After we got all settled in on Sunday afternoon, I wandered about to see who all had arrived. On Sunday night, there were not many trailers but early Monday morning, it began to fill up fast and by nightfall, it was pretty full. On Monday, I went to the practice field with Roo and worked on a few outrun. He was on the muscle but by the end he was listening. He is biddable but not in the first few minutes, or so it seems. Scott helped me on my techniques and timing. Derek was the schedule man at the field and that warranted some ribbing to him.
Tuesday, the handler meeting was early and for the first part, it was meeting old friends and getting caught up. Hub started the meeting and it was short and sweet and then the Finals began. The sheep were not light nor easy but quite tough. A real test of the dogs as well as the handlers
Roo ran that day and when he left my feet, I knew it would be a battle. I blew an away flank when he was close at the top and he barely took it and he was on the muscle on the entire fetch. He didn’t listen to my downs very much until he was close at hand and parts of the drive, he would flip to the wrong side of the sheep. He was really feeling the sheep and fought on the drive. On the shed, we would have gotten quicker but he would move as I was lining the sheep up for a shed. Finally, he listened and he came through, a second after time was called. On the good side, he has not issues moving the sheep.
Some of the other runs, the sheep would break back to the setout and some dogs were able to bring them back while others could not. Some runs, the sheep ran like gazelles and others they fought the dog the entire way. Some even challenged the dogs and rushed them. It made for good dog work.
It got quite hot, often in the high 80 and lower 90s, so most of the time, people stayed under the generous sized handler’s tent. They had tons of food and drinks all day for the handlers and there was not want for anything. The hostesses were simply some of the kindest and nicest people ever!!
Several of my friends arrived during the week, Janet and Jerill, Kathleen, Monique and Ben. It was going to be a fun week. I had tons of Mike’s Hard Lemonade stocked up. It didn’t last long!
I didn’t see much of the Nursery runs as I was blogging the Open runs. I heard there were some fantastic runs and I guess I will have to wait until they are in Open to see them.
Ben, our good friend from Lopez Island, camped next to my trailer. Each night he was serenaded by Gael. Gael is a pup that I got at the Finals and she is from Terri and Chris Hanson of Canada. Ironically enough, Nan is her great grandmother, and Gael doesn’t look like Nan at all. She is a black and white smooth coat with a sweet loving personality. I really like her and each night we had tons of people over, loud music and just having fun and she took it in stride. She was a lapdog part of the time and quickly made new friends. We also brought Tess, Nan, Roo and Rainey. Rainey can be shy but soon quickly decided that if she was social, she got treats and soon was parked in everyone’s lap. Nan was bothered by the noise and hid in the crate that Ben had brought for Nick.
I went to the Genetics presentation and it was very good. They made it for our level, “Genetics for Dummies”. I can’t remember the name of anyone except for Melanie Chang. By the end, they had the audience convinced to donate blood samples. They came to my trailer on Saturday and got samples from my dogs as well as other people who had dogs there.
Friday night we had the pot of Jambalaya and a potluck. Music was provide by Getty, Amy and Ray Coapman and Pearse Ward. We had a blast and we had other folks drift over to visit. I manage to drink all of my Mike’s Hard Lemonade but Getty picked up some Mike’s Hard Mango Punch. Apparently he got a six pack and apparently I managed to drink it all….that probably explains why I was slow on Saturday morning? Nan ran on Friday and since she didn’t do so well, that might be why I was drinking?
The Vendors Tent was next to the Handler’s Tent and had some very nice displays. I wandered over to see the Merino booth and did my Christmas shopping. Bonnie Block had her photos display and I signed up for her to take photos of my run. I was going to go back and get a hat from the hat people but got too busy and ran out of time.
It was dusty and hot but I rather have that than cold, wet and windy. The Handler’s Tent had tons of shade, food and drink so you were not lacking. Geri, Lora and the rest of the crew made sure nothing was lacking and often they were dashing about plugging up a hole, answering questions and keeping things running smoothly. They put a lot of work into the Finals and the high caliber of their work showed.
There was a cowboy hot tub, which people partook off during the day. It was spring fed and around 103 degrees. Amy, Ben and I jumped in it, washed the dust off , and it felt great. Rainey wanted to jump in but we told her she had her own tub!! I loved it.
We all had a good time but by Sunday we were ready to go home. Some people left early if they did not do so well or had a long journey. By mid Sunday, the trailer had dwindled down to maybe about ¼ of what was there during the peak parking. There was a mass exodus after the last run. We bolted and drove to Dexter when we had stayed on the way in to the Finals. The park at Dexter had water, sewer dump site and we cleaned up and got all squared away. It helped break up the drive back and we got home late afternoon on Monday. I sure hope that the Finals come back in three years to Klamath Falls and Geri and her gang will host it again. It was a 5 star event.
That’s my wrap up for the Finals. It was well run and a wonderful event. And I hope to see you at the next Finals in VA. Nan has a good start on point towards that and we hope to get more. Roo will have to step up to the plate. Lucy will be also gunning to go!! I look for any excuse to go to a sheepdog trial.