Friday, June 1, 2012

Could It Be Any Better Than This?

Well, in an answer, yes.  I had awoken with great intentions today, today would be the day that my dogs would shine  - it was all or nothing.  The first open run Gin had let the sheep run back to the set out after crossing over - a lovely RT.  She had a day to think about things, since the nursery and open ranch dogs got to run yesterday - synopsis - Floss bad, Mitch very bad.  I had not put Floss in the first open run, thinking it was over her head - let's face it, a 700 yard outrun is not for the weak of heart.  But what the hell, we will throw her in the second open run and see her hopefully swim.  Dog paddle Floss, dog paddle!  Well, she was the first one to run this morning, and was pleasantly pleased that she got to her sheep, with no cross-overs and no extra whistles.  Okay, she may have come down like a freight train, but surely that can be fixed in the next month or two.  Perhaps I should work on opening up on her flanks as well - ahh, the fun in training the next open dog to run.  In the end, as the drive was completed, I asked the judge if we could shave down the time since I had about 6 minutes left to shed and pen.  The shed was done (yet another thing to work on), and the pen was finished.  I was in the top 5!  Okay, at least until the 6th dog ran that is.  A score of 59 for Floss!  Heck, I was just happy she found her sheep, since there were a few dogs that couldn't.
Gin's run was to be in the afternoon - but I had a little job that had to be done - Dora was to be fitted with a pair of new tires.  Lovely shiny ones were put on, and by the time I got back, I had missed my run, and I was to run dead last.  It appeared that the time to run would have been in the morning - by the afternoon, the sheep had one thing on their mind - that was to run like the wind to the exhaust pen.  I sat with Gin waiting for our turn, and saw some runs, and I sat and planned my attack.  Slow and steady- seemed to have worked for that turtle that time.  My turn came after a few unfortunate runs - sheep tripping down the field, dogs visiting the set out pen, sheep attacking dogs - oh how I looked forward to my turn (this is sarcasm if you couldn't tell).  I went to the post, thinking - okay, go for a 100 point run (that is what you have to do you see).  I sent out Gin - fantastic, she did a great outrun, she got to the top, and the sheep started moving.  Heck, they were even moving down the pipe!  Some whistles blown, and things were slowed down, and they made the fetch panels in the center, and the girls were coming down like jersey milk cows.  Then they came to the post - I was going to go slow and steady and things would be fine.  I started them around the post, and they took off like bats out of hell towards the exhaust pen, and Gin sort of looked at me half hearted and said "You have to be kidding!"  Well, she didn't get her sheep, and they beat her to the exhaust pen, and our run was over.  Yup, we had 7 points off to the post at that point - perhaps it would have went to hell in a hand basket (what does that mean anyways?) if we could have kept things on the course, but it had started promising at any point.  I think Gin knew I wasn't all that impressed - she took her sweet time coming back from the exhaust pen - but cripes, it is only a dog trial isn't it?  No cars to be won - just a really nice engraved sheep bell that would have looked nice on the mantle, and a sweatshirt that has nice engraving on it - and some payback money-but no cars.  So, Slash J will conclude with this crew being much less than stellar.  We will be delegated in setting for the lucky 15 who have dogs that deserve to play another day - perhaps our day will come in the near future-the next trial is The Big One (700 yards to small for you, let's try 900 yards), and after that a trip to Drayton Valley for an arena trial - but today we will consume another piece of Humble Pie.  I am pretty sure that is not good for my diet.

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