Monday, September 22, 2008

Trial Weekend Update and Monday's Rest!!

It’s has been a whirlwind weekend. I got up early to drive down to Yelm for the trial. I had Tess, Nan and Lucy entered. I got up early then loaded up the girls and left. Getty had loaded my truck the night before with food, bags of clothes, dog gears and other stuff. I really appreciated him doing that as I can not lift heavy items. So all I had to do was load up the girls.

It was too darn early to wake up and go but we did. The trial was 1.75 hours away and I was driving my truck. I knew it would be a real test to be driving so I stopped after an hour of driving and rested and then finished. I got to the trial and was not only tired but my chest was hurting. I did not take any pain meds before I left so I could drive. I took ½ Vicoden when I got there. I had about an hour before my run so I cat napped in the trial host’s SUV (Judy Norris- Thank you!!) and one of the handlers woke me up for my run. Thank you Karen Combs for waking me up. That short cat nap helped.

I ran Tess and I managed to miss my fetch panels. We got the pen and the shed. I ran out of gas halfway through my run and you could tell. I had to use my voice and running a dog over an Open course using your voice is quite hard. Tess ran well considering she hasn’t run a course for three months and for the last two months has been my nursemaid. All the mistakes on the course were my errors as she did everything I asked of her.

Yes, it has been about eight weeks since the surgery and I was just so happy to get out. I got tired quickly and I guess I didn’t look so good. But it was wonderful to see the handlers again. Judy Norris, the trial host, was very kind to make sure that I had no trial duties so I could sleep. People let me sleep/sit in their chairs and helped carry my gear to the field. To those people, I want to thank you. It made it possible for me to attend the trial.

And of course, I have to thank Lora Withnell for bringing her RV so I could stay with her. I took quite a few naps between runs and she even let me sleep in her super soft bottom bunk. Lora is a great friend and is one of the best people on Planet Earth. Lora is a 5 star friend and a darn good handler to boot. She kicked my ass all weekend in ProNovice with her Snook and Sally. Lora made it possible for me to attend the trial and relax and have a place to stay. It sure is nice to have a dear friend like her.

I am looking to get a newer truck and will be getting it from Lora Withnell. They have a Dodge dealership and I am going to trade in my older truck for a newer model. They take good care of their customers. They put Nordstrom to shame!!!

A couple of year ago, we had a huge barn fire which also burned up our vehicles. I put in a call to Lora and their dealership not only located a commuter car for me but brought it up. They have the best service. When I wanted seat covers, again they got me choice seat covers and they were delivered in record time.

If you want to get a new or pre-owned rig here is their website.

So after my run with Tess, I took a short catnap and then was up with Nan. Running Nan is like driving a Ferrari car. Last time we ran, she was on edge and was hard to stop. Then we had a eight week break in which she was by my side, also being my nursemaid. In that short time, we gotten very close and she relaxed and let her inner self come out. She was the greeter at the door, the first to sit for cookies, and let the wall around her heart melt and let me in. She is as close to me as Tess is.

Nan ran just superb. She was soft and not edgy. She took every command and even stopped when I asked. She paced herself on the light sheep and just rocked. I was wondering if I was in a “Vicoden dreamland” (hallucinations’) since she ran so well. We hit the panels, penned and had a fast shed. She was so happy when we were done. I was stunned. We just clicked out there and she wanted so badly to do right by me. I count my blessings with her. I got THIRD PLACE in Open with her. I am so excited!!!

Then we ran in ProNovice. I haven’t run Lucy since the last trial and Monique has been taking care of her for me. Lucy hasn’t had much trial time since last year when she went and worked a large flock, and took some time off. So she was very rusty. She was flat and needed to hold the pressure. She did the flanks she thought that I wanted and as a result we didn’t do so well. We will have to go home and do some foundation work again and get her back on track. That is the difference between a seasoned Open dog and a ProNovice dog. With Tess and Nan, even thought they had eight weeks off, knew their work. With a ProNovice dog, the training is not set in stone yet. So Lucy and I will be spending some time getting back on track. She has a heart of gold and will bend herself over backwards to do it right and that is a good attribute. I know she can do it so we just have to work on it.

Tess is going to retire soon and Lucy is going to take her place so we need to get her up to speed. Lucy learns quickly so hopefully she will be ready for Open in the Winter Series. She is a good dog!!

The day finally ended and as I said Lora kicked my hinny in ProNovice. I was very pleased to see how well her Sally ran for her. That Sally is a hot dog that is going to make an awesome Open dog. They have clicked really well together. Sally is a tiny, petite female. She is about the same size as my Rainey (Tess female pup for last litter). Sally has the cutest Marilyn Monroe beauty spots on her nose.

Lora and I hung out until dinner. The WASH president (Jeff Marroni) and his lovely wife (Dee Marroni) made a tasty BBQ. They had pork, salmon, and lamb. Side dishes were macaroni salad, various green salads, bbq corn and many more items. There was homemade pear, apple and other pies. I ate so much that I almost feel asleep!! It was nice that my stomach ache that I had the week before the trial was gone and I was able to enjoy the food. The company was great and as I said before, it was nice to hang out with the trial folks.

At dinner they awarded prizes and I got my third place bag of biscuits. I was sitting next to Ken Johnson and he won a cute Border Collie pillow. We traded and I got an adorable pillow. Lora got third in ProNovice and got biscuits too. She hid them from me!!

Later that night, as I was comfortable in Lora’s RV, we chatted for a bit. We had our dogs, a warm bed and true friendship. I laugh a lot when hanging out with Lora. She has a funny sense of humor. As it was, laughing makes my chest hurt but I took my pain pill and laughed. It was good to laugh. She is going to laugh at me when she beats me in Open!! I look forward to that day.

I slept for 12 hours and early Sunday morning Lora checked in on me. She offered to take Tess out for a walk. Tess slept with me all night. Normally Tess will bound out of bed to go out with Lora. She didn’t budge. I kicked her out of bed to go with Lora. She jumped back in bed and refused to leave me. Tess must have thought that I was not well enough to leave alone so she refused to leave the bed. So she stayed.

Later when I got up. Tess was more than happy to leave the bed. I took the girls out for a long walk and ate my yogurt and relaxed. I was feeling so much better than the day before. Quite a few people commented on how much better I looked. I must have looked like death warmed over the day before!!

They ran ProNovice first so Lucy was first of the girls on deck. She pretty much ran the same as the day before. I have my homework cut out for me. But she tried and that’s all I can ask. I can’t be hard on the girls since I haven’t done much with them in eight weeks.

I took another nap and wandered about. Susan Crocker made fresh coffee for me in her trailer and we chatted. Normally when I see Susan we are at a trial and never really sit down and chat. It was nice to just hang out with her. Pam Carter also came in and we relaxed for a bit. Susan and Pam both have very talented Kelpies. Susan had her Echo, a stunning soft red ACD with black eyeliner. She is 13 yr old and quite spry. Susan showed that Echo can do the cutest tricks. Some of the moves and expression that Echo did, reminded me of our late Shiro. I really like Echo. Thanks to Susan for the hot coffee. For those of you who wonder about the caffeine intake, I had half coffee and half hot water.

Open was the next class and I was on deck with Tess. Again, she ran well and I missed the panels. I had to switch to my voice and the Vicoden really messes with your reflexes. We had to do a shed and a couple of times Tess was ready to come in but I was slow to call her. So we did not get the shed or pen. She ran her heart out in the shedding ring. I can not see how people can drive while on Vicoden. I only took a ½ pill at breakfast and by the time I was going to head home (8 hours later ) it would be out of my system.
It messes with my speech. I got words mixed up this weekend. An example, I meant to say "Hit the ground with your crook " but I said "Hit the crook with your ground". I had mixed sentences like that all weekend. You can also see it when I write my blog.

Nan was last to run of my girls. We had to do a dog leg fetch and she was a wee bit hard to convince that I really wanted my sheep off line. So we missed the fetch panels. We did well on the drive and couldn’t get the shed. I was starting to slow down and she was all push and with the light sheep you want a dog to settle them. We didn’t place but I was happy with her and she danced with joy with me. She was so happy to see that I was delighted. I call her my “transparent dog” as she conveys her feeling on her sleeve.

A person asked me if she was for sale. She is not as she had five homes before she came to me and three litters. She knows she has a home for life now and sleep with me. She shows me her love and devotion every day and at night. She has taken upon her to protect me at night. She finally has realized this is her permanent home. She has gone from being anxious and nervous with people to being a social butterfly. At this trial, Brian commented on well she ran for me. She truly did and I love her for it.

After my run, I was wandering about with the girls and Tess must have figured out that I was much better than I was in the morning. She and Nan ran over to Vicki and did all sorts of sits and downs for treats. I called Tess and she looked at me as if to say “Don’t bug me, I am gonna get a treat from Vicki” They both ignored me and hung out with Vicki would gave them treats. I remember three months ago that Nan would not have done this. It was good to see that she was social enough to go to another person and sit for treats. They reminded me of two children at Halloween getting treats.

I ran into a lot of people who asked and cared about me. It was nice to see everyone and if I didn’t mention you in my blog, I want to thank you now. You sent flowers, cards, emails and phone calls. Your caring brings tears to my eyes. I am blessed to have a good, caring group of friends like you all!!

Vicki and I walked back to my truck and she gave me a jar of the treats that she was feeding the girls. I packed up my dogs and left before it was too late and while I was feeling good. I stopped on the way home to take a break (good idea) and got home at dark. Getty unloaded the truck and had dinner for me. It was nice to be home. I was really tired and took my meds and went to bed early

Today I was still tired and took it easy. I took a long nap (most of the day) and in the late afternoon got up and felt refreshed. I went and played ball with the dogs and did the nightly feeding. Getty cooked dinner. We had Flat Iron steak that I had soaked in Teriyaki and roasted potatoes. It was good and my energy perked up. The girls perked up when they got several pieces of steak. They earned it.

It was a great weekend and I needed to get out of the house. I know my limits and had pushed it on Saturday but was able to bounce back due to Lora’s generosity (use of her RV), as well as other handlers helping me when I needed it.


Monique said...

Lucy will do better soon. Remember how much better she is getting at home - that will transfer to the trial field in due time. She had 4 months off, and hasn't worked much lately.

She is a good girl, I'm sure you will have her back in top working condition soon. Sorry she didn't do better for you this weekend :(

DeltaBluez Tess said...

Lucy is a good dog with a heart of gold. Once she get solid she will a rocking dog.

She proved herself last year in Nursery and PN. This year she will prove herself in PN and then Open. We just need to get more time on her.