The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day Two - Free to Be Ranch

Gerine L. Abrams
Storms threatened us all day, and finally this afternoon the prayers were answered. Rain came in a torrent, but I'm sorry to report that it is far too little, and far too late. Better than any fireworks show, this little dust up brought huge strikes of lightening, booming thunder that sent Price scrambling, and a thick coating of dirt from high winds. It is so peaceful right now, as I write this, and the air is cool and fragrant.

Headed our way?

Not unlike many of the handlers that turned up here, this country is brown, dry and hot. Temperatures have been in the 80s to 90s, and more than a few folks came up from Texas for a respite from month-long temps reaching well over 100 degrees. They're really suffering down there.

Lise Andersen and Piper
The trial itself was much the same as yesterday with the Macraes once again making it look easy to take our money. Names changed in 3rd and 4th, the 2 other money spots. Tina Leplatt with Keeton's York daughter, Tess, took 3rd with a great go late in the running, and Wilda Bahr with Liz, using my good-luck crook, carried 4th place. See if she ever gets her hands on that thing again.

Tina LePlatt and Tess for 3rd place
My dogs? Middle of the pack with uneven runs that made me want to cheer or jeer depending on the moment. I messed up at the pen with Mirk during what was a decent run from him. The pen gate rests on the ground. One has to purposefully lift to open and close, and while doing so I allowed the sheep to escape around the high side without sending the dog to cover. No fault of the dog, and the points that were surely sent flying may have helped us in the long run. 7th place was all we could manage with what was left.

Photo credit Patricia Macrae

Mirk in progress

Star struggled to move lethargic, hungry yearlings, but finished, and made a job of it you'd expect from one so tender. With something like 12 or 13 dogs from 31 that retired or disqualified, I really can't complain, and I'm not. He is the one shouldering the burden of paying our way as far as I'm concerned, and it's a lot to ask of a not quite 3 year old  pup.

I had such high hopes for Buff today. After a long heart-to-heart with him early this morning, it was to be our day...but no! We timed out at the pen, on a shed, pen finish, but his en-bye work was spotty and his outrun once again over-wide. He knew where the sheep were, and it is his eye that sends him spiraling out of contact. I called his name to reel him back, and he finished with a flourish at the top. After that it was over-flank, then no flank, then flank for no reason. We are clearly not on the same page, and he definitely does not like my away-to-me whistle. I've had him a grand total of 6 weeks. We're working on it, and there's greatness coming.

I have no clue what's going on at the nursery, open ranch, novice field. It's far removed from the open territory, but on the same side of the ranch. In any case, it was called for a time due to weather, and then resumed when our hostess, Geri Abrams, drove through camp, horn blaring. She was so insistent, I was looking out my window for a tsunami wave.

Prairie sweet prarie

We move across the ranch tomorrow to a new field, new challenges and, I hope, similar weather. Today was perfect. High clouds, low temps, gentle breeze, all day. Anyone would love this side of New Mexico, aside from the snakes.

Last night around 10 o'clock I had a knock on my door. I was hoping it was a handsome cowboy in Wranglers that fit just right, and a big, black 20X...but, but it wasn't. Outside was Linda from Texas with a light elastic-banded to her head pointing at a big non-rattle-snake, and holding 3 dogs by the collar. She was convinced we should relocate the 4' speciman away from all these people and dogs. I shined my flashlight on it apprehensively, and stated flatly; "OK, I'll hold the dogs"

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