Saturday, September 01, 2012

Wasn't that a party - herding version

Part two of Doggy Palooza involved flying to Kingston, ON, to run Lou in the Kingston Sheepdog and CBCA Championship trials.  Two days after AAC Nationals.  Yeah, seemed like a sane thing to do.  As I once told Amanda, when I'm lying on my death bed, I probably won't be thinking, "Gee, I sure wish I'd spent more time at home, resting."  So onto Kingston!

First of all, big shout-out to WestJet.  They were super about letting Lou check in at the very last minute (we hung out at Tim Hortons at YVR for an hour).  I was a bit nervous about flying Lou, but he didn't seem fizzed at all by the experience.  When I picked him up from oversize luggage at the Ottawa airport, he looked like he just woke up from a nap .. which he probably did.  :-)  Grabbed a rental car and hit the road just in time to enjoy a torrential rain storm.  I thought I left Vancouver behind?

Got to the trial field around 10pm.  Everyone was settled in for bed, so after a quick run, and a bit of dinner, off to bed we went (despite the fact that it was only 7:30 back home).  My roommate, Lee, was up early with Chica, so we set the alarms for 5:30 (that would be 2:30 am back home!).

Lou ran later in the day, and he had trouble moving his group along on the crossdrive.  His outwork was lovely, and he only needed a few whistles to bring them to my feet.  I believe he lost 4 on the outwork.  Unfortunately, he timed out at the crossdrive panels, so we lost a whole lot more than that on the drive!

That evening, prior to the CBCA AGM, Lee and I decided to have a quick bath in the St Lawrence river.  Now I can mark off the bucket list "bathing in an iconic Canadian river".  Actually, it was quite nice, and very clean.  We weren't the only ones bathing in the river either.  Who knew I could be so outdoorsy!

Lou spent a lot of time playing in the river too.  Here he is, showing off his very best "Handsome Rugged" look.

Blowing in the wind

Our second run was marginally more successful than our first, in that we completed the drive.  We missed both panels and never really had a line.  I think we got more points for our shed than our drive!  Oh well, whaddyagonnado.  (Answer:  drink wine and eat kettle corn).

For that second run, I wore the fascinator that Amanda made.  She made one for each of the woman handlers.  I love mine, and it's now framed for posterity.

I borrowed Lee's crook.  I didn't want to deal with the hassle of flying a crook (even the HKSS), but Lee flew with three dogs, two pieces of luggage and a crook.  Lee = crazier than me.

The sheep were easy to shed, though it could be tricky to put them back together once shed!

Thanks, Lou.  It's been a helluva ride.

Now that Western Canada had been shut out of the double-lift, we were content to drink.  (photo by Robin French)

Really enjoyed watching the double-lift finals on the Sunday.  Felt really bad for Dawn Boyce, who went to the post in a pretty pink shirt and hat, and then the skies opened.

There were heavy casualties in the hander's tent.  Here is just a partial body count.

When it was all done, Amanda and Roz won.  As an extra bonus, Amanda won a mountie.  This caused much excitement.

And then, just like that, Doggy Palooza 2012 was done.  Nothing left but to pose for a few last pics, get on a place and reunite Collie Nation.

Lou says he could stay here a few more days.

I'm really glad that I went to Kingston and experienced the spectacle.  Mark that off the bucket list.  Now to plan the next bucket list trip.  Hmm, how tough are those Meeker sheep anyway ... I'll bet Rex would like them ....

Oh yeah, here's a slideshow summary of the trial.  Thanks for reading!