Today everything about me and working dogs sucked so hard that I fear for the cosmos.
Pat and I had a decent time attempting to shed. We were successful a number of times, but what really was accomplished was that I was able to feel when/where to lay Pat down. I have a tendency to under flank. To stop Pat as soon as the sheep stop moving, rather anticipate where they will certainly move next as soon as I lift a foot toward them.
Then I worked Scout. That time spent on the field with her was excruciating from start to finish, although I am grateful that Dianne made me work through it. Scout and I both tend to revert to old bad impulses. She pushes, I flail, sheep run, I shout obscenities and consider crying. We don't deal in 'bubbles' of influence as much as 'froth'….Everything is too much, too close, too fast. I lie her down and we repeat the process.
I know with utter certainty that this horrible test of my willpower and ability to stick with something I love in the face of tiny barking adversity will make me a decent handler one day and so…it is good. The final suggestion from Dianne was that I work Scout in smaller spaces where I can enforce my commands.
I worked Pat again and was unable to pen. We circled. Pat got wider as I got more frustrated. I know the key to Pat and penning is small movement and a lot of lying down. (Him not me). (But…maybe….I should try the latter. DIanne clearly would not be surprised.) Pat was so wide in the end that only the cars on the road boarding Dianne's pasture were aware of his presence.
I'll go back out on tuesday, if I have a chance. Or Thursday for sure.