Who could resist this cheeky
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.
Prologue - On How Young Dylan
Went to Live with Mandy and Ed
Chapter 1- Settling In
- Dylan Meets the Gang
- Dylan's First Show Experience
- Our First Obedience Class
- Daventry Agility Show - Dylan discovers the see-saw
- By the Sea - Dylan's first holiday
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
Yes, Dylan was still
|Noooo... But... Sarah was unsure whether
she wanted to keep him for herself...
agreed that Ed and I would go up and spend some time with Dylan and see how it all went.
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.
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!
= 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
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!
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:-
I get stretched
I teach him good
commands from the outset
Oh, how I long for
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.
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
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!
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.
[to be continued]
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
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
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?
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
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]
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?
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)
Dylan's First Show Experience
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!
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.
were so happy with how Dylan had been on his first outing, that Ed and I discussed letting
him off lead that afternoon.
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.
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!
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
rest of the weekend continued much the same, and in between walks, meeting new doggies and
people, and eating, Dylan slept... awwww.
wonderful seeing Dylan so happy after such a rotten start to his young life.
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
I’ve just enrolled the little tyke into Obedience training. Should be fun!!
(30 August-1 September 2002)
keep you posted on his progress so until next time on Dylan’s Diary.
[to be continued]
Sleeping next to Jess in
Sleeping on the end of
Sleeping on mom’s waterproof
trousers (just in case!!)
What's in here then?
Caught in the act!
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.
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.
concerned his first night would be a bit traumatic, both for him and us, but no – Dylan slept
like a baby.
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...
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)
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.