Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jan 23rd Trial Open results

Once again, we got up before daylight had even considered appearing to go to a sheepdog trial. It seems like I am always one of the first dogs to run. Either way, I am happy that I can run dogs and my health is getting better. Ron came over on Thursday and we spent Friday working dogs.

We met up with Janet at the Park-n-ride at some ungodly hour in darkness and she drove my truck to the trial. My arm is still hurting quite a bit and driving the truck just agitates it even more. Janet is very good at driving the truck now. Ron followed us in his van as he was going to go head out of town right after the trial.

I took Roo, Nan, Lucy and Faye and Janet had Scott. Tess went along to be the setout dog when Janet set sheep. Ron had Kane, Tigr and Ruby. I guess it was a full pack of humans and dogs. Kathleen also had entered Emma and was going to meet us at the trial.

We got there and waited for sunrise so we could run Open. The class order was Open, ProNovice, Ranch and Novice. You could tell it was going to be a sunny day and waking up so early wasn’t so bad after all.

Open was the standard fetch, turn around a cone, right hand drive and then into a slender chute. At the end of the first chute was a second chute but there was a gap between the two chutes and the sheep would escape out through the sides. You had to get all of the four sheep in the first chute and as many as you could in the second chute. This was very difficult, as the sheep had no intention of going into the chute. None whatsoever!!

The Open class had 22 dogs and the Judge was Jo Fergerson. Jo is a very nice person and when I first started, she was very kind to me. She loves her dogs and it is evident when she runs them.

Nan was the first of my dogs to run. I was running Nan, Lucy and Roo in Open, Faye in ProNovice and ranch. Nan, what can I say about her. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She adores me, her eyes follow me everywhere, and she smiles at me. We do a dance before our run and then a cuddle. It’s a ballet dance since the country western dance was reserved for Tess.

We walked to the post and she quickly scanned the field, locked on the sheep and turned her face to me and gave me a quick grin. Her legs were quivering, anticipating a command. I sent her and she raced up the field, checking in on the sheep as she flew up on the away side. The sheep got away from the setout crew and bolted to the come-bye side before Nan had gotten 1/3 of the way up. I waited to see what she would do. She flared out once she saw the sheep had moved and swung out wide to cover them. I whistled her to get them back online and they whipped the other direction. She swung to cover that side and soon had them back on line. She got them settled on the fetch and had a smooth, quiet turn at the post. She lined them up and marched them on the drive. She took her commands well and had a few slices but overall her flanks were square. She also was feeling the bubble on the light hair sheep. These light hair sheep have been an issue for her as she tends to push them too hard and not feel the. We have been working on her to rate light sheep better with honest work at the farm and it is paying off.

She handled the sheep well through the drive and both times I was slow to give her a half flank at the panels and as a result, we missed both panels. Of the 14 points she lost on the drive, 12 points were from my panel screw up. Other than that she had only lost 2 on the drive. On the last leg, the draw was to the fence and many dogs let the sheep swing to the fence for the last leg, which resulted in point loss. Nan held them true to the proper lane and settled them at the mouth of the chute.

The two runs prior to me had trouble at the chute so I came up with a game plan. Settle the sheep well before the chute and work, inch by inch to get them into the chute. I would be on one side while Nan had to cover the draw side. That would mean would have to ratchet her intensity down and do a step-by-step maneuver to do the chute. She stopped them about 20 feet in front of the chute and we did a clever two step dance with the sheep, calm and quietly and they went in. I walked her up and then cover my gap that was between the two chutes. The sheep wanted to go out to Nan’s side of the chute so I flanker her wide so the sheep would see her but yet have her far enough back so they would not turn and go back the way they came out. They went through both chutes.

She gathered them and they settled for a brief moment in the ring and the tiniest gap appear and I called her in. She ran into the gap like a Thoroughbred crossing the finish line and the sheep split. She turned and drove one set out of the ring and she got the only shed of the day. It was a job well done and she danced with delight. I could see her face and she was puffed up with pride.

Nan won the class with 82. No points lost for her outrun and lift, and four for her fetch. 14 for her drive, none off both chutes and shed.

As we sat at the exhaust after our run, she put her head in my lap and I gently stroked her head, and thanked God that I am blessed to have such a wonderful partner. Thanks to Laura Hicks for breeding such an outstanding dog and to Jodi for selling Nan to me several years ago. She is the world to me.
Roo was the second of my Open dogs to run. He was amped up as he was barking during Nan’s run. He was wired when we went out to the post but settled down, so I thought. I sent him on the away side and when he almost reached the top, he leaned in and I knew he would be tight at the top. I blew a down, which he ignored, then a big away flank which he also ignored. He came hard at the lift and was pushing then hard on the first part of the fetch. I got him to slow down and listen and he brought them to my feet nicely.

He had a nice turn at the post and we were in sync again. He had one of the smoothest drive that I have ever run for only a 5 point loss. He rated his sheep quite well and held his lines quite nicely.

I tried the same plan that worked so well with Nan. We had them in the chute and they were going through WHEN he broke his down. He flipped to the head of the sheep and they burst back out through the mouth. I had them lined up a couple of more times but he was pushing on his down so at this point, I made it a session on a proper downs. We timed out. Roo lost 3- outrun, 2- lift, 9 fetch, 5 –drive, 10 for the chute and shed. He placed 11th.

After that I was wore out and Lucy was the next dog up. Monique was on vacation in Florida so I was running Lucy for her. Monique would arrive later that day to pick up her after her flight. Lucy is a very sweet dog to run and I looked forward to running her.

Lucy and I walked to the post and she spotted her sheep. Her little body trembled and it reminded me of her grandmother, Tess. She leaned forward, ready to go and she cast out nicely on the away side. She had a sweet lift and a straight line to the fetch panel. The sheep started to veer and I flanked her on the pressure to tuck them in. The sheep stopped and faced her, she hesitated walking into the pressure, they slipped to the side, and we missed the panel. She brought them quietly to my feet and had a beautiful turn at the post. She lined them up nice and had a smooth first leg, made the first drive panel, tucked in nicely for the cross drive after going a bit offline. A bit of a small bobble then as they headed to the second panel, the sheep were drawn down the hill and I flanked her to tuck them back in and they faced her and she stopped again and they slipped down. She got them back online for the last leg and it was clean and straight.
Her calm demeanor soon has the sheep settled at the chute and she marched them in like soldier down the parade grounds. One slipped out at the second chute. She was also one of the few dogs to get both chutes and lost only one point. After the sheep went through the chute they bolted to the exhaust. She ran like a bat out of hell and was going to grip the lead ewe to stop her when I called her name to remind her to think that thought. She flashed in front of them, gave a deep barking growl and turned them. They stood and faced her, not believing her as they had beat her at the two panels.

“Lu, bring them to me” I said quietly and she dropped her head and marched into the head of the lead ewe, letting her know this time if she stood up to her, that she would grip. The lead ewe nostrils flared, her head went up and she turned tail and ran to the ring with her compadres close behind. Brave, little Lucy at this point was on the muscle and I could see the fire in her eyes. She was on the muscle and at this point would make a raging bull look like a wet rag. I tried to set up the shed but the sheep were not having any part of the feisty redhead with the gleam of spitfire on her face. We timed out and I was happy that she ended on such a strong note. Lucy is going to get better and better and I know that Monique will have great success with her.

Lucy’s score was 1-outrun, 1- fetch, 6- fetch, 14 – drive, 1- chute and 10 shed and placed 6th. 

At the exhaust, I held her in my arms after our last run and whispered in her ear “Lucy, you did me proud. I love you. You will do your new mom proud. You are one of the greatest gifts.” She licked the tear away from my face and her gentle wag of her tail told me she knew she did me proud. What a great run to end in Open.

Tomorrow I will write about the other runs.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Two Llama update

Our two new Llamas finally have settled in. We renamed Wendy to Tina. Actually, Janet came up with that name. So Crystal and Tina have made themselves at home. They are quite friendly and love their grain.  Crystal, the dark face one, is very curious. She has to check out everything. If you are in the pasture, she has to check you out in case you might have food. Tina is more reserved but warming up.

We hope that they will settle into their sheep guarding duties and take care of the flock.

We are working sheep in the round pen. Tina and Crystal are watching. They are very interested! When the dogs went into the round pen, they both hissed and made faces.

The ewes have learned to hang out near the Llamas. So far, it is looking good. They will stamp and hiss if a dog goes near them.  Kodi is retiring so he will need a back up. Kodi and the Llamas are fine with each other. Emmy, the senior Arabian, finally has accepted the Llamas. So far so good. We will keep you posted when the lambs arrive and the Llamas get introduced to their new charges.

LIfe is what you make out of it

Life is grand through a clean glass filled with a cool, crisp amber beer.

Drink half of it and what is the meaning of life?

Is the glass half empty or half full?

Look at it from the top and it is half empty.

Look at it from the bottom and it is half full.

Look at it from the side and it is time order another beer

Friday, January 29, 2010

Emma needs a caption

Submit your captions and one will be selected to be added!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Nan and I have a ritual now. We do the happy dance before her run.  She loves to bark, spin and dance. Her eyes glow and her tail just wags with delight!! She is a goofy dog.

Nan and I before our run at MacDonalds on Jan 23rd.

Let's dance!

OK, the quiet reflection after the dance and before we walked on to the field. Nan giving me her kiss, also our ritual.

I am blessed to have such a wonderful partner. I love my Nan. We are truly a team.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


We have a new team member at the farm. Welcome to Woodstock, aka Woodie. He is a 3 year old or so male Manx. He is very friendly.

Woodie believes that he is part dog. Often he will trot side by side with the Border Collies. Sometimes he thinks they are his large furry toys. Woodies loves to explore and be with you.

Woodie has found a lap. So far, he is enjoying the farm life. He hasn't caught a mouse yet but has kept the Border Collies in line which is just as critical!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Cat and the Deer

This was sent to me from a friend. This is too cute not to post.

"A resident in Harrisburg has a cat who has a special friend that visits every morning. She finally took pics."

Morning Kiss

Nose Rub

Nap Time

Time to Stretch

What's up, Doc?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

MacDonald's Winter Trial

From Sue MacDonald. I will do my blog on this later this weekend with photos.


I hate to always start our trial results with WOW, but WOW! How about that weather yesterday?!?! It was just like a beautiful spring day in the middle of January, wasn't it? Gorgeous! Sun, blue sky, 50's, just doesn't get any better then that. We had two great judges, Jo Ferguson judged the open and Pro Novice and Bonnie Block judged the Ranch and Novice Novice. Thank you to both! Also thanks to EVERYONE that helped set sheep and scribe. You did a great job and kept things rolling right along. Without your help, we would have been running in the dark!

Thanks to Norm and Heidi for always filling in the blanks, Bob for filling in (and he doesn't even come with a dog to run!). Thank you one and all.

We started out with open so ran Judy Norris' hair sheep for that class.

We ran 4 sheep, basically a normal course with a right hand drive and a chute that was straight but had a large open space (for sheep escape) on either side half way down each side. We hadn't put a wing on one side of the entrance and should have.... hind sight. We gave the handlers the option of which side they could stand and it seemed to be about 50-50 as the class went on. You had to have ALL the sheep get started in the chute, but if they squirted out the sides you would just carry on to the shed with major point deductions. Needless to say, not many got the chute completed. We had 8 minutes on a fairly short course and 100 points possible.

1. Diane Pagel and Nan 0-0-4-14-0-0 82 Beautiful run and did get the chute perfect!
2. Ron Green and Tigr 2-0-4-8-1-10 75 also doing a great job on the chute!
3. Maggi McClure and Kep 0-0-3-6-10-10 71 without a chute or shed!!!
4. Maggi McClure and Lil 2-0-10-10-0-10 68 got the chute but not enough time to get the shed done.
5. Ron Green and Kane 1-0-2-10-10-10 67 Ron you are just getting better and better with your dogs!
6. Diane Pagel and Lucy 1-1-6-14-1-10 67 Monique, hurry home, Diane's running your dog again!!!
7. Brian Ricards and Mig 1-0-2-13-8-10 66
8. Karen Mohney and Grit 5-0-3-8-10-10 64 WAY TO GO KAREN!!!
9. Lora Withnell and Sally 1-1-3-13-10-10 62
10. George Mac and Huck 3-1-3-12-10-10 61
11.Diane Pagel and Roo 3-2-9-5-10-10 61
12. Heidi Hanson and Pete 1-0-5-15-10-10 59 Heidi just joined the 'wrong way drive club'.... she did catch herself though!
13. Lynne Green and Kurt 0-0-7-15-9-10 59 Poor Lynne was first out, so sorry Lynne....
14. Sue MacDonald and Jan 1-0-8-12-10-10 59
15. George Mac and Chris 5-0-7-9-10-10 59
16. Bob Hickman and Mojo 1-1-6-16-10-10 56 Bob just had open heart surgery at Christmas time and here he is, running dogs already!!! Way to go Bob. Nice to see you back on the trial field! Bet you're whipped today though...
17. Brian Ricards and doc 17-2-3-12-4-10 52 What the heck happened???
18. Sue MacDonald and Blitz 3-2-9-21-4-10 51 rescue dog owned and loved by Vicki Romero. Very nice dog Vicki!
19. Sue MacDonald and Bess 4-1-15-13-10-10 47 what the heck happened?

Well, I can answer that one.... handler a sleep at the post or possibly brain dead.... take your pick :-) 20. Karen Mohney and Ajax 2-0-12-21-10-10 45 21. Bonnie Block and Dan 10-0-8-22-10-10 40 did you all hear?, Bonnie has a new dog named Gull (how appropriate is that!?!?

So we jetted right into the Pro Novice class, counting the hours until dark. Same course but we put a wing on the chute, shortened the drives a bit and no shed, of course. 90 Points possible.

1. Karen Mohney and Maverick 1-2-3-6-3 75 WOO WHO Karen! Nice job!
2. Sandy Johnson and Troy 1-2-3-9-3 72 Nice to see you again Sandy. It's been a while....
3. Lora Withnell and Nell 2-1-4-8-4 71 Nice dog Lora!
4. Linda DeJong and Pooka 0-0-8-6-4 71 Way to go Linda! She just gets better and better doesn't she?
5. Corinne Berg and Tay 1-3-5-6-4 71
6. Maggi McClure and Gwen 8-0-4-7-4 67
7. Dick Wilson and Raygan 3-1-5-7-10 64 check out Dick's website
8. Becki Maloney and Kirby 1-0-6-10-10 63
9. Diane Pagel and Faye 1-3-11-4-10 61
10. Sandy Johnson and Nell 1-1-10-14-4 60 11. Susan Crocker and Zen 4-2-4-18-3 59
12. Erin O'Brien and Z 8-2-6-9-9 56 off to Kentucky soon!
13. Janet Thorpe and Scott 8-2-10-14-4 52
14. Judy Norris and Glee 0-1-9-19-10 51 thanks for the sheep! Checks in the mail...
15. Kathy Rivers and Mick 9-3-5-13-10 50 Way to go Kathy! Never give up!!!
16. Bob Hickman and Trooper 14-3-9-10-4 50
17. Pamela Harding and Caymus 3-0-7-21-10 49 also a rescue dog.... you go girl. Great job!
18. Judy Norris and Kasey 4-3-12-23-4 44
19. Norm Rivers and Scotia 2-2-7-30-10 39 thanks for all your help. Just for your info... two ram lambs, both black.
20. Vicki Romero and Blitz 3-3-14-27-4 51 Got through the course!!!
21. John Knepper and Rail 2-2-12-30-10 34 Been doing your homework!
22. Trudy Vickland and Tick 10-4-4-30-10 32 one of two aussie's running this week end. Good to see you again Trudy@!
23. Sue MacDonald and Jackie 10-5-18-25-2 30 with time, this too will pass... some day we're going to knock some socks off!
24. Randy Curless and Moose 8-4-16-30-10 22 Randy comes from Idaho.... brave man or maybe he likes us!!!
25. John Knepper and Teton 19-10-15-26-3 16 Another Aussie and a nice one!!! She LOOKS like a working dog.
26. Vicki Romero and Skye 2-2-5- RT
27. Jeanne Beaudrieu and Rocky 2-3-12-10 DQ what's this?????
28.Lora Withnell and Bella 6-0-14 DQ you too????
29. Susan Crocker and Rani 19-5- RT

Okay, time is getting short and we have to change course and judges.

Bonnie Block got on the judges stand and the course was changed very quickly! Short drive away and very short cross drive, same chute but the side holes were closed up... Also sheep were changes to the MacDonald's home flock. Everyone got three sheep, two Blackies and a coop(or equivalent) 80 points possible.

1. Diane Pagel and Faye 5-1-4-4-6 60 Since Diane also ran this dog in Pro Novice, she is not eligible for WASH points with this run... but still.... a very nice go!!!
2. Norm Rivers and Lana 1-2-4-13-2 58 Woo Whoo Norm, way to go!
3. Becki Maloney and Finn 3-4-8-10-0 55
4. Ron Fischer and Steve 2-3-10-19-1 45
5. Kathleen Torkelson and Emma 5-6-7-12-6 44
6. John Knepper and Rail 6-4-9-16-1 44 you really need to join our WASH club.
7. Ron Green and Ruby 5-2-12-14-10 37
8. John Knepper and Teton 19-2-8-19-0 32
9. Randy Curless and Moose 4-1-14-20-10 31
10. Jo Ferguson and Gage 8-6-5- Rt
11. Bob Hickman and Ryder 3-5-14-RT
12. George Mac and Nap 4-4-17- RT
13. Jeanne Beaudrieu and Moses 7-3-12 RT

Last class of the day was the Novice Novice. We had several first timers. Sorry I wasn't able to be down at your end to be able to talk to you, but someone has to set sheep! Hope to see you all again soon!

Bonnie still judging and teams only had a short outrun left fetch and chute. 60 points possible

1. Jeanne Beaudreiu and Moses 5-2-2-0 51 beautiful run Won't count for WASH points as she ran in Ranch also, but beautiful!
2. Jane Hickman and Rachel 4-3-2-1 50 Look out Bob, Jane's coming on strong!!!
3. Barbara Caswell and Alice 4-3-2-7 44 Sorry I didn't get to meet you. I'll make a bigger effort to meet you next time. Nice run!
4. Jennie McInnis and Elsa 8-7-6-7 32 Again sorry I didn't get to meet you. I WILL catch you next time.
5. Cindy Baker and Kael 8-7-5-0 40 this was a non compete run and things are looking good Cindy!
6. Vicki Romero and Jess 3-6-16 RT
7. Paul Murray and Koz 5-4-15 RT Our only ACD this time. Nice dog Paul and it was nice to meet you. Hope you come again!
8. T Yamamoto and Sweep (the broom) 5-8- RT a little different then moving sheep and goats around Vashon Island. Hope you had fun though! Nice to see you again T!
9. Vicki Romero and Zoe 10-5 Rt another rescue dog... lot's of potential but will need a lot of time to get confidence and trust in people again.... Good work Vicki. You are helping her with that!!!

Well, that's it! Thanks again for your support. DON'T forget the last winter trial this year at Susan Crocker's on Feb. 7th. We have a major surprise for you there. Entries are now open, send them to Susan!

Our next trials will be in the summer, Memorial day week end and the last week end in June. We have our judges now also!!! Ray Crabtree has agreed to judge our Memorial Day week end trial and Fiona McMillian of Scotland will be judging our June trial and also Whidbey Island Classic the week end before our June trial. See you all SOON!!!

Sue and George

Saturday, January 23, 2010

More Lapwarmers

Tess has been retired from Open trials since last June but she still goes to trials. She will either help set sheep, be an excellent armchair quarterback, mooch for food and of course, must be my lapwarmer.

Today she was my lapwarmer. It's a tradition we have had for a long time and at each trial she will be my lapwarmer. She is dirty since she set for quite a bit of the day with Janet.

Of course,  Monique and Lucy have to carry on the tradition. Here is Monique and Lucy with their for first time ever pose in the lapwarming tradition. Are they just a lovely pair? I certainly think so!

Since Scott was too muddy, Janet opted for the ground photo. She also included Faye as part of the deal. Faye is the daughter of Nan and Imp Drift. (Joni Swanke). I'll post lapwarming photos from each trial. It's a fine tradition and especially so on cold, wintery days!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Faansie Basson Clinic - Aug 28/28, 2010


Lead Me On in Olympia, Washington is pleased to host a 2 day clinic for Faansie Basson.

Faansie has been the South African National Champion 5 times as well as being awarded South African Dog of the Year 7 times. He and his dogs have won the Brace National Championship 8 times. Last year Faansie flew out from South Africa and popped off the plane with his dogs to place 2nd and 3rd at the esteemed Soldier Hollow Classic in Utah. He then went on to place 5th out of 124 teams at the extremely difficult Meeker Classic in Colorado. While on the trip Faansie was one of 4 judges for the 2009 USBCHA National Finals. We are excited to have Faansie coming out at the end of August.

To learn more about Faansie please visit his website:

Date: August 28 & 29, 2010

Cost: $225. Includes lunch each day, Saturday evening dinner, and daily munchies.

Auditing: $70 both days. $40 single day. Includes lunch and dinner.

Contact: Ursula Pettyjohn at (360) 878-8407 or

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lucy has Landed

Ever have to make a decision that incredibly hard but it was for the best? I had mulled over for weeks on Lucy. Monique and Lucy had fallen in love with each other. Lucy was my best Open dog and had no baggage….a clean, willing slate. She is the granddaughter of my Tess and in many ways, a little red version of Tess. Running Lucy was like running Tess. It was a joy, a true partnership.

I loved Lucy from the day she was born. I will love her until she passes on. She has a piece of my heart.

However, I was a part of her journey. To love and train her to send her to her final home, as much as it hurts me in my heart. Nevertheless, it was the right thing to do.

Lucy has landed.

LUCY's Home

Happy Birthday Monique!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Do, Re Mi" Dance

This is not Border Collies related but well worth watching. Very sweet and brought a smile to my face.

This video was made in the Antwerp, Belgium Central Station (train). On a Monday morning, with no warning to the passengers passing through the  station, a recording of Julie Andrews comes on the public address system singing “Do, Re, Mi.” As the bemused passengers watch in amazement, some

200 dancers begin to appear from the crowd and station entrances. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010