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 hugs..it was great! Then I had people offering to pick up Gin's bowel movements on the grounds...it 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.