Saturday, December 05, 2009

That’s My Boy!

Today was the first day of the herding trial in Sanford. The weather was nasty this morning – chilly and rainy (although, at least it wasn’t raining sideways like the last trial). To make things really fun, the ground at the PT ring was deep, boot-sucking muck, and inside the ring wasn’t any better – lots of muck and small ponds. They actually had to change the panel layout for safety reasons because of the flooding. We all had a good time, anyway. And thank goodness for rain pants!

I’m not sure this picture does justice to the amount of mud and muck that covered both of us (I think you can get a better idea of that with the video), but you can see the mud on my legs and jacket and Duncan’s front legs. If you look closely, you can also see that his back legs are covered, too. What you can’t see is that his tail is just one long mud slick. None of that matters, though, because we had an excellent run today and Duncan earned his PT title! You may now address him as D’Cans Dark Warrior Dreaming, JHD, PT, CGC.

Duncan was very excited to be at the trial and just couldn’t stop bouncing. Everyone thought it was very sweet when he jumped up and smeared mud on my jacket. Three times. I sure couldn’t fuss at him, though; he was way too happy to bring him down with a scolding. And that was before we even went into the ring. I was a little concerned that he was too excited to have a quiet run, but he settled down as soon as he started working.

We had an absolutely beautiful run. We picked up the sheep with no trouble at all. Duncan was a little concerned about being so far from the fence - we’re usually right near it but the ground conditions forced us away from it. Thankfully, the sheep were in a nice, quiet mood, and Duncan had himself under great control, so the sheep didn’t mind him being right up on their butts. One sheep didn’t want to make the turn with us, but Duncan brought her back to me with no problem. I did my hold near the judge (didn’t plan it that way, it just seemed like a good spot for it), and Claire said later that I actually made a really good choice, because the people at the fence acted as a draw for the sheep and helped keep them still. Right after the hold, you can hear me fuss at Duncan – what you can’t see is the chunk of wool he’s spitting out of his mouth. And where does he grab the sheep? Right in front of the judge, that’s where! Thankfully, the judge didn’t hold it against him. Of course, the sheep didn’t get too upset, either, but some judges would have given at least a warning at that. One of the guys watching said that right after that, when I turned back to Duncan again, I stopped him just as he was reaching for the sheep’s hock (“Just a little taste, Mom!”). I’m thinking two grabs, especially with the second not being on the wooly butt, might have been a problem for the judge. The rest of the run was calm and quiet, with an easy penning.

Duncan got a ton of compliments for his beautiful work, with a lot of comments about how quiet and controlled he was. He was such a Good Dog today. We’ll go back tomorrow and do it again – and this time get some photos, since it won’t be raining. I know we don’t need to do the run tomorrow, since we completed the title today, but I’m really looking forward to going into the ring with absolutely no pressure on us. I won’t be stressed, which should help keep Duncan relaxed, and a nice low-key run would be a great way to end the year.


Anonymous said...

Well!!!!!! Congratulations to you...D'Cans Dark Warrior Dreaming, JHD, PT, CGC......You may have a long name and a big name to fit a big dog.....but you'll always be Duncan to me!!!! Congrats to you and your mommy!!!!! :)Love, Grandma

Anonymous said...

Also a good thing for you, Janine, that you had your rain pants and jacket!!!:)Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

That is one happy, muddy, pair! Congrats!