Time to update.
So, the State Agility Trial. It was OK. I'm not sure why I was a bit disappointed, but I was. We actually did better in terms of results than I'd expected or really wanted- Muddy got clear rounds in Novice Agility and Jumping, made both finals, and I think that makes him AD and possibly also JD (will have to check that one). Now I have to cough up for titles before we can enter Excellent, which he will hate, so yay.
Muddy actually did some nice runs, most notably an Open Jumping run which was fantastic before I stuffed him up, but as per usual he lost interest towards the end of the second day and just couldn't be arsed in the finals.
Bill was initially great, but then went away into girlie-land, for the first time ever. So even he wasn't that much fun to run, which sucked because the courses later on were fantastic.
It was nice to see Lilli (Fly's sister) winning a State title, and some other cool dogs in action.
One problem with the States was that after floating along in the fantasy clouds of total-novice-hood for a while, where its all just fun and enjoying your dogs, I clunked back into the reality of competitive humanity. All the critical analysis of everyone else, their dogs, the way they look, the way they handle, the way they bring up their puppies... Now, a bit of analysis and criticism of handling and training etc is cool- sharing opinions and ways of doing things and such. That's how we learn. A bit of bitching is also to be expected- that's human nature, its everywhere. But SO much unnecessary slagging off! Who cares if someone is holding off on agility training until their pup is fully grown??? Just playing with youngsters and teaching them the basics of obedience until they are 10 or 12mo seems to work just fine for lots of people, not everyone wants their baby puppies toddling over baby walks and wobble boards. If you do, that's cool, but is it really necessary to be predicting "ruin" if someone chooses to do something different to the masses? No wonder some people start to crack under the pressure of expectations around the agility rings. And what is with calling other people's dogs ugly, to their face? Maybe my sense of humour had leaked out of the hole left after my head exploded from hearing about how dogs that don't get on equipment before 16 weeks are ruined...
Vent over. It was an OK weekend.
Richard started cropping with a permanent headache. His first week of spraying and seeding seemed to get progressively worse until this weekend when
-the quad bike broke down,
-Richard crashed the tractor into the truck (fell asleep at the wheel),
-used Tama in the yards for a morning's drenching where Tama caught his toe in the grating and ?broke it,
and culminated in The Great Combine Caper, which involved an auger rope breaking, Richard falling off the top of the combine, and his ankle breaking in two places. The big fool got back in the tractor and tried to finish the paddock before getting rescued and we spent the day shuttling between hospitals. He's all plastered up and stretched out beside Tama on the couch, and after using up all his profanity collection yesterday as he realised what a terrible time of year this is to be injured, he's settling into helplessness and starting to enjoy his situation. Even if the Eagles lost and the Dockers are winning...
Jack is walking! Only a couple of metres here and there, but he's definitely walking. Look out world!
Dogs are all a bit bored, and it will only get worse, since we have some sheep work coming up (3000 ewes to preg test Thursday, crutching, shifting mobs around before lambing) and now Richard's out of action it will be me and the trusty mongrels helping Garry out.
I'm starting to worry about Bart- he's SO sensitive, you can't even raise your voice at another dog or he'll be off to his kennel to hide. And he's starting to be reluctant to go around the sheep, and when he does he seems to be really short on the head. He does have a natural stop like his mum, though. I really love Bart, but I'm wondering if he'd be happier with one quiet owner and no other dogs... We'll give him some time and TLC and see what happens.
Sybil is as perky and pestiferous as ever, Basil (my next training project) is getting regularly bashed by Fly for biting but doesn't seem to learn a thing, Pinky is going to be ready for the State 3sheep if I can learn to keep my trap shut, Ziggy needs to learn to walk up- she's weak as dishwater but too strong on the head. Fly is going OK, needs more regular work and casting practice, and Queani continues to work well for me. Bill still needs to learn to bloody stop. And a get off, actually.
I'm going to be super-busy trying to run the dogs morning and night while Richard's out of action, plus getting some training done. Richard will be puppy-playing from his lawn chair, so Trim, Tom and the Bs are his problem. But so far, GP work is going alright. I'm starting to get back into gear, even if its not 100% my cup of tea, and will be getting pretty slick at pap smears in the near future, I'm sure.
"Ruin"- not a bad name for a dog. Bit like "Properdog". Or "Vandal". But I think I'll stick with Esme for my future Fly pup.
Oh yeah, and we're getting married...
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