Friday, October 31, 2008


I finally got around to publishing some blog posts I'd written a while back but never finished.

If you're interested, you'll have to look through the archives yourself to find them, or you could use the search button at the top left hand corner. Hint: they might involve more Royal Show pics (just a few), Sheep Maintenance for Beginners, BabyJ's date with a pair of scissors, and Maggot photos. Oh, and ute vs. tree and Charlie's head vs. road.

There are more in the pipeline that I haven't sorted yet, but my next project is sorting my dysfunctional email.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A lesson in Cat Bothering

Fly is a Master Cat Botherer.

It is important to her that her sons start learning the art early.

"First, you trap your cat. Under the car is a good place to start."

Elvis is a promising apprentice Cat Botherer. Even Muddy, another Master Cat Botherer, is impressed by Elvis' early signs of talent:

JJ is not a promising apprentice Cat Botherer.

"No, you fool, don't KISS it!"

Perhaps he takes after his father...

And now for some random puppyshots:



JJ attacks:

Practising Bothering on Uncle Bill and Muddy:

Does this remind you of anything? The cycle of life- how poetic!

Poor Esme has hit the Uglies. In an effort to cute her up (I'm sure "cute" can be verbed) I've given her some collar bling:

I think its working...

Tom tried to bling his collar, but as a poor farm dog he had to make do with styrofoam:

Kids can be so cruel.

The housedogs- Muddy, Fred and Bill:

Barefoot farm boy:

Yep, these are all a few weeks old. I'm terrible, I know. I have lots more, its just a matter of getting them up. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ongerup trial

Photos, results and some video below.

The Esperance club held their unofficial 3 sheep trial at Ongerup last weekend. It was the first time I'd been, and I'm very glad we made the effort- it was one of the most enjoyably casual trials of the year. It was a pity we had to miss the Friday, but farm stuff and swimming lessons interfered.

Held at Tim Foster's property not far out of Ongerup, the sheep have a reputation for being pretty difficult, but this year they weren't too bad. The ground is really small, so the fences were close and the sheep did take advantage of dogs that were too slow to head or gave too much ground, carting them all over the place, and they didn't like straight walk-ups much either. But they were definitely workable for most runs.

The weather was completely insane. As we packed to leave on the Friday, a massive storm front smashed the south west, dumping 80mL on Gnowangerup and hailing in other areas. Storms kept rolling through over Friday and Saturday, with gale force winds and rain, so the triallers were wet and cold and the sheep were irritable. But by late Saturday the weather had cleared, and Sunday was actually uncomfortably hot, reminding us why we don't trial through summer.

This is one of my favourite intersections in the world- driving south east from Kojonup, through Broomehill and then Gnowangerup, the rolling green hills gradually smooth and flatten and the river gums give way to stringy stands of scrub trees. Then suddenly you emerge from a curve in the road to the wide open mallee country, the Stirlings in the distance, the highway curving west down to Borden and east away over the Esperance plains and the desert beyond.

A storm on its way:

BabyJ enjoying the wide open spaces:

Our dogs did OK.

Fred was a fat, lazy old sod and crossed on a breaking sheep right at the D, after a beautiful cast/lift and draw.

Here he is looking annoyed that his run was cut short:

Richard got some nice work from Murphy, but he wasn't listening well. Bella also did some really nice work, stuffed up by the classic farm dog manouvres. Tess was a complete loon, as expected after a month in the bitches' box, but I thought she listened a bit better than last time. He also ran Fly in the Open as a post entry, which was rather brave, but she stuck on her cast and was crossed by the sheep.

Boylee Murphy at the D:

Yarralonga Bella:

And Sally, Miss Perpetually-For-Sale, was his best performed dog- she had reasonable runs in Improver and Open (compared to the rest of the field), made both finals. She overflanked, but listened and settled (probably because she's too fat to fizz) and her constant heading actually helped bottle up the sheep. She'd had enough by her 4th run, and crossed a breaking sheep (just before she snotted it on the nose- Sally!!! yes, she actually bit a sheep!)

My dogs were OK. I was really happy with Pink, who did reasonable little casts both runs, and did some lovely work pulling down the ground. We ran into trouble when she needed to come off balance at the race or unwinding peg, and she just refused to let go of the sheep. But that was fairly understandable for a young dog. I think she's old enough and keen enough now to take some drilling, so I'll have to start teaching her sides and a proper stop.

Queani tried, but just wasn't fit enough and started slacking off. We did have a rogue sheep for our Open run, but she just would not go far enough around on one flank, and kept letting the sheep drift around the race instead of heading it. She also took her commands a second too late every time, which drove me nuts. But on the plus side, she didn't swipe once. My mission for next week is to try Tony Boyle's fence exercise and see if I can get her hitting the head.

Otherwise she will get her tail pulled again. Hard.

Bill was a good lad. We were a bit unlucky in the Open (scored 44), running when the sheep were fairly tough, and he would have had an easier time if he listened, but I was happy with him. We made it to the pen in both runs, and penned in the Improver for a 61.

And I tried out the Ergo for ease of babywrangling at trials:

Unfortunately Jack started to get caught up in the event, waving his arms and having a bit of a shout at the dogs and sheep (quick learner), so I think babywearing in an official trial might get us accused of double handling or shepherding. Sigh.

Results (in order):

Novice Finalists:
1 Marianne Rogers Christies Cocoacina 76 (6:20) + 81 = 167
2 Tim Foster Linthorpe Grace 51 + 89 = 140
3 Andrew Gorton Grassvalley Tippy 77 (9:30) + 49 = 126
4 Andrew Gorton Boylee Ella (Bell) 50 (11:26) + 62 = 112
other finalists- not 100% on order-
Tim Foster Boylee Minnie 52 (12:00) + 49 = 101
Mike Scott Torbay Tig 42 + 54 = 96
Marianne Rogers Bellview Obie(Bernie) 74 (11:34) + R = 74
Tony Boyle Bellview Dale 74 (6:34) + R = 74
Tony Boyle Boylee Speck 40 + ?
Germaine Seymour Euroh Nan 37 + Scr = 37

Tim Foster's Linthorpe Grace:

Boylee Minnie (full sister to Ceilydh):

Boylee Speck (Bill's litter sister):

Improver Finalists:
I didn't get the finals scores for this, so these are only the first round scores of the finalists. Nick Webb and Toby held their lead to win the finals, the others are in catalogue order.
1 Nick Webb Morillo Toby 91 (9:23)
Andrew Gorton Boylee Ella 67 (10:55)
Tony Boyle Boylee Tobie 59 (9:52)
Glenice Webb David's Brock 47 (10:03)
Sam Weaver Boylee Bill 61
Ivan Solomon Perangery Danny 61
Peter Doherty Ramulam Jen 42
Marianne Rogers Christies Cocoacina 48
Tony Boyle Boylee Mustard 38
Richard McGuire Ivanhoe Sally 53

Nick Webb and Morillo Toby:

Tony Boyle's young dog Boylee Tobie:

Open Finalists
1 Ivan Solomon Perangery Danny 88 + 52 = 140
2 Andrew Gorton Boylee Ella (Bell) 67 + 69 = 136
3 Ivan Solomon Perangery Jill 58 + 73 = 131
4 Peter Gorman El Shamah Ellie 66 + 60 = 126
5 Tim Foster Linthorpe Shandy 59 + 52 = 111
6 Tony Boyle Bellview Dale 59 + 44 = 103
7 Tony Boyle Boylee Mustard 58 + 34 = 92
8 Tim Foster Boylee Minnie 50 + 38 = 88
9 Nick Webb Morillo Bailey 62 + 4 = 66
10 Richard McGuire Ivanhoe Sally 53 + X = 53

Perangery Jill:

Linthorpe Shandy, one of our Fred's daughters (out of Crowesdale Rose):

A short clip of Sally:

I think this was her Open run. It was pretty hot and she was a bit stuffed, which might have worked in Richard's favour. She's really unfit and porky at the moment, hasn't done much work of any kind lately, but she did keep overflanking and flicking back to the head unnecessarily. It caused some trouble but then was also what kept hold of the sheep, because the sheep took advantage of any short heading or slackness and carted the dogs around the field. For Sally, a weak dog, this wasn't a bad effort.

Random Photos:
Ivan Solomon's Perangery Beck:

Rabbit, a Perangery Danny x Beck pup (now owned by Elizabeth Badger):

Elizabeth Badger's youngster, Boylee Clancy (formerly one of our gang):

Peter Gorman and Casper:

Torbay Badger (another Fred daughter, one of the Tiglets):

Badgingarra Snowy:

Germaine Seymour's Somerville Lucy:

Helpful lad:

Exchanging trialling tales and tips with Tony Boyle:

My boys: