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.