The last time a major sheepdog trial was held in my area was back in 2009. I was privileged to attend the competition, and am thrilled it has returned to my southern Oregon area this autumn.
This exciting event has previously been held in the Klamath Falls
area in 1997, 2001, 2006 and 2009. This is the ‘Olympics’ of sheepdog
trialing where you will see the best of the best dogs and handlers from
across North America compete for the coveted title of National Champion.
The top 150 dogs from all across North America will compete over 6
days to select the best dog in North America. In addition, the top
Nursery dogs (dogs under 3 years of age) will be competing on an
adjacent field for the title of Nursery Champion.
Visit the 2012 National Sheepdog Finals website for more information, and, if you want to watch these dogs in action but can’t make it to Klamath Falls next week, a live webcast of Sunday, the 30th’s Champion Double Lift competition will be streaming at the website.
Don’t have a clue what a Double Lift is? Find out Sunday the 30th. These dogs are a wonder to watch. Not just herding the sheep, interacting with their handler through a series of whistles and voice commands, often far far away down the field from each other. Just watching a dog and its handler walking through the crowd, seeing how attentive the dog was to every little facial twitch (or so it seemed) of its master, was a memorable experience. I’ve seen these dogs walking backwards beside their handlers to keep them in view at all times. I’d never seen anything like it from a dog, and haven’t since. Ready to fly into action, that’s a Border Collie.
I look forward to introducing you to a Border Collie who holds a special place in my heart, and who stands in for the collie I wish I could call my own–but I know better; these dogs need work to do, not a house to lay around in while I type away at my desk.
The collie I’m referring to answers to the name of Cap. He lives in the pages of my debut novel, Willa, set to release next year. I can’t wait for you to meet him!
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