Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rime Goes to Boonville

Every dog has his day. Sort of.

Rime got his first chance on the Boonville Green last Saturday. Following the Open eliminations trial for the upcoming Mendocino Fair, the RESDA "pro-novice" dogs got a turn on the Johnson ewes. I was really looking forward to getting Rime out on those sheep (which he has worked before, out in the open field at the Johnson ranch) and on that field (where he has never worked before). Thanks once again to Teri Tucker for these photos.

Rime and I head to our spot behind the pen, to begin
There was a problem up top. The sheep didn't want to come out of the chute. We must've stood and waited for our sheep for many minutes. It was not easy for a baby dog. I kept walking Rime around and trying to stay loose. Finally our sheep were set and I sent Rime out to the right. He ran out nicely but seemed to be cutting in a bit. I stopped him and blew him out. He bent out nicely - good boy. Then I noticed the wind was blowing and that the tarps on the end of the arena were flapping.

Rime starts a crossover to avoid the blowing tarps
Arghghgh, too bad, there goes the nice outrun. Rime did not like the blowing tarps and spooked. I urged him on around and the ewes gathered in a knot and started to stand up to him. By then I was hiking up the field to help.

Rime considers whether he is willing to go around the ewes and face up to both them and the tarps
Finally we got the sheep collected. He was under control. I liked it!  But then it was a long hike back for me to the pen so we could complete our fetch.

Rime holding the side that the sheep want to run to

Rime is listening while I hike back to the pen and we complete our gather
Finally we completed our turn around the pen and headed for the first panel. We are back on course. 

Thru the first panel!
Setting up the second panel nicely with Rime
See the tarps still blowing!
No more photos but we made the second panel just fine and walked that long walk again back to the pen. We gave the pen a couple of tries and I retired. I wanted Rime to have a good, no great, experience on his first trip to the Boonville as a participant dog. And the ewes wanted desperately to book to the exhaust pen in the lower corner. I didn't want Rime to have a blow up so we didn't push our luck. I was really pleased with him. We put the sheep into the exhaust and called it a day. Good boy, Rime!

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