Monday, November 3, 2014

One Down, Two to Go

Today I was up at what felt like the crack of dawn.  It wasn't but I hate time change and was a bit jacked about the upcoming day.  I loaded the truck with dog crates, and other dog things.  Like toys.  I'm weird in that I never travel without toys.  It was a two hour drive to the arena that the stock dog trial was being held.  The whole time leading up to this trial I had done a lot of self talk.  I have approached the dogs first trial as a learning experience.  I will learn.  They will learn.  It's all I can ask.  After all, the dogs have not had the most optimal training experiences.  It's sporadic.  It's taken me three years to do something that should have taken 3-6 months.  My dogs are four. (!!)

The first thing I did when I pulled in was look for the washroom.  I looked.  I looked some more.  It was to my dismay that there was only an outhouse.  Annnnd....

No. Running. Water.  Ick.

I reevaluated my strategy and began operation liquid intake limitation.  You can imagine the relief I felt - literally - at stopping for diesel.

The thing with stock dog trials is it's a hurry up and wait kinda situation.  So I hurried.  And then I waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  I ended up scribing (marking down scores and timing) for the open runs - all 42 of them.

Finally our turn arrived.  Even though I was committed to this being a learning enterprise, I was still nervous.  Funny how that works.

Diva was up first.  She was the dog I was confident in.  The dog I thought would be my "chance".  Ooops....  not so much.  The little bugger wouldn't take her flanks, got stuck on the sheep.  I ended up leaving the post and helping her get moving.  Her second run showed improvements but also major areas I need to work on.  She may end up having too much "eye" to make a good trial dog.  Time will tell.

Ryder was the second of my dogs to run.  After Diva, my nerves were ramped right up.  Legs tremoring I walked him to the post.  He started a little rough but settled down and worked pretty good.  He was a bit sticky on his flanks but started smoothing out as the run went on.  I was stunned to find out he was the fast time of the first go.  His second run I went into with more confidence.  And then the sheep wouldn't move.  They faced him.  Stomped their feet.  Shook their heads.  And he bit them.  An automatic disqualification.  Ryder is not a "gripper".  He never does it at home.  In fact, I've been encouraging him to engage the sheep.  He is not very interested in it.  I guess he does bite.

All in all, an interesting day was had.

1 comment:

Liz Stout said...

Interesting indeed!! Learning is always good though.