|Painting of Dodge by Dennis Gibbons|
We had a good trip down to Iowa even though I was nervous down to my boots of hitting another deer or some other mishap during the drive. I took Hank, Dodge and Sprite to trial and Sally went along for the ride. It was beastly hot Thursday and Friday but the weather got cooler for the weekend and by Sunday was absolutely perfect.
James, Joanna, Kim and Tracey worked hard the whole time to run the trial so I want to thank them and all the helpers for the opportunity to trial. You guys did good! And thanks to Tanya Wheeler, Roy Sage and Rachel Vest, the wonderful judges. Roy and Rachel, who judged Saturday and Sunday must have some very tired eyes today- those were long days.
Hank was just in the farm trial on Friday, where he ran in advanced and I was very pleased with how he did. The course was to take sheep out of a barn stall, cross the arena (where I should have let him fetch instead of stopping him), put them in the sorting pens, sort 5 marked head and put those in a trailer in the arena. Then take your other five to a grain pan, leave them and have the dog gather them and then run them through a chute. I was a bit worried about the chute since the dog really had to go in to make the sheep move, but you couldn't put too much pressure or they would turn and fight. Hank handled it for me though, good dog, by going in and releasing his pressure so as to not cause the sheep to fight, and they moved right through.
Hank got first in the class.
Then I only had Dodge and Sprite for the regular trials and they made me very proud. One of those weekends when half the trip home is floating on a happy cloud. Dodger was in started sheep Saturday morning and both trials on Sunday. He got several first places and qualified on all his runs. I also threw him in conformation at Tanya's urging to make up a 5 pt. major and he won a blue ribbon (out of 2 dogs) even though we couldn't run in a straight line for anything. Dodge was unwashed and I was in my working clothes- although I did not yet have sheep poo smeared on my socks- that would be later in the day after being a relief pen worker.
Spritie- cute- cute was quite a star and was a very good girl. She qualified in open sheep and ducks (we had no cattle runs) in all 4 trials and I think she was first place for all of them, although Sunday I couldn't stay until the awards at night because I had to get home- I left at 5 and there was still a lot of trialing left to go. Her best score was 121 in ducks on Sunday afternoon. I thought the ducks just kept getting better and better all weekend, which is unusual I think. Saturday she won high duck score and high in trial Aussie in both trials. She also got to kiss a lot of people and play in the pool so she was a mighty happy dog.
I got home at 12:30 last night, after a pretty uneventful trip. Although at one point I got the weird feeling I should check my oil, which I never do (bad driver, I know). It was one of those weird strong feelings that I couldn't ignore. So I stopped and checked it and it was low, so I bought some and added it.
Now I'm all on my own for the week since Dane and the kids went to California. The dogs are keeping me company though, and I have to listen to Cinder's silent reproaches for leaving her in the kennel like a dog (LIKE A DOG) over night while were were gone.