Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Another GREAT weekend...continued!!

After we left Indy & Alf we headed up the motorway to a place called Basingstoke...this was so we could go visit my mate Charlie (& his Mum & Dad...Aunty Sally & Uncle Steve). On the way there we decided to check out a new walk that Mum & Dad had seen on a cool website called Driving with Dogs - this website really is brilliant if you ever go driving on motorways with your owners...it tells them (coz we can't read...yet!!) all about walks that are within 5 miles of motorway exits!!

Anyway, back to our walk...this one was off Junction 10 of the M3 & was at a place called St Catherine's Hill near Winchester. This walk was a real winner for Rio & me coz our favourite walks are anywhere with water as we just love swimming - on this walk there was water, water everywhere (plus loads & loads to drink!!). Here are a few pictures of St Catherine's Hill & the fabulous views:

The Itchen navigation canal

Apparently this is called a "Kissing Gate"...yuk...luckily
Rio didn't try to kiss me on the way through!!

This is an Iron-Age ditch...just imagine...it would have been dug by hand!
This lovely crown of Beech trees marks the very top of St Catherine's Hill - this was the centre of a human settlement around 3,000 years ago with a fort being built here in the 3rd century BC.

This is called a "Mismaze". It's 624 metres long & is made up of nine
nested squares cut out of the chalk in, it's thought, the 17th century.

On the North East edge of the beech copse lies the buried the remains
of a Norman Chapel that was built in the 12th century AD.
This is a view across the Itchen Valley toward Bushfield Camp,
which was once used as an Army barracks.
The Hospital of St Cross can be seen in the centre of the view.
In the foreground you can just see a series of ancient parallel pathways (known as 'Dongas') that criss-cross the area. These paths were formed over centuries by people walking their animals into market & from travelling between ancient sites & monuments.
Here you can see a view, in the distance, of Winchester
Believe it or not, this used to be the Winchester By-Pass!!!

Another GREAT weekend!

We were busy, busy, busy last weekend which was brilliant. It started on Saturday with Rio joining us "big boys & girls" at agility training for the first time - I was so proud of my little bruv...he does proper jumps now though only at the lowest level but I don't reckon it'll be long before he moves up to "medium" as he already jumps really high! I was also real impressed with how he did the "dog walk", "A-frame" & the weaves...no problem - I can see I'm going to have some competition particularly as he is REALLY quick!!

Then on Sunday morning we got up really early & met our mates Indy & Alf at our most favourite place for a walk...Mill Lawn. We all had a great time running through the undergrowth & splashing around in the stream. Here's a Smilebox with some of the photos Dad took:

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Monday, 11 October 2010

My mates...Charlie & Ezsti...

This afternoon Rio n me had a really great walk (& swim) at Hengistbury Head...&, guess who we saw...our mates Charlie & Ezsti - they'd brought along Ezsti's Mum & Dad (Mandy & Ian) so that they could get a bit of exercise too...though I didn't notice any of the humans doing much running around...they did do quite a lot of talking though! I hadn't seen Charlie for ages n ages...in fact I've only seen him once since our brilliant holiday in France back in January...it was SO good to catch up with him again...it was a shame his Mum & Dad weren't there ('pparently they were at something called a wedding)...it would've been good to give them some special Radar & Rio kisses!!!

There's Charlie sitting at the back (coz he's the most growd-up!!), then in the front "row" there's (from left to right) Ezsti, me n Rio...you can see Mudeford in the background!
We were pretty good at posing don't you think?!! Here's a couple of videos that Dad took of us all getting ready for the posing pictures...Dad reckoned it was really funny watching the "preparation"...

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Rio's turn for agility photos!

Mum & me were taking part in an agility competition yesterday but Dad stayed at home with Rio & the camera (!!) so there aren't any pictures of me this time. By the way, I did three runs...got 5 faults in one but had two clear rounds...!! Dad came along in time for Rio's lesson...here's a Smilebox with a few of the photos he took of my little bruv:

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And a quick couple of videos (one was such a big file that Mum had to put it on UTube first!!)...


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Agility Stuff!

It's Wednesday so that means it's agility for me & Rio...our favourite!! Coz Dad was home he was able to come to my session & took loads of photos of me & my agility mates...I hope you enjoy the Smilebox that Mum's put together:

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Busy old weekend!!

Loads of great things happened this weekend...first & foremost, Dad came home! He's been away for AGES...me n Rio have missed him loads & loads! He actually got back on Saturday night...we waited up specially so that we could give him BIG licks & nibbles...I think he wished he'd been wearing armour coz we well & truly mobbed him!! He did look a bit different tho...he'd got all this fur on his face...maybe he was trying to look like us...it didn't half tickle when I gave him kisses!!!!

Our Dad...!

I spent some quality time with Dad on Sunday...just me & him...yeah!! This was coz Mum took Rio to another of those show things...this time they went to the Hungarian Vizsla Club Championship Show in a place called Brackley. Guess what...my little bruv did us proud again...he came first in the Minor Puppy class...he was also Best Puppy Dog...AND...he got Reserve Best Puppy in Show...what a clever boy. As usual Mum forgot to take any pictures of him at the show so Dad took one when they got home - here he is "standing" with Mum in the garden...just look at those rosettes & trophies:

And here's one of me...

I don't do "standing" but I do a very handsome sit!!

After all the excitement of Dad coming home & of Rio's show success, we were pretty tired so, coz I was so proud of him, I let Rio share my duvet when we went for a little nap:

Yesterday, Rio n me just wanted to stay close to Dad...just in case he decided to go to sea again:

Rio camping out on the bean-bag in Dad's office!
Here's me "lying" guard at the office door!!

Yesterday afternoon, Dad & Mum took us to a new beach called Studland...& guess what...to get there we had to go on a thing called a ferry...was that exciting or what?!! Here's a picture that Dad took of Studland beach...it's looking back towards Sandbanks & if you look real carefully you can see the ferry:

We had a really great time...we did loads of swimming & there were masses of sand-dunes to run around in:

Mum using the ball chucky thing...just to encourage us to run around the dunes...as if we needed encouraging!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

PLEASE READ the New Polymyositis Page!

Polymyositis (PM) has been known in the Vizlsa breed for at least 6 years - it's a horrendous disease that causes terrible suffering to both our precious red friends & their owners &, unfortunately, it is becoming more & more prevalent. One of the first Vizslas we met was the gorgeous Radio - here are a couple of pictures of him:

Radio before he was diagnosed with Polymyositis
Radio after he developed Polymyositis - sadly, Radio died aged 3.

What I want to know is how any breeder could knowing allow this to happen...but they do! Incredibly there are breeders out there that CONTINUE to breed from bitches & dogs that are known to have produced PM puppies in the past - to my mind, that is not only irresponsible but is also verging on the criminal.

Responsible breeders are already doing everything they can to ensure that proposed matings are safe & if there is any doubt whatsoever they STOP...they DON'T breed from their bitch & they REMOVE their dog from the stud list...that's what being responsible means!

Here in the UK we are so lucky to have someone like Di Addicott who is working tirelessly trying to persuade people who are known to have PM in their lines to swab their dogs. Up until now she has sometimes felt like she was bashing her head against a brick wall such has been the ostrich like attitude of some people. Happily, she now has people like Elaine Bradley, Lynn Eales & Rosemary Frost (to name but a few)...people who are standing up for our beloved breed & supporting Di's efforts to find a way to free our genetic pool from the scourge of this devastating disease. Hopefully, there are people just like them in other countries round the world who are doing the same?

So what can we all do to help? The simple answer is "spread the word" because the more people who know about this devastating disease & the ongoing research the better - one of the easiest ways of doing this is by taking copies of the fact sheet with you every time you go out walking & handing them to every Vizsla owner you meet...it doesn't sound much, but, believe me, even that would help!

So what else...:
  • if you know, or even suspect, that there's PM in your lines
  • or
  • if you know, or suspect, that your dog or bitch has produced a puppy with the symptoms (even if you haven't had a definitive diagnosis)
  • or
  • you know someone with a PM dog or bitch (even if that dog or bitch has now passed away)
Then please contact Di Addicott (or your breed society if you live outside the UK) & she will tell you how to go about collecting a swab from all the necessary dogs.

This wonderful breed give us so much love & affection, so much loyalty & braveness...please do help if you can...thank you!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Another Viz Whizz...

This time at Fritham in the New Forest...

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Check out Fergus' blog for some more brilliant photos: http://www.fergusthevizsla.blogspot.com/

Radar at Agility...& Mum's new camera!!

It was agility again for me & Rio last Wednesday. Dad had bought Mum a new video camera so she (with Aunty Tracey's help!) just had to try it out when I was running...only one problem...she's just discovered that she can't load the videos directly to the Blog...it's something called an MP5...eh?!! Anyhow's...we've put them on UTube...here are the links:

Click here for the first one Radar at Agility... - silly Mum, she forgot that I needed time for my eyes to readjust when coming out of the tunnel...she gave the "stretch" command to quickly...doh!

Here's the second one Radar at Agility...take 2!...that's better, she got it right this time!!

Mill Lawn Viz Whizz...continued!

Thought you might like to see a few more photos of our great walk at Mill Lawn - my mate Graham, from the Juniper Centre, gave Mum the photos that he'd taken...enjoy!

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Now here are a couple of videos as well...

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If you'd like to see even more photos of our walk, check out my mate Fergus' blog: http://www.fergusthevizsla.blogspot.com/

Sunday, 19 September 2010

New Forest Viz Whizz - Mill Lawn

Well another great walk with some great people & vizzies (plus some honorary vizzies too!).

We thought this whizz was going to be quite small considering the short notice (just over a week!)...but no...about 20 vizzies managed to make it which was absolutely fantastic! What was even more fantastic was that we managed to raise £35 for Vizsla Welfare & Rescue...thank you so much for contributing to this very worthwhile cause!

Here's a Smilebox of some of my photos...

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Monday, 13 September 2010

Watch out for the New Pages!

For those of you who know us (either personally or just because of this Blog), you will probably have gathered that we are passionate about our "boys".

Radar & Rio are our family...some would call them "pets" but, to us, they're more than that...they're our four-legged, hairy children &, like children, we want them to be secure, happy & healthy...we want the absolute best for them. For us, this means doing all the same things that we would do for/with a human family:

  • Choosing a vet (in their case!!) that we trust & can relate to.
  • Giving them a good diet - which just happens to be the BARF diet.
  • Making sure they have lots of "friends" to play & interact with.
  • Ensuring that they get the opportunity to do lots of different/appropriate activities so that they are both mentally & physically stimulated (hence the agility, PAT dog stuff, swimming & showing etc)...no different to kids really &, like kids, if we find that a particularly activity doesn't suit, we stop it!
But, above all (& I know this sounds soppy), they get our total, life-long, commitment & love...& yes, they can sleep in the bedroom if they want & get on the bed for a cuddle!!!!!

It seems incredible to us that we only met our first Vizlsa about 7 years ago...but from that moment on we were hooked.

Our first Vizsla experience...the lovely Amber having a typical vizzie cuddle with her Dad, Ken!

Initially it was the striking appearance that completely bowled us over but soon, having done our research, we found that the Vizsla could offer so much more & would be the ideal dog for us & our life-style! This is just some of what we discovered:

Vizlsas are very gentle, loyal, caring & highly affectionate. They very quickly form close bonds with their owners, including children, & for this reason they are often referred to as "Velcro" dogs!

Radar & Rio with my little grandson, Otto. Unfortunately, Otto is allergic to dogs but that doesn't stop him loving them & they have both learnt not to touch!

Generally, they are quiet dogs, only barking if necessary or if provoked...though those of you who know Radar will know that he can be extremely vocal particularly if he's getting a back or ear scratch...he actually groans with pleasure!! The other time they can be "vocal" is if they feel neglected or want something..."crying" is not unheard of...well it's definitely "heard" & can sound pretty pathetic!!

As with many breeds, they can suffer from "separation anxiety" so this is definitely something to consider before taking a Vizsla into your home. If other commitments keep you away for too long or, maybe, you just like going to the bathroom on your own, then a Vizsla may not be the dog for you!! They thrive on attention & interaction &, hence, like being close to their owner(s) as much of the time as possible...if given the chance, many of them will sleep in bed with their owners, burrowing under the covers so that they can snuggle up!

Radar & Rio burrowed under "their" duvet!

Rio deciding that Mum & Dad's bed gives him a bit more space to stretch out!!

Vizslas are also VERY energetic & need a good deal of exercise to remain healthy & happy. They are highly intelligent, & thrive on being challenged & stimulated, both mentally & physically - I guess that's one of the reasons both Radar & Rio love agility so much...it gives them physical exercise but they also have to "think"! However, as Vizslas have sensitive temperaments, they can easily be "damaged" if treated or trained unkindly - so, all training must be done gently & without harsh commands or strong physical correction.

They are one of only 15 HPR (Hunt, Point, Retrieve) breeds that are recognised as such in the UK. This means that they are natural hunters, great pointers & excellent retrievers. As Vizslas are excellent swimmers, they will not only retrieve on land but also in the water...check out some of Rio's recent videos of him retrieving from water!!

So what, you may be thinking, was the point of the above waffle?! Well, the passion I mentioned at the beginning isn't just reserved for Radar & Rio but for the Hungarian Vizsla breed as a whole. It's because of this that I've decided to add a few extra pages to our Blog...just stuff that I hope you might find useful &/or interesting, whether you're a current Vizsla owner, are about collect your new Vizsla puppy or are just considering whether or not a Vizsla is the dog for you. I won't pretend that it's all my own work...some is but much of it is information that I've gleaned from other, far more experienced, Vizsla owners...so thank you to them.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

11th September 2010 - Radar at Agility

It was Radar's regular agility class today...& his turn to be filmed - thank you Tracey. He did fantastically (in my opinion of course!!) only knocking one jump down which was excellent considering he's only just moved up to jumping full height...clever boy!

Hope you enjoy watching us in action:

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A bit of "furry" training!!

As you've probably realised by now, we like to give "the boys" variety in their training & try our best to make it all fun!! Today was a case in point...I managed to get hold of a "fur on" bunny & thought it would be good for Radar & Rio to get used to handling it...gently - neither have much, if any, experience in holding something furry in their mouths (apart from each other!!!). I guess, being "bird dogs" it would have been better to get a pheasant...but the season hasn't started yet so a rabbit had to do!!

Meet our training pal...Bugs!

The idea was to introduce them to "Bugs" & then to let them hold him gently (without chewing!) until I said "hand"...which is the command I use when I want them to put "something" in my hand...ball, dummy &, in this case, Bugs! Here they are "getting acquainted":

Umm...Rio's first meeting with Bugs!

Radar gently nudging Bugs with his nose!

Unfortunately I found it impossible to use the camera when they were actually holding the rabbit...needed another pair of hands!! But they both did really well...both eventually holding it & then giving it back to me in one piece...clever boys!

Bugs has now been returned to our local Barf pet food shop...

Our Dad!!

Hey look at this...Dad sent us a picture of him on the cable ship...isn't he just so handsome! And what's this...he's missing us such a lot that he's grown fur on his face...I wonder if it's as soft as our fur!!!!!

Don't forget that you'll need that hat when you get home Dad...for protection!!

Time to catch up...!

Where's the time gone...Dad's been away since 23rd August...he's doin' cable stuff in a place called the North Sea - we all miss him loads & can't wait for him to come home again...he'd better watch out when he does get home coz I'm going to mob him!! I reckon he'll think Mum's swopped Rio for a new vizzie coz Rio's just SO big now...almost as big as me though, of course, not as grown up or as sensible...hee, hee!

Mum's been a bit lax on the photo front but at last she's got her act together & has put together some Smileboxes for you enjoy...I hope! By the way, do watch Rio doin' his first proper agility course...what d'ya reckon, is he good or what...I'm so proud of my little bruv!!

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We went to Hurn Forest yesterday morning for a great walk...Mum reckoned the pictures were a bit boring but, I promise you, the walk was brilliant...there are just SO many lovely smells in the forest!!

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Then, yesterday evening, Mum took us to Queens Park Golf Course for a walk...yes, we're allowed coz it's a public course!! It's a really great place to walk...wide open spaces (Mum says they're called Fairways!) where we can run & run & run...there's water too that we can swim in...& lots of woody bits where we can sniff n stuff! BUT...the best bit is the sand-pits...apparently they're really called Bunkers...we don't care what they're called coz they're just great for doin' mad dog runs in!! Sorry to all you golfers out there but it is fun & Mum does rake them smooth afterwards!!!!

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