WHAM! It's summer. And it's been a busy start, during which I've learned quite a bit about myself and my dogs. More accurately, I was reminded of certain traits I have that occasionally interfere with the progress I think I'm making with my dogs. Though I do foundation/dry work, I tend to rush through it without ensuring my dog is rock solid on what I'm asking before moving on. Seeing success while training prompts me to believe my dog knows what I'm asking and I move along. When I think my dog should know something, I can be quite obtuse when they don't exhibit that knowledge. I tend to go into a session at close to Level 10 energy/emotion and then wonder why my dog is being so damn twitchy. What can I say? It was a long winter and I train alone far too often. Thankfully, Steve paid his
This is my dog shelf. All the dogs I've lost in my adult life (with the exception of one) reside on this shelf. All with a photo or a trinket or two. Momentos of our time together, something that reminds me of them, or something gifted me at their passing. All with a piece of my heart. Several times a year that shelf, along with the rest of the bookcase, gets a thorough cleaning as opposed to just a quick dusting. Those are the times each box, each token, is picked up, handled, remembered. Those are the times the Sad likes to pay a visit. Just how strongly it does so depends on what song is playing on Spotify, what my mood is, and how many glasses of wine I've had. Yes, wine while cleaning is a thing. There is also occasional dancing while cleaning. It all depends on the previously mentioned
Yes, I know, I've been a bit negligent about posting. No real reason. Partly I just didn't feel I had anything of much interest to write about, partly I was having my yearly internal debate about whether or not to continue the blog, or perhaps turn it into something else (no, I don't know what -- if you have a suggestion, feel free to pass it along). If I'm being honest, I think I'm still adjusting to how much my life has changed since the pre-pandemic era. I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling that way, it's changed quite a bit for a lot of people. It seems rather odd I would be bothered by that (which also serves to annoy me) as I'm pretty good with change and always enjoy a challenge. Plus, some of what's transpired were things I'd actually dreamt about. Then again, maybe I succumbed to
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
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
I bet you all are sitting there, tapping your fingers on the table, looking at the calendar (because you have nothing better to do with your valuable time), and thinking I've gone and missed my first week's update right out of the gate. Wrongo. I wanted to wait until after Dillon and Jig had their chiro adjustments to see if there was any news to share. I was also busy putting together some short video clips. Let's jump right in with Dillon. Dr. Robin came out on Friday morning for Dillon's first ever chiro adjustment. He was not amused. It took quite a few treats and lots of patience on Dr. Robin's part to allow her to work on anything other than his front end. The findings were that, yes, he had some restriction in his neck, a few spots on his spine, and in his pelvis, all on the left side.
One of the pitfalls of training alone is that it's sometimes hard to see improvement which, in turn, can lead to frustration and discouragement when we get to feeling like we're spinning our wheels. Thankfully, I have friends who turn up from time-to-time and aren't afraid to tell me what they're seeing. Such was the case over the past weekend. My original plan was to have one of them work Dillon because it's so much easier to see what's going on when you aren't in the thick of it. Yes, I could just video our session, which I have done in the past, but I really wanted to know if I'm the source of our problems. The only way to do that was have someone else handle him. Dillon, however, is apparently a bit of a momma's boy. No way was he working for anyone else. So much for that
Sunday was a gorgeous day - finally - and I had every intention of taking advantage of the beautiful afternoon by getting in some training. First, however, I had to feed the bottle lamb. Done with that, I decided a quick walk-about was in order to check the footing in the pens and arena. The day before they had been slick and soupy. On my walk-about I noticed the duck-proofing was off on part of the arena fence. I don't have ducks this year, so could have just removed it. That would have taken more time than I wanted to spend, so I opted for a quick repair with baling twine instead. Before taking care of that, however, I needed to bring over several wheel barrow's worth of wood chips to fill in a soft spot in the roundpen, which reminded me that Cian's outside run needed a bit of