Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Northeast United States Sheepdog Trials and Rowena's 2nd Birthday

The Blue Hill Fair in Blue Hill, Maine USA was held this long Labor Day weekend and the highlight (at least for us) was this year's Sheepdog trials. This year, the fair celebrated 50 years of holding the trials. It was wonderful to be able to take part and watch the dogs do their stuff! Of course I absolutely LOVE Border Collies, and I have a dream of owning a few sheep of my own someday like my grandmother had. I watched the trials today and I would really love to be able to learn how to do that with my dog. Maybe not Rosie, but a future dog.
Sure I got a brief "Old Shepherd's" lecture when I mentioned that I had wanted a blue merle border collie when I found Rowena. The shepherd said that a person shouldn't breed for color, but for it's working ability. And I wonder why one could not breed for both. And then I think how I needed a dog to do a different kind of work for me... not to herd sheep... and I wonder if I could have handled a dog more seriously bred for herding ability. Some shepherds believe that the color of a dog's fur, their eyes or even whether their ears stand erect or not do make a difference in their ability to herd and control sheep. I think it matters more to the human than the sheep personally. The truth is, when I found Rowena, I was actually very happy to be getting a traditional black and white patterned border collie puppy. Her 2 brothers had patterns that were a bit different than typical, but Rosie's glowing and outgoing personality was a major plus as well. That being said, Today we also celebrated Rowena's second birthday! To think after year one I was praising God up above that she made it through pretty much in one piece. Year two went smoothly compared to the first year. The Veterinarian is a little less familiar with Rowena this year though she still knows her well enough to understand what is going on with her when I do need to call. Year two has been full of training and new experiences and further proof that my dog is awesome indeed!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Rowena's Achievements: A "Dog Show" Photos by Sally Bates, Business & Economic Development Officer

*Please click on the above photos to get a larger view*

With the Dog Days of Summer hitting Bangor for a second year, this year's festivities brought the usual sales to downtown stores and free drinking water for all the dogs. The Dog Days celebration also brought more booths from area business owners advertising their services for dog training, dog rescues and dog supplies just to name a few. Lumiere's Photography offered to take a photo of individuals with their dog for $10 and I jumped at the opportunity to have a pro take our picture (black & white!)... we bought 2 copies. There was a more organized formation of events this year made visible and more dogs abounded (while leashed of course). What attracted me to attend the event this year is the Doggy Fashion Show. Even though I was not home to prepare as I would like to have and couldn't find Rosie's costume, I stayed up very late the night before sewing a new sheep costume for my dear Rowena to wear. She would not be alone in her suffering either. In turn for her sheepdog humility, I would sport a kilt with Irish knit sweater and a genuine shepherd's crook (my grandmother had used for her few sheep), and my knee high Wellington-style boots. I would also finish off by wearing a wool cap a top my head and the 2 of us would equal in head to toe coverage. So the day came bright and sunny and quite warm I must add. I was torn between my training consultant's booth and the catwalk, but I wasn't too late getting up there to walk my little Rosie lamb on a rope. At the end, I missed some of the other dogs because some individuals took our pic and then I wanted to get Rosie (and myself) out of those hot clothes as soon as possible! We aren't in the cool highlands anymore Ro-Ro! My camera was broken and so was my consultant's. Fortunately, Sally Bates who was one of the judges got some photos and sent them to me so that I could share them with the rest of you and keep as a momento for myself for years to come!