Wild Ride!

As I write this it is almost 9:00 AM on Monday, I’m still in Georgia.

I left for Georgia at 1:30 AM Saturday AM. I considered leaving Friday night, but given the weather forecast of severe thundershowers, I decided to leave Saturday morning. Given that Atlanta was hit with a tornado Friday evening (I had to drive close to Atlanta to get to where I was going) I’m glad I left Saturday AM.

As it was, when I got close to the trial grounds, I ran into a severe thundershower. It was so heavy, I lost the satellite signal on my GPS. I was on back country roads that were quickly flooding and of course it was still dark. Luckily I saw a sign for the arena and managed to get there.

You know those things that you do not realize how you lived without them once you have them? The GPS is one of them. They prices have come down considerably on GPS. I bought a Garmin Nuvi 200 and highly recommend it.

Once it got light and the rain stopped, I pitched my car tent (a Kelty car tarp, something I recommend as well) and settled in.

The first run of the day was on cattle. Oh, those cows, they looked like walking skeletons and some were obviously sick. It was a mix-match of all different breeds of cattle. I was told that the cattle were coming from a feed lot and were used to being moved daily by dogs and humans. Well, one of the cows in my group, a Guernsey bull calf, had issues with dogs. He kept running up over the top of Gel.

Gel is not the strongest dog in the world and he hasn’t had a lot of experience working cattle. Nor have I. We tried, he hit that cow several times, but it didn’t make a difference. I called the run. After that run, said calf (Butthead) was pulled from the trial. In hindsight, I should have asked for a re-run, but I didn’t know enough to.

The first sheep and duck runs went very well. Gel obtained an ATD leg on sheep and ducks with those runs.

I was keeping an eye on the sky because I knew more thunderstorms were scheduled for the day. It was getting darker and darker and the winds were picking up. I elected to take my car tent down and I’m glad I did. At about 1 PM (I guess, I have no idea what time it was) sirens started going off. We were under a tornado warning.

Most everyone went into the building on the trial grounds that housed a kitchen and restrooms. About seven of us decided to stay down under the arena cover with our dogs and the stock. I wasn’t going to put my dogs in my car with a tornado coming. I have never seen it rain so hard or the wind blow like it did. I found out this morning that the tornado was four miles from the trial site. Even Gel was scared. I’ve never seen Gel scared of anything before. The heavy rain and wind went on for about an hour which delayed the afternoon trial.

After the storm, the ducks were very skittish and difficult to work, but we obtained our second ATD leg in ducks. Then we went back to the cattle. I drew another Guernsey bull calf (Beavis). This time, we managed to get our group around the course, but not with a lot of stand downs between Gel and that Guernsey. Gel is great, he will stand nose to nose with a cow and not back down. What he needs to learn to do is if the cow doesn’t move off him, then bite the sucker on the nose! The Guernsey did turn off him and move on. Good for Gel. Beavis was pulled from the trial after that run.

Our sheep run was very good and we finished our ATD title in both sheep and ducks for that day.

We went HIT in both trials on sheep and HIT in ducks in the morning trial.

More later …