Update April 17th

It’s another nice spring day here in Eastern Washington . It’s a little cloudy off and on but still nice and warm. Today Vic and I have a house sitter to watch the clients and we take advantage of it. We went and looked at some tile work that needed done at my sons house so I could measure it out and tell him what to buy. Looks like I get to work at some of my old trade, and see if I’ve forgotten how to do manual labor. Even though I retired from the flooring trades I still enjoy doing some things for my friends and family. Steve took his mom and I to lunch and we were able to kick back a little and enjoy the moment.

Today Misty called and asks if she could go to Hopes house with me this evening? Well of course I told her. How did she know she could help hold stock for Tigr so she can get used lifting cattle off of people? Once we arrived at Hope’s I decided to change the whole course. I thought if I moved the panels over a ways and a little farther out to a high area I might be able to see them. I paced off 135 yards to the panels from the lift area. From there I paced off another 400 yards to the far fence line. From the handlers post to the lift area it’s a paced 535 yards.. The reason I keep saying paced is to let everyone know this isn’t an exact measurement. It could be 10 or 12 yards longer or shorter. Even so it still gives us a fairly close measurement to go by. I was wrong about seeing the panels by the way. When the sun is out I can’t see either much at all, but when a cloud comes over I can see one against the background of green and I’m pretty sure where the second one is at. The main thing is that the dogs are listening. So just being able to see the one panel gives me a reference point. I figure if I can make them come close to the side that I choose of that panel I’m going to be happy. So I will be asking the boys to be listening to my commands at 500 plus yards tonight. There are no winds to speak of. No coyotes watching the action tonight. Well not any I can see anyhow.

I doubt the fetch panels with be anywhere near 400 yards away at the finals. But I believe that if these dogs are listening to me at this long distance, that hearing me a few hundred yards even in the wind should come easier. I’m going to take these dogs close to their limits if there is such a thing. I’m not going to give a blow by blow account of the boys. Tonight they both were listening to me well enough to make me happy. I just can’t picture these dogs not making the final day of the championships. They are some really fine dogs and I’m lucky to be their handler.

Now Tigr is a little different, so I’m going to detail her first outrun, lift, fetch, and drive this fine evening. I’m up on higher ground looking down at the area where the stock is being set. I have Tigr set up to go on the bye side for her outrun. She is off like a little red rocket. She is gathering speed across this high dry land and splashed through the creek and zoomed over the levee. After the levee there is a short area of dry and she regains her speed till she hits the marsh pond.. This slows her down quite a lot being as she is running in water almost belly deep. As she pulls out of the pond she starts to go even wider gaining speed in the shallow water. There are about three or four creek like places where she knifes through deeper water, pulling out on dry land as she turns at the topside of the outrun and crosses back over the levee. She is finally finished running 535 yards later. She came in to the lift a little firmer than her normal style which really pleased me. She made a controlled, firm lift in a very difficult area and brought the cattle over the levee on a trot. As she was doing her outrun I move closer to the fetch panels 150 yards. This means the panels are only 250 yards away and I can see both panels clearly. Tigr is taking her flanks like a dream and the stock hits the fetch panel’s dead center. I give her a quicker walk up and she started hitting heels bringing the cattle at a faster clip. I flanked her away, away, away bringing her all the away around the cattle as they crossed over the levee towards me. Now I have her set up to drive and the panels are about 100 yards away. “Walk up” I genteelly whistle. She is driving as calm as an older dog might do. As the cattle neared the panels they tried to split but a few flanks had them walking between those panels. I’m standing there in awe of this run. I shouted “That’ll do” and she came rapidly flying towards me. I got down on my knees and hugged this muddy, sopping wet’ wonderful little red dog. To me she just won all of my heart and deserved every little pat she is receiving. I can’t even imagine what her owner’ Hope must be feeling after watching that performance. Wake up there boys this little girl is making you two look bad hehehe. All in all I was pleased with all the dogs tonight. I’m debating with myself whether to bring Tait and Kane tomorrow or not. The finals are really getting here fast!

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