Saturday, December 26, 2009

What I did for Christmas

Hi all, I know it's been a loooong time since I've posted. Suffice to say, a few readers were reading and making some very derogatory remarks. I got in a bit of a snit about it and stopped writing. I think I'm over it now. Those of you who read just to say nasty things... go away. You know who you are!

So, Merry Christmas everyone else!

I ended up being able to spend the day with a good friend working dogs together. It rained. It rained some more.

I have babbled on and on about my dear Stella. Somehow, someway, her fetch has gotten a bit screwy. I'm working on it and we are making progress. Some of the things that Scott told me earlier are making more and more sense to me now. If it isn't one thing, it's another. Throughout the summer I had spent a lot of time working on her stop. I am proud to say that her stop has dramatically improved. It seemed like she had no idea what to do after her outrun. She was stopping pretty good at the top but then seemed a bit confused as to how to just walk on and lift the sheep. We're working on that and are being relatively successful.

Bond, James Bond. I spent the summer working on challenging his mind. Driving, fetching, building a vocabulary. He seemed to go a bit insane. His "doll eyes" got wilder and wilder looking. His working style followed suit. Back to the drawing board with him. Back to some puppy stuff. Little outruns and wearing. I've taken to wearing along a fenceline with him so I only have to worry about watching one side instead of two.

After working on this for a while, we turned into the field and I crossed all my available digits.

I walked forwards - notice I'm not turning my back on him. I have a tendency to do just that and it NEVER turns out well.

I walked backwards. I still need practice with this but I'm getting better. I stopped him, I started him, I flanked him. We did some little outruns and a couple that were much longer than I thought he was capable of doing. When I sent him on those, I had stopped paying attention to the sheep and they had wandered off. "Uh oh" I said, and started to run. I was fully expecting Bond to bust in and be naughty. He wasn't.

I still have to work on our relationship. He seems to think he can get away with things. This is a common theme with me and my dogs. I'm not quite sure what I do to create the lack of respect on the field but I manage to do it. With Bond, I'm not sure how to earn that respect. I'm sure I will figure it out. A big part of me believes that it will come with mileage together.

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