Monday, September 29, 2008

The dog, the cat, the couch

Bruce likes the couch. Antonio likes the couch. In case anyone is interested, yes, I also like the couch. I've staked my claim to one side this afternoon - the side with sun beam thank you very much.
Bruce and Antonio got the other side...

The "other side" isn't really that big.

Bruce seemed to like the arrangement - Antonio, well it was hard to tell but he didn't seem to be going anywhere...

OOOHHHH - that's intimidating!

That didn't work so Bruce's next strategy was to apparently out catnap the cat...

At the end of it all - NO ONE can out catnap a cat.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The difference a year can make

Bruce - September 2007

Bruce September 2008

Bruce has definitely changed a whole lot!

Mateo September 2007

Mateo September 2008

Mateo has hardly changed at all.

Of course there were a couple of other changes this past year...

The two black and white additions

Tell and Hope both seem to believe they were abused by a professional photographer in a past life. New trick to work on - make love to the camera boys!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More from Sturgis

I had intended to take pictures of Sturgis itself. Somehow though, once the trial got started I sort of forgot. Anyway, Sturgis is well known for bikers, rather than sheepdogs. The town is loaded with huge and not so huge biker bars. I tried looking for a few pictures of the town online to "steal" for my blog but mostly I found plenty of pictures of men clad in leather and lots of women clad in... a lot less. ;-) So, I'll just say that it's a neat little town and I was pleasantly surprised (after some of the terrain we drove through) with how pretty the area was.
By now you've probably read Louanne's blog about our trip so I won't go into any great detail but I will share some photos from the trial field.

The setters for the finals were incredible. Even if the sheep gave them some trouble they always managed to get them settled before the dog got out to them. The sheep could be very challenging and I now have a much better understanding of what a "range ewe" is.

They look innocent enough

Joanne Zoerb and Mik in the shedding ring

No trip to South Dakota is complete without a trip to Mount Rushmore

The trip home was quick...or long...depending on how you look at it. In typical Canadian traveler fashion it was a two day drive out to Sturgis - but only a one day drive to get home. Kudos to Louanne for the great driving both ways. I was the official navigator, but we also had two GPS's in the truck I liked to think of myself more as "colour commentary".

Next year's finals are in Klamath Falls, Oregon - see you there!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blogs from the road...sort of

You've probably noticed that Louanne and I never did post any blogs while down in Sturgis. No, it was not laziness on our part, or the fact that we were having so much fun it never occured to us to spend time on the laptop. We learned that one should not assume that they can connect to the internet anywhere. So, let's just pretend that we're still on the road...

After spending the night in Hardin at the KOA (which brought back memories of childhood treks across Canada and the US) we headed up the road to Little Big Horn for a little dose of history.

Ranger Rick was more than happy to let us in

Custer's grave site

A bit of the battle field


Indian Memorial

Louanne the fashionista

There is also a military cemetary on site. I hear that Jenny has a thing for cemetaries, so here are some pictures just for her. We noticed that there were people from all over buried in this cemetary. I'n not sure what the rules are regarding who can/can't be buried in a military cemetary - maybe someone who is reading this blog can fill me in?

After getting the gist of things (Custer thought he'd win - Sitting Bull proved him wrong), we headed back on to the highway and headed for Sturgis.

We drove through Wyoming...

Wyoming looked like this for HOURS...

A shot for Kyle - a whole pile of compressors

More of Wyoming.We like to call Wyoming the "are we there yet state?" of our trip...

The great wall of Wyoming. It looks like things can get quite nasty in the winter, given the giant snow fences that went on for miles, as well as the chain up and highway open/closed signs all over the place.


That's it for today. After two days of driving we arrived in Sturgis.

Monday, September 8, 2008

On the road to Sturgis

Louanne and I left yesterday for Sturgis South Dakota. We are the official Canadian cheer team for the USBCHA finals.
As we're sharing a truck, trailer, laptop, etc., for the next week and a half I figure we can share a blog too.
So, go to the Phantomridge blog for updates. We'll blog when we can find WiFi.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You know you're a real Albertan when...

You get yourself a buckle!

Apparently I need a belt?

It has been a great summer of trialling. The boys and I have been to trials 4 out of the past 6 weeks. Travis has mentioned that I'm a shift worker 4 days on (trial)/ 3 days off (home).

So here's the recap for the summer:

Last Chance: I entered Novice only as it was my first trial. Hope won the Novice class.

Buffalo: I entered the boys in Novice and Intermediate. Both dogs placed or won individual runs and Tell was the overall Intermediate winner.

EID: We moved up to Intermediate and Pro Novice. I was very happy with the way the dogs ran, and learned a few more things about handling. The boys finished up in the middle of the pack. Tell won the Nursery class two out of the three days and qualified for next year's USBCHA finals.

Alberta Finals: Tell won the Novice Finals.

ASDA Field Finals winners
Corey Perry (intermediate), George Stambulic (Pro Novice), Me (Novice), Milt Scott (Open 3rd), Ian Zoerb (Open 1st & 4th), Joanne Zoerb (Open 2nd), Louanne Twa (Nursery), and Judge Shawn Wells.

Enough bragging, but to say that I exceeding my expectations this summer would be a huge understatement. A huge thanks to Louanne Twa, Scott and Jenny Glen, and everyone else at the trials this summer for being so helpful - it takes a village to raise a handler. ;-)

This coming weekend Louanne and I heading down to Sturgis, South Dakota to watch the USBCHA finals. I'm really looking forward to watching some of North America's top handlers run their dogs.

Tell takes them around the post.

Finally, a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Scott Glen and Pleat for winning the Soldier Hollow Classic! Pleat is the only dog to win all four of the big US trials - USBCHA Finals, Meeker, The Blue Grass, and Soldier Hollow.