Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Rest of July

I spent a very long, but good day judging the RESDA trial at the Johnson Ranch in Boonville, in July. I had great help; two friends volunteered to clerk, and then I had another volunteer on the spot at the trial. It is much easier to judge when you have great helpers. I really appreciated that they volunteered to drive all the way up to Boonville just to help out at the trial, and neither are running dogs, nor active in RESDA. Such a nice crew! The field was nice; the sheep worked well, lunch was delicious, and we were blessed that it was not too awfully hot, with a nice breeze. There are lovely shade trees to sit under at this trial, for which we were very grateful. I'm glad that my assignment is over with though. It is a bit stressful, to judge, knowing that people are working towards year-end points gleaned at each of the trials. I can only judge what's in front of me, and I try hard to stay focused on good dog work and proper sheep handling. It's all one can do.

The next weekend, we went to the Sonoma County Fair, to watch the sheep shearing contest, take in a little bit of the Fair, and watch a little bit of the RESDA trial. The sheep shearing contest was fun, and we got to cheer on our own shearer!

Shearing contest at the Sonoma County Fair

The Ladies (juniors, actually) class...with mentors



 After fortification with an ice cream/root beer float, we went on over to the RESDA sheepdog trial which had just started in the big Chris Beck outdoor arena.

Tom and Angus pen!

Tom and Angus exhausting their set of sheep

We got there in time to see Tom and Angus put in a pretty nice run.  I watched about five runs and then headed for home, to pick up a dog and go out to put our sheep in for the night. Still worrying about mountain lions and coyotes...and trying to keep the sheep safe.

It seems like it has been a hot, hot summer, or else maybe I am just getting less tolerant of the heat. The ground is hard as a rock when I go out to work dogs. It hurts my feet and I know it is hard on the dogs, especially Coal and Ryme who are older. Coal already has bad feet and I don't want to make them worse.

I'm still working on Spot and his driving, especially. Inside flanks, outside flanks... driving away and cross driving. Any old driving that we can do. At the bigger place where we can work, I am trying to drive in a big rectangle, all the way around the field, with varying success.  Spot is trying; I am trying. We're trying.

I know people say, that there is no try, you just do. Well then OK, I am doing! :)


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