Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Circle BR SDT - Memorial Day Weekend

I rolled up to Dr. Ben's about mid-afternoon on Saturday with five dogs, a tent, and a minivan. It was already warm and muggy, and they were unfortunately almost already finished with Open when we got there. They decided to do Jackpot Runs, so I entered Nick on a whim. Nick had never done quite such a long outrun, and we'd never worked on a terraced field. Suffice it to say that I set him up wrong, and then when he started to pull in I stopped him to redirect him - and it weirded him out. Nick's generally a pretty good outrunning dog - he typically runs wide (often wider than I'd like) and deep, and finds his sheep. Where I stopped him he couldn't see the sheep, so he was all like, "What? What? Why are you stopping me here??". Let me say... it's a long way up that hill, but it makes for some good activity points.

After that, she who shall rename nameless provided me with a Margarita flavored wine cooler to drown my hurt feelings in. Unfortunately the combination of empty stomach, a drink drunk too fast (I was bolting it down as we pulled up to the Church for dinner), dehydration, and being a lightweight to begin with yielded a slightly tipsy me. So there we were in the Church for dinner, and the judge was sitting with us - and I'd never met her before (although she's very neat) - and I was an inebriated novice handler. Bad combination. I managed to keep a lid on it (by basically shutting my trap and sitting there as quietly as I could, which wasn't easy), which was a very good thing. When we got back, however, Julie and I began to set up our tents. Fortunately Robin was nearby to rescue me, as I was stumbling over things, trying to figure out how to set up my tent.

Later that night I managed to stumble out into the woods (sans flashlight 'cuz I didn't want anyone to know I was going to potty in the woods). I fell into a hole, and then I peed on my feet. Oh yeah, good times.

It rained. It rained and rained, although there were some breaks, and when it wasn't raining it was so humid that it was impossible to ever get truly dry. I'll admit, however, that this was far preferable to the blaring sun and 98 degrees that we usually somehow wind up with. But did I mention that it rained? And that we (Julie and I) were sleeping in tents? Poor Julie's tent leaked pretty badly, so she had it even worse than I did.

Anyway, when Monday rolled around I ran Nick in Nursery and Ranch. For Nursery they set the outrun up about 2/3 of the way up the hill. I had to redirect Nick once, but he took it this time. Looked good... right up until the point where he came cranking right into the back of the sheep. He then proceeded to punish them yet a second time. It took me until he was about halfway to me before I could get ahold of him - and when I finally got him to stop the sheep started running even faster. We mostly flanked wildly and tried to keep them from running off into the sunset at that point. I was rattled, the sheep were rattled... oh but Nick was having a great time. He managed to even chest butt them when they tried to head to the exhaust.

We had our lowest score ever (although it was in fact a score). I think we managed to get two points on our drive - but I think those were mercy points. Anyway, I didn't make the connection initially to his buggering the sheep being the cause of the running (and looking back I can't say that I blame them) but Robin helped me to see that, and I developed a plan for our Ranch run.

We walked to the post in Open Ranch and I sent him to the right instead. I had to redirect him twice, but I got him all the way out there (it was the full course with a maltese cross and then pen). As soon as the sheep lifted their heads I put him on the ground. I let him take a few steps, and dropped him again. After rinsing and repeating he got the message and we had a really nice run after that. He basically marched the sheep around the course from that point. We had a nice enough fetch - a few wiggles, but nice. We had a jig turning the post, and Nick managed to goose them, so we had to catch them before they could think about the exhaust.

The drive away was really nice. We had a few issues with the crossdrive (wide turn and a few jogs off line, and it took me a bit to get them back on line). It was, however, probably one of the better crossdrives we've managed. It was a LONG drive. Actually, it was a big course for us, really, all the way around. We managed the maltese cross with not a single point off - it was really pretty, as was the pen. We wound up third in Open Ranch - 4 pts out of first. We lost 6 pts for the redirects on his outrun. There were some really nice runs, and I was very pleased with him. We even got a cool third place plaque to hang on the wall.

On the way home I noshed on some Ghirardelli brownies that Julie made - they were OMG good. I had a good time, but it was good to come in out of the rain. I enjoyed getting to scribe some for the judge (Lyle Lad) - I felt like I learned a lot. She was very personable, fair, and consistent.

That was our weekend. I am not sure what's up next. I had intended to move Nick up to Open before too long, but now I'm feeling more like we might need a bit more time in Ranch. We shall see.

Picture by Julie Poudrier


Paula said...

Congrats, again! You guys are a great team.

I think I would've packed up and went home after I peed on my own feet...

Julie Poudrier said...

Hey, it's better than peeing on *someone else's* feet!

Laura Carson said...

lol you two crack me up. Yeah, I could have done without the feet peeing thing. Oh well, makes for a more amusing post though!

Jodi said...

LMAO! At least your feet weren't peed on by someone else! Too funny!

Next ... you should come out here and trial with us! Don't worry ... we won't get you drunk. hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee

Rachel said...

OMG - I laughed so hard I almost peed!!! You are too funny!

Great job on third place - you should be very proud!!! I'm very proud of you!

OK - I'm not sure if these words are made up or what...but who puts a word verification as "testic"...or is my mind just in the gutter and wants to finish this word as I think it should be?

BCxFour said...

ROFLMAO! I am dying here..Laura you are HYSTERICAL (even with pee pee feet)!