Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sixth Annual Pt Pleasant Sheep Dog Trial

Saturday through yesterday, we participated in the Sixth Annual Pt. Pleasant Sheep Dog Trial in Elk Grove, CA.


Coal was in Nursery on Saturday and Sunday, and both he and Bid were entered in Pro-Novice on Monday.

On Saturday, Coal was second in the Nursery class and on Sunday he was third. He put in a really good performance given the fact that he is a baby dog and not really prepared for this level of competition. He got lots of compliments.

Nursery top three on Saturday with judge Michael Shearer

photo credit Morgen Magnuson

Bid did well on Monday showing us a beautiful outrun and lift and perfect pen. He ended up in the middle of the pack, score-wise. It's always nice to get numbers after your dog's name on the scoreboard, and some said it was the best outrun they'd ever seen Bid do.

Many thanks once again to the Spencer family for their generous sheep dog events, as well as to judge Michael Shearer and his wife, who came all the way from Scotland to judge and clerk.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Great Investment

To heck with Wall Street. Here is the best investment I have made in a long time. It's not a mutual fund, but a large orange fish.

It's the best puppy babysitter we've had in months!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Photos from 2008 RESDA Trials

Here are some scanned photos from this year's RESDA trials that a friend was kind enough to shoot and share with us. (Photo credits: L. Tunstall)

Bid at the Boonville (Mendocino County) Fairgrounds:

Coal at Oak Springs (Santa Rosa) trial where he took 2nd place:

First panel

Driving the second panel

Completing the chute

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Trio of Characters

It's nice having three dogs. Four dogs is a lot for one person to handle and two seems like too few. Three is just a nice number, at least for now.

Isn't this a nice looking dog?

And this one is pretty nice, too.

But what about this? Scary!

We've heard of the Headless Horseman for Halloween, but until now, not the Headless Rubber Chicken. Yikes! The trio of characters have had a busy past few days this week. Bid and Chief saw their fabulously talented doggie chiropractor. Bid was pronounced fit as a fiddle and in great weight and muscle tone, only needing minor adjustments. Chief had not been adjusted for about a year; he has problems that are chronic and ongoing but should not keep him from very light work. Chief does not tolerate being adjusted very well but we got it done. My hat is off to our chiropractor who is such a good sport about Chief's reluctance to be handled.

Saturday we went to a ranch in Elk Grove for herding practice in a different location. That was most welcome and quite fun. Bid has worked there before, but Coal had never run out the length of the field at this particular ranch. So we worked on outruns and driving. It seemed to be quite productive as Coal gained in confidence as we went along. Bid appeared to be in fine form. We have a USBCHA trial there in two weeks...fingers crossed.

Today we participated in the last RESDA trial of the year, up in Mendocino County. I wish we had a better report, but in fact Coal did not see the sheep due to the tall grass and a rise in the field which hid them from view, especially at dog level. Several of the less experienced dogs had this same problem. We were able to go exhaust the sheep and I hope Coal got something positive out of that. Bid was kind enough to run out on faith for me and bring me the sheep; however, we ended up retiring at the pen as I was running "out of dog". It has been a long day and this is where we are all headed:

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Chance to Reflect - the Harvest Fair

A good friend told me today, "not having a great working experience is helpful by letting you reflect back on it and grow from it." Since Coal's and my performance yesterday at the Harvest Fair was not one of our best, I think I have a great chance to reflect and grow! Coal and I were just not in synch together and there were other problems, including environmental ones. Going to the fair was a good experience for Coal. He needs mileage and seasoning and I have to remember that he is doing an awful lot for a pup who just turned two. Below is just one example of the sights and sounds of the Fair!

Photo Credit: Kent Porter / The Press Democrat

Our training routine also needs a change of pace, so I'm going to make some alterations to what we do this week, and also will try to set up a practice somewhere in a different location for the weekend.

This Sunday both Coal and Bid will run in the last RESDA trial of the year, up in Mendocino County. I am thankful that it is in a large open field, and not a small covered arena!