I believe I have said this before. It bears repeating. This sport is teeming with new and interesting opportunities to completely humiliate yourself.
Through the modern miracle of video I am sharing our experience.
Today I felt like a complete asshat. Then after watching the videos - I realized I am not a major asshat, only a minor one. I also think Beth is pretty darn cool and she is doing a remarkable job for a dog with an asshat for a handler.
Definition of Asshat: From the slang expression having one's head up one's ass, thus, wearing the ass as a hat. The term is extended to people who are clueless or bumbling, who don't understand what is going on.
I can see very clearly that I am screwing Beth up (we already knew that huh?). My timing is off and I am not communicating enough with her. She is running around so fast she is leaving my dim witted brain behind in the dust.
I need to have brakes installed on her - it would be nice to have a handy dandy remote control - ZAP - poof she stops! Think of the potential! Then my brain would have a chance to catch up - and I could once again remember which direction "AWAY" was.
Below is our first time to the post running Novice at the Rocky Ewe Trial in Yelm, WA today. We retired because we lost the sheep. More accurately - the sheep were running like hell as far away from us as sheepily possible. We had no point deductions on the outrun or lift. Three point deduction on the fetch due to the fast pace - we obviously got nothing on the pen and retired because we lost the sheep down the exhaust. Beth did follow them down the exhaust and tried like heck to get them back to me - but realized she was out of touch and came back. I was so happy to see her smiling face running back to her asshat (my new favorite word) handler.
Our second novice run the sky opened in a torrential downpour accompanied by thunder. Did I mention Beth is scared to death of thunder? Right before we went out on the field I was trying to keep her dry with my polar fleece vest.
When we were waiting our turn to the post she hid under the judges truck. Poor baby - she did not want to go out on the field. While standing at the post waiting for the sheep to settle at the set out - she looked up at me and I could see her calling me names. Asshat comes to mind.
When I sent her Beth went REALLY WIDE on the outrun. For a moment I thought she was going to run for the car. When she engaged again and rejoined planet earth she came in too tight on the top. The fetch wobbled & the pace was way to fast. We were able to get them settled before the pen, but I couldn't get Beth to lie down - she kept jumping up and was moving faster than my brain. We got three of the sheep into the pen, then Beth ran around the back and popped them out again. After several circles around I yelped "HELP" to the judge.
I am not sure why I quit. Why I yelped for help. I can replay it in my mind...and can't quite figure out why I quit instead of trying to get her settled and keep trying. I want to believe that I wanted to end it before it went too far south. Truthfully I think I started to panic...err, you know, freaking out.
The judge Diane Pagel responded to my cry for help and left the warm dry comfort of the truck and ran to the field and tried to help me get Beth under control and salvage the pen. It was too far gone at that point - Beth tried but the sheep were done and it was over.
Diane Pagel is a wonderful judge. She is very sympathetic and when the run goes badly she will take the time to help you transition from train wreck to training run & not just ask you to leave the field. I appreciated it tremendously. Thank you Diane! I am glad our first trial was with you!
I am so proud of Beth! This was a fantastic experience!