Saturday, July 3, 2010

Whidbey Island Open write up (June 19)

My goal was to pull out at 10 in the morning on Friday (June 18). That way I would get to the trial and get a prime parking spot, relax and beat the Friday night traffic rush. So much for that brilliant idea! I pulled out later and had over 1 ½ hr wait at the ferry. I was the last to get on the ferry. This was the first time to pull the Outback and it is much wider than the Pioneer trailer. It was a tight spot and I barely fit in. I was shocked at the ferry rate of $35. On the way back from the trial, I am going to drive around. I know the ferry wait on Sunday is hours long so even thought the distance is shorter, you still have a 1 ½ hr wait. As it was, going over I had a long wait. I ate, drank coffee, snuggled with the girls and read.

The rain beat down upon the ocean, casting out little ringlets and some of the ringlets danced around the floating still seagulls. Bead of rain rolled off their back as they bobbed up and down like buoys. In the gray mist, fuzzy boats appeared and just as swiftly disappeared. An occasional foghorn shattered the calm and soon the announcement came on to alert the travelers to return to their cars as we approach the dock.

We made our way to Susan’s farm and snagged a prime spot. My bedroom window overlooked the crossdrive and setout and the only part that I could not see was the pen. I saw Bob Hickman and he backed my trailer up for me and helped me with a few setup issues. He has taught me well, as a year ago, I was a brand new greenhorn. I got most of it setup by myself and we laughed at how a year ago, I was terrified of my trailer. Since then I upgraded to a bigger and wider trailer. Bob and Jane were my neighbors, they are a very nice couple, and I look forward to seeing them at the trials. He recently lost his dog, Rocky. I remember many years ago Bob and Rocky (Collie) and of their true partnership and deep love for each other. We all miss his happy smile and proud wag of his tail.

My slide out bed which overlooked the field. I could see everything except the post and pen.

Not that many people had arrived in the late afternoon but in the evening, a mad rush of trailers appeared. The Canadian set up “Canada-Land” on the far side of the guesthouse and soon loud laughter came from there. The Canadians sure know how to have a good time. In addition, they have great dogs. Good portions of my dogs are from Canada or related to Canadian dogs.

Other people began to pull in and soon we had a full crowd. Ken and Sandy were to my left side. Suzanne Anaya (CA) and Jeanne B were my neighbors too. Suzanne makes the trek once a year from southern California. She had Kilt and Yoko and as usual, her cheerful smile. I love her dearly. Bonnie, Sue and George, some of my most favorite people in the world were nearby. It was a fun visiting everyone and having dinner and drinks and socializing.

One would think in mid June, the weather would be hot and sunny and that we would be working on our summer tans. Instead, we had to bundle up in winter gear and drink hot tea. It rained and to top it off, was quite cold and windy. Luckily, for me I had two items in my favor, two dogs to cuddle with and the remote to control the heat. This trailer has a remote which you can turn up/down/on/off the heat, fan or AC. I love it. We slept like rocks and true to form, I woke up and Tess had most of my pillow while I was nudged off to the side and Nan had the lower half. Roo got the dog crate.

The setout pen. View from my trailer.

Morning was cool and misty and they course was reverse from the year before. The post was where the setout had been and the setout was the old handler’s post. We had five ewes, they were wily, and by the end of the second day, they had been run six or so times so they got tougher and tougher.

The famous sheep!

Nan was the first of my dogs to run and she was keen. She had been on the bed watching the few runs before her run and was eager to go. She cast our wide, deep, and downed at the top. She had a nice lift. The sheep leaned into her and I couldn’t get her to hold the pressure so we were a bit off. She did well on the drive, a few bobbles and a wide turn as the bolted up the field. That cost us dearly. She marched them into the pen and gave in clean on the shed. I asked her forward to show control and she leaned into the two lambs. I was very pleased with her shed as the sheep are very hard to shed and they are wild hair sheep. She pranced off the field and she placed 13th, out of 46 dogs. I was pleased with her efforts and I realize that hair sheep are her weakness.

Roo, what can I say about him. Look to blog on “Rescue Remedy Roo”

Donna Donahue and Kate (Tess daughter) had a screaming run and placed 7th. Monique and Lucy, once again showing a match made in heaven, laid down a sweet run to snag 11th place. Wonderful pen and shed! The day was wet, windy and cold and it had an effect on the sheep. When the wind would blow into your face, you could see the dogs struggle on the field. If you yelled the command, they would echo off the hills and the dogs would do the single command several times. After my runs, I had to do work (as in the work that I am paid for a living) and then I took a nap. I relaxed quite a bit and it was good to visit folks, have a drink, eat and just hang out. It was nice to hang out with Bonnie Daley again. I will see her again at the next trail and not for another year. A good person and I enjoying hanging out with her as she is down to earth. If you don’t know her, look her up at a trial. She has the cutest dog named Gabe who is not only a good trial dog but one heck of a working dog.

Monique at the pen with Lucy. The view from my trailer.

The potluck was wonderful as always. I made hamburgers shared them with Donna Donahue .and I had them. People brought all sort of goodies, cheesecake, cream puffs, pies and cakes. Oh, yes, just not forget the side dishes such as salads, sushi and other tasty homemade dishes. I ate dessert first then my dinner. Yes, I am on vacation and can eat my meal in any order!!

The winners were the Canadians and the Johnsons. There was good-natured ribbing of Ken Johnson and I am not going to repeat it her but it was embarrassing for Ken but quite funny for the rest of us. Be sure to ask Ken about his new “nick name”…I am sure he will conveniently forget it. It got cold rather quickly and soon we all scattered to our trailer to snuggle in for the night. I grabbed a good book, a hot cup of tea and settled in for the night.

Tomorrow: Sunday’s runs.

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