Friday, October 19, 2012

A Song for Canada.....-

I intended to take lots of photographs on my maiden trip to Canada. 
Alasdair wanted to take me to beautiful Banff & Lake Louise along with an excursion to visit Stormy. The princess' had planned a wine tasting..... 

The trip did not go exactly as planned. In fact, it went a bit off the rails.

Not many pictures as there was no camera. 
No RV, no trip to Banff  & Lake Louise, no visiting vineyards, no Stormy.

We had a much sorted 72 hours prior to our arrival. We did make it in time for the clinic and lessons, albeit looking more like the Clampetts than professional dog trainers. We drove into Lee's looking very tattered with our truck, 8 dogs & well used U-haul in tow.

Travels aside, Canada was great. 
Lee, Brian, Carley & Kristi were tremendous hosts. 
In addition to working with good people and nice dogs we had several princess wine tastings--who needs vineyards.  We laughed, wrote a song for a special Albertan and ate cake. 
We beat many a joke to death. We listened to bad music and ate delicious lunches. We left BC with timeless quotes & profound lyrics.
Canadians are wily. They are also hellava lot of fun.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bling & Ferrytales....

I mentioned when I initiated the blog that I was technology challenged.

Fortunately, a certain Canadian is not only wily but exceptionally handy...

She added some much needed eye candy including pictures + links.

Great time meeting new people and seeing new dogs in Washington. Thank you Sue MacDonald, Susan Crocker and her daughter Alison for everything!

The ferry trip however, proved less than ideal. The crew directs one where to park on the boat and unfortunately they were not using their regular fleet. 
Under their careful guidance they maneuvered us so that a steel beam about 12 feet high demolished the arm of our awning!

Will try to sort this today and off to Lee Lumb's tomorrow.
My maiden trip to Canada, I am excited.
Rumor has it Canadians not only love sheepdogs, they enjoy a good party.
They have planned a wine tasting tour for Friday afternoon. A bit dangerous on the eve of a clinic followed by 2 days of lessons. 
Really, how much trouble could we get into...??!

Monday, October 1, 2012

2012 US National, The Finale

Geri Byrne & the entire Klamath crew of committee members & volunteers put on a brilliant National. Thank you all for your months of hard work!

We advertise our National as an 'International Style' course and the 2012 Oregon committee made it happen!
It was a great test of the dogs. Special thank you to Lana Rowley for her vision as well as Geri Byrne, Herbert and all that supported the scope of the big course.
As a comparison the International is 200 yards further on the 1st outrun & 100 yds greater on the 2nd than we had this year still on a 30 minute clock.

With the drop post only 100 yards in front of the handler, everyone had great hearing for the turn back.

We were also very fortunate the sheep did not 'noon up' in the ring in the afternoon.

I ran just after the introduction ceremony late morning. Cap listened well & turned back just as he had done in practice
(which as we all know does not always happen!)

He worked well off of his sheep and I was fooled at the 2nd fetch gate missing it after a controlled 2nd fetch.
Cap balanced very nicely around the drive. My sheep were wilder in the ring than other lots, not sure why- he may have been too positive on the drive and we timed out at the shed. He did everything I asked & more. I am so proud of him--Thank you Cap!

Jack Knox ran just after me. Jack had difficulty on the 2nd outrun & 2nd fetch. he pulled it together remarkably and had the best drive as well as the only shed & pen!
Congratulations to Jack & Jim not only on their performance here but winning Soldier Hollow.

Sonia Craig ran 2nd to last in the hottest part of the day and finished 3rd. Amanda Milliken & Roz ran not long after Jack and also had a very good drive finishing 4th.

Congratulations to Brian White & Scoop for making the final in his first Nationals appearance & moreover, for putting his dog before personal achievement.

The past two months have been exceptionally challenging for me personally. My health took a turn as a result and if not for Alasdair's encouragement to train hard prepare properly my success would not have been possible. He is my mentor, greatest supporter and I am eternally grateful.

Neither would I have been able to do it had I not left my job with a Fortune 10 firm, change my life and pursued the dogs. That inspiration came from Bear and Max. Bear although no longer with us is in my heart every day. This win is dedicated to him.