By Robbie Johnson

This past weekend was the first time we have held Earthdog trials here at the “new” Raveneaux Ranch in Bryan. Ellis and I aren’t getting any younger and digging trenches for tunnels and placing and pulling liners has just gotten too difficult for us, but our son, Brian, jumped right in and we rented a backhoe (which he had never used before) and he dug out the trenches for the tunnels and put the liners in and got us all squared away! Ellis and I were able to put up the fencing and set up the false den and get brisket cooked for lunch and cookies baked for desert! But when the first day of trials rolled around, we were amazed at the awesome numbers of entries we had and were so glad we went ahead with the trials!! We had over 20 entries in Intro and the same number in Junior. Senior had about 8 entries per trial and we had 3 to 5 braces in Masters each trial!!

I have to thank our awesome team of judges: Elizabeth Ellis, Cindi Todd, Karen Mann and JoAnn Wolf! As always these ladies kept us laughing but at the same time, did a great job of judging each level and also did an incredible job of getting dogs started in Intro, which is the future of further trials!! Our AKC rep, JoAnn Frier-Murza flew in from Arizona to check out the new trial site and it was good to catch up with her and just get some good visiting done!!

We had several posters set up with pictures of the two dear ladies who passed away over the past year and a half, Pat Greene and Cassie Becker, as these trials were dedicated to their memories. Both their husbands, Dick Greene and Alec Pearce, were able to come as well as Pat and Dick’s daughter Dana.

Cathy Foley Meyer did a great job of arranging the many pictures we had for the posters and I can’t thank her enough for doing that special task of love. Cathy also brought some awesome chess pies and breads! Alison Whittington brought two pies from McKinney that were beyond yummy and the Waddoups brought the best potato salad for lunch!! The judges brought doughnuts each morning, too!!

We had SO many new people playing earthdog this year!! We had several Westies, Parson Russells, Jack Russels, Scottie and even a Yorkie, plus the usual suspects of Dachshunds and Border Terriers!! So many dogs made progress in Intro over the course of the weekend and several Intro dogs went on to Junior and some qualified their first time out!! We had three or four sets of “visitors” who heard about the trials and wanted to come see what it was all about and to see the different breeds of dogs!! Potential new Earthdoggers!!

Above all else, I cannot thank enough our son Brian and his wife Christy and our three grand daughters, Kitts, Karlee and Kassidy! Christy and the girls totally took care of preparing and serving lunch and cleaning up the kitchen, after feeding about 40 or so people!! Brian was the general handyman and even got suckered into being the rat steward for Masters!! I told him long ago that college would pay off big time!! When everything was over, he pulled all the liners and used the tractor to fill in the trenches and restore the fields back to normal. Without our family, we could not have put on the trial this year and I love them all to the Moon and back!!

Thank you to everyone who came to play Earthdog or just to visit. We had several new Titles and lots of qualifiers for legs, so it was a good weekend. We had a total of 57 dogs entered overall!! And a huge thank you to the Border Terrier Club of America for sponsoring these trials!!