Beach Trip

This is actually from a few weeks ago, oops! Before we got Daisy, we decided to take advantage of the good weather and take Rio on her first beach trip, ostensibly to teach her to swim. Hunmanby’s always good for dogs and the water is safe to swim in, so off we trekked.

Things I learnt on the beach trip: Rio can’t swim.

Swimming Fail

Neither can Kim.


Why are my non-Border Collies such useless swimmers? On finding themselves marginally out of their depth, both Kim and Rio shut their eyes, flail wildly, and half an hour later make it to shore. Just to bear in mind, I went into the sea with them, and let me tell you, the North Sea is bloody cold even in June. In the photo of Rio flailing above, I’m stood 2ft to the right crying with laughter at her failure. The water is just above my knees, so it’s not deep.


Alfie came with us on this beach trip too. Rio is a lot more tolerant of him than I am. He’s not a bad dog, he’s just a typically spoilt small dog with no manners and no boundaries, although he has a sweet temperament and he takes everything in his stride happily.


Other things I learnt on the beach trip: Rio is still trying to be a Border Collie. She even adopted Dylan’s ears for the day.


So, Rio liked the beach and hated the sea. Kim still likes the beach and the sea, providing she’s not having to swim. Dylan still thinks the beach is ok but loves the sea so much that he shook with excitement, made pitiful crying noises, and mowed people down so he could at least see it from the moment he got out of the car.



Our plan was to try and get to a beach sometime this bank holiday. It’s always a bit of a hassle; so few dog friendly beaches at this time of year, especially within 2 hours of us. We live pretty much in the centre of the country, it’s about the same distance to the East or West coasts. Not so bad on the way there, but I don’t like the old ladies to be sat in the car for 2 hours whilst damp and potentially baking or freezing, considering the British weather.


It rained, obviously, so no worries about the baking. We picked Bispham, which is really just a continuation of Blackpool beach, just because we knew there would be plenty of parking and lots of beachy goodness. It is a nice beach, but there were a lot of muddy spots, not good. The girls are getting a bit too old now for beach trips too, they were both very stiff and tired today. Dylan wasn’t, he loves the beach and swimming in the sea and so on, he had a blast and is ready to go again.


Rio had to stay home; her paw is almost entirely healed, but not enough to withstand a few miles of beach walking, especially at the kind of 100mph pace that Ri goes at. The manuka honey dressings have worked surprisingly well. I’m always sceptical about remedies like this, but it did seem to make a noticable difference. Enough that I’m keeping hold of the honey left over, in case we need it again!


So, still no beach for Rio. It might be Hare’n’Hounds next May before she gets a trip, at this rate!

Redcar Flyball

The girls ran well, we broke our seed time again and clocked a 20.15 in the afternoon. Mollie was slightly off her normal form, I think Saturday took her edge away. She gets so excited and then exhausts herself by getting all wound up and silly when she’s not running. She and Kim still ran line-to-line 4.9-5.1s all day. I am especially pleased with Kim, she ran all day as she was the height dog and she clocked a 4.99 in the afternoon. No idea what she’s up to, getting faster at her age! It was really good racing though, and we finished 3rd in the Division.

Dylan’s team also finished 3rd. Dylan was not running at his best. He was running with the top-team dogs again as they were missing two of the usual dogs from that team, and he wasn’t happy. As soon as I tried to do a proper change into Norah, Dylan started stuttering into the first jump, slamming on the breaks. My assumption is that this was to avoid Norah, because on wide changes he wasn’t stuttering. I’m getting a little bit frustrated with his stuttering into the first hurdle – it’s something that has only developed this summer and it varies depending on the competition.

What made this more frustrating was that Dylan’s box was lovely! He had a few mishaps after our new boxloader dropped a ball as he was approaching the box, which confused him no end, but by the next race he was back to neat, tight turns. It’s probably the best boxwork I’ve seen him doing all summer, but instead of improving his times, he was slower due to the run-in. He clocked 5.1s consistently all day (including changeovers, not line to line), which isn’t good enough. He clocked a 4.81 in singles the day after his first ever competition, and that is the standard I have been holding him to ever since.

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Luckily we went to the beach afterwards. Despite the windswept grey sky and the wild grey sea, Redcar is always worth the trip because of the Stray.

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Northern Festival of Agility: Part Two

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The beach at Redcar is gorgeous, all endless miles of sand and sea. Dylan and I spent a couple of hours there by ourselves earlier in the week, but the girls arrived on Thursday and Dylan was ridiculously excited to see them again so we spent all afternoon there.

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Probably one of the few times you’ll spot me on camera; Mum took over camera duties whilst I tried to persuade Kim to swim. She didn’t, but she went much deeper than normal and didn’t flail like an idiot, so maybe her one and only hydro session did her some good.

Also, have I mentioned the weather? Because the weather. Wow. Every single picture looks bright and sunny and warm because it was.

Beach ShakeKim and Dylan on the Stray at RedcarHappy on the beach

Hunmanby Gap


Jane and Andrea have been telling us to visit this beach for months, and we finally got around to it last week. It was really cold, but the dogs loved it. Kim loved chasing the birds, Mollie lovedThe gangchasing Kim, and Dylan loved herding all of us into the sea.

Beaches are a rare trip in our household because we live right in the middle of the country. The nearest coast is at least an hour and a half away, and dog-friendly beaches are usually further than that.I have no idea why the horizon is so crazy on this picture. Either the dogs were leaning to the left, or the world was leaning to the right.

This beach really is fab though. It was pretty busy for a cold wet day just after Christmas but you can’t tell from the photos. We met 2 pointers, 2 Labradors, 6 Jack Russell Terriers, 3 Norfolk Terriers, 2 German Shepherds, various crossbreeds, and 1 Golden Retriever puppy who was so excited to be there, but the beach was so huge we never really bumped into them unless we wanted to.

Mollie in the seaIt was freezing, as I may have mentioned (I think it was around 2°C) but the dogs still went in the sea. Mollie is obsessed with the sea. We had only had her a few weeks when she came on a camping holiday with us, and she spent the whole trip chasing the waves up and down the shore. It was clear that she’d never had the opportunity to just run about and have fun, and on the first day she refused to come home. Luckily she was still a fat little dog at the time so it wasn’t hard to catch her. She still finds the sea totally irresistible.Kim, Mollie and Dylan. Dylan was off doing his own thing when the girls took off, hence why he's behind! He was accelerating and overtook Mollie.

We walked for just over 2 hours, but Kim got very cold and we decided to call it a day.

Mollie, Kim and Dylan at Hunmanby Gap