Thursday, 3 September 2015

Garden Invasion

For those of you who don't know my Mum and Dad live next door to me in a beautiful Barn Conversion on the hill, over the years my Dad has waged war on moles who to be fair did make a mess of his garden, which he is very proud of.  The moles finally got the message though and vacated his garden for pastures new, mainly my orchard!!!  He now has some new interlopers to contend with - The Gang have found a way in :)

The last 2 weeks my Dad has been out in the garden in sun, rain, gale force winds trying to find out were the gang are breaking through.  He has fixed holes with whatever he can lay his hands on. He has even taken to hiding in the shed to see if he can find out the exact area they are breaking through.

I have to say Mum and I have been very entertained while all this has been going on and I think secretly the Gang are laughing to. Unfortunately Dad I think it might be back to the drawing board!!

The Score so Far
The Gang 10 - Dad 0

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Show Time

National Gundog Championship Show 
2nd August 2015

Not sure where the last 6 months had gone but suddenly Malika's first show had arrived, the Show was National Gundog at Malvern Showground. Did excitement prevail at home, NO, although she had been well socialised we had been to no ring craft classes and it had been 3 years since I was last in the show ring in the UK. It was going to be an interesting day!!!

It was an early start but I am used to that, however, I don't think Malika was too impressed, especially when we got to the car park at the showground and she flatly refused to get out of the car, with a little bit of coaxing and lots of bribery (treats) success at last! Still not sure what it was all about to be honest because the minute she got out her tail was wagging and she was happily meeting and greeting everybody she could.

We both had a lovely day meeting old and new friends and Malika loved the show ring, she was such a good girl and got 2nd which gave her a qualification for Crufts (added bonus).

 Thanks Linda Mayne for these lovely photos of Malika in the ring.

Pembrokeshire County Show
18th August 2015

I had entered Malika into the Open Dog Show so we could both have a bit more practice in the ring, because there was no Spinone classes, she was entered in AV Gundog Puppy, I was so pleased when she was given 1st in her class and then went on to be awarded Group 2 in the Gundog Puppy Group.

After showing we had a lovely time walking round the show having a look at all the stalls and watching the judging in all the rings for cattle, horses, etc. We enjoyed a picnic watching the show jumping and Malika who by then had met lots and lots of people, had her photograph taken numerous times, enjoyed an ice cream decided it was sleep time for a bit.

Next year I must remember to take my camera.

Welsh Kennel Club
23rd August 2015

This was always one of my favourite shows, I love the drive to Builth from where I live really pretty scenery and it is the closest Championship Show to me.  Unfortunately the weather was awful on the Sunday and just got worse as the day went on, but an added bonus was meeting up with a good friend that I hadn't seen in a long time, so major catch up with gossip was in order, just got to be done :).

Malika who by now has got used to getting up early in the morning and being whisked away in the car to strange places again did me proud by winning 1st Minor Puppy Bitch. 

Getting placed with Malika at the shows is always special and lovely, but this little girl with her huge personality gives me a bigger gift than that, she makes me laugh every day with her antics and that to me is priceless.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Barbet Training Day - 12 July 2015

I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Sunday than with some old and new friends on a Barbet Training Day, unfortunately the weather wasn't brilliant but you can't have everything.

Just to be different I took Malika, not a Barbet I know but Anouk thinks gun dog work is beneath her and Claude has been there done that and got the T-shirt. She wasn't the only Spinone there as Annette had taken Italia.

The morning session was spent at the lake retrieving the dummy from the water, which the Barbets did with ease and so did Italia, Malika although she enjoys the water does not yet like to go out of her depth but with a bit of practice and lots of fun play I think that will come.

Barbets doing what they love to do!!

I have to say a huge thank you to Mick Cleverley from Corunna Gundogs our trainer for the day, who was fantastic, I learned such a lot and will be carrying on with her training at home.

Mick showing Malika how it is done :)
Italia enjoying a swim
Malika escaping from the wet stuff
After the lake it was time for a well deserved lunch break and gossip and then back to training, unfortunately I haven't got any pictures of the next bit, I left the camera in the car :)

Malika definitely enjoyed the next session as this was the retrieve from land and she seems to have a natural instinct for it.  They all passed the gun shy test with flying colours and Malika retrieved the feather dummy each time she was asked to.  

I may be a little biased but at 5 months of age I thought she did really well on her first experience of gun dog training and more importantly she loved it.  I must just say she had plenty of rest and didn't do too much because of her age.

The Group Photo
Thanks Annette and Jimmy for letting me crash at your house again!! 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Douai Trip

The trip to Douai seems to becoming an annual event, it is a great 2 day National and International Show and normally there are a few of us Brits that make the trip, this year was no exception. Unfortunately this year my co-pilot wasn't able to come and anybody that knows me also know that my navigational skills are sadly lacking add that with driving on a different side of the road and the added complication of Tolls , not a good combination.  However, I had a cunning plan and arranged to meet Wendy and Julian at the Euro Tunnel and followed their car all the way to Douai - No Problem!!!!

We arrived at the hotel around about 6pm, checked in, fed and walked the dogs and then decided to go to the local supermarket and stock up on food and drink for the evening.

The hotel definitely deserves a mention, the rooms were great, the staff could not have been any more helpful, breakfast was lovely, it was very dog friendly and all at a reasonable price.

Some of us Brits enjoying a bite to eat at the hotel on the Friday night, a happy bunch but before I could take the photograph they had hidden the bottles of wine that we had been consuming,

Anouk settling in for her first night in the hotel,  we were both shattered but at least she left me some room on the bed.  And yes people that is my kettle in the background, can't go anywhere without old faithful.

Saturday was always going to be a busy day, first the National Show with some great results for the British Barbets, Pi and Anouk were confirmed, which was the reason for my trip to Douai this time.

Then a short walk over to the lake for the TAN Test, not all the Barbets were doing the TAN but we all went along as the cheer-leading section.All the dogs did their owners proud and passed with flying colours.

How could we take a group of Barbets to a lake and not let them have a dip especially on a very warm day, that would be too cruel.  To be honest at one point I nearly dived in with the dogs to cool off.

Anouk and Pi

Anouk and Boris (young love)
Sunday was again another successful day this time for the International Show, all the results in more detail can be found on the Barbet Club of Great Britain website. Before Group judging started in the main ring we had a small get together with old and new friends.

The Dog Whisperer
Before setting off on the long journey back to the UK, we took the dogs for a final swim in the lake and of course us humans had to have an ice cream.
Cooling off
Me & Anouk
Finally arrived home around 2.30am on the Monday morning, at least there is very little traffic on the road at that time.

It was great to meet old friends and new and again a great weekend trip to Douai, roll on next year.

Anouk sporting her R.C.A.C.I.B Rosette

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Claude is a Proud Daddy!!


On Sunday Filou entered his first show in Aarau, and was placed first in the male class.  His sister Flava was awarded first place in the female class.

The Judges critique for Filou : His body is built in harmony, Compact backline, Correct tail, Typical head, Dark eyes, Excellent hair, Movement correct and strong.

Filou went on to compete in the Honour Ring and was placed 3rd overall of all breed of dogs that were judged in the Jungstenklasse that day, which is a fantastic achievement.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Cei Bach

Day off work, beautiful weather, time to introduce Malika to the beach for the first time.  Cei Bach is one of mine and the Gangs favourite walks and when the tide is out you can walk from the woodland car park all the way into New Quay, great place for a pit stop before heading back home.

New Quay in the Distance
Mia snorkeling
Where's the ball????
I am sure the dogs are meant to retrieve the ball!!!
Gimmie that ball!!!!!
I can touch my nose with my tongue, can you!!!!
Practicing my doggy paddle
Something smells fishy!!!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015


Welcome to my blog, this is a new adventure for me and I am not very technical so please bear with me while I learn how to properly post things on here. I thought I would start off with something simple and introduce you to Malika (Awelymor Bebop Little Minx)