her big brown eyes said, imploring me to give her a cuddle. ‘I won’t do it again.’ And I fell for it! What a fool!

Back into the ring we went and we repeated the whole palarver again. I could have brained her but instead I clipped her back up and led her away silently. This time she knew I was really not amused at her shenanigans. Head bowed, tail between her legs and eyes begging me to forgive her, we did the long walk of shame back to the waiting area. The frustration must have been coming off me in waves and Mrs Woofy well and truly picked up on my mood. She didn’t even try to coerce Miss Yappy to play with her, she just came and sat as close to me as she could get, looking up at me with those liquid brown eyes. Those eyes act on me like Kryptonite does on Superman. As soon as I see them looking at me, I lose all my power and start to melt.

“Right, one more go then.”

As if to atone for her previous behaviour, and to prove that she really knew all along what to do, she completed the course perfectly and in record time. When she finished she came running up to me, tail wagging, leaping all over me in delight, “See, told you I could do it,” she seemed to be saying.

The dog knew she’d done good and  claimed her reward, a nice big cuddle and a delicious scooby snack.

I bet I could get her to jump through hoops of fire if they just made dog treats out of horse poo.

Note to self: Buy bigger knickers

Dog training tonight went up a level. No more Mr Nice Guy in this show ring.

After last weeks ‘friendly’ competitions the onus has been placed on building up speed and knocking valuable seconds off our circuit times.

New techniques for speeding up  were tried out and we were all feeling rather pleased with ourselves and quite exhausted after all the running around.

My best time of the evening was a very creditable 6.4 seconds to cover eight jumps. Not too shabby, I thought.

Then in walked Dexter with his owner.

Let me introduce you to Dexter. He’s a ginger haired border collie type dog with a ginger haired Afghan hound looky like owner whose name I don’t know.

“Oh! Dexter’s here. He’ll show you how to do it!” squealed the trainer with delight. I think she has a bit of a ‘thing’ for Dexter, not so much for his owner.

Dexter swaggered to the start jump, swinging his tail  from left to right and throwing a glance over his shoulder to the girly dogs as he went. I’m almost sure I saw him wink at Mrs Woofy.

Tsk. Gigolo!

He settled himself at the start of the course  together with  his master, this tall, adolescent boy of athletic, willowy build and elegant stature.

The stature in fact of  a Masai Mara runner,  (or an afghan hound) crossed my mind as he stood there shaking out his long limbs ready to start .

My suspicions of him having Masai Mara ancestry were heightened when he set off running  round the course. He was nimble and elegant on his feet, making the mad dash round the  doggie assault course  look like a stroll in the country,  zipping round in only 6.1 seconds.

6.1 seconds! That’s better than Mrs Woofy! Boo!

Where on earth did this competitive streak of mine come from? Im not competitive!

Obviously I am. I was narked!

Then I stopped to consider:  Comparing him, Mr Masai Mara,  to  my  51 years, 5 ft 3 height, short legs, built for comfort not speed figure and  ginormous chesticles to trip over  and I’m really rather proud of my 6 . 4 seconds.

Mrs Woofy  was obviously proud as well and decided to make a dash for freedom to celebrate and do a lap of honour. She managed to get in another ten or so jumps before stopping for a quick snack of horse poo she found in a corner and before finishing off with an impressive flying leap from the dog equivalent of the high wire, landing with two paws in the air and shouting; HAI-YA!

While the dog was doing her lap of honour I suddenly realised to my utter horror that my knickers had made a dash for freedom of their own. They’d slid down over my ample backside while I was gallumphing round the course and  ended up hanging upside down suspended by the gusset on my trousers. All I can say is thank God I was wearing trousers!

I made a tight kneed walk back across the show ring, I don’t know why because  they couldn’t go anywhere but I was feeling terribly vulnerable. I stood as far away from the other dog handlers as possible while discreetly trying to pull up my keks from outside my trousers, inch by inch. Tricky to do without looking conspicuous and I suppose just a little bit creepy.  I could have gone for the ‘sod it’ approach to knicker retrieval and just shoved my hands down my voluminous trousers to pull them up but I was quite embarrassed enough without wanting to draw further attention to myself and anyway I  thought that would look really creepy  so I stayed with the tight kneed walk and ‘inch the knickers back up’ technique until the end of the class which mercifully was only a few minutes later. A short, clenched walk back to the car later and all was back in it’s proper place.

So if this dog training lark is going to continue I can see that I’m going to have to add a new piece of equipment to the already growing list: BIGGER KNICKERS!

Royal wedding afternoon tea

Ok, we don’t live on a street so there was never going to be a street party but we did manage a very passable afternoon tea in honour of the royal wedding, even managing to sit outside because although it was as windy as a windy thing it was coming from the north east so the house made a lovely windbreak, allowing us to enjoy the sunshine.

Earlier in the day, Len and Lashes had turned up about two minutes to 11.00am, just as the wedding was about to begin, with Lashes all flustered and cross that no one was bothered about watching the wedding except her. She plonked herself down next to me to watch it.

At about one minute past 11.00, the client turned up. Complaining that no one was interested in watching the wedding except her. We invited her to come and watch so she gratefully  plonked herself down next to Lashes to watch it, leaving her poor bewildered new husband to fend for himself. He eventually gave in and sat down as well to watch it.

Once the wedding was over, the clients, Len and Lashes left. Boofuls busied himself in the garden creating our new pergola while I busied myself in the kitchen preparing for our planned, very English  afternoon tea.

At the appointed hour all the family turned up and everyone tucked into the delicate cucumber,  smoked salmon  and ham sandwiches,  sausage rolls (or as Munki calls them; sockage rolls) , scones with jam and cream, chocolate bread, malt loaf, trifle, strawberries and cream and of course Bucks Fizz to toast the Royal newlyweds.

What a lovely afternoon.  The food was polished off amazingly quickly, I was even asked for my scone recipe (thanks, Delia).   Everyone thought that we should have a proper afternoon tea on a regular basis as it’s all very civilised and lovely. Well, you know, as civilised and lovely as my family can be!!

When we were children my Mum often used to make afternoon tea on a Sunday, high tea, we called it then. It was nice. I think we should have afternoon tea more often.

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Amazingly, I  managed to get a rare photo of big N. Not looking terribly happy about it though. I really must remember to tell him that cameras don’t actually steal your soul.

The kids and Len were there as well but somehow they managed to escape the camera. I think they were playing with the dogs weaving poles.

As you can see, a good time was had by all – except Mrs Woofy.  She came a cropper on a walk out with the dog club last week when some unknown dog decided to take a £2 coin sized junk out of her side. Gembolina has been marinading her in honey at the vets request and it’s all looking much better now.

If only she could work how how to navigate with that cone on her head. She bumps into everything and I can tell you it doesn’t half hurt when she runs full tilt into your legs with that thing on.