Tucked high in the Eastern Mountains of Utah, Soldier Hollow, home of the cross country events during the 2002 Olympics, presented this years Sheepdog Championship and Festival.
I’m such a sucker for Dogs of any size and shape– definitely sheep dogs are ones that tug on my heart.
The event runs over about a 1.5 mile course, where the dogs have 16 minutes to herd 5 sheep down from the top of the mountain meadow to a small pen. The Team exists of a handler (human) and a sheepdog. This year there was 7 countries represented. It was almost poetic how this morning began. There was a quiet hush over the audience as they watched as the dog brought the sheep down. Creeping up on them, stopping quickly or yipping softly to follow his commands. If the handler wanted something a bit different they would whistle — and sure enough the dog would immediately respond.
My rear end was sore from me kicking myself all morning– I had not brought a telephoto lens.
See how Cali lay quietly in the crouched position managing her group?
A little bit closer look.
That person leaning against that pole was the whistling handler. The weather was perfect… (ok, so I was whining it was too hot but) I can’t imagine how it would’ve turned out had it been a windy or blustery day. I don’t know if the dogs would’ve heard their masters.
With balanced timing and motion the team brought the bleating sheep into the coral! Under 16 minutes. It really was breath taking.
I asked this gentleman if I could take a shot of his beautiful dog– he was more than willing and so proud. He told me the relationship they have is so close. They work hours all for one thing– the appreciation and love the master gives his dog. Look at the smile on this guy! Aren’t his eyes something else??
The center photo and this particular dog is obviously not the same– but the trial for all of them was the same.
There were pups herding ducks.
And then there was the Splash Dog Event! This was an old guy — who after watching several of the younger dogs, decided he would just watch and think on younger days when he flew like they did.
This little guy wore a Super man cape, the announcer said it really wasn’t a cape — just a “poop” bag tied to his collar. 🙂 I dunno, he looked like super man to me. 🙂
Look carefully at this wonderful guy– you see his master DIDN’T throw the toy for him, so he just sort of stopped mid way thinking– “oh no! did i forget something?” … and because the toy wasn’t tossed they let him go again!!
Now thats what I call focus!!
…with a big ol SPLASH!!! Look– there is my darling sister and BIL (brother in law) — I think my blog not only makes me more focused on life and finding beauty everywhere, but they are a big part of encouraging me. Today when we were driving up, one of their kids called and asked what they were doing, obviously they were teasing her because … Beeb said, ” ooh I know, I’m getting so adventuous… my middle name is Adventure!” and my BIL said, “yah, kinda like my middle name is Athletic!”
This little creature was part of the days recreation for the kids– but I thought he was awesome!! He is an Albino Hedge Hog– now how many of you can say you have had the pleasure of one of these critters up close and personal?
Stop by and visit Mary at Mosaic Monday — and Susan at Met Monday. Ohhh and yes; its Wednesday already with Susan, from Southern Dreamer. Stop by there and see what other out door adventures others might be having.
Side note: “Thank you Beeb and T for being so good to me– you continue to make me feel so loved and never the 3rd wheel.”
TTFN~~ Claudia ♥ ♥
Since January 1st 2010 -- I have been celebrating finding Beauty in our every day lives. Stay in the Day... be in the moment. Don't wait to live your life.
Stop and make a habit to find the Beauty and you will be amazed at how Beautiful your life is. Be thankful and remember:
"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." Dyer