Friday, November 6, 2009

Whidbey Island - Oct 25th

The last trial catch-up finally is here. A couple of weeks ago, we went to a trial on Whidbey Island. But before the trial. I had a couple of friends come over and practice before they went to the trial. Ron and Hope cam right after I had the inspection for the Scrapes Program (which we passed with flying colors). Ron and Hope and worked on big outruns in my far field and it went well. I had to stay home and work. I was bumming that I couldn’t join them but work is work. So I put my head down to the grindstone and plugged away while they had fun. I did take a short break in late afternoon to work a dog though. Janet came over and worked her dog (Scott) to get ready for the trial.

Saturday was the day I actually got to work my dogs. Ron and Hope went to Starbucks and got me my Vanilla Breve. One of my vices!! Kathleen worked Emma and she did well. We all worked dogs at home then time for chores. We wormed all the sheep and we used Roo for that job. Ron grabbed the sheep, Hope was in charge of the spray paint and I did the drenching. There were a couple of sheep that needed some hoof trimming so Ron wrestled them for me. Ron is great when he comes over here to help me with chores. I can’t wrestle sheep anymore as my chest incision still hurts when I lift or twist. One example is I can’t pull myself up on a horse anymore. I can’t toss a bag of grain on my shoulder and tote it around nor tote a bale of hay about.

After the chores were done we went to the big field and did outruns. Ron and Hope worked on their outruns and they looked good. Kane tried to be bad a couple of times, but he soon saw Jesus. We worked quite a bit then headed back to the house. There was a section of my fence that a cow had smashed so it needed to be fixed. This required hoisting wire and since I can’t do that, Ron got volunteered. It was in the back section, which is called the Marsh pasture. Parts of it was under 5-8 inches of water, namely the section we had to fix. Compound that with a ditch next to the section made this chore just a lot more fun. Ron was game and put the fence up while I handed him the tools. He did a great job and I really appreciate that he fixed the hole in my fence. Thanks a lot for your help Ron!!

After this it was getting very late in the afternoon and Ron and Hope went back to the far pasture to do some last minute pre-trial work. I did the evening chores. Then off to bed since we were getting up early to go to the trial. I wasn’t running a dog since I was judging Ranch and Open. Janet entered Scott in PN, Ron entered Tait and Kane in Open and Ruby in Ranch and Hope entered Tigr in PN and non compete Open.

We got on the early ferry and were at the field at 8:45ish, well before the 9:30 start time. The sheep were light Katahdins and very spirited. They ran PN first and the sheep were beating most of the dogs and penning was a bust for people. They had put a scarecrow at the backend of the pen and the sheep refused to go in. He wasn’t that scary! Janet struggled with Scott on this run, part handler miscues and sheep who bolted. Hope timed out on the drive. Sue ran Jackie, a Tess daughter, and did well. They just got together as a team. Look for this powerhouse next time.

Ranch was run right after PN and I judged that. The dogs either did really well or struggled. On dog named Taff, run by Donna Donahue had a brilliant run, and only losing ten points. Dawn Pucci ran Bran, his first time to the post, and laid down a stunning run. The next class was Novice and I didn’t judge that class but there were two entries. Ron tried hard with Ruby but she gripped on the first leg of the drive.
Open was the last class and there were 18 dogs entered (2 non comp). Janet was my scribe and she pulled up her Volvo so we could sit inside. It had heated seats, a wonder of modern technology. It started to pour and we were glad we were in the car. We had it parked under a canopy so we didn’t have to use the wipers. Thank you Janet!!

Ron ran Tait as the first run. He had a nice outrun, lift but was offline on the fetch. Wiggly on the drive and a nice pen and got the shed at the edge of the ring. It was the only shed of the day and he got it as the timer went off. It was Tait’s first Open run too and he placed 5th. Heidi had a nail-biting run with Pete, with only 15 points until time ran out at the shedding ring. They were sitting in first place with 25 off. Donna Donahue and Kate (I think she was on a roll!), laid down a great run with Kate with 75 and tied with Pete. Pete and Kate are full siblings and Pete (2nd) inched out Kate (3rd)via outrun points. Ron ran Kane who was on the muscle and didn’t do so well on his drive. Bonnie Block had a nice run with Dan and he held the pressure well. I have always liked Dan as he is kind to his sheep. Monique ran Lucy and the sheep loved Lucy and had a nice run and they just need to fine tune some areas. She placed with a 74 and got 4th. We were running out of time and Linda went to the post with Michael. Just a few weeks ago, he was paralyzed in his back end and they didn’t know if he would make a full recovery. He looked quite happy as he went to the post, dancing about and being eager.

Well, they say to save the best for last and it was that. They laid down a screaming run, and they lost four points on the drive. The drive was smooth and calm, the sheep just lined up sweet, and they ambled into the pen. They edged everyone out for first place with a score of 77 and timed out in the shedding ring. It was a fantastic run and wonderful for a dog that could barley drag himself around a few weeks earlier. I hope Linda was a pleased as I was. Talk about a great come back and with that it was a great way to end the weekend and make a dash to the ferry. So we did.

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