Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Patrick Shannahan Clinic Review

Wow! What a fun time we had yesterday and to think Julie P and I almost thought about not going. Patrick is a great clinician and trainer and helped me get some amazing work out of Dutch. What a drastic change in such a short time with just a few little changes!

Patrick had me work Dutch just a little myself just so he could see him work first. Then he came and talked to me, he says Dutch isn't soft just super sensitive and that he doesn't like to be wrong at all. With some very light corrections and taking the pressue off of him when he is right and putting it on him when he is wrong, very lightly I might add, we had Dutch doing 100-150 yd outruns.

We also worked on his pace, at the top he now slows himself down, lifts them nicely and marches them down the field at a nice reasonable pace instead of blowing into them and tearing them down the field or quitting if you got after him for doing so.

All of this outrun work translated right over into his driving and he is driving much better now, I still walk along with him but he is pushing them along at a nice pace and controlling them.

I'm excited, can't wait to get him out and work on this with them. I plan to go to another clinic in the spring with Patrick if I can get into one. He works well with Dutch and I think he can help me along with him. And the fact that my dog doesn't like to be wrong thrills me....NO he's nothing like his owner :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm just here...

I've kind of been in a funk lately, stuck between a rock and a hard place...so i'm here, but just here

Jen is still doing rehab, not going to the rehab vet on a regular basis, everything we do is at home now. She's bored, I'm bored, but we plug away at her exercises every day. She goes back end of December/first of January for another recheck. Then if all looks well she can start to slowly go back so sheep work, meaning 2 minutes at a time.....

Dutch is growing up...
he's 15 months old now and looking pretty nice on sheep. I'm starting to do little outruns, give him flanks commands and keep reinforcing his "stand". Starting him I never thought I would say that since he started off sticky. I try to use him for the chores that I can, though when I have to move sheep outside of the fence I do use someone else! Thank you Julie for working him while I was out of town, that week of work did wonders for him. I'm hoping to get Dutch out to some new places, anyone who wants to volunteer their fields/sheep would be welcome, I have a few opportunites just need to work out the logistics....and maybe run him in NN as I can find the trials, time and money.

Spottie is still here, seems she has mostly gone deaf to my tone....but she can hear Tucker. Tucker likes to go out in the sheep field and play with the sheep, he pretends he is the dog and his favorite activity is shedding the sheep. I like to sit out and laugh at him and he always wants me to pick the hardest sheep to shed off as single so that he can attempt it. I have to admit that he is pretty darn good at it and holds his sheds well. So the other night I told him to go get Spottie and he could try to work her. I'll be darned if she just didn't work for him! She didn't want to take his lie downs but for the most part was good. She CAN hear him, so he now has a dog to work around the farm and learn how to be a handler. I imagine that I will be giving up one of my dogs for him to work in short order......CRAP that means I'm going to need more dogs since I only have 1 that is work now and 1 that may be able to work again sometime in the next year LOL.

The rest of the old dogs are doing well for now. Duke isn't old but he goes into that category. If anyone wants an agility or trick dog he is their man and I would consider loaning him to someone for that purpose, kind of like a free lease on a horse....but only to the perfect home!

My job front sucks, I mean it really does. I've worked for the same facility for 9 years.....and they cut my hours to part time. So now i'm working 3 part time jobs. Talk about tired, some mornings I can barely get up! I'm hoping to find a single full time position soon. I have an interview this Wednesday that could potentially be the job of my dreams (pending the hours are good and the pay is decent). Lets all cross our fingers for that.

I need to get out and mow the pasture so that some friends could come down and work dogs/sheep with me.....as soon as the fuel pump on the lawnmower gets fixed

Maybe that will get me out of my funk.......

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Better get my jogging shoes in gear!

Jen is officially close to the end of her weekly rehab! The vet told me today that we are to keep walking 2 hrs a day, broken up into 4 sessions but we are now to add 15 min a day of jogging! What a big step for a dog who ~4 months ago wouldn't even put weight on the leg......

But now I have to figure out how I am going to keep up for 15 min....I don't think I'm that fit. Though Dutch has been getting me prepped for this! Time to slow him down and speed Jen up!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dr. Ben's Benefit Trial

Well, there wasn't a big turnout for the novice trial. But I will say it was a nice supportive group of people and a fun day. I met several people that I have never met before. I ran Gael in P/N, we ran 5 sheep and a slightly different course from the last trial at the same place. This time we had no fetch panels but were required to keep a straight line down to the post a left hand drive and then to the pen. Our first run wasn't horrible but there were many things I could have improved. Our second run was one to write about!! Fabulous for only having run this dog 1 other time. Had to redirect her twice at the top, actually did on both of my runs, so I need to figure that out. Little bobble on the fetch but we quickly got back online. Nice turn at the post with a little bobble on the drive away due to the sheep wanting to escape to the exhaust but they got back on line and went nicely through the drive panels. Nice pen, had one try to escape as I was shutting the pen gate but my stick influenced her to stay in. Score of 65 out of 80....I was highly impressed with Gael and myself!! Can't wait for the next trial!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

And it was a success

Wow. It wasn't perfect my any means, no lie down at the top or really even until the fetch panels....but for me it was a success. I ran Gael in P/N with Robin and Jet holding out the sheep and made it through the entire course.......WITHOUT A GRIP or really even a thought of one!! We actually came in 7th which isn't great, but for me with only 2 trials under my belt, neither of which were with Gael, it is great! I can't wait to run again!

I really love running Gael. We know what we have to work on over the next 3 weeks. A lie down on Gael and maybe next time I won't be deathly ill so I can actually blow my whistle and not go into a coughing fit! I really hope my new whistle gets here in time, I have a thin one and REALLY like the thicker ones better!

Jen was very happy to get to come out and get her rehab walking in at the trial. She was so happy to see everyone.

Friday, May 28, 2010

So we have been working well...

LOL we will see if it all works out in a trial situation though. I rarely get nervous for anything anymore thanks to the years of showing horses....but ummmmmm well I'm not really nervous now just want them day to come to see if the big Gael/Kelly debut will be magical or disasterous. Its gonna be a long weekend! I keep using the techinques of invisioning the run in my head as I want it to happen, so hopefully the good visions will carry us through!

Jen will be in tow so that I can get all her rehab in that day and Dutch as well so that he can get some socialization.

Updates to come Tuesday, wish us LUCK

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Moving forward....

Lots of things have been going on lately. We have gotten several new chickens because of my egg business literally exploding. Its a good thing and Tucker has named them all. The newest injured hen (bought that way) named Henrietta LOL.

Jen is trucking along in rehab. We are down to only 1 vet visit a week, she is walking 4 times a day for 20 minutes each time. And 1 day a week other that vet visit day I take her soft cast off and she gets to spend the day without anything supporting her leg and she gets to walk without the cast for 15 minutes 2x that day.

Dutch is coming along. He has been out on sheep quite a few times and seems to get better each time. He is a nice looking dog so far and even during an experiment out in JP's field that went wrong he didn't majorly lose his head!

Gael is working nicely for me, I'm trying to learn her whistles better as Spottie would take anything close where Gael won't. We are entered in a trial, starting out in P/N in a few weeks and then the end of next month, pending the first trial goes as plans I have moved us up to Ranch. It will be nice to have her to learn from. I have basically decided to retire Spottie to just farm work, she was getting slower and slower while working in any sort of larger area and just wasn't recovering as well as I thought she should, so its definitely nice that Robin has let me borrow Gael (and good thing she works for me)......Now if only I could find an affordable dog that could definitely take me to open ;)

Other than that nothing around the farm has really changed......more updates to come!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

So the long process continues on....

Unless you have the patience, of oh say Job, please do not ever allow your dog to cut her flexor tendon. I am somewhat patient (LOL) and have a knack for sticking with rehab in horses. But man let me tell you, rehabbing a 2 yo border collie when you really have NO idea how its going is to say the least frustrating! Especially when said border collie is tired of being braced/casted/bandaged and really just wants to go work so she decides to eat the custom made brace. Patience I tell you, someone really thought I needed a lesson in it!
Thanks to a friend, thanks Barbara, I'm going to ask for an outline of the basics of what we will be doing for the next 9 months....it may change but at least I have something of a baseline. And maybe my vet won't disown me in the process with my incessant questions!

On another front, Dutch is going nicely for a 9 month old pup. I really like him and am glad he has worked out for me since Jen is out of commission for a while! We have Ranger here spending the weekend so he is having a great time playing with him!

Gael and Spottie are doing well, we are trying to get back in line so that we can do some trials this spring. Definately doing Dr. Ben's trial and hopefully we can get in at the bluegrass. Then after that maybe I'll make my debut in open at Robin's trial, with all that patience i'm learning!

So this is a short update, but hey at least its an update. Maybe this weekend i'll try to do an update on all the new chickens we have, thank Julie for encouraging the habit, since all of the old ones met an unfortunate demise.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ok so you all probably thought I got lost

But I really haven't I have just been SUPER busy with things!

First off, poor little Jen, my all time favorite dog managed to injure herself about a month ago. I had her out in the yard with all the dogs, they were having a grand time playing, and some how she managed her cut her leg just above the carpal pad, well being that dogs dont have any fat in that area, she also managed to cut the flexor tendon on that leg. She had emergency surgery to repair the tendon and has been splinted for 4 weeks now. I think we are going to try to move to support bandages next week and go from there but its going to be a long recovery for her.

Dutch has decided that sheep are fun and now wants to work all the time. He has only been on sheep 2 times, if you don't count the 1 time he broke into the pasture, and seems to be doing well. I think I will like him....that is if I can catch him when its time to be done working sheep. He's 7.5 months old now and is small like Jen, I think that runs in the lines, but he has enough attitude lately for 2 dogs! This is a picture of him after a long day of destroying a toy with my old labx.

I managed to steal Gael from Robin back in December. Well actually Robin offered, but I think she thought I would have sent her back by now. Its nice to have her around now that Jen is hurt and she is a blast for me to work. I really like her style and may even try to trial her sometime this spring. Don't worry Robin she will come home sometime!!

That's all the dog updates I can think of for now, I'm sure there will be more soon though....