Thanks for visiting my blog. It's rather flattering to have someone read your minds meanderings. I hope it's entertaining and sometimes educational.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Clinics. and Trial

  We finished a wonderful 3 day clinic with Jan last week .   We did a lot of advanced dog work and it was a lot of fun .   She really pushes people beyond their comfort zones and it's incredible how well they do.
  Then we went to Maine for a one day cattle clinic and 3 more days of  sheep and ducks.  Good work there too.  Both dogs were not stupid on the cattle so I was quite pleased.

The weekend culminated in a 2 day ASCA trial. Dare and Dually qualified in every class which is quite different than what happened when we went to INdiana. Dare won Cattle both days and was  HIT cattle and HIT aussie on Sat.  We had some great setups to the center and then I blew it by overflanking them.  Dually did really well in his debut in Open ducks and sheep. He won Open sheep Sat and OPen ducks on Sunday.  I didn't dare enter him on cattle. I think I need more control on him before I am comfortable with that.

  While I was there I bought a new travel trailer. It's a bit longer --25 ft with 2 bumpouts and no carpeting and   a big b athroom.   It's awesome but it's still in Maine and I have to go pick it up soon and sell the one I bought last year that I thought was the bomb at the time. Now I think it's too small and dark and uncomfortable for me and 4 dogs.  Will post pics when I get back to Maine.

Monday, July 4, 2011


   I took dare out to work the course this am since we haven't done that since our last trial in April.  Not good.  I used the heavy sheep so he would have to push. He was all over the place and then wouldn't take his flanks. He thought I was nuts. Kept going opposite to what I asked. Lots of yelling and throwing going on.  I put him away and worked Dually on same sheep. He was very good. He took off balance flanks for me and drove them thru the panels  with me on the Open line.  We penned them in the center and then we went to work on the take pen. It was all pretty good. He did dive in a couple of times and I threw lots of shake cans at him.  He got better and better as he worked.

Then I took Dare out again and it was like he had an epiphany.  He pushed and held the line and took my flanks. Much much better.

It's  getting too hot to work  more till tonight maybe.

Happy 4th of July

     I have a clinic coming up at the end of the week so I have been getting ready for days.  Today will probably be mowing and trimming day.  Yesterday I fixed a window box in the shed and put the flowers in it and hung a door to my garden .  Love it, but gotta fix the fence so it matches.  I don't think that will happen  this week. I fixed some gate hinges and oiled some latches.  I also raked the control pen . Some of the drainage rocks keep popping to the surface.    A few days ago I took down the AKC  course and put  up the ASCA course in the arena and maybe I will put up the ASCA duck course today although we may want to use that arena for some smaller pen sheep work.  

I also worked Dually yesterday on the ducks.  He worked a long time because I wanted to see if it helped with  his diving in if he was tired.  I think it does.  I am going to go out this am and do the same thing on sheep although that might force me to do more work and it's getting hot out there. Dare was kinda awful on the ducks. He didn't seem to be having any fun or putting any effort into it.  I will have to see what Jan thinks about him.

I made a list of food for the clinic so I dont' have to be scrambling every day on what am I going to feed  today.  I almost made the ceasar dressing last night but there was no dijon mustard to be found.

I am also planning a lobster and clam dinner for Fri night. My family will be coming in addition to the people who will be staying on property for the clinic.

I have also changed the duck pen a bit so that I can put out a lot of food at one time and then when I go to Maine next week they will be ok until somebody can come in and feed them.. The have swimming pools so enough water.  The sheep will have free access to hay but I have to fix that too. I need help for that job so I will wait until Kathy comes over. No lessons this week so I can't  snag a student to help me. The only other thing I have to think about is packing the trailer for a week in Maine. I haven't had time to think about that.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


    I just got back from talking to  a nice old farmer about the tractor he is selling.  It was pretty big and had a front end loader, but it was 1060's vintage.   It needed a new seat and new muffler and not much else according to him. But it was old....The price is right --at least in my price range  and he would deliver it, ,but it was old.... and dare I say it.... dirty


    I had a full day of lessons yesterday that I really enjoyed.  It's  rewarding being able to teach someone else something that you are passionate  knowlegeable about.    It's especially rewarding when you are appreciated and I think that all of yesterdays students were happy with their progress and some were thrilled.

I spend a lot of time thinking about this dog or that dog to try to think up the best way to motivate the dog and get him to do what the handler needs to get done.  I also spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get the handlers to do what I want with the dogs. That is often a lot harder.

Today I had 2 lessons .  In the end the people got it and the dogs got it, but it was tough for them  to get to that point. Part of the problem is they don't come often enough so we seem to always be playing catch up and not moving forward like we should.  I can't force people to come regularly, so I can only hope they will see the value in regular and consistent work.