Well, the good thing is I didn't barf on my shoes. I felt like it, but I managed to at least appear outwardly calm this weekend.
Nursery, Friday, Nick's first run... is mostly a blur. Outrun was nice, lift a little off, fetch started out squirrelly, but got it under control. Actually, we didn't lose many points on that part. I think zero off on the O and L. I can't remember if we made the fetch gates or not, but when they got to my feet it was like Nick didn't want to flank. We made a REALLY wide turn at the post, and had some trouble getting them online to start the drive (right hand). He finally got them online, and the drive away was right lovely (made the panels pretty dead on) - and he was taking tiny flanks on the fly (with whistles) so nicely. We made the turn at the gates, and slightly overflanked, resulting in needing him to flank come bye.
He'd been a tad odd on the fetch, and by this point he was really sluggish and off (flanking REALLY slow and REALLY wide), and acting/moving a bit oddly. We got the sheep almost online on the crossdrive, putting one through the gates and the other three missed low. When I flanked him to bring them to the pen he looked really weird, and I realized he wasn't having an attitude problem but a physical problem. He wouldn't even come all the way to the pen, but the sheep walked in for me. When I flanked him to bring them out he started holding up a rear leg. Yikes.
So Tony exhausted the next set of sheep and I pulled him out to look at him. He was hobbling funny on the back end. Anyway, to make a long story short we wound up in the middle of the pack scorewise, but any good feelings I might have had about the good things were quite overshadowed by my worry for my dog. I scratched his second run. I've had him on anti-inflammatories, and have been resting him. He's looking fine by today, but I'm going to keep him quiet for the rest of the week - and might either pull completely from the cattle trial next weekend or substitute Spottie for Nick. If he's still funky by the weekend I'll take him in and have my vet take a look.
Spottie... was a very good girl. I walked to the post with my heart pounding in my ears. On the first run the OLF was really nice. I did give her a redirect on the outrun, but I'm not sure she needed it. On the fetch the dogs were to turn the sheep at a hay bale instead of bringing them all the way up and I really struggled to get her around there. We got things under control and the drive away was reasonable. Cross drive was really wiggy, and we were having troubles communicating. I don't think she was being obstinant, we just weren't quite together. At any rate, we wound up retiring at the end of the crossdrive (right at the panels one sheep broke away and I had trouble getting her to cover... and by the time she did the sheep were practically at my feet again), but I was pleased with what I felt was reasonably respectable considering she's only been with me three weeks. She wasn't taking my whistles very well this weekend, even though she has been at "home".
Second run yesterday she stopped short on her outrun, so the lift was a bit off, but she did take my flank on the fetch to get them online. But, then I couldn't get her quite around that hay bale to make the turn (almost did, and at the last second she decided NOPE), and we wound up RT with our sheep at the exhaust. The judge was great, and came out and told me that at that point I could have sent her the other way - and although that would have been crossing our course (the reason in fact why I didn't) that it would have meant we could have kept going. See? You get to learn all kinds of cool things when you jump into things feet first!
They gave us these cool handlers badges, and I was so excited I thought about pinning it to my undies and wearing it forever.
We ate good this weekend, that's for sure. All of my friends had some really nice runs laid down, and it was fun to be a part of it. I got to scribe for the judge, and had an absolute ball! It was quite chilly, though, and I'm glad to be back home and in my bed. So that is it - the good, the bad, and the ugly. It wasn't quite the spectacular display I'd hoped for, but reasonable and respectable - and certainly not a total trainwreck! The hospitality was great, and the field was absolutely gorgeous.
Now I have to actually go do some work at work.