Today I worked Scout and Pat. Pat was simple. It is clear that the more comfortable and confident I am working him, the more he is working with me. I wouldn't say that we could kick ass on a trial field, but it's really pleasant working him in Dianne's field. I think the feeling is mutual. We drove, we penned, we gazed at one another adoringly.
Scout is hard for me to work because I stopped working her at a point when I really sucked, she really sucked and we both got used to being disappointed by one another. I used to be really AFRAID to go out onto the field with her because the only things we did correctly, were the accidental things. Timing that just happened to be appropriate. Me stumbling and tossing the stick at JUST THE RIGHT TIME. Her avoiding a golpher hole and flanking nice and wide. Me releasing pressure by crying on the right side of the stock.
She is easier for me to work now. I no longer FEAR it. Last year I hated going out onto the field with her because I wasn't aware of all the ways I effected the outcome. Or how few things I should TRY to effect in one session. Intellectually I understand, and did understand 'the bubble' but physically I did not…and still don't have it incorporated into my working with dogs in general in the way that it needs to be in order to really be effective; to not just understand the bubble, but feel it or see it as a physical thing. Until then it's hard to respond to it in time. I'm not there with Scout. I am with Pat. I'm no longer afraid to work Scout, though. I believe that I know enough to make progress.
Dianne was a huge help in, as usual, pointing out the obvious.
"Why are you letting her chase?"
"Step in FRONT OF HER! USE YOUR PRESSURE!"
I did stand around a lot trying to think my next move into brilliance…and admiring how shiny Scout's coat is…
We are both a project that most people would leave half finished in their garage. I'm pretty grateful that Dianne is apparently insane.