Monday, July 30, 2012

Let's do this

It's here - doggy palooza!  First up is the AAC National Agility Championships, in Nanaimo.  Wick and Rex are competing, which is nice as they are at opposite ends of their careers.  For Wick, this is her third, and probably last, nationals.  For Rex, this is his first of what I hope are many nationals.  But who knows, I said that AAC Nationals in 2010 were Wick's last nationals, and I was wrong about that!

After the AAC Nationals, we come home, do a quick bit of laundry, and then Lou and I are off to Kingston, ON, for the Kingston Sheep Dog Trial and CBCA Championships.  Like Wick, I think this will be Lou's last CBCA Championships.  Like Wick, that's what I said last year LOL!  What is it about my old dogs refusing to get old?  Well, whatever it is, I'm glad for it!

So as I sit on the eve of doggy palooza, I am reflecting on how blessed I am to have three great dogs who love what they do.  Looking forward to seeing all my friends from near and far.  Let's do this!

Monday, July 23, 2012

What a long strange trip it's been

The quest for ATChC is finally over!  On Sunday morning, under grey skies, Wick got the last Q she needed to finish her ATChC.  Ironically, it was on a teeter gamble (the teeter being her least favourite obstacle EVER).  Whatever, we'll take it!

She had a very good weekend overall.  Her first Gamblers run was such a disaster, I wanted to retire her right there and then.  She seemed to understand that I was less than pleased with her efforts, so she stepped it up, and hit for the cycle (Qs in each of Standard, Jumpers, Snooker, Gamblers and Steeplechase).  At Nationals next week, we'll have to run 2 Gamblers courses, but after that, you'll never again see us in the stinkin' gamblers ring!

And the obligatory music video.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Life is a highway - part 2

On the Sunday, the World Stock Dog Championship started.  I suppose it's worldly in that there were both Canadians and Americans competing.  Anywho ...  Lou was up first for me.  He had a good go, and then, as in previous years, I sucked at the pen.  Watch, wince, do not do what I do!

Rex was wild!  I mucked up the top end and had to give him some very fast flanks to make the obstacles.  By the time we turned the post, he was pretty jazzed.  Then he ate one, and I plucked the fleece out of his mouth (to the delight of the crowd) and we did the walk of shame out of there.

On the second day, Rex went first, and he ate one again, though not as dramatically.  That dog definitely needs more time on sheep than the 10-20 minutes a month that he typically gets.  Too much agility, not enough sheep ... DQ.  We'll be ready next year - promise!

Lou had a more difficult set than on Sunday, and they did lots of stomping and stalling.  However, he got them going and then there we were at the pen again.  I tried not to be as much a spazz as on Sunday, but I don't know that I was successful.  One ran in the pen, and then another, and I really thought the third one was going to run from the far end of the arena into the pen.  She didn't ... jerk.  Still, two in the pen is (sadly) a career high for me.   Maybe next year, I'll actually close the pen?

For another year, then, we were spectators for the finals.  Before it started we watched some Stampede events like Cowboy Up.

And of course, how can you not watch Team Penning?

Then it was time for the finals!  Louanne Twa was up second, and she and Meg lay down a smoker!  She was the leader until that darn Dale Montgomery ran.  For the 7th time, he won the $10,000 first prize.  Louanne and Meg were reserve, and she also won the stock trailer - yay!  The princesses were very happy with the result.

And thus ended another great road trip.  Good times, good dogs, and good friends.  Yeah, we'll do it again next year.  :-)

Life is a highway - part 1

Another road trip is in the books!  For the 5th year, the dogs and I loaded up and headed east for some great Alberta trials.  First stop was the Wild Rose Classic in Bowden, AB.  In what is now a tradition, a tornado rolled through nearby Olds the day before.

But by the time the trial started, the storm had passed.

The dogs didn't run great.  Lou wouldn't take a flank to straighten out the fetch.  The drive was a bit wonky too.  My timing was a bit off, and Lou was clearly rusty.  Still, he had some nice moments.

Rex had a nice outrun and lift, but absolutely no brakes on his fetch.  It was dead straight but oh my goodness was it fast!  Managed to get something of a handle on him for the drive, but I was mostly training on him, and didn't really care about the panels, because I was going to get my point across.  We ended up in the shedding ring in the middle of a lightening storm (because shedding with Rex isn't scary enough, let's add the possibility of death).

The next day wasn't much better.  Rex still had no brakes so I left the post to meet him on the fetch.  The little rotter saw me coming and ran FASTER - who does that?  Lou drew up late in the day and the sheep were heavy.  We missed the drive away panel so I retired the run.  Then we were off to Calgary for the Stampede!

Saturday was a day off, so I took the dogs to the Southland Park off-leash dog park.  It's 80+ hectares of doggy fun, complete with river access.  Rex and Lou found the water and stayed in it most of the 2 hours we were there.

Then it was a quick trip to the Stampede on a very hot Saturday.  We watched the dancing at the Indian Village.

I made a couple of new friends.  :-)

And generally played tourist.  Look, a sheep!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

It's Stampede time!

26/52, Time to cowboy up by voteforbear
26/52, Time to cowboy up, a photo by voteforbear on Flickr.
We're off to Alberta for the Wild Rose Classic, then the 100th Calgary Stampede. This is my 6th year going, and I think I've tried every kind of deep-fried food they have. :-)  Who knows, maybe there will be something new and disgusting to try!

I hope it's summer in Alberta, because it sure isn't here on the coast.  Blech.