Maid and I have really been clicking. She is a grand dog that wants to please and has partnered up with me. She decided that she would listen to me, even when I was wrong but yet would roll her eyes at me, when I did, so I would know it! Luckily for me, there wasn't too much eye rolling at this trial. She was keyed up and shot off like a bullet and when she got to the top, the ewes had their heads buried in the bucket. I let her figure it out and once, she peeked her head over the ewes, to see if I had fallen dead or went to Starbucks for coffee, since there weren't any commands from me. Figuring out that I was useless, she slowly walked up and carefully lifted them, then went to one side but she straighten them and about 1/4 of the way down, I gave her a steady. Which she ignored so I hit the command harder and she did take it, for a brief instance in time but by the time she was halfway down the fetch, she was in synch with me. I am trusting her more at the top and letting her lift, if I think she can do a better job when I can't see all the variables. However, when I do give her a down at the top or flanks, she readily takes them.
She brought the sheep straight and had a nice turn and they trotted quickly to the first panels, so I slung her to one side to hold them online. I had to stop her and give her a big flank to turn them and they started nice and even on the crossdrive, then suddenly bolted to the side, which was to the setout pen. I gave Maid an comebye flank but she saw they were going to the far side, and she whipped out on an away, to head the sheep from breaking, so we were hit for a cross. We got them settled and just skimmed the second panels (drats, twice in one day!)
Maid brought them kindly to the pen and we go the pen, after an ewe wanted to scampered around me but Maid convinced her to go in.
Off to the Maltese Cross, where she held her side and we got the fist part and almost had them through for the second side, but one turned, we got it going right and time ran out. Again, we needed three more seconds. It was a great run, aside from the cross and barely missing the panels as she ran well, was soft and was a great team player. We lost 15 points on the drive- darn, but nevertheless, I was tremendously pleased with her!