a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Farm Day

Thank goodness Farm day is singular.  I'm not sure we could have done demos all weekend.  Because, by the time Saturday was over my dogs and I were beat.  The weather held up, no rain, people filtered in throughout the day.  Sometimes there were 10 people, other times there were 50 or so people watching.  Usually they get about 300 spectators for the day.  Several people were spinning wool and we had a gal shearing sheep for the spectators, too.  I received numerous people thanking me (us) for the demonstrations with the dogs.  Bonnie used Bob and Gull.  I used all three of my dogs and Patricia used Tess and Patch.

I think Yoko did 30 sets of weave poles and did the rings on the stick trick before each run of the weave poles.  She was pretty darn cute picking up right where her father, Jet, left off.  I really didn't know she was such a ham!  She has some of her daddy's showman blood. And, when she was through doing demos she did her famous leaps into the swimming pool.   She also took a couple of lambs in and out of some cones lined up.  Weaving with sheep :0)
Bonnie Block did course work with Bob.  The crowds loved it when he made the panels with the sheep.  Lots of applause.  Same with Patricia's Tess.  Bonnie brought Gull out for the audience to watch.  She explained how and why the sheep reacted the way they did with him.  Someone made the erroneous remark that sheep were stupid.  I think they now know that sheep are pretty darn clever in many ways.  So we dispelled that myth!

Patricia was outstanding as a commentator on the mike.  There were lots of questions.  One i kept hearing all was, "How long does it take to train a dog to this level?"  And, while were were doing field work, Old Jet and Old Patch were behind the gate with the audience entertaining them and their wee ones.  Both of these old dogs don't mind having their ears pulled and their rumps pounded on by the little ones :0)  The little ones move too quickly for me to allow Champ and Yoko around them.
When it was Champ's turn to do the loading and unloading of the trailer, I put him on leash and asked the kids to step back.  He was only interested in one thing, WORK.

And, work he did.  Several times I cringed for the safety of his toes and back, but I let him handle the situations as he felt they need to be handled. Thankfully, he is a "thinker."  He over thinks on the trial field.  He is much happier with me more out of the picture to allow him to do what he does best.  Some of my favorite traits this dog inherited is his ability to go nose to nose with most any sheep.  He gives them the opportunity to make the right decision.  He has a lovely on the ground heel bite and the perfectly placed nose bite.  All in the genes.  I rarely have to ask him for anything other than a quiet, shhh, shhh, giving him the okay to take care of business how he deems fit.  I love his mother's ranch work.  I bred him to Buzz, because I loved Buzz's sire, Hap.  I am really please with how Champ is turning out.

The loading and unloading wasn't all smooth sailing.  Occasionally I'd get dumb and dumber going through the chute first.  They would crowd each other getting stuck or the lead lamb didn't want to move because of the people on the fence were staring at her.  Champ would then go to the outside front of the chute moving them back out in the open and run them in a different order up the narrow chute.  The small trailer was open at the top.  Adults could look in over the top.  When Champ would get the lambs loaded, he would stand at the small opening in the trailer.  He would take his direct eye off the lambs to let them relax a bit.  He can stand nose to nose this way without disturbing the lambs.  He will wait for a command from me to squeeze through and bring them out.  And, squeeze through he needed to do.  He does it quietly and methodically.  Champ is worth his weight in gold.

The dogs tired as the day went on and so did the sheep.  They wanted to lie down and graze in the afternoon.  I think we all felt the same way!  Bonnie had to leave early.  I picked up lunch for all 3 of us.  I gave Bonnie her lunch to eat on the road.  Come about 2 PM, Patricia and I told the audience, "Just give us 10 minutes to gobble down a sandwich."  We hadn't had time to even have a drink of water.

When we arrived early in the morning, I asked Jet if he would like to come out of the truck.  I was met with a grumpy oomph and he turned his head away.  That means, "No," I'd rather stay in the truck and nap.  Later in the day knowing he would have to pee and poop at sometime, he decided to come down the ramp out for a visit.  When he saw that there was an audience he eyes lit up.  I gave him his lunchbox and away he went.  A little later after he watched a few demos, he went out with his lunchbox and did a little sheep work.  Way to go Mr. Showman.  It ain't over till it's over.  He just needed an audience to get his juices running!

Hopefully, by next year's farm day I will have a group of geese to work for the audience.  The more variety, the more they liked it.  They liked the course work, and Yoko's few tricks and the weave poles.  Lots oohs and ahhs for the weaves.  Plus, they liked the loading and unloading work done by Champ.  When things didn't go quite as planned, Patricia was great as the commentator.
End of day, end of the show, the sheep needed to all pile into the barn for shearing.  It was a small area and Patricia knew they would not want to go there.  They aren't put up in the barn at night.  They always roam free.  Champ had his work cut out for him.  But, actually, besides the 20 or so nose bites, he got er done fairly quickly.  i worried a little about his safety, but let him have at it.  It was very good experience for him.
We all came home.  I had a cold beer and a Motrin.  Then Yoko and Champ had their dinner and a Rimadyl.  Jet got half a tramadol.  All medicated up, we slept like logs :0)


Karen said...

A great day! the last sentence made me laugh:)

Prairie Stitcher said...

Thank you so much for that post! I still am not up on all you describe but am learning a little bit by bit. Such great dogs. I'm glad Jet is still with you. He's such a trooper.