Thursday, 31 October 2013

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Cooper goes to Newgale

Just an update on Donna's post.

This trip was dog heaven.  There's nothing I enjoy more than running around chasing and being chased by other doggie friends.  I've never run in a pack as big as what turned out at Newgale.  Pups were there, juniors, and the fully grown up dogs too.  And you know what - we all forgot our age differences and ran and tumbled and splashed and barked like there was no tomorrow!  I bet there's some aching muscles and bones today.

Donna is telling the truth that we were well behaved, but seventeen dogs running around is an awesome, if not intimidating sight.  Newgale was definitely a place to avoid if you did not like us four legged friends.  But to be honest most of the people there seemed to be walking dogs anyway (though they did keep them in close as we swept up the beach like Genghis Khan's hordes).

I can't wait for the next one!

I've put together a clip of the afternoon which I hope you'll enjoy.

Midland Counties Champ Show

Just a quick update to share the news that Alvin - Seahaven's Glass Seller was awarded Best Puppy in Breed today at Midland Counties Show by judge Carol Macloed.

Really pleased for Angela as this is only their second show and look forward to catching up with them at Crufts now that they have qualified!!

Toller Meet at Newgale

On Saturday we managed to get together with a total of 17 dogs on Newgale beach in Pembrokeshire, and a few owners as well.  People came from as far afield as Norfolk, not just for the meet!!!  But it was still quite a way for most people, and it was lovely to catch up with old friends and meet new ones with a common interest.

It was especially nice to see Jane who owns Red (Eve's and her litter siblings dad) and Margaret and David who bred Red, along with some of Red's offspring.


The weather forecast wasn't ideal but we were not to be put off by the threat of some wind and rain.  It was certainly windy when we arrived and rather overcast, but it wasn't raining thank goodness. Amazingly the beach was busy and we certainly caused quite a stir amongst the other walkers on the beach, all the dogs were inpecably behaved with the exception of trying to pinch another dogs ball.  But in all fairness, one of our dogs did get to it first and was happy if a little reluctant to give it back to it's rightful owner.

The walk did end on a wet note, the rain started as we got to the far end of the beach.  I think the walk back to the cars wasn't quite as leisurely as going at the start.

With the wind and rain it was difficult to talk properly to everyone, you really did have to be at close quarters to make yourself heard and I gave up trying to take photos. 

Once again thank you to Gerald for the pics, they are always much better than mine anyway.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Life in General

Just wanted to post some pics. Nothing near as exciting as any of your show results but fun nonetheless!

Rookie has been.... playing gundogs on Dartmoor....




......been snuck up on by cows.....

.....been getting wet and muddy......

.... Been making friends with more cats...

... Been playing with some of his best friends Henry and Alfie....

....Been to the fair....

... Been on a long train ride (and behaved impeccably to my surprise!)....

.... Been serving Rice Crispies through a hatch at my friend's house....

.... Been beat up by puppies... and yes the second one is a toller!....

...And of course a little R&R....

And amongst all that, Rookie found the time to make his Obedience debut. 
I was so nervous as I know the comedy Rookie is capable of.... the judge was waiting for dogs so called me to come in, I brought him over to the ring. Once there, I produced his beloved Chuckit from my pocket and gained immediate focus!! I nervously said to the judge "we're ready", and charged in before we lost attention! I put the ballie away, and did some heelwork. He is quite a stylish worker, and in my peripheral vision I could see the few people outside the ring turn to watch. Pressure! My concerns before the big day were Rookie running out of the ring to bring me a sendaway marker in the adjoining ring (the highest class), or running out to flirt/play with some unsuspecting dog! I even put him on an extendable lead for the recall, but once he belted up to me I realised he didn't need it, took it off, did another one, and then did some more lovely heelwork for a good ball game. He was super and I needn't have worried! Not saying he will never do any of those naughty things ;) but I think we have more than enough to work with going into next year, as he has no more shows this year. 

Working trials training is going well too, I do feel this really is his forte, he has taken to WT style heelwork easily and is confidently completing longer and more challenging tracks.

He is also extremely proficient at detecting dog barks at great distances, as I saw him take off on Dartmoor one day and could see on the horizon a panicky woman putting her two GSD's back on the lead!! He found the little dog that was with her, had a little play, glanced at the barking GSD's as if to say "alright, calm down!" and ran back just as fast as he'd gone. NAUGHTY puppy!

I don't know how much longer I can play the puppy card for..... can't believe they are coming up for 2 in a few months.

Look forward to hearing all about your show results over winter, as I won't have anything exciting to report for a long time! Good luck to you all, not that you seem to need it :)

Jess and Rookie

Friday, 18 October 2013

Gundog Society of Wales Show and Much More!

October has been a very busy month for us all here at Seahaven, things will begin to quieten down now as winter sets in and I think we're all ready for a bit of a rest!

The weekend following SWKA meant a weekend away for myself and the children without the dogs for a change.  We were attending my grandmothers surprise 90th birthday celebration, Sean volunteered to stay at home and mind the dogs.  It's not easy entrusting the care of a dog in plaster to someone else, so this was the only way that we could attend with all other family members attending. 

It did give us the oppertunity to stop enroute to Cheshire to see Kathryn with Max and Morry (& Martyn and Ewan).  It was lovely to catch up with them all and see how well Morry has settled into his new home, and we all got such a lovely welcome! 

Great to catch up with my extended family and visit the area where I grew up, and introduce the area to the children.  Was very pleased to go home though to Sean and the dogs, there's no place like home.

Wednesday and Gundog Society of Wales Show, came around quickly and we had three dogs entered.  The two tollers and Maddie, who was so pleased to be having an outing, again very sad to leave Trio.

The journey to Malvern was awful, the wind and driving rain particularly on the M4 really made me think about continuing.  As promised the weather did improve but not until the afternoon, at least the drive home was better.

Neither breed was first in the ring, so thought that arriving at 9.30 am would be ok.  We did arrive though to find that the judging of the first breed prior to LMs was almost complete!  Very quickly found benching and dried the dogs off a bit, found a message on the phone from Hazel with Megane to say that they wouldn't be there until approx 10.20!  Hoped that judging would be slow so that they could make the class, they had completed a 3 hour journey and didn't want them to arrive just as Megane's class finished.  Sent a message to direct them to the right hall and had their number ready as I checked to see if I could see them coming across the showground.  Thankfully our hall had a good view of the entrance.  The steward then called Megane's class! I explained the situation and told them that they were on their way and asked if they would hold the judging for her, thankfully the agreed.  Poor Megane as accosted as soon as she arrived, Hazel pinned with a number and show lead on a wet and wild Megane who had raced from the car park.  Considering the circumstances Hazel and Megane did really well to win the Novice class, and then gain 4th in PGB.

Maddie was in the last class - Veteran.  She won this and showed her socks off!  Was lovely to have her in the ring enjoying herself.  She then went in to contest for Best Bitch, were she was reserve to the Open bitch winner, and also Best Veteran.  So very proud of my old girl who just gets better and better.

Megane and Maddie

Then it was over to the NSDTR ring, which thankfully was next to the LM ring and judging started as Best of Breed for LMs was underway.  Such good timing.

Cooper was in first with Dawn, in Post Grad Dog, where he looked and showed beautifully gaining a  2nd place.

Bron with Jane was in Junior where she had a 4th place, again going really well for Jane and the ringcraft practice being really evident.  I might need to send Eve to Jane!!

Eve was in Post Grad as I didn't want her competing against her sister Bron.  She was much more relaxed in the ring and had a bit of fun with me which I was thrilled about, I really want her to enjoy the experience.  Wasn't expecting much from her in this adult class othter than some ring experience, now she's moving better we need to work on the stacking.  She was miss fidgit!  Well she only went and won it!! 

A quick swop to have Tilly in Open, and again huge thanks to those that held dogs for me and swapped numbers.  Tilly showed her socks off and had a great time in the ring, and again we had a 1st!!

The Seahaven Tollers

Two to go forward for the Best Bitch award!  Thanks to Dawn for handling Tilly for me, this is proving to be a winning combination as Tilly won Best Bitch!

We then regrouped for the Breeders competition and again we won this!  Everyone agreed to have a wander around as the rain had stopped and have a go at the Best Breeder in Show.  Well the wait as longer than anticipate and we didn't get in the ring until nearly 6.00 pm!  Anyway we won that too!!

It was one special day for us, and great to share it with such wonderful friends!  Thank you all x


Friday, 11 October 2013

South Wales Kennel Association Champ Show

Gundog day was today - a Friday so my willing handlers were at school and I was on my own with two dogs.  Had decided to only enter the Tollers as this enabled me to spend some time ringside chatting and catching up with friends.  This is so much nicer than rushing between two breed rings on my own, well when I say on my own, it's not completely true.  Dog exhibitors on the whole are a friendly and helpful group, Sam, Dawn, Gerald, Jane and Denise were great and their help was very much appreciated. 

Tollers were 2nd in the ring after the Brittany's, there wasn't a huge entry for them so we knew that we wouldn't be long after the 9.30 start.  Only three classes were scheduled for the breed and no CCs on offer, but it was Hazel Strevens first time judging here and as a breed specialist attracted a good entry of 27 dogs making an entry of 35.

Sadly there was no puppy class, only junior which was scheduled for both dogs and bitches with an entry of 9 dogs.  Bron was entered and looked great in the ring, so much more relaxed and settled then last time we saw her.  Well done Jane your work with her is really paying off!  Sadly she wasn't placed - no puppies were placed at all in this class, which was a shame.  Puppy classed really are needed.

Next was Cooper in Open Dog, with another big entry.  Cooper looked great and the squeaky toy worked it magic - I think that one of these might have to go on his Christmas list!  Cooper was placed 3rd - what a good boy.

I had entered Tilly and Eve in the Open Bitch class -  I didn't want to have Bron and Eve competing against each other so Eve was entered in the only other class available for her.  Dawn kindly handled Tilly for me in the class and I handled Eve.  They have been to shows together on a number of occasions and Tilly has been handled by Dawn before (they got 1st at Crufts, so we know Tilly can cope!).  However Tilly wouldn't settled for Dawn, so she stacked and I moved her for the judge and then moved on to Eve.  Eve was much more relaxed and really enjoyed her time in the ring, we really want her to enjoy the experience.  Tilly won the class and Eve was 4th I was overjoyed to say the least!

Tilly then had to go back in to contest for the Best Bitch award, which she won and then on to Best of Breed.  Sadly she didn't get BOB but we're all delighted with todays results especially as Tilly won BB her last year as well.

Thank you all for a fab day, good company, help and pictures courteously from Gerald.
Eve, Bron and Cooper in the Breeders Competition where we were 2nd.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Cooper goes to Dolgellau

Well I am being spoilt this year.  Just came back from a week in Penmaenpool near Dolgellau.  It's right on the beautiful Mawddach estuary - stunning landscape and wildlife, enhanced of course by a toller's presence!  Seriously though, it's worth a visit if you enjoy the outdoors, and there's loads for dogs and humans to do together.

Low tide overlooking the Mawddach
I've walked and run so much I'm sure my legs are shorter.  And swum in the river, lakes and the sea.  I've been into Dolgellau, Barmouth and Tywyn and was correctly identified three times during the week, which as you know, doesn't happen much to us tollers.  The first time though was an incredible coincidence on the way up to Dolgellau.  Mam and Dad always break the journey by stopping at a nature conservation site just outside Rhayader.  I was going back to the car when another car pulled in - this place is the middle of nowhere mind - and I could see the passenger and driver pointing at me. They pulled up - and in the back they had a toller too!!  Can you believe it?  It was a girl toller that they had rescued from Spain and she had been brought back to Knighton. We got on really well - pity they weren't going to Dolgellau too!

You've got to pack as much as you can into life, and another first for me this week was travelling in a train.  But this was a rather special one - because it was a steam train.

I was a bit apprehensive at first, with the smell of the coal being burned in the engine, and the driver's habit of blowing the train hooter every time he came into and left a station. But all in all I'm glad I did it and my ticket only cost me £3!  And when we came back to Tywyn to finish the journey I had a big surprise to see they'd laid lorry transport on for me.

(That's a joke - but another strange coincidence!)

I wasn't that fussed on Tywyn - neither were Mam and Dad, but that didn't stop us all having a play on the beach there.  It was virtually empty so we got into full Frisbee play mode.

But like all good things - they have to come to an end.  And I'm back home now.  I've got some lovely memories of the week, but I'll be honest with you - I do like the creature comforts of home!
I'm cwtched up in the armchair as I'm writing this, snug as can be.  I know where my food cupboard is here, and my next door neighbours have missed me so much that they gave me two biscuits yesterday.  It's a dog's life, but I wouldn't want it any other way!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Rookie at Cornwall Gundog Club

Rookie headed to Cornwall Gundog Club's Open show again last weekend. Their last show was held on Easter bank holiday, where this year Rookie won the LM Open class and took BOB, so I was delighted when he managed to repeat this at their September show!

Rookie and his prizes
He does love dog shows, the social side more than anything though, not as much a fan of the standing still part! He also loves judges, he has mastered staying on the floor for them now but can't help but stare lovingly into their eyes, wagging his tail as they go over him. He has only managed to successfully land a sneaky kiss once though!

Time to wind down at Royal Cornwall Showground
Royal Cornwall is a fabulous venue, tons of space to walk around. It's a long old day for a dog like Rookie waiting around for the group, but he handled it well and moved really nicely, but my goodness can't you tell the difference between people like me and the real pros up there! Handling is a real skill. A gorgeous German Wirehaired Pointer won the group, I love the look of those fuzzy faced dogs. 

Seahaven's Celtic Commander

Rookie and I have just started our two weeks with two of Rookie's best labrador friends, Henry and Alfie. Rookie loves Alfie so much, they spend a lot of time playing and zooming around the house. It's the cutest thing when they first get together again after a long break, they're just like puppies and go silly for each other!

With Chili and Teak

Rookie is loving this windy, rainy weather. He loves going off and doing his gundog thing on Dartmoor in it.

Hello ladies!
There are not enough hours in the day at the moment, but it's lovely finally sitting down for the night for munster cuddles (I'm sure Toller ones are pretty good too!)

Jess and Rookie