Who doesn’t love a good long weekend? Especially when that weekend is spent with family and friends.
I’m lucky enough to have three older brothers, all of whom live in or near Melbourne, so it’s not very often that we all get together. But this Easter weekend was an exception.
I’m the youngest of four children (with a decent age gap). There are always teasing and fights in amongst siblings and my family was… no, IS no exception. I tell people I’m so quiet because when you grow up with three older brothers, you either can’t get a word in or when you do you get picked on. So I used to think that if I kept my mouth shut then I would be safe… yeah right! You’re never safe! But it’s all fun and games and on the odd occasion I can give just as good as I get!
I was brought up doing what my brothers did (or at least trying), I liked wearing their hand-me-down clothes that were generally a few sizes too big, unless mum was able to get me into a dress or skirt on the very rare occasion. If I wasn’t tagging along with my brothers than I was either happily entertaining myself or trying to make them play tea parties (I’m sure you can imagine those went down well).
I still tend to do my own thing. On Saturday I’d decided I needed to get out and take some photos. And what better place to do that than at the Beloka Kelpie Stud Easter Sheep Dog Trials, owned and ran by Paul McPhail, down at Welshpool? I piled Pepsi and Noisy into the back of the ute and took my 16 year old niece for a drive through Gormandale and Yarram, to Welshpool. If you like roads with lots of corners, you should check out this road. The only downfall is that the road leads to the ocean and, more often than not, you’ll get stuck behind a vehicle towing a boat. But there are plenty of things to see in the area (as my next blog will show).
With the sounds and smells of dogs, ducks and sheep, and the sights of dogs (not just kelpies, but collies too) doing what they were bred to do, it all got a bit too much for P and N. After 15 minutes of listening to the both of them whimpering and watching them quiver with excitement and lunging at the fences, just itching to get in with some sheep, I decided it was time to put them in Beloka’s little round yard that is meant for young, inexperienced dogs and the inexperienced handler (like me). P isn’t exactly inexperienced, she was brought up on a dairy farm and knows her commands, unless she decides she knows better than me and stops listening. So she did well, considering she’s not worked regularly. Mind you, a muzzle wouldn’t have hurt. She’s prone to getting a little overexcited, which is why I don’t let her on ducks without a muzzle…. N, on the other hand, isn’t too sure what she’s meant to be doing when it comes to working. It gets a bit to get her focused on what she’s meant to be rounding up, then it takes a bit more to give her the confidence to leave my side and to do what her instincts are telling her to do.
Backing. The Yard dog trials at Beloka Kelpie Stud, Easter 2017
N did, however, do me pretty proud a little later in the day when she came third in the high jump competition, jumping approximately 2.3 meters high, and third in the obedience challenge (and she was up against some pretty good dogs in both events). I have to say that practicing her stay in dog agility training came in very handy during the obedience challenge. So, all in all, Saturday was a great day spent with my niece, my dogs and my camera, in a great environment.
N proudly showing off her ribbons
One of my brothers brought with him an 8 week old kelpie pup for the weekend, so Sunday morning was spent taking photos of his newest member of the family, Willow, and talking training techniques. He needs all the help he can get, Willow thinks she runs the place and isn’t afraid to tell you so! As I’m sure you can imagine I was completely besotted by the pup.
Who wouldn’t be besotted by that gorgeous face?
And of course, being Easter, there was an easter egg hunt for the kids. This was my first Easter of not being able to eat chocolate (incase you missed it, I can’t have sugar, my second blog goes into a little more detail as to why, which can be found here) so I found that Easter had a slightly different meaning to it than it used to.
I hope you all had a great Easter also and got to spend it relaxing with family and friends.