Sheepdog News

BevLive: back on the road

You all know by this point in my blog how fond I am of Walmarts as overnight stops on my travels. Well, I am here to tell you that Cabelas has got them beat. I'm currently residing at the Cabelas in Mitchell, SD,300 miles east of Sturgis. They have a parking area set aside for RVs, complete with a big two- or three-acre dog walk area. Now that's what I call hospitality.

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The view from Cabelas

We had perfect weather for the last day of the finals. Very little wind, lovely clear skies, and while it got warmer as the day progressed, most of us were comfortable in a light jacket all day.

I'm sure by this time anyone interested in reading this knows the outcome of the trial. Bill had trouble with both of his outruns. Nothing serious, but he needed help.  Most of the dogs found the outruns hard, although several handlers made them look easy, our winner, Ian Zoreb, among them. Along with Tricia MacRae and Dennis Gellings, he had nearly perfect outwork and won the best gather trophy as well as the National Finals.

Except for the outruns and some confusion at the beginning of the second fetch, a problem most of the dogs evidenced, leading us to suppose the hearing there to be poor, Bill worked exactly as I wanted.  Any failings on the rest of our performance are my responsibility, not his. He was a champ, alas, a Reserve Champ. I believe I am now the undisputed USBCHA Reserve Champion, having proved I can almost win the Finals more times than anyone else.

In the afternoon Mirk, Herbert and I got a chance to trail 250 of the ewes from their feedlot up to the setout. Pushing the fairly reluctant big group up a big hill was nice work for Mirk. Every little bit helps make him the dog I hope he will be by next year.

We finished the awards by 5:00, and we were all pulling out by 5:30 just as the big semis came in to load the ewes. Another year gone and nothing left of my trip but the long drive home.  On the whole I'm pleased with company in my truck. Mostly my guys did pretty well.Where we failed there was blame enough for the whole team. Next year we'll all do better, I hope.

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Sheep being loaded as the trailer pulls out–an attempt at an artsy shot with the Iphone camera.

The main thing I remember from trips like this isn't the momentary bite of disappointment or the slightly longer lasting euphoria of success, it's the rest. Tubing with Marie and Amanda while our dogs tried to climb up our heads to avoid getting wet, BSing and exhausting sheep at the Finals, trailing sheep through the woods and (alas!) driving and driving and driving.