Category Archives: Dogs

Trailing of the Sheep

DSC_3952-Edit This year Trudy and I again set sheep for the Trailing of the Sheep trial held in Hailey Idaho. This is fast becoming a trial we look forward to every year. As we pulled in this year we both suffered the pains of regret for not getting our entries in to also compete in the trial. This trial runs just one class, USBCHA open. Being run in conjunction with the Trailing of the Sheep festival; this is a must attend if you enjoy sheepdog trails and festivals even if you do not have a dog ready to run in open. DSC_3974-Edit It is often hard to set and compete and do a good job at both when you are limited on dogs so I made the decision to just set this year. Chuck and Vaider did not disappoint, both did fantastic for me; and I’m sure Trudy was happy with her dogs work (if not she should be).

This year we had an added obstacle course to navigate with each set, two sets of wheel lines about half way between the set out point and the set out pens. The following photos show Trudy navigating  the obstacles. The one set of wheel lines were too tall to straddle and the other was too low to go under; so the pattern was under the first over the second then reversed on the  way back for the next set.

First went the sheep…DSC_4161 DSC_4166 The dog would hold up the sheep while the handler ducked under the first wheel line…DSC_4167 DSC_4168 DSC_4169 DSC_4170 DSC_4171 DSC_4172 With the dog still holding the sheep the handler next stepped over the next wheel line…DSC_4173 DSC_4174 DSC_4175 DSC_4176 DSC_4177 DSC_4178 Then the handler and dog would proceed to take the sheep to the set out point.DSC_4179 DSC_4180At the end of the weekend I was reminded of muscles I had forgotten while Trudy was still raring to go and felt her dogs needed another walk…DSC_4218Looking forward to next year.

World Stockdog Championship 2016… Calgary Stampede

Well, another year has gone by and I have competed in another, the 2016,  World Stockdog Championship at the Calgary Stampede. How did we do…. average. Yes, three years at this trial and we have yet to get out of the average run category…  yet, somehow,  it is one of my favorite trials of the year.

Chuck at Calgary Stampede
Chuck at Calgary Stampede

I entered two dogs this year, both Australian Kelpies. My older main dog, Kuawarris VV Aider (Vaider) and,  my 3 year old, Watkinsons Chuck Cheemo (Chuck). Vaider has run at the Calgary Stampede  the last 3 years. This was Chucks first year. I expected the sheep to like Chuck and for Vaider to hold them a little too tightly; I was wrong. This year the sheep at the World Stockdog Championships, liked Vaider and were a little wary of Chuck.

These two dogs work differently. Vaider, holds stock together and wants to control their every move. Chuck is a little more loose in his style; allowing for the stock to move a little more freely. Vaider has a calming effect on sheep while Chuck seems to help cattle relax. They are expected to work both cattle and sheep and have learned to deal with the stock presented.

World Stockdog Championship, Calgary Stampede 2016
Chuck, happy after a run at Calgary Stampede World Stockdog Championship 2016

I am happy to be able to partner up with both of these dogs. They teach me things each day ( sometimes it is teaching me my weaknesses). Someday I hope to be the handler they deserve.

I did not make it into the finals again this year but, George Walker with his Kelpie, Gus, did. Congratulations to George and all the other competitors, that made it to the finals. Congratulations to all the competitors for: being there, being great ambassadors of our sport and, for being models of sportsmanship. Thank You to the Calgary Stampede for hosting the World Stockdog Championships.

Win, Lose, or Draw; see you all next year at The Calgary Stamped, World Stockdog Championships… 2017

*photo credit: Keith Viklund

Change Ourselves

I was inspired by a quote on facebook about the things people will change to work with their horses. In the end, the quote comes about to state they forget to change themselves. I wish I could find the quote so I could give it here but you get the idea.

I wanted to set up a photo shoot to portray my twist of the thought with dogs. I still want to so that shoot, I just have not figured out how to show it in a single photo yet. While working on some photo post processing I decided to try a composite. Here is the draft of what I came up with.


We are changed by the interaction we have with people and animals all the time. Sometimes we have to change to make those interactions better and more meaningful. When the lives we choose to interact with make us angry, frustrated, bitter, etc., it is time for us to change, not  be changed.

Sometimes changing the first two parts of this (the trainer or the dog) is part of changing ourselves; more often, it is an excuse to not change.

When we are changed by the lives in our life we are allowing ourselves to be changed. When we are BETTER for the lives in our life we had to change ourselves.



Diamond Hill Australian Shepherd Puppy Photo Shoot

I got to spend the other morning with Diamond Hill Australian Shepherds photographing their latest litter of pups. Hope you enjoy some of the shots.

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Photo Shoot with Turlach

Had a few fun photo shoots with Turlach on both sheep and cattle.

Brigands Hideout AHBA Stockdog trial 3/20/16

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Brigands Hideout AHBA Stockdog trial 3/19/16

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Kuawarri V V Aider

DSC_0010Vaider loves life. He has to be the happiest dog I have ever had. When we are out he wants to be with me but he does not want to sit and relax; if we are together he wants to be doing something. If a dog could be the Energizer Bunny, Vaider would be the only choice.

Vaider loves to work. He will work as long as there is work to do. I have been amazed at the effort he puts into his work at the beginning of the day as well as at the end. When I am done he is asking what next. In my horses and my dogs I want ones that give all they have even when tired (I hate it when they hold effort back), Vaider does not hold anything back. I have been in situations that all the dogs with us are wore out and we still have work to do; Vaider is still there with me giving his all (often the last dog standing).

He is referred to as the perfect child. Vaider does not like to be wrong. He is always trying to please. He is so this way that even as a pup he never offered to get carried away with the livestock…. always the perfect child. He takes the perfect child image to the extreme when he will jump a fence if asked but put him behind one and he waits to be let out or called out.

His example makes me try to be happier with my life (I mean he lives with me and he is still happy and I do not have it THAT bad ).

Vaider Herding
Vaider Herding

Watkinsons Chuck Cheemo

Chuck one year old
Chuck one year old

Watkinsons Chuck Cheemo.

I liked Chuck from the moment I saw him. I was looking at some pups but I thought he was not available. I told Trudy I wished he was an option since none of the others caught my attention like he did. When Karen told me he was an option I knew the pup I was taking home.

He is a very personable dog; liking to be with me no matter what I am doing.

Chuck has just turned two. I am looking forward to working and trialing him. He has some big expectations placed on him.

Chuck is fast becoming one of those dogs that impacts who you are.DSC_0434-Edit