Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A Year in TOPS

 TOPS is my abbreviation for our house name The Old Potting Shed (lovely but a bit long winded)

As we like working hard at doing better with the things we do and it was only found after at least 2 other attempts at house buying I think it is a suitable acronym.

I have just read my last couple of blogs about Oddjob. Losing him, Tim and Flint were parts of the year that will always make us think of 2014 with sadness. Flint and Tim are a part of who we are as they were such a big part of our lives for some many great memories. Sadly with Oddjob it is a different kind of missing - missing the chance to make such memories.

Other than the awfulness of these losses we have settled very well. 

UpAndOver has more than survived our departure and has very quickly become a fully fledged club maintaining the same level of professionalism and the warmth that we enjoyed.

Michael is settled in Australia and is a head chef in a new restaurant there. He'll be home in the summer if he gets sponsorship as he will then move over there permanently so will need to sort all his things out. It's great he is doing something he loves. Great to future holidays for us too :)

Amy has got engaged and we had a lovely family day out to celebrate. Typically I took more pictures of her with her dog that I did with Faron.

Jack is also enjoying his job in recruitment and we met his girlfriend too.

Work wise Mark is managing to reduce some travel and has less nights away. 

Apart from a few blips the GB managers job is going in the right direction. Gaining a Team medal at FCI AWC was above expectations and has set the standard. 

We have changed the Inner Agility seminar about a bit so I can help a lot more and our weekends are full.

Going to the states to do a seminar was a big highlight. We flew into New York and although it is not anywhere I had thought I wanted to go it was incredible. So inspiring the vision of the planners and builders to create buildings so high. We then went to Vermont where nature showed what beautiful things she was capable of. Staying at the family Von Trapp lodge and meeting Lyn Von Trapp gave other insights into human nature. It's an incredible story that is not as fairy tale as "the Sound of Music" but equally amazing.

Agility lesson wise I have missed all my old customers. I have had some great people come for lessons to help with coaching especially when they have had a dip in confidence. They have gone on to great things and I am proud of having helped them with their journey.

I also have a few regulars that have very quickly become friends. It is great to note that they have all moved up grades too. Individual lessons are a good opportunity to focus on what really matters to that partnership and I'm lucky to be able to watch these partnerships continue to grow.

What I have managed to not mention yet is the big success Wag & Tone has become. 
I have a lovely weekly class - again a great group of people and dogs. 
On top of that we were asked up to London to help the Kennel Club do their Get Fit with Fido exercises, we featured in Your Dogs and we have now been awarded the Pet Food Manufacturers Get Pets Fit Award :)

We already know more people in our village than we did in Grateley and we are looking forward to getting to know them better too.

Crikey I have managed a whole blog of not mentioning Rhyme - that won't do :)

What can I say except that we have done well at the few shows we actually got to concentrate on. The highlight for me being qualifying for the Novice Cup Final at KCAI. That also then became a low point with him doing the dog walk so fast he fell off and me losing concentration so eliminating him instead of carrying on. He hadn't hurt himself and was over halfway so it would only have been 5 faults.  He subsequently won up to Grade 6 the following day so next year we have to do well in the British Open instead.

Despite not wanting to get to Grade 6 (what was I thinking of?) we love it. No thoughts of not wanting to do well (I had wanted to stay in Grade 5 for Novice Cup and Novice Olympia) so we are just running each class as it comes. With Rhyme it comes (and goes) very quickly and I am looking forward to moving upwards and working on anything that seems to stop us from gaining top places. It is most often the timing of my handling and I am confident that we will get up to speed throughout the spring/summer.

Ok thats it for last year - my next blog will be about goals etc for 2015.

Goal one will be to write a blog regularly :)