Thursday, December 28, 2006

Merry Christmas & my final decision

Firstly I hope that everyone has had a fantastic Christmas and the good cheer carries over the next few days and you all have a great new year also! The past week I guess has been fairly busy for our household with baking and getting organised. Christmas eve saw us all treading to the Carols By Candlelight at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl. Pity the weather wasn't very appreciative (I know we want the rain but couldn't it hold off for 2 more days?!?!?!). My brother also came 'home' from Sydney with his g/f so it was great to see the both of them again.... and to have someone to beat up.... mind you- having m&m's thrown at you in the pouring rain isn't all that fun :P. The carols were good, although Ray Martin was a bit of a dissapointment as whenever the ads (for TV) came on he would just walk off the stage and not 'entertain' us :(. By about 10:30 when the big downpour hit we had had enough of the cold and wet - so we packed up and came home. Christmas was very relaxing as we didn't have to rush off to my aunties for lunch this year, having just a quiet family lunch at home. Went to church in the morning and then had a relaxing late lunch/dinner. I did well this year, but I always enjoy 'giving' better as I like to see whether or not people like my presents :D. I got some clothes/jewellery, books, lipstick, chocolate and the usual stuff. Oh - and I got tickets to MISS SAIGON!!!!! Which I have been (subtly of course) dropping hints that I am dying to see it!!!! I love the music but since the musical has never been in Melbourne, i've never seen it. So I can't wait :D :D.

Boxing day saw us at the shops when we got up. I got a few things that I didn't really need, but were 'discounted' lol! No matter how hard I looked I couldn't find a giant teddy for Leo and 'Lacey' so unfortunately they missed out this year :(. Scott got them a bag of treats though *g*! My brother was most impressed with the little miss, although she wasn't so much with him... he was making funny noises and always seemed to be coming out from strange places.... oh and he always likes to gesticulate a lot so I guess that freaked her out a little.... nothing a bit of food couldn't fix :P. Went to see a movie on Boxing day as well (cheap a** Tuesday!) - Happy Feet - which was cute... saw this with Lily - Scotts g/f. Came home to then help Mum for another feast - all of her relatives coming over to celebrate xmas. Another few kilos to pile on as we feasted (did I ever mention that my mum is a great cook?!?!). In the end we all retired to bed with very full stomachs!

Yesterday Scott had a few of his friends over for lunch (another big meal - yep I have since gone up 3 dress sizes since xmas eve!). This was fun also, but I sorta flitted in and out, as I was also trying to clean up my room etc. I am sure Scott had heaps of fun catching up with his friends though. Lacey handled the situation well (lots of loud people outside etc)... she was a little shy, but happy to mingle amongst the crowd etc, just not too sure when 5 ppl at once tried to donk her on the head! Understandable! Well, my Brother ended up heading back to Sydney this morning, to catch a flight to Vietnam where he will be holidaying for 2.5wks.

All in all I had a great (but exhausting) few days and was meant to be enjoying a bludge infront of the TV today, but ended up infront of the computer instead (271 unread emails!!!!). I have been really impressed with how Lacey has handled everything... not to preturbed or anything. I took her to work today as I wanted to see how she would respond so that I know whether or not to bring her for a 'full' day next week when I return. She amazed me. She was fine with all of the funny noises, people walking funny etc. She was even fine with people patting her etc (I didn't think she would be as they tend to grab etc). She even did the same things that Leo does with a few of the residents which was amazing. So I have another therapy dog on my hands!!!! I'm so pleased at how well she handled it.

Ok - so now I come to my final decision (as if you didn't expect it already).... Lacey will be staying as a permanent member of our household. She is so sweet and everything I was looking for in a dog. Although she has a few things that I was concerned about they, in my mind have turned out to be nothing that I can't handle or that could/should affect our working career. She has handled this huge change to her life really well and the way that she and Leo get along is amazing. They share bones together, sleep together, walk really well together, play well together, yet at the same time have no issues with being separated :D. There are so many things going right that I don't think I could separate them (or me from her!)! I am still concerned about her response to people but it is 10fold better now and always on the improve.... I think it is just something that I have to keep rewarding her for etc. All in all I think she will be a great addition to our house, not to mention a FABULOUS agility and obedience dog as she thinks and is fast.... this is coming out more and more, as she becomes more comfortable... she is playing with toys more also. So watch out people - i'm going to have 2 dynamo dogs in the rings!!!! They are soo different though and I love each for their work ethic... Of course I haven't done much with Lacey yet, but Leo is so bouncy and enthusiastic with his work, but the things that I want to improve in him are in Lacey. She should be a great dog to do some clicker/shaping with!!! I can't wait to get started :P. As for her ears - if they go up, they go up... I'll try everything to keep them down, but honestly, so many other things are more important to me and I can *hopefully* handle Ana's dogs in the show ring or something if they do go up... at the moment agility/obedience is far more important since I can't breed from her until I move out of home, and at that time, it is likely i'll be ready for another dog then as I don't believe in letter her have her maiden at the age of 6-7.... Oh and the final thing - her name will be Kinta.... as soon as I can get my head around it :P. LOL! So please let me introduce you to our newest member:

Ellagant Full Of Antics - aka: Kinta out of Ellagant Mischief Maker by Gr Ch Leesway Smokin Ash. Future Agility, Obedience & Herding extrodinaire as well as regular beauty and spoilt pooch *ggg*!

Saturday, December 23, 2006



Firstly someone should take a camera away from me coz i'm forever snapping pics of the animals!!!! As for the post yesterday, I think I was over-reacting a little *blushes*.... like that isn't like me! But as people who know me well (or even not well) would know how hard it is for me NOT to get attached to a dog that is staying with me and I *really* like Lacey and hence want this to work out.... I honestly don't want to send her back or let anyone else have the privelidge of owning her!!!!

This is my kitty Monty for those who haven't seen him before. He is my first kitty, my first pet (even though we had a dog before, Monty was the first pet solely for me!). He is 7 years young and a devil at stages (hey Kylie!) and absolutely lovely at other times.... anyone heard of Jekyll and Hyde - thats him right there!! LOL! Monty also got his name from my favourite author -
L M Montgomery, who loved cats, especially grey ones :)

Pretty self explanatory - I just like it coz a second after the shot was taken, Monty gave Leo a head rub, which he reciprocated with a sloppy kiss *g*! Just goes to show dogs and cats do get along :). I like this shot of Leo moving around the yard - it was taken a while ago though!

Cute shot of Leo sound asleep on his mat inside..... didn't take Lacey long to understand that when the mat is out and she is on it she is NOT allowed off....
Now for the Madam:

Not a stack by any means but it turned out to be a nice shot of her anyway :)... note to self... really must start practicing acting like a show dog :P.

Awww puh-lease let me inside.... I promise I won't run riot and sit nice and calmly like this :).... uh yeah, sure you will!!!I just love this shot of her head!!!!! *melts*!

OMG - she *almost* looks grown up here - sooo dignified.... no fair... they grow up to fast as it is, and now I start in the middle of puppyhood :-(.

(are ya bored yet?!... No? Good!!!)
"So do we really have to stay on the mat???"

"Grrrr... its mine..." "no it's not.... it's mine!"

"C'mon give me a go!".... who said she wasn't interested in toys?!?!?!?!

Well i'm sure you have had enough of the 'photo gallery' now!!! Hope you enjoyed it :D.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Lacey update again.

Ok, I have good news and some not so good news! I had pretty much made up my mind to keep Lacey and that she wasn't going anywhere as her attitude toward training etc is really good, she is heaps of fun and she and Leo get along great - so great they can even eat bones together etc. Lacey has come along in leaps and bounds with meeting people also - she is now willing to interact (nothing like a bit of people = food to change her belief system back to what it was) and although she will not run up to people like Leo does, she is quite willing to say hello if the person instigates it or whatever. Basically she is a typical 'reserved' aussie showing neither fear nor agression but will not readily meet the person. Once she has met them once, she has no issues what-so-ever saying hello. I have been really lucky as the few times we have gone out (we've been laying fairly low coz I can't be bothered and the heat) we have come across people with interesting gaits, walker frames etc, and this is all fine by her. I'm really happy how she is coming along in that aspect.

She has also really come out of her shell from about Monday onwards, becoming a really confident, cheeky girl... who posesses quite the knack for gardening. Both Leo and Lacey (really, really have to change that if she stays!) play non-stop and literally need to be seperated to give the poor pup a rest (Leo is not tired so why should she be!). One evening I looked out the window in the kitchen to see what they were up to and saw the little black girl shoulder deep in one of mums pot-plants, soil tipped everywhere and a very gleeful look on the little madams face! Boy was she pleased of what she did! I have (so far - not crowing yet as i'm sure problems will arise!) had no issues with seperating them (although Lacey did find a way of getting to Leo through my 'puppy proof' fencing) and when i'm training one and the other is in the other half of the yard i've had no barking or hissy fits yet, which Aussies are renowned for! I went down to Main St yesterday and both were excellent (well my arm was tired from trying to get one dog away from greeting everyone and another from walking between my feet). Then went to watch a train go past which Leo is absolutely fine with but Lacey was a little bit worried about.... it then became a bit too much with people rushing everywhere, busses going past etc, that she eventually was soo absorbed by the environment that food was not interesting - she'd eat it if it was right under her nose, but not otherwise so i'm not sure if that was due to fear or just over stimulating environment. One thing for sure was that she wasn't comfortable, but her response wasn't excessive and a few more visits should make her ok with it all :).

Today took both dogs out to the front yard today to do some 'car washing' before the stage 3 restrictions. Brought out a stake to tie Lacey up on as I don't trust her yet and don't want anything to happen... especially when I can't watch her like a hawk when washing the car. Pressure hose came on and Lacey had the fright of her life. the response was much worse than the train station (but that could have been coz I wasn't with her to reward her etc). I completely forgot that the pressure hose may freak out the dogs - it scared Leo the first few times I brought it out and even now he hides under the safety of the garage (this is making me feel better now), but even then he has never responded like Lacey did. She did the same thing with food when I tried to reward her - unless it was under her nose she wouldn't take it.... if I threw it she wouldn't take it... now she isn't as food motivated as Leo but perhaps she has been taught not to nick food from the floor? Coz she never does take it from the ground (she doesn't lure either - must teach that!) so I really can't say if that was a stress response or just a 'i'm not eating off the ground response! Mind you, later on she would eat off the floor but I did have to coax her a little. I then had her walk up to the pressure hose (now off) and constantly rewarded her for acting calmly around it... no issues there, no skulking away or crouched position, trying to run etc. Then tied lead to belt clip whilst washing car and rewarded her constantly. Put away when pressure hose came on again. Came straight out afterward and walked her around pressure hose. this time (with remaining water in hose) i'd turn it on for like 1/2 sec, feed, turn on, feed etc. but although she seemed to be dealing with it she did seem scared when I then called her away from the spot - it was like she was glued there... this took sec or two and then she was fine.... So now I don't know if she is 'sound sensitive', if I'm over-reacting in my concern or whether I need to seriously consider if she stays or goes!!!!

What is my heart telling me - I want her to stay. Her nature is beautiful, she is a sweet cuddly, smart thing and oh so willing to please. My worries about her not playing with toys are fast vanishing as she is getting more and more eager each day to chase things and carry (the right) things in her mouth. Her people issue seems just about gone but she will always be more reserved than Leo. She will be a great agility/obedience dog when I have the energy of hers harnessed and she is more settled in and older to start 'serious' training etc. Basically she has all of the potential i'm looking for.

My head is telling me - I wanted a dog with no issues, no baggage... she was meant to be a confident little imp that fitted in within 24 hours and told me within the week in no uncertian terms that she was staying.... ok, slightly unrealistic as a dog making such a big a change as this (going from paddock and a dog of say around 10 to a dog of two in suburbia with multiple daily excursions and a VERY different lifestyle) was a HUGE change to expect her to fit right in. I know that Lacey has chosen me as her owner (ALWAYS wants to be on me and wherever I am, I now have two aussies in my lap.... sooo glad that now Leo is completely himself again and still loves his Ma!) but I don't want a dog that has soo many issues it will take me 2 years before we can even think about competing coz we have all these 'issues' to get over first... ok again, I may be exaggerating, but I always think of worst case scenario!!!!! Or what if something happens in the ring that makes her so scared she doesn't want to enter again.... you need a confident dog to do all sorts of trialling where one little mistake or big bang won't set them back for months if that makes any sense.... am I over-reacting and this is just a 'social' issue that will go away with a bit of exposure.... I want to know that if I make the final decision to keep her I won't regret it. The other half of me is saying that I had 'issues' with Leo too... just different ones. I had an over-exuberant, over-friendly ditz of a dog that couldn't concentrate for the first 12mths of his life because the whole world was a game. He had none of the issues of Lacey (although startle sounds still scare him) had/has but he also got soo furiously car sick that I couldn't drive him for 2 mins without throwing up - that would have ended our trialling career also (not much point if the dog feels soo crook they can't work!).... so I spent AGES (12+mths to be exact) getting him ok with the car and now he is pretty fine with it.... so am I just being silly and is Lacey the dog for me, or should I wait?!?!?!? I wish the answer was staring me in the face....

As for her showing ability, something else could go wrong should I wait on a pup aswell... what if their ears go up, or their movement goes out, or they have x wrong or y wrong... you never can tell so that doesn't bother me much.... I just want a confident, stable dog that I can take everywhere with me.... does it sound like she shouldn't be my dog?????

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

i've done 83 of the 142 dumbest things (Lacey pics at the bottom - just for incentive *g*)

Level 1

( ) Smoked a cigarette

( ) Smoked a cigar

( ) Tried weed

(X) Kissed a member of the same sex (it was truth-or-dare!)

(x) Drank Alcohol

So Far : 2

Level 2

( ) Are/Been in love (quite sad isn't it!)

( ) Been Dumped

( ) Shoplifted

( ) Been Fired

( ) Been in a fist fight

So Far : 2

Level 3

( ) Snuck out of a parents house

(x) Had feelings for someone who didnt have them back

( ) Been Arrested

(x) Made out with a stranger

( ) Gone out on a blind date

So Far : 4

Level 4

(x) Had a crush on an older person

( ) Skipped school (sad again!)

( ) Slept with a co-worker

(x) Seen someone/ something die

So Far : 6

Level 5

( ) Had a crush on one of your MySpace friends
(x) Been to Paris (hehe - I feel so well travelled.... who cares if it was with the oldies!)

(x ) Been to Spain (yep been there too.... for their 'christmas' too!)

(x) Been on a plane (unless I swam to Paris or Spain i'd guess that is a fairly obvious answer?)

( ) Thrown up from drinking (drinking what?!?! LOL!)

So Far : 9

Level 6

(x ) Eaten Sushi (really yum - my mum makes the best!)

( ) Been snowboarding/ skiing

( ) Met someone BECAUSE of MySpace

So Far : 10

Level 7

( ) Been in an abusive relationship

(x) Taken painkillers (for my wisdom teeth... didn't even need them!)

(x) Liked someone who you cant have

(x) Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by

(x) Made a snow angel (FIRST thing I did when we saw snow!)

So Far : 14

Level 8

(x) Had a tea party

(x) Flown a Kite

(x) Built a sandcastle

(x) Gone puddle jumping (good thing it doesn't ask how old you were when you did all of these!)

(x) Played dress up

So Far : 19

Level 9

(x) Jumped into a pile of leaves

(x) Gone sledding

(x) Cheated while playing a game

(x) Been lonely

(x) Fallen asleep at work/ school (hmmm... kylie wasn't this a daily event for me?!?!)

So Far : 24

Level 10

( ) Used a fake/ someone elses ID

(x) Watched a sunset (personally I think staying up on easter to watch the sunrise is much worse... Dawn service at church.... ugh!.... but then we also stayed up to watch the sunrise on NYD 2000)

( ) Felt an earthshake

( ) Killed a snake

So Far : 25

Level 11

(x) Been Tickled (I hate it - i'm so ticklish!)

( ) Been robbed/ vandalised

( ) Robbed someone

(x) Been misunderstood

( ) Pet a deer

So Far : 27

Level 12

( ) Won a contest

( ) Been suspended from school

( ) Had a detention (ok, how LAME is that!)

(x) Been in a car/motorcycle accident

So Far : 28

Level 13

(x) Had/ Have/ Getting braces

(x) Ate a whole pint of ice cream in one night (don't know how much a pint is, but probably!)

(x) Had deja vu

( ) Danced in the moonlight

So Far : 31

Level 14

(x) Hated the way you look

( ) Pole danced (not in your life!)

(x) Questioned your heart

(x) Been obsessed with Post-It notes (sadly yes, when there is so little to keep me amused at work....!)

So Far : 34

Level 15

(x) Squished barefoot through the mud

(x) Been lost (Kylie I hope you ticked this answer in yours!!!!)

(x) Been to the opposite side of the world (wow I feel so special *g*!)

(x) Swam in the ocean / Gulf

( ) Felt like you were dying

So Far : 38

Level 16

(x) Cried yourself to sleep

(x) Played cops and robbers

(x) Recently coloured with crayons/ coloured pencils/ markers

(x) Sang karaoke (hmm... kylie we should do that again after a few drinks.......)

(x) Paid for a meal with only coins

So Far : 43

Level 17

(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldnt

(x) Made prank phonecalls (something along the lines of "hi, just rang to say can't talk right now... bye!"... nah but I have done actual pranks too!)

(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose

( ) Kissed in the rain

So Far : 46

Level 18

(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus (you mean... he's not real?!?!?!)

( ) Been kissed under a mistletoe

( )Watched the sunset with someone you care/ cared about

(x) Blown bubbles

( ) Made a bonfire on the beach

So Far : 48

Level 19

( ) Crashed a party

(x) Have travelled more than 5 days in a car

(x) Gone rollerskating / Blading

(x) Had a wish come true

( ) Been humped by a monkey (huh?! - i'd be worried if anyone said yes to this :P)

So Far : 51

Level 20

(x) Worn pearls

( ) Jumped off a bridge

(x) Swam with dolphins (technically.... they didn't show up.... but I did pat one!)

So Far : 53

Level 21

(x) Got your tongue stuck to a pole / freezer/ Ice cube
( ) Kissed a fish

(x) Worn the opposite sex's clothes

(x) Sat on a rooftop

So Far : 56

Level 22

(x) Screamed at the top of your lungs (memorable moment would be yr 10 camp, middle of nowhere, 20kg packs, pouring rain.... wet, miserable and grumpy.... about 5 of us just SCREAMED for the hell of it.... felt much better after!)

(x) Done/ attempted a one handed cartwheel

( ) Talked on the phone more than 6 hours

(x) Stayed up all night

So Far : 59

Level 23

( ) Picked and ate an apple right off the tree

(x) Climbed a tree

(x) Had/ Been in a tree house

(x) Been scared to watch scary movies alone

So Far : 62

Level 24

(x) Believe in ghosts

( ) Have / Had more than 30 pairs of shoes

( ) Gone streaking

( ) Gone to jail / or just visited

So Far : 63

Level 25

( ) Played chicken

(x) Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on

( ) Broken a bone

(x) Been easily amused (isn't that me always?!)

So Far : 65

Level 26

(x) Caught a fish then ate it (well I did cook it first!)

( ) Made a porno video
( ) Caught a butterfly

(x) Laughed so hard you cried (many...many times :P)

(x) Cried so hard you laughed

So Far : 68

Level 27

(x) Mooned / flashed someone

(x) Had someone moon / flash you (and then fart while mooning me :P)

(x) Cheated on a test

(x) Forgotten someones name

(x) Slept naked

( ) French braided someones hair
(x) Gone skinny dipping

( ) Been kicked out of your house

So Far : 74

Level 28

(x) Rode a rollercoaster

(x) Went scuba diving / snorkelling

( ) Blackmailed someone

(x) Been blackmailed

So Far : 77

Level 29

(x) Been used

(x) Fell going up the stairs

( ) Licked a cat

(x)Bitten someone

(x) Licked someone

So Far : 81

Level 30

( ) Been shot

( ) Flattened someones tires

(x) Rode your car until your gas light came on - As to Kylie's comment... YES I would have said something!!!!!!
(x ) Got five pounds or less worth of gas - technically yes since 5 pounds is $12.50AUD!

Total : 83

Ok Amanda - I want to see your responses to this and the other one I posted up a few posts ago.... consider it TAG'd *g*!

As for those wanting to hear about Lacey - everything is going much better, she is getting really confident now and i'm not sure if that is a good thing or not!! Leo is still al little put out at times but is starting to tell her off if she gets too much (she can bug him at times and push him away when he wants a pat!). Lacey is also getting more confident around others, occasionally seeking out the attention of strangers.... in all honesty..... I don't think she is going anywhere else, but I want a few more days before I make my final decision :p.... I just want to know that she is ok with strangers etc. Otherwise she is pretty perfect and the way that the two of them have adapted to each other has gone much better than I thought. Amanda - Ana has entered us in shows all through Jan... I have them written down somewhere - but there is one mid month at the Park.

And a pic:

Saturday, December 16, 2006

photos and the first few days with Lacey

It has been a very hectic few days although I didn't do much today :P...... well other than playing with the dogs. I am still incredibly anxious at the moment as I really don't want to get too attached so that I can make a 'sensible' decision, but it is honestly getting harder and harder to do! Well, I picked her up by 10am on Friday and she behaved really well (and looked spunky clean!). She is such a people dog wanting to get into your skin and always be touching you one way or another - a true velcro dog (and I thought Leo was!). Unfortunately Friday turned out to be MUCH busier than I anticipated and I think that threw Lacey out a little bit today. When I first took her to the car she was a little bit unsure but the great thing about her is that she recovers quickly. It is like she assesses the situation and then decides she can deal with it. Anyways I was waiting for a friend to turn up, and played a little with Lacey in the park behind the carpark.. she is one sharp puplet learning things very quickly so i'm going to have to be on my toes to keep up with her!!! She is also super, super bouncy so a great agility dog too :D. I actually had to hang around for a while in Pakenham so I ended up taking her down the Main st. Although a little scared, she coped with it very well. I then took her into a friends pet shop (don't worry, this friend is very UTD with everything - she did the dog training course with me) which again she was a little nervy about but was playful and interested in all of 2 mins, so a very good recovery. Then I had to go for an unplanned visit to Cranbourne to meet up with said friend (haha - notice I haven't mentioned what happened :P), so Lacey spent a little longer out than what I intended... she was very well behaved and confident at Kylie's house and not at all cautious or nervy really, so I was incredibly impressed. However, due to meeting another friend in the arvo, and Lacey constantly tangling herself in the car, I had to take her with me (stopping at home for all of 10 mins) to Templestowe in the late arvo. I went to get her a harness from the pet shop (another scary place, but nice people to come and pat me) and she stayed at Sarah's house for a bit and again easily fitted in with Sarah's dogs.... such an easily adjusted dog!!!! Eventually made it home at 7:30pm and we both flomped!!!! It was waaaay more than I intended to put into one day and I think that lead a little to the 'issues' or rather 'concerns' that came up today.

Lacey seemed a little aprehensive this morning when Mum & Dad came outside, doing a 'Murphy style' greeting... walking up, staying out of arms reach, submissive posture and a bit of a grumble.... this suprised me as she didn't seem like the type of dog to do this, being so confident when I met her. After a few mins, she recovered, but on our morning walk she did the same with any person that walked by. Again, after a few mins, she wasn't readily seeking out pats but was accepting them quite happily (waggily stump and all *g*!). The only reason I can think for this behaviour is the fact that yesterday was all so overwhelming and today everything has just sunk in and she is not sure about anything... she snuggled up to me all day, whenever she had the chance so on that scale of things it is still ok. Another thing that leads me to believe she is a little aprehensive is that she doesn't really want to play with toys... she won't chase them when thrown (I really want her to), but I think this will be overcome once she is more comfortable.... when we were playing with Leo she would eventually chase him with the toy and then they would chase whoever had the toy and she would also grab toys off the floor etc... so there is hope yet *g*!

The ears are still an issue as when she tilts her head back slightly or the wind catches them, they both go pricked but the right ear is worse than the left. So on that aspect I really have to sit down and consider how dissapointed i'll be if I couldn't show her.... try as we might to correct the ears (trust me I'll try everything)... From my perspective I think it is better to consider the worst case scenario and see how I would feel about that! All afternoon she has been getting more and more confident, but I haven't done anything other than let her sleep (after yesterday, who can blame her!) and having lots of cuddles. Leo has been a little put out and won't come up to me if she weasles her way in when i'm talking to him. This is breaking my heart as I hate to see him act like this... makes me feel sooo guilty! But he also has been becoming more like himself as the day goes on and the two of them are getting along like a house on fire. I've been encouraging Leo over while i'm patting Lacey, but if he puts on the 'sulks' I ignore him, if that makes sense... but I want him to know he and Lacey can be patted together. I am sure he will be fine in a few days as he usually does this whenever another dog comes over for an 'extended' stay. After he realises they aren't going anywhere he then proceeds to 'tell them off' should they get too pushy which is fine with me. I did take him out on his own this afternoon though and since then he has been a lot happier. Geez this is a long post but there was a lot to tell!!! Basically my main concerns at the moment is the sudden 'people shy' behaviour, which seems sooo unnatural 1) for Ana's pups and 2) from what we saw at Ana's place... so i'm hoping against hope that she returns to that bouncy, bubbly, run up to anyone puppy!!! The other concern is the ears as I really have to decide how i'll feel if they do go up!

Ok now for some photos!!!! (you deserve them after reading through all of that!)

To show how well the two of them get on already!

The 'bat eared dog'.... what she looks like if she tilts her head back!!!!!

I just 'had' to add this pic in - taken today... notice she is holding her ears lower...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Enough about dogs - now lets have some fun!

Firstly - sorry Kylie; they were too good NOT to nick from you!

1. I've come to realize that my ex...umm yeah lets not go there
2. I am listening to...nothing, but i've been listening to an awful lot of "Wicked" the musical lately (Sad I know but that's me)!
3. I talk...a hell of a lot - once I get started I don't stop. I think I rival the Gilmore Girls.... I definately beat you Kylie.... and when we are together, I think we talk about as much sense as the Gilmore Girls LMAO!
4. I love... competing and training my dog/s.... any dog for that matter!
5. My best friend(s)...are few and far between, tough to find but the best people in the world!
6. My first kiss...i'd rather not talk about it..... has been erased from memory... i'm soo ashamed :P
7. I wish I was...not so confused with my life and knew which direction I was going!
8. I don't like it when people...think i'm weird because of my interests and ride me off as someone to talk to / hang around with.
9. True love...must be wonderful for those lucky buggers who manage to find it (I second that!)
10. Marriage is...far...FAR in my future.... but hopefully will come one day!
11. Somewhere someone is thinking...that farts are the funniest things on earth (sorry im in a weird mood!)
12. I'll dog mad and a 'love me, love my dog' person
13. I have a secret crush on.. no-one in the moment unless I could have a crush on someone 70+ *g*! The number of 'available' guys in my life at the moment is *v-e-r-y* limited
14. The last time I cried was because...I can't remember, but it wouldn't have been that long ago and it would have been over something silly. I never cry when things REALLY hurt, but usually over petty things!
15. My cell phone...boring, small and sitting next to me!
16. When I wake up in the morning...I try hard to go back to sleep but know that I *can't* be late for work... AGAIN!
17. Before I go to sleep at night...I hope and pray for the good things in my life to continue and the troubling things to improve
18. Right now I am thinking life..... and Lacey coming home!
19. Babies are...confusing.... I love them but I don't know if i'd ever make a good mother... I don't like to 'coo' over other peoples babies either, but I like them enough!
20. I get on myspace...not really relevant since i'm NOT on myspace, but i'm on the blogger thing so people can be up to date with my weird and zany ways!
21. Today I...went to work, had fun with my dog (who came to work today), came home and did nothing much
22. Tonight I will...perhaps watch TV or maybe go to sleep!
23. Tomorrow I will...bring Lacey home and spend all of my spare time with her!
24. I really hook me a russell.....find the *perfect* job for me that will still allow me time to train my own dogs and enjoy it.... basically be happy in life and have someone to share it with (yeah, sure, keep dreaming!)

Ok - i'll do the other half another day!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More Lacey news

Hi Again :)

Well I went to visit Miss Lacey last night again.... with Leo this time. Geez once we are there I can waste sooo much time! Dad tagged along this time rather than Mum (who isn't feeling terribly good!). My impression of her was just as good as last time. She met Leo and though a little shy at first, she quickly recovered and spent the whole time playing 'chasey' with him in the back paddock.... Leo thought it was the best coz she couldn't catch him. He still needs to learn to be a little more gentle, but I think that will come with time. Lacey is a really big smooch and loved to give kisses everyone and boy can she jump!!! She has springs in her feet, although she doesn't slam into you like Leo does :P. The funniest thing happened too - whenever she stopped running, she would flomp at my feet instead of anyone elses. Boy does she LEAN! LOL! So the long and short is that I didn't have to go home and re-think as she made it quite clear to me that I wanted her to come back with me *g*!

My concerns:

I'm still concerned with how much she has been exposed to. She *seems* super confident but I don't know how much of that will disappear once she leaves home turf. I also don't think she has met many other dogs other than Aussies and borders. So how will she react to different breeds. I don't think this will be a huge issue as she knows how to communicate with dogs clearly (ie: been around them for ages) but I don't know what she will think of 'strange' dogs. Will she behave differently or just be a little shy at first. How much of this 'lack of social' will backfire on me later when she is older????? This I guess is my major concern. The other one would be different environments.... how is she going to respond to strange noises, trains, trucks and our daily suburban life.... trucks running past etc,etc. People and her interaction i'm not concerned about... but I guess I just won't know until I have had her for two weeks and 'shown her the world'.... Amanda - wanna meet up in the city one day in the next 2 weeks????

Other than that I also got to play with the younger pups again who were a LOT more active than last time when they were always ready for a nap.... they were zooming around everywhere having an 8-way tug-o-war, barking, growling and carrying on!!! Was an absolute hoot. I did have a chuckle to myself though coz the black girl that was 'potentially' mine... kept running up to me for cuddles... so even if she was available, I would have chosen her!!!! LOL!

Aside from dogs i'm having a pretty crap day today with people coming at me left, right and centre, photocopiers chucking hissy fits and just all round having a BAD day. Off to the ballet tonight so that should be good!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Lacey comes home on Friday

Well I made my decision!!!!!!!! I'm really excited by it now :D. Lacey is coming for a trial period over xmas. I am going up to see her again tomorrow (with Leo this time) and then will bring her home on Friday and will spend 2 wks with her to decide whether she stays or goes back to Ana. I feel like i've made the right choice and after talking to a whole bunch of people they don't think i'll have to much trouble with her and should just 'try her on for size'. I just really hope it works... and even with missing out on the puppy cuteness, there are still plenty of pups around that I can cuddle (nudges Amanda!!) and lets face it Amanda, we have to catch up over summer, if not for the puppy social rather than anything else *g*! On the flip side I also do feel really bad about taking Lacey coz she has been living with Ana & Ben for 5 mths and I know that they would be really attached to her already..... evil, evil me!!! And then comes the thought of 'name changing'... Lacey doesn't really suit me, and i'm not that much a fan of alliteration so I don't really want Leo & Lacey :P. Silly I know.... and then - she won't really feel like my dog unless I named her...... So atm, i'm tossing between Stacey (big change I know, but it will be easier on her... and I like the name!) or Kinta. But can you chance a 5mth old's name???? Ok, ok I know, I have to get through the 2wks first to see if she fits - and trust me, i'll be able to say no if she doesn't... I know I will :D :D

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I'm so confused!!!!

Ok, so the story has changed a little re: puppies. Went to see the litter last night. Turns out that there is only one show girl in the litter and she has turned out so well, the breeder is fairly certain they are keeping her :(. So my other option (atm, other than waiting for another litter) is Lacey who is a 5mth old wild child female..... GORGEOUS black tri and although Leo's niece, takes more after her sire's lines in head. Here is a pic of her:

She is a stunning wild child of a dog that will do brilliantly in obedience and agility and just really struck me when I met her last night. She is full of beans, but controllable, very alert and attentive to people. She is also a real sweetie that loves cuddles and such (all of this found out in 1/2 hour.... geez i'm good?!). So where is the problem you ask??? Well.... I have a few worries... one being that her ears will stick up - she has 'high set' ears but since I want her for showing that would be a BAD thing to happen, particularly considering I won't be getting another dog for at least another 6 years! Second thing i'm worried about is her age - she seems as an incredibly confident girl and I am told she is fearless and literally bomb-proof....and boy does she seem it! But what if she turns out to be more of a handful than expected???? I trust my breeders opinion and they don't think that she is too much for me but i'm just so worried that i'll get attached, she'll come into my life and then something like pricked ears or psycho puppy will emerge and I won't be able to part with her. What else..... I miss the puppy cuteness!!! LOL! But when I saw her last night, I just looked at her and thought you're it, you're exactly what I want, and how often will you come across a dog well suited for agility, obedience and showing all in one package???? How am I to decide???? I am planning on taking her for a couple of weeks that I took off to care for my pup to see how she fits in instead.... surely by two weeks we'll know whether she is suited to us or not.... I just hope and pray tht I will make the right decision!!!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Whew! What a weekend!!!!! Where should I start?!?!?!

Lets see - on Wednesday we had our last training for the year in Agility (CDODC having finished earlier, and Agiltiy at croydon finishing on Tue). Another great run by Leo - I think we are finally working really well as a team now and he is listening/ focusing on me more, picking up speed and usually NOT going to the wrong obstacle (note usually!). I've been having great fun with him and I think we are going to be a great team next year! I also recieved some suprising news.... we have been passed up to class 5 in agility which I was immensley proud about! Class 4 is Novice level and since we haven't even been trialling yet, I thought we'd still be in this class for a while! So I am very proud!!!! yahoo!!!!!

Saturday Leo and I trekked down to LaTrobe Uni (Bundoora) for Warringal's agility trial. I wanted to watch the new games in action as well as to get Leo measured. Well we achieved both but I was a little dissapointed with our measured height as we have to jump the highest... 600mm.... bugger! Although I usually wouldn't mind, because Leo is borderline, it makes it a fraction harder for him, being inbetween the heights. This means that we may slow down a little, but my main worry is stressing his joints too much! Ah well! Just means i'll have to run him a little conservatively! I honestly can't wait to start competing in the new year. They also had a Chiro at the trial doing free checks, and I am pleased to announce that she had a quick look at Leo and said he is fine. Hip and all!!! yay! Equal weight on both legs (apparently only a few dogs could do this - shows how many owners miss the beginning signs!) etc, etc. This is a huge relief for me as I still worry over his leg, but have been soo impressed with it since our last visit to the Chiro.

Sunday we went down to the ASCV xmas breakup at Gembrook. I had to go the 'long way' (via pakenham) since I had 2 dogs in the car and Leo doesn't/ didn't travel that well so I didn't want to take them through the windy mountain roads! Was a good day and we got to see our puppies!!!!!!!!! I'm trying sooo hard not to get my hopes up yet, but oh they are sooo CUTE!!! 6 wks old now and I am hoping against hope that there is one little girl in there for me. I didn't get a long cuddle or anything because there were kids in with them all the time (excellent social) and I didn't wanna kick them out! LOL! I did stay around though until after the comittee meeting when the gang had a look at the pups and how they are turning out. It seems that there are about 3 boys looking hopefull and 2 girls. One girl I really like the markings on... full white blaze/muzzle and white feet (but not a full front)... tiny splash of white on the neck. She was sweet too... very kissy :P. As for their drive etc, I honestly don't know as they were all so tired by the time I got to them, having been cuddled to death by the kiddies :). One was a little devil, but she wasn't one of the 'show quality' ones :(. I forgot my camera AGAIN, so no piccies, but if you click here here and scroll down to 'ELLAGANT' you can see the group shot. Leo was really well behaved at the fun day and we even did a mini agility demo (we buggered up major, I lost him at the end *g*!) and we won 'best trick' (senior division *g*!).

Our stay practice has been coming along really well so far. He has been holding sits in situations where he really wants to go and run (with other dogs) such as sitting while dogs are hooning (and I mean hooning, coz owners don't know i'm training!) around him as well as coming up to sniff... there usually isn't much distance between me and him, but it is getting the understanding of 'stay' there which is more important. He also is veeery good at holding his stays wit me cooing around and trying to entice him up (lots of 'pup, pup, puppy' calling, squeaking balls, crouching down, patting my leg etc). Been doing resistance training as well and he always gives me a look as if to say "not in your life!"... so all of this is making his stays look promising but I got him to hold a stay at Warringal while having lunch and he went to lie down *sigh*!.... The only reasoning I can give for this is that he 'assumed' that he wasn't in a stay and went to lie down to get comfortable (my attention wasn't completely on him).... once I told him 'uh-uh' he quickly sat up again and held it no worries.... keep practicing I guess!

I have a busy year planned for next year coming (I can't believe it is xmas time already!!!). I really want to get stuck into obedience & agility in a big way for Leo. I worked out last night that I would really like to achieve 7 titles with him next year! Sounds a lot but I think it is manageable - even without trialling every weekend ie: plenty of puppy free time and time to show puppy also! Here is a list of what I want to achieve:

CCD - Community Companion Dog
CD - Companion Dog

AD - Agility Dog
JD - Jumping Dog
SD - Snooker Dog
SPD - Strategic pairs dog (if I can find a partner)

HT - herding test.

I think that this is achievable, and I would really like to get CD, AD, JD the most. I have a whole new perspective really on trialling now and am just out there to have fun again as I felt I was getting a tad to competitive with myself and thus, getting too stressed about the trials (mucking us up even more!) as well as being incredibly dissapointed when we didn't get there! I have one more obed trial for the year, and i'm trying to keep in the mindframe that I am currently in - if we pass, we pass, if we don't, who cares?! LOL! But hopefully i'll be able to introduce everyone to Ellagant Full O Mischief CD AD JD SPD SD HT next year! Whew, What a name! Hopefully!!! I also hope that in a few weeks i'll be able to introduced you to midget 'Ellagant something or rather'!! LOL! Then i'll have pics!!! I've been reading up on 'show training' (Thanks Amanda!) in the meantime and practicing on Leo!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Future flyball dog in the making!

I had a great day yesterday at Croydon for their Xmas breakup. Classes all ran at 9:30 and then we finished at 10 for some fun and games. Agility, flyball, lure coursing, rally-O etc was all set up for the dogs and handlers to have a go. I only did flyball and lure coursing. Would have liked to have a go at rally-O but never actually got there! Leo decided both flyball and lure coursing were fun to say the least and i'm sure he wouldn't mind having a go at it. I was told that I *must* sign Leo up for flyball! We had a good laugh at the poor guy. Most people were just walking their dogs over the jump but coz leo has done agility I got to leave him at one end and call him over the jumps. Leo had a blast and finished it at top speed (yep, fast coz he slammed into my knees!). So they decided to test him out again and put the ball infront of the box, showed Leo, we let him go and he FLEW through the jumps, about turned and FLEW back over the jumps to me! Was very amusing and I don't think either of us believed that he did it first off. Needless to say that Leo was very proud of himself. Hopefully we will be able to do this over summer when the Rockets keep up their practice either on Wed/Fri nites or Sat mornings. I'd really like to give it a go.... well flyball and herding and freestyle all ontop of obedience & agility.... did I mention that I was wanting to do this all with dog no 2 also... along with conformation! Whew!!! Right thats it, no more work... i'll just train my dogs instead!! Who wants to fund me doing this?!?!?! Anyone....

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Photos, Puppies & the rest!

Well first things first - Aussie Specialty photos!!

Thanks to Amanda and Michelle respectively for these piccies of my boy! There is no way I could have taken a pic just as good! You can also click here for some more piccies from the specialty! These were taken with another camera by me and I just got them today from Tracey whose camera I used. Leo's training has been going really well this week. We have been working on some distraction stuff (voting day wasn't all that useless after all!) with lots of kids on bikes, balls bouncing etc.... also changing the context to the stay. It seems to be working but I know that there is still a lot of work to do! Our heeling has also been getting a bit of practice and the past few days he has improved also. I tell you what - I am now of the idea that you can certianly 'overtrain' your dog as by giving him a bit of a breather inbetween practices sorta helps him to digest what we are doing as well as become more enthused when we actually do work. Dog number 2 will certianly help with this IMO.

Took Leo out for a walk (don't worry we usually do this 2xdaily!) yesterday with Sarah and her mutts. They had a ball but I was in stitches watching Leo amble around with these two. You let him off the lead and he can't believe his luck being allowed to play with other dogs. Then he follows them like a little kid not sure of what the game is but running because the other dogs are (ball was being thrown but Leo didn't see).... later Murphy was wondering about marking trees etc.... again Leo was being the little kid tailgaiting Murphy with the expression "whatcha doin?!".... was quite funny to see actually! Boy yesterday was MAD though. Got up late, went to NDTF to sign some papers (so yes, now I am a qualified full fledged dog trainer!!!), proceeded across the street to get haircut (time:10:30am) waited around for at least 1 hr or more until I got my haircut (very annoyed at this point, luckily I brought a book!).... ended up leaving at 12noon and I was meeting Sarah at 1pm 20mins away from me but in the other direction to where I was, and I had to squeeze lunch in there at some point! argh! Also ended up running late for Jewellery party in Cranbourne that night coz I forgot how much organising I had awaiting me at home that needed to be done before going out! LOL! Jewellery party ended up being really good - got a few bits and pieces.... they seemed really good quality etc... and I got sucked in to book a party of my own :P.... well I did see quite a few pieces that I thought mum would like so it didn't seem like a bad idea!!!! Ended up coming home later than expected and flomped into bed!

Today was another pottering about, lazy day which was good, but not as lazy as I would have liked! Went to see puppies again (skye x ben) as other breeder was not free this weekend (after ASCV breakup... finally!!!!). These guys are 7wks old now and oh so CUTE!!! There is nothing like watching 7 gorgeous puppies zooming around the yard like hooligans! The black tri bitch that was standing out last time I saw them, was still catching my eye and repeatedly coming up to say hello - very people orientated! I was honestly interested in her, but found out that she was promised to a family in Tassie :(. Turns out she isn't quite as good conformation wise as Tracey would like and for a foundation bitch wouldn't be suitable *sobs*. But having said that her temperament was perfect! I now officially can't wait to see Ana's litter next week (I think they will be 5-6wks old then) and hopefully there will be something conformation and temperament wise that suits! Was thinking about it today and realised that I honestly wouldn't mind if I got another 'Leo' as a pup in terms of activity level.... in fact i'd be quite happy.... I mean you couldn't ask for a better adjusted, better tempered dog and it is fantastic to have a dog that will flomp on your feet while you watch TV and be perfectly happy, yet when you take out and about is go, go, go. Also thinking about it I think that in terms of a dog 'thinking' for itself, looking for something to do and being 'smart' comes down a lot to how and what you train. If you teach a pup to think for itself (which this one will and Leo never did) then they will grow up always looking for something to do. Of course genetics does play a role, but I think environment and early learning plays a very big role too. So hopefully there will be a pup for me in the litter i'm seeing next weekend!!!!

Tomorrow is the last training day for CDODC. I am sorta looking forward to the break, but I guess our break won't start until after the 10th Dec which is our last trial for the summer. I really hope we get the title at this one, but I am trying not to think about it as that will just put too much stress on me again. But in all honesty, I think we will succeed given the fact that already he is more confident in his stays and we certianly aren't going to stop practicing now!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Let the puppy come!

Another rather eventful weekend! I have officially started applying for jobs but as to how successful they will be that is another story! I just hope I find one that I'll enjoy. I have already got a few replies saying that I don't have the qualifications, but they were expected simply because I require 'sales experience' etc. Worth trying though, and i'll just keep applying/ calling agencies until I get a 'heads up' I guess! Not really bothered if I don't get one before xmas or a little later though.... just so long as in the near future i'll have something.

Well my bank balance is officially crying poor! I have spent until i'm blue in the face the past few weeks - mainly on puppy things that I didn't realise I needed and was shocked at how much it would have added up to! Well truth be told I did need it to do what I wanted with our yard. I put up the partitioning yesterday just to see if/how it worked and I was quite impressed with the results. It is sturdy enough given that the dogs shouldn't be jumping on the pen (they won't be popular if they do!), but if they do, or if they bang into it it should only rock a little! So everything is set up and each dog should have ample shelter, water, sleeping quaters etc,etc. Don't worry, my poor tykes will still have plenty of time to hoon and play with each other but I just want to make sure that no 'accidents' happen when no one is supervising! I am proud of it though, and glad that it works as well as I thought it would!

Didn't get to see any puppies this weekend despite trying to contact said breeder :(. Everytime I rang her - she was out and vice versa! LOL! Saturday arvo/night involved another trial for me which was unsuccessful again. I was initially really dissapointed about this because Leo works SO well in the first half and just can't hold the darn stays. I actually thought we had passed until I returned to him and realised he was a little further ahead of the start peg. This really was disheartening coz he heald a really difficult stay (dogs broke around him and got up) but that is trialling for you. On the drive home I realised that the more I dwelled on the fails and not just took them in our stride, the more I wouldn't enjoy Obedience (don't get me wrong I love it!) and the more i'd be chasing the sashes/titles rather than just going out there and having some fun..... coz afterall that is why we do it isn't it! So like I do when I train dogs I have to start looking more at the positives of our performance rather than the problems. Don't get me wrong, I need to see the problems also so that we can improve on them and make our work better, but I just shouldn't dwell on them and kick myself over them. So that is my new philosophy and all the 'bitterness' of the weekends trial has gone out of it and I still had fun!! LOL! The more I stress, the harder it would be to win I guess (my heart was in my mouth!).

So I found out some things I need to work on over the 'summer':

*heeling under heavy distraction - generally all round proofing; he does it but can tend to loose concentration so we need to work on this.

*make sure he doesn't anticipate the recall..... he almost looked like he did on Sat, so prevention is better than letting it happen!

* the drated stays. Gotta make sure he thinks stays are the best place to be EVER! This means lots of food, lots of reassurance, resistance training ('tempting' him to break and rewarding when he doesn't... ie: pressure on collar forward, he pulls back, patting leg, me crouching down and make it look like i'm about to call him.... make funny noises that entice him to come (all without saying his name) etc, etc)... all of this he has done before, but not for ages and we really need to build his confidence up that stay is exactly what I want. We did some of this on Sat/Sun and I think he'll pick this up quickly. He'll get BIG rewards for the stays also (i'm talking chicken carcasses, meaty bones, pigs ears etc) just to keep pairing stays with good things! I'll also do stays in all situations (his drop stays are excellent here) whenever we are out in busy situations etc. I'll work on both sit and drop as his drop stay is starting to get a little fidgety also!!!

I had a class again on Sunday and it was quite fun again although coz of the heat is was a little hard to keep them (owners and puppies) motivated. It didn't really help that there were two Keeshounds in the class and they were STIFLING! Poor guys! But I do like this class and they seem to enjoy it also which is the main thing!

So I'm all ready for the puppy to come whenever they are ready LOL! Hopefully i'll get to see them this weekend at some stage, so if I do you'll be hearing all about that!

Monday, November 13, 2006

The joys of puppy breath!!!!!!

Haha - it has turned out to be quite an eventful weekend :D! But I am officially a broke lady!! LOL! I went out again on friday to do some shopping for bits and bobs (I swear coming back from holidays and re-stocking is expensive not to mention all of these puppy things!!!)..... so if anyone wins tattslotto in the near future can you please gimme half *smiles pretty*?!?!??! I re-stocked Leo's 'meat supply' on Friday and spent the whole afternoon mixing, packaging and cutting up his Mince and dog treats for training..... I also had a whole bunch of carcasses - the ones from Leonards must be on hormones because they were HUGE!!! LOL! I kinda 'over estimated' how big our freezer was though and it is kinda a little stuffed now..... not ideal when xmas is coming and mum probably needs the space *blushes*!

Saturday I spent the entire day out with Kylie shopping (ok, probably not the best choice when you are trying to budget, but we couldn't think of anything else to do)! Well I thought of an ulterier motive of searching for xmas/birthday presents - came out with a few ideas, but didn't buy anything yet. We did go shopping in the city which was very exciting considering I had to drive! I am so proud of myself - navigating around the city :D! Unfortunately though we did find the worlds most expensive car parking area :-O - but with the Myer windows unveiling (forgot that was on when we planned this!) I didn't want to circle around and we went straight in. Of course walking around the city after that meant that we kept passing parking for half the price of what we paid :(. We were going to stay in the city for dinner also but by around 4:30 we were all shopped out and not all that hungry so headed home. Ended up bludging infront of the tele for the rest of the nite. Was good fun, with the exception of the DVD player chucking a hissy and deciding that it would not play Wimbledon for me (nope Kylie it still wont...grrr... all that talk about your DVD player not working must have transferred!).... So we had to settle for watching something else instead!

Sunday actually turned out also to be a busy day - I had training in the morning - Leo did well but again didn't seem all together comfortable in his stays. First sit-stay he held but had a scratch midway, and also thought about lying down but decided against it..... So I thought i'll let him do another one - he was going much better, but a dog broke next to him (to get to agility) and stood right next to his nose.... he tried to resist but after about 5 seconds couldn't handle it any longer and broke also :(:( - what do you do if that happens in a trial anyway?!?!? Unfortunately I couldn't repeat the stays because I had to run off and take my class. But of course before I did all of this I got to sit down and cuddle Amanda's gorgeous Hope while she was training Sierra (hahahaha)..... I swear i'm going to stalk you two (Amanda & Nic) until I get my own....hmm... then i'll still probably stalk you!

I have been listed to do an 11am puppy class which started on Sunday. It was tonns of fun and I really enjoyed myself. I got through everything and didn't feel that I rushed or missed anything out -much easier when they are coming from puppy preschool. I even had time at the end to go through general problem solving for puppy problems which I like to do at the end of class as usually everyone is fighting with the same issues! They seemed to appreciate that! I honestly enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would - I guess the break has made training all fun again :).

Went from Croydon to the blue cross open day - this was quite good and a bit of fun, but only stayed for a few hours. Leo of course got the usual comments "oh what type of mix is that", "what a stunning dog".... but there was a fellow Aussie owner/ breeder there so there were also quite a few that knew Aussies which was a nice change. Got talking to Tracey (breeder, Elzcot Aussies) and ended up having an impromptu visit to her place for some puppy breath. She has 7 puppies (4 gals, 3 lads) sired by Leo's dad (Ch Tajwen Divine Indulgence CD) and a HevnSent girl Skye (HevnSent......*insert here*... angel ). The puppies were gorgeous (aren't all puppies?!) and I really liked a few of the girls (typical me, I was told that these were the 2 picks at the moment :P)..... Interest in this litter because both parents are very drivey, fizzy dogs which is what i'm looking for, but because they are an outcross from Leo's lines i'm really interested to see how they turn out. As fate would have it, the mother of the pups, Skye is actually litter sister to the mother of the last HevnSent litter that was bred when I was looking for Leo (Bridget's mum).... definately keeping my eye on this lot... but how do you choose which dog is the right one for you???? Hopefully i'll get to see these pups again as they get older and also go and see Ana's litter.

Well that is my weekend. Busy, busy, busy - but of course all in the name of fun, which is what it should be! Now that i've tasted puppy breath I am quite excited about my puppy coming along, but as to where/who from or even when, I honestly don't know! So long as it has the right temperament and attitude to what I want!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bad, evil thoughts......

Hiya guys,

Well a not so good ending to an otherwise relatively good *long* (with the exception of working yesterday) weekend! I can't remember where I left off my last post. I had an absolute ball at the Aussie Specialty on Saturday. It was great to see so many Aussies all in one place, as well as cheering on Leo's 'lil brothers and sisters. I also got my puppy fix (Thanks Amanda!) but unfortunately every time I tried to walk away with the gorgeous puppy I got busted :(. I still have my fingers crossed for good pups out of the litter i'm waiting on - hopefully there will be the *perfect* puppy there for me (female puh-lease!)! I had Leo entered in the de-sexed sweepstakes at the show and we came 2nd out of 3 dogs - not bad, but I was pleased with how he behaved - like a natural show dog.... i'm sure he loooved it in there as getting food was so easy - all he had to do was stand 'pretty' and get treats - how easy is that! In the other ring I go into I have to work to get the food! LOL!

Sunday was a day of dissapointments. I went out shopping in the morning to get some puppy things and other stuff I needed (ok, ok, wanted) but everything on my list was out of stock!!!! So I came out with nothing that I went in for! Grrr..... I then came home and set to work on cleaning my room - ah - doesn't sound like a hard task, but it hasn't been done in a VERY long time. Two reasons for this clean up - 1) I'm running out of space and need to actually SEE the entry and exit to the room, 2) hopefully finding my lost memory card that I bought for my brother. I turned the room upside down, emptied all drawers (even chucked out old clothes!), dusted everything and put stuff back in its rightful place..... result - no memory card :(.... nothing, nada, nowhere to be seen. I think I just have to face the music and admit that it is lost - perhaps the boogey man took it?!?!?

Well that brings us to today - the day when I was to get my CCD title (positive thoughts here!).... I was SOOO nervous before going in - I tried to tell myself - don't think about title - just go in and have fun.... went in - Leo did reasonably well - heeling was good, but not as good as heeling at Eastern (he went wide a few times) but he didn't miss any positions, held his SFE and did well on his recall - end result a score of 54/60 - GREAT! I thought - excellent - he should hold his stays - which means a pass of 94 (i'm happy with that!). He has been doing SOO well with his stays so far I thought what could go wrong..... went into ring for stays with peppy dog (good sign), sit your dogs (perfect attention), GSP breaks and hoons out of ring (bad sign), Leo maintains attention (good sign) - leave for sit stay (unbenowns to me dog stands then sits again), have dog barking next to us (kill, kill), Leo scratches multiple times and looks really stressed and not wanting to be there (bugger!), judge calls 'return' - Leo shakes and stands (oh $#&*!). Well we've blown it - so drop stays - same routine (minus running dog!) Leo stands when I leave, drops again and holds drop. *sigh*! What can you do eh? He just didn't want to be there and I think the combination of dog running off and sheltie barking just made him too nervous and me too nervous too! Well I guess we couldn't have made it 3/3, so we'll be back to try again on the 18th at Southern ODC, fingers crossed for this one, but I just don't know how to train for the stays as this is so out of character for him (hey - usually we just drop, not fidget!)...... Cest' la vie!

Ok - now that i've had my rant and shared my dissapointments, there really isn't anything more to tell! So keep good wishes coming my way re: CCD title AND the right puppy coming along!!!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween & trial results

Well after reading Amanda's halloween post - my 'halloween' party sounds rather futile. Your comments about America in the autumn make me want to jump on a plane and get over there right away! No fair! LOL!

Went to a halloween party on Saturday night which was great fun - I dressed up as a Japanese Geishia (minus the white on face - too lazy to go that far!). The idea came to me after a day/afternoon of 'op shopping' with Kylie trying to find something - none of us found anything except trashy clothes that no-one would wear. Initially I wanted to come as Anne of Green Gables in light of the recent trip, but I couldn't find anything. I then came across a kimono in my cupboard from a Japanese student we had while I was still in primary school. needless to say that didn't quite fit me anymore, but Mum had a nice red/white one to wear. I put that on with a flower in my hair and it seemed to do the trick :D. As for photos - you're going to have to wait for Kylie to hurry up and send them to me!!! hahaha!

Had our trial on sunday and WE PASSED!!!! Which means we got our 2nd pass (out of 3 needed) toward our CCD title - our first ever title we will have achieved!!!!!! We came out with a score of 92 and second place (by one point!!!). I was thrilled with the way he worked (save a few errors he shouldn't have made) and I hope that he will work just as well on Tuesday at our next trial (cup day - the first one in like 5 years I can enjoy since I don't have an exam the next day!).

I am very excited about this weekend - I have the Aussie Specialty on Saturday (Leo entered in de-sexed sweeps) and trial on Tuesday. Saturday usually turns out to be a great day out and I am really looking forward to it. I'm also looking forward to getting a puppy (hopefully) by the end of the year and can barely contain myself..... since i've come back from holidays everything seems to be happening and i'm honestly having a ball. The weather is also putting me in a good mood - reminding me of the summer that is to come. At last we have daylight saving which means LONGER walks with the pooch!!! Such fun! He is also 'happier' - I don't know why but I can notice a difference and he just seems more sprightly in the summer. Doesn't it just put everyone in a good mood????

Friday, October 27, 2006

TAG, Leo the Therapy dog & More

Ok, So Amanda TAG'd me (I have no idea what this means BTW!) and I have 'no friends' on here to tag i'm going to have to get 5 random pplz to answer the question. Ok so I'm meant to list 5 weird things about myself and my pets.... this seems harder than I thought!!!! LOL!:

1) My dog will readily accept medication by hand and LOVES going to the vet (he literally mugs the poor guy)..... did I mention the chiro as well?

2) My Cat (like Amanda's) is also trained, but I got lost after 'sit', 'come' (nb: not a formal recall *g*) and 'beg'... once you get to 'heel' Amanda - do let me know? I'm thinking about bringing out the clicker... mwahahaha!

3) I don't know if it is weird, but people certianly look at me as though it is - Leo and I play 'zoomies' in the park whereby I chase him and he runs away - more fun than it sounds :P

4) As loud and outgoing as I seem to some, I actually hate meeting new people and often avoid it at all costs....

5) If I like something I become madly obsessed with it..... don't know why but I can't help it :P... eg: completely and utterly obsessed with dogs, books and my fave TV series :D

Ok - so there is the TAG - I think whoever reads this then has to write it in their own blogs... but plz let me know coz i'm a loner in 'blogville'!

Now onto the Therapy work - I got some pics yesterday of Leo doing his therapy work with one of the residents. Her daughter took these pics before I went away but I only recieved it yesterday. This lady absolutely LOVES Leo which is soo good to see - she literally can't stop smiling when Leo is there. Joan (the daughter) took more yesterday so hopefully i'll have more to share - man, I really need to take my camera! But so far the therapy work is coming along nicely and i'm starting to really enjoy myself!

Isn't he just the cutest? I have another resident there as well that insists that he sits on her bed (she used to show and judge Scotch Collies) and another that whenever anyone enters the room when we visit claims that Leo is "her" dog and isn't he just the most beautiful dog ever (well I can't really argue with that can I?!). We actually started Agility at Croydon on Tuesday - not that there is anything wrong with our current club except for the distance. Now we have two clubs to go to which frees me up a little as if I can't make one I can make the other.... oh and the 5min drive as opposed to the 40min drive is much more appealing! We had a great time, I think the highlight of the evening was trying to get infront of Leo to do a front cross and falling flat on my face (hmm... didn't realise running outside was different to inside :P).... Of course Leo did run over and jump all over me as if it was a new game... *sigh*! I actually found he was running much faster outside too, so I guess that is a good thing.... more calories for me to burn! He did really well and it was a prime place to practice some of those dreaded sit-stays for Sunday. I'll keep you posted on how we go... i'm feeling pretty ok about it, but i'm sure by sunday i'll feel differently! I just can't wait to get our very first title... it is sooo exciting but I know if I do that i'll put too much pressure on myself and we'll bugger up!

I have been sooo naughty of late.... I am hooked onto the TV! Shortly after we came back I went on a DVD buying spree... something I shouldn't do! But I couldn't resist :P. I have come back with Gilmore Girls on DVD (no wisecracks please.... it is funny ok! And I feel smart coz I actually 'get' some of their literary references!!). Since then i've been completely hooked on it, and last night stayed up till 1:30am watching it till the end of the 1st ssn. I am sooo peeved with Ch9 for Axeing it IN THE MIDDLE OF A SEASON, and it doesn't look like it will be back on again *sigh*...... WHY do I get soo hooked onto these things... it is like my drug addiction or something! haha! One good thing is that ER is back on the BOX so I watched that on Wed, but cutting it in the middle of the season (done in June or something) it really mucks up the flow as I have no idea what is going on anymore :P.

I've also sat down and watched P&P since we've been back. Gave me thrills to see Lyme P. and say ooohh... we've been there!! I know where you are walking past! Oh look Mum - there are the Rose Gardens we saw!!! Sad I know, but thrilling none-the-less. So I bet now you are thinking that I never get off the couch... well I do.... sometimes.... I do have to go to work I guess! Speaking of which I am in the process of 're-vamping' my resume so that I may try my hand at getting a 'proper job'..... Don't know when that will be, it is kind of scary... I don't know what to think of it! Part of me really wants to and another part is just plain scared S***less of doing anything like this.... ah I don't like growing up! I would like to keep up the Therapy though if and when I change jobs. At the moment - i'm toying with the idea of working in Animal Health.....

What is it also about not being able to find something that you really want?! While o/s I bought my brother a memory card for his camera and he was over last weekend.... prime opportunity to give it to him, but I can't find it ANYWHERE!!! It isn't like i'd throw it out, but honestly.... where is it? We turned the whole house upside down with no avail... true, my room isn't exactly spotless at the moment, but I was sure I put it in a 'safe' place.... 'safe' it is coz no-one can find it!!! I really hope it will turn up!

Well That is about all of the news I had... not that it is really news... quite boring really but that is the story of my life :P!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hallelujah I have put up the photos at last!!!!!

Yes, hard as it is to believe, I have finally posted up ALL of our holiday photos!!!!

Photos here

This link will allow you to view all albums. I copied all of my albums there for you to view. If you have any trouble, drop me a line :)

Didn't really do much this weekend.... i'm still reveling in the enjoyment of not having to rush everywhere on the weekend to do training. On Saturday we spent a lovely day down at St Kilda as Scott was back from Syd for the weekend. Took the dog with us and had a walk around Albert Park and then a late lunch. As per usual, wherever we went we got comments and stares about what a gorgeous dog he is (honestly I think he has a big head about all of this!). Nice but also can sometimes get annoying, particularly when they try and guess the breed and insist that he is a cross! Many people also commented about how nice it is that he just sits under our seats while we are eating. Even I was impressed by him!!! But then, it does help when you throw biccies down to him to keep him happy *g*!

Today we just spent the morning training and later had a lovely roast at home! Leo had another great day at training but as per usual buggered up his stays!!! Grrr!! He hasn't done that since he had his hip 'problem' but I think today it was the 'heat' (yeah, like it was really hot... but I guess sitting for 1 whole minute can be tiring!) as well as having evil handler from hell giving you the 'stare'.... I really shouldn't do that!!!! BAD habit!!! I think Leo has a contract signed that every time before a trial, at our last practice he will do something to rattle my nerves!!! So now I have to doubly cross those fingers and toes for a pass!

Well I better be off again! Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Friday, October 20, 2006

The story behind 'Gog and Magog'.... well LMM's ones!

I thought i'll post this up as I have had questions from a few people as to who exactly are these 'Gog and Magog' things I described in my post at PEI..... To put it simply - they are a pair of china dogs with green spots on them. Magog sits on the left and Gog to the right. Gog and Magog initially 'starred' in Anne of the Island when Anne went to stay at 'Patty's Place' (yep I can tell i've lost some of you already). I think in the book, LMM states that Gog & Magog sit beside the fireplace, but in actual fact they sit on the mantle, being smaller than I thought. Anyway - here is the speel on the card:

Gog and Magog are the names of the two antique china dogs that L M Montgoemry introduced in Anne of the Island. The dogs sat on the hearth in the parlour of "Patty's Place", the cottage that Anne and her friends lived in while attending college in Nova Scotia.

A few years later, the owners of the cottage - Miss Patty and Miss Maria, sent Gog and Magog to Anne and Gilbert as a wedding gift. They resided on their hearth that the "house of Dreams" and then at "Ingleside".

The china dogs in the Anne books were inspired by the ones that belonged to LMM's grandfather, Senator Donald Montgomery of Park Corner PEI. They were brought over from Englandin 1775 by Captain James Townsend, an early settler on the island and ancestor of Montgomery.

As a child she was fascinated by the dogs - Gog who looked to the right and Magog who looked to the left - and the story her father told her about them. He said that when Gog and Magog heard the clock srike midnight, they would come to tlife, jump down from the mantle and run around the room! Although she was very disappointed to learn later that the story was not true, Montgomery was intrigued by the dogs throughout her life. In 1911, while travelling to England on her wedding trip, she bought two pairs of china dogs for her own (although these had gold spots).

Although Gog was broken (over 100 years ago), Magog continues to guard the Montgomery family mantle to this day! Visitors are welcome to see him at the Montgomery Heritage Museumin Park Corner (and some very lucky people get to cuddle him *g*!)

Written by Carolyn Storm Collins.

Hope that explains it for anyone interested and that you realise that there is a story behind them and not just some dogs that the 'dog obsessed' Amanda would have loved LOL!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Last Weekend of Freedom

Yes you read right,

My last weekend of freedom has passed and now I am back at work *sob, sob*! Ah well, the honeymoon had to end eventually I guess!

I had a great weekend and it is soo nice not to have to rush everywhere all the time (ie: from one training centre to the next). I spent Saturday cleaning up my room (which looked like a bomb hit it - I honestly don't know where to put all of the books I bought!) and later 'puppy proofing' the backyard. Yep, I thought I better get onto it before I run out of time as I want to fix up quite a bit of the yard so that it can accomodate 2 dogs.... I'm actually really looking forward to all of the pottering around in the yard. So I spent most of the day hidden under the deck putting chicken wire under all the gaps so that 'puppy' can't get through.... lets just say staying in a crouched position for a number of hours doesn't make you feel all that great the next day! But on the plus side I got all of my work done *g*!

Leo was most displeased with my 're-decorating' (it means the cat is safe when he runs under the deck). As per usual, he thought that I needed his help so he wondered around with me, flitting between dad and myself. I am sure that he thought it most interesting that I was allowed to dig in the yard and call it 'gardening' yet he wasn't. I think he also thought that I was burying treats for him also as whenever I finished in one area, he felt the need to nose all the dirt around again to see if there were 'yummies' LOL!

Sunday Leo and I headed back to Obedience. Boy it felt like we had been away for a lot longer than 6-7wks. Everyone has moved back to the middle of the grounds and Croydon looks packed again! One thing is for sure, the aussies are certianly increasing in number with Amanda O and Sarah joining (or would have if somebody didn't forget to mention the vacc cards thing!!!). I think that brings the tally up to 6 Aussies and get this for a ratio - 1 blue merle, 3 red merles and 2 black tri's - thats just weird!!! I'm sure all the red merles are there just to make me jealous as they are all beautifully marked!! All I can say is at least i'm being an individual by having the only BM there *ggg*.... despite the fact that it is one of the more popular colours!

Leo did well in his class and is looking promising for his trial on the 29th (yes, yes, i'm nuts, but the CCD is beckoning me back!). He was really eager in his training and heelwork fantastic with tight turns etc. Lets just hope it stays this way for the trial eh?! We return to agility also this week after a loooong break (about 10wks all up) due to Leo's hip injury (seems to be pretty much 100%) as well as my holiday. I can't wait to get back into it again and I really hope that his dog-walk 'issue' has been forgotten (by him) and his hip stays good!!

Well, suprise, suprise, the whole blog is about my dog and training, but what more could you expect! As for the photos - they are coming - I will post links soon.... so far i'm up to PEI so not much more to go I guess :)


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A day at the Beach

Hello again!

Well i'm back home again but have had soo much fun updating this blog that I thought I might as well continue to let you know all about the happenings in my life (great way of keeping in touch rather than sendling a zillion emails saying the same thing!) as well as my doggy stuff *g*! Of course without the doggy info it wouldn't be me now would it!

It feels sooo good to be home again and with the exception of staying up until 3am last night coz I simply couldn't sleep, I haven't really suffered from jet lag (thank goodness!). At least i've been able to get through the days relatively 'fatigue free'! LOL! I had one very happy pooch to greet me back at home and has only settled down today (but that could be because we did spend the whole day together!). Since I have come home, every time I go outside, he has been a nutcase, jumping around like a loony in typical aussie style (ie: all 4 paws off the ground and trying to kiss your forehead - alternatively if that doesn't work, we grin, wiggle our butt madly and make some very strange growling noises!). Something tells me he was happy to have me home. Having made firm friends with dad however when we were away it seems he is a little 'divided' with his love though *g*! I went straight back into training mode (can ya tell I missed it) and he was a little star - I think he missed it all, so fingers crossed we'll be back in the trial ring again shortly. Here is a pic of him being a true sport while I 'dressed him up' in one of my souveniers *g*:

Today in order to catch up with a couple of my uni friends (who I haven't seen for what 6 whole weeks!!!) we decided to head down to the beach at Mornington Penninsula with the dogs for a nice day out.... Well the beach we chose was fantastic.... hmmm... lets see it was a dog off leash beach that had no sand, but rocks.... yes, rocks.... lol. So on we went down a little and came to a lovely beach at Mt Martha (with sand) which I think is called 'Hawkers beach' and was really nice... that is if we were at the right one *g*! It was a great day out, good to catch up with the gals and of course enjoy the time spent with the pooches! Whiskey had a ball, but despite our coaxing wouldn't get in the water, while Leo had a blast running around us and chasing his ball and just in general being a loony as he does so well. Here are some pics, but if you want to view more, you can go to my kodak gallery:

Well thats about it from me... i'm not sure if the piccies worked to be viewed on the blog - if they didn't just go to the gallery to view them (again you have to sign in to view them if you didn't last time)... :D.


Saturday, October 07, 2006


Here Again,

Lets see what I can cover in 15mins while we are waiting at Changi Airport to board our plane. Unfortunately the free internet only allows for 15 mins.

We have had a very good few days feasting on everything and I think Mum is in 7th heaven eating foods she has missed since a child :P. Unfortunately for me this included durians (yucky, stinky fruits) that although out of season Mum has still found abilities to eat it in one form or another! Luckily for me this has included many of my favourites too, such as Sliched BBQ Pork which does come by another name (which I can't spell!) and is delicious amongst others....mmmmm! As for the heat - I must say that I am not wel suited to the hot climate's as after spending just a few days here I have come down with a cold - how is that possible?!??! I am in a hot climate for goodness sake!

Ok so besides eating, eating and eating, I bet you are wondering what we did! Well we tried our hand at walking around the city but that got too hot, so we tried shopping but that was too expensive.... LOL. Nah - on the first day we wondered around the city which was good but as I said - hot :P. Unfortunately it was also very hazy due to near by forest fires which spoilt the view a little. But we did get to see a bit of the city itself. The first night we were here we went to the Night Safari which is well known and everybody told us to go and see it. Well.... what we saw of it was good! But as 'luck' would have it.... honestly, it seems to follow us around.... 1/2 way through our visit, the park was closed due to some tourist going off the beaten track (you can walk as well as take the tram around to view the animals) and entered the rhino enclosure. Well, Rhino's being the lovely animals that they are - trampled this person and thus, after rushing her to hospital they had to close the park... grrrr! So what we saw was good, but unfortunately we couldn't go back! The staff were very kind though and did refund our money for us.

Next day we went to Sentosa Is. but unfortunately it was a little dissapointing being so expensive to see all of the sights. There were things to see but costing around S$10 each attraction a lot of it wasn't worth it. We did go and see the 'Pink Dolphin' though - yes you read right - PINK dolphin - actually they start of grey and as they grow older turn pinker. They put on a rather amusing show with the dolphins and later (after paying extra of course!) I got t go up and pat the dolphin. Was worth it IMO, you even got a pic (which was an awful one with my eyes shut so NO you can't see it!) which didn't make it to expensive. The ticket to view the dolphins also let you into underwater world which was an aquarium... also good but not fantastic. The attractions were also a little dissapointing coz it was basically - see the attraction (ie dolphin show) and that is it - there was nothing else to keep you around and see/ read information about the animals etc. One thing is for sure - food is great, level of technology is great, transport brilliant, but attractions definately need work! Later we went to Chinatown to wonder around and devour some 'mooncake' and later take this bus that took us to see the light show of the three main 'cultural cities'. It is a rarity that this year, three asian festivals overlap with eachother and thus, there has been a big celebration and the bus took us around to see these lights and explain the festivities. You'll have to ask mum more about it, but basically the Chinese have their 'moon/lantern festival', indians have another (Deepavali) and Malay's another (Hari Raya Puasa)..... was very interesting to see all of the decorations.

Today we spend the day with my Cousin and his wife and wondered around the shopping malls trying to resist spending more money. It was good spending time with them before we had to come to catch the plane. Well I think that is about it! Off home tonight and then you will all be wishing I was back o/s again. I hope you enjoyed reading the blog and I can't wait to see you all and here what you have been doing these past 6 weeks!


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Last few days in the UK

Well here I am again - boy I certianly seem to be on the net a lot all of a sudden - ah well the saying goes, it never rains but pours! Well I have emailed you all to tell you I have some pics uploaded, and i'd love to put them up here (or a link) but my technology expertise (or lack of) unfortunately doesn't stretch that far :). Anyone able to help me out?? Anyway, I hope you were able to view them and enjoyed them!

* ETA - lets see if this works.... to view the LA photos click

and to view Canada click

Unfortunately, I don't know how to get it to just have one word as opposed to the entire address.... argh..... HELP!!!!

The last few days have been pretty quiet... by our standards anyway! Sunday was spent with my Uncle and family. Although our bags are brimming over with all of the stuff we brought with us and all of the stuff we (ok, ok, I *g*) have bought over here, we still went shopping on Sunday with my uncle who was determined to show us the new 'Tesco' opened nearby. As my Aunty says - most people when they come here will want to be taken to the sights - whereas my uncle loves to take us to Tesco's *g*! For those that don't know - Tesco is a HUGE (Did I mention huge?!) chain that sells everything from fresh groceries to clothes, electronics etc.... kinda like Coles and Kmart combined! Yet, despite my vow before we left that I wasn't going to buy anything, I still managed to walk out of the shops with a few items of clothes and gadgets (not from Tesco but from a clothing outlet and 'poundland'... where things are actually all priced at 1 pound as opposed to the Ozzie $2 shops!

Yesterday we headed off to London city again, with the hopes of catching a theatre show, but we were a little skeptical as we didn't want to pay too much. The main ones we had on our shortlist were 'Billy Elliot' (rave reviews) and 'Wicked' (New musical about the withces of the Wizard of Oz'). Billy Elliot was a no-go with tickets only available at full price (69 quid).... hmm... when u multiply that by 2.5, we thought we didn't want to see it that much! Wicked also didn't seem likely as it has only been released for 2 wks and is a completely new musical, having only been shown in broadway over the last 12 mths. When we enquired however, they had two tickets 'up with the God's' but clear view for 19 Quid :-D! Needless to say we eagerly took them as the reviews for this new musical have been very high. Well, we weren't dissapointed! The props and coreography were fantastic leaving nothing to be desired. The lead singer was to die for - her voice was amazing - one of the best i've heard in a musical for quite a while! She had such a clear, powerful voice! Actually the lead singer is from the original broadway cast which is an extra treat! Honestly - if it ever comes to Oz - you must see it as it is well worth it! Basically it tells the story of Glinda and the 'Wicked witch from the West', how they knew each other and how one turned evil and the other 'good'. Very enjoyable and music was brilliant. I actually thought that hey - we could buy the CD and it would be the cast that we heard (which is never the case at home, always being the London Cast), but unfortunately, as luck would have it - it was the Broadway cast :-(. I'm assuming it is so new, they haven't recorded the CD yet... Just my luck!

For the rest of the day before we went to see the show, Mum and I ambled around the city and decided to go and visit the museums. I am really no 'arty farty' person so didn't have a particular interest to go and see the 'Victoria Albert' museum, so Mum and I decided to split and meet up again. I went to the 'Natural History Museum' and Mum to the 'Victoria Albert' (both are next to each other). Was really good wondering around, but at the same time not as exciting as I would have thought seeming that I have studied it all at uni these past 3 yrs :-(... but I still enjoyed myself and the kid inside of me loved all of the interactive stuff. Well all I can say is that our Vertebrates lecturer taught us well, as I could remember most of that, but when I went into the 'human body' section and was explaining LH does this, which causes FSH to do this and Oestregen to do this, I was at a loss :P..... Darn reproduction, I knew I hated that subject for a reason! All in all - very interesting and in the 2.5 hrs we gave each other, both Mum and I only completed a small portion of the museums.

Well tonight we head off to Singapore for our home leg... 3 days in Sing until home time (ah you poor, poor, people!). Feels good to know that we are coming home now. But one thing is for sure, this 12 hr flight is NOT looking appealing! I still can't believe that to date, Mum and I haven't eaten each other yet, or bitten each others heads off! It's been a good trip, but suprisingly minimal arguments :-0. I can't believe we have covered so much ground! We have driven over 1 000 miles around UK (Mum wanted me to add that in.... I think she is proud :P) as well as travelling around Canada by our itty bitty selves (Mum driving again) so it is hard to believe that it is all coming to an end so soon :). But I guess it has to eventually.... and then i'd have to go back to work..... nooooooo!

Well thats it from me again..... Until next time!