Okay…I couldn't come up with a better title. Whisperer was taken.
Today Scout and I went out to Dianne's to try something new that she came up with to make Scout feel and respond to my body pressure.
I spent the drive out to Caldwell listening to Estrogen Tunes, compliments of my husband, who made me a cd of Alanis Morrissette (Is it a hint? Like, 'Maybe if Katy listens to the same stuff my friend's wives listen to, she, too, will vacuum and make healthy soups and stews, instead of spreading bacon bits on the carpet every few weeks, calling it bio-shag, and buying beer and chips by the Costco caseload'….)
I like Alanis Morrissette okay. After 30 miles I started to wonder if she ever keeps anything to herself, though. Does she let any small slight go unsung? She seems to have catchy tunes backing up a lot of whining. She's like a melodic nag.
I can't imagine coming home to,
Did you have a nice, day? You look like it was
You never put your dishes
In the sink
Your socks are in balls
in the bedroom
And You do this to hurt me, I think
Did you think about me, Mr. Don't Flush Your Pee
Did you stop by the store on your way here
I need tampons and mead, I'm thirsty, I bleed
And does it occur to you to buy good beer?*
(*not actual lyrics… yet)
Anyway, I'm sure she's not The Soundtrack to my working/training relationship with Scout. Jodi tried Carol King for behind our last working video and it was nice…but I still picture Tom Waits or L7, personally. At least for now. Today was better.
Dianne had Scout and I work in the not-round round pen. She had me use *2* stock wands to block Scout's access to the sheep while I forced her to back up off my body pressure. Then I'd lie her down and make her wait until I released her. At first it was all about Scout trying desperately to get around me to the sheep, barking and circling, lunging— while I tried to stay on my feet and ahead of her. Gradually, though, she slowed down and did back up. When I released her she was much calmer in getting around the sheep. She began to respond to my pressure.
Dianne worked an 8 month old pup, Teal, using the same method. It was really fascinating to stand back and watch her work with him. Initially he was all shaking adrenalin and drive. There was a pretty dramatic difference in the behavior of the dog after just a few times with Dianne calmly backing him up and making him lay down and think a moment, process, before getting his sheep. I think the coolest part of stock dog training is the psychology behind maximizing your dog's potential. And that much of this transfers to human relationships. For instance, I bought more beer and chips than ever on the way home. PLUS a case of Fakin Bits(tm?). (no pork killed in the cleaning of this carpet!)
I listened to NPR on the way home. I was afraid I'd ovulate if I didn't.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jodi Darling