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Well, it's been a big week for Fionni so far. First show of the year on Saturday. Then Monday night was his first retrieving lesson (well, first in two years...but I don't think the one training day he had in 2005 aged 15 weeks really counted...). He was a natural - although he did spend most of the session showing his suave manly moves to a rather lovely Flat-Coat Retriever bitch (for "suave manly moves" read "rolling around on his back and squealing like a girl"). Apparently, dogs have it easier than humans, because this seemed to work. They spent most of the night sitting together like the best of pals, and giving each other little licks - so cute! It was like a Disney romance.

He's a setter - why retrieving, you ask? He's always enjoyed retrieving, and I thought it would be a bit of fun for him. Also, field trial training won't start until April/May. Those of you from lovely green and cool countries are lucky that you don't have to put up with venomous snakes and 40 deg C + heat! I have never trialled Fionni before, and I think he will enjoy it. (Note I don't say that I think he will be GOOD at it...but certainly, he will enjoy it! His nickname isn't "the Red Menace" for nothing, after all.)

Anyway, he was quite good at the retriever training, even if he had to stoop so low as to accept a mark that another dog had actually touched... (You should have seen his face..."What? You mean I have to put that thing in my mouth? Ew! Germs!" Show him a manky, half-chewed, crud-encrusted tennis ball that some other dog has left in a rubbish heap, however, and the Fire Department has to be called to bring in the "Jaws of Life" to get it out of his mouth.)

Then today was hip x-ray day! My poor boy. There's nothing worse than dragging them into the vet, knowing that THEY don't know what's about to happen. I always feel so guilty! It was over very quickly, however, and now he's home on the lounge sleeping off the sedative and being hand-fed bananas and yoghurt. (The only thing missing is the bejwelled slave waving the palm leaf fan...although I am sure this will be called for in due course...albeit without the jewels...and possibly the palm leaf fan. The slave is already in attendance and has been since 2005.) The preliminary reports from the vet re the x-rays are great! I also got his elbows x-rayed, just to be responsible. He is my foundation dog, after all. They also look great :)

All that, and it's only Wednesday...

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