Thursday, June 23, 2011

Relaxing for the trial

Tomorrow is the first day of a three day trial hosted by Sue and George MacDonald. It has been a tradition for years and I have been attending for twelve of those. Twelve years ago, I ran Tess in Novice and this weekend I will run her son, Roo in Open and her daughter, Rainey in ProNovice.I am also running Nan in Open.

It's bittersweet as Tess is with me on this trip. She retired two year ago, winning High Combined over six trials to go out in a blaze of glory with her handmade Open Quilt for highest ranked dog. Now she is my travel buddy and pillow thief as well as a lap warmer.

Tonight I saw the tentacles of age creep in at her fore quarter. She struggled to get up on the dinette couch with me. She no longer that that spring in her jump on the bed and her eyes are clouded with time. It seems like in the last week or so, it has made a difference in her.

I still let her do the chores as home, because mainly that she shoves the other dogs away at the gate and gives me her pitiful eyes. She will bring the lambs to be put away and I often think of some other chore for her to do. After the chores when we walk to the house, she has the happy smile on her face and she wags her tail with the job well done. She saunters in front of me as if the hands of the clock was turned back many years. We have the knowing walk together, no words needed, but a kinship of work done and we did it well.

Tess is asleep now with her head on my pillow and when I go to bed, I will use the spare pillow so not to disturb her. She is happy and just learned a new trick. I had sugar wafers and she wanted some, so I broke some into small pieces and taught her to kiss on on command. She got the trick quickly and once finished with the treats, then went to sleep. I hear her heavy old dog snores fill the trailer and wonder how much longer she will be with me. I sure hope for many more years.

Roo, Nan and Rainey have trained well this week and I hope it shows on the field. Roo and Nan have been on the muscle more this year so it has been a struggle for me but we are getting there. This will be my first trial with Rainey  and I hope we succeed. She wants to try hard but sometimes has a hard time on the drive. We have worked hard on driving at home and I hope it pays off.

I also have Kathy's dogs, Jill and Tayla with me, She is still in the hospital and will be back at my place maybe on Sunday. So needless to say I have a full crew of dogs. I left around noon and got a sweet spot to park. I got all set up and had a nice dinner with a new friend, Debbie who is from Oregon. She is running a blue Merle Aussie, named Spyder in Novice. We will be cheering for her on the sidelines!

The weather has been great today, a little windy and sun. The heat feels good and I hope we have sun for the weekend. It would be nice to be warm at a trial for once. I got an second battery for the trailer so at least now, I can have heat during the night. when I had only had  one battery, it would die during the night and I would wake up cold and no heat!

It's good to be here and just relax. I have work to do and will be working late to get caught up. I did a fair share earlier but need to finish two projects. In the trailer, it is peaceful and quiet and I can get lots done. I really enjoy having this downtime.

Will write tomorrow on how the PN,  Ranch and Novice classes will be fun. I remember when I first stepped to the post so many years changed my life for the better. I have meet some great people, made best friends, learning how to work with dogs, made a lifestyle change and realized what is important in life.

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