I don't know where to start. Have you ever had one of those days where EVERYTHING seemed different? You start out a normal same old same old day, and then something really good happens? Well, I had one of those days.
Yesterday, after work, (so, yes it was a long day) I went up to meet with Danny's breeder, and meet her and the pups at a friend's place, and to work Lucy.
Two of Danny's sibs were there, a female and a male. All the pups look so different. The female is a wee thing (even smaller than Dan) and the male is bigger than Dan. They had not been on sheep yet. I think I have mentioned that I LOVE to watch pups tried on sheep for the first time, so I knew I would enjoy myself. The female was first. She was a bit tentative with a stranger in with her and sheep, but did go around a bit. The male just wasn't ready yet- new person, place, and sheep. But, he did show interest, so he just needs more cookin'. Then, we tried the little female again. OH MY. She was a star. Going around with speed, but not too fast, and changing direction. Stopping on her own when the sheep were brought to the fence, basically I would be BEAMING if that were my pup. Of course, these pups aren't even 6 months yet, so we are seeing instinct, but it was good instinct ;)
Okay, so, Danny was next. Oh boy. He did so good the last time (the second time) with the sheep. This time? Not so much. I HAVE to remember he is so young. Danny went in like gangbusters, and sure was busting- the sheep up- if you know what I mean. He would go around a bit, but his first order of business was to get to the sheep, and open his mouth. Danny! What happened to my sweet little boy??? And, in front of your breeder??? Danny quickly exhausted himself too. Danny is NOT afraid of the sheep- he preferred front end grabs. Anyway, he is going to be put up for a couple more months, as there is no sense getting him on sheep, when the correction he will need will be a bit more than his wee puppy brain can handle- I think.
I bet by now you are wondering why I listed the aforementioned title? Well, be patient, it's coming...
So, after others worked their dogs, I got Lucy out. Now, anytime someone sees Lucy work for the first time- especially a "BC person" I get a bit well, nervous. I don't want Lucy to re-confirm to others that Border Collies are the only breed worth a damn on sheep. So, we got out there, and I have her fetch the sheep to me. Good outrun. Then, I have her turn them at the imaginary post, and down the field we go. She was working pretty good, and we got some good steering done, and generally, I was certainly not embarrassed by her work.
Then, later, after all was said and done, I went out again with Lucy. I wanted to work on driving. How do I describe this? First, Lucy turned them around me, and then drove them off me as straight as a pin- no flanking -YES!!!!!!!!
Then, she drove them several yards, something like 150? away from me, and then I had her do a half flank, to turn them to the right for a cross drive. She kept them on a line almost perfectly, with only a couple of resets- YES!!!!!!!!!!!! It wasn't too short a cross drive either. Then, we got to some gates, and I was able to steer her left, right, down, walk up, what EVER I wanted, to get those sheep through those gates. Then, I had her drive them further away, and I was even able to get her to speed them up- with no flanking side to side- YES!!!!!!!! I saw visions of an open dog. I kid you not. I seriously kid you not. After I had her drive them away, I called Lucy to me and jubilantly told her what a good girl she was. She ran so fast to me with, what I SWEAR was a big smile on her face and she was just so happy. I can't tell you how happy she looked, and how happy we both we together. I could live on the fumes of this joy for weeks.
While driving home, the song "Red Neck Woman" came on the radio, and I blasted it. She may surely be the wrong color, and the wrong style, but she is a proud workin' girl, and she OWNED those sheep. Hands down- no apologies, no nuttin'. She freakin' rocks. WE rock as a team. I could just not be happier.