Thursday, June 7, 2012
The other day I got an invitation to go work dogs with a well known handler. At first, I was nervous, but that passed; I think I have finally gotten to a point where it isn't about how we do, it's about how I learn, and how my dogs learn. We were immediately put through our paces, and I got some good suggestions on handling Dan, and Dan did well. I think it is because I was *not* nervous. This is big folks! Dan even shed three sheep. I was stoked! I feel like I have come a long way, but now that we are going to run in open, that I just sort of stepped on a really really long escalator that will keep breaking down as we go. That scares me, but I know in my heart of hearts, that I, and Dan need the challenge. We need to go to the post and be a team and learn together. Wow. It's sort of amazing. I got a taste of what it's like to run with the big boys at our last trial- and it was extremely humbling. Wow. It took me a day to recover... which isn't bad. But, it's sort of like when you go to grab a lamb for processing (shots/worming) and it gets away- you are upset at first, but then, you go forward and vow to catch that little bugger better next time... So, that's where were are.
After I worked Dan, I put Joe on some sheep. He's going around, covering, not afraid of going between fence and sheep and will walk straight into them with a strength of conviction I have not seen in such a young pup. This last part drew some good compliments from the onlookers, and when we stopped, Joe was just as cool and collected as he normally is. I cannot wait to be able to train him. Going to give him another month or two to grow up, and then we will start in earnest.
The sheep are doing well. My sister asked me how many I have, and I couldn't answer really fast, because I count in terms of adult ewes, my lambs, the new lambs and the ram. Total for now is 16. My oldest in tact ram lamb is starting to ride all the ewes, so he has to go soon. He's slated to be a breeding ram (apparently he heard that) so, signs are there that he will be ready to do the job when it is given to him.
Today I give my lambs their second set of Cd/T shots and then, in another few weeks, the new lambs get theirs, and then we are all done for shots until the spring. I don't mind giving shots anymore- I have a technique that seems to work. You have to know your sheep- that's the big thing.
John called to let me know the shearer is coming next week. Lucy will be pressed into service. I am beginning to feel bad for her, because these sheep are nasty. I would just prefer to use a bull whip (the sound would move them) and people. There is one red tagged ewe that always tries for Lucy. Lucy needs to give her the old college try, and teach her that there is no going after her. I don't blame the sheep; as they come and go as they like and are not handled, and the only other canines they see are ones that want to eat them.
That's it for now everyone.