04/12/2019

First Trial of the Season ~ Part Deux If you read my last post you know how the end of the weekend went, but how did the rest of it go? Of course I'm going to say it didn't go as well as I wanted, but it seems I always want more than I'm realistically prepared to achieve. I had to remind myself (and be reminded) that last year Jig and I went to two weekends of trials the entire year. One in the spring, one in the fall. That's it. This year we were able to train maybe 3 or 4 times prior to the trial. So expecting to lay down some awesome runs was me being unrealistic. Story of my life. Not to say I wasn't happy with a lot of what Jig did. She showed me the training we've been doing is paying off. No crack ears, quiet, calm, responsive

04/09/2019

First Trial of the Season ~ Part 1 of 2 First, a heartfelt Thank You to those folks on-hand for mine and Jig's debut in the Post Advanced field at Purina Farms over the past weekend. I want you to know the outburst of applause and cheers at the conclusion of our short run was heard. It was also totally unexpected and very much appreciated. It certainly helped ease the sting of disappointment at our less than stellar performance. For those of you who have never been to Purina Farms this is the Post Advanced field. Given that Jig and I have never worked in a field this large, I suppose my expectations were a bit unrealistic. I told myself I only entered to see how Jig would handle herself. After all, the entire weekend was meant to gauge where we're at and if a run for the 2020 Finals is even feasible.

03/24/2019 Thriving

My last post on Cian was a great example of the crashing lows epilepsy can bring in the blink of an eye. It wasn't, however, a great example of most days. The truth of the matter is, since this all began last November, there have been far and away more good days than bad. One of the worse things about epilepsy, however, is how it strips away your sense of security, making it easy to get caught up in the darkness of it. As usual, I need to learn a lesson from my dog and stop dwelling on what could happen. I have a plan for breakthroughs. I have a great support team. The control freak in me needs to let go. Like Cian, I need to embrace all of our good days. Days like these

03/06/2019 In Like a Lion

I have been holding off posting an update on Cian because I didn't want to tempt Fate. I figured if I didn't say he was doing awesome, Fate would turn a blind eye and leave us be. Apparently, just the thought was enough. After 4 months seizure free, Cian clustered. Six seizures in an hour and a half by the time I could get him to the ER. He spent the night there, and the fragile normalcy we had built shattered. I accept Cian will never be seizure free. I could handle one or two seizures a couple times a year. Watching him have one after another with next to no time to recover in between is like having someone reach into my chest and rip my heart out. It was a fool's hope that phenobarbital alone would manage his epilepsy, but we held it nonetheless. It seems, however, when working breeds get hit with this, they get hit hard. All

12/18/2018 Weathering the Storm

Sometimes, shit happens. No rhyme or reason. Nothing you could have done to prevent it. Shit just happens. Like a storm, it can pass quickly with minimal damage, or rage on leaving you feeling beaten and dragged. All you can do is ride it out, collect the pieces afterwards, and move forward. Our storm hit on an otherwise normal Friday afternoon at the beginning of November when Cian began to seizure. Not just one, but four on that first Friday. They would continue until the following Monday night before we were able to break the cycle. Over the next two weeks there were numerous consultations and trips to our vet, the ER vet, and a neurologist. There were many tests, a barrage of drugs, and long, sleepless nights. For a stretch of a couple weeks we feared Cian wouldn't come back to us. We tip-toed around the fear that the kindest

10/25/2018

If you've spent any time reading this blog, you will know Dillon has been a challenge. There have been times when I questioned if we would ever overcome our many issues. Many times frustration overcame good sense and I took it out on him by being blatantly unfair. All I can say is it's a good thing Dillon loves me as much as he does. He's willing to forgive and forget just about all my transgressions. And it's a good thing I pulled my head out of my backside and started training to his strengths instead of pounding on him for his weaknesses. I've gotten in some steady work on all the dogs the last week or so. None have shown more improvement than Dill. He gets to do the bringing in and sorting, then I'll give him a break and take him out after Jig and Cian for an actual

09/04/2018 The Year of Training Pays Off

At the end of last year I was so frustrated and upset with how the trialing season went, I decided to take a year off. Not so I could sit in a corner and lick my wounds, but because I was determined to fix as many of mine and Jig's issues as I could. I'd had enough of our melt-downs and non-qualifying runs. She's a better dog than that. I like to think we're a better team than that, though I'm definitely the weaker partner. I gave myself one trialing goal: finish Jig's WTCH. We needed only one cattle leg to do so. Jig and I both love working cattle though our methods are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I want nice, quiet control, power when required, and no rodeos. Jig seems to like rodeos, and has been known to actively go looking for a fight. After our failed attempt at

08/24/2018

I have a tendency to mention the problems I'm facing during training, but the video clips accompanying those posts are usually ones in which things are going fairly well. Today I'm going to step out of my comfort zone and really put me and my dog out there with a few clips that illustrate our problem areas. Apologies in advance for the quality of the video. I had my cell phone strapped to the fence post. Also, if you're thinking this group of sheep was a bit light, you'd be right. They're light on purpose. And one more side note, I feel the need to point out that I'm not picking on Dillon. He just happens to be the 'problem child' at the moment. That's not to say we're not making progress. A session or so after this video was shot, he took a Go Bye from about 60' off the

08/04/2018

So much for weekly updates, right? What's the excuse this time? Let's see

07/09/2018 The Year of Training – Another Piece of the Puzzle

Between the 4th of July falling in the middle of the week, and another blast of heat and humidity, I didn't get a whole lot of training in since my last post. I got in one very short session with Jig and Dillon on Tuesday evening, but the weather got the better of us. The weather and the damn bugs. They're the only ones who seem to enjoy these hot, muggy days. I have a tendency to get a bit cranky after too long a stretch, and that's not very conducive to training, or much of anything else. One of the things I was watching for when I worked Dill, was whether or not his chiro adjustment affected his Away. It didn't. Not yet, anyhow. I'm thinking that if he has been physically uncomfortable going in that direction, it has become a habit of necessity to move a certain way. That's