Pictured Dr. Bob Schooley with Spike and me and Yoko on Saturday
Spike earned a medal in the intermediate class and Yoko received a check for placing well in the "combined" two intermediate classes of the day.
As I said yesterday, one sure can see the holes in their training by entering a time and point arena trial with a zillion stressors. The sheep, St. Croix, were consistent for everyone. No one could complain about the sheep. If you weren't wide enough you might lose them over the fence and when they all turned on your dog all you needed was just a little closer walk-up.
The noise factor and the crowds are major stressors to the youngsters. Your whistles echoed under the covered arena and sometimes it was wiser to go with "voice." Yoko will be 3 in January, but she wasn't accustomed to "all" of this sensory overload. Yo is the little dog that tries so hard. It is impossible to get upset with her.
Our first round on Sat. was a bit discombobulated (is that a word?) But, she completed all 6 obstacles. I turned my back on her running to the stock trailer because of time. Oops...shouldn't have done that, cuz my little cow dog ran in for a heel bite. There was some discussion at the judge's table, but they let it go. Phew.
Her 2nd run on Sat. was her best run, but she was just out of time...some 20 feet away from getting them in the stock trailer. I was most pleased with this run. Yoko tried hard and was responsive to my requests.
Sunday the sheep were craftier and a bit more reluctant to play the game. This added pressure for Yoko who was becoming a bit shell shocked from kids grabbing at her, pistols firing, firecrackers, and bagpipes. Her eyes looked like Felix the Cat....rolling in her head. She was a little wild eyed, but still trying to please. She held her ground when the sheep faced her, but I couldn't flank her....at least not without difficulty. And, when I got her to move, she lost contact with the sheep and came towards me. I tried to encourage her, but several times she came out to me losing contact. Not too worried about that. I remember Jet when he was young...same thing. I tried to laugh and give her some upbeat encouragement. She almost made the maltese when they called time. The sheep were in the middle of the cross. Intermediate only had to do "half" of the maltese cross.
Her last run on Sunday she was done before she started. Now, she never gave up...don't get me wrong, but I was out of the picture. The crowds were huge, the bagpipes shrieking, and she was on her sheep and she wouldn't give them up. I don't think she could. It was as if she immersed herself into her work to make everything else stressing her go away. I can handle that...but I couldn't stop her.
This was a great experience for both of us. I can see where I need to make her let go of her stock when she is nose to nose and give me square flanks. And, of course...when I say stop, she has to stop like her sire...on a dime. Without a stop, you are in big trouble. It will all come together in due time. I can't say she has a ton of talent, but dang....she tries so hard. And, we have have so much fun together. She's like...the little engine that could..... I love my Yoko.
P.S. Movies were not so great...bad lighting. I have one fairly decent one of Jet, but I need to try to figure out how to take it from the movie camera to put here. I know how to do that on my pocket cameras, but not from the movie camera. More to learn.