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

My photo
Sequim, Washington, United States

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mohawk Valley runs

I was fairly pleased with both Yoko's and Champ's runs.  I trust Champ completely, but Yoko makes me a bit nervous.  But, now I am over my ego of being embarrassed by her, I think we are moving on.  I think Jeanne said she is, "quirky."  I think that is a good adjective to use.  It's like people.  Mensa (high IQ) type people are usually a little OCD with quirky type personalities.  That's the class I would put Yoko in.  She is brilliant, but very quirky.  If a fly lands on her or if she even hears someone mention a fly, she almost has a seizure.  A stockdog that can't handle flies?  Oh my.  She is a "food-a-holic."  She will eat anything.  No way can we use anything toxic around here (not that I would want to) but you never know what Yoko will eat.  Many times she has heeled the sheep away from their set out pan of grain to gobble it down for herself (on her outrun, no less).  Now, she is having a little phobia about the top and lift.  I think she understands I don't want her to grip at the top if the sheep don't move immediately off of her.  But, she is worried.  She is 7 years old now.  I haven't seen her use her teeth of late.  But, I'm not sure what she was doing up at the top at the Mohawk Valley trial on day one.  I think she got to the lift and took a crap.  Now you laugh, but I don't think anyone could see that far.  She probably thought WTH, I'll give them some time to make their move.  Oh Yoko!  Day two, she was tentative at the top and they blew off into the trees to the left.  Instead of quickly balancing them to me, she followed them along the tree line.  I couldn't see her or them but after about 4 rather FAST away whistles she appeared with the sheep.  At least she didn't eye them up or bite them.  But, if I can get the top fixed, she would probably be in the money.  Sheep like her and she is listening to all of her whistles quite well now.  She is a brilliant farm dog.  At the pen, I don't have to give any flank commands.  I just use a low shhh shhh and let her decide what she needs to do.  She knows the job.  Same on the shed.  I expect my dogs to know where to put themselves as far as the pen and the shed are concerned.  Champ still needs some assist at the pen to stay off of them.  He's still too pushy.  Yoko had a moment on Fido's big field where she was queen for a day with a 94 out of 100.  It was a smoker run.  I know she has it in her.

So maybe this why I have a problem with some of the replies on the Novice and Beyond list when I mentioned Champ is a cheating SOB on his stops just like his mother.  I got all of this, "He doesn't understand his job" answers.  Sorry, NOT believing that for a minute.  He knows his job.  If I asked him to pick up a quarter off the sidewalk, he would know what I was asking.  Jet came with a stop on the dime.  Part of it is the dog, I'm pretty sure.  Yes, handling plays into it, too.  I'm not a tough handler.  Probably not tough enough.  Plus, I don't have livestock.  We only work in a 4 acre field a few times a week and he takes his stops quite fine there :0)  He would not take my down whistles 50% of the time or he cheated on them at Mohawk Valley.  He did take some "Take time" whistles though and he is not hard to handle.  He's a team player....just need a better stop.  Plus, he needs to square up his flanks on the fly.  I was very happy with his Saturday run.  He was first up and his score didn't reflect his nice run.  C'est la vie.  Sunday he had a bit of an easier time at the top.  I stopped him on Sat. at the top which I never should have done.  Sunday I let him pick them up how he thought was best.  He is a bit too mechanical at the top. He is pretty darn trustworthy to treat the sheep nicely.  He DQ'ed on Sunday in the shed ring after a respectable run.  He had a psychotic black face that wanted to go home.  He finally got pissed off and popped her one on the nose.  The judge and I both thought it was warranted.  He is very patient, and thankfully, he has his mother's moxey.  But, I should have known that his endorphins were running on high after the grip.  I juggled the sheep around in the shed ring so the psychotic one was with the group I didn't want.  I brought him in on the two white faced sheep.  But, I wasn't on my toes.  He shot in like a rocket and grabbed a Not-So-Nice grip as close to the head as he could get and hung on.  He deserved a thank-you.  It only made me laugh.  Hey, he is 3 yrs. old and I better sharpen up my handling skills!

Long ass drives, but necessary to get both of dogs out to the trials for experience.  I have heard some people complain about so and so trial has bad sheep, etc.  This is my take on it.  I expect my dogs to work anything in almost any type of condition.  I don't want perfect conditions.  The great thing about Mohawk Valley is that it was challenging.  We are always looking for a good time and when we can get into the winner's circle or with some placings, or even just get around nicely without any drama, hip hip hooray!  Onward and upward!

The fur kids having fun at Mohawk Valley


Karen said...

Always fun to read your take on it:)
How close to the trial field was the river? As in did any dogs say 'to heck with this heat' and make a run for the river?;-) Or handlers for that matter, ha ha!

gvmama said...

Karen, you can best believe I had some worries about Yoko. Saturday morning she went on her own without permission to the river (6 AM) The exhaust was next to the river, but luckily the field was fenced!