I had a great weekend. Fun time helping out with the Collie Regional Trial (AKC) and hanging out with friends.  Though I had one bad night attempting the JHD with Scout that almost made me think seriously about abandoning my herding pursuits and dressing her and I in matching little outfits instead, performing for school children or something else less humiliating….Dianne fixed all with 2 great training sessions on Saturday and Sunday.  I am constantly amazed at how many ideas Dianne comes up with to soothe our inner spastics.  Yesterday was especially effective.  I shut up completely, as directed, and DIanne had me work with Scout in her indoor arena using only my body pressure. No verbal corrections, no stock wand…This really helped me to concentrate on what I was doing and how Scout reacted to it. By the end of the session on Sunday, my timing finally felt like it was approaching effective and Scout was really responding well; slowing down when I slowed down, stopping if she got too close, and swinging out wider than she ever has.

I'm updating this quickly, because I'm in the Boise Airport waiting for my flight to Tucson or I'd expound more on this weekend.  Later.

This week won't be as brutal as last week because its a working meeting and I'm in charge of my group, which is a little group within a much bigger training cadre. My group consists of 5 people including me:

Patrick aka 'Killer' – a young kid from North Carolina. He grew up on a sheep farm and used to race motorcycles and dream of being a smokejumper. A crash left him wheelchair bound, so he's adjusted his dream to included working with our group and doing what I say while making gentle hillbilly fun of me.  He provides me with some of the best funniest expressions I've ever heard.  One morning after staff party, where much drink was consumed, Patrick wheeled into our meeting room a little late and announced,

"I feel like scattered AAAAAAssssssss today, y'all. If I don't get me some sleep, I ain't gonna be fit ta kill."

Allison – Allison hales from Prineville, Oregon.  She is bossy and bitchy and tattoed and pierced. Incongruously she loves Martha Stewart and craft stores, heavy metal and kicking ass in chainsaw competitions.  Her main goals include always being right and trapping a man.  Allison has a very sharp tongue and is very hilarious if you can get past hating her.  I did.  She's one of the smartest technical people I know.  She's more fun than edible riot gear.  Simultaneous to bitching people out in meetings, while pretending to look at his/her data on her computer screen, Allison is usually actually buying shoes. 

Kim – Kim is our brightest star. She's the only one of us that doesn't in some small or large way frighten people.  She is soft spoken at work, loud and funny afterward; great with people, a natural leader.  She grew up in Tucson and likes to come back for these classes/faculty meetings because she has friends and family here.  Many of whom, sadly, I have managed to offend in one fell swoop, as they say, with my drink induced hilarity one night on our last trip.  I will be doing much kissing ass this trip.

Andrew – While technically from Louisiana, Andrew actually lives, I am convinced, in some sort of parallel universe that is only accessible thru 1950's television.  He is a kind man who speaks only of good things.  He puts a positive spin on EVERYTHING. We've tried to bring Andrew down, but the filter that exists between his world and ours cannot be breeched:

"But Andrew, do you worry about the babies starving in Africa?" 

"I love babies…did ya'll see that one movie with them babies what talked?"

More later….boarding….