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).