Huntin' The Dogs

It's quite a different lifestyle to get up, do some stuff around the house, and then drive 10 minutes to a trial. Saturday's trial was hosted by Denis in the big field, and is a popular trial - handlers don't get many opportunities to challenge their dogs with that kind of a long outrun. People were coming and going, trying to juggle their schedules and all the things they needed to do before heading to the International in a couple of days. When one lives on an island, one lives by ferry and airline schedules.

Although they had been calling for poor weather all week, the conditions were ideal. Mary Lou finished 7th with Dyna on 93 points, just out of the placings by a point (it is always to 6 placings, no matter the number of competitors and there were a sizable number at the trial), and Craig and I placed 4th with a 94! Talk about tight competition!

Denis won the trial on 98 points, not much room for error around here. Man, these guys (it is almost entirely men) can turn panels!

At the end of the trial Mary Lou, Denis, his lovely wife Bridget and I raced to Dublin to watch the semi-finals of the greyhound racing, the winner of the race would take home €120,000! I think I'm in the wrong dog sport...

At the races...the size of the stadium was unbelievable!

We got home late and since we were all exhausted, hit the hay to prepare for another day of trialling.

Sunday's trial was overlooking Dublin, we had passed it en route to the races the night before. Lovely field with a beautiful stone church at the bottom. The sheep were quite touchy and not easily penned, as there were several flocks brought together for the trial.

It seemed by now everyone knew that Denis was hosting a couple of Canadian girls and that we were heading back to England the next day, how word travels! Craig had a very good go with a tricky ewe who wasn't mates with the others. Although he was on 86 points, it wasn't good enough on this day. Mary Lou and Dyna ran great, once again eliciting admiring comments from the handlers and spectators. Mary Lou and Dyna finished in a three way tie on 89 points and claimed the 6th place position.

Several people came up to congratulate Mary Lou, and all the women commented that it was nice to see women running well and in the placings. It was apparent that the sheepdoggers aren't used to catering to women at these trials. For example, when directed to the loo, it was in a cow field, missing a door, did not flush, had a beer can and some black water in the bowl, and was missing the seat...

We opted for a stinging nettle bush instead...

All in all, a successful tour of Ireland. Home to Denis' to pack and prepare for the next adventure...England!

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