Saturday, 6 January 2007

It's a nail-biting evening in the Holden-Wilde household as Liverpool play Arsenal in the FA Cup 3rd round. So nail biting that I'm trying to work out why this Blog has not updated properly (the front page is still the original one that I changed yesterday) and Fox is curled up in a ball on "his" armchair. The current score is 3-1 with the enemy in the lead. Things are not looking good and I'm surprised that we can't hear our friend Neil gloating from two doors down.

We're all feeling pleasantly sleepy today after an excellent lock-in at the Queen's Head last night, complete with a traditional glass balancing competition. Shame I didn't take my camera really. Fox was with us of course and behaved impeccably all evening!

Today we've had the long-line out and have practiced the recall and "lie down" at a distance and to a whistle. Fox was generally very good which is encouraging since I've booked our first sheepdog training session. Very exciting, but we'll have to see how we both get on. I've got a month to train him and make sure that he doesn't show me up!

Friday, 5 January 2007

Today I took the day off so that Chris, Fox and I might be able to get some quaility "nice weather" time in. I'd built up plenty of TOIL before Christmas so it seemed a good idea to get out and about.

We had promised Ruth that we would have a go at building a path to her Yurt through the mudhole that is now the field. When we got to Shap summitt however, it became clear that Ruth and Hilary's valley was not enjoying the same sunshine as Askham. We were thus forced to sit in the Yurt and relax with a coffee. When the sun did come out Ruth and Hilary decided to make a break for it and move the fell ponies to pastures new. The path would have to wait for another day.

Chris and I took Fox out for a good long walk. I say walk, but really a walk isn't enough for Fox who has to feel as though he is working. If his brain hasn't had as much activity as his body then he can be really hard work in the evening!

We played training games, trying to introduce some control to an otherwise manic and mindless game of fetch. At almost 8 months old, you can see Fox's ability and willingness to learn increasing all the time. The only problem is that adolescence is also advancing quickly and the sudden presence of testosterone means that he likes to play dominance games and has developed selective hearing at times. Back to the long-line for him I think!