Thursday, August 23, 2012

We're Still Here!

Spot at Kingston, Photo by Kristi Oikawa

Bill at Kingston, photo by Laurie Schultz
Boy, if anyone ever wonders about that "time flies" expression, just try keeping up a blog. I can't believe it's been over 4 months since i posted something. I guess things just got busy with puppies and trials and travels and such.

When last we met (always wanted to use that phrase), the Bill X Rhyme puppies were 4 weeks old and occupying every free moment. THAT would explain why the blog went belly up. I enjoyed every single moment with those little beasties and wish i could have frozen them in time around the 4-5 week old stage. Gosh they were fun. I had a terrible time letting any of them go, but go they did, and all to wonderful homes. I still have Devin and Spot and they're doing great. They're long legged 5 month olds with sweet, loving personalities. They've both been on sheep a couple of times and show promise. Time will tell. I had intended to only keep one pup and may still let Devin go but haven't decided on that. Spot is my guy and reminds me a lot of Bill as a pup. Both pups are very athletic and social, and make me laugh a lot.

Bill at Kingston, Photo by Kristi Oikawa
The big dogs are doing fine. Zac and Bill had kind of a lazy spring/summer work-wise. Zeke got a bit of work and training as i was focusing more on him. He's matured a lot this summer, both physically and in his work. I ended up leaving Joe with my friend Vergil Holland for a couple months of training. I always train my own dogs but it seemed like a good thing to do this time around for various reasons. I got him back a few days ago and i'd say the decision was a good one. I don't think i'll run him until next spring but we should have some fun together this coming fall and winter. I'm hoping he'll be a good one for the Nursery Finals next year in VA. I may still end up selling him on since i already have 3 Open dogs but i'm not in any hurry to make that decision.

Zeke at Kingston, Photo by Kristi Oikawa
We've done very little trialing this year so far, though that's about to change in a big way. We didn't trial at all from last November to this June, quite a long break. But in June, we loaded up the camper and went to the Slash J and The Big One, both in Bowman, ND. After such a long break, the dogs ran pretty well. Bill was 3rd the first day at Slash J and Zac won the second day. Both qualified for the double lift Finals and Bill ended up reserve Champion. At the Big One, Bill was 5th one day and Zac was 5th the other. At the beginning of August, we went up to Kingston, Ontario for the 80 Acres and Grass Creek trials. The dogs ran really well at these trials but unfortunately my steering was out of alignment or something. I think we ran 13 times and i only managed a clean run once! Bill placed at the first trial at 80 Acres, and Zeke was 2nd in the Nursery there. In the Canadian National Nursery at Grass Creek, Zeke laid down a scorcher of a run in the second round (won the round) to go with a fair one in his first go, and ended up 4th overall. I was really thrilled with his work on the Canada trip, it was very consistent and sharp.

So that's where things are for the Shoofly gang right now. The summer was more about doing some work around home, putting up new fence and gardening and growing puppies and such. But fall is racing up on us now and things are going to get busy. Next weekend we head up to PA for a new trial, and the following weekend i'm doing a clinic in VA. There are trials almost every weekend from now until mid-November. It's a fun and busy time!
Fun time at the Kingston Brew Pub, photo by Carol Guy, cleverly disguised as Wendy Schmaltz


Anonymous said... can Carol take the picture if she was in the picture?:)
From the Picture Taker

Robin French said...

Oooooops! I'll go fix that now!