Last weekend, Jeff and I went to the Shaded Heart Sheepdog Trial in Wilbur, WA. I took Bliss and Jude. I was running Jude for Janet as she had a birthday party for her daughter, Josie and couldn't attend. I just had Jude a few days prior so didn't get much work time on him but he loves to work for me. Lorri let me stay in her trailer and take a nap between my runs and was very kind so I appreciate it.
The sheep were from a flock of about 3000 range ewes and were yearlings. Tough and would stand up to a dog and not afraid. After all, they fight off the coyotes. Plus they were not used to being worked by dogs, unless in their huge flocks. Which made you realize if your dog can handle the range sheep than a farm flock trial.
Yearling ewes in the exhaust pen. Very nice sheep.
Judge Bill Orr....all bundled up on Sunday. On Saturday, it was 70 degrees plus and sunny. He did a great job.
Many dogs did not get the lift as the ewes stood up to the dog or ran over them. Then on the first leg of the drive, they stood up and fought the dogs as well and that pretty much ended a lot of runs. Most of the dogs did not get a score or timed out on the drive.
One hander doing the drive on Sunday.
See the trailers....that was the setout area.
Saturday was in the 70s and warm and sunny. I slept between my runs as I stil get very tired and a run just wears me out. I ran Bliss first and let her be on her outrun and lift and didn't give her an commands until she started the fetch. The sheep at this point has stood off many dogs so I let her figure it out. Bliss can move anything and when the lambs stood at her at the lift, she marched into them and down the field we came....We just skimmed the fetch panels as the lambs spooked to one side. Nice post turn and true to form, for all runs, the lambs stood off the dog at the first leg of the Drive. I flanker her and let her walk into them and she marched them down the field, until she hit a small gully and couldn't hear me so it was a bobble. Then a wide turn and she tried to push them back before she heard me and then marched them across the field and I missed the second panel. Nice last leg into the ring and she got the shed on short order. We were marching them into the pen when time ran out. I still was happy with her and she got 7th place. The fact she was able to lift them and do the first leg says a lot about her strength.
Some of the scores....50 dogs ran
Sunday the weather was soft rain and very cool. Bliss was early again and I sent her. Once again, I let her figure it out at the top and when the sheep broke, and she stopped them, I gave her a soft steady so she knew where I was in relationship to her. she lifted them nice and we had a nice soft fetch and hit the panels dead on. They tried to fuss with her at the post turn so we sorted them out as they wanted to run to the exhaust. We started the first leg and they stood her off and she patiently worked them to go on. Nice first leg and made the panel and nice cross drive, wee bit high at the last bit and skimmed the panels. Nice line to the shed and she got the shed. The lambs did not want to go into the pen so I opened it, told her "Pen them" and held my end and at the very end. walked behind the ewes and shut the gate. Great pen by her. At the end she got second place and I was over the moon.
Jude was late morning and I just sent him with a "sshh"....his outrun was very nice and pushy on lift but he had no issues on the lift. Fast fetch and we just missed the panels but happy with how he paced and pushed. Nice post turn and first leg they stood him up. But he didn't back down and went nose to nose when one ewe leaned into him and he gripped her. Still I was happy he got the lift and didn't back down on the drive.
Some of the scores....52 dogs ran
We left right after my last run and I slept most of the way home. I get very tired running the dogs as I don't have very much energy left from the chemo and radiation treatments. I am at 25% of my normal energy and in three months should be about 75% . So in a nutshell, I have about 4 hrs of energy before I have to take a nap. When I run the dogs, I wear out quicker though.
I am happy with how the dogs ran this weekend. Both gave me their all and you cant ask for any more than that.
Now back to real life and numerous Doctor appts this week. But I needed a weekend to get away and enjoy life and have some normalcy.