This past Saturday and Sunday Peekay and I competed in the AKC sanctioned North Georgia All Breed Herding Trial in Watkinsville, GA. I plan on doing a full article on my blog soon. Peekay failed to qualify on either day, and thus did not earn her Herding Intermediate title this weekend.
In my nine years of trialing my German Shepherds, I have never been more proud of my dog, than I am of Peekay's performance on Sunday. We drew an incredibly difficult set of sheep. When let out onto the arena, two of the sheep went straight to the grain pan at the set-out point. The other sheep, to be known hence forth as "A-hole" ran to the other side of the arena. Peekay and I waited at the other end of the field for over 1 minute as the set-out dog worked hard to get him with the others. For our entire run, A-hole was as rank as I ever have seen a sheep behave. Time-and-time again "A-hole" would break ranks and try to escape. Time-and-time again, Peekay gathered him up and brought him back. Peekay was relentless at inserting her will on that sheep. I am swelling up with emotion just recollecting it now.
But as I said, the full story will have to wait. This past Thursday I received a phone call from a reported from the Athen's Georgia newspaper, The Athens Banner-Herald. The report had learned about our trial from my blog, and wanted to know if it would be OK for him and a photographer to cover it. I recalled the paper had done a story years ago on Doyle, and I new he wouldn't mind. I also told him that the trial was open to the public, and admission was free.
What a great story they wrote! The story made the front page of this mornings addition!
Click here to read the story on the Athens Banner-Herald's website. I'm quoted a few times, and Peekay is referenced.
Make sure you also view the article's accompanying Photo/Audio Slideshow. It's terrific! They really captured the spirit and essence of our herding trial. Peekay and I made the cut and we're featured towards the end.
The man with the charming Georgia accent and wearing the cool chilly pepper shirt is Doyle Ivie, the owner of Woodsend Farm. Doyle and his girlfriend Claire Hamilton make it all possible. They certainly doesn't make any money herding. He tries to break even, but I'm sure that rarely happens. They are the salt of the earth, and I can't thank them enough for those Tuesday and Thursday nights they waited for Peekay and me to show up to practice. They make it all possible.
Speed is good, Staying is better!