After a Break

According to the Chinese New Year, 2022 is the Year of the Tiger which sounds a whole lot better than the past couple years — you know, the Year of the Unmitigated Shit Show and the Year of the Disillusioned Quokka. A quick Google search suggests that for those who celebrate the Chinese lunar year, the tiger symbolizes hope amid challenges. In Chinese mythology the tiger is called upon by the Jade Emperor, the ruler of heaven, to exorcise demons. A purging of evil, as it were. Well, let’s hope it works. Go Tiger!

Around here, 2022 is going to be the Year of Training. Not that I won’t do any trialing–I’d like to get Dillon’s WTCH and Finn’s started cattle as well as a couple Farm Trial titles for them both. Dillon’s WTCH and Finn’s started titles, however, will require more consistent exposure to cattle and I’m not sure if that’s going to work out. We were in a drought last year. I actually had to put my sheep on hay for part of the summer. We’re still behind and being classified as ‘dry’ with hardly any snow this winter. That could very well mean no extra pasture to go around which would mean no cattle. We shall see…

Anyhow, I rushed Finn last year, something I swore I wouldn’t do and yet went ahead and did anyhow. No, I’m not happy with myself. All I can do now is try to make up for it. Thankfully the weather and my schedule have allowed for a bit more training than I normally get in over winter and I feel like I’ve made some progress with both the boys.

This clip of Finn and the take pen may not look like much, and there’s much about it that isn’t right, but given that just a couple months ago I could barely get him to go in the pen at all, and when I finally did he would try to beat the sheep out at high velocity, I call it awesome progress.

Dillon has been given the job of helping dog break the yearlings and lambs, something that allows us to practice driving at the same time. We still have a lot of issues, and I’ll admit, they’re mostly mine. I don’t know if there will ever be a time when we don’t have issues. That dog is the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced as a trainer, but he’s making me think outside the box a lot and forces me to really pay attention to what my dog needs as opposed to trying to cram him into a box he doesn’t fit in. And, in all honesty, we have come a long way. Much farther than many people thought we would so…

Dang… I sure miss this ol’ cat.I keep looking for her as I round the corner in the morning, I miss her presence in my office, the feeling of her eyes boring into the back of my head while I’m eating… Rebel keeps sneaking into the house and hiding. With typical cat humor, he then makes an appearance long after I’ve forgotten he’s in and for a split second I think it’s Fiona.


Yeah, he’s a barrel a laughs, that cat.

And before I forget again, to those of you who heard my interview on The Instinctive Australian Shepherd podcast back in December and reached out to me, thank you for all the nice comments. That was me stepping wwwaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy outside my comfort zone. And I survived, go figure. If you missed the episode and would like to give it a listen, you can find it here.


Next up, a little shameless self-promotion. I have a new design available on my Journey Impressions site. If you haven’t been there, please check it out and feel free to share the heck out of it. And if you need embroidery or screen printing for your business, dog club, event, etc., drop me a line, I’d love to help you out.

That’s it for now. Stay well, mentally & physically. Hug your dogs (and barn cats — if you can get close to them). Live your life. Always remember…

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