Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cassie Comes Home

Well the youngster has now joined the family and is happily creating havoc in what was previously a very organised, calm and sensible household. She's itty-bitty with a larger than life personality who is capable of pappy tantrums a rottweiler would be proud of. The borders are a little bamboozled by this little creature and aren't all that sure what to do with her. Sonic has started playing with her and is pretty careful considering he looks like a giraffe in comparison when they are standing together.

Cassie loves all dogs, people, dive bombing Kenny and tugging. Her tugging fetish is indiscriminate and clothing, shoes, feet and toys are lavished with the same level of tugging ferocity. We've set up a puppy pen inside and outside to keep her safe and to give the other dogs a break from her ever present youthfulness.

I do love my border collies but this little girl is so sweet and so much fun I could easily become a papillon convert. Full of energy but snuggles into your arms when you give her a cuddle, then falls asleep on your lap when she's finished playing. It's hard not to fall in love.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Introducing Cassie

The last couple of weeks have been pretty sucky as a general rule. That's because I've had the most heinous flu I can remember experiencing. Off work for a week, coughing so hard I pulled a muscle in my back, not being able to sleep for more than three hours each night before relaunching into yet another coughing frenzy. It has really been most unpleasant and it still hasn't quite left me yet.

There has however been a silver lining. Meet papillon Beauchiot Swedish Dreams otherwise known as Cassie the cutest puppy EVER. Cassie will be coming to join our family on Friday.

I'm extremely fortunate that Jacinta of Beauchiot Kennels in Victoria has allowed me to have this gorgeous little girl. It was incredibly hard for Jacinta to part with Cassie at all let alone sending her all the way to WA. But knowing that Cassie has all the makings of an awesome little agility dog and is going to have a wicked time over here with us helped make up her mind. Apart from the fact she'll be totally loved and spoiled rotten!

For many years Kriszty and I have mused about what it would be like to have a little dog to train and compete with in agility. Every year we get to watch super papillons like Puzzle from the UK and Masher from the USA competing at Worlds and they are just amazing. But being border collie "addicts" normally at a time when I'm ready for another puppy I'd be off to get another border collie. The way things have worked out is that the particular border collie lines that I want for my next puppy aren't available to me right now when I couldn't be more ready for a new puppy. So when I came across Cassie it actually felt like it was meant to be. Sometimes the cosmos aligns and you just know that the time is right.

All photo's of Cassie by Jacinta Baker

This is going to be such a massive new experience for me given that I've only ever owned border collies. Aside from the fact that she is just soooo small. Cassie was born on 3rd July so is currently 15 weeks of age. That is a good thing as I'm nervous enough about breaking her as it is let alone if she was only 8 weeks old! I went to Better Pets & Gardens today and went a bit nuts buying new stuff for her (as you do). To try and get an appreciation/perspective for how small she is I got Riot to model Cassie's new harness. As you can see it didn't cover much...

So we pick her up from the airport on Friday. This week is all about getting the house ready for her arrival and getting excited about all the fun I'm going to have with her :-)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Perth Royal Show 2011

Another Perth Royal Show has been and gone. I had no great expectations this year after being away on holiday leading up to it and Sonic having minimal training but then sometimes as we all know that can work in your favour! The performance dog section was moved this year so that we were in front of the Show Dog Pavilion. I wasn't sure what to expect but the space was great and competing under a big marquee and lights certainly added to the sense of occasion. Lots of noise and show rides right next to us but Sonic has never been one to worry about those types of distractions when he's doing agility. Probably the only downside was the competitor area which was way too small. We spent most of the day trying not to trip over each other as we made our way to and from the ring and numbers were down this year with lots of our group heading over to the ADAA Grand Prix in NSW.

Overall we had a fun day. Sonic ran great and worked beautifully but it was one of those days were we got stung by little things. He did a super Masters Agility run but knocked number four jump wing and all, in Open Agility he got called on the seesaw, Open Jumping he couldn't get the distance (I was in good company for that one!) and in Masters Jumping I handled him kind of average which cost us any chance of qualifying.

October is a quiet month for trials so nothing until the GSDA on 15th October then we have another fortnight break until ACWA's trial. However plenty to work on and I need to get in some handling work with him to tidy things up. Sonic and I are trying out for the World Agility Open Australian Team in December and with full on European courses set to be used our handling needs to be spot in if we seriously want to think about hitting those top two spots!