Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Trip Back To Alberta

After coming back from the North Dakota trials, we stopped briefly back home.  I had half expected the garden that I put in would be well on it's way - all Chris had to do was make sure things got watered.  I better watch out for the cops, since it appears that the only thing I can grow is weed.  We may have a few meals on spuds in the future, it looks like there may be some lettuce and radishes in the making, and onions that wintered over from last year is ready to be harvested.  I did notice some foot prints in the garden - the very wary and rarely seen doggin sheep are on the lam again - they were to be loaded up and sent to pasture, but once again they had other plans.  I may have to find a tracker to find them.  Daft buggers. 
Chris was able to get some seeding started - it had been quite wet for some time.  He started well, and then ended up getting stuck...not once, but twice.  Lovely way to spend time with your spouse.
Dogs were loaded, and we made our way to Drayton Valley, stopping over in Rumsey, Alberta to stay with Jill Brodie.  A little polishing on the dogs were done, and I was feeling good about things. Then my travelling gods laughed upon me as I went to close the door on the dog trailer and the hinge broke.  Yup, it wouldn't be a trip unless something buggered up.  I phoned to get things lined up with a welder in Drayton Valley in the morning thanks to Corey Perry. After another quick lesson on Mitch and Floss, I borrowed a rope from Jill and tied the door up.  I had to go to Stettler to pick up a pup (who is known as Nan) and after a few stops to retie the door, I knew I was in for a long haul.  Thankfully, the person who I picked Nan up from was able to weld the hinge - and it was better than ever!  Two hours later we made it to Drayton Valley, and the dog trial began.  Something happened on that two hour trip - Mitch had no idea what his flanks were.  Ah, the fun in running a nursery dog.  The sheep were a little difficult to pen, and got lucky to pen with Gin.  I guess the gods gave me a break, since we got a good set of sheep for Floss - so good that she got first in the go round.  Whoa, that means points for the USBCHA!  Old friends Michelle, Christine and their kids came out to watch, and we got caught up with news.  That evening, a quick vet call was done - I sewed up a ewe's udder after calling my old stomping grounds at Rocky Rapids Vet Clinic and getting sewing supplies-man the mileage is going to kill the sheep committee!  After piecing her back together, the night ended with a really good steak at the Three Knight's Inn with Louanne Twa, Lisa Wright and Holly Brunner (okay Three Knight's, I expect a free meal with this plug I gave you the next time I am in Drayton).  I stayed over at old friend Christine's place that night, and talked into the wee hours.  Back to the trial in the morning, and back to yelling at Mitch to remember his flanks - I may have to get some anti-ulcer medication before the season is over.  All I had to get was another pen with the girls to get into the finals - Floss drew a black face ewe that scared the crap out of her - a lesson in biting will have to happen in the near future.  I was able to get a pen with Gin, and that allowed us to be one of the seven in the sudden death finals.  I was second up, and made a blistering time of 1:38, but Carol Nelson shattered my dreams by clocking in at 1:22!  Corey Perry and his crew outdid themselves, and certainly hope they continue with this trial for next year.  Trial over, it was time to head back...but the travel gods had something left in their sleeve.  I had locked the door with the keys in Dora, but having a keyless entry, it was not to be a problem...unless the battery died of course.  A call to AMA, and a toothless fellow came out to save my hide - he mentioned he had got hit by a vehicle while boosting another vehicle and broke his arm - probably explained his dental situation as well.  A quick meal with Leanne Huber, Billie Richardson and Milton Scott was had, and I was on the road again - stopping at the Do Drop Inn - innkeepers Randy and Val Dye once again opened their home up for this trialing nomad.  The next day Randy and Abe Marshall and myself took some dogs and did some training in the field....funny, Mitch seemed to know his flanks.  Maybe arena trials are not his forte.  A good day was had, and then made my way to Nanton, where the next week would be working at a clinic.  A quick stop was done to drop off Dozer, the amazing disappearing dog - he should really go on Canada's Got Talent.  The week should fly by quite quickly, before I have to fly once again to Saskatchewan.  Maybe the carrots will be up by then...and maybe the doggin sheep will resurface.

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