Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend

Mother's Day weekend was an emotional roller coaster. We ran in a sheepdog trial on Saturday in Ione, but didn't do very well. It was a fun day at the Charles Howard Park, but Coal's and my Nursery run was nothing to get excited about.

We returned home from that trial to find Bid extremely ill at home. He is currently still in the hospital, and very, very sick. There is no diagnosis as yet. I would like to thank all the folks who have been so supportive regarding his illness. It's shocking to deal with and the support from others really helps.

Sunday's sheepdog trial went much better. Coal was back in good form and despite the distraction of his handler (me worrying about Bid being in the hospital) we managed to put in two good runs. The Pro-Novice run included a Maltese Cross in between the drive and the pen. That made it sort of fun and interesting and not just the usual ho-hum Pro-Novice course. The trial was sociable, with a Mother's Day potluck held under shady restful trees at the Spencer farm. The company was grand and the food delicious.

Then after lunch Coal and I ran in the Nursery class. He put in another good run, and we were communicating about everything well, except for those darn pesky fetch panels. His outrun still needs to be improved, but I was thrilled to see him run out with purpose on both runs. We did not do the cross in the Nursery class but went straight to the pen from the drive in the traditional manner. However, the time was shortened by two minutes so I was concerned about making the time, which we did. I thought for sure we would have gotten second in the class so when the awards were handed out, I was truly floored to hear that Coal had won. He's been such a good boy and we've both worked hard for a year and a half towards this goal. I would like to thank his breeder Wendy for believing in me to send him out here so far away from her. I also need to thank Bill Berhow for having faith in us and encouraging me every step of the way as our trainer.

On the sad side, it was also two years ago this weekend that I had to let Augie go. That made the weekend even more emotional. Augie is still very much missed.

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