Last night I arrived home from a weeks long adventure. Last weekend we had AKC World Team Tryouts Saturday and Sunday in Hopkins, Minnesota. The excitement was such that on Sunday my stomach was in knots all day just watching the teams compete for a spot on the TEAM! 6 Team members won their way onto the team, and 6 more will be picked this week. What stress, so many great dogs so few spots to fill. The quality of the dogs gets better every year which makes the final choices that much more difficult, but the good news is we have the depth to take great teams to France this year, and many chances for medals.
On Monday afternoon I flew to Atlanta to meet my friends Maureen Robinson & Laura Miller and was whisked away from the airport at 5 PM to the 55th floor of a law office to watch the 6 PM banding of an urban clutch of 4 falcon chicks whose families have made their nest on the top of this beautiful downtown Atlanta office building for many years. How in the world did I end up there? Maureen and Laura are great friends, Laura has a penthouse office in the building, and Maureen is a professional photographer. I just got real lucky! The Georgia Wildlife guys were there to do the banding, I took upside down videos with my new ipad2, (banding peregrines, an Ipad2 video by ME) and we all had a great time watching all the excitement. On Tuesday Maureen and I headed for her beautiful mountain farm in North Carolina, and by Wednesday I was spending my time watching Maureen practice LONG outruns in preparation for the Blue Grass Sheep Dog Trial this week. (Maureen at Otie’s Knob, a video taken on my new Ipad2)
Wow! A month ago I was teaching in Hawaii and getting stung by man of war jelly fish on Kailua Beach, yeah that’s the beach our president takes his holidays:) I love my life. This evening was spent as many are here on the ranch. I took the dogs for a hike around the property and even though I have lived here since 1976, I never get tired of my fields and hanging with the dogs on a spring evening in the hills. This evening we had lots of nature moments. A killdeer tried to tease us with her broken wing act the entire time I was in one of the fields, yeah yeah, I see you mama kill deer, and I am not going close to the hedgerow by your nest, but keep up the performance, it is very entertaining! Then the dogs and I wandered down the front drive and scared up a big doe that sauntered off when I called the dogs back.
It looked like a full moon out there peeking behind the clouds, even though it was hardly dark and the hawks were still doing their helicopter act hanging over the edges of our cliffs looking for a bedtime snack I guess. Dead quiet out there other than the chirping birds getting ready to head off to bed. I let Scoop come for a walk with us, even though he still is bothered by something in his nose or throat or I don’t know what. He is now on antibiotics 3 times a day to see if there is some kind of infection which is causing the sneezing and hacking. If he is not perfect by Monday, (this afternoon) on Tuesday he goes back to see Dr. Helen our internist, for another scoping. Poor Scoop, poor me! Once again I am home and have time to train him and can’t. BOOGERS.
Riot and Wicked complained bitterly when I left them at the house tonight and just walked Scoop, Ace and Panic. I had already taken them for a trundle around the yard earlier today and thought they were happily resting. Not so. They busted out of the gate when the boys went in, (deaf and almost blind 14+ and 16 year old dogs are allowed these naughty priveleges) and they were rewarded for the effort by getting another short play out in the big yard. Since both of these girls have life threatening illnesses, they sort of get to call the shots, and when they want to tug and run and play they get to do so. So, my evening plans got slightly delayed but I wouldn’t have traded the opportunity for anything. It’s dark here now, the dogs are quiet, Jim is at a soccer game and I might just get off this computer and read a book.
I hope you had as lovely an evening with your pack of dogs as I had with mine.