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About TotallyTerry

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  • Birthday 08/13/1947
  1. Mark, Actually if you get a good field and good fresh sheep, you won't be able to keep the best competition away.......unless they are not eligible to enter. You and I both agree that more high caliber trials with fresh sheep are desperately needed. Terry
  2. Debbie, I think that the top dogs that do have a chance of winning generally are taken by their handlers to the finals each year. There is a huge difference between a dog that is simply qualified to go to the finals and a dog that has the capability of winning the finals. Unless they are stable blind, the handler usually knows realistically the chance his dog has of winning the finals or at least making the top 17. I think because of the recession and high gas prices, many of these qualified handlers going to just participate will be the ones that won't travel the distance to the finals because of the expense this year. It won't be worth the expense for them to participate. If you really think you have a winner and want to prove it, you will find a way and make the sacrifice to go. It is a really easy brag to say that my dog was good enough to win but I decided not to go because of the cost. No one can disprove your brag BUT your dog has not proven he was that good either. That is my theory which has no data to back it. Guess that just makes it my opinion. This year is probably the only year that you will not see as many of North America's best dogs at the Finals. Sadly the World Trial has the same date. Alasdair MacRae's and Tommy Wilson's dogs considered many based on their track record to be the odds on favorites to win at the Finals, will be at the World Trial. Happily, IMHO they have the capability to become World Champions. Regarding the Regionals, I don't know how you can consider them ever to be a Finals caliber trial when only Regional dogs and handlers can enter so the competition is not as strong. Hopefully, regionals pro-ponents are not promoting Regional trials for their own personal purposes to eliminate competition. The USBCHA allows no points for a Regional Trial. It is an invitational trial and eliminates certain competitors. A sucessful invitational trial is Soldier Hollow. Even though you get no points, the payback is great. It draws the crowds and the handlers because only the best are invited each year from the entire North American continent. Call me silly but I would always consider it more of a Finals caliber trial where MacRaes, Wilsons, Fogts, Lambert, Ladd, Glenns, Miliken, Knoxs, Henrys , Holland, etc. and any good up and coming new handler/dogs are able to participate and do particpate versus a Regional Trial where probably 80% or more of them would be ineligible to compete. Could it be that the success of Kingston, Bluegrass, Edgeworth and Meeker is because they are open and draw from all of North America. Which would really show the caliber of your handling and your dogs talent, to place in the middle of a pack of the aforementioned caliber or to win a Regional by eliminating these outside competitors? Julie, you may think that I am being negative because I state why change won't work. I am not against change but against change only for the sake of change , or change largely to benefit the person proposing the change. Brainstorming is a grand idea but a concrete plan needs to come from it. Then there is the adage, "If it aint broke, it doesn't need fixing." Then again, if one plays the devil's advocate, it makes people come up with reasons why something can work or ways to make their ideas workable. I really admire your unemployed friend. Life is about choices. He made a choice to devote all his time to making his dogs better. Not many have the courage or are willing to make the sacrifice to do that.....but then that becomes the choice we made. Why do you need Regionals to reduce the number of dogs eligible to compete to 100 at the Finals? Why not take only the top 150 dogs, and not replace any of these 150 dogs that did elect NOT to attend with lower placing dogs? Or simply just take 100 dogs? (I am not sure I would favor either method but it would be easy to do) Has anyone ever did a financial projection to see if limiting the number of dogs to 100 from 150 really would save that much money?
  3. Geri, My speed reading leaves much to be desired. I didn't see your explanation of what would happen if a region couldn't or didn't have a Regional. Thanks for the explanation. If out of region dogs/handlers qualify for your Regionals in your region's trials, can they run in it? What if I bought a dog that qualified for your Regionals? Could I run him in it? Mark, Sorry for mangling your name. Not only can I not download spellcheck but apparently don't proof well. Leave it to me to screw up a four letter name. These type of posting problems are why I post so infrequently.....besides, lack of time. This week, I am house bound with pnemonia and am bored silly.
  4. Mard. Thanks for the information about flocks of more than 200 per state. Of the 28 flocks in Michigan with more than 200 head, because of extensive past involvement in the sheep industry, I know at least 20 of them. I can tell you that only one of the owners of these flocks would be the slightest bit interested in renting sheep to a Regionals. Bio-security would be a large concern of these owners, keeping the sheep unstressed at breeding time with hauling, etc. and the list goes on. I guess what I am saying is that even in the few flocks of over 200 head, you would be hard pressed to get any flock owner interested in providing sheep even for considerable $$$$ to the Regionals from Michigan. The BlueGrass for years has had to rent lambs from Texas so each first run gets fresh sheep. I stepped down as the Treasurer a few years ago, at that time the cost for the 500 sheep was $12,000 which did not include sheep for the small field for the first two days! You can bet the price has only increased! You can't just say 250 sheep would be half that price. A trailer holds 500 sheep. A trailer carrying 250 sheep can't travel for 1/2 the price of gas! You will also need someone to "volunteer" to sit with the sheep and feed them for about a week prior to the trial. You can't have sheep stressed from a long haul and expect them to run in a trial right off the trailer. Not only will you be losing lots of sheep which will cost your more dollars if you are renting but sick , tired and sometimes dying sheep in a trial do not make a favorable impression on spectators and handlers. Someone posted that we don't need to get into the logistics but without knowing some of them how can anyone endorse a Regionals as National Finals Qualifiers? Some quick questions that come to my mind: 1. How do dogs qualify for the Regionals? Will it take the same qualifications for each region? 2. If someone buys a dog qualified for a Regional but the new owner is not from that region, which Regional should (or could) the dog be run in? 3. How involved will the USBCHA Board members be in each Regional? Don't they have to approve the Finals field? Will they have to accept and approve bids for each region for uniformity and approve each Regional Field? Do they want that responsibility? 4. What happens if no group in the Region will host a trial, are all dogs in that region automatically eliminated from the Finals? 5. Which month will all of these Regionals be held? Assuming that it is July or August, it could be too hot to run a big field /double lift trial in many regions and probably impossible in the southern regions. (This may make it even harder to find flock owners to supply sheep) 6. How will Regions be apportioned? Will a region be bigger than a district? Who decides? It has been stated that any of the existing big trials in the East, Midwest and Canada could become Regional Trials. Has anyone bothered to ask the groups hosting these trials if they wanted to be a Regional Trial? I am sure that you will find out that they have no desire to do it. They take pride in their trials and pride in the fact that Big Hats and Little Hats from all over North America come to compete in these trials. Maybe my initial post did not make it clear, but I am pro-Regional just not pro Regional as qualifiers for the Finals. For everyone pro-Regionals, start up one in your area. See if it takes off. The good thing about it is if you start it now, you can make up your own Regional qualifications, etc. For the defunct Midwest Regionals, Lyle and I had a benefit trial and raised $1000 as start up money for it for its first year.(We were the biggest financial contributors.) Marilyn Terpstra and I were officers of the Michigan Border Collie Assoc. at the time and the club purchased lots of big fancy ribbons for the trial. Kathy and Jack Knox provided the sheep at no cost and lots of P.R. and hard work. Still the Regional never took off (and at a time when other trials had draw outs. ) This Regional ceased to exist when no person or group apparently was willing to put the time into it. So yes, it does make me skeptical as having Regionals as qualifiers. I would love to hear anyone's opinion as to why they believe that Regionals are a fairer way to qualify through out North American than the point system and would get better dogs to the finals. I would gladly listen. Keeping an open mind is not as difficult for me as keeping my opinions to myself! Why isn't the consistency of a dog over a year's time a better indicator than a two day Regional Trial?
  5. For all the people that proposed revisiting the regionals, I wonder how many have really weighed the problems that regionals versus points would incur with sheep, labor , time and money? 1. One of the major hurdles in putting on the Finals is locating a decent , uniform and large flock of sheep. Even assuming that you have 5 Regionals and the Finals, you will need to find 6 large flocks of sheep versus 1. 2. The cost of putting on a regional will be between $20,000 to $30,000 in excess of entries. Sheep will cost between $10,000 and $15.000 easily. Judges, spotters. insurance. sheep feed easily add another $10,000. (If you think that these fees are excessive, check the expenses of the big trials. ) Since this is a Regional, it would be unfair to rerun sheep in each trial. You will probably be paying more for judges and spotters. Where anyone would get the idea that there would be extra money to help send Regionals finalists to the finals is beyond my comprehension ! You will need to be raising extra money. (May be a little hard to do in a recession!) Raising money takes time. Ask the Bluegrass group how many benefit trials they have to have during the course of a year and they have some subtancial sponsors. 3. The labor and time factor would be considerable. How many of the handlers after taking off 4-5 days for the Regionals will be able to take off another 4-5 days for the Finals? 4. With gas being so expensive, let's penalize our best dog handler/teams and make them pay more. Not only will they have to get to the Regionals but they can pay again for the Finals trip. 5. How will Regionals effect bidding on the Finals? Will the people in each state want to bid on the Finals after helping out with the Regionals? It would be nice to have more Finals bids and not fewer to chose from. 6. What happens if no one in your region will put on a Regional Trial? You have a great dog, won big trials and really want to go to the Finals? Tough luck? 7. Are Regionals fair to the districts that have the brunt of the good handlers? I once tabulated 4 years of the top 17 Finalists. 75% of them came from one district. Now Ralph Pulfer has passed away and Alasdaiar has moved away but it still has a bunch. The 12th best dog in a district could be better than best dog in another district. 8. Finally, I am assuming (bad thing to do), that there will be two runs at the Regionals. What if you or your dog are sick or lame, etc. You can no longer go the Finals. The nice thing about points is that you can earn them at your convienence. (It is not a trailer race, it takes only points from 5 trials.) A good placing at one large trial, will earn you enough points to qualify for most the finals. Please accept my apology for the length of this post. Go ahead boil me in oil. I understand that the Western States have a great Regionals and I salute them. In the Midwest, there was a Regional comprised of 2 districts. It died after a few years because no one want to put it on and not many ever entered. P.S. I can't activate my spell check. Spelling has never been my forte.
  6. Like Robin, I had a young dog that was leery of spotters initially. Used quiet people as panels and worked him in figure eights around them. On the opposite side of the coin, I was always "fortunate" because the two female handlers that I worked with were well known and excellent spotters. Sheep were always set perfect. They and their dog were in a perfect place. Went to a trial and met up with a stick swinging spotter screaming at their dogs to lie down... that stood in front of the sheep! Freaked my dogs out a bit. The next month, a couple of great spotters acted like idiots to desensitize my young dogs to whatever kind of spotter that they drew.
  7. I am confused. If your dog is ready to trial, why do you need a round pen for her? At what level is the handler trialing your dog? Please fill in the empty space between my ears.
  8. Marilyn's question was a most logical question. I don't want to get into a raw versus kibble debate, but feeding the kibble (gruel as Elizabeth does) would be the easiest and best solution for RDM, the puppies and the new owners. Pups have thrived on this method for numerous years. If RDM planned on keeping all the pups, then since she prefers raw, she should feed raw.
  9. Hey A., I see that you have generated a lot of interest in the Florida trials. Must be your magnetic personality. Wendy, I am interested in the fields also. The last time was when A. and I went. You were there too. I haven't seen you in a long time. Since I am now officially going to winter 47 sheep through, I better see more of you This winter. (I may be pretty popular as none of mine will be bred and all workable) Getting off the subject, old Merc did a great job of rounding up all my sheep this morning which were all over the road, the corn fields and the neighbor's yard . Maybe I should lay off a couple of more Lunkheads for a year to tune them up! Wouldn't you know, I spend a fortune putting in perimeter fence and my sheep are knocking my new lighter gate off the hindges and getting out. Sheep may be stupid but they are smarter than I am. Terry
  10. It seems that both of you are getting very reasonable lessons. Lessons range in cost dramatically. The low end is approxiately $35 per 1/2 hour to about $80 per half hour for the best trainers. The average clinic cost per day would be in the $75 to $100 range, again dependent on the clinician. I think the first place that you would check for farm work, gardening , washing dogs, cleaning house, cleaning kennels, etc. would be at you current trainers. He/she knows you and would be more prone to trade lessons with you for your work, You should negotiate the value of your work prior to taking on the task; it may protect your relationship/friendship if there are no surprises for either party. Without sheep, of course, it will take you longer to train your dog. Trialing can be very costly and time consuming. The entry fees, motel bills/ RV bills and the soaring cost of gas make the price of of a 3 minute novice run ( generally without payback) a very expensive way to train your dog on sheep I should also have mentioned that trialing can be very addictive and do I know many many addicts! Terry
  11. Excuse my ignorance but I have no idea what IBD is. I do know a lot about prednisone and I have to agree with Bill 100%. Any animal or human has to be weaned off gradually. You may not like the vet, but I would listen to him until you find another. He was complying with your request to take the dog off prednisone but doing it gradually as it needs to be done.
  12. There is a line in your post that troubles me, "grabbing grass when she layed down". This is generally a sign of a dog that is too stressed out. Without seeing the situation, the dog could be stressing out from putting too much pressure on her or being confused as to what you want from her. This is her way of relieving stress. Does she do this often when she downs and when you are working her?
  13. Melanie, I too did the long walk of shame this week-end so your post did make me feel better because misery does love company. Like you, I never had worried about outruns with my young dog, he just did them. (Famous last words). Although he does have a look back and redirect, never had to used them. Now I can say that I never used them sucessfully! I was told by two friends a couple of things that helped: Marilyn told me that I had not totally ruined my dog for life. (I tend to be overly dramatic) Lyle told me that I was not the only handler that ever left the field and went and cried and would definitely not be the last. That's trialing! Does anyone with hills and a small woods in their field within a 250 mile radius of mid Michigan have that field to rent? No, A. I don't mind you telling any of my embarrassing stories. I only have one correction. I did know Boss's recall. It was whip-per-will. I just told the judge that I couldn't blow it. Thankfully, he could! Kathy F., Your friends advice about not getting a step ahead of where you are is excellent. Being a self proclaimed penning goddess, it sure would be wonderful if I could get to the pen more often! To end this post on a positive note, No Stop Tweed, an outrunning fool, started to cross. His redirect hadn't been used in years and as the name implies, stopping is not his forte. He did a most beautiful re-direct! Surprised the hell out of me. It was also the only thing wonderful about the run. Terry
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