Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

They grow up so fast.

It doesn't seem that long ago that I was posting these pictures.

Now the lambs can look their moms straight in the eye,

Ben has started earning his kibble,

and Sam, who's now a tall drink of water...

is working full time.

He's in there - look hard. (or blow the picture up by clicking on it)

Of course it's not all about "child labour" around here...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

No good deed goes unpunished.

I gave all the dogs, every last one of them, a bath this week. I'm such a conscientious owner - and I like it when they smell nice once in while. 

Two days later....

meet Full of SH*T

I'd love to say this is a look of guilt, but really it's just his usual "you're stealing my soul" look. Every time Hope rolls in SH*T we remind him he comes from royalty.

and SH*T for brains.

Trust me, this is her better side. Her other side (specifically her left ear, inside and out) isn't fit for human consumption.

Two days, then it's back to "normal" around here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A road less the future

Our trip home was about as adventurous as our trip down. We were a few hours in before things got so silly that we figured we should start "documenting" things. Cue theme music for classic "pictures taken from inside a truck" music!

We ran into a little bit of water...

Hmm...there's traffic coming from the other direction, so I guess the highway's still open.

but not open by much.

Montana has very liberal speed limits.

This little single lane, no shoulder to speak of, goat trail posted a legal speed limit of 112Kms per hour. Wow. I like to get to where I'm going as fast as the next guy, but I like to get there alive.  Judging by the MANY white crosses along this highway, locals seem to be willing to take their chances.

Of course when they do finally slow the speed limit down to 45 miles (72 kilometers)  you know things are going to get ugly...

and so ends today's driver's ed class. Lesson learned? Stick to the interstate.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

And the fun continues

I know you've all been waiting on pins and needles, wondering what Hope's score was for his run at the Big One. Sorry to have left you hanging. We got a whopping 26 for that run, which put us in good company - as in - exactly in the middle of the pack. 

Kate had a decent run in Open Ranch. She still had issues with horses at set out, but I managed to whistle her around them. I managed to screw up our chance to pen - these sheep are a lot more concerned about humans than what I'm used to - my bad. She wound up finishing a respectable 9th. Not a bad start to her season. 

After watching Louanne run Meg (as well as a few others) in the infernal wind at Slash J, any hopes that the new field would be easier were dashed. If anything, it seemed a little tougher - hard to imagine. 

Hope ran the next morning and did a good job of picking up his sheep and marching them down the field. Unfortunately just past the drive panels the hearing was quite bad and I decided to retire while Hope chose to drive the sheep far far away.  After watching the rest of the day's runs, maybe I  should have stuck it out as it turned out that getting your sheep to your feet and around the post without taking out the spectators usually meant you were in the top half. 

Today we woke up bright and early so that I could run Kate at 6:00 am - first dog up. Kate chose to lose her sheep back to set out - sure glad I got up early... She runs again this afternoon. Hope she learned something this morning. 

The infernal wind has died down. Looks like it will be replaced by infernal heat. God I love this sport. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

News from North Dakota

As usual, our trip turned into a bit of an adventure on the way down to the trials. To say that Montana and North Dakota have had a bit of rain lately would be an understatement to say the lest. We soon figured out that whenever we saw a sign for "Bump" in Montana it meant that the highway had started to wash away - tread carefully. This eventually led to a complete washout at Roundup. Luckily we flagged down some locals who told us to "drive about a hundred miles that way, then turn right and drive about a hundred miles the other way and you should be good. We don't THINK that any of those roads are washed out." We drove till dark then found a small, not quite washed out town and parked the rig in the post office parking lot for the night. Got some gas in the morning and away we went again. The locals turned out to be right and other than some REALLY rough roads the rest of the trip was uneventful. 

We stopped at rest stop and dragged the dogs up a hill for the obligatory "group shot". 

Classic "your stealing our souls" dog shot. 

Yesterday Hope did not find his sheep at all - not even close. I pointed out to him afterwards that it was a two day drive home and he might want to start making alternative plans. It seems he listened because this morning at the crack of 6 am he went out and got them. 

Big One trial field. The sheep are set at the flat crest to the left of the hill hidden in the mist, about 900 yards away.

Cold, windy, wet and freakin early - but a great way to start the day. I don't know what our score is yet (we went back to the trailer as soon as we were done to get out of the weather) but I am really happy to have actually managed to get my sheep around the course. With the wind the dogs are unable to hear at all until about 300 yards so the first 600 is on their own.  The course is very challenging, which means  very fun! Yesterday just over 50 percent of the dogs got a score. We'll see what today brings. 

Anyway, back to the trial field we go. Nursery and Open Ranch dogs run tomorrow so it's an afternoon of visiting for us.