Christina Oxtoby
News 2015
Previous News 2015
December 2015
20th December - CHOIR - Christmas Choir - Carols by Candle light Sutton Bridge  
19th December - CHOIR - Gospel Choir singing carols at various care homes
15th December - CHOIR - Lewes Sings Gospel - watching a rehearsal with the wonderful Karen Gibson  
13th December - CHOIR - Christmas Choir - Carols by Candle light Tydd St Mary 
12th December - DOGS - Cambridge HTM
6th December - CHOIR - Gospel Choir singing at Holbeach Christmas market
4th December - CHOIR - Simply Sing carol singing at Hillington Square Kings Lynn
November 2015
28th November - CHOIR - Simply Sing concert
21st November - DOGS - HTM comp Andover
20th November - CHOIR - Simply Sing, singing live on the radio
14th November - DOGS - HTM workshop Essex - first one
7th November - DOGS - Cambridge HTM
October 2015
20th October - DOGS - I met some lovely owners and dogs whilst I took an HTM workshop for a dog trainer in Norfolk. Thank you Ruth for the invitation and for making me so welcome. 
15th October - DOGS - Eze and Shai have a great swim at their hydrotherapy session - thank you for the use of your wonderful pool Stacey (Well Dog Hydrotherapy in Peterborough.) This was the first in many sessions, particularly for Eze, and we even taught Ru to swim and undo his stiff back muscles. 
4th October - DOGS - My dogs and I do arena demos in Corby. The collies enjoyed (carefully!) getting back into work and Ru and Wilma also joined in. 
September 2015
12th September - DOGS - Arena demos for Bark in the Park. I was really delighted to be joined by a number of my Cambridge and Peterborough HTM clients who all did really well - well done everyone! 
August 2015
21st - 23rd August - DOGS - ICC Dog Activity Holiday. It was a wonderful weekend, with great company. This is now very much a yearly event, and we have a number of dogs and handlers who come every year which is lovely because it means that we get to know each other very well. (It also means that we, as instructors, need to keep thinking of new ways to keep it interesting for them!) From training sessions to beach walk, pub meal to chatting we had a great time! Thank you to Northcotes Heavy Horse Centre for, as always, making us so welcome and Debbie for being a great friend and instructor, and Rita and Alan for your help with the catering. We'll see you all next time! (PS Wilma enjoyed herself on the beach and says to say hello to all of her new friends!)
3rd - 6th August - DOGS - Before several months of dramas with our dog's health I had booked onto Clear Qs agility camp with the collies. This was instructed by World agility experts Greg Derret, Jo Tristram and Anthony Clark. I wasn't really expecting to be able to go, but by this time Eze was well enough to enjoy doing things (he had been VERY bored whilst I spent months resting him!) and I wanted to keep an eye on Shai and have him with me. We had a lovely time - Eze jumping lower level jumps and Shai being fed treats for doing clever things... like breathing! He also learnt 'chin' as an HTM move because it was something he could do with very, very little movement and still feel he was being clever! It was a lovely break after several very, very stressful months trying to keep them both alive. 
July 2015
13th - 28th July - DOGS - The fight to save Shai's life. Shai still didn't want to eat so we took him to our vets, and by the time we got him there he started bleeding from one of his eyes. This had happened with his other eye a few weeks earlier, but as it had happened straight after a walk the vet that we saw at the time thought that he'd probably injured himself on the walk and we thought no more of it. He had also started bleeding into his gums. They did blood tests on him and it turned out that he had hardly any platelets left. They should be between 200-500 and at his worst his were down to 5. This didn't explain why he wouldn't eat though, nor did it explain why his temperature was 104 and he wasn't responding to treatment. He was referred as an emergency to the AHT and there he proceeded to baffle the entire small animal department, including the head of internal medicine and, after passing his test results onto him, the world expert in imaging, in America. During this time he had got progressively worse and was now coughing up blood. Finally it was decided that part of his lung had died as it had filled with blood and then had been cut off from the rest of the blood supply. The danger was operating when his blood couldn't clot. The solution was a blood transfusion straight from Ru, our Great Dane into Shai, who received it moments before the operation. After a LOT of prayer and some wonderful treatment from team at the AHT (to whom I shall be forever grateful) and a week in hospital there, Shai made a miraculous recovery. It turned out that his immune system had attacked his platelets and destroyed them leading to uncontrollable bleeding including into his lung. UPDATE - Over a year later and he is completely healed and off all medication. We are thanking God and also Mellora along with the other medical teams at the AHT. 
10th - 12th July - DOGS - All of my dogs were back in action doing arena displays at Just Dogs Live. I was also running have a go at HTM sessions, and was one of the 'ask the experts' for dog training and behaviour. Eze was feeling much better and insisted that he should be allowed to join in. He was also doing some demo sessions for my canine hydrotherapist friend who was doing demos there and at one point he was having such a lovely time he threw a tantrum about coming out of the water again and sat barking in the car for several minutes, just to make sure we all knew how he felt! (To say he's now well enough to have been bored doing very little would be an under statement so although I was careful with what I allowed him to do, he was allowed to work again!) Unfortunately on the last day he needed to take over Shai's workload because Shai didn't want his breakfast and then took himself back to bed again so he had a 'Daddy Day' at home. I didn't realise then just how ill Shai was about to become...
5th July - MUSIC - Simply Sing Choir had their concert and I was so pleased with how they did - they've come such a long way and the sound is really starting to blend well as a choir - a huge well done!
4th July - MUSIC - Sutton Bridge Gospel Choir had a wonderful afternoon singing at the wedding of one of its members. Huge congratulations to the lovely Claire and Matt. 
June 2015
13th June - MUSIC - Had a wonderful afternoon playing for a wedding at Tydd St Mary's - congratulations to the happy couple!
6th - 7th June - DOGS - My dogs and I do arena displays at All About Dogs. This felt very strange without my wonderful, reliable Eze (as he was at home getting better!) Shai was an absolute star, doing a LOT of displays each day and taking both of their workloads. Ru did well (apart from a brief moment of sun-bathing!) and even Wima was a really good girl doing a motivation demo and some tricks she had learnt. 
3rd June and many other days as well! - DOGS - The reason Eze hasn't featured very much in the news is because he hasn't been himself for quite some time and has gradually been getting worse. After various tests and x-rays with our vets he was finally referred to the small animal section of the Animal Health Trust (AHT) at Newmarket. A huge thank you to the wonderful staff there for all of your expertise and care for him. UPDATE - I am writing this over a year later. The AHT have continued to be fantastic, especially our Internal Medicine Vet, Mellora. Eze has been diagnosed with an auto-immune condition requiring him to remain on steroids. Without this his immune system attacks his joints filling them with fluid and at his worst he was unable to stand without help or walk without falling over. He was in great pain and had a temperature of 104. The condition also attacks his skin. With medication he is so well he is completely symptom free and can enjoy a completely normal life. We are so very, very thankful to have our wonderful boy enjoying life and being able to run, play and have fun again.  
1st June - DOGS - Thank you for all of your help Jo Tristram with Shai's agility training today. 
May 2015
29th-30th May - DOGS - Had a wonderful time at the Scottish Bearded Collie Club's HTM show today. Shai won Intermediate Heelwork taking him up to Advanced, and he also won Novice Freestyle. Ru came 4th in Advanced Freestyle Crufts Qualifier class. 
16th May - DOGS - Had a wonderful time judging for the Paws n Music HTM competition today. Thank you for the invitation and well done to all of the competitors. 
11th May - DOGS - Great to meet some lovely dogs and owners, this time in Peterborough, at the start of a new dog training course I'm running for the Canine Centre of Excellence there. Thank you Shelley for inviting me! 
6th May - DOGS - More great agility lessons with Wendy and me trying to keep up with my dogs!
2nd May - DOGS - Lovely to see all of my HTM clients in Cambridge for the start of a great new monthly training day - lovely dogs and people!
April 2015
16th and 30th April - DOGS - Thanks for the great agility lessons Wendy
14th April - DOGS - Some of the dogs have a great Hydrotherapy session (thanks Stacey) and others have a massage to keep them moving well (thanks Merle.)
March 2015
30th March - DOGS - A great group of people and dogs at Cambridge this afternoon and evening for my HTM mini-workshop with them. Very enjoyable as they were a lovely group. 
26th March - DOGS - Really enjoyable agility lesson with both of my collies, who were both on great form (even Wilma had a - very brief - turn!)
21st March - DOGS - HTM competition at Westglen. 
16th March - MUSIC - I had the privilege of singing for the funeral of a really wonderful lady today. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. 
15th March - DOGS - Wilma arrives! Wilma is a rescued, 14 month old Basset Hound and is both delightful and exhausting and the latest member of the family. 
5th March - DOGS - Crufts Freestyle Final - Eze comes 5th in the whole of the UK! He was an absolute star, and over the years we have come to understand each other so well, working him on large occasions is like putting on a comfy old pair of slippers. He was a little bit excited, but loved his time in the ring and was a really good boy. 
February 2015
27th February - DOGS - The first dog training class of the latest course with a great group of dogs and owners. 
19th February - DOGS - Shai's first agility lesson with Jo Tristram - he was a very good (and fast!) boy.
January 2015
28th January - DOGS - Just Dogs Live planning meeting. 
24th January - DOGS - Crufts Semi Finals, Eze comes in the top 10 in the UK in HTM Freestyle and qualifies for Crufts! 
17th January - DOGS - Thanks to the members of the 2014 OEC British team for your help today - we had a great time training together and giving each other help and advice. 
15th January - CHOIR - Welcome back to Simply Sing - great to see you all again too!
14th January - CHOIR - Welcome back to the Gospel Choir - great to be back with you all again! 
12th January - MUSIC - Welcome back to all of my music pupils in Stamford - Great to see you and Happy New Year!
5th January - DOGS - I am delighted to say that I have just found a wonderful new, indoor dog training venue for classes. New classes are due to start in February - more info to follow...
3rd January - CHOIR - Huge thanks to my fab and talented friend Mark James for the great Gospel Choir workshop that you took for me today. I've had some brilliant feedback about the day and we're hoping you can come back over to Britain again in the summer. Thanks to everyone who came (all approx 35 of you) for joining in with such enthusiasm!

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