Monday, November 10, 2008
What a busy weekend! It was a fun one and very dog-filled. I had a couple of lessons on Saturday and then the Shoofly dogs had their turn - Billy and Zac both got good, long training sessions and Jet got a good dose of farmwork. Then all 5 dogs had a terrific run around the pasture with much racing about and playing. I got on the ATV and we even did some good sprints. They sure love competing to get to the front, trying to beat each other and me. It was wonderful exercise and they were all happy and satisfied when we loaded up to go home.
On Sunday, we loaded up early in the morning and went to Julie's. She had generously offered her farm and sheep for the day, since there are several people who live in that area who were wanting lessons, and some who have a hard time getting away for a long drive and day at Shoofly farm. I wanted to get over there early, before the crowd showed up to make sure Julie got plenty of time for lessons with her young dogs. So many times, the person who organizes things and hosts ends up short changed and i wanted to make sure it didn't happen this day. It was a good thing, since we ended up with a whole lot of dogs to get through. I think this was the first time i've done lessons away from my place and sheep, but it went really well. It felt kind of like a clinic and i really enjoyed it. We ended up with about 12 dogs and a handful of spectators, and managed to finish before it got dark (okay, completely dark that is!). The dogs ranged from just starting out in the round pen up to Ranch or Nursery level and all of the handlers seemed to pick up what we were trying to do with the dogs pretty well. I hope we do it again soon so i can see if they did! The sheep were really good for the different levels the dogs were working at and the weather was gorgeous. Thanks so much to Julie for hosting, and also for the great picture that she got of Billy (above).
A quick Zac update: I worked him pretty hard saturday, both on sheep and hiking afterwards. He did some hopping and skipping but interestingly, it was about 2/3 on the "bad" leg and 1/3 on the good leg. This was his first time out of the single boot on the good side, he was boot-free finally. I was concerned that all the habit-breaking work with the boot on had just taught him to skip on both legs now. Yesterday he hardly even got out of the crate since i was busy all day with lessons, but when he did get walked, he seemed pretty "skippy" to me, on the strange ground at Julie's. He looked like he couldn't quite decide which side to skip on though and looked more like an adolescent dog who has suddenly grown leggy and doesn't know what to do with them. Today, he seemed a lot more comfortable, both when working and afterwards just running around with the pack on the pasture. I'm hoping he's going to settle out of this and even up. We'll see! The saga continues....