Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March Madness

March's madness continued the wet and wild and wooly weather around here. We are breaking records right and left for rainfall in Sonoma County. There will be lots of feed for the sheep and other grazing animals, I guess. Meanwhile my yard is a disaster area. What has been dry and brown for a few years is now springing up with tons of green weeds and stuff I have not seen in a while.

More importantly, the March Madness spring fling of local sheepdog trials has begun.

We kicked it off with the thrice-postponed Pt. Pleasant PN/Nursery trial. At least it was not flooding, raining, or otherwise imposed upon by Mother Nature. We had a lovely weather day, actually, not too hot and not raining. Amazing!! It was so nice to go to a trial on green grass and catch up with everyone. It felt like we were throwing off the winter cobwebs. Spot had two Pro-Novice runs, which was really fun; how often we have said, "I would like a do-over!" and this time we got one. :-) My plan was to stick to my training criteria and if anything went wrong, I would go into training mode. Spot had a decent run in the first go, with some help on the outrun to find the sheep on that flat field. In the second go, he won the class, which came as a huge surprise when the awards were announced. Totally fun.

Dog torture!
Our friend George and his good dog Taff make their PN debut.
Next up: Sonoma Wine Country Sheepdog trial. Spot had one PN run and we had some trouble. After a beautiful outrun, lift, fetch, and turn around the post, the four young yearling finewools decided to make a run to the exhaust. They were pretty much fed up with the whole dog trialling thing on the fourth day. It was really hard to steer the lambs towards the first drive panel, but we did, and made the turn onto the cross drive, but then lost them to exhaust about one-third of the way into the cross drive. I RTed rather than have Spot get into a meltdown moment. There are more trials to come. His work was all good and he's listening. I am hopeful. :-) I haven't run a dog in a while, and I haven't run a dog on finewools in even longer. I have to get back up to speed and running a different dog who has a lot more gears and bells and whistles than Coal did, but a lot less experience. It will take us a little time.

Meanwhile March brought us some lovely puppies belonging to a friend, to visit and play with on a regular basis. It is just like grandkids, I guess (for those who had kids/grandkids). You go and spoil and play with the grandkids then walk away without responsibility and just have the enjoyment.  This litter was particularly photogenic and fun. They are going to their new homes this week and I will miss their joyousness! But, it's time for them to fly from the nest.

Two pups on a step after terror time takes a break!
 And, life goes on with the Scotties... I have not had much chance to work dogs with them due to rain, work, mud, and more. But now that we have changed the clocks and the rain may start to let up someday (please?) then we can get back out with them. Meanwhile they can eat all that green grass that is coming up with the rain.
Cosmo is on duty at evening time

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