Lochlorien & Andley  Irish Setters



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Saturday 27th December

I've had a couple of emails asking what I've been up to lately so I thought I had better update my diary. I've been so busy I haven't had much time to write things down but I'll try to remember some of the events.
A few weeks ago we all went to a big 'reds' show, just for dogs like us. I hadn't been to this place before it was a kind of sports centre where men were playing with a ball outside.  I wasn't in a very good mood that day and got told off for being naughty and fidgeting in the ring.  Morsey (goody two shoes) was good but didn't get a place. 
We went to stay with my brother again recently. I love going there, we have lovely long walks where there is water for us to swim in and we get really posh dinners that smell really nice.  I like the dinner we get at home too, but sometimes it's nice to have something different.  
Mummy says it was Christmas a few days ago.  I don't really understand what that means, but there were lots of brightly coloured parcels around a big tree in the conservatory that had lights on and there are  lots of cards hung around the lounge.  We've got coloured lights all over the front of the house and there have been lots of comings and goings.
I think most of the parcels must have been for the boys because they suddenly seem to have lots of new things to play with.  George has this little green thing that runs around on a track on the floor but I'm not allowed to play with it.  Nick has a funny thing that makes beeping noises when he walks around the garden with it.  He's also got a new camera so there's been lots of opportunities for me to pose and be pretty.  He likes taking photos of us dogs, but usually when we're doing something silly.  He took photos last summer of me playing with the garden sprinkler, very embarrassing.  
We all had a special dinner on Christmas day, there was extra made for us to share so we had turkey and vegetables with gravy. Lovley!  We weren't allowed any of the sweets and chocolates though.
We went for a nice walk yesterday to a different place not far from our house.  There were ducks and swans there and some funny little grey things with furry tails.  They ran up the tree every time I tried to say hello.  There was a big lake there and lots of grass to run around on.  Unfortunately it started to rain on the way home, but it was a cold, white coloured rain. I didn't like it much and was glad to get back to my warm bed.
I think there is something special going on again soon. I heard the family talking about a new year party, that usually means lots of people and noise.  Whenever I hear the word party I know there's a chance of meeting some new people and having lots of fusses so I think I might enjoy this!


Wednesday 19th November

What a time we've been having!  A few weeks ago we went to stay with my brother Chester.  It was great fun and he lives in a lovely big house.
Mummy said she had a really good look around when she went in.  She was trying to see if our family were in there and ran all over the house looking, finally ending up on the big bed where she lay down and refused to budge. 
When we first arrived we spent ages just playing and chasing each other around the garden, then I noticed this white thing in a cage.  I'm not really sure quite what it was, some kind of animal, but it didn't make much noise.  It had long ears and kind of jumped around it's cage.  I barked at it but it didn't respond.  I really wanted to know what it was, but eventually Chester's people put a cover over the cage so I couldn't see it any more.
We had some lovely long walks on our holiday.  We went to a place where there was some water with boats on.  It was great fun swimming around and shaking afterwards to get the water out of our coats.  Mummy swam all the way to the other side of the water and wouldn't come back for a long time.  The man (John) pretended we were going home without her, so she decided she should come back in the end.
It seemed like quite a long time that we were on holiday, but eventually George and Cheryl came to take us home so I knew they hadn't forgotten us.
The day we went home we all had baths and were dried off with the blowy thing.  It was nice to be home, although I did enjoy my holiday. I like visiting Chester. 
Since then we've been to a couple more shows.  I was in big trouble on Sunday because I got the fidgets.  I couldn't help it, I just needed to have a wriggle, but George said I was naughty and for the first time ever I didn't get a card, not even a white one.  Perhaps I'd better be a good girl next time.
Mummy hurt her leg at the show too, so she wasn't able to win anything.  I don't really know what happened because she was fine in the morning, but when she went in the ring to do her run she was limping.  Cheryl checked her paws to make sure nothing was stuck in them, but she didn't find anything.  When Mummy came back to her bench she said her shoulder ached, but she didn't know why.  By the time we went home, she was much better and could walk normally.  I think she must have just pulled it.
The weekend before we made a very long journey all the way up to Scotland.  Morse and Mummy said they had been to this place before, but I haven't.  It was dark by the time we arrived, and we stopped at a chip shop on the way up for the family to have their tea.  It smelt really nice so I was glad when they didn't eat it all.  We had a mixture of chips, sausage, fish and haggis! Lovely!
We stayed the night at a big house with horses and some other dogs.  We had a big room and I got to sleep inside whilst Morse and Mummy had to sleep in the car.
In the morning we had a short car journey to the show and then onto our benches.  Morsey was in the ring first.  He was a really good boy and won a blue, Mummy says that means he can come to the Crufts with us now.  I tried my best to be good and also got a blue.  Mummy was in a very big class and got a green.  By the time we went home, everyone was really tired, but we had all done really well so the journey home was spent sleeping and dreaming about Crufts with Mummy and Morse.  Last year I was too young to be shown so I just did the discover dogs stand.  This year will be different!

Tuesday 7th October

We have been busy this last couple of weeks.  We've been to 2 shows and travelled lots of miles.  The first one was quite a long way, mostly on those straight roads and we had to get up very early.  Morse (as usual) was up first.  By 5:30 he was jumping up at the gate wanting to get on the way!  All the time George and Cheryl were packing the bag and the car he kept whinging and bouncing.  Mummy and I just wanted to stay asleep in our beds, but we couldn't get any peace with him carrying on all the time.

Eventually we arrived at the show.  I'm sure we haven't been to this place before and Mummy said she didn't think she had either.  It was a very long way from the car park to the benches and it was quite cold to begin with.  All our benches were in a big long white tent and there were lots of trees around where the rings were.  As we were walking to the tent I could see some other dogs in the distance playing so I think this must have been some kind of park.  I wondered if we might be able to go for a run and a play afterwards, but being a show day there probably wouldn't be time.  As we lay on our benches, I looked around for a familiar face, but there didn't seem to be many other dogs there.  In fact it was very quiet and I started to wonder if we had come on the right day.  Then I heard George telling a lady that we had come early because he wasn't sure how long it would take to get there.  Eventually the other reds began to arrive and soon there was a buzz of people talking and laughing.

George took me for a little walk which gave me a chance to have a look around.  There were lots of people milling about and our ring was just outside the tent.  I could smell food cooking and there were several people with buns in their hands that smelt delicious.  I got quite close to getting a taste at one point, but they moved their hand just at the last moment. (Shame.)  Then it was back on the bench for me and it was Morse's turn for a walk round.

Soon it was my turn to go in the ring.  Our judge was a very tall man, but he spoke  kindly to me and wasn't at all rough when he stroked me over.  We did our running around bit and ended up with a yellow.  It was lovely and sunny, and because there were quite a few other girls in my class it gave me a chance to have a laze around in the sunshine.

Then it was Morse's turn.  I heard Cheryl telling George hoe naughty Morse was, because he wouldn't stand still.  He still managed to get a green though.  Mummy was in a really big class like me and she must have been good because she also got a green.

It was a long journey home again and it rained most of the way so I just went to sleep.

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful until Friday.  The dog bath was brought out and Morse went and hid in the kennel.  I tried to keep out of the way too but eventually we all had baths.  At least the water was nice and warm and the weather was nice.  Then we all had to take turns in going under the white blowy thing.  Mummy went first.  She didn't seem to mind it at all and I watched her getting all dry and shiny.  Her coat looked really nice when they finished with her and then it was my turn.  I wasn't too sure to begin with, but it felt lovely and warm and after a while I decided I rather like it.  It was really nice to just sit there with my eyes closed and feel the warm air blowing through my coat.  When I was dry it was Morse's turn.  Even he didn't mind that bit, but I offered to go again just in case.

Saturday morning came and we all piled into the car.  The boys with their cricket set and us with our blankets and brushes.  It was quite a shortish journey and I soon recognised that we were at the place with the quite airplanes.  It was quite quiet in the hall and there didn't seem many people to begin with but it soon filled up and I could see my friend Bronte on a bench opposite.  We all did quite well with me getting 2 grey cards (haven't seen one of those before), Mummy got a green again and Morsey got a pink one!  He wasn't impressed, he says pink should only be for girls.

Later in the day Bronte was telling me about a test she had done as she proudly displayed her green and white rosette.  It was something to do with being a good citizen (whatever that means).  She said she just really had to be good and well mannered.  She had to sit still for a while and meet someone without jumping up and walk nicely on the lead.  She even had to walk between the benches without talking to all the other dogs.  I'm not sure I could do that, she must be very clever.

Just when I thought it must be nearly time to go home, Cheryl came and fetched me and Mummy with show leads.  I couldn't imagine what was coming next.  We went into the ring together where two ladies looked at us and some other dogs then we had to run round together.  They then gave us a blue card and a little medal thing.  Afterward Mummy explained that this was called brace and the judges were looking at us to see how alike we were.  I think I did this once before with Morse, but he's a boy, so how could we be alike?

Eventually it was time to go home and we had to pack everybody and everything in to the car.  It didn't seem to take too long and before I knew it I was back in my own garden eating my tea.

It's raining again today so I don't feel much like going out to play.  Perhaps it will be nice later.  That hole needs a bit of attention, I'm sure I can't be far off finding out what lives down there.


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