Scout is almost 10 months old and has been training with me on sheep for the last 3 or 4 months, 1 or 2 days a week. I think we are both improving, and that is not just the Corona’s with lime talking.
Tuesday nights all summer we’ve been going to Jodi’s house for Gem State Herding’s Summer Sizzle, an organized group training/practice session that started with watching training tapes and working on specific area’s, like respecting the sheep’s flight zone and balancing the sheep to the handler…which looked great on the videos but you’d never recognize as what Scout and I were actually doing in the field. Not at first. But at 10 months (Scout) and 45 years (me) I finally feel like we have some teamwork going on. I feel like I’m more comfortable and making fewer mistakes, and she’s paying more attention.
Last night Scout and I worked in one of Jodi’s big pastures. Scout has a pretty consistent ‘stop’ on her and will ‘lie down’ and ‘stay’ much of the time. She struggles with the slowing down portion of herding. She likes to either stop or run full throttle. Last night, however, she did ‘slow down’ for longer periods of time when asked. Most of the mistakes were mine. She even had her ‘monkey’ noises somewhat under control. (She makes hideous hooting and yiping noises when other dogs are working)
We managed to pen the sheep both times. I think Scout enjoys penning the sheep. I think it makes more sense to her than just walking around a field with them and occasionally stopping. Or maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, the days are getting shorter and cooler and potentially wetter. I have to travel for work more and I dread losing the momentum that we’ve gained. So, I think I’ll see if I can talk Eric into getting some ducks for the …house. House Ducks, I’ll tell him. The pot-bellied pig of today’s metropolitan home owner. The dogs can herd the ducks from room to room over obstacles. We’ll have a trial in the spring at the mall. Maybe Macy’s can sponsor it.
Yeah. Okay. That might be the Corona’s with lime talking….