All clear for Sheepdog Training on Monday!

It's OK for Monday's training course - and we get a visit from Carew's sister

A training group of handlers and their dogs at a Kings Green Farm training day
It might be a little wet underfoot (to say the least) but Monday's sheepdog training course will go ahead as planned

Occasionally we have to cancel a sheepdog course, and at other times we come very close!

We don't cancel lightly because we know how much people look forward to the day, and very often they've gone to considerable trouble to arrange animal and child care, but if our local roads are flooded, or when there's deep snow on the ground, we don't really have a choice.

On Wednesday the ground was so wet we really didn't think it would be safe to run the next course. Despite keeping all animals off the training area since the last course in December, we were seriously worried that someone could get hurt by slipping over on the very wet ground. We were "standing by" with our list of contact 'phone numbers!

Agility collie dog Izzy
Carew's sister Izzy makes a dull background look elegant and interesting. Can you see the likeness to Carew? (See below)

The weather forecast suggested we'd have a couple of dry days, but this morning's inspection confirmed my fears. The training area is very slippery indeed, and there's more heavy rain coming (we're told) on Sunday night. As a last resort, Gill and I scoured the whole field to see whether there was anything better, and I'm delighted to say we've found a sizeable area of reasonably firm ground with a good covering of matted grass. It's a little bit 'slopey,' but it's not slippery, so despite coming perilously close to cancellation, Monday's sheepdog training course will go ahead.

All that remains is to move the entire training area to the new patch of ground, and on Monday it will be "business as usual". If I'm not too exhausted after shifting all those sheep hurdles, we should have a productive day!

Closeup of a tricolour border collie sheepdog drinking from a pool
We think Carew looks remarkably like her litter sister Izzy (above) - just scruffier

We had a real treat today when Carew's litter sister, Izzy, came with her owners Dawn and Paul to collect one of Kay and Eli's latest pups. It's hardly fair to compare the clean shiny Izzy with the mud spattered Carew, but try to see through Rewdi's "make-up" and the resemblance is remarkable. Carew doesn't sport Izzy's magnificent tail, of course, and she's a little shorter in stature, but facially - well see for yourself in the pictures.

Izzy wasn't our only visitor today; we were delighted to see Kay and Eli's son Brecon, from their first litter a couple of years ago. Brecon's family, under the stewardship of Katie and Alex, has also been joined by a new Kay and Eli puppy (code-named Victor-or-is-it-Neville) but sadly I didn't get a picture of him. Izzy, from sunny Somerset, is an aspiring agility dog, and Brecon, all the way from Falkirk (home of the Wheel that we still haven't visited) divides his time between agility and flyball.

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