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, September 22, 2011

Aftermath, 2011

Unlike last year, It was too hot to take pictures as I traveled home from the finals. I turned South from Carbondale to pick up a puppy from the Holmes' at Geri Abrahms' Free to Be Ranch in NM. After spending a night there, and one in Lordsburg, temps climbed to 109 in Tucson, and I was never so happy to see Jacumba, CA and 99 degrees in my life. The Arizona desert was one long, hot motha.

Thousands of miles later
The bad news is that it's not much cooler here. My patio thermometer read 90 at mid-day, and clearing out my trailer has been accomplished in fits and starts with lots of shading up in the house. I've almost got it finished now, and I'm down to the heavy lifting of unloading dog crates to be cleaned, starting the laundry, and washing out the black tank. Definitely chores for the cool of an evening. Tomorrow I'll worry about jack stands and getting the truck washed.
Introducing Tam
How do you like my new pup? He's adorable, don't you think? What a happy boy, and no worse for wear after 2 grueling days of heat and confinement. Bred by Eileen Steinman off her prolific Don, out of a littermate sister to Tricia Macrae's Alba Cap, named Lynn, he comes to me at a time when I'm looking for a future replacement for Mirk, that will be 8 next month. All the Don pups I've seen look pretty good, and I'm looking forward to giving mine a try.

The spoils
Looking back on the trials, my dogs ran pretty well. Star was over matched at the finals by replacement yearlings that just did not want to track, but he surprised me at Meeker. Missing the semi-finals by 3 points that were every last one my fault, he won the "Cowboy Lift" award, and the nice collar and leash above, for Friday's preliminary running. Out of some 40 or 50 dogs, he impressed the set out crew more than any other, to receive the prestigious award. I retired when he couldn't shift his sheep at all on the open field at the finals, and joked that I should receive the "Cowgirl Lift" award for making the best dog retrieval.

Mirk making me look good
 Mirk was either on fire, or cold as ashes, finishing 12th in the double lift at Meeker with good placements at almost every other trial we went to throughout the summer. His best run came in the semi's at Meeker, but his Sunday run at Steamboat, pictured above, was one that I will long remember as well. He can always move the sheep. I never worry about that. Sometimes it's how he does it that's deflating, and his preliminary run at the National Finals is a case in point.

Photo by Maureen Robinson
Strang Ranch

My time on the Strang Ranch was remarkable in every way. The kindness, generosity, hospitality and grace of that good family has made a difference in my life. Never have I been treated with more warmth, and acceptance than when I was in their company. It was suggested that while there, I should pretend I'm a
Strang. Too big a stretch for little 'ol me. The best I could do was pretend to act like one, and, try as I might, I fell way short of the mark. I'm very blessed indeed to call Mike, Kit, Bridget, Laurie and Scott my friends. Scott's wife, Judy, and Kit's brother and sister-in-law, Tam and Sue had to put up with me too. Many thanks.

No matter which dog trial I go to, and how long or short I'm gone, it always finishes with the laundry. Somehow it's very satisfying to get it all cleaned, folded and put away. Between my ears, doing the laundry, mothballing the trailer and getting the dogs settled is how I prepare for the next one. I've almost got it done. Speaking of which, when is the next trial? What have you done for me lately you shaggy mutts? When are we leaving?

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