James + Reece + Lola + Jessica

James + Reece + Lola + Jessica

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dogs, sheep, ducks, shakes...

Those four words pretty much sum up our Labor Day.

Allow me to explain.

While driving last week, I heard a radio ad for the Soldier Hollow International Sheepdog Classic.
I was intrigued.
What does an international sheepdog classic entail?
Secretly, I wanted to find out.

Then a few days later, Reece called me from work with a "You may think I'm a nerd, but..."
He, too, had caught wind of the sheepdog classic.
And he, too, could not resist the intrigue.

And so, the Heber Valley became our destination early Monday morning.
We were joined by several of our family members and friends who caught sheepdog fever when we mentioned our intentions for the holiday.

And let me assure you, we were not disappointed by what we found.

First of all, there was endless amounts of SWAG -- the perfect way to win over the Ivins family.
We love SWAG so much, we may soon be perfect candidates for that "Hoarders" show.
But that's another story for another time...

Let's get down to the actual sheep herding.
Easily the most intense sport I've ever watched.
Will the dogs find the sheep?
Will the dogs get all 16 sheep to go through two narrow gates?
Will the dogs be able to sort the sheep and get them into the pen?

Seriously people, I broke a sweat more than once.

Would you judge me if I admitted to getting a bit emotional when the dogs completed a task?
Or if I actually said I got even more emotional when they didn't?

As wonderful as the sheep herding turned out to be, it was the duck herding that will live in infamy.
That's right, DUCK herding.
As in, quack, quack.

See that there wagon?
Not to be outdone by the sheepdogs, Fido there convinced those ducks to waddle up into it.

I'm not quite sure how one discovers a talent for this kind of thing.
My favorite moment from this surreal experience came when an unsuspecting audience member asked the announcer if the dog ever hurt the ducks during training.
"Oh yes," she replied to the group filled with children. "Many ducks have been eaten to make this show possible."
Lola loved every minute of the bizarre insanity.

The smell of the sheep was outdone by the fantastic array of food vendors.
The hungry spectator could munch on anything from gyro to Navajo taco to funnel cake to pizza.

 The line was longest at the stand selling barbecued lamb
 Morbid?  I thought so.

Apparently my siblings didn't catch on to the irony, seeing as how they each returned to our seats, lamb burgers in hand.

Lola didn't need lamb.
She spent the afternoon gnawing on beef jerky, courtesy of Grandpa.
I won't even attempt to describe the horror that was her breath for the rest of the day.
My worst nightmare come to life.

In order to separate the girl from the peppered carcass, we wandered over to the little petting zoo.
Lola "woofed" at all the animals, leading me to conclude it's high time we introduced some new animal sounds into her repertoire.

 And because I'm a photo junkie, here's a smorgasbord of my favorite shots of the day:

Phew, that was a photo overload.
But it was a wonderful day filled with wonderful company.
And sheep.  Lots of sheep.

P.S. -- The "shakes" explanation is coming.
I'm thinking I've met my quota for images on this particular post.


Amy said...

Ha! This could be my post from last year....minus the baby and the lamb burgers...cuz gross!

De Rosa said...

Dang those shakes looks amazing, I would of thrown mike to the sheep and the dog to get a shake! We may need to make a special trip up there for shakes.