The Gang

The Gang
Ain't We Got Fun?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Agility Day in the Planning

For those of you who want to spend a day doing an Introduction to Agility to learn new handling techniques or to start a new dog or young pup, do check out Denise McKay's Introduction to Agility to be held at her facility in Fernie on August 9th. Email me for further information and costs. It will be a great day as Denise has much to offer in the way of instruction.

More Herding News

You'll have to forgive my tardiness in updating the site re: Herding in High River. I was not at the competition on Saturday and Sunday, but did receive some good news from Lore Bruder. Her cardi corgis did very well! Razzor got his AHBA Jr. title, Bonnie received another qualifying score towards her Herding Started title, and Fido, co-owned and handled by Gloria Graham, managed to obtain two Q's towards Started as well. Bonnie ended up High Scoring Corgi. The 'Maytag shepherds' did us all proud. Lore is tremendously encouraged and has been out every night chasing sheep and moving panels to change pen sizes.

We wish everyone who is travelling to the AKC show at Springbank Park for all Seasons the best of luck this coming weekend. Please take the time to send me your results so I can brag for you on the blog. Safe travel to all of you.

AKC will be bittersweet for me. I especially love the show for all its entertainment and specifically ask for a spot on the agility field so I can watch the action when I am not running back and forth with dogs in other rings. This year I will miss seeing my friend of 20 years, Michelle, who has been such a part if this show. Michelle passed away suddenly last week due to complications in surgery, ending a short but valiant battle with cancer. I was looking through photos of Michelle and each one brought back such good times. And a regret, too, as we were both so looking forward to Michelle being strong enough to once again go for a ride on Easy, her 'adopted' horse. In this world where things can change in a moment, we should remember to enjoy all the moments we have with each other for each one is precious.

Take care,


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Herding Days at High River

SUNDAY, JULY 19, 2009

Herding at High River

Oh, boy,

What a great two days of herding for Token and Mesa at the Rottwieler Club of Canada Herding Trials at Phantomridge Farms, High River, Alberta, July 16 & 17th. Finished Token's Herding Tested title and got a "Q" of 85.5 with Mesa under Judge Shelley Fritzke. Not only that, but, thanks to the Rottweiler and Aussie Clubs, we received a beautiful Rosette and stock stick by placing High Scoring German shepherd! Better yet, we were 1/2 pt. off the High in Trial score! Yikes! That is scary stuff, considering who was working the dog. It felt really good seeing the girls work. I was most impressed with Mesa's pen work. She went in quietly and the sheep trotted calmly out of the pen and settled right away. I felt really confident working Mesa because she doesn't operate at the speed Token does and that gives me time to position myself better. But I gain more confidence when I can work Token and have her pass because she has more energy and she reads her stock better so she is often right when I am not. Probably always. Well, maybe not always, but most of the time, I think.

Sunday, Token didn't have to run because she had finished her title and I had hurt my knee while
taking the girls out for a run at 5:00 a.m. and was definitely not able to do any herding. Lore came to the rescue and helped me hook up the trailer and get ready to go home as I was sure I wasn't going to be able to get my 'handler' to work Mesa in the started class as she was also stock contractor. Jerry and Louanne drove the dogs and me back and forth from the field to the arena so I could watch everyone. Woody volunteered to move the dogs from their tie-downs to wherever I needed them. Gwen had the perfect spectator tent set up so I could sit in the shade for the day.
And, when told about the situation, the other competitors and neither judge had any problem letting Louanne work Mesa for me and she got our second score towards our Started title with 84.5 . As a matter of fact, Shelley, who has the highest scoring
German shepherd herding dog in Canada ever, volunteered to handle Mesa if Louanne was not allowed! How special is that????
Anyway, Louanne had no problem steering Susie around the course and obtained a score of 84.5 ! Yes!! Two passes. Grrrrrrreat!

The entire two days were spent in the company of the best people and their chosen breeds of dogs. There were Aussies,
Rotties, German shepherds, Cardigan Corgi's, a smooth collie, a Shetland Sheepdog, and two border collies. It was so
neat to be able to watch the different styles. Even the upright breeds had different working techniques. What an impressive
group we all were!!! I was so impressed with the stockdog class. Green with envy at the distance work and so excited to see them all work so hard over 30 minutes to get all the chores set out for them accomplished. From a handler's point of view, that was the most impressive class, but from a spectator's view, nothing takes the place of arena work for precision. Two steps too far and without a quick reverse, those sheep were gone to the 'far side' ... of the arena, that is.
Although not everyone qualified in the class in which they had entered, every handler and every dog had moments of absolute brilliance and we all appreciated the work that had gone into preparing for the tests. Those advanced dogs and handlers amazed me to no end. How Gwen can run backwards without falling on her butt and how Cathy Bishop can out-manuever Quade while he moves just short of the speed of light is beyond me. Gwen's sister, Deb has the quiet, smooth handling style we all wish for. Lore has given her corgi, Razor, such confidence, while Gloria and her corgi, Pearl, showed us just what can be accomplished by these little dogs with big dog attitudes. Fido will provide Gloria with all the fitness exercises she will ever need over the next year or two, I am certain. Loved the smooth collie with his easy-going manner around the sheep. And, speaking of sheep, there were sheep for every dog and its ability level. This is a science, for sure, and the stock and stock-handling was superb!!! Great concession booth. Fabulous photographer. Judges Barb Davenport and Shelley Fritzke, who were encouraging and fair. Weather beyond belief! Who couldn't enjoy the time?

And, bonus.......... Mesa and Token got along all weekend with no hair-raising experiences at all. Even rode home together in the extended-cab. Probably helped that Token spent her trip hiding on the floor and Mesa slept flat-out on the seat. Worked well for both of them.

Anyway, as soon as this knee thing goes away, I am off and running again! Whoa! Just remembered. I have Swayze entered in
Rally at AKC. Something tells me I should be working with him so that we don't look like ditzes. He works great at home.
Time to get out in public right away. But I'd rather be herding.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ev Kenny Dog Show

Congratulations to everyone who did well at the Ev Kenny Dog show in Calgary this past weekend in performance and conformation classes. Having judged the rally O classes on Saturday and Sunday, I got to see some very nice performances and some good effort from young dogs and old alike. It is always special to see a veteran dog performing at a show and the High in Excellent class went to just such a dog. Had the pleasure to judge a beautiful afghan hound as well. Rarity.

Those I know who did well in the performance rings were Judy Hunt, Carol Solkshinitz, Joan Michaud & Maureen O'Neill in Rally O. In conformation, Mary Ellen Whyte and her BSP, Cole, breeder handled, took a Group 2 in Sporting and Joan's Belgian shepherd, Dex, finished his Championship.
Carol & Emily TT ...
temper tantrum?
I had the opportunity to work with fabulous ring stewards. Katherine Klassen is the pro when it comes to stats management. Char Maines (so good to see her again) was recorder & course setter, Terry Olson the timer, Mandy McKay, recorder and course setter, and Maureen O'Neill was the person who was everywhere providing everything needed, and that includes racing for the obedience judges as well as looking after our ring.

Most fabulous event of the weekend? Seeing Michelle and David Simpson at the show. I don't know how Michelle did it but she managed to convince her doctor to let her out of the hospital on a day pass as long as Dave was her date. I still think that she told them she was going to the bathroom and then simply kept on going.

Couldn't believe how hot the weather was when I got home. Scorching. Today........ different thing altogether. It has been pouring rain all day. No sense heading for High River for herding practice. Oh, boy, did we ever need that lesson, too. Maybe tomorrow. If not, watch out sheep!

For those of you who have to be outside today, pull up your hoods and put on your gumboots, kids! I'm off to the kennel with a book and a glass of wine!

A reminder to everyone to send me pics and paragraphs of stuff you and your dogs have been doing. We love to share it.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Canada

For Dog Club last night we set up a Rally O course to play at. We decided that we were all a bit rusty in that department.
The evening went really fast, though, and we didn't have time for any obedience except for some long sits, during which, we discussed setting up obedience and rally at the park in Pincher Creek to give us a change of venue. Also, Shirley, Shar, Lee and I decided that we would spend some mornings at Vista Village training, so that the residents get some entertainment. Shirley said that the last time she visited, the residents were out in the courtyard exercising and throwing a ball around and Kris, of course,
got right into the action and provided some comic relief by stealing the ball every time someone missed a throw and bringing it to Shirley. Rather than formalize anything, we thought we'd just phone around and collect some members and take off one morning to practice.
Today is Canada's birthday and I am so glad to live in this country. This year, we missed the PARADE of all things because I didn't get off the mark quickly enough and try to organize anything. I was just so happy to be on holidays that I missed it. Sorry, gang.
However, a reminder that APDT trials are being held at Sit Happens! at Hallowe'en!!!! We intend to go and to dress up for the occasion. Poor Tammy never knows what to expect from this crew. Never a dull moment, anyway. We hope to go for supper afterwards as well. Should be fun for all. Blame Russell for the costume idea, but I think it is swell. Keep checking the Sit Happens! site for updates.
Now, as far as parades go, Thunder in the Valley is July 18th in the Crowsnest Pass. July 18th is a Saturday. The day is filled with fun stuff for people to do. This year the Pincher Creek Humane Society is putting up a dunk tank to raise funds for their new shelter. I would love to see our club in the Parade with our carts and a walking contingent as well. Can you check your dates and let me know asap if you can attend.

Here is a video of the whacky stuff that goes on at our campouts. Sense of humor much needed to belong to this gang.