Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Catching Up

The month between Valentine’s and the Texas Herding Association spring trial went quickly.  We spent time at the farm enjoying the once-again well-watered pastures.  After a very wet November and December, late December, January and February gave us lovely, warm temperatures, but very little moisture.  However, March has been another story.  By the first week in March, 2.5 inches had fallen, followed the next week by another 4.5.  The stock tanks are brim-full and the creek is rushing once again.  

The pastures are awash in many places and our coastal Bermuda field has standing water behind the terraces.  Rue is ecstatic, and takes every opportunity to play in the standing water.

We also had a great time with family.  On the weekend of the 5th, Brian and Debi came up to help with the ongoing cedar eradication project.  John was not quite back to 100% following his surgery, so Brian put in some skid steer time while John took it easy. 

Then, as the dogs stood by on mouse patrol, we burned brush piles.

Afterward, we were joined by my brother and his wife, Niece Erin and her family and Cousin Kathy, along with their various four-legged companions.  While we enjoyed chilled beverages, the dogs relished their bones.

And Noah and Rachel tried out their new iPods.  

It was a great weekend.

On March 12 and 13, the Texas Herding Association, of which I am a member, held its AKC herding trial at Destiny Farm near Bertram.  Rue and I competed in the “Started” class and she placed second in each of her runs.  That meant she finally earned the last qualifying run she needed for her AKC Started B Course Sheep title.  She was more impressed with the toys she earned for each qualifying run, as was Kota, who loves to dismember them.  Rue will still run in the novice class in some other venues, but we will begin working on our skills to complete at the intermediate level in our next AKC trial.  For her, it's all about the sheep.

A number of the dogs competing were, like Rue, border collies.  However, there are a number of other herding breeds and several of them were also present for our trial.  Below are a bearded collie, miniature Australian shepherd, Pembroke Welsh corgi and TAustralian shepherd.  They posed for a group portrait before taking their herding instinct tests to see if they have the proper level of interest and instinct to participate in this sport.

And here are a couple of the dogs proving they have a lot of interest and instinct!

And here are a number of our friends and their dogs who were competing in the various levels on the AKC A Course Sheep. 

And at the end of the day, they all had fun playing chase in the pasture.  What more could a dog want!

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