It’s has been a wild week regarding the Finals. From Kuro running in the Nursery with Scott and getting 24th overall, to being able to watch on live broadcast, the semi and Double lift. I didn’t have to go and buy a ticket but was able to sit in the comfort of my couch, drink coffee and watch the runs. The camera angle was great (and thanks to Jenny Glen for the adjustment) and you could see the best of the best. I was able to learn by watching each run. I would think I would blow a certain command but was a second or so behind. Their timing was great and mine was not. I was inspired so I went out after watching the double lift and worked my dogs.
I took Taff, Roo and Rainey. Tess also snuck in for a spin. Roo ran like a top, square flanks, nice steady and was a star. Not an item wrong so let him go play in the pond pasture as his reward. Tess was dancing at the gate, begging to be come in so I relented. She ran like a 6 month old pup at the sheep, no wide outrun but at the last moment cast out then brought the sheep at warp sheep. I let her as she earned it. She drove like her gas pedal was on fire and then a brilliant shed and I called her off. Happy at her work, she ran to the gate, obviously telling me she was done and wanted to play with Roo so I let her out. Her tail gaily waving in the air was the last I saw and I smiled. She doesn’t need to be tuned up anymore but wanted to show me she could do it and then was done. She was quite happy with herself.
I have been having downing issues with Taff as he has been sliding through his stops. Or he turns in and takes three steps. I began to whisper to him and when he didn’t I ran at him. I fell and my crook flew up in the air and over his back and landed behind him. He stopped and watched it sail by and then came to me as I got up. Whipping the mud off my pants and pretending that I meant to do that, I carried on. It is hard to have dignity with mud on your face.
Well, that seem to do the trick as after that he stopped on a dime most of the time. His steadies were a lot better and he didn’t turn in on his flanks. However, he still is tight on his flanks He will first starts off nice and wide but as time goes on, he gets tighter and tighter. I worked on precise and short whistles and made sure they were not loud. I was pleased. Once I get the little issues worked out, we will go to a trial. We are so close to it but not totally there yet. Taff is a super nice dog and very devoted to me.
Rainey needs help on her driving. Her outruns are very sweet and very much so like her sire. Working her is like working her sire. Just a smaller version of Scott. I really enjoy working her a lot. I sent her and she cast out wide and brought the sheep smartly to me. I had her drive the lot across the culvert to the marsh. Now came the hard part. I stood on my critter pad and made her drive them down the length of the ditch and then turn them into the marsh. The sheep stalled at the knee high water and refused to move. I cajoled her and she began to grip and stood up to the ewes. I talked to her and she kept pushing them and soon she had them going in the water. I had her push them halfway across the field then recalled her. I sent her on my come by side and she went deep into the marsh. I saw to my surprise that she was swimming to finish her outrun. I saw her little white head bobbing up and down and she was dead on. She swam up behind the sheep and the ground was higher. Then she was belly deep in water and the sheep didn’t want to move. She was game, got them moving, and soon brought them to my feet and I was proud of her. I had her drive them to the pond at the north side of the pasture and called it a day. She will do just fine. Just a few more miles and she will have the driving down.
It was a fine day to watch some of the finest handling, to go and work my dogs and now, to sit on the couch, surround by my canine companions, rejoicing in life.