Monday, September 21, 2009

Changes are in store

First, some other details of my trial trip. The handler's dinner was very nice. I finally got to meet some of the folks I have heard about, but now I was able to put faces to names.

The room I had at the lodge was huge. Just very very big. Half the size of my house. Could have fit 20 people in there.

Danny behaved very well, and was so loving to his breeder, who was running a dog there (and who had the top score in pro-n on Sat, let's hope she wins it). He didn't get to play ball, because I couldn't risk it at the trial site (the sheep were loose) and no place at the inn. But, he did very well.

I slept very well the second night, well, except when I was awoken at 3 am, by my upstairs neighbor....

For some reason, even though we didn't do well, I had a good time. I think I just needed to get away. I never do that- that is, stay over night and socialize. I should do that more.

When I got home on Sunday afternoon, everyone was so happy to see me. Mr. Chips came out from under the couch cushion (he's not so outgoing...). I let all the dogs out to run, and heard lots of talking from Kylie. When I checked my email, Ms Ginger, my very old kitty actually came out from the bedroom to be next to me.

I was asleep, I think, by 8:15 pm. Then, at about 3 something, the puking started. First, Ginger, on the bed near me- I shifted her away from me just in time. Then, Kylie?

When I got up, I noticed that my bedroom door was shut, and locked. VERY odd. I must have done that in my sleep. Scary, as I have no recollection about that.

This morning, I let Danny out with everyone, as Lucy is no longer amorous, and I am thanking God for that. I got everyone but Tucker, my old boy in. I think Tucker is almost blind, and pretty much deaf now. Anyway, I waved him in, and he came up the stairs, Now, I had Danny inside, because Danny will not let him up the stairs, or Tucker won't try, either way, as Tucker TRIES to make it up the stairs, Danny grabs him hard on his hock. It *really* annoys me, and it is unacceptable. Tucker is too old for this.

So, anyway, as I was saying, I had everyone in, including Danny (even though he didn't want to come in, because it is so much more fun to harass Tucker). Tucker made it up the stairs, got to the door, and as he tried to come inside, Danny shot out, and grabbed him. Tucker howled in pain.

This is where the change is coming folks. Danny, although I love him, just is not fitting in here. Maybe it's just because he is at a very tough age, or, maybe I am not, deep down, a Border Collie person. I don't know. If he was my only dog, it would be I am sure much better, but he isn't, and won't be. He doesn't only bother my old boy- he's a jerk with all the dogs. Always biting, always body slamming.

It isn't herding behavior, he's demonstrating, it's bullying/bratty stuff, that I think he is doing, because he is very bored in his life. I play with him, and we do some training, but it isn't enough. Danny can't work sheep yet, as he is clearly too immature. Danny would do very well in a house hold with another Border Collie, who can play just as hard and crazily as he. Even Lucy won't go outside to do her morning constitutional as he just runs into her. She is no push over either.

So, to that end, I am going to see what is the next step for Danny. I want everyone happy. I do NOT want Tucker, who is near being gone, to suffer any longer. It makes me really resent what Danny does to him, and I will not euthanize Tucker, so I can take away MY stress, by what Danny does to him. Oh, and yes, I have worked hard to teach Danny, that what he does is unacceptable, but he seems to have no control, and then once he's done it, he is very slavish to me, almost apologizing. Tucker went down this morning when Danny grabbed him. Tucker's weak in his hind legs.

I have also come to peace with maybe doing some other things with Lucy, perhaps Frisbee. She loves that. Lucy can beat any Border Collie out there when she has her head on right, but that comes sparingly. People were so nice at the trial this weekend. I guess since we've been at this a while, maybe they admire my perseverance, I don't know. Sure would be nice to have a stop on the fetch reliably, but I don't think it's coming.

I will still work sheep, but only sparingly, and will work the sheep at my brother's place, and take lessons with various folks. But, even that will be markedly decreased. I *need* to work on my house. I have let my personal life (non dog) get lost. I need a break. I need vacations away from my animals, or, if not quite that, I need a quieter house. I just need tranquility.

So, changes, they are coming, it is time.

1 comment:

BCxFour said...

Julie - Bonnie does the same stuff to our other dogs, especially Beth. The only way we have found to eliminate this constant nipping, herding and biting in Bonnie is to separate her from the others when they are running. Then to run Bonnie's butt off and get her tired separately.

Bonnie does the same behavior every time I let them all in the door, or out of the door, going up or down the stairs - anytime there is quick movement - her instinct overwhelms her. I just need to make sure I don't set it up. We open doors slowly. I grab her collar and hold on (talking to her nicely so she doesn't think she is being punished) while the other dogs go through - then I let her go with a quiet small voice to keep her calm. If I see them all racing around the back yard - I bring just her in the house to prevent any further injuries. It is a lot of work - and I think I would be right where you are in a difficult decision if I had to work out side of the home (still on the funemployment vacation). Sometimes you just need to consider what is in the dog's best interest.

Here is a positive thought - the older Bonnie is getting the less she is doing this. Hopefully Danny will start to develop some impulse control soon.

Hang in there.