Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Biggest Accomplishment

There are a few things in my life I have been happy to accomplish - becoming a veterinarian, working terriers, working border collies, and making loads of friends.
My biggest accomplishment occurred on Christmas Day. Three Wisemen came bearing gifts (however I was wiser in the game of cards) and I cooked Christmas dinner.
In all my years on earth - this was the first turkey I had ever cooked.
No- it wasn't a National Lampoon's turkey - although it could have been if I hadn't put the timer on the stove.
Merry Christmas to all!!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Time Is A Coming

These past few years, I haven't been much in the Christmas mood - not sure why - used to be a favorite holiday of mine. But this year is a little different, am getting a slight itch (maybe I have fleas - we see that a lot in this clinic). I can remember when I would count the days until the red fat guy would come, and I can see that in my young niece and nephew as well. Let's face it, the holidays are meant for the kids, and opening gifts are always more fun with a bunch of kids tearing things apart. Chris has often teared things apart as well, but that just makes me irritated since I have to pick up the paper. Holiday gift bags - that's the ticket - highly recommended.
I guess our Christmas gift is the impending move - if you want to say stress is a great gift to have. One of my friends has convinced me to look at it as a new adventure - and that I will.
Sometimes our family gives gifts got from garage sales - a kind of environmental thing for us - perhaps I should think about wrapping up some things that will go into the garage sale we will have in the future - you remember those macrame plant holders - I am sure they are still in style somewhere.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Changes in Life

Life tends to throw you curves. We have just hit a speed curve, and need to slow down so we don't go over the edge. Chris and I are in the process of finding a ranch in Saskatchewan to move to - the family farm has been sold, and things will have to be in order in a few months. So, one of the many things that will have to find order is our dog situation - we have to really cut down on our dogs. I may have to throw in a pup with the purchase of every dog - two for one deal! The jury is still out, I may not be able to do any dog trialing next year - in the meantime, I will still put my entries in hoping for the best.
I haven't had a major move in my life close to 20 years ago - I have a feeling this won't be any fun. I will let you know when the garage sale is - give me an offer! If I don't have to pack it, the better it will be.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Trial Season Is Over With Agribition

The final trial this year was Agribition - 40 dogs (would have been more, but the US contingency couldn't come because of the vast amount of snow that had fallen). A little bit different setup this year for the courses, there were no retries for obstacles, so during the first round there were 5 full point runs (I and my dogs were not one of them). The sheep were lambs, and grips were allowed-which was probably a good choice, since many of the sets needed to get an attitude adjustment to get them going. Fly had the fastest run, but I goofed up and let one ewe miss the obstacle - thus losing by one point. Gin got third fastest time - but once again, my glasses have to be checked as I missed an obstacle all together. Oh well, had a good visit with my sisters and learned about how to make Wiener Water Soup (somehow, I don't think Chef Ramsay would like this delicacy). In the end, Ed Hunter, Chris Jobe, Jamie VanRyn, Peter Gonnet and Campbell Forsyth got their dogs in.
2010 trial season is officially over - now to work for 2011. If only I didn't have to work so much, I would be out there more with the dogs. It may be next year that I will once again train on the trial field. Not a recommended technique, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What's In A Name

Having trouble these days, troubles with picking the right name. The last pup Fly will ever have is now 3 weeks old, and not sure if the name I picked is suitable. Having the number of dogs we have, I don't want names to sound too close, and I'd like to have a name that other people haven't used, but in the same breath, I would like to have a traditional name as well. When I was up at Penny Caster's, the golden child could do no wrong. It did not matter how sharp those little needle teeth were, she was forgiven. I had decided that her name would be Fleet - but now I am wondering if I picked the right name. Fleet has been used in many lines, but often as a male name (even though it could be a female as well).

The Chosen One on the Chosen Niece's Lap

This is where I am asking for help. I was going through some lines last night, and found some other names that twig (yes that is one of the names) my interest. Up for contention is Twig (may have to use a larger stick to beat her off my ankles), Spy (sounds like Fly, but by the time I start yelling her name, Fly will likely not be hearing her name anyway to get confused), Fleece (I like this name, but is it too close to her sister Floss?), Fay (Fay Away?), Bett (you can bet on it) and Lynn (her grandmother's name). Or I could do what many did in the past - just call her by her mother's name. What I know for sure, is when she is 4 months old, I will likely call her unfavorable names, and it will be nothing close to what is on her pedigree. I guess Lass would be close.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

One Day Off To Catch Up

Since I took of the summer, I am paying for it greatly - I am working many days in a row and a lot of weekends. Because of this, this prevents me from doing what I enjoy doing, partly due because of the extended hours of work, and partly because of the light at the end of the day - which there isn't much of. Now there is a kennel of dogs not getting the work they need. I had one day off today (I forced myself to) and did a little sheep work. Counted sheep I did, and counted them before I nodded off. The rams got out yesterday and I wanted to keep them back for a few weeks longer for spring lambs - brought Creed out, and I believe some sense was knocked into him, by the help of one of the rams who proceeded to drill him into the ground. I think Creed wondered what train had hit him, and when he figured that out, Mr. Ram had a tuning in of sorts.
Sheep are counted and sorted, and now there are a few hours of light - so will try to bring all the young dogs out to do a little work, and decide who will be staying. Over the summer we had in increase in dog numbers, and that is wearing on my patience. Today Anne went to Ontario, and it looks like that will be a great fit. We have a few pups that didn't go, so there are those to tend to, just because they are here, doesn't mean they don't have to mind their manners. But boy, there are a lot of manners to learn.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Big Fat Zero

Zippo, zilch, wasn't a good day. Creed was the only one with two pens, and 6 minutes plus wasn't going to cut it to get into the top 10, not that I would have liked to put him in that 10 foot deep end pool. Gin got a pen in 2:03 - which should be about 3 USBCHA points in this trip. I do believe Fly got more points than her in Mayerthorpe - great for a dog who won't be running any finals anymore.
The big winners today was Dale Montgomery - taking 1st with Zip, and 2nd with Ben, and then Ed Hunter and Justice getting third. The other top ten dogs to get to play was Carol Nelson and Jess, Louanne Twa with Isla and Meg, Carl Sneddon and Fan, Corey Perry and Ben, Jan Douthwaite and Nick, and Thad Buckler and Trax.
Maybe we can redeem ourselves in Agribition - but I am not holding my breath. If I did, I would be the most deepest shade of blue that could be imagined.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Farmfair International -Day 1

Fifty dogs, 4 sheep, 4 minutes and 1 pen. I would have thought after using the sheep on the weekend, the penning would have been a non-issue. However, it was an issue, at least for me. I did get two pens, albeit slow - Creed got 3:58, and Fly got 3:28. Gin had a great (rather grating on my nerves) ewe that wanted to stomp her into the ground. Was able to prevent her from gripping, and we timed out at the pen. I am not sure how many pens there were, but I think there has to be a few non-pens tomorrow for me to get ahead. In the end, it doesn't matter, with the caliber of dogs at the trial, it is anyone's game.
Saw a few people I didn't see before, always nice to see new people and dogs coming out. Makes the handler have to try harder to get ahead, one has to be on their toes at all times. It is truly becoming a sport that is not being won by the same guy all of the time. It is a humbling sport - as they say, from hero to zero in one run.
Penny made a wonderful chili for us tonight (does anyone have Tums - no just kidding). We are going to let some digestion occur, and then fare the outdoors for the blizzard. Okay, it hit 7 degrees today, chance of precipitation is nil, but the chance of a mudslide blizzard is 100%.

What Happens In Mayerthorpe, Stays In Mayerthorpe

Well, after one day of work, I headed out to the ASDA finals - Saturday we stopped at Corey Perry's to do some brush up for Creed, and Louanne Twa and Penny Caster had stopped by as well and did some pre-trialing exercises. Mayerthorpe was the location for the ASDA Arena Finals - at Bohnet's Arena. The weather was perfect for November, it could have been a lot colder. A wee party was held in room 123 on Saturday night with hostess with the mostest, Louanne Twa. Basically it was talking dogs, and Penny, Louanne and myself moulding the newcomers Anita and Clint Ashton into the ASDA family. I think our corruption tactics worked -with the help of Bud(weiser). With the ASDA Arena Finals 2010 now in the history books, my new best friend (okay, he was a friend already) is Thad Buckler and his dog Nic. The sheep were fast (barbados) and equal for all. Top ten dogs got in (Fly and Gin were in there as well) and there was about 30 seconds between 8th spot and 1st. Now they are going to be loaded up and send on to Edmonton for Farmfair International. Guaranteed the sheep will be just as good again.
Creed actually surprised me for the first run, his dyslexia disappeared, but quickly reappeared the second day (I wonder if there is a Rosetta Stone for Flanks created yet). Fly and Gin ran pretty good - times were quick, and literally it could be a step out of place to cost seconds out of your run. I think Fly had the fastest chute time at the sudden death, but the pen killed me (they decided they didn't want to run into it). Oh well, that is dog trialing. All the people that were at the ASDA finals will be at Northlands, as well as those from Lloydminster (including the reigning champion, Lisa Wright and her dog Hope- my previous best friend).
Penny Caster has opened her home to me (and Louanne) for Edmonton - very appreciated. As well is appreciated, is the use of Penny's computer so I can do this blog. Hopefully there will be a repeat blog tonight.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lloydminster - The First of the Triacta

Well, the first trial of the little whirlwind is finished. Had to work in Wetaskiwin, so I left from there and got to Lloyd just before the pro-novice class started. I had been working on Creed and his flanks, and was feeling pretty confident. That confidence lasted 30 seconds. I wonder if there is a blood test for dyslexia! Maybe I will have to change his whistles or something - or maybe I should just get off his back a bit. We didn't get into the pro-novice finals (congratulations to Judy Finseth and Luke who won it), but he did win the buckle for the series they held during the summer - working cattle and two sheep arena trials - guess he wasn't all that bad.
The course was like a test off of Survivor - with a judged pen at the end. Word is that it will be the same for Agribition in Regina - can't wait (can you sense the sarcasm?)
Once again I got the bubble award - Gin missed getting into the finals by 1 point, and Fly was right behind her. Had a rip roaring run with each of them for one run apiece, but then handler error stepped in for the next run. Poor dogs. However, Gin did get the Open Buckle for the Lloydminster Series - I should not be in any fear of losing any pants around my ankles.
For the open class, a calcutta was held, and the final total for the 5 dogs (Peter Gonnet and Dot, Jeff Demarni and Eddie, Judy Finseth and Maude, Jaimie VanRyn and Linc and Lisa Wright and Hope) got $2500. A big whopping $1000 would go to the dog and handler, and $1250 would go to the sponsor. Peter brought close to $1000, the favorite it seemed, and Lisa fetched around the $300 mark. I was sitting thinking either Lisa/Hope or Jaimie/Linc would be the dark horse for this race. I almost was going to bid, but everyone else seemed to have won the lottery or something. If Jaimie would have settled down, and settled the sheep like she was supposed to, she would have won the whole thing in under 1 minute! (And it is okay if I write this, since I told this to her after her run). Lisa and Hope were the first to go - with her husband's family in the stands - and she set the bar at full points in 1:14. Jeff and Judy had some problems, so it was left to Peter and Dot. He got her done in 1:05, however, had a slight problem (1 point deduction) at the pen, so that allowed Lisa and Hope to win it all. Yipeeee!!!!!
She is my new best friend. This may be changed at the next trial (ASDA Arena Finals in Mayerthorpe)- it may be Louanne and Isla winning it, or Corey Perry and Ben, or possibly Wayne Roberts and his new bitch from Wales. Yes, I am fickle.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Everyone is Home.

Well, Gin is back home!! Ken Price was judging in Ontario, and he was able (with a little help from his friends) to put Gin on the plane. Even though she was within a regulation kennel when she went to Virginia, her kennel was too small to bring her back, so a kennel had to be borrowed to send her back in. Now, we have to send the kennel back (and get her's back as well). Looks like we will be using Greyhound - wonder how big their kennels have to be.
It sounded like Gin had behaved herself - at least everyone was saying that there was no need for me to send her back. Glad she was good for everyone involved in her trek back home.
Now she has to grow a little hair - the Virginia weather seemed to have thinned her coat somewhat. Welcome home Gin, and welcome home to 0 degrees celcius (32 degrees fahrenheit).
After a workathon, which included bleeding dogs, puking dogs, tumor dogs, neutered cats, earmites, dogs with nerve paralysis, and a cute puppy vaccination - and that was only 2 days of work- I will have a day off to go back home and maybe train a dog or two (or three, or four). The triathlon will start next week with Lloydminster, tour into Mayerthorpe for the ASDA finals and then finish at Edmonton at Farmfair. Chris won't be able to make it, so I will be putting Creed into these trials as well, as well as Fly and Gin. Then we are planning to get down to Regina for Agribition - then hibernation mode. The way I feel after this week, I would like to hibernate now.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Waiting For Gin (and Tonic)

Last report, Gin was in Maria Amodei's van making her way to Butternut Creek Trial at Amanda's. Ken Price is hopefully going to be able to bring her back with him when he comes back from judging the trial. She'll get home just in time to go to the Lloydminster trial, the ASDA Arena Finals and Northlands. In the meantime, I have been working in Wetaskiwin, and then after work slip to Norm Schmuland's to work the young dogs. Creed's dyslexia is getting better, and really do like him, especially on a big group of sheep. Norm has about 20 ewes in a group, and I work Creed and Floss (who is mildly dyslexic as well). After that, I get about 6 ewes, and put them in a round pen for Tim (a Creed/Gin son) to work. He is balancing quite well, and for his third time out, it looks like I will have to start telling him what a lie down is all about. We have to get all the training done before it gets too dark - so that is about an hour of light after work.
Appears that I will be putting Creed in all the upcoming arena trials - Chris and Jill won't be able to make it because haying is being particularly long this season. Granted, it will likely be money wasted, but, I don't smoke (can't say I don't drink though), and may as well spend it on something I enjoy. Although during the time of running Creed, people may think I don't enjoy it.
So I will continue to fill the daylight hours with vomiting dogs, cats with diarrhea, bunnies that can't hop and floating fish until I can get a few days off to work the sheep some more.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gin's Travels-But Not Home Yet

After our trip to the USBCHA Finals, I decided to leave Gin to get bred by Tom Forrester's Pete. She was acting like she was coming into heat, but possibly it was just the heat of Virginia she was acting to. She hadn't cycled during her stay there, so I started the plans to get her back for the upcoming trials (Lloydminster, ASDA Finals and Farm Fair in Edmonton). I had called Air Canada for a quote to bring her back - a quote was given. I got it all sorted out with Tom when would be the best time for him, and then recalled Air Canada. "Sorry Ma'am, we don't ship to Calgary, the best we can do is to get her to Montreal". So much for a quote. I don't think they would like to quote what I thought of Air Canada. Getting frantic, I sent out a plea on Sheepdog-L. In the meantime, I found that United Air could help (and cheaper than Air Canada). So far so good. I could send her at the end of October. But wait, my plea on Sheepdog-L has brought out another plan. Maria Amodei was going to Tom's, and was planning to go to Amanda's trial. All the paperwork had been sent, and she would have it for the border crossing. Yes...she is getting closer to home.
It is amazing the people you meet during this great sport. My District 9 sister Carol Guy let me know that Ken Price from Dawson Creek, BC (I could call him a brother, since he is mean to me like a brother) is going out to Amanda's trial and Viki Kidd is being his hostess. A quick phone call to Viki (with no mention of District 10 beating District 9) to let her know the impending plans. So now, I just have to plead with Ken, and see if he can bring Gin back when he flies back home after the trial.
I had also a plan B and C in the works as well. Family friends from Napanee were contacted, and probably could drop Gin at an airport, as well as another individual was flying out in early November, and could bring her as well.
It sure does look I owe a lot to a lot of people. I am not sure how much gratitude is worth, but I have a whole pocket full of it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

ASDA Finals A Finale

Well the ASDA Finals are final. We had really good weather, unheard of in middle of October, but the weather gods were with us. I even brought out my famous pink shorts for the occasion. There may even be a picture later on of that one.
We had Novice, Intermediate, Nursery, Pro-Novice and Open running this weekend. Saturday and Sunday were the preliminaries, and Monday was the top 10 Pro-Novice and top 10 Open dogs.
In the Novice, it was a tight race between ASDA members Joey Swanson and Jerry Kurbatoff
Joey seemed unnerved by the pressure.
His calmness was possibly due to the new crook given to him by Wayne Roberts via Calvin Jones from Wales.
For being an old girl, Joy was a little on the muscle, but Joey did great, hitting his panels.
He was sooooo close getting the pen, they were almost all in, and then one decided to turn back on him. The lessons from Calvin Jones this summer definitely paid off.

Jerry Kurbatoff and his kelpie Jed showed his prowess at the event. Jerry showed his calmness as well.
Carol Nelson and Cal from Pink Mountain, BC, was one of the top 10 Open handlers. (Even though it looks like pink mountains in the background, it was really gravel hills).
Being a long, flat, narrow field, it was tricky to set up the double lift, but it was accomplished. All dogs found their second set of sheep, and more than half completed their shed. Their runs kept the judge busy trying to decipher what point to take out, and keep her itchy finger away from the horn (did I mention I judged the open this weekend?)

George and Kate showed the rest how to do it, by having the best run of the day.
The final winners were - Jerry Kurbatoff and Jed for Novice (a close second was Joey and Joy by 1 point), Doug Finseth and Meg for Intermediate, Pam Boring and Ben for Pro-Novice, Carol Nelson and Taff for Nursery (I'll put my two cents and say my Creed was second - have to work hard this winter to make him my second open dog), and George Stambulic and Kate won the big kahuna in Open.
Congratulations to all the winners, and good job ASDA board members for putting on the trial. Special thanks to Thad Buckler and Ian Zoerb for judging the other classes, thanks to all the buckle sponsors, and to UFA for lending out the panels.
Next trip - the Lloydminster, ASDA Arena Finals and Northlands triathlon to be held in the first part of November.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Why Do The Mechanical Gods Hate Us So?

I think the Amish has the right idea - non-mechanical is the way to go. Let's rehash the escapades of our Dodge truck (sorry, Dodge people, I wouldn't be using this as a commercial). Breakdown in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan (clutch) leading to a week of waiting, mostly due to the service and great mechanical skills of the dealership there ($1400). Driving home from that, the turbo went, leading to a $700 tow job to get that fixed ($1200). Last week the transfer case went, of course not near home. That was $400 for towing, and $800 for the fix up. Okay, it happened in threes, should be good right? I guess technically it is okay, because it was a different vehicle it happened to. Chris was on his way to load the sheep with the cattle liner, and the liner, decided to unhitch from the semi. Thank GOD it didn't happen on the highway. Picture this, (I didn't take a picture because I was internally puking), the truck was going down hill, the liner unhitched, and then landed half on the semi. There goes 2 hours of my life that I won't get back. First we got a neighbor down the road, thinking we could use their front end loader to lift the corner of the liner so the truck could re-hitch. Unfortunately, a grapple fork was on, and the bucket couldn't open large enough - just large enough to start opening the liner like a tin can. Plan two came into effect. Jacking up the liner on a downhill slope. Anyone got anti-ulcer medication? We got it done, without too many bleeding ulcers made, and Chris went on his merry way. He had a great time loading, basically one ewe at a time due to the great setup at the guy's place. I hope the Alberta Stock Dog Association appreciates all this. I think I will be putting a bill in for ulcer medication.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Virginia Trip

It's been a couple of weeks now, but I have finally got my Finals trip out of my system. But for old time's sake, I thought I would have a little slide show for those interested.
This was the field as we were driving from the road.

It was a lovely setting, with Belle Grove Plantation being the hostest with the mostest.
Camper's Village was full, I had my eyes out for a tornado, since you know trailers and tornadoes are made for each other. There was threats of rain, but nothing ever came.

Reminiscing with old friends - Debbie Bailey from Georgia.

Corey Perry and Jill were the first to show us how it was done. Without his help, District 10 would not have whipped District 9's butt.
Alasdair Lyttle, Denis Birchall, Haley Howard and Jennifer Ewers-Clark were the esteemed judges.
The flying of the colors were done during the semifinals and the double lift days.

We had time to do some sight seeing. Crossing the other side, we took a District 9 person (Vikki Kidd) and spent the day with her. This was Jefferson's Rock at Harper's Ferry. Time has taken a toll on this rock, but the scenery is still amazing.

The view showed the Potomac and the Shanandoah Rivers merge.

Harper's Ferry had several floods during it's history as a town. You can see on the edge of the building how high the waters reached.
The river was low this season, and no fears of flooding existed.

Many things were wiped out during those floods.

But more importantly, District 10 wiped out District 9.

This was the amazing score they announced during the semifinals.
But, in reality, it was only 178 - which was good enough for me!
For celebration, Corey thought he would breed Jill to a Beardie which had run. Pups due late November. Call Corey for details.
Gin and I doing the double lift, and our second international shed. It may have not been the prettiest shed, but we got 'er done.
When I noticed 23 seconds left on the time, I decided to speed things up again, reliving the Calgary Stampede run this summer.

After having 2 seconds left on the clock, I maintained that I got my money's worth for our run.

All Round Stockdog 2010 and fourth place for finals.
We visited Gettysburg before our trip back home, it was a rainy day, and you could just imagine the men on the fields fighting for what they believed in.
We barely made it back to the plane in time to get our dogs on the plane (mental note - it is 3 hours prior to take off for international flights, not 2).
Back home and back to the grind. A few weeks of work, and now the ASDA finals. I have only my young dog Creed and my younger dog Floss to run. Gin will be still in Virginia, with the hopes of a breeding to take place, which isn't likely going to happen. Fly had her pups (well really, pup) by caesarian, so she will be watching from the sidelines. For any wanting to watch some more trialing, come to the ASDA finals (directions on homepage).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The True Cost Of A Dream

60 Thousand Miles
1 Airlock in Gas Tank
1 New BMW Transmission in Jeep
20 Nights in a Hotel
2 Rental Cars
13 (or more) Dogs
6 Months off Work
2 Airline tickets
1 All Round Stockdog and 4th Place Finish at 2010 USBCHA Finals -Priceless

Monday, September 27, 2010

Yes Virgina, There Is A Santa Claus

Talk about Christmas coming early this year! Gin did me so proud, I am still busting up inside - quite overwhelming it is really. I didn't realize everyone was watching so closely - I would have waved at everyone at home. I did tug my ear for my family who was watching on the web - and they stayed tune in all day! And thankyou to those who said stripes were flattering - I made sure my underwear had stripes going vertical. I think I may had caused a few vertical stripes in people's pants those last few seconds of that run. Don't send me your underwear for me to clean please.
After the run, I had so many was great! Then I had people offering to pick up Gin's bowel movements on the was great! I should have maybe picked it up myself and had them bronzed. Pictures were taken with people I didn't even know - it was like one of my family reunions (I really don't know my cousins very well).
In my little mind, Gin was Reserve Champion for about 2 hours yesterday! But you know, 4th isn't that bad at all. I could die today and be a happy woman (which Corey tried to do last night as we were driving without our lights on the hiway). Gin and I played with the big boys, and it was a great booster to the moral - makes you want to go out again to play.
Gin got the All Round Stockdog Award - we were competing against Tom Forrester and Pete. Pete had received Reserve at the 2010 USBCHA Cattledog Finals, and Gin was 7th. I think this showed the great versatility of the dog, and proved that these dogs can be great at both!
Gin is having a slight extended stay at Virginia - she will be bred to Pete. She had a look in her eye as I shipped her off as if to say "What the heck, didn't I do good for you?" Don't worry my girl, you'll be back soon.
I made sure Fly knew she still is my favorite dog - she hung on, and pups will be born in Canada (probably in first week in October). As long as she is alive, she will be the number one dog.
We are going to fly out of Baltimore in the afternoon, but before we went, Coach Corey and I drove around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for some civil war history. I will be sure to post alot of pictures when I get home.
Coach Corey/Tour Guide Corey is telling me it is time to go. Until later.....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Do or Die Tomorrow

Hello all. This isn't the great Wendy at the keyboard tonight. She's above that after her great run late in the day. It's her travelling partner, mentor, and coach Corey. Yes, I'm the guestblogger! Today was an exciting day. I saw some tremendous runs, and some great dogs. Scott ran fabulous with both Don and Maid. Tommy, Alisdair, Amanda, and Wendy had nice solid runs, as well as others. She ran second last today and layed down a beauty! Had us a bit worried, as she almost brought the sheep back through on the cross drive but got er done! Still had a beauty of a turn, and her shed pen and single she got completed with about 10 seconds left! Wow. Anyway, it's going to be a cooler day, the course is set for the double lift tomorrow. Wendy runs in the lucky 7 spot tomorrow. Tonight I bought supper( east Indian- spicy but good) Wendy's mouth is still smoking. We decided on the # 6 spicy. Scared to think what the # 10 would be. We're packing up and heading closer to Baltimore tomorrow. It's hard to believe we flew down a week ago. Time goes by when you're having fun. I'm getting homesick for Alberta. Too damn hot for this guy. Cheers all.

This has been a public service announcement.

Friday, September 24, 2010

La, La, Laaaaaaa! The Fat Lady Sings.

Sorry District 9, sorry about the bad luck. Cheer up, 64.2 is not a bad average for your team. We know District 10 brought about a 111.3 average - I even helped to decrease it a bit with my run with Fly today, walking off after a single ewe really didn't want to play with the others. Proud to say, Fly did her best under the circumstances - being about 2 weeks from whelping. She was fit, she worked her heart out, and that is all I could ask.

After it was apparent that District 9 did all that they could do, I then whipped up a little more pixie dust to use for Gin. Cripes, I may even get into the semi-finals! The day was very hot today - hi 90's - and the dogs dropped like flies. Some were suprising - Alasdair McCrae and Star retired when she ran very wide, and was going to the next county. The real nice run of the day was Tom Forrester and Pete - made it look effortless. I don't think Gin will be standing heat for him at this time, and am really contemplating to leave her behind to get bred. It is either that, or bring her home and breed to Scott and Jenny Glen's Don or Pleat. What to do, what to do.

The drawing order is up, and I believe we can carry on the District 9 versus 10 competitions further. District 9 has two dogs in (Amanda Milliken's Clive and Roz), and District 10 has my Gin, and Scott Glen's Maid and Don. Gin runs second from last, so I think that will be a good time of the day, and will also know what kind of run that would have to be done, to (hopefully) get into the finals - top 17 dogs.

They are doing the semifinals and the finals via the web (on the national finals website you can find it to watch). I am told that I have to wear appropriate clothing for the casting - tv puts and extra 10 pounds on you (like I need any). Stripes may be in order tomorrow - or a tent dress. Running starts at 7:30 tomorrow, the day is supposed to be in the 80's.

Corey and I went out for supper with some handlers, and Vikki Kidd did do a partial payment of the bet. I wanted her to sing karoake, but even two marguitas wouldn't persuade her. It could have persuaded me though. Maybe there will be singing tomorrow night - the possibility is most likely. This is my third finals, and my second time being in the semifinals (Fly did it the first time round). But the most important thing I have learned on this trip was.....DISTRICT 10 WHIPPED DISTRICT 9'S BUTT. WHIPPED AND SPURRED!!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tourist Day in West Virginia

This morning myself, Corey and Vikki Kidd went to the next state to do the tourist thing. We went to Harper Ferry. This was an established town in the late 1700's, and lies where the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers converge. Flood has decimated it several times over the years, and now is a National Park. Not being one for knowing a lot of history, it was a place that housed an armory (gun factory), where abolitionist John Brown raided the armory (and the government quickly charged him with treason and a quick necktie), where a battle during the Civil war occurred, where the Underground Railroad started (no one can show me where it is been dug out), and where the first college where African Americans could go to (closed in 1955).
There was a fair amount of walking 45 degrees uphill, and saw Jefferson's Rock as well. It is said he commented on the view up there, but I am sure he said "What the hell was I thinking??!! Does anyone have a glass of water?" There was a tourist who was well into his 70's ahead of me, and made sure that I reached the top as well. Beyond this rock, and up higher, was the town's cemetery. I was surprised there were not pre-dug graves for those people who collapsed from climbing the hill. This walk was .8miles, only a start for the Appalachian Trail. Did I mention it was mid 90's today?
Got back to the trial field, and it appears that after dinner, the sheep become very pliable and better than the morning. Most likely they are so bloody hot, they don't want to move, and a dog can handle them better. I should be running Fly about 10 am tomorrow. It will be hot, and I expect the sheep will be at their best (being their worst). Not sure what will be the bottom getting into the semifinals, but Gin is hanging in there for the moment. There are the likes of Tommy Wilson, Denis Gellings and Bill Berhow running yet tomorrow.
The fight between District 10 and 9 is close to becoming an end. Two more District 9's folded today (Fiona Robertson and Linda Comeau), Amanda Milliken and Roz got a 151. Scott Glen and Maid got 163, and Jean Gellings and Star got 134. Let us do the math. Average District 9 is 54.8, with 1 more to go, and District 10 has an average of 130.0 and two more to go. It isn't over until the fat lady sings, but I think I will be singing tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Heat Goes On

Whew, real scorcher today - at 8:40 at night it is still 83 degrees Fahrenheit (for you metric people - it is the temperature where even your back of your knees sweat). District 10 had two more competitors compete - Denis Gellings and Jan had a 114 (lot of crazy stuff happening), and Jenny Glen and Lad unfortunately retired. I was about to kick Jenny's butt and tell her to get back on there since District 10 must win - but thought it was best to leave well enough alone. Only the handler knows whether their dog is on track or not. Mary Thompson and Coal had a bit of bad luck, and she was disqualified at the shedding ring. Quick tabulations, and District 10 has an average of 111.4 (with four more dogs to go) and District 9 has a rip roaring score of 59.2 with 4 more dogs to go. Still not sure what the winners are to get, but District 9 is starting to hide quite a bit. Chickens.
There were a few stellar runs in the afternoon today - sweet sheep. They walked around like Jersey cows. Very hot Jersey cows. There are a bunch of 153's like me, so the last one is sitting in 23rd spot right now. I have conceded that Gin likely won't get in. Fly will run early on Friday morning, another scorcher is planned. Hopefully they will be settled, and she can do her thing. If they run, she won't be able to keep up I don't expect. We will see what will fly on Friday. Hopefully Fly will.
Had a few medical calls today - Christine Henry's Bess dog ripped a nail, so I did a quick surgery on her, and then a spectator's dog had an anaphylactic response to a bee sting. All is well. The mileage fee will kill them - I probably can be persuaded by a cool beer to give a discount.
Went to breed Gin to Tom Forrester's Pete today - spent most of the night thinking who should be her mate. There was a great dog named James who liked her yesterday, and she looked like she was ready to breed - but I think she is a few days premature. May end up that she doesn't get bred on this trip. Will have to resort to plan B. Bugger if I know what that is.
Finally had a successful night out having supper with Vikki Kidd - I told Corey to watch her vehicle very closely. We ended up at an Irish Pub, and had a real good meal. The judges came there as well, and heard Dennis Birchall sing a few Irish songs along with the singer who was there. No jigs were done however.
Just for the heck of it, I am going to build some pixie dust tonight - all is fair in the world of dog trialing!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Virginia-The Open Begins

Well, the well anticipated event featuring District 10 and District 9 are well underway. Corey and Jill were the first victims this morning, and like in the nursery course, there is a great magnetic field bringing the sheep to the exhaust area. Corey did a good job keeping the sheep on the field, and brought in the first score for District 10 (112). Gin and I were up next - right after Alasdair McCrae and Nap. Why I was nervous, I am not sure - got the shakes - maybe I was hypoglycemic. Gin went out good, picked them nicely, and then I was attempting to bring them down the pipe. Miscalculation on my behalf, and we missed the fetch panels. Got them back on line, and with a few interactions with the sheep, Gin sent them on their merry way to the first drive panels. Sweating bullets I was, sweating bullets. We hit those panels and then went to the second set. Gin was running through the bit a bit, but things were relatively on line, and at the last minute I thought I would make sure the sheep hit the panels - once again, I misjudged, and those panels were missed. I made sure the third leg of the drive was flawless, and then got sloppy and let them out of the shedding ring as they came in (4 points per judge lost). There was something like 7 minutes left on the clock. The shed was good, and the pen was perfect (thank God). The single was left, and there was a point I should have taken the single, but thought I should regroup, and in doing so, let 2 out of the ring. We did finally get the single. If I had made the fetch panels, and the drive panels - it would have been probably been an extra 6-8 points per judge (so an extra 12-16 points). I was quite happy to see the 153 out of 220 on the board. District 10 roles on. Scott Glen and Don had a great run, completing his run of course. No 43 score for him (that only occurs in Shaunovan, Saskatchewan) - he brought home a 178. Then it was time for the District 9er's. Mary Thompson and Beauty got a 138, Amanda Milliken and Clive a 158 and Mary Lou Campbell and Dyna had an unfortunate DQ at the single. By my calculations, there is an average of 147.7 for District 10 and a 98.7 for District 9. Denis Gellings and Jenny Glen run tomorrow, and Mary Thompson runs for her team. The beat goes on.

After the days' running, Corey and I set out to meet Vicki Kidd, Chris Chalmers, Lori Cunningham and others for Mexican food. "Follow me", says Vicki. No problem. I had my head buried in the program, trying to figure the best mate for Gin (she is in heat, and I am thinking, what an opportunity) and Corey was trying to call Carl Sneddon with an update. Vicki drove out of camper's village, and disappeared. Out of sight. We tried to find the odor of refried beans, but alas, this was going to be the second night in which we missed our dinner date with Vicki. She may think we are ditching her on purpose. We can't even blame Annie - we had unplugged her. We can't find our way out of a paper bag. We can, however, find the bottom of a wine bottle. Possibly we will try again tomorrow, or maybe we should pack a lunch and stay in camper's village.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Day Of Travelling

Corey Perry and I left with our dogs from Edmonton at 1PM, and our attendant was a person called Corey, with the same birthday as myself. Was this a sign of above - possibly things were going to go well on our trip? After the kennels being scanned and xrayed by security, and ourselves being scanned as well, we made an uneventful trip to Toronto. Once again we had to get scanned, as well as the kennels, again. Fly's kennel got stuck in the xray machine, and by the time it got out, it looked like it had been run through a combine - not an easy thing to crack a kennel, but they managed to do it. Okay, so that was just a slight derail. We got to Baltimore, and Corey ran like a chicken with his head cut off to get a rental car before things closed - our flight was the last one to land. Finally, we got our car, and luckily Corey reminded me of my crook on the top of the car. I had faked lameness to get them on the flights up to this point - would have been stupid to lose the crook after all that - not that I looked any brighter trying to remember which leg I was lame on. Then Annie came into the picture - our tour guide to get us to our hotel destination. "At your next available position, make a U-Turn. Recalculating." Annie, SHUT UP ALREADY!! We know where we are going! Okay, we may have run over an opossum getting to that destination, but we got to the hotel in one piece (sorry, can't say that about the opossum though). We went to bed at 3am, plans to get up by 8pm to get to the trial. Garbage men come at 8:45 - yes, I was a little late - not something I am known for. We watched the trial - Alasdair McCrae and Coll came out on top. We have decided that the real competition will be between District 9 and 10 contestants - basically Eastern Canada and Western Canada. Keep on tabs here while Fly, Gin, Jill, Jake, Jan, Star, Don, Maid, Hemp and Lad take on Clive, Roz, Merle, Beauty, Coal, Tap, Bet and Moss. Average score will determine winner. They are getting us to do a 110 point course tomorrow. Shed (one having a collar in the mix) two, and then single an uncollared ewe before penning. Hopefully the shedding gods will hear my prayers tonight. I don't want to let my team down.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

One More Sleep

Finally my 17 days of work is over, and now am getting ready to go on the bird to Virginia. Been working the girls a bit over the weeks while I have been in Wetaskiwin - hopefully it wasn't for nothing. Fly is getting a little bit potty now - pups will be due in 2 weeks - maybe I should have pulled her out. I was working her today, and she is still going not too badly-maybe she will be okay. Gin is her normal self. Hopefully I won't get too nervous - a little nervousness is necessary, but too much will kill you. Going to travel out with Corey Perry and Jill, leaving from Edmonton. He is the lucky one who is going to run first on Tuesday - hate to be in his boots. Stopped by at my old friends Barb Seely and her daughter Karla today, had a good visit. Discussed about her holidays down in the states, and her wonderful visits of 0 star rated hotel rooms - places she didn't want to take her shoes off at. She then relayed a Reader's Digest article about bedbugs - thanks Barb - I think I will be itching all the while I am in Virginia.
Promise to take some pictures and show what I see. Am excited to see the dogs run down there. Hopefully District 10 comrades (Corey Perry, Scott and Jenny Glen, Denis and Jean Gellings and myself) will do everyone proud. And if I crap out - maybe I will move to a different district.

Friday, September 10, 2010

One More Week - Then Virginia!

Well the 17 day work week is closing down, hump day has come and passed. Seven more days and then we'll be off to Virginia. A few more caesareans to do (french bulldogs are also known to have to have human help in the fertility department). As I am thinking about fertility in general, I am wondering if Dr. Stormy Winters will accept referrals on any of the fertility manners I may have at hand, especially mastitis cases. I will have to call and ask. Went practicing shedding in the rain last night - I had gone on the weekend, and it seemed that I and my dogs had forgotten how to do it - no 10 point sheds done, heck there were really no sheds done period. After regrouping for a few days, the shedding was much more successful last night, albeit in the rain.

Fly was bred to Clive when we were out in Kingston, and I have been crossing my fingers and toes - it seemed to work. There were two lines!! Seriously, there is a test to do -she carefully peed on a stick and results were in after 10 minutes. She should be due the first week in October. This is her last litter - and her last season running field trials. She hasn't really slowed down at all, and I think the 2010 USBCHA Finals will be a good way to end her career. Probably will still do a few arena trials until she can't catch up any longer. Is hard to shelf the old standby, but she still will be going trialing with me - can't leave her at home - it would likely cause her to go in a deep depression. We have some offspring hopefully that can fill her shoes - Creed is so much like Fly (but then if you looked at his pedigree, it would be apparent why - his grandfather is his father). If you look closely, you can see the single eyebrow - but he works great, shows great stuff that I like. Floss is a FlyxClive offspring ready to do the nursery for next year, and quite like her as well. It all really is a crapshoot game really, but it is fun playing the game.

I have been keeping my eye on the trials - great work Jean Gellings and Star for winning Soldier Hollow. They were out in Ontario for the Canadian Finals, and Denis won with Jake the week before! Definitely on a roll, and couldn't happen to nicer people. As I am keeping tabs on Meeker, it appears that the Canadians are still on a roll, Denis seems to be near the top with Jan, along with Bob Stephens and Pat, Nancy Stephens and Jenn, Ian Zoerb and Freckles (Western Canadian Champion 2010), Joann Zoerb and Mik, Amanda Milliken with Roz and Clive. Hopefully we will see them in the finals on Sunday. My fingers and toes will be crossed. They will probably will be cramped by then.

Monday, September 6, 2010

On Call, Wishing I Was Trialing

Labor Day weekend - for the past 5 years or so, Chris and I had made it our annual holiday to go to the states to trial with the dogs at Kaycee, Wyoming. The trial doesn't exist anymore, so I decided to have a wonderful weekend being on call. Sometimes, being on call means you come to the clinic in the morning to check on the patients, and then have the rest of the afternoon to do what you like - the phone being quiet. Other times, you come and don't get out until it is dark. Today is shaping up to be one of those long days. It started early this morning (1:30 am) with someone finding their cat after having been lost for 1 week. I would have said come in the morning, but they were frantic since the cat was crying. Minnie, was actually mini. She had been quite an overweight cat to start with, but after losing about 3 pounds, her backbone is showing. Unfortunately, with fat cats, when they don't eat for a spell, their livers can rebel. Minnie's liver is rebelling, and hopefully we can get her back eating soon.
In between calls, I am closely watching the outcomes at Soldier Hollow and Steamboat Springs, imagining I am there, and not doing yet another parvo test on a sick dog. The bloody stool in the dog I am looking at is not due to parvo, but due to it's eating it's own platelets, causing it to bleed. A good wack of steroids may help - I hope - we have it in it's early stage, so I will just readjust my horseshoe in my butt and clench.
I am hoping Jenny will blog soon with a play by play description of the runs at Soldier Hollow as I am cleaning up from a bulldog caesarian - 8 pups - doing my part to populate the veterinary community with the breed that can be a vet clinic's major client. We see alot of bulldogs here - and even though they are still dogs, some think this clinic is the best for bulldogs. We have had bulldog owners come from Thunder Bay, Ontario for us to see their pets. Special people bulldog owners are, very special.
Then I recheck the blocked cat - that is a cat that can't pee. It has been quite of a pisser of a case. We usually place a catheter in, then take it out in a couple of days and they can go on their own. This morning was the third time I replaced the catheter - it is becoming quite a pain in the butt, or more correctly, a pain in the urethra to fix this cat. I am going to pray to the cat gods tonight.
Now it is a dog with something stuck in it's mouth. Please people, don't feed bones to your dogs. Here I am, sedating a dog so I can remove a bone which has remarkably lodged itself on the top palate between the teeth. Thankfully a quick fix.
The phone is silent for the time being - I guess I'd better put it back on. A quick check on the Soldier Hollow website - Johnny and Sly must have had a rotton go with their 96, Denis Gellings and Jan was an RT, Faansie and Jill are leading it thus far. Yet another twinge, wishing I was there watching - better yet, competing there. It is early yet in the afternoon, and I am going to go and find some sheep for Fly and Gin for us to do shedding with. My own personal trial. Ten point sheds all the time. Perhaps we can repeat this at Virginia in 2 weeks time. Speaking about repeating, I had better go and repeat the bloodwork on the bleeding dog. The clotting gods will hear from me tonight.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Does Anyone Have A Turbo??

What the H, E, double hockeysticks is a turbo - whatever it is, it got broken on the truck as Chris was making it home from Maple Creek. Synopsis - Western Canadian Finals was at Maple Creek, Chris had taken the horses down to set for the finals, I left early (Saturday), to bring the kids back home, left some dogs with Chris since I couldn't take them home all with the load I had. Chris spent all week waiting for the clutch to be repaired on the truck. We had limped it into the mechanics (Cheverolet Dealership in Maple Creek) on the friday of the trial - ample time to get the parts in, and fix it on the Monday (day after the trial). They finally got it done on Tuesday afternoon, and then Chris tried to put it into reverse to hitch the trailer. Alas, there was no reverse. Back into the mechanic the next morning, and they discovered they were not supposed to machine the piece they had, so they had to order another flywheel (what the heck is that anyways), from Saskatoon, so that was another day of waiting. Finally Friday they had everything done. Thank goodness, since I am up in Wetaskiwin for the next 3 weeks, and Chris's mom is leaving for a holiday. I only brought Gin and Fly with me since we are flying out of Edmonton for Virginia, so the rest of my dogs are at home. So it all worked out, so I thought. At 9:30 last night, Chris calls on the east side of Brooks - the turbo is gone. When it rains it pours. In the end, a towtruck pulled the truck and trailer home, to the tune of $700. Not sure what a turbo costs. Probably has to be shipped in from Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.

The trial gods are likely peeing themselves laughing. I, however, don't find it that amusing. Oh well, everyone is back home now. Possibly I will laugh when I pay the Visa bill - on second thoughts, not likely.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back To Work I Go

As everyone else has gone off to more dog trialing, I have returned to work after a summer hiatus - a break that I felt was well deserved. However, it feels like I never left. Spays, neuters, quills and impacted anal glands - these are a few of my favorite things (Julie Andrews eat your heart out). I have brought Gin and Fly with me since after my 17 day in a row stint, we will be going off to Virginia for the finals - I hope to redeem myself and the dogs. Possibly the break will do them good, but do want to do some brushing up before we go - Norm Schmuland is close by, so will likely stop by at his place and do some sheep stuff.

When we were at the last dog trial in Maple Creek, the clutch went on our truck - here it is a week later and Chris is still stranded in the big metropolis of Maple Creek. Not looking forward to that bill. I wonder if it was planned that way - they had it "fixed" and Chris never even left the yard, since he couldn't get it into reverse. Never trust a one handed mechanic.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ten Days Of Trialing - Calgary Stampede Can't Top This

These will be the play by play description of our whirlwind dog trialing trip.
First it was to Brooks, Alberta for the EID Classic. I took a picture of the field on the day the fog settled in. We needed GPS to find the sheep and the dogs.
We had loaded up our four horses for the trip because each trial wanted the sheep settled by horse. Chris Hanson was on the mighty steed Toad (he's mighty since he is mine).

Chris (my Chris) rode Arnold (aka Widowmaker), Ben and Jan. There was a 2 second ride on Arnold that was done after 8 hours of riding - he had enough of working sheep. Sorry, no picture of that air flight.

Chris wore two hats - setter and handler.

We had brought our niece Hanna, and nephews Joey and Mathew along for the ride. Mathew worked up at the pens with the sheep, Joey came to run his Joy dog, and Hanna ran Auntie off of her feet. It is exactly 100 paces from watching the trial to the outhouse.
Joey also was my photographer of the trip - What's Up?
Joey had some competition with Joy this year - he was beaten narrowly by Grant Musgrove's daughter Bailey. The young ones are here to remind us old guys that this is all for fun. I hope these youngsters carry on. On the third day of the trial, Joey was literally walking in his sleep. I asked whether he wanted to go home or go to the next trial. His response - "I want to go dog trialing."
Here I am with Gin (I think) - Joey was taking the pictures. Thought he was pretty good getting both the horse and sheep in the shot.
Naps were taken anytime there was an opportunity.

Hanna giving Gin a massage.
Watching the line from any angle is the key to having a good run. Hanna helped with the line all of the time.
The last day, it was a little rainy - I maintained that the sun would shine by keeping on my shorts. Joann Zoerb was a great host, and she got into the double lift with Mik.
I got Fly into the double lift, didn't do spectacular. Dog trialing is humbling-from hero to zero in 10 minutes.
Ian Zoerb took time to relax when he could. Once again, a well run trial, and very good time was had. George Stambulic and Kate was the winners when the final tallies were done.

Then it was on to Shaunovan, Saskatchewan. Hanna became very proficient in blowing a whistle. Perhaps she will trial as well, but right now she wants to be a model.

Mathew took a well deserved rest from working in the pens. Glad to say the kids stayed well behaved during the trip - Auntie can growl when she needs to.
Joey ran Joy in the novice class. Joy is a little slow and couldn't keep the sheep from the exhaust, but some adults had trouble as well.
Some people showed great anxiety waiting at the post.

There was time to visit with family. Chris's Uncle Joe lives in Shaunovan. He came every day to watch the dogs.
Then it was off to Maple Creek. Except for a clutch problem in the truck, the event was uneventful. The kids were still good, and Reese Amonson and Joey became businessmen and open their own bottle depot. Gummie bear stocks were increased this weekend. Here they are managing the mighty Toad.

Joey toodled around on Ben when he had a chance.

Joey and Joy had an exhibition run at Maple Creek. It was a great field.

On Saturday I took the kids home. I think Hanna will likely sleep for a week. I know I sure could.