There are people who have been around me for a period of time that will certainly chuckle at the title for our first blog post, to the others, give some patience and you will soon understand. Before I explain I do want to elaborate on this whole blog thing. I thought that there would be some value in writing posts on either updates of dogs or just thoughts on training. I also certainly have enough ego to believe that people would be interested in what I have to say. So here's a solemn promise, I probably will post weekly except for when I forget or don't feel like it. So back to the title, "overwhelming success" is a line I have for when a dog does exceptionally well (normally during a training session). This has been recently applicable to my 11 year old Sweep who won Reserve Champion at the Calgary Stampede. It would be entirely unfair and untrue to say that it was deserved. Let me explain before someone thinks "oh dear God, he cheated". the reality was that he ran mostly terrible from most technical senses. He crowded his stock, he lied down only when he felt like it, and we ran the stock through the course as hard as we could for all three rounds. These statements did not apply to most of the high quality competitors and was the main reason that the winner had the success that she did. Which leaves a glaring question, how in hell did I get second? That is kind of a complicated answer but I think I can break it down to three main points. First, I trusted my dog implicitly. I knew that the stock had some quirks and foremost of which was a tendency to run when things were running at them. It was a mistake I made with my other dog, was to try and be gentle the sheep and just bump them and creep up on them, with disastrous results. Since I trusted Sweep to not grip dirty and to take care of business, I was able to send him into tight spots with zero worry. Secondly, I truly believed that I had no chance of success. Since my expectations were low, I had far less nervousness compared to any other year that I had gone. I quite literally had the attitude "what do I have to lose? I already won the vest." heading into the finals (I genuinely said that to my wife, the finals vest was a big deal to me). Lastly, I had a disproportionate amount of good luck. I had good sets of sheep and some of the best competitors had poor luck. Essentially I proved unequivocally that even a blind squirrel can find a nut.