It was a longer drive than I remember, but in all well worth it. Z, Hank and I left Seattle at 900am. We picked up 2 empty dog crates at 512/I 5. Then we bee lined it down to Fido's to do some quick sheep work.
At Fido's we practiced a few sheds and some driving. Mostly shedding as I forget I have to tune this up on this young dog still. I just made it fun. Hank had a good romp around and we met Monique's puppy Rye for the first time.
Finally we made it all the way to Caldwell, ID meeting Jorgen at the La Quinta. Morning came way too fast and we rolled out of the hotel and headed over the the trial field. The trial was held over at Patrick Shannahan's farm. The field is good sized, not too tricky and the sheep were nice to work.
We were in the # 10 spot. There was some trouble setting our sheep out, they kept breaking back to the set out. I set him up to got left, but as I watched the set break back and get to the set out 3 times, I changed my mind. I sent him right and hoped for the best. He totally didn't see them and broke really wide. As he got there the sheep had tried to get to the set out again. Our lift was a little rocky and he got a little cowboy up there. Finally I got a hold of him and fixed out fetch line, making the panels. Got them down to my feet and made a great post turn. I have been working really hard to make tight turns and set the sheep up on the line for the drive away. Z was still full of beans as we had a bumpy go of the drive away, at least we made that panel too. Our cross drive was lining out really nice and as we approached the panel we were a hair high so I tucked them in and made the panel too. Yikes, now for the hard part.
Patrick, our judge devised this wonderful shed/pen combination We had 5 sheep, had to shed three, let 2 go and pen the 3. It had foiled every run so far that day. I knew we had a good shot at getting this done, we play around like this all the time. Took the back 3 on our first try and sadly the front 2 didn't leave to go to the exhaust. I pulled Z around between the 2 groups and kept egging him on to work just the three while trying to keep him right between the 2 groups. I made it to the pen gate and Z saved my bacon, he turned on the 2 on his own and put pressure on them keeping them away. Then immediately flipped back to the 3 we had to stuff in the pen. They nearly shot passed on his side and then I had to fight them back on my side. Z had to really dig and work hard to not let them go either past the pen or back to the other group. Made it into the pen and could finally breath. I knew we had the high score after all that work.
We did rock it with an 83! We tide Dianne Deal and Fame for 2nd. We ended up in third, from watching Fame's run his out work was nicer. Lavonne C with Gus took the class with an 89.
Day 2 at least I had better sleep. I ran at the end of the class in like #25. This doesn't work too well for me as 200pm I usually feel like napping. Z was felling mellow as we walked to the post. He knew where the sheep were and I sent him left. He did the out run I know he is capable of. The lift got hairy again and I just got after him. I spit my whistle out and lit him up. This is the first yelling streak I have had in ages. I kind of surprised myself. He got his head out of his butt and actually started to listen. The sheep were pretty heavy by now and bent for going to the exhaust. He had to work like heck not only to keep them moving but to hold the intense pressure. I knew we were going to time out, I was just hoping to get a crack at the shed. I could not convince him to walk them any faster. Positive the yelling at him on the lift did not help his morale, I should have just shut up and ate the fetch points. Then I'd have enough push in my dog to finish the course. Of course the less he wanted to push the more frustrated I got which made him push even less. We made it to the shedding ring and the shedding gods were not with us. The gap would not come and the timer went off. A whopping 58 points for us. From fame to shame in 24 hours ;)
I was not happy with my handling on day 2 at all. Well better luck next time. Hopefully we will get into Heppner!
Ruminating on Letting Go
1 week ago