Sunday, November 23, 2014
I got invited to a Birthday Party last night out in the " country". Holy cow, dirt roads and narrow bridges and a rainy night. I had a great time. Talked to a lot of people, ate fried catfish and hush puppies and apparently signed up some people for dog obedience lessons this week. I hope that goes ok. The home I was in looked like an old very old house that had been fantastically converted to a magical place.
Friday, November 21, 2014
I went to see Hunger Games today. It was engrossing from beginning to the end. On the way home I went thru a major rainstorm. I pulled over till it passed alomg with a number of other cars. No dog work today. It was supposed to rain all day but of course it really did not. I think I will not pay anymore attention to the rain forcast down here. The temp is 73 today which is just perfect. Gas price is down to $2.59 which is good too although my check engine light is on again. It seems to go off and on and I am finding no rhyme or reason. I took the boys outside individually today and did a little toy throwing fetch game.Dually has that down of course, but Edge is so used to giving up the toy to anyone around that he tends to run out, pick it up and drop it and leave it. I think I fixed that, but will see tomorrow.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Just realized I have been sending Edgie back behind the barn to pick up the sheep and he has been reluctant to go but is getting better. It has to bee 4-500 ft. No wonder he has been reluctant. The farthest he has gone in the past is maybe 100 ft at home. Poor baby. Today I have to do laudry, library, haircut?, groceries and then go work the dogs.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Yesterday we set the sheep out pretty far. Joe said it was about 250 yds. Dually did pretty well. He certainly went that far but his lift needs work. the field was too narrow to be able to push him out very far. We also practiced riding on the golf cart. Fun to drop your dog and then be able to drive half way up the field and send him. Then we worked on penning again and "get out" and "stop"(on your feet). Edge was sent for sheep that were about 300 ft away. The first time he did pretty good. He kept turning back and askng "really this far?" but he went. The 2nd time he pushed them around the outside of the arena and I had to walk up and help him. Of course there were sheep inside the arena too and that confused him.. He's a good boy. Mary made a hot soup for dinner and a great salad and today I am going to bring some chicken breast and make a dijonnaise sauce. And I am going to buy some vegetable to make with it too. MMMmmm I made eggs and potatoes this morning and because the exhaust fan does not work, I set the smoke alarm off. Gotta laugh. The Camping World in NH is finally talking to me and it turns out they were wrong and will not send me the couch wherever I am so I have a broken couch until next July when I can go up and get it. Stupid people.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Dually has taken to lying down when I tell him to Stop, but that is not what I want him to do and I have really let it go. So I tied a rope around his middle and I picked him up when he laid down today. The other thing I did was when he was farther away, is to tell him to get up and then say stop again until he stood there. I just have to be very vigilant. We worked lighter sheep today -2 different groups-- They were a little harder than yesterday's sheep and he did better on them. He stopped way out and I held my side. I seem to do better holding the side opposite the gate. Not sure why that is. Worked Edgie on flanks inside a smaller pen and walk ups and inside flanks. His walk up is a little weak. But his looking back at me when he works is either less annoying or just plain less noticeable. It was cool and rainyish today. very heavy mist so we worked for 2 hrs and then I went "home" to find a restaurant that sold soup. I did and it was empty of customers but the soup was good. Filled up the gas tank for $2.64. And then took the dogs home and went to Brenham to see a movie. I saw St Vincent with Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray. It was a little shallow but very entertaining.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Even though, the weather was less than ideal, I had to go work the dogs or go crazy. So we sat around till noon hoping the sun would come out and then went to Joe's. He had left about 15 sheep out for me so I cut off 5 and started to work them. One of them was nutso and tried to break off from the group and then run into a fence. Joe thought maybe it was not his sheep and had come back from Nationals as a replacement for one that had died, but I think it might be one of his that he had not worked in small groups. After we finished working the sheep today, it was getting with the program. I sure didn't want to be the one that killed it so I let Joe work it mostly. I worked Edge first and we did some driving and some fetching and some flank work. All nice work. And then I worked him on the PEN. because I want him to understand that when I say PEN, he should put them in there. He actually got the idea and was helping me unlike Dually who hates the close pressure and busts in when I am trying to get them in there. I did a lot of pens with Dually but not a whole lot of progress. He sorta understands but cant' seem to do it on his own. Too pushy. Then Joe and I worked Dually and Woody on a figure 8 exercise and that was fun although not very challenging. Need to up the ante. I guess more distance would up it. It was hard enough to judge the distances close up. The dogs were fine, but our timing needed work. Then we had some beans and chili and homemade cornbread which I actually liked for dinner. Home to a nice cozy trailer, hot shower and a DVD.
Friday, November 14, 2014
I would have posted yesterday but I had trouble getting into my blog. I had to change the password yada yada yada. So yesterday in spite of the terrible cold and it was bad, I went and worked the dogs. Edgie drove up the side and across the back in the crossdrive very nicely and then I did an inside flank and drove them back again. I did that a couple of times and then I switched it up and when he got to the corner I asked him for a big flank and he brought them out from the corner right towards me (I was in the middle) and then I asked him to lie down and he did it beautifully. I worked Dually on the free standing pen and he fought me and came in the whole time. Gosh that needs some work but I talked to Jan today and now I have some exercises to do. So now it's day 4 and I told Joe yesterday that I was not coming over because it was supposed to be colder and wetter. It is neither. It's is 48 and less windy and perfectly dry. But I don t want to overstep my welcome so I am staying close to "home". I did laundry and I went to the library and took out some videos. I stopped on the way back and let the dogs run in a field I found. I guess I am going to have to stay out of the cow field here because of the stuff that they got stuck in their paws yesterday. It was weird stuff and kinda smelled piney, but was water soluble. But really sticky before you got it wet.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
I got out of bed late this am 8:45 I think. I tried to turn my furnace on again but no go. It was cold this am and windy again. Dually woke me up at 4am to go outside. He had to go but I have a line attached to a tree right outside the door so I can attach him to the line and watch from inside. He came in and 2 hrs later Edgie was throwing up . NOt throwing anthing up so I put him in the crate and went back to bed. I was going to go the mechanic and have him look at my " check engine" light but they were closed at lunch and my light had gone out again so I went to the Mexican restaurant and had lunch. THen I went to Joe's and let myself in the back pasture. He had left some sheep for me to work so I cut off about 15 and started to work them. Dually was overflanking a lot and I tried to correct it but I was not successful. I did corner work again and I also did some driving on the fence. He needs to understand to keep them on the fence without me reflanking him every second. Edgie did some beautiful outruns. Not sure where he learned that. I was close to the sheep but he went the full length of the arena and he kicked out too. I also sent him a number of times with no flanks to get the sheep at the other end of the arena and bring them to me. He is reluctant to go that far without me but he is getting better I think and some times I was able to actually flank him behind the sheep once he got there. He tends to go straight and then can't figure out how to get around them. I also did some penning with him and he seemd to know exactly what I was doing. good sheep helps a lot. After that I helped Joe with one of his dogs who he let go a bit wild. I just told him he needed more structure. He seemed to take it well and was happy with what she was doing. After that I followed Joe and his brother Scott to the house they have been renovating for Scott. It's a great neighborhood and a cute little house. They are doing some nice work on it. Tonight it's going down to the30''s and I seem to have misplaced my earmuffs. They must be in the car and I will look harder.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
After getting up this morning, I took the dogs to the pasture next door to run a little bit. It was warm when I walked over there and the temp dropped considerably on my way back. It stayed at 50 and windy all day. I had long underwear on. I let myself into JOe's back pasture. I tried to get somebody to open the gate but Mary was on the phone and Joe was gone apparently and I sure as hell was not going to leave without working my dogs today. So I let myself in and took Dually out to gather up 118 sheep but Joe showed up and he ended up doing it. Not sure why he didn't let me try but maybe he was showing his dogs skills. Tomorrow I will do it. I worked both dogs in the arena on about 30 sheep. Dually worked on his corner exercise and his out and I worked some on sqare flanks. Edgie worked on driving and the cross drive from a distance and then the corner exercise and big flanks. I also worked on sending him to gather from a distance and he did pretty good. Not great but needs more practice. We worked some inside flanks too and stops. He's a pretty good boy. I might think about trialing him soon.
Monday, November 10, 2014
This is called Suncatcher RV park. Not much of a park. But I moved the trailer to a new location this morning and it is much quieter and more private. I have a big lawn and some trees I can tie the dogs on. There is also a huge cattle field nearby and I let them loose in that for some running. No cows were in it today. So the trailer is leveled and all hooked up for the long run. I should be here a min of 2 weeks. I hope I can stay busy. Today was all about supplies and meeting my neighbors. They are all very friendly. THere is Jim the oil truck driver adn Skipper the old guy who was a draftsman and his hobby is flying model airplanes. He must be in his 80's. He invited me for dinner so I went over and tasted his fresh fried catfish. It as good. Then I came home and ate my already prepared dinner. Roast beef and a baked potato. See I am going to use the oven. I filled out entries for 2 more trials so I will be busy on the weekends anyway . If anybody has watched Junk Gypsys on Tv there main store is close to here. BTW I am in LaGRange Texas. Also if I neglected to mention it , the heat is working and the hot water has worked most every time except once at the Nationals on a very very windy rainy night.
I woke up yesterday morning and puttered around. I had planned on leaving but not quite as soon as I had to . For some reason I thought they were allowing us to stay until Mon am on the grounds, but around 9 somebody tooled around on a golf cart and told us to hurry up and get out. 30 minutes later I was hooked up and on the road to ???. I had been planning on going towards Joe's so I did have a campground picked out but I passed it by and went to the next one on the list. The people here are very friendly and it's pretty cheap. They have wifi and cable and that's it. No other amenities which is fine because I can do without a playground. However there is not a good place to walk the dogs. They put me in a site right on the road and it is noisy as hell. I am moving the whole kit and caboodle back to another site this am. I did go see Joe and Mary after I unpacked and we went to Terri Carvers and picked up the rest of his sheep from Nationals. They were great sheep. So now I will have the opportunity to work 118 sheep. That should be interesting. Not today though..Joe and Mary have stuff to do and so do I. This campground is right near town and they actually have a Walmart,Tractor supply , grocerys and more. It's about 24 miles from JOe's. There is another ASCA trial NOve 22,23 and I am going to enter that one. It's about 2 hrs from here.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Last night when I got back from the meeting and cleaned up all the water on the floor, I was cold and wanted a hot shower desperately. Do you think the hot water would cooperate and work? Hell no. I went to bed and had to put wool socks on til I got warm and then of course I got too hot in the middle of the night. This morning the hot water heater decided to work. Thank goodness I feel human again. It poured all night so I am anxious to see what it looks like outside. It's still dark so I am waiting a little longer. Nobody told us what time the handlers meeting was going to be yesterday so we were all guessing this am. I texted Jan and she seems to know 8 so I am going to hope she is right. I do have a video on my phone of Finals sheep and cows but it would not download. ok the trial for me is over and theoretically I am done here. Dually had a tough duck run. WE got panel 1,2 ok but the center pen eluded us and i just repenned. My duck run was damn good until we got to the center pen again. I had it set up perfectly and he kept coming in and we played a little sheep pool but got them in eventually. I got a 111 on that run. My cattle run was really good but not good enough to place. We got 114. Dually was on his game on cattle and he actually helped me tuck one cow into the panel opening when I was going to let it go by. He gave me some trouble on the crossdrive by holding and twirling a little and then he held them and wouldn't push hard enough at 2 but they went thru and he took his away flank and took them in a straight line to the Y chute and straight thru. It was a thing of beauty. I think I am going to keep him.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Well it would have been a day of rest if I had not woken up at 4:30 am and could not get back to sleep. I got up and cleaned up the trailer,diddled around. I took Edgie out on the bike and that was scary. He pulls a lot and can tip me easily. I took a trip to the ASCA main office in Bryan because they were having an open house. Somebody else had stopped in and me and that was it for them. Nothing like having a party and nobody shows up. Came back and went to take a nap. I set the alarm for 4 thinking there was a meeting to go to . The meeting was at 7 so I bought a fancy leash and took Dually for a bike run and then sat at the ASGHI booth where they had a running video of dogs who had died of cancer and I had submitted Dare and it was so sad. There was another Alibi dog on the video but it goes too quick to find out who it belonged to . It was a very long video so I did not watch it again. Many dogs died and some were very young. Most were older. Then I went to the banquet. They have a $10 banquet every night. This one wasn't that good. Fried fish shrimp and chicken. After that they had an ice cream social with Blue Bell ice cream. It was good and then the general meeting started. I sat thru most of it until I went out into the hall and realized it was pouring out and had been for a while. I had ridden the bike up there. Getting back was not too bad, because you can stay under the arena most of the way. I left the bike in the stall area and ran to the trailer because I had left windows and the door open. It had poured into the doorway and I took 3 huge towels to mop it up and not I have the heater blowing on the wood and rug area. I also pulled out the little tabletop dehumidifier. Tomorrow is Nationals and all day is Advanced. They have 47 cattle runs and 60 sheep and 60 ducks. Should be another busy day. Only 1 shot to be good though. It's A course cattle and B on ducks and sheep.
After yesterdays runs, I was pretty stoked. Dually was running really nice on sheep and ok on hard ducks and superb on cattle. At the cut at the end of the day, we were 15th on sheep and 4th on cattle. We didn't make the duck cut. The sheep were great. I loved working them, but I hate working sheep so you know they were good. They were young Dorpers and they never tried to beat the dogs, they just went where the dog put them. Dually overflanked surprise surprise and had messy runs. We ended up making the cut but by the skin of our teeth. This morning I had the Finals run and I was a nervous wreck. Only one other person had a worse run than me and she was a first timer too. I was less nervous for my cattle run but Dually was tired because yesterday the judges made an error in timing and I had to do a rerun. That was 2 sheep runs, 2 duck runs and 3 hard cattle runs yesterday and he was tired today. I had trouble getting the cows off the back fence and Jan said I was in the wrong place and doing the wrong thing. She is so supportive(NOT). Dually was overflanking and going to the heads too much. So by the time we got them thru the 1st panel they called a 3 minute warning. I hustled him to get them thru 2 and 3 and skipped 4 and the center pen and they called time as I was putting them in the pen. some of the judges gave me credit for work to the repen and some didn't. Seems like they should be able to get together on that little decision. I can't tell you how disappointed I was in that run. It caused me to go from 4th place to 13th which is basically worthless. There are only 10 placements so basically we lost. I'm sorry you either win first or you lose and we lost. However, I did have some really good cattle runs with Dually and I am really proud of him. I wish I had cows like this work more. Tomorrow nothing is going on so yay I get to sleep in. We are all tired.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
I was not entered so I watched cattle a lot while Jan was judging. I didn't see many good runs. There were some good ones, but not many and I watched some of the big hats trial and was not impressed. Hopefully they will be better tomorrow. I set my folding bike up and tooled around on it all day. Thank goodness I had it. It allowed me to do a lot more than if I was walking around to all these different arenas. Cows worked nicely today. The ducks were difficult and you did well to get them around the arena and near the center pen. Same type of ducks tomorrow although I am not sure they are the same as today. I found a place to let Dually and Edge run and that helped a bit. Tomorrow Dually gets to trial 6 times. 2 cattle 2 sheep and 2 duck runs. busy day. They had the welcome banquet tonight and it was Mexican. It was good but they ran out of sour cream and that was bad. Great margarita though. daylight savings tonight so lucky me I get to get up and trial an hour earlier. Handlers meeting at 7:30. and then we find out the run order. Dually's number funnily enough is 001!