Saturday, September 19, 2009

Off to the Finals

Well, we are off to the Finals. It starts on Tuesday but we are leaving today and camping midway and will get to the trial field on Sunday. Monday, I will do a couple of practice runs with Nan and Roo. On Tuesday, I run Roo and on Friday, it is Nan’s turn. Scott Glen will run Sleat and Jenny Glen will run Lucy.

Five dogs from my kennels have qualified!! Tess, the other dog that qualified will be the armchair quarterback. She has earned that spot as several of her pups are running as well as grandpups. I think she has the most related dogs aside from Pleat that are running in the Finals. She has Roo, Koko and Kate as her pups and Lucy and Kirby as grandpups. Some of the others who qualified are not attending. That’s not bad for a pup that stole our heart. Tess just retired this year at 11 years old and went out quite strong, winning the top honors over six Open trials (high scoring combined) to bring home a wonderful quilt that is displayed on the couch. Getty brags about it to everyone!!

Yesterday, I cleaned the house and packed food for the trailer. My mom and Kimiko came over and we had lunch and did farm chores. They loaded up with goodies from the garden and farm fresh eggs. They made lunch, which was gyoza, ginger pork, veggie spring rolls, pickled cukes, blueberries and melon, rice and other miscellaneous food. I was stuffed but managed to even have seconds. It was tough but I did it.

I did mountains of laundry since I am sure Getty really didn’t want to sleep on dog hair from the last time I used the trailer and the girls slept on his side of the bed. Emptied out the truck so it would be ready to hitch up. Rummaged about and found my last Mike’s Hard Lemonade and drank it.

Worked Roo and Nan and Janet worked Scott. Janet has been wonderful the last couple of weeks coming by and holding sheep for me so I could work Roo and Nan. She has been running Scott. The outrun are close to 600 yards away and she is working Scott at that distance. Her whistles are pretty good now and she has been running him well.

Last week Roo was a butthead. He would cut in at 250 yards and keep cutting in. I would walk up the field and kick him out and then the next time it was a repeat. I would flank repeatedly until he got to the sheep. I was so pissed but we worked it and when he got to the sheep the first few times, she would bust them. Finally, he was working great after the lift but we still had issues when he would hit 250 yards. That had me worried as if he couldn’t go past 250 yards, that was going to kill me in the first 15 seconds of the Finals.

Later we switched ends and old, trusty Scotty did the same cross that Roo did. Step for step. Scotty has never screwed up on his outruns and he did it again and again. Janet and I walked the area and could not see what was drawing the dogs in but it was a relief to know that is was not Roo being a butthead. Going the other direction, Roo was great, had nice lifts and fetches, and took my whistle fairly well. Only once, he was a brat and then I reminded him that listening to me was in his best interest and he was fine. Sometimes, I think he thinks too much and runs too fast and that is a bad combination. Nevertheless, he has a good heart and a willingness to please.

I worked Nan at home, as she has been doing well and I didn’t want to overdo her. I mainly worked close at hand, opening up her flanks and keeping her thoughtful.

Last night Janet came over at 6 and we headed out to the field. Roo went out nice and started to cut in abut flared out when I flanked him and the slashed at the top. Gripped a sheep and didn’t listen for a few seconds. I groaned. As he got closer, I gave him the Evil eye of Death and he was perfect. I sent him again and he was a little tight, he lifted dead on and downed at 600 yards, then took each whistle perfectly. He had a nice pace and worked well. I did a couple more and he worked well so we quit.

Scott was going the other way and he worked well for Janet. Once, one ewe decided she was going to make a break for it and Janet whistled Scott in the right places, put the group together, put them back on the fetch line and help then snug all the way down to her. That one ewe kept trying to break away and she put Scott in the right places. She is doing quite well at that distance, with her whistles and excellent handling.

Then I ran Nan who was dying to run. I had her tied up and I could see her bouncing up and down like a rabbit, ready to go. Roo was tied to the post when he attempted to play armchair quarterback. I scowled at him and he decided to be quiet.

I sent Nan on the come bye side, she began to cut in as Roo and Scott did but quickly flanked out with whistles. That is a third dog that has done that and it is just weird. She went up tight at the top but lifted well and did well but forgot her steady. I blew a few steadies and she kept leaning on the sheep. Her flanks were nice and open. I sent her on the away side and she was dead on and then I did one more on the come bye side. She made no attempt to cut in but was tight and kicked out when I flanked her. The rest of her fetch was nice and we quit on a good note.

I worked Roo and Nan and poor Scotty had to work the entire time while my dogs got a break. However, he looked darn good, abet a bit slow but nice and steady and with his usual great stock sense. He rather enjoys being the top dog at Janet’s place, runs well for her, and just handles the stock just wonderfully. He is one of the best dogs that I will ever own.

We loaded up the dogs and went back to the farm so I could do, yes, more laundry. I showed Janet the last minutes details of the farm, as she will help take of it this weekend. In addition, I had to show her the two new baby chicks that were born yesterday. A Rhode Island Red hen is the mom and she is quite the good mom. We moved them to a horse stall so they could be in peace. She didn’t fuss when we picked up the chicks. I picked her up and she just nestled in my hands. She was one of the hens that was hand raised and loves people. She would never peck at me when I would check on her eggs each day but just cluck at me. Unlike that, darn duck who would remove part of your hands every time you reached towards her. She was mean. Reddy the hen is quite nice and seemed to like her new digs.

We are taking Tess, Nan, Roo and Rainey. I will pick up Lucy and Gael. Gael is a new dog that I am getting and she is from Chris and Terri Hanson, the same people that I got Scotty from a few years ago. She is just a baby and will be running in a couple of years. Sleat will be coming back in a few months.

I don't know when I will be online but will try to post daily blogs. I don't have advanced blogs lined up so what you see will be in real time.

See ya at the Finals.

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