Tuesday, 21 November 2017

BGT Audition!

On Sunday, Millie and I went to London to do some filming and for a BGT audition!

I sent off a video in August, before Millie’s arthritis became apparent. I thought that if I did hear from them, we would have to decline. However, on pain killers and various supplements, Millie’s a lot better, so when we got the email saying our video had passed Stage 1 and we were wanted for a Stage 2 audition in front of the producers, I thought we’d give it one more try!

We loaded the scooter, barrel and other props into the car and headed up to London. 

The auditions were held at the ExCel. 

When we arrived we were taken to a big room with lots of other people waiting to audition. It turned out that most of these people were waiting for Stage 1, but we’d already got through that with the video. 

While we were waiting, I decided to ask Millie to go on her scooter, as she hadn’t done it for months! She was perfect, and the whole room was watching her!! She got a massive applause when she stopped! Loads of people ran to take photos of her, and the ones that missed came to me after and asked if they could have a photo! I also got her on the barrel, which had the same response! Unfortunately though, Millie had a little slip off the barrel. I think this must have hurt her hips so she was unable to ride the barrel properly afterwards. When we finished practising, loads of people came and asked to stroke her, and some even wanted pictures with us!

We got some GB ears and a flag while we were in there too!

After an hour or so, everyone went outside to do some filming - shouting and cheering etc. We didn’t do this as they thought it might be too stressful for Millie. Shortly after this, we were found to do some arrival shots. These were done outside by the river. Millie got given a scarf to wear while she did it! We started off on the barrel, but Millie struggled with this a bit. She managed to do a little though. 

We then went on to the scooter. 

Then we went just around the corner, so we had the river and the city in the background. The ground was more level here so was easier for Millie on the scooter. 

We also did a running shot. For this I left Millie much further down the path, and told her to wait. She had a crew member with her but she wasn’t holding her or anything. I walked about 50m away and she stayed exactly where I left her, despite and birds, people and unfamiliar surroundings. I then called her and she came flying back to me! The cameraman ran next to her and got a beautiful shot of Millie running along the river, with her scarf flowing behind her! He was out of breath after though!

Once the arrival shots were done, we had to go back in to register. This took ages as I managed to get stuck behind all the kid dance groups!! Eventually, we were called for our audition. We were taken upstairs to wait. We had another little practise and some more people came and told me how much they love Millie!

It was then time for our audition. There was a Stage in the middle of the room, and carpet either side. Ideally, the stage was too slippery for Millie and the carpet not slippery enough! I decided the carpet was best though. Unfortunately there was only a small space, made smaller by the props. The accident on the barrel earlier has hurt Millie so she wasn’t able to do it and the man messed up the music, so it could have gone better! It wasn’t Millie’s fault though, and I couldn’t be prouder of her. I didn’t think she’d be able to do it again with her arthritis, but she gave it her all. 

I’m not expecting to get through. If we do, we’ll probably give it a go, but if not then this was the last time Millie will be doing the barrel and the scooter and the more strenuous tricks. As much as she tried and wanted to, and to everyone else it still looked amazing, I could tell she was struggling. It’s hurting her even more now a few days later. I wanted to end on a high like this. 

We both had a fantastic day. Millie is the most amazing dog and best friend anyone could ever want. I’m so proud of all she has achieved, we’ve done more together than I ever dreamed of. She’s really is one in a million. 

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Certificate and Rosettes

Yesterday Millie’s Pre-Beginner Obedience Excellent certificate came! Only been waiting since August but still a good achievement!

She also won a couple more rosettes in online shows! She came 1st in Best Jump and 2nd in the October Obedience Challenge!

This means Millie now has over 100 rosettes!! Smart girl!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Millie’s Qualified for Crufts!

At the beginning of August, Millie and I went to Ditton Obedience Show. We entered pre-beginner, beginner and special pre-beginner. We won pre-beginner, we’re really pleased and thought nothing more of it. 

Today however, I had an email saying that we were the highest placed YKC member at the show, so we’ve qualified for Crufts!! We’ll be competing in the YKC GCDS Special Pre-Beginner Stakes on the Friday! I’m so thrilled, the dog everyone said would never be trained has qualified for the biggest dog show in the world! I can’t wait to go with my champion!!

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Millie on the Mend!

After Millie was diagnosed with arthritis, we hadn’t been doing too much so that she could rest and hopefully it would improve. I’ve started giving her a couple of joint supplements as well as pain killers and fortunately she’s a lot better now! She can jump in the car and had been running in the fields again! 

She came with me to trick training classes yesterday and I let her on her skateboard again, which she loved! She’s also won a couple of online shows today, coming 1st in Best Trick on her scooter and 1st in Best Jump! Although she’s not allowed to do these any more, she’s still winning with them!

It’s lovely to see her so much better - hopefully she will stay like this!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

No more jumping for Millie...

We haven’t done too much the last couple of weeks. Been going dog training and Millie’s been helping me at my trick training classes! They’re going well and everyone seems to be enjoying them. https://youtu.be/sBJBFZMiXvo

However, on Monday at dog training, we were doing a recalls and Millie wouldn’t lay down. When she finally did she got straight back up again. I thought she was just being difficult, but I left her in sit in the end. Then she didn’t want to get in the car. Again, I thought she was just being awkward. When we got home though, she jumped on the bed and yelped, then I realised she was in pain, not being difficult. I thought she’d probably twisted something. On Tuesday I didn’t do much with her, but she was struggling to get on the bed and sofas, still yelping a few times. She was also struggling to go up the stairs. Yesterday she didn’t seem so bad. I though whatever she’d done was getting better. I took her training and she seemed fine. However, when we were leaving, she struggled to get in the car. Outside she went up the kerb and yelped. I had to lift her on the bed as she couldn’t do it. She was clearly in lots of pain. 

I called the vet first thing this morning and booked her in. The vet examined her and poor Millie really cried. The vet said she has arthritis in both her hips, but the right is particularly bad. She’s on metacam for a week and we have to go back and review next week to decide the best course of action. There are lots of options to help relieve the pain, it’s just finding what works best for her. 

Fortunately, she will be able to live a happy, comfortable life but she’s not allowed to do any jumping or anything else that puts extra pressure on her hips. i.e. no more riding her scooter or hind leg tricks. Her exercise is important but she should do too much of it, so will have to reduce the length of our morning walk as well. 

Poor girl, she’s been so brave. 

As if to try and cheer us up a little, her rosette came when we got back for coming 3rd in the September Obedience Challenge. 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Another little show

On Sunday Millie and I went to another little fun dog show. We did have a go search and rescue where she got a certificate and some treats. We did Best Trick and came 2nd! Not Millie's fault - The grass was too long to push the skateboard but she was very good! People told us afterwards she should have won but 2nd isn't bad anyway!

She was also a good girl at dog training yesterday, though there were only 3 of us so she had to work hard!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Paws in the Park!

Yesterday we had our annual trip to Paws in the Park in Kent! 

When we got there we headed up to the hall at the top of the show ground to book in to a couple of things. I saw someone from dog training and as I was taking to her, Joe was stealing treats that were for sale! He hasn't quite got the idea of running once he's stolen something so he laid there to eat his prize! 

After Joe had helped himself, we got a coffee and some human treats from the bakery!

I booked into our classes and we had a walk around the show. I entered the obedience with Millie, but she wasn't herself again yesterday and just couldn't focus again. We did one class and then went back into the hall to do the heelwork to music with Richard Curtis. 

She was a bit better here but still not herself. It was still good though. 

I did our other obedience round with her without much success again because she wasn't focussing. We decided to have lunch and watch the duck hearding display, which was excellent. 

After that we went back to the car to get the scooter and skateboard for Best Trick. By the time we got back up to the hall, the class before ours was in the ring. We didn't have long to wait before our turn. 

Millie still wasn't right, being distracted by someone taking a photo of her, but she rode her scooter very well and did a few other things. I know she can do much better but it was good to anyone watching - good enough to come 1st!

I also entered her in the Best Biscuit Catcher, just because she enjoys it! She came 2nd in that too! It was funny that Millie and the winner were both part Lab! 

She was tired on the way home and slept most of the way back. 

Although she wasn't quite with it again, we still had a good and successful day. Smart girl Millie!