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.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Facing Meeker

This dog trial is a trip down memory lane for me, and I realize just how long I've been around when I come here. These are my people. The ones I've argued with, lost to, lied about, laughed and drank with, and loved every step of the way. It was Price that brought me down this road, so I'll begin with his funny face.

Stormy Winters and Kate
 Because it's Meeker's 25th anniversary, it was a nostalgic day any way. There was tribute at half time to Red Oliver, given by the dog Trial, with fellow long-timer, Bud Budreau doing the honors. It was worth well worth the price of admission to see the two of them together at the post, microphone in hand, reminding us how lucky we've been to have had Red around for so long. They repeated the ceremony at the hand's dinner and asked anyone who's been coming for 20 years or longer to stand. Red Oliver, Stormy Winters, Bud Budreau, Bruce Fogt, and Amanda Milliken got a thundering round of applause. Just for the record, 2012 will be my 10th year.

Terry Warner and Chris Jobe looking good in hats
 I have yet to look at the scoreboard. Mirk's 72 was likely to put us through to the semi's and did, but I refused to fret over it. Others obsessed and I stayed in touch by eavesdropping. They take the top 30 back, and turns out Mirk was 15th, I think. I still haven't checked the scores. In years past the semi-final run order was drawn at the hand's dinner, but it was made after the running today. Unaware, I missed it, and whoever was drawing for those not in attendance drew me dead last. I'm good with that. Unless it rains, as it has been in the afternoons, the weather should cool by the time I stroll out. I'm channeling Linda Fogt, who sat around all day one year at the Bluegrass to run last and finish second, as I remember. Waiting around isn't easy. Waiting around to lay one down is even harder.

Red Oliver and Bud Budreau
Little Star man shone brightly today and missed the semi-final round by exactly 3 points, all of which could have been avoided had I handled better. I walked to the post expecting to have to walk a bit further to retrieve my dog sooner than later, assuming he would be overmatched by sheep as he's never encountered.

I think he mistook boulders for sheep and tried to cross most of the outrun. I just managed to hold him out until he spotted his sheep, when he cast out beautifully. I blasted him a walk up expecting the sheep would stall, but his lift was dead on. The merino cross ewes leaned on him all the way down the fetch line while trying to run off to my right, but he took every flank and pushed right back to make the fetch panel, after which they tried another tactic, faced him and stomped. He just kept coming, made a nice turn and caught them trying to run off up the drive line.

Thinking they were through, I turned him and them just in front of the panel. Another missed opportunity to make tomorrow. The cross drive was a series of catch their eye to stop them from drifting high, then flank back to let them move off, and that panel was hit on an angle. With over 2 minutes to finish, I took a silly shed and went to the pen with 1 minute 14 seconds. I only had 29 seconds there with Mirk! What can I tell you? I needed another 20 seconds, and we timed out, but boy was I proud of that good young'un today.

Chuck Riley and Emil Ludecke keep track
It's Mirk's day tomorrow, and Sunday, with hope, then Bone-dale here we come!

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