Flurries, a Fall and a Daring Rescue!

Jimmy at Wicklow MountainsWe have been having a very strange spring here in Ireland. From what I’ve seen on the news, we are not the only country to be experiencing unseasonal weather at the moment.

A week or so ago, right at the end of March, we woke up to a blanket of fresh snow! I couldn’t believe my eyes. We decided to pack up the car and headed out for a drive in the country with The Lads.

We drove through the Dublin Mountains and onwards into the Wicklow Mountains. Funnily enough, the further we drove, the less snow there was. There are many public walks throughout Wicklow, so we decided to stop off at one of these and take The Lads out for a hike.

Pogo the Poodle at Wicklow MountainsIt was really a lovely day. The Lads enjoyed exploring the forest, sniffing every inch of the place! They even had fun doing their own version of agility, jumping tree stumps, climbing steep banks and running along felled trees. While we were walking, a sprinkling of light powdery snow fell delighting us all.

Unfortunately, the day was spoiled considerably when Jimmy fell down a steep embankment!

Mr Fluffytufts had stopped to take a photograph of a waterfall while I continued along the path with The Lads.  Jimmy was trotting along the edge of the path when suddenly a pile of shale slid out from under his paws and he went rolling down the embankment. At first, I couldn’t see him as he had rolled into the undergrowth. Thankfully, when I called out to him, I spotted the red of his jumper moving.  Next, was the question of how to reach him… I tried but wasn’t able to climb down myself.

Me with Casper the BichonJimmy got himself out of the undergrowth but in his panic he went to bolt in the wrong direction. I don’t think I ever yelled so loudly in my life! Pogo and Casper joined in by barking, and together, we were able to catch Jimmy’s attention.

I maintained eye contact with him and asked him to ‘climb’. The others were encouraging him on by barking and whining for him. He tried, but the bank was too steep and he kept slithering back down.  I then instructed him to ‘wait’ and was relieved and proud when he waited perfectly till I was able to attract Mr Fluffytufts’ attention.

Mr Fluffytufts was the hero of the day! He came running up the mountain path and without hesitation, climbed down the bank through gorse and brambles until he reached Jimmy. We checked Jimmy over and apart from a few scratches, he was fine. Needless to say, everybody went back on their leads till we got back to the safety of the car!

The Lads enjoying a hike in Wicklow Mountains

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My Day at Crufts

Breed Ring at Crufts 2013It was a very early start for me, with the alarm clock going off at 4.30am! The plane was packed with other dog lovers heading to Birmingham to spend the day at the the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts!

Having lived in Birmingham for several years, I knew exactly how to get to the NEC and in no time at all, I had collected my pass and was queuing to enter. I chatted to a lady who’d travelled with her Heelwork to Music Club, all the way from South Africa. They had a member competing in the International HTM Freestyle, so they’d come to cheer her on. Now that’s a supportive team!

Shopping at Crufts - Hall 5The KCAI stand was in Hall 5, so I was sent in that entrance. I actually couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the size of the place. Stalls selling everything you could possibly ever need for your dogs. I spent an hour or two wandering around, picking up goodies for the lads. I will do a post over the next few days reviewing my purchases!

I watched a little bit of the breed judging in the rings in Hall 5 also. Then I headed off to explore the other four halls!

The International Agility was taking place in the Main Arena and one of the members of my training club, Declan Dolan, was representing Ireland with his collie, Bonnie.  I made my way to the Arena in plenty of time and caught the end of the Agility Teams Small Semi-finals. It was exhilarating to view such brilliant dog/handlers teams. The Beacon Smalls went on to win in the Finals. Click here to view their winning run!

Next in the Arena, the International Agility Jumping Round. The competitors had to do a jumping round in the morning and an agility round in the afternoon. Only the top sixteen would make it through to the Finals in the evening. I was really rooting for Declan and Bonnie.

I met Declan at my first ever agility competition. I had had a terrible round with Pogo. He was so excited about the show that he wasn’t focused on me at all. He even tried to climb the judge! As I left the ring feeling humiliated, Declan approached me and very kindly gave me some great training tips and advice. He made me feel a lot better about everything. It was some time later before I realised that this man was Declan Dolan, top agility handler and Crufts winner!

Declan and Bonnie went on to come 2nd in the Finals that evening and I was there in the arena cheering them on. Their round is at 12 minutes if you would like to watch it.

I could ramble on for hours about all the things that I did and saw at Crufts. I had a brilliant day and really hope to go again next year!

Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it’s off to Crufts I go!

Just a very quick post as I am busy packing up to go to Crufts! I was very lucky to have been given a free pass from the Kennel Club as part of their new KCAI (Kennel Club Accreditation Scheme for Instructors). My plane leaves at 6.30am, so want to get an early night so I can enjoy the day tomorrow.

This will be my first time attending Crufts and I am bursting with excitement. My plan is to go to the agility ring in the morning to support Irish competitor Declan Dolan and his dog Bonnie who will be competing in International Agility. Then I will go and pet dogs at the Discover Dogs exhibition. Finally, I plan to shop till I drop and hopefully get lots of goodies for The Lads!

My camera battery is charging and I will try to get lots of great pictures so that I can share the day with you all! Look out for a Crufts update over the next few days. If any of you have any Crufts advice or tips, please let me know in a comment. Thanks!

Crufts 2013

What I Really Do! (Wordless Wednesday – 5 December 2012)

What I really do meme - Fluffy Tufts

Fluffy Tufts is participating in the Blogpaws blog hop. Come and join the fun!

Jumping Jiminy Cricket!

Jimmy graduated from the Beginner’s Agility class after only six weeks of training.  I’m absolutely delighted!  He is really enjoying the training and is so fast.  Have a look at this little video and you can see for yourself!

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Heeeeeerrrrrreeee’s Jimmy!

Hi everyone, I’m Jimmy!

I used to live with another family but I was feeling lonely and really wanted some doggy friends to play with. My new family adopted me and I’m having the best time!

This is a photo of me on my first day with my new family. I went a bit crazy playing with my new brothers, so I had to go in the crate for a little rest.

Jimmy's First Day!

Me and my brothers

I have two dog brothers, Pogo and Casper. Here we are playing on the beach. I’m the one with the muddy face!

I also have a cat sister, Shelli. She’s a bit scary.

I love chewing blankets, but my mammy says it could give me a tummy ache, so she gives me Kongs instead.

I went to school recently and had a great time learning to sit, wait, come and lots of other things.

The teacher, Lisa, took this photo of me learning not to jump on strangers. It is really great because if you just sit down and wait nicely instead of jumping, then the stranger will give you a treat! Nom nom.

My newest thing is that I am going to agility classes like my brother Pogo. He says I better not beat him in a competition!

Me doing a 'sit' for another person at school!