Monday 14th December

So nearly a month rolls by. And all sorts happens but I never quite get around to writing about it! As regards trial runs I feel that we might as well draw a line under this year really. A week after the trial talked about below we got a call on the Friday night to say we were IN the next day at Blackmore, Essex with Utility Kent & East Sussex. Thrilled I was, thrilled! Then roughly twenty minutes later Al called me to look at Mallie and she was, certainly sitting very strangely. Upon flipping her over she had ripped her belly on what seems like wire. A clean cut, no blood, but deep and huge! We got through the night without disaster and took her along to the vet hospital in Brighton, where they put her out under GA and stitched her up and put a drain in. Meantime I took Deeds along to our shoot and got a few good drives in (what a FANTASTIC season we are having on our shoot this year! But thats another story completely…!) and then shot off and picked her up. She was deeply uncomfortable for a couple of days then, in Mallie style, threw it off, but nevertheless had two weeks of stitches and is only just coming back into work. Poor Smoo. Have pretty much decided to concentrate on the youngsters and take her out shooting and let her ‘relax’. She has been fantastic, and played well above her natural game the last two years, and will enjoy some Open tests this summer very much, but at seven there is not a lot you can teach her now, and her bad habit of not delivering live/runner cock birds well will knock her every time, so, chances are we may be lucky enough to get a January run or two, but then thats probably it for Moo…. as regards trialing, NOT as regards Working Testing 😉

I think sometimes you have to be realistic. Boy, she has taught me so much about what I want to do and where I want to go with the dogs and I will be eternally grateful for that. Its been a huge pleasure watching faces when they expect her to plod and she doesn’t. Or expect her to squeak and she doesn’t. Or expect her to run in and (usually! Grin) she DOESN’T!!  😉 But its all about the kids now… and boy they are taking up my time!

In general I believe it only stopped raining yesterday after god ran out of water. I mean, wet doesn’t even do credit to how its been lately. Does it mean you are getting old when you notice constantly what the weather is doing? Someone once said to me ‘there is no such thing as bad weather only bad choice of clothing,’ and I can only say, from the bottom of my heart, what absolute bollocks that really is 😉 I could have walked the dogs in scuba diving gear (with snorkle) some days and still got soaked! Its not till you have eight dogs in a small house and garden that you realise there really IS such a thing as ‘too many dogs’ and as usual, my Mother was right on that one when the last puppy came home…..  😉

Fishy the Fish. What a legend that boy is. Despite doing his utmost to ruin his chances of a leg over sometime in his life by being a ‘running fool’ from 4 months of age and falling off assorted patio walls, down steps and over his own (outsized) feet, and therefore wreaking his joints, infact he came back with decent enough scoring hips and perfect scoring elbows. Then he wandered into deepest darkest Kent this weekend just gone and passed his eye certificate so he is good to go. His best shagging trousers are neatly ironed and folded over the ‘mating stool’ and he sits patiently waiting, as his first lady is well and truely in season. The funny thing is hes never been a ‘sexy’ dog. If anything is going to get humped around here it is Fish. So there is always that moment of heart in mouthness when presented with their first girlfriend… but we shall see! At just about 15 months old he should we well up to the job…. and the thing is, if he ISN’T then you can be sure a small yellow Meercat will be elbowing his way to the front if he had HIS way because Bondy is a world class humper 😉 I feel a large padlock and some boards nailed to the windows might be best for Bondys kennel whilst Fishys girlfriend is here or the Biscuit Nickols child may well be yelling obsenities at the Fish-meister’s ladyfriend such as ‘Oyyyy darlin…. got any yellow in you? WANT SOME?????!!!!!’…… and so on…. Ironically Bondy probably will be the boy here least in demand because his wonderful FT CH dad is only a few miles away – and rightly so – but I tell you, that child…. well….I mean ….. REALLY!!!!!   😉    😉 The fact that Fishys first girlfriend is a chocolate Deeds daughter may make for some interesting late night kennel chat, I feel, between them! So I’d like a loud chorus of ‘Go on, my Son!’ vibes for Fish in the next few days please!…. 😉

Went to Graham (Homes)’s last week. Well now…. what IS it with my car? How does it constantly get me into stupidly embarassing situations? I mean, its had the national income of a small country spent on it in the last two years but ALWAYS seem to have just one more trick up its exhaust pipe… Just a fortnight ago in driving to collect a stray ‘Gazebo’ for the gundog club from some kind person who found it wandering the fields of West Sussex alone and afraid, I hit a small (and I MEAN small) pothole. BANG! That wasn’t just the end of one of the stupidly low profile tyres, but it manged to buckle the whole alloy wheel too…. so saw Allan driving to my assistance in the rush hour miles from home in the pouring rain (of COURSE!) and the Gazebo rescuer having to hoof it down to me whilst I waiting with my flat tyre and buckled wheel for Al to arrive. The fact I was STARVING and had broken down infront of Kates Cakes which is a massive bakery was just torture! The smells whafting at me from every side made me hate my car, hate Renaults in general and LOATHE the French more than EVER!

Ok so we were at Grahams weren’t we? Sorry i do waffle don’t I? (Don’t answer that……) So a long sad episode with my dog guard not fitting properly resulted in it being chucked on the back seat in fury. So also gave complete free rein for dogs to leap from the boot forward to ‘where-ever they damn well pleased’. So out we go with Fish to train, and after a short while, Graham says ‘Your flashers are on Di’ and sure enough, The Meercat is sitting in the drivers seat watching our brilliant session, having stamped all over the dashboard. I thought little of this and removed him to his rightful place. And despite his solemn promises to stay there, five minutes later we are flashing all over the shop again. So Graham says, ‘well look swap dogs now and we’ll do a bit with the puppy’… so we do…. and very shortly afterwards FISH is sat, driving googles on, ready to start the engine with the flashers blinking away.

Now on a NORMAL car this wouldn’t matter apart from needing a SERIOUS valet. But this isn’t a normal car. This is my car. This is French. Fifteen minutes of flashing flashers had the battery as dead as a doornail. My pathetically small jump leads didn’t even put enough charge in to make it cough let alone start, and so the RAC had to be called. Well of course that involved a bit of thinking outside the box in itself because we were, to put it politely, in the arse end of nowhere and postcodes and landmarks don’t come easily to large expanses of open field land! Anyway for a 1pm lesson, it was a great testiment to Grahams patience that by the time I actually limped off having had a lovely jump start from Mr RACman, it was not only pitch black and raining but chances are he had missed his dinner! So…Graham…. thank you! Not only are you a genius trainer, you are a complete gent too (Lets face it, the urge to say ‘if you dogs stayed where you put them rather than dancing all over your car and this wouldn’t have happened’ MUST have been on the tip of his tongue!!)

Stick with me, theres never a dull moment…. 😉

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