Monday, October 7, 2013

Let's Face It, I Will Never Get Caught Up

Let's see, this is October, and last time I left off we were in beginning of July.  Really, what could have happened in a few months?  Well....LOADS!  If I would have known what it would have been like, I would have asked for a seatbelt for this rollercoaster ride.
July was filled with organization for the Western Canadian Finals....a finals that almost did not occur.  While attending the Last Chance Trial put on by the Glens in New Dayton, Alberta, it came to light that there was a very low attendance for this longstanding trial-the oldest in Canada actually. Unfortunately, without the handlers and their dogs, the event would be exactly like watching paint dry.   Never mind that I had travelled to every parade in southern Saskatchewan this year to promote the dogs, never mind that I had sent fliers to every small town in the south, and never mind that there was a large amount of leg work that had been done to put on a first class event (minus the dancing girls of course - they were busy that weekend).  Some handlers had pulled out due to health issues of their dogs, some decided not to come since it was too far (I will have to check Google maps, I did not realize Mankota, Saskatchewan was actually farther than Meeker, Colorado for some), and some decided not to come to make a stance (which was okay, would be more room in the stands for others to watch good dogs).  I had added more classes for those who would attend if I did so....and bought more ribbons for them.  Excuses why they couldn't come...the judge....the time away....a new job.  These excuses came from the same person (come on, pick a reason and stick with it).
In a moment of weakness, I decided to call the whole thing off - really, did I want to go through the work for a handful of handlers and their dogs?  Really crappy things had to be done -toilets were cancelled,  sheep were told to stay home, caterers cancelled, put it on Facebook so that the masses knew, phone the handlers who were planning to attend so they could change their plans and let the judge Jack Knox know that he would not be needed - but wait - Jack had to come early for a clinic that he was doing the weekend before.  Another sleepless night and then....undo everything again.  Call handlers back and see if they would come.  Some have busy lives, and in the period of 48 hours they had already made alternate plans, others needed slight urging (begging) to come.  The event was placed back on, and before it would be completed, I would first have to go to the McCrae clinic.  The clinic was hosted by Chris Jobe, and it was very informative.  Who would have thunk....if your dog has a good stop you can run better at a trial.  Ingenious really!  Turning the post....who knew the idiosyncrasies that were involved with it?  Why oh why didn't we have the clinic earlier on in the season so I could have stopping dogs which could turn a post better?
So for those of you who like pictures, here are a few.
Our hostest with the mostest - Chris Jobe.
 All the attendees....some appear to have their brain too full with information.
Alistair teaching with the famous cones.  I do believe cone sales rose abruptly in Medicine Hat after the clinic.
The clinic was open to young and old.
Ryan tells his dad what he had learned from Alisdair.
 Chris did a wonderful job- and minus the rattlesnakes- the attendees had no problems.
I would rush to go home and get ready for the 2013 Western Canadian Finals the following week - and in a blink of an eye (sometimes teary.... if you haven't put on a trial without some emotion, you have not done a good job), and it was over.  The spectators - which outnumbered the handlers and their dogs - saw some great action.  Mankota also saw some action as well, as our sheep decided to take a few ventures down towards town.  It was a small, intimate group of handlers, and some of them lined their pockets well with money and prizes.  The sheep were not all that easy, and the trial field was great (have to warm up to the owner so we can use it again next year). 
Now, here is another picture interlude.
We used our own lambs for this project - I do not think they knew what was up!
 A lively bunch.
Spectators came from all over (note the hood).
The handlers came from all over as well (thanks Closes from coming).
 Dale Montgomery.
Just one of the many times I had to retrieve the sheep from downtown.
 Peter Gonnet.
 Retrieving the sheep from downtown (again).  It was like Groundhog Day.
 It was a hot time for all.  I often would change my hat to setter during the event.
The double lift went off without a hitch.  Peter and Taff would eventually be crowned the 2013 Western Canadian Champion.
 The loot.
Gin would eye up her winnings of the weekend, she was Reserve Champion.
Her son Gus would become the Nursery Champion.
My ass was thoroughly tired after the event. 
 The next day the Closes came out to help us move some heifers.
 Vicki brought out her camera to take pictures - say cheese Bryn!
Looking back, I am glad I was stubborn enough to carry through with it all.  I do not think people lied saying it was a good trial.  I am sure the pain of it all will be like childbirth, and I will forget about it and host another one next year.
Please stayed tune for the next exerpt of the 2013 summer happenings.  Truly, I will get caught up.  I do not like loose ends.