This evening I've been in a pissy mood, which I "re-gifted" thru the magic of the internets and chat… and then found myself comforting the recipient. As a result, I have been forced to "look at the bright side" as my beloved Trix would say. Of course, Trix is usually referring to her aged Magnavox tv, whose green tinged picture has faded completely out on the left portion of its 19 inch screen. The bright side is half the picture; the important half. True in life as it is in an old ladies living room.
I had a good lesson at Dianne's today, which was cut short due to an appointment. After the appointment, I went to Jodi's house to practice with Scout a bit more. Solidify the good progress we had seemingly made, with Scout creeping up and moving the sheep slowly while I gruffly issued some fairly timely corrections. Nice widdening flanks….
NOT. TO. BE.
It was like that scene from the Wizard of Oz, where the witch releases the flying monkeys and havok is wrought upon poor Dorothy and her friends. I played the part of Dorothy, while Scout successfully tackled the role of all winged beasts. The sheep were unconvincing as my friends, but….neither they nor this analogy will win any oscars.
Trust me, it was a scary scene. Scout flew at the sheep, I screamed and attempted to STOP her, STOP the madness, to no avail…she's too fast. I'd finally get her, shake her, WHAT ARE YOU DOING???!!! I'd decide that surely I had made my point through rhetoric and the laying on of hands….I'd down her, get into position in front of the sheep and send her and …(cue monkey music) in she'd come (at a fairly nice wide arc) and chase. Tail up.
We'd do it identically all over again. I kept wanting to end on a good note, but no. We ended when I finally caught her for the 5th and final time and drug her bony ass out of there. I know, I should have done that after the first time. I know this. I should have realized that I could NOT ENFORCE my commands in that situation with those sheep and this dog. Was I smoking dope? DID I HIT MY HEAD and BELIEVE I WAS IN A FICTIONAL PLACE WHERE GOOD WOULD PREVAIL? There is NO FECES in OZ.
Still…bright side: I have my health and I'm not doing this for any other reason than to have fun and someday soon fully define myself by my success at the biggest trials in the land. JUST KIDDING! See? I also STILL HAVE MY SENSE OF HUMOR. Thank our Vengeful God.
One key thing that I like about herding is the complexity of figuring out how to communicate with your dog. Timing, presence, posture, tone of voice, your frame of mind when you issue a command, little subtle things you do unawares; all these things can impact communication in varying degrees of hugeness. I am a walking, scooping, screaming contradiction. BUT I am working on it.
Anyway, we won't be working sheep, Scout and I, until after the Holidays (I'm playing an encore role as Second Judy in N. Idaho for a week). Jodi thinks I should put Scout up for awhile until she matures. I think that's what she said. Maybe it's until I mature. So a week off might be good for both of us.
Laura Carson said:
This isn’t really comment about this specific post – but you are a very funny person. I enjoy your blog – just wanted you to know. Oh, and the post about parties? Girl. I’m right there with you in SO many ways – right up to the inappropriate laughter and scaring young children.
Thank you, Laura. I love reading all the stock dog related blogs out there, (including yours)…they give me hope. We’re not to the point where we can hold anyone’s attention with our weekly struggle to simply get a good solid down. Even our best days tend to be funnier than they are hopeful. Sigh. Still, I love it.
Thanks for reading!