Well, another weekend spent at a dog trial is over. Phew. Getting up at 3:30 in the morning is tough. I am definitely getting a bit old for that...
Weather was good, threatened to rain on Sunday, but didn't (while I was there). Atmosphere was good- although, there is one person who I went out of my way to congratulate on their run, and they looked right at me, and ignored me. Nice eh? Well, perhaps they are deaf- but who cares. It was a good job, and if they can't accept a compliment... File under the heading "WHATEVER".
Okay, so on Saturday, Lucy and I were first up in novice. These sheep are ewes and yearlings, wherein, shall we say, the ewes KNOW this field and they KNOW it well. Anyway, when my sheep were being brought out to the set out, they split into one ewe with her head in the clouds, and a lamb and ewe a bit more calm. I set Lucy up properly and sent her. She did a very nice outrun, and came in nice at the top. Then, they ran. And ran and ran. I wanted to give Lucy a down on the fetch, but if I did, I would have lost them to the exhaust- these sheep had their running shoes on. Lucy got them to my feet, we made a nice turn at the post, and off we went. Well, it wasn't pretty, because it was a game of cover then down. Lucy listened pretty well- especially the whistle. We got them around, and penned them. It was not a run that consisted of lines, rather, one that consisted of banking turns ;)
We didn't have much to work with, and all things considered, it wasn't too bad. We took a 4th in that class, with a low score (but the outrun was full points.) This is especially nice, because remember last weekend?
Today, we had a very nice set of sheep, and because of it, I was more nervous. I really thought we had a chance to do well out there. Lucy did a good outrun/lift, but pushed them on the fetch. She did down where asked before the flank for the turn at the post. Then, we made it out to the panels and she crossed the course UGH. She took the wrong flank. Joy- say good bye to all your drive points my lass.
So, then we got them penned, and we got a bit of applause. Lucy ran right up to the judge (she has a habit of this) and got all googly with him. He petted her. I wonder- does she know he's the judge? Is she buttering him up? If she is, she should do that BEFORE we run....
So, all in all it was good. Lucy took another 4th place today with a bit better score. But, the best part by far was that I heard from multiple people (open handlers mainly) that we have really improved since last year; there's a huge difference in my handling and Lucy's work. That is gratifying to hear.
Some day we may just kick some butt officially, but until then, I hope that we continue to improve- it's all I can ask for.