"You didn't buy a trained dog!"
Dianne often finds it necessary with me to speak the obvious. I think I should have signs made for her and she can just picket all my working sessions. Or hang them on her pasture fence. Maybe get sponsors.
"QUIT REPEATING YOURSELF. CORRECT HER!" (Budweiser)
"SHIT IS NOT A COMMAND!" (Greenleaf Friends Church)
"DON'T STAND THERE! HELP YOUR DOG!" (Zamzows)
"DON'T WALK! RELEASE YOUR PRESSURE!" (Lazy Boy Recliners)
"USE YOUR PRESSURE!" (D.A.R.E)
"PICK ONE THING TO WORK ON! NOT THREE!" (Association of Retarded Citizens)
Which means teaching Jai to walk on her hind legs and do her floor routine to Disco of the '70s will have to wait. As will voting responsibly.
With Jai (yes, I'm back to that. Fortunately she doesn't wear her 'HELLO, MY NAME IS 'JAI' 'JAY' "JAYCE 'GODDAMN IT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON'T LET ME TURN YOU INTO SCOUT' 'JAI' nametag. Anymore) it's necessary to remind me that she can't be expected to know everything. She is not an open…or even, yet, pro-novice dog. She's a young dog with SOME TRAINING. (But she is smarter and prettier than YOUR dog…sorry!) That she isn't fully trained and ready to vault me into Greatness as my Delusions dictate is hard to keep in mind because so much about her is easy and perfect. She's very sensitive and responsive without losing her head, usually. She takes small corrections. She seems smart enough to patronize me. She's sweet enough not to.
So I tend to push her and attempt to make her do too much …outrun, drive out farther than she is completely comfortable with….then a crossdrive…(which is when Dianne starts to chitter behind me like a censuring squirrel) because so much of what she does do …she does really right. BUT, her issue, like mine is CONFIDENCE.
Mostly this manifests itself in her going WAY WIDE on her outruns, and me whining 'nonononono'
Dianne has suggested that I (stop whimpering and) walk her up halfway to the sheep and then flank her, stop her if she starts to blow out wide and then walk her up again, flank, repeat if necessary. This seems to work. Of course In My Humble Opinion we haven't tried begging and crying and me threatening to quit yet. I like keeping things simple, if possible. One or two steps, tops.
Next, Dianne let me work Reggie today. I've worked Reggie a few times. He's a beautiful dog who looks very much like the wolf in the old Little Red Riding Hood stories. He works nicely initially until he figures out just how much one (me) does not know….like geometry and how to use it to beat him to the sheep. Then he circles and circles and beats one (me) to the sheep and the poor second place bastard (yep) circles and circles trying to beat Reggie to the sheep, but is never quite fast enough….
"DON'T LET HIM GET THE SHEEP!" Dianne yells, sipping her beverage from the sidelines.
"QUIT PRESSURING THE SHEEP!" (Cotton Growers)
"WHERE DID YOU LEARN GEOMETRY!?" (Boise State University)
"DO YOU EVEN KNOW GEOMETRY?" (College of Idaho Liberal Arts Program)
"QUIT REPEATING YOURSELF!" (Budweiser)
"TELL HIM 'NO'!" (National Organization for Women)
"TELL HIM 'NO'!" (Planned Parenthood of Idaho)
"TELL HIM 'NO'!" (Committee to Re-elect Butch Otter)
"CALL HIM TO YOU!" (Greenleaf Friends Church)
"DON'T LET HIM GET THE SHEEP!" (Idaho Basque Museum)
Yes. This went on for awhile. Reggie did get the sheep, Reggie did not get the sheep. I DID NOT FALL. I stayed on my feet because I'm in GOOD PHYSICAL CONDITION…Finally Reggie DID LIE DOWN. I wanted to, but instead called him off and we went to the shop where his crate is located. And, as it happens, a back door…into the sheep pen.
"DON'T LET HIM GET THE SHEEP!"
Bitch was actually GIGGLING>
Another 5 minutes of this. AND THEN, after Reggie is crated:
Dianne: "The first part of your working him looked really good. You should run him in novice."