I work Jai at night. It wasn’t a plan at first, but it’s just worked out that way and I like it. Before bed; before the neighbor’s start shooting toward the incessant barking that is my young great pyrenees, Inez, I have to move the sheep from the field to the night pen. The night pen has a water tank that doesn’t freeze – just like Inez’s larynx and her incessant lust for sheep tag.
Working Jai at night isn’t radically different from working her in the day, technically. The difference, in fact, is mostly in my head. It’s not a routine yet so I enjoy it more. Because it’s later at night, I’m quiet, which Jai likes. Also the dark means I have to use more than just my sense of sight and WTF… I have to be more aware in general. Even just adding that I have to LISTEN for the sheep and their pace seems to make me process more carefully and fully. I’m not doing big outruns at night; it’s close enough that I can make a correction and run up the small field, if necessary.
As stated before, I’ve struggled to stay engaged in working my dogs lately.
This night work suits me in many ways right now, though I haven’t tried it with Biz yet. I will soon with Biz, I think she will like it and it will suit her.
Duke…does not need the cover of darkness. He IS the cover of darkness.
I worked Duke on Sunday and he dragged me 10 yards through sheep shit. It would have been further, but his long line finally caught on something larger than me and my GODDAMN IT LIE DOWN. He isn’t a fan of the Away. He tends to take it part way and with his mouth open in anticipation. His come by is usually nice.
Sometimes I think Duke believes, like most men in my geographic area, that with my skills and timing, I belong in the kitchen, where recipes can be read and timers can be SET. Where a bitch can stay WARM and use her THUMBS to their best advantage. Or maybe that’s me thinking that, laying in a trail of green slush.
Regardless, Duke’s getting to be a big dog. If I don’t anticipate the moment when his training bond with me has fractured and it’s all about the sheep….bad things unfold. He wants to be good, but I’m worried I’m not helping him. Happily he’s young and I, in so many ways, am flexible.