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Dylan's Diary 2003

Who could resist this cheeky little man?

Having seen young Dylan on the Rescue Me page of Agilitynet and umming and arring for about three days, Mandy Love finally picked up the phone and called Sarah at Wiccaweys Rescue. Unfortunately, another couple were going to see Dylan on the Sunday, but nevertheless Sarah promised to let her know whether or not they were suitable candidates for Dylan’s new parents. Putting the phone down, disheartened, she regretted not phoning sooner. Mandy has agreed to keep a doggie diary of his progress for all his new friends.

CONTENTS

  • Prologue - On How Young Dylan Went to Live with Mandy and Ed

  • Chapter 1-   Settling In - Dylan Meets the Gang

  • Chapter 2 -  Dylan's First Show Experience

  • Chapter 3 -  Our First Obedience Class

  • Chapter 4 -  Daventry Agility Show - Dylan discovers the see-saw

  • Chapter 5 -  By the Sea - Dylan's first holiday

  • Chapter 6 - Agility Training - Progress Report

= PROLOGUE=

Funny enough it was a red/red merle that I had been looking for, but Dylan just stole my heart. So when the phone didn’t ring on the Sunday, the first thing I did on Monday morning was to phone Sarah again.

Yes, Dylan was still there...

Noooo... But... Sarah was unsure whether she wanted to keep him for herself...

We agreed that Ed and I would go up and spend some time with Dylan and see how it all went. 

So Monday afternoon, off we went to Leicestershire. It all went really well, but Sarah was still unsure whether she wanted to part with him and asked me to phone her Tuesday afternoon. We went away again feeling downhearted.  On Tuesday at midday I phoned Sarah and she said we could have him. Hurray!  As we were competing at the weekend, Sarah said she would keep him with her until the following week.

Over one week later on Wednesday 14, August 2002 Dylan joined the gang!

Join us over the next few months to see how he progresses…

Chapters are in reverse order. To start at the beginning go to the end!

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 = CHAPTER 7 =

The Teen-age Days


Simply standing on the garden wall
or practicing balancing for the dog walk?!?

It’s been quite a few months since I wrote anything for Dylan’s Diary and I’ve been told off by many for not letting them know when his first adult tooth came through or he cocked his leg for the first time! Sorry!! 

Well, needless to say he’s done all of these and is now 15 months old. My how time flies! He has lots of doggie friends both at home and at shows and is getting on really well with Bess, who Yvonne Goode rescued on 1 January 2003 (also via Anna Burton).

Here’s a picture of Dylan and Bess by the sea on our day off at DIN. As you can see they’d much rather be off playing with their buddies than sat waiting while their mommies take photos!

Dylan’s agility training has progressed much slower than I anticipated.  What started out to be very promising, turned into a bit of nightmare! 

For months Dylan lost all interest in agility and much preferred to run around the training school eating horse muck. I couldn’t let him off his lead to teach him the equipment, as he just legged it and wouldn’t come back. I found it difficult to find something that really got him interested; if I used a treat or a toy he paid more attention to what was in my hand than to what he was supposed to be doing.

However, over the last few weeks things have got much better. He is now working for treats and he’s rarely running away to eat horse muck. When he does run away he comes back almost immediately, for which he gets lots of praise and a nice treat.

Because of Dylan’s loss of interest, I decided not to do any ‘set pieces’, but to keep things happy, bouncy and fun.  We would just run around like loonies for a while and then I would run towards a jump and he’d happily go over it.

Last night was a huge improvement. He kept his focus for the majority of the hour in class and did really well; I was extremely pleased. I also took the plunge and let him go across the dog walk off lead. I have to say I was terrified at the prospect in case he fell off, but no problems at all and he got a lovely running contact at the end.

I’m in no rush to get Dylan into the competition ring and luckily it’s come to the time of year where things are getting much quieter anyway.   I want to make sure he’s confident on all aspects of the equipment before I take him into the ring, so I would hope by the time the show season starts up in Spring 2004 both of us will have the confidence to strut our funky stuff.

Generally

Away from agility, Dylan is such a joy to have around.  He gets on with his sisters like a house on fire, except for  Smudge the cat who he just wants to chase!  Anyone any suggestions on how to get him out of this ???

He’s incredibly cuddly and has lots and lots of love to give.  I always get an early morning cuddle when we’re away at shows.

He also sings to us first thing in the morning at home and what a beautiful voice he has.

In  February we  met up  with Anna  Burton, who rescued  Dylan,  and  we  keep in  contact almost daily via e-mail.  As she also competes with her border collie, Amy (who recently won out of elementary – well done to you both), we get to meet up quite often.  I’m hoping she’s happy with how Dylan is turning out – I’ve had no complaints from her anyway! (20.08.03)

[to be continued]


= CHAPTER 6 =

Agility Training

It's January and Dylan has now had seven agility lessons with Ian Smith. He is progressing really well. I’m often being told by Ian that he’s going to be fast, so I guess I have two choices:-

  1. I get stretched

  2. I teach him good commands from the outset

Oh, how I long for No.1!

I am, therefore, working really hard in teaching Dylan back (for left) and close (for right) and he’s really getting the hand of it. We are also working on cross behinds and this really tests Dylan’s directional capabilities, i.e. I’m standing on the right of Dylan to send him, say, in the tunnel but, as he enters, I cross behind and call him to the left. This is excellent and is really making Dylan think.

Unfortunately, Dylan is getting a little bit above himself and has already started to jump off his contacts! I was initially teaching him running contacts, but because of him jumping off, I’ve had to go back to square one and start teaching him to stay on the contact and only leave when I give him my release command. Once he’s mastered this, then we’ll got back to teaching the running contacts.

Dylan is loving jumping. I am able to leave him in a wait and do up to a four jump recall which is proving very handy as it saves me being dragged along the side of the wings!

Reunion
On Sunday, 2 February we are meeting up with Anna, the lady who rescued him. This will be the first time she’s seen Dylan since handing him over to Sarah at Wiccaweys in late July last year…I think she may have a shock at just how big he’s become.
(28.01.03)

[to be continued]


= CHAPTER 5 =

By the Sea

At just over five months, he’s still growing at an amazing rate and is now as tall as my four year old, Jess! He’s still got his knobbly knees, but at least his feet don’t look too big for him anymore. His colours have changed from a very pale blue, to a sort of pale blue tinged with ‘pink’….very different and very lovely. He’s now also losing his baby teeth and getting through his ‘big boy’ teeth, which is causing him to chomp on everything in sight, which includes making a big hole in the kitchen wall and chewing half the skirting board….aww bless.

During the weekend of 27-29 September we went with a group of friends (and their dogs) to Shell Island, Barmouth, Wales for a long weekend in a ‘tent’ No home comforts of our lovely caravan…eek! Unfortunately we couldn’t fit Dylan’s cage in as well, so we were resigned to the fact that he would have to sleep in the bedroom compartment with us, together with Jess and Sally. (We couldn’t have them sleeping separate to each other!). 

Everyone had a great time, canines and humans. We had long walks along the beach each morning, afternoon and night (!) and because Shell Island is so dog-friendly, the only time they went on their leads was to walk around the Barmouth town. 

Dylan, again as fearless as ever, ran right into the sea on his first introduction, even though there were plenty of big waves, but Ed and I were always close at hand in case of any problems. However, we didn’t think he’d like the sea quite as much as he did. He spent most of the weekend with a sand clogged, wet coat!! Dylan had had his first swimming experience recently in a nice calm, lake. Like most dogs swimming came naturally, but we kept it short because of his growing limbs, even though he wanted more!

The first night’s sleep was a bit of a nightmare, with Dylan trying to make his escape by jumping up at the zip to open the sleeping compartment!! He did eventually tire and went to sleep with Jess and Sally at the base of our blow-up bed. The second night was much better, but I think this was just because he was totally whacked…in fact, he was so tired that I had to pick him up and lift him into the ‘bedroom’, and it was us that had to wake them the next morning.

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. When we did got back on Sunday night, all three of them were miserable, as they were when I got up for work on Monday morning… poor things. If only we could spend every day like the weekend, eh?

Obedience class
We started our ‘competition level’ obedience class a few weeks ago, but I have to admit I’m not entirely enjoying it. The group is very ‘cliquey’ and although I’ve tried to speak with other members, they seem to snub Dylan and me. Not to mention that we get frowned upon because I want to do agility, rather than just obedience.

Anyway, the good news is that Dylan starts puppy agility ‘training’ with Ian Smith on 2 November 2002, so I’m sure we’ll both enjoy that much more. I’ll let you know how we get on.

We’ll be at Milton Keynes this weekend (13 October), so please come and say ‘hello’ to us.

[to be continued]

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= CHAPTER 4 =

Daventry Agility Show

I just have to share this with everyone. We went to Daventry this weekend and, of course. I took Dylan around the rings for a little more socialising. Whilst talking to a friend, Dylan started to sniff around a see-saw that was by the ringside. Before I knew it, he was standing on the end. Obviously, I pulled him off it.

A few minutes later he was on again, only this time he started to walk towards the middle! My friend promptly produced a treat, and together we walked Dylan to the other end of the see-saw, while I held the ‘down’ side and lowered it gently to the floor, all the time saying ‘see-saw.' While he stood on the down contact, he was given his treat, and I made lots and lots of fuss of him. People who saw him were gob smacked and made comments such as ‘that looks promising’

Do I have an agility dog in the making?

[to be continued]


  = CHAPTER 3 =

Our First Obedience Class

Dylan attended his first obedience class on Thursday, 5 September. We didn’t do a great deal as it was our first day, but what he did do was excellent. He had a good sit and down, and our teacher got Dylan and I to ‘trot’ around the room, keeping Dylan at a heel with a treat….he’ll do anything for food!

We then did a recall on the lead and although Dylan was tempted to go and say hello to all the other people and doggies in the room, he did come straight to me (probably 'cause I had a treat in my hand!)

So I left our first lesson feeling proud and happy. (5 September 2002)

[to be continued]


= CHAPTER 2 =

Dylan's First Show Experience

This weekend Dylan had his first agility show experience at Letchworth. He had previously had difficulty with travelling, so we were a bit unsure how he would cope, even though we had taken him on lots of short ‘happy’ journeys to get him used to the car. On Thursday night at 10:00pm, just over two hours later, we arrived at Letchworth with a tired, but happy Dylan …. phew what a relief!

He went out on his first walk with the ‘big dogs’ at 6:00am on Friday morning…he couldn’t wait to get to the exercise area, being full of energy and pulling on his lead! However, we didn’t want to risk letting him loose on his first trip out and losing him before we got to show him off!! Even after this short walk on the lead, he was exhausted and slept for ages.

We were so happy with how Dylan had been on his first outing, that Ed and I discussed letting him off lead that afternoon. 

Before that though, he got to meet Mick Chambers, Mick’s wife, son and, of course, Bryn. We chatted for quite a while and Mick & Co. watched as Dylan played with his sisters.

Okay, so the afternoon walk came and with trepidation, we let Dylan off his lead. He was wonderful. Yes, he went off to introduce himself to other dogs and people, but he always came back... after a little cajoling anyway! My friend and fellow club member, Yvonne Goode, was with us for this momentous occasion, and her dogs Buster, Belle and Bonnie all accepted him into the gang. Bonnie seemed to especially like him, which, as anyone who knows Bonnie will tell you, is quite amazing!

We ventured down to the agility rings later that afternoon and needless to say, most people had to stop and give him a cuddle. Who could resist? He was absolutely loving all the attention.

The rest of the weekend continued much the same, and in between walks, meeting new doggies and people, and eating, Dylan slept... awwww.

It was wonderful seeing Dylan so happy after such a rotten start to his young life.

I even got to meet the lady who had almost become Dylan’s mom, and funny enough it was someone who I had been chatting to at many shows, Jan. At first she didn’t realise it was the same Dylan. It was only when we were talking later that she realised and was shocked at just how much he’d grown since she had seen him three weeks ago... and believe me – he’s still growing!!

I’ve just enrolled the little tyke into Obedience training. Should be fun!!  (30 August-1 September 2002)

I’ll keep you posted on his progress so until next time on Dylan’s Diary.

[to be continued]

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Scrapbook 


Sleeping next to Jess in the awning

   
Sleeping on the end of mom’s bed


Sleeping on mom’s waterproof trousers (just in case!!)


What's in here then?


Oh no! Caught in the act!


= CHAPTER 1 =

Settling In

After a long and no doubt stressful journey, Dylan was still in high spirit. He made himself welcome immediately by adopting the squeaky pudding, which was lying on the kitchen floor.

That night he went to see where he would be going to agility school, and everyone fell in love with the bundle of fur I was carrying in my arms.

We were concerned his first night would be a bit traumatic, both for him and us, but no – Dylan slept like a baby.

As Dylan had only had his first set of injections the day he came to us, we couldn’t do any of the usual stuff like walkies and playing in the park, so we have had to settle for the back garden for the time being. However, Dylan doesn’t have a problem with this, as you can usually find him rolling around on the lawn with one of the girls play fighting. Whenever you cuddle any of ‘the kids,’ they always have a scruffy neck because of the drool that’s been passed around... yuk!

It’s now been two weeks since Dylan joined us, and he’s off on his first real holiday this weekend to Letchworth, where he hopes to meet lots of other dogs and people who 'know' him from Agilitynet and the Agility Forum. I’ll let you know how he goes. (14–31 August 2002)

[to be continued]

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From Anna Burton
I was the person who took Dylan to Wiccaweys when a lady approached me in the local park saying that she couldn't cope having had him for 12 days! Unfortunately I was not in a position at the time to take on another dog so Sarah kindly agreed to take him in and re-home him.

It is great to see how he is getting on through his diary.

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