12/22/2021 Zoomies

Finn loves to play even if no one else wants to, he's been that way since he was a puppy. He'll amuse himself with a stick, a pile of leaves, a chunk of ice, or zoomies through the tall grass. It's a behavior which never ceases to both baffle and annoy Dillon, especially when Finn does everything in his power to get Dillon to join in. There are times Dillon loosens up and romps a bit. Other times

11/15/2021 Finn’s Big Adventure

The ASCA National Specialty can be overwhelming for first-timers. Especially first-timers who apparently haven't been off the farm a whole lot except to visit other farms. And though Finn weathered the traveling just fine, his first couple days at the Brazos County Expo grounds had him just a wee bit anxious. He'd never seen bleachers, large covered arenas, lots of people and dogs he didn't know milling about (Are they staring at me? I think they're staring at me. I don't like it.), or any of the other strangeness he was subjected to. Thankfully he had his good buddy Ziva along to help bolster his confidence. We spent quite a bit of our free time just strolling around, letting Finn get used to the sites and sounds. Some of which took quite a bit of patience, more than a few treats, and a healthy dose of confidence. His first couple of

10/23/2021 Autumn Musings

Fall has always been my favorite time of year even though the Sad typically comes in full force part-way through September and lingers well into October. This year, however, it hasn't seemed as strong. There have been moments, usually triggered by a Facebook memory or a bout of reminiscing with friends, but the sharp edges are dulled. Although I still feel the sting of tears behind my eyes at those times, they aren't as eager to spill over. I have to confess, it's a bit odd. I suppose because I'm so used to having a love-hate relationship with Autumn -- the cooler temps and beauty of the season constantly overshadowed by the Sad like storm clouds on the horizon -- that feeling it diminished seems somehow

10/10/2021 Trial Brain

I had a bit of an epiphany at the inaugural 3 Sheeps to the Wind ASC Corona Classic last week. It came about thanks to comments made by a good friend who pointed out that my cues to my dogs, especially Finn, were practically non-existent. He suggested (rightly so) that I pay attention to that and cue the boys just like I do when training. That got me thinking (usually never a good thing) and replaying my runs in my head which led me to concur that my friend was 100% correct in his observation. And, not that it's an excuse, but I actually came up with a reason, albeit, not a very good one, and hence the epiphany. I suffer from Trial Brain. Upon further reflection it occurred to me that when I enter the trial arena, I feel (on a mostly subconscious level) as though I need to perform. Even though

08/16/2021 Get Out of Your Head

  There's been way too much of this /\ going on lately. The top part, not the bottom. Point in case: I walked out to open the gate between the arena and the pasture the other morning so the sheep could get out to graze. Nearly to the next gate it occurred to me that I'd been so busy in my head I closed the pasture gate behind me out of habit. I do tend to subscribe to the rule "Leave the gates how you found them" and since that gate was closed when I came through

12/31/2020 Out With a Bang

My dogs have an uncanny ability to see challenges in the strangest places, and they are more than happy to pick up the thrown gauntlet. For instance, if my vet says, "I'll be out of town this day this day this day." One of my dogs will invariably counter with, "Time to develop some mysterious ailment." When my vet says, "I'm retiring from doing surgeries." You guessed it. Challenge accepted.         Happy New Year   May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.

11/24/2020 Possibilities Abound

November has been pretty mild so far which means I've been able to work the dogs with relative frequency. Given the shortness of the days, this usually takes place on the weekends, which also means I can generally talk a training partner into joining me. It's helpful when it's someone unafraid of telling me when my bad habits are showing. Not that I always agree, or want to hear it at that particular moment, which can lead to some spirited arguments discussions. There are, after all, multiple ways to skin the proverbial cat (sorry, feline friends) and perhaps there's a reason (in my mind) for what I'm doing. More often than not, however, I'm not even aware of doing whatever it is because it's just one of those things I fell into while training solo. And that happens far too often. Just ask my dogs.    

11/10/2020 Endings, Beginnings, & Everything In Between

The quote in the feature image really resonated with me when I first heard it several weeks back. Probably because I'm going through a period where I'm facing several endings on both personal and professional levels. Won't lie, there are one or two I'm struggling to come to terms with. As the rest of the quote points out however

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