Cow Camp finished up last Friday. Then there was the drive home, the catching up on All The Things once I got home, sprinkled with a healthy dose of Life In General and a large dash of the DayJob. So, yeah, I’m a bit behind in my update.
Anyhow, Cow Camp was amazing and I can’t wait to do it again, which, unfortunately, won’t happen until next year. The highlight of the week came on Friday when Larry pushed me and Jig to the point of my head imploding. As one of the other attendees pointed out, however, he wouldn’t suggest we try something if he didn’t think we were capable. Personally, I think, after a week of putting up with us, he was having a bit of sadistic fun. 😉
We had spent a lot of time over the course of the week on Jig’s flanks and getting her to roll that shoulder and square up. Go Bye seems to be an issue for her, but her Aways are like butter. In any case, on Friday, Larry had me really push on her. The result was an outrun that looked more like a Border Collie or Kelpie. I honestly never thought any of my dogs would ever — could ever — be that wide. It wasn’t easy, but we did it, and, yes, I thought it was pretty damn cool. I
don’t normally have a need for that kind of outrun, I take that back. As I wrote it I realized that it would come in immensely handy when Jig is gathering out of the field. In any case, I’m continuing to practice it because, if she gets into the habit, it can only make her wider on a shorter outrun/gather.
One of the other highlights of the week came when I used one of my sessions to put Jig on sheep. She’s a habit of getting somewhere different (usually a trial) and becoming what I refer to as Crack Dog. Her ears go up, her eyes get all googly, she stops listening, and she goes batshit crazy. Maybe it doesn’t look that bad watching from the outside but, trust me, staring it in the face is a whole other matter.
We put the sheep in Larry’s arena and let them set up at the far end and I sent Jig on a gather, holding my breath, and waiting for Crack Dog to make an appearance. Though I could see Jig was pretty keyed up, she actually did a very nice lift and fetch, and continued to work the sheep with a mostly level head.
Larry sent us home with a lot to work on, and new techniques to try out. I feel we made some great progress over the week. Now comes the hard part. Maintaining it at home.
I didn’t get any working pictures, but I did take a few photos to share with you.