Monday, May 18, 2015

Northwest Championship

I got myself off the pity pot and drove 5 1/2 hours to Scio for the dog trial.  I'm sure glad I did.  I stayed with Carol Wiggins who has Champ's sister, Jojo.  We always have a good time together. After trialing and chores, we would go to town in Lebanon to partake in some fine dining.  Just what the doctor ordered :0)

The weather was really nice for Scio (That's where I cracked my head in ankle deep mud the last time I went there).  We only had one short downpour.  The rest of the time it was cloudy and mild.  The sheep were a commercial flock of Willamette "fatties."  They worked more consistently on day two when they started to get with the program.  But, they could "lean"  on your dog pretty good or run right over your dog.

Day one, Champ was pretty amped up, but worked fair considering we didn't get our collared shed/pen and I was low on the cross drive panels. :0(  We scored a 55 ending up mid-pack.  He wasn't exactly happy how I handled him.  I was a bit too gruff with him.  I flicked my crook at him because he was too close up to his sheep in the shed ring and he flipped in a circle.  That was the first time at a trial I saw him sulk a bit turning his head away from me.  I apologized later to him.

Day two, I decided to try to work on myself.  I wanted to be a little more proactive with my whistling and when I went to voice, I wanted to be a bit softer, higher in pitch (other than the pen where I gave him some gruff "Lie downs.")  I was fairly pleased how he was reacting to my whistles trying to leave him alone as much as possible.

I sent him right on the second day because it seems we are always running to the left at the trials because of how the sheep are set and where the set out is located.  Plus, I felt he tends to run better to the left.  I sent him right and he had 0/0 off his outrun/lift.  They squirted off to the side (I would have pointed him on his lift) but he covered with a whistle, but it was a bit wiggly down the through the fetch panels.  We lost 8 points.
Our hardest part of the drive is the first leg and it proved that way on day two, too.  I had a difficult time getting on line.  At the cross drive it was almost next to impossible with these sheep to get a close turn at the panels because as soon as they went through they ran as quickly as they could towards the exhaust.  But I watched closely at many handlers that never put them back on line to the shed ring.  I had Champ drive them back on line.  We lost only 8 points on our drive.
The shed was fairly easy.  Judge asked for a shed of two that didn't have collars on.  But after the shed they ran to different corners of the field (both exhausts)  Champ gathered them at a full gallop and I FORGOT to regroup them in the shed ring.  Lordy.  HUGE mistake.  I lost 5 points and 3rd place.  I ended up 8th or 9th. :0(  I won't make that mistake again.  The sheep got a bit easier the second day to pen and we penned with little difficulty.

But, all in all, Champ gained some experience plus I learned a lot, too.  We had some nice compliments which always makes one
feel like they might be on the right track.  I have a lot of trust in Champ.  He is teaming up with me more and more the older he gets.  He is exactly 3 1/2 yrs. old tomorrow and I am seeing a big difference in his personality.  He wants to be RIGHT.  This is a good thing. :0)

Off to a small trial at Fido's this weekend.  Most will be heading to California's Dry Lake trial.  Maybe next year for us!

P.S.  I got over Yoko embarrassing me at the Heppner trial.  I had to let go of my EGO.  She is entered in the next two trials.  We'll see.....

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Grief is a lonely emotion

  • "You had a routine of caring for quite a while. That alone leaves a hole in your days as a nurse. Time to slowly start a new routine that is a bit easier on you and gives you some time to do some different things each day. Even if that is just sitting and meditating by Jet's tree."

  •                                                                         THIS IS SO TRUE

  • "He is also a direct link to a different chapter of your life, so his passing actually takes on a greater symbolic significance than just your relationship with him individually."  

    Third week since Jet's passing has left me in tears.  I had fallen into a routine caring for him.  I didn't go anywhere without thinking of what was best for Jet.  This is a photo of his medications for our one month trip.

    Each individually counted out and wrapped in tin foil so I didn't miss a morning or evening dose.  I would have sold my house in a heartbeat so he could have lived longer.  I have never had that sort of love in my life.

    We weathered forest fires, my father's death, Animal Planet in Hollywood, and The David Letterman show in New York.  He was just as an amazing stockdog as he was an agility dog.  He performed everywhere including the hospital and won every trick contest he performed in. He was a showman.  All this and he only had eyes for ME.  He didn't want to be anywhere else, but with ME.

    It is an end of a chapter, more like the end of an era.  So, I guess that's why the depression.  The grief is overwhelming.  I know we had a fabulous last month.  I think that's the only thing holding me together.  I'm just so glad we got to do all of the things we loved during the last month on the road.

    But, it's going to take some time.  The grief of losing him will never go away.  It just will hopefully fade in intensity, but for now the tears are flowing....

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hart bookstore in Sequim

Another strange twist (the story of my life)  

I finally found time to walk through town.  It took me almost a year.  Downtown Sequim is quite small.  Now, I have been there quite a few times and being a social type person I'm getting to know quite a few people.
I have two favorite places, thus far.  The tea shop and the book store.  I am buying loose leaf teas for the first time in my life.  100% better than store bought tea bags!  Live and learn.  I haven't tried many flavors, but i am sold on their pomegranate tea :0)
Back to the book store.  When you walk in it reminds you of an old antique store with kind of an endearing musty scent.  They have Olympic park trail maps and bird guides along with a zillion other books.  They have a back room (which I will have to find out more about) It has a sign that says employees only and it looks like a huge library.  Next trip, I'll enquire:0)
Meanwhile, I notice there are photos of William S. Hart on one of the walls of the bookstore and a photo of his wife.  I thought this is kind of odd since I am in Washington and Wm S. Hart's home (now turned into a museum) is in Newhall, Ca.  I lived in Newhall for years when I went to nursing school.  It is where I met my husband.  
So, the second time i am there I enquire about the relationship of the bookstore to Wm S. Hart.  Not even noticing that the book store is called Hart's fine Books (LOL)  Turns out the owner of the bookstore was married to Wm S. Hart's son, Bill.  Bill has now since passed on.  The owner is remarried to the man who owns the Purple Haze Lavender Farm.  It is one of my most favorite lavender places to visit during the lavender festival!  They also have a Purple haze lavender store a few doors down from Hart Fine Books.
So there you have it.  Coincidence...most likely.  But, these kind of strange things happen to me ALL of the time :0)

Me, last year at Purple Haze Lavender Farm

Hart’s Fine Books is a charming, eclectic bookstore in the heart of downtown Sequim. Home to a vast collection of vintage and rare books, the shop also showcases a wide range of ephemera, mainly from the early film industry. The store is a homage to William S. Hart Jr., whose personal collection forms the core of the items for sale. Its ambience evokes an earlier era.
Every book tells a story, above and beyond its author's intent. William S. Hart Jr. was the son of two silent film stars, Winifred Westover Hart and William Surrey Hart. This collection reflects the interests of their lives as well as his own. You may pick up a book signed by Tod Browning, the director of many early films including the 1931 silent film "Dracula" and the 1934 cult class "Freaks." In another section, you can browse books on military history and see how they tie in to Bill Hart Jr.'s experience as a cryptographer during World War II.  
Sequim, Washington

A member of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the William S. Hart Museum is less than an hour's drive from most areas of Los Angeles.
The William S. Hart Park and Museum is the former retirement home of the famed silent film actor and director who produced a series of hit Western movies in the early 1900's. His beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival Style Mansion – now the Museum – exhibits an impressive collection of Western artwork by noted artists Charles M. Russell, Frederic Remington, and Joe de Yong, as well as mementos from early Hollywood, personal furnishings and effects, and artifacts representing multiple Native American cultures.
The Museum also includes an historic 1910 Ranch House that exhibits Hart's tack and saddle collection, personal furnishings, and additional Hollywood mementos.
Both the Mansion and the Ranch House are located in scenic William S. Hart Park, where guests may enjoy visiting a live collection of farm animals, a herd of American bison, a vast picnic area, a series of hiking trails, and a charming Western-themed Gift Store.
As Mr. Hart's gift to the public, visiting the Park and Museum is always free.

Newhall, California

The Hart home (museum) is in Newhall Park plus has a petting zoo of well taken care of animals.  So, of course, I always took my dogs to the park and strolled through the petting zoo :0)  For my California friends, if you live close to Newhall and you haven't been, it's free.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Rainbow Bridge

After burying Jet in his quilt with his two weave poles, the first rainbow I have seen from my house appeared.  It was spectacular and stayed for about 20 minutes.

The Rainbow Bridge.  I took it as a sign.

Jet, be at peace.  I know you will be waiting for me when it is my time.

I'm already missing him so much.  A piece of my heart died with him.

Godspeed Jet