Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Spanish shepherds lead 5,000 sheep through Madrid

Spanish shepherds led flocks of sheep through the streets of downtown Madrid on Sunday in defense of ancient grazing, migration and droving rights threatened by urban sprawl and man-made frontiers. Jesus Garzon, president of a shepherds council established in 1273, said some 5,000 sheep and 60 cattle crossed the city to exercise the right to droving routes that existed before Madrid grew from a rural hamlet to the great capital it is today.

Following an age-old tradition, a chief herdsman paid 25 maravedis - coins first minted in the 11th century - to use the crossing, Garzon said.  Shepherds have a right to use 78,000 miles (125,000 kilometers) of paths for seasonal livestock migrations from cool highland pastures in summer to warmer grazing in winter. The movement is called transhumance and in Spain it involves around a million animals, mostly sheep and cattle.

Some paths have been used annually for more than 800 years and modern-day Madrid is in the way of two north-south routes, one dating back to 1372. The capital is a relatively modern city by European standards, only receiving its status as the administrative center of Spain's empire when King Philip II moved his court here in 1561.

As a result, the Puerta del Sol - a thronging plaza that is Spain's equivalent of New York City's Times Square - now straddles one of the routes. For the past 18 years shepherds have halted traffic in autumn to assert their rights to cross the city.

Spaniards treasure ancient shepherding customs and feel particularly proud of native strains such as the Merino sheep that has gone on to form the backbone of important wool industries around the world, such as in Australia. The herds that flocked onto the streets of Madrid on Sunday had spent the summer grazing in Brieva de Cameros, 185 miles (300 kilometers) north of Madrid, Garzon said.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fire Ridge - Rainey PN run

Rainey at Fire Ridge Sheepdog Trail in ProNovice Class. She placed 4th out of 30 dogs on Oct 21, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Judging PN, Nursery and Novice at Fire Ridge

Saturday I was the judge for ProNovice, Nursery and two rounds of Novice. Geri Byrne was my course director and she was fabulous. Donna Donahue and Ernesta were my scribes. The weather was nice, then it turned windy and chilly in mid afternoon which really affected the sheep. Geri kept the runs going one after another and she gets 5 stars for her tireless work. My scribes braved the wind and cold and were excellent!

ProNovice ran first followed by Nursery and then two rounds of Novice. The course was about 250 yards and the sheep had to go through a bowl and then up a hill to the post. The drive was to the right, through a gully which also had the exhaust further down and the sheep tried their best to bust back to it. The handler got one chance to pick the sheep off the exhaust if that occurred and everyone did it successfully. The first panel was halfway up the hill, then a tight turn, down the hill, across the flat then up a hill to the second panel. Then to the pen.

At the handler’s meeting I told folks to make sure the last leg was dead on to the pen as I had seen quite a few runs the days before swing wide while the handler turned their back to the dog to go to the pen. We had around 30 dogs in this class. There were some notable runs with a four way tie for first place with Karen, Bill, Bob and Norm. Bob and Norm had to do a runoff and Norm won with Bob hot on his heels. Ernesta ran floss and did stellar outwork and they looked great as a team. Erica and Tater had one of the best outwork of the day. They were a very smooth team and one that will be hard to beat. Jody and Reggie were another smooth team. Jerry and his Kelpie, Jed had been setting all day, then came down, put together a sweet run and then headed back up to set for the rest of the day. Elizabeth ran her Craig and he is going to be one that will be hard to beat. Jaenne and Mo were a good team to watch and Mo has keenness with her great stock sense. She is a cute red merle and she sure can handle the sheep. They are quite impressive as a team. Karen took time out from tallying score to run her Maverick and you can tell they really love each other on the field. Karen ran Beau and I was so impressed with him so I asked her about his breeding. It turns out that he is a grandson of my Nan! How wild!

Nursery had a great run by Bill and Roy with a score of 82. They missed the fetch panels and that was their only fault of the run. Ron got his second leg with Chavo and a second place. Nursery ran the same course as ProNovice.

Novice was about a 100 yard outrun, and short drive up the hill. The handler had the option of walking along the drive and the pen. The first round had a left turn drive and most of the handlers did well. Jill and Jack won it with a score of 68 and either lost one or two points on the drive. On the second run, Molly and HubCeeCee won it with a score of 72. There were 80 points possible. What was nice to see was the handlers did quite well and the teamwork was a pleasure to watch.

We got done and by the time we got back to the Open field, they were done. It was a long but a fun day and I really enjoyed judging everyone. I could see the improvement from last year and there are some great upcoming handlers!

We went out to dinner at Tate's Umapine Mercantile and they had delish ribs, red potatoes, lasagna, bread and other items. We were stuffed and of course, I had to order their crème Brûlée. I got it last year and it was just as good. After dinner, I spent the night at Karen and Meredith’s trailer. We watched the new DVD featuring Patrick Shannahan and apparently I passed out halfway since I was so tired. Nan and Rainey snuggled next to me all night and I woke up to hot coffee and a tasty breakfast from Karen. I want to thank Karen and Meredith for their generous hospitality and kindness. They just rock and are some of my favorite people!

Since I didn’t make it into the Double Lift, I volunteered to hold the sheep off the exhaust when the handler dropped them off at the drop off on the fetch and then exhaust the sheep after the run. I used Rainey as she had put the sheep out each night for their nightly feeding and had to push them off the stubble. She really enjoyed pushing the 350 or so ewes and when one took a charge at her, she met her with a nose grip. The first set tried to go to the exhaust and Rainey gave them the keen eye so they listened, and soon they were scooped up by the trial dog. After our session, we all hopped in the truck and made the trek back to home. We got home and Getty had dinner and unloaded the truck and soon I passed out on the couch. I really enjoyed the trial, the esteemed Open judge Wilda Bahr, the PN judges of Karen Mahoney and Lynn Johnston. Of course, Melinda, her husband and her support staff put on a top notch trial with tough range ewes, a equally challenging course, a great judge, wonderful dinner and cool awards. Melinda gave me a bottle of wine from the grapes they raise and we drank it and it was superb! This trial is a great trial and I highly recommend it. I plan on going back next year and hope we can get back into the double Lift!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fire Ridge sheepdog Trial - Part one

I left to go to the Fire Ridge Sheepdog Trial right after work on Wednesday. I got to Pete and Theresa’s house in the dark but thank goodness for my GPS. Although it took me on a extended convoluted route to their place. Ron and Hope were already there and Ron carried my gear into the house. Which is great as my right arm still is funky after the heart surgery. I can’t lift very much and have to close the tailgate with my shoulder than using my arms. And I have learned to ask people for help in setting up my trailer such as pulling out the bed, putting up the awning and so forth since I have limited use of my right arm. However, everyone is cool about helping me and I have learned to ask for help than trying to struggle.

The trial started bright and early on Thursday and I was to run Roo and Nan in Open and Rainey in ProNovice. It would be the same on Friday as I was going to judge all day on Saturday. The first Open round was over all of Thursday and then half of Friday. Then the second round began at lunchtime on Friday and finished up on Saturday. There were 54 dogs entered in the Open class.

The field was the same setup as last year. The sheep were set on the far hill, with a huge bowl in between you and the sheep with a few small knolls for good measure. Sending to the away side might cause your dog to swing too wide and to the come bye side, the dog might pull up short below the sheep due to a gully. However, the sheep were drawn to the come-bye side as their night pen was just over the hill. So most of the people sent to the come-bye side.

Roo was up early and I sent him on the come-bye side. He ran out, then went out wider for a fast lift. He decided to wear them back and forth on the sheep butts before the fetch panels, but then heard the edge in my voice then settle down for a nice last of the fetch. He had a nice drive but missed on panels, I think, then got a shed. The pen was decent but the sheep had to be convinced to be put in and tried to cut back to the exhaust. I was happy with his run, aside from the lift and first half of the fetch.

Nan ran later in the day, redirect on the outrun and had a thoughtful lift. Much better than the special lift that she had at Vashon. No teeth were involved in this lift. We had a very nice fetch and then at the turn the sheep spun to the other side of the post. As I was lining them up for the post turnI saw a dog on a long leash that was in the face of the sheep that caused them to cut back. (meaning that dog was in the trial field and affected the turn at the post- I wasn’t the only one that had this happen). We did fix the turn at the post and had a very nice drive with a couple of minor bobbles. She tucked the ewes into the pen then shed them smartly in the ring. We set up the shed and she came in clean. I was very pleased with her run and she got an 83 for her efforts. She did great on these range ewes, aside from being pushy.

Rainey ran on the ProNovice field which was a couple miles away. The sheep were a farm flock, well feed hair sheep that were heavy. Since Rainey is not the pushiest dog, she really struggled with the sheep. Her eye caught her up at the top and she was slow to walk in. She had to hock the sheep several times to get them moving since they felt she wasn’t too much of a threat but she finally got them going on the drive when we timed out at the last leg. Her low score did not reflect her try and willingness and I was happy that she never gave up and did her best. Since driving is not her forte and the sheep were heavy, she rallied and kept putting one foot in front of the other and not stalling. She only had lost 11 points on her drive as she was bring the sheep on the last leg to the pen.

We decided to get to the field very early on Friday since Ron was going to run Tigr. We arrived at 6:30 for a 7:15 handler’s meeting and it was dark and cold. I spied that Karen Mahoney’s trailer light were on so I dashed in for some hot coffee. Karen and Meredith are the hard working score keepers for the trial and worked until 10 or 11 each night, double checking the scores so we could see the results. It is the behind the scene tireless work that we take for granted.

Ray ran Jill for the first dog out and it was s stunning run. It was pretty close to flawless. Ron ran Tigr and she went too deep, was near the setout pen, and didn’t come down the hill to get the sheep so Ron left the post to help her.

I had to run to the PN field to run Rainey as she was first dog up. I sent her on the away side and she cast out nice, then her eye caught her. I whistled her out after realizing she was walking up very slowly and need some prompting to go faster. She had a nice lift then a dead on fetch. She lost four for her outrun, two on the lift and one for her fetch. She had to push the ewes on the last leg of the drive and part of it was in the gully and the ewes could see the exhaust and would try to break for it but she convinced them to rethink that idea. She made her panel and lost seven on her drive. At the pen, she marched them in for a perfect score. She got 76 for her score for a 4th place out of about 30 dogs. I was very happy with her work and you could she was a lot more confident on the same ewes that she had to struggle with on the day before.

I then ran back to the Open field just to see them reset the course for the second go round of Open. I was up in 6th spot with Roo. The sheep were set on the other field, to the left of the first go round. The handers post was pretty much in the same location but you rotated about 180 degrees to pick up the sheep. Roo kept looking at the first setout and refuse to listen, even though I kept turning him away form it. Finally I pointed him way off to the away side, hoping he would kick out but he ran about 50 yards and tried to cross. I whistle the hell out of him and he would go a few more yards then try to cross. I would tell him to look and he seemed like he would see the sheep but flipping back. Finally, he went the direction then came up fast on the sheep. I hit him with a HARD DOWN to settle him and the sheep. He had a nice lift then suddenly busted in the middle of the sheep, causing one to break back and he went after that so we got a DQ. Needless to say, I was not happy with him.

Nan ran towards the end of the day. She scanned the field for the sheep, spied them, tremble with excitement, had a nice outrun and came up nice behind the sheep for a two point loss on the lift and none on the outrun. The fetch was a dogleg fetch and we settle everyone down and she had a nice fetch and turn at the post for a three point loss. She was edgy on the drive, we missed the panel, and she wouldn’t release the pressure on the last turn, which killed us on the points for nineteen points. She tucked them in the pen in short order and we had to do a single. As they walked into the ring, she got her single in record time for none points loss for her pen or shed. We did miss the Double Lift by four points and had we gotten the last panel, we would have been in. Still I was happy with her work and efforts to please me. Therefore, my homework with Nan is releasing the pressure and for Rainey is having her not eye up so much on the lift. If a dog tries I am happy but if they think, they can have fun and misbehave, then I am not happy.

Part Two tomorrow....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Aunt Betty Luttrell - An Angel with special wings

My favorite Aunt Betty passed away. Ironically enough, I never thought of her as getting older as she was a breath of fresh air. When we would visit my dad's relative in Illinois, she would make us feel very welcome. She went out of her way to make my mother, newly arrived from Japan, feel like he was part of the family. I have many fond memories of her when I was growing up. we spent some time in Aurora when I was a small child. Her son, Jeff was a good friend of mine and he passed away over 20 years ago. we were like the two black sheep of the family. Aunt Betty never had a bad word to say to anyone, was a ray of sunshine and everyone loved her. We all should aspire to be as good as she. She is now in heaven and I truly believe has a special set of angel wings waiting for her.

I will always love you, Aunt Betty.


Luttrell, Betty Jean Age 76, of Sandwich, IL, passed away Monday, October 24, 2011, with her family at her side. She was born May 23, 1935, in Aurora IL, the daughter of the late Donald and Evelyn Culhane. Betty was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother whose greatest joy was being surrounded by her family. She was still active in the family business, LDL Transfer.

She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Leon, her son David (Vickie Smith), daughter Linda (Dean) Zingre and son John; seven grandchildren: Tonya (Roger) Alberico, Julie (Troy) Schmidgall, Michael Luttrell, Bradley (Sandi) Zingre, Kimberly Zingre, Melody Luttrell, and John Luttrell, Jr; ten great-grandchildren; her sister Ruth (Mike) Flanary, and her brothers John (Kay) Culhane and Donald Culhane and her brother-in law, Walter Seifrid. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews whom she remembered each year on Valentine's Day. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Jeffrey, her brothers Milton Pagel, Robert Culhane, Ronald Culhane and her sister Donna Seifrid.

Visitation will be held Saturday, October 29, 2011 from 11 A.M.-2 P.M. at Beverage Family Funeral Home, Sandwich, IL with funeral service immediately following. Interment at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Sandwich. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Open Door Center, Sandwich, IL.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

R.I.P. Keen-Eye Cody

From Diana Gauthier


Keen-Eye Cody passed on to the other side Oct. 24th. He was 15 years old. A huge part of me went with him.

There are many handlers’ dogs that have got Cody in their bloodlines. He sired many a great pup. His legacy will live on.

The first time I saw him, at 8 weeks old, I didn’t know how much that tiny puppy would come to mean to me. He was delivered to me from Dennis Gellings at a trial in Prince George, Sandra and Jack Peterson’s.

He was tiny, small boned, with a pointed little snout and bulging big eyes. He looked nothing like his older full brother whom I admired. I thought I had made a mistake in buying this pup sight unseen. But alas, he was to grab my heart and never let it go.

At the age of one he was cow dog of the year in pro Nov. He could stop a steer at a full run by grabbing the nose, sometimes swinging around wide and over it’s head, never letting go till the steer was pointing in the direction I wanted, then he’d drop off like a fly when he heard the “stay” whistle, There he’d wait for the next command and then burst off full speed again. He picked up the name at the cow trials, Kamikaze, cause he never had fear or regard for his personal safety. Everything he did was with a feverish intensity and commitment. He had been stepped on, stampeded over, flung into walls all in the name of working cattle. I retired him after that first year from cows because I knew that rubber ball of a body he had wouldn’t last.

His love turned to sheep.

There was no easier dog to make a shed with, no gap in the group of sheep needed at all. Him and I had a kind of point and shoot method. I’d point and he’d shoot. Sheep could be facing every which way, necks locked around each other like a tangled ball of wool. But Cody, well he knew how to unravel that yarn. I’d just point between two heads and that was his cue to come in like a whirl wind, (kind of reminded me of that Disney character the Tanzmanion Devi) and he’d separate the two groups. Never would those separated ones be allowed back with the others without word from the boss. And then of course it was the same at the pen. I could say “pen ‘em” and he would whirlwind them in. I use to say it was like tying to handle a tornado, you couldn’t stop it or even slow it down, and all you could do was guide it.

That was Cody’s really only detriment. He couldn’t be slowed down when he got excited. He had 2 speeds, stop and full throttle. At one trial as a 2 yr old he ran the pro Novice field course, doing an out run, fetch, drive and cross drive and getting the sheep to the mouth of the pen in no less than 57 seconds! Needless to say, he didn’t get the pen, the sheep’s’ heads were still spinning from the tornado! But I do remember his score wasn’t half bad considering!

He and I made a game of keeping the shedded sheep. We would do a nice shed then I’d put Cody on a stay and watch the sheep head back to the other sheep at the end of the arena a couple hundred feet away. But I’d time it so just before they got there I would release him and he’d bolt down, catching them up and bring them back to me. He loved this game and got so good at it but I remember that one time I waited a little too long to release him. By the time he was caught up to them they were knocking shoulders with their buddies. I felt bad that I had set him up for failure but Cody didn’t miss a beat, he came out of that group licked- split with those same two sheep, trotting back to me, a big smile on his face. (my sheep all were are distinctly marked)

He had a great mind all right.

One time when I was bringing in sheep from the field or I should say my dog Shian was, a neighbor drove up. I was standing by the front of the house whistling commands. My dogs were taught to open and shut gates so I could do the chores from the house. Well on the last gate, the one to the barn yard, I had previously propped it open with a stout stick. So when Shian went to shut it, she kept pushing at it with her front feet to shut it, and she was having trouble. I knew she would get it eventually as the stick had to give, just give her a minute. But Cody couldn’t stand it; he shot out from under the porch where he was watching. I thought he was going to push the gate side by side with her as he knew the trick too. But no, instead he grabs the stick and drops it down to watches Shian finish shutting the gate. They both come proudly up to me and my neighbor, he turns to me and says, “If I hadn’t just seen that I would never have believe it. “ He didn’t know dogs could think like that. Cody could….

Working sheep was his great love, that and riding horses.

He would love to perform at the rodeos and agribition fairs. Well for this one year, I decided to try something different. I had the idea of having Cody ride behind me and we would gallop around the arena, doing turn backs and sliding stops, all to music. Great idea but I had only 2 weeks before the next fair. I had to teach him to ride the horse as well as jumping up and ride behind me riding free style on his own. First time he got on a horse he didn’t know he had to bend his legs to the movement of the horse; he fell off and laid there on the ground just as he’d landed, with the look of shock on his face. I think he got the wind knocked out of him. I called him back up and he jumped up onto the horse. This time he knew what to expect and learned to bend his legs with the rhythm of the horse. Well the horse had to learn too. So when she felt those toe nails dig into her back side, I’m sure a picture came to mind of a cougar landing astride for the kill and so she acted accordingly. Cody went sailing and it took a bit to get the horse calmed down.

This time I knew what to expect and gave the horse a blanket over her rump and Cody and I went trotting around and he acted like he‘d been riding all his life. At the exhibition 2 weeks later, the horse needing no extra blanket. In front of a packed house, Cody starts the performance atop the horses’ back. I’m in the middle of the arena and I call my horse to me but she basically says ‘ I don’t know about all of this’ and doesn’t move a foot. As the music starts I see Cody’s big grin, he leans forward from the saddle and grabs the back of her neck and that horses head lifts high and she prances up to me on the double. Climbing up into the saddle, Cody and I gallop on my big red horse along with the music and after enough times we could do maneuvers , slide stops and roll backs. When a quick stop or turn comes up, I crook my arm out, still holding the reins and that’s Cody’s cue to slide his neck in to be braced by me so he doesn’t fall off. Right after the maneuver, I release him and he rides smoothly behind me again, loving every minute of it. After many years when Cody no longer did the performances, he would still beg to be allowed to jump up behind my horse when he saw me ready for a ride. Of course I would tell him, silly boy, you’re too old for that. But he just remembered loving it. I guess it gave him a rush.

At one of these performances, not sure which year it was, my horse, I guess she wasn’t paying attention to her feet. As we gallop around the arena to a full crowd, her hind foot landed funny. I watched it later on a video. She literally stretches full out, front legs out front and hind legs fully out behind right onto her tummy. It was like going down a fast elevator. I could see she was going to get back right up so decided to stay aboard. Cody, he comes off as she fell flat out but when he saw that I wasn’t getting off, he jumps back aboard just as she pulls herself up and goes right back into a gallop. If you had turned your head away for 5 seconds and looked back at the three of us, you would never have known there was a missed beat, because there we were, still riding to the music. When my hat fell off in the wind as we galloped, I’d come to a solid stop and Cody would jump off and grab the hat, give it a shake to dust it off for me and hand it to me and jump back on and away we’d go again. The song would finish with a roll of the drums which was our cue to pull center stage. Then I’d ask my horse to rear and hold it for 6 beats, with Cody hanging on, then land down to the crash of cymbals. It was a lot of fun. Cody was a lot of fun.

As Cody got old his body aged fast. All the old injuries proved he wasn’t made of rubber after all. But his mind and heart where never compromised with age. That dog, he was all heart. His stout barrel chest could barley hold it in. His every beat was to the rhythm of living life with everything he had.

I miss him terribly. I miss those big expressive eyes. I will always be so thankful he taught me to live life to the fullest and to have fun doing it. That was Cody’s gift to me.

Thank you Cody, it’s been a great ride!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sheep Cartoons

 Remember that song?

 This is so true where I live.

Yep. it is the $9.95 all-ewe-can-eat special.

Rise up against the masses!

And these need to have a serious haircut!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Too tired to write

I am wiped out from the long trial and then the long drive. Then I had to go to work and just now walked in. So needless to say, I will NOT be doing the trial wrap-up today. I will do it on Wednesday as I won't be home until after 8 tomorrow night either.

I got folks to tape my runs and take photos so I still need to download them and process them.

So here are some dogs comics to keep you entertained.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Unoffical Fire Ridge Open and ProNovice Score

The unoffical final results for Fire Ridge Open. Nan missed getting into the Double Lift by FOUR POINTS.

ProNovice- unofficial

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday score for Fire Ridge - Unofficial

I am too tired to blog so am posting these score. All are unofficial. I am on the edge for the Double Lift with Nan. Rainey got 4th in PN today. More details when I get back!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fire Ridge scores- unofficial Thursday

Unofficial Score for Thursday Fire Ridge.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fire ridge Open #2


1 Donna Donahue Kate
2 Noelle Williams Lad
3 Norm Close Meg
4 Jeanie Helsley Taite
5 Angie Untisz Luke
6 Diane Pagel Roo
7 Don Helsley The Wizard
8 Lana Rowley Kell
9 Monique Feyrecilde Lucy
10 Shane Harley SirBerto
11 Penny Ohanjanian Quill
12 Melinda Eden Jill
13 Bob Hickman Mojo
14 Geri Byrne Dan
15 Elizabeth Baker Ross
16 Diane Pagel Nan
17 Bill Orr Sly
18 Lavon Calzacorta Tess
19 Karen Zamora Chip
20 Lynne Green Kurt
21 Liz Hubbard Bea
22 Karen Child Jim
23 Ray Coapman Jill
24 Lynn Johnston Jesse
25 Lora Withnell Sally
26 Melinda Eden Coon
27 Karen Mohney Grit
28 Noelle Williams Nap
29 Lavon Calzacorta Gus
30 Bryan White Scoop
31 Bob Hickman Trooper
32 Elizabeth Baker Rye
33 Penny Ohanjanian Moss
34 Don Helsley Ash
35 Lana Rowley Nellie
36 Jorgen Persson Merckx
37 Lora Withnell Nell
38 Donna Donahue Taff
39 Jeanie Helsley Tag
40 Lynn Johnston Anna
41 Angie Untisz Butch
42 Ron Green Tigr
43 Sue Wessels Lexy
44 Norm Close Blaze
45 Bill Orr Boone
46 Lana Rowley Mint
47 JB Brick Scamp
48 Gael Gann Chili
49 Elizabeth Baker Soot
50 Corinne Berg Tay
51 Lora Withnell Bella
52 Jeff Marroni Carmen
53 Mike Hubbard David
54 Karen Child Rock

Fire Ridge Open #1


1 Penny Ohanjanian Quill
2 Lora Withnell Sally
3 Melinda Eden Jill
4 Lynn Johnston Anna
5 Norm Close Meg
6 Lana Rowley Kell
7 Bill Orr Boone
8 Donna Donahue Kate
9 Jeanie Helsley Taite
10 Angie Untisz Luke
11 Diane Pagel Roo
12 Bob Hickman Mojo
13 Noelle Williams Lad
14 JB Brick Scamp
15 Don Helsley Ash
16 Geri Byrne Dan
17 Jeff Marroni Carmen
18 Karen Child Jim
19 Elizabeth Baker Ross
20 Lora Withnell Nell
21 Monique Feyrecilde Lucy
22 Lynne Green Kurt
23 Jorgen Persson Merckx
24 Norm Close Blaze
25 Angie Untisz Butch
26 Corinne Berg Tay
27 Bob Hickman Trooper
28 Elizabeth Baker Soot
29 Bill Orr Sly
30 Diane Pagel Nan
31 Karen Child Rock
32 Shane Harley SirBerto
33 Lynn Johnston Jesse
34 Lora Withnell Bella
35 Noelle Williams Nap
36 Jeanie Helsley Tag
37 Ray Coapman Jill
38 Ron Green Tigr
39 Lavon Calzacorta Tess
40 Don Helsley The Wizard
41 Lana Rowley Nellie
42 Mike Hubbard David
43 Sue Wessels Lexy
44 Donna Donahue Taff
45 Penny Ohanjanian Moss
46 Liz Hubbard Bea
47 Elizabeth Baker Rye
48 Karen Zamora Chip
49 Karen Mohney Grit
50 Gael Gann Chili
51 Lana Rowley Mint
52 Melinda Eden Coon
53 Bryan White Scoop
54 Lavon Calzacorta Gus

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Emma - Winter Series ProNovice - Oct 9

DeltaBluez Emma running at the Winter Series on Oct 9, 2011. She won this class. The battery died so we only got half of the run. she did quite well and she is a nice dog to run. I ran her for Kathleen. She is with me to learn her whistles and then back to Kathleen. Kathleen has done a great job with Emma on raising and training her.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tigr - Winter Series Open - Oct 9

Tigr ran in the Open class. She placed 7th. Tigr was a dog that I bred from cattlelines.

Tigr is the full sister to Emma. Emma is owned by Kathleen Torkelson. I ran  Emma for Kathleen and she won first in PN. Kathleen spent many hours training Emma to read her stock and trial. She is a great dog to run.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Roo - Winter Series Open - Oct 9

Roo ran like a champ for me on this day. We didn't get the pen or shed but still got fifth place. He lost none on his outrun, lift and three on the fetch. Lost nine on the drive. He ran well and was a joy to watch as well as run.

The drive was around the cone, back through the fetch panels, then a left to the far crossdrive, then across the field to the other high panel and then back through the fetch panels... like a Martini Glass drive.

One ewe was a real pain as you can see. On the first leg of the drive she tried to break off and at the pen she refused to go in. Roo handled her quite well. I was very happy with his work and he ran the best of the dogs on that day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Nan - Winter Series Open - Oct 9

I ran Nan this last weekend. she was a bit on the muscle and skidding through her stops but we did get by. She ran well for me and placed first and so now we have more points towards the Finals. She went out nice and lifted the sheep well. She lost one for her outrun and lift and then three for her fetch. We had a nice drive and had a few few bobbles for minus fourteen  and then a sweet pen. I set up the sheep in the shedding ring and an opening came about so we took it. She got none off for her pen and shed.

The drive was around the cone, back through the fetch panel, then to the first drive panel, then to the second drive panel, then back through the fetch panel and to the pen with not gate and then a shed. You had to stand at the post to pen the sheep. Not that many people got the pen or shed. It was tough as the sheep would ring the pen as they were wily.

I am happy with her work but need to work on a proper stop or stand. She still does slice a bit and that has been our homework too. But I love this dog and how she tries hard for me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

DeltaBluez Rainey - Oct Winter Series - Open Non Compete

I had a chance to run Rainey in a Open course as a non-compete run. She did quite well. At the top, I had to bend her out and she did it well. We missed the second crossdrive panel since she wouldn't release the pressure. She never did a single and after a couple of attempts, we quit. I was quite happy with her and she will move up to Open next year. I just started running her a few months ago.

The drive was around the cone, back through the fetch panels, then a left to the far crossdrive, then across the field to the other high panel and then back through the fetch panels...sort of like a Martini Glass drive

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Barn

I love this cartoon......

Need I say more?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rose at ten months

Kathleen is working Rose in the big field. She is ten months old. She is very natural and keen.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DeltaBluez Rainey - Oct Winter Series ProNovice

Rainey ran well at the ProNovice class. She placed second out of fourteen dogs.. She didn't get the pen. She lost one point on her fetch and two on her drive. She tries very hard and each trial she gets more push. Emma got first place and I ran her. Nan won the Open class, so needless to say, I was very happy that my dogs did so well.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Results of MacDonald's Winter Trial

Kathleen and I went to George and Sue MacDonald's Winter Series Trial on Sunday . I will do a write up later.


Written by Sue MacDonald
What a perfect day for a sheepdog trial! The weather was perfect, the sheep behaved themselves, and EVERYONE pitched in to help set sheep, exhaust sheep, scribe and course direct! George did a great job of judging.. thank you to everyone! I must say that next time I'll have to have more food! Wow you guys were hungry! It almost looked like someone licked the pots clean!

It's always nice to hear laughter and cheering when I was setting sheep at the top. Thank you to the open handlers that cheered and supported our novice teams. Boy we have some really nice handlers coming up!

Good job to everyone!

So I'm sure you are all dieing to know what the results are since I wasn't able to go over the scores and post them until most all of you where gone, so here you go!

Open ran first with four sheep for each team. We did the martini glass course, fetch through the fetch gates, turn the post clockwise and go back through the fetch gates, angle off to the left drive gate, cross the field to the right hand drive gates, back through the fetch gates, then straight to an open mouthed pen AND we had to pen from the handlers post. If you got that all done then you could go to the shed ring and split your sheep. All in 8 minutes! Time was perfect, but the course was challenging! 20 teams to the post with 100 points possible

1. Diane Pagel and Nan 1-1-3-14-0-0 81 this was beautiful to watch. Nice run!
2. Bob Hickman and Mojo 1-1-5-12-7-1 73
3. Ian Caldicott and Joe Kid 1-0-2-9-8-10 70
4. Jeanne Boudrieau and Rocky 0-1-2-17-0-10 70
5. Diane Pagel and Roo 0-0-3-9-10-10 68
6. Donna Donahue and Taff 1-0-2-11-8-10 68
7. Ron Green and Tigr 1-0-8-14-0-10 67
8. Jim Cooper and Amos 3-4-7-14-5-0 67
9. Sue MacDonald and Jan 3-2-5-6-8-10 66 best drive of the day, but sure needed that shed!
10.Brian Ricards and Doc 0-0-8-18-6-5 63
11. Ian Caldicott and Bear 15-4-4-8-0-10 59
12. Jim Cooper and Zot 2-1-2-13-10-10 62
13. Jo Roach and Slider 6-3-7-16-0-10 58
14. Donna Donahue and kate 1-0-6-18-10-10 55
15. Jim Cooper and Sweep 2-3-6-15-10-10 54
16. Sue MacDonald and Jackie 0-2-10-24-10-10 44
17. T Yamamoto and Sweep the Broom 16-0-7-21-10-10 36
18. Ian Caldicott and Kate 8-4-4-30-10-10 34
19. Chris Soderstrom and Tarn 19-4-4-23-10-10 30
20. Bonnie Block and Gull 1-3-8- DQ

Straight into Novice Novice with 4 teams to the post and 60 points possible. About a 60 yard outrun with just a fetch, settle at the handlers post and then walk to the pen and pen them. Good job to all of you!

1. Kendall Hougland and Charm 0-1-8-2 49
2. Kylo Murray-Gann and Mike 2-4-4-2 48
3. Susan Risner and Nevi 2-5-12-10 31
4. Kathleen Torkelson and Josh 8- RT our one and only kelpie

After a short course change we went into the Ranch class. This class had about the same outrun, but we added a drive away and then return to the pen. Drive was worth 20 points instead of the normal 30 so 80 points were possible.

1. Corinne Berg and Bea 0-0-5-2-2 71 WOW Corinne! Good thing you  didn't watch my run. You got a much better score by doing the course correctly! :-))
2. Kendall Hougland and Sava 1-0-9-6-1 63 was this your first trial? Nicely done!!
3. Ron Green and Chavo 0-3-10-12-0 55
4. Jane Hickman and Rachel 0-2-8-16-0 54
5. T Yamamoto and Taw 8-3-5-11-0 53
6. Kylo Murray-Gann and Mike 3-4-14-13-0 46
7. Sue MacDonald and Avie 8-2-12-12-0 46
8. Heidi Hanson and Bruce RT sure looked good in his N/C run!!

So a small course change again and into Pro Novice we went! 90 points possible. And still lot's of daylight, yeah!!

1. Diane Pagel and Emma (Kathleen Torkelson's Emma) 0-3-4-7-0 76
2. Diane Pagel and Rainey 3-3-1-2-10 71
3. Jeanne Boudrieau and Moses 4-5-3-9-0 69
4. Vicki Romero and Blitz 1-1-9-11-0 68 Good job you two!
5. Cindy Baker and Kael 6-4-1-11-0 68
6. Chris Soderstrom and Playa 0-3-7-17-0 63
7. Chris Soderstrom and Rankin 3-2-5-10-10 60
8. Vicki Romero and Skye 2-5-12-14-0 57
9. Cindy Baker and Finn 2-4-8-20-0 56
10. Jo Roach and Steam 1-0-5-30-10 44
11. Kathleen Torkelson and Gael 3-1-5-30-10 41
12. Brian Ricards and Belle 0-1--14-30-10 35
13. Ron Green and Kiki 5-0-12-30-10 33
14. Ron Fischer and Steve 4-2-9-RT

There you have it! Hope you had a good day trialling and a safe trip home! See you all soon!

Sue and George

Sunday, October 9, 2011

MacDonald's Winter Trial

Ron, Kathleen and I are at this trial.  George and Sue are hosting a few winter trials and this is the first of the series. I will try to post the results later tonight or tomorrow.

1. Ian Caldicott and Joe Kidd
2. Bob Hickman and Mojo
3. Ron Green and Tigr
4. Diane Pagel and Nan
5. Sue MacDonald and Jan
6. JIm Cooper and Sweep
7. Jo Roach and Slider
8. T Yamamoto and Sweep the Broom
9. Donna Donahue and Taff
10. Chris Soderstrom and Tarn
11. Brian Ricards and Doc
12. Jim Cooper and Amos
13. Dick Wilson and Raygen
14. Ian Caldicott and Bear
15. Sue MacDonald and Jackie
16. Donna Donahue and Kate
17. Diane Pagel and Roo
18. Jim Cooper and Zot
19. Ian Caldicott and Kate
20. Jeanne B and Rocky

1. Kendall Hougland and Charm
2. Susan Risner and Nevi
3. Kylo Murray-Gann Mike

1. Sue MacDonald and Avie
2. Jane Hickman and Rachel
3. Corinne Berg Bea
4. Heidi Hanson and Bruce
5. Kylo Murray-Gann Mike
6. Kendall Hougland Sava
7. Ron Green and Chavo
7. Sue MacDonald and Repete
Pro Novice
1. Diane Pagel and Emma
2. Chris Soderstrom and Playa
3. Vicki Romero and Blitz
4. Jo Roach and Steam
5. Cindy Baker and Finn
6. Brian Ricards and Belle
7. T Yamamoto and Twa
8. Ron Green and Kiki
9. Chris Soderstrom and Rankin
10. Vicki Romero and Skye
11. Ron Fischer and Steve
12. Kathleen Torkelson and Gael
13. Cindy Baker and Kael
14. Diane Pagel and Rainey
15. Jeanne B and Moses
Non Compete runs (these can be in any order, we will set accordingly)
1. Cindy Baker and Brill open
2. Kendall Hougland and Charm Novice Novice
2. Ron Fischer and Steve open
3. Bob Hickman and Ryder open
4. Kendall Hougland and Sava Ranch
5. Jeanne B and Moses open
6. Corinne Berg and Bea open
7. Diane Pagel and Rainey open

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Vashon Island - Rainey PN run

This is Rainey's PN run at Vashon Island. It's kind of wavy and fuzzy as we did not have a tripod. When Rainey went to get her sheep, she ran an open outrun but the sheep were at the PN set out I called her in and she got them. That is where you get the better video. The fetch line looks skewed since Ron was not in a direct lien behind it. Rain only lost two points off on her fetch.

Rain ran out of time of time on her drive.  But I was happy she didn't back down when the sheep charged her and held her round.  She ran her heart out for me and I really like that.

Friday, October 7, 2011

DeltaBluez Reba

Just a quick video of Reba on sheep for the third time. She is about nine months old at this point. Her dam is DeltaBluez Lucy and her sire is Scott Glen's Don. She reminds me a lot of Lucy. I ran Lucy in PN and Nursery, where she won trials and qualifed for the USBCHA Sheepdog Finals. Monique took care of Lucy when I had heart operation then Scott Glen polished her for me in Open.

After I healed, then I ran her in Open and she was successful. She  ran in two Double Lifts (one with Scott Glen and one with me) and then ran in the USBCHA Sheepdog Finals with Jennifer Glen. Lucy was a enjoyable dog to train up to Open and I am hoping that Reba will be the same. Scott had put the polish on Lucy for Open and Reba will be going to Scott to do the same as her mom. It's a family tradition now! Lucy is now with Monique and she is running her in Open. I hope that Reba will be my future Open dog.

Isn't she just a keen little red gal! I just love her spirit!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Sampling of Vashon Island Sheepdog's beauty

Some sampling of the sheepdog trials.

The wily sheep from eastern Oregon.

There were a lot of stand offs between the sheep and the dogs. Rainey was patient and never moved when they charged. These two finally gave up and listened to her.

 The honorable Judge, Leslie Scruggs.

 Nan on the first leg of the drive. See how colorful the trees are in the background.

Rainey on a drive.

Roo on the last leg of the drive.

Lots of people showed up to watch. It was well attended!

More pixs in the next few days.

Photos. Wayne Seward and Diane Pagel

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Nan gets a massage

Well, I haven't processed the photos from Vashon so you won't get them until tomorrow. I did manage to do ONE PHOTO so that was huge!

At the trial, Kelly Gann offered dog massage and Nan got a massage. She gets to go to the chiro as well as an acupuncturist. She also goes to the groomer about every six weeks so I cant cut hair at all.

So Nan was  a little off on her front leg, so she got a long massage before her run. It helped quite a bit and she was quite relaxed. She also went to the chiro who adjust her and found her front leg had rotated inwards, and adjusted her so now her gait is not off and she is merrily running about the house.

I highly recommend Kelly to give your dogs, or another other animal for that matter. She also is licensed to give people massages and I had her loosen up the knots in my shoulders.

Kelly giving a massage to Nan. Isn't Nan looking like she is having a blast!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vashon Island Sheepdog Trial full report

The course is tough, the sheep are tough and the judging was tough ; all great ingredients for a great sheepdog trial. The Vashon Island Sheepdog Trial was held on Misty Isle Farms and was on thirty acres or rolling hills, heavy draws and wily range ewes from the Blue Mountains of Oregon. These ewes run in bands up to three thousand, fend for themselves in the mountains, have survived against wolves, coyotes, bear, and thus held their own against the Border Collies.

The trial was set over three days, first starting on Friday where the ProNovice, ranch and Novice, then followed by Open on Saturday and Sunday. The PN outrun was about 250 yards with the drive over hills and gully and then to the pen. The ewes quickly sized up the inexperienced young dogs and ran some off, the ewes refused to move, or they ran off. Those dogs that did move the sheep were hard pressed as the ewes would challenge anytime they felt the dog would weaken or was too close for comfort. Having a forward momentum was the key to success but also making the ewes feel like the dog had the power to back it up if needed.

I sent Rainey on the come bye side and she ran out a full Open run up to 450 yards and I spied her at the top of a hill, so whistled her back, then flanked and she spied her sheep and came on nicely. Her lift was spot on and the ewes respected her and moved easily. I was not sure if she was able to move these ewes and was happy that she marched into the lift with authority. A few days prior, she had to work reluctant ewes and ram that charged her every step and she had to grip repeatedly, got rolled, but got back up and kept on until the ram moved. That helped her a lot, as it gave her the courage that she could move a stamping ewe or ram and grip as needed. She didn’t back down at the farm and I was by she side, helping her and I saw a dog that grew in confidence. Therefore, when she met the range ewes, she marched into them with the confidence she had recently obtained and they respected her. Her fetch line was spot on and when they tried to go to the draw, she took the flank, held the line and had a tidy turn. The ewe would stand up to her and she never wavered, even when they charged at her. When they did charge at her, she stood her ground and the ewe never completed the charge, well aware her teeth might be ready and she was not wavering. I was happy to see that she held her ground, took my whistles, and did as I asked. They fought her at the turn, with two standing at her and two bolting. She turned the skeptical ewe then regrouped the runways and proceeded on the first legs of the drive. The rest of the first leg was clean and she pushed them through the panel for a turn but they were slow to go on the cross drive. She slowly began to work them across but timed out. At that point, she had a very sweet drive. She ran her heart out and not once let the ewes back her down or run her off. She is turning into a tougher dog with bidability. There are some areas that she needs to improve on, such as more forwardness on her drive, push but other areas as her outrun, and lift which are superb. In time, she will be an Open dog and I am in no rush to put her in Open until she is ready. My game plan is next year and once her drive is more solid, we will revisit this. On a side note, she only lost two points off her fetch and it was the best PN fetch and on the score card up to her time out, she didn’t lose a single point on her drive.

Patrick had a near flawless run with Abby. As he came off the field, I asked him that breeding on her as some of her moves reminded me of my Nan. It turns out that she is Nan ¾ sister (or something like that). Abby’s sire is Jaq, who is a full sibling to Nan. I think I need to sneak her home; do you think Patrick might notice that?

Ron and I left after the PN runs so we could our rooms at the Youth Hostel all squared away. The rooms had out our private shower and heaters that worked great, and places for the dogs to stretch their legs. Dinner was at “The Hardware Store Restaurant”, Dick Wilson showed up later, and he joined us. I guess I was pretty hungry as I polished off a huge prime rib, potatoes, salad and then dessert. I think I waddled back to the car. My cell phone didn’t get service for more than a couple of minutes where we stayed so I was not able to update the blog. So then, I spent the evening by reading a book and putting my feet up and relaxing.

Saturday morning came excessively early as we made out way to a restaurant that was called Shorty’s (?) that had wonderful breakfast. I ordered a half portion and the food covered the plate and it was more than I could eat. With full bellies, we made out way to the field and saw the course. The outrun was 425 yards, down a draw that leaned to one side of the fetch panels, around the post, which then had the draw to the exhaust; first leg had the draw to the exhaust, most of a blind cross drive. Up a hill for the second panel, down the hill to the ring for a shed, then pen and a single and all in eleven minutes. The ewes were more than ready to take on the dogs as they had won most of the day before and were tough. I really appreciate that they brought in the range ewes as it make it a fun but tough trial and will show where you need to go back and fix the weak areas and also shines the good work. It is a must go to trial.

Roo was the first of my dogs to go up. As I sent him on the come bye side, he saw a white van going down the road on the away side and start to cross. I blew a hard down, let him sit for a few seconds until he looked up the field, and then blew a couple of redirects. He went out nice to the sheep, started a nice lift, went about 30 yards then shouldered a ewe. He was fast on their butt and refused to do as I asked. I ran off at him and he acted surprised. I asked the set out if they could hear me and they could, so Roo chose to ignore me.

Ron ran Tigr right after me and she kept the sheep offline, despite Ron’s effort to get them back online. The drive was wavy but they got through it and as the sheep entered the ring, the time ran out.

Patrick ran a run that highlight his talents with the determined Riggs to get a score of 101 out of 110. Everyone learned a lesson on how to handle the range ewes with this run. He also laid down a sweet run with Java and Andi to sweep first, second and third place. It was quiet and showed the crowd that these stubborn ewes could be moved around the course with ease. I talked to Patrick after his runs and he was generous with tips on how to handle the ewes and course. It was very kind of him and showed that he is a very humble and sweet person and we all root for such a classy gentleman that he is and what we should strive for! Patrick never says anything negative to you but words how to fix your errors in a helpful manner and as a result, he is known as a top handler/trainer and just a great person.

Karen had two nice runs that were on the heels of Patrick to take fourth and sixth place with Jim and Rock. Dave Imas and Cap snagged fifth place and Jeff Marroni and Carmen were in seventh.

Nan was very close to the end of the day and the ewes were hungry and wanted to bed down. She ran out nice then looked like she was cutting in so I gave her a redirect and she kicked out wide and went behind her sheep. She and to work to get the lift as the ewes did not believe her but they came down the fetch. She held the fetch against the draw and only lost a couple of points until the panel, where at the last second the ewe slipped to one side. She had a very nice fetch and turn at the post. One fat ewe and I am sure it was the same one that had been giving her issues from the first, kept turning on her and then trying to run away. She tucked them in and again at the last minute, they slipped around the panel. They had a nice turn but began to fight her when she decided she had enough of that one ewe and slung her ass around for a DQ. The ewes decided to behave now and she was quite happy with the wool in her mouth as we walked off the field. I can’t be mad at her as she did everything I had asked but our homework is for her to walk into the sheep with more authority with the threat of a grip than a hollow threat that she has now. Nevertheless, she gave me her all and did as I asked and if the dogs do that, I am happy. If they do not listen then I am not happy.

Janet Thorpe came out and hung out with us all day and she took photos. Her Jude was watching the runs, his jaws ajar and perhaps dreaming that next year, he will be on a course, hot on the heels of a packet of sheep with Janet at the post with her new (George MacDonald’s crook)

Ron, Janet and I went to the “Red Bicycle” for dinner. I had a huge platter of sushi and life was complete. The food was outstanding and portions were generous. Ron ordered the shrimp platter and it was covered with shrimp, so many that he was hard pressed to eat them all. Janet had the fish sandwich, which had a huge deep fried fish slab, smothered with the toppings and she gave up trying to eat it all. I was so full that I even passed on dessert.

Sunday morning, Ron and I went back to the breakfast restaurant and again, ate the huge portions, downed it with hot coffee and arrived fat and full for the handler’s meeting. They had reversed the course, with the drive going on the right, with a shed then pen and time of eleven minutes.

On Sunday, the weather was taking a turn for the worse. It would offer us a few moments of sun as a teaser then the wind would sneak in and chilled us to our bones. By mid afternoon after, it began to ran and at the last runs, it was a deluge. Karen ran when it began to deluge and we saw she had gotten soaked within a minute but still was game. It beat upon the tent so hard that you were hard pressed to speak in a regular voice to the person next to you.

Ron ran Tigr just before lunch, she did not hold the fetch line despite Ron’s efforts to make her, and on the drive she and Ron had a difference of opinion so he retired her.
Patrick ran Riggs and a few times the sheep challenged him but he held his ground and once again laid down a sweet run to nail first place. We all watched his run so we could learn from it and it was a real revelation. Momentum was key to these ewes and if you stopped, you would be in trouble. Your dog had to be on the edge but not catch their eye as well.

They offered a non-compete Open and Rainey was the first dog up. She ran out clean to the top, got in a gully and began to look for her sheep. Not finding them in the gully, she double back, her head turning every which way, looking for the sheep. She found them and then walked straight in with a purpose and had a sweet turn. The setout person was very impressed on how she was using her brain to find the sheep and then set herself up for a proper lift. The ewes never questioned her and came down in a straight line. She held the pressure flank that I had her do and did not unwind. She lost a few points on the outrun, none on the lift and only four on the fetch. It was a nice fetch and she was on the bubble and reading the sheep well. The turn was wide as they tried to bolt back to the exhaust but she marched them to the first leg of the drive. She got them on the hill, then over the hill to the panel where I lost sight of her. I could not see what was happening but she reappeared with the sheep around the base so we started to do the leg over again. The ewes would stand up to her and she would not back down. I did notice she did over flank a wee bit to catch their eye and that caused the ewes to stop, So that will be my homework to stop her further back. We finally ran out off time on the drive but I was quite pleased with her that she did try, took my commands and never flinched when a ewe took a run at her. On other runs, when the ewes would charge, the dog would give ground and the game would be lost at that point.

Roo was right after lunch and went out deep on his run, but at the last minute came in tight. His lift was nice and I got him to stop and he wavered on the fetch, and we lost a few points and missed the panels at the last minute. The turn was not at the handler’s post but at a red cone about 30 feet in front of the handler’s post. He had a nice turn and on the drive, we began to have the battle of wills. I would flank him and some of the time he would take it or not. I made him work through it and it was a struggle, we got to the shed. I opened a hole and he did not come to hold the hole and them time ran out. I will be working on him to take the flanks I want when the sheep are facing him and not what he thinks is correct.

It was dusk when Nan ran and the sheep had enough. The first set ran back to the trailer several times and they got a second set, which tried to run back numerous times. Nan ran out deep, came in proper and the ewe faced her. She dashed in with a quick grip to move them and they slid to the side of the hill closer to the trailer. They faced her off again, she busted them to move them, and they went into two packets. I gave her a look back whistle, she spun like a reiner, took the flank and started to get the sheep when we got called for a DQ. At least, she tried to move the sheep and did the commands that I told her. She was quite happy when she came down the field with a happy expression on her face that she did finally did move the sheep.

Well, out of four open runs, I got one score. Out of one PN run, I got a score and my non-compete run, I got a score. Guess I won’t be buying a lotto ticket anytime soon.

I see where my dogs did shine and where the edges are rough. I will be working on the rough edges in the next week in preparation for Fire ridge, where they have range ewes. Last year, Roo did wonderful on the fire ridge range ewes and got into the Double Lift. My goal this year is to have both Nan and Roo in the Double Lift. But as it stands now, we have a fair bit of work to do.

The Vashon Trial was a great success, with tough sheep, tough course, wonderful venue and just plain fun. It is a return trial for me and I hope they keep it the way they have it now. It’s not often you can get tough range ewes on our side of the state as well as a tough course. Our judge was Leslie Scruggs from Mississippi and she was tired by the end of the weekend. She had a great sense of humor and did a great job!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Vashon Island Sunday (quick recap)

In a couple of days, I will do the full report. The course was reversed, the outrun was 425 yards, drive, shed and pen. Ewes ran better in the morning and were cranky in afternoon. The sun decided to show a few rays in the mid day then was chased away by serious clouds which then presented a full deluge for the late afternoon to the evening.

Patrick won again and I think Karen was next. I thought I had taken a pix of the score sheet but I guess not! Over 50% of the Open dogs were RT or DQ. The sheep were still tough. I enjoyed working them.

Rainey ran a non-compete Open run at the lunch break and was judged by Brian Ricard. She had a wonderful outrun, ran into a gully, didn't see the sheep and began to scan for the sheep at the top. The set out person saw her think and scan when she was in the gully, then she found the ewes and had a nice lift. She said it was one of the better lifts and the ewes did not challenge her. She brought them smartly down the fetch and they slipped past the panels at the last minute but still had a nice fetch. The drive was hard as they wanted to run up the hill and she had to work but ran out of time. She never backed down or got ran off and help her ground as the ewes charge. I was quite happy with her.

Roo ran after lunch and had a nice outrun, lift and decent fetch. He actually listened and I had hope but at the drive the ewes stood him off and he decided to do his version of the drive than the one I was asking him, I called him in for the shed but he didn't get it in time .

Nan was the last dog to run and it was darkish and the sheep wanted to break back to the set out. Her outrun was nice and she walked in for the lift, the ewes challenged her, she got a proper grip then the still tried to break past her. She got a bigger grip when I gave her a big, hard walk up and we got called. As the sheep split around her, I gave her a look back, followed by a flank and she got the group back but then I had to recall her. even though she was called, I was pleased that she did try and listened to me.

Got tons of pixs so will post them. The trial was fabulous and I really enjoyed the tough ewes. They really showed what I need to do for my homework and will be working on that now. It also showed that Patrick can run a damm near flawless run and by watching him, we all got a free lesson on how to run on range ewes.  He was very humble when you asked him and his grace on the field was an inspiration to all of us.

Much thanks to Maggi and the Vashon folks who hosted this wonderful trial. It is a must return and you better do your homework! It is a 5 star trial and I highly recommend it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vashon Island Open (bare bones)

Well my cell service is non existent so you will get the bare bones report and certainly no photos.

Patrick had a screaming run with Riggs for a 101 out of 110 and then with Java for a 91 or so. I don’t know what the score was for Andi. Karen was doing quite well too. Dave Imas was holing at third when we left but there were a few more runs still to go, one being Patrick. There were quite a few nice runs and I will post score on Monday.

Ron got a score of 54 with Tigr with no shed, pen or single. Roo ran and I had to give a redirect, nice lift and then decided to grip a ewe on the way down. Too bad as he can handle range ewe but today he decided to be a toad. But a lot of dogs got a RT or DQ too. Nan had a nice outrun, had to work on the lift as they faced her and she finally got them going, sweet fetch and just skimmed on the outside of the panel, nice turn, and had to work on the first leg as one ewe tried to run at her. She made the first panel then the ewe ran at for the last time so she slung it about for DQ. However, she ran her heart out and listened to me so I was ok with that. Roo, failed to heed my down so I was not happy . Had he done that I think he would have had a nice run. Oh well. Such is life and I have some homework to do.

Hope my cell service works better so I can post more tomorrow.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vashon Island PN runs on Friday

Ron and I left just after five on Friday morning to catch an early ferry to the trial. We got to the ferry with about two minutes to spare and thus arrived in plenty of time for the trial. The sheep were from Cameron's flock from eastern Oregon and loved to tum on the dogs and run them off the field. Those would didn't do that would split into two or more groups and go in opposite directions. If you dog backed off and had power and the threat of a grip, they were much better. They pretty much challenged every dog and each run landed on the scoreboard how the dog and sheep's relationship was at the lift. In the morning only a couple of scores were posted, with most of the scores being RT or DQ.

Ron ran Kiki and she had a excellent outrun and lift, off on the fetch and a dual sheep group drive, slung low at the cross drive and timed out at the pen. One ewe after they were done decided she wanted to meander up the field and it took several people and dogs to put her in the exhaust.

Several times the sheep would beat the set out dog back to the set out and the handler would patiently wait. It was a true test of skill to get the sheep around the course.

Rainey ran out nice and deep, checked in and cast out wider. She disappeared behind the knoll next to the sheep and I thought she would come out behind the sheep but she did an Open outrun.  I whistled her to walk in and she came charging down the field to the sheep, lined herself nicely behind them and had a sweet lift. She took great command of the range ewe and finessed them down the fetch line, through the gate and an nice turn. it was the best fetch of the day and the one of the best best outwork so I was pleased. It was dumping rain and the sheep ahd no intentions of moving.

The sheep turned nice at the post, then two broke off (typical of the sheep) while two stayed behind and challenged her. She stood her ground, walked slowly and pushed them closer to the forward ewes and then I had her scoop the two forward ewes back to finish the first leg. She put them dead center through the panel and a nice turn then they swung high. Rainey was slowly working them across for the cross drive when time ran out. Doing the extra long outrun and the challenging ewe on the first leg cost her in time. So needless to say, she did not get her drive or pen points. BUT she tried hard on the drive and went into the bubble and stayed on her ground when the ewes challenged her. She did everything I asked of her, even when it was very tough for her. So I am very happy with her performance, even though the score did not show it. She only lost seven on her outwork.

We had to exhaust out sheep and the one troublesome ewe took a charge at her. She took her on the nose,  the ewe was satisfied that she meant business and she had a wonderful drive to the exhaust. These sheep had no idea where the exhaust was so they needed to coaxed.

Patrick and Abby had a smooth run to nail down first place while Karen was hot on his heels for second and third place. They had to work for their runs but they ran nice runs.

It was cold and raining so Rainey was the lap warmer since her mom, Tess, stayed home.

We left after the PN runs so I don't know how the Ranch or Novice landed but I will post that tomorrow. ron and I went to dinner at the "Hardware Store Restaurant" and I had a huge prime rib, and I ate it all plsu Creme Brulee for dessert. Ron had clam linguini and dick Wilson joined us and he had bourbob butter halibut. The dinners were outstanding!  A bunch of us went there last year and it was just as good.

Photos: Carolyn Harwell