Sunday, November 11, 2007

Well on Our Way

Yesterday I took Chesney out and ran him in local trial, due to lack of other types of Trials in this area and lack of my ability to travel long distances while at school. He got second with a score of 76. I was pleased to say the least. He was a little rough on the edges but that was expected. It was really good to see what stuff stuck with him and improved with time off and maturity. We also got to see what didn't stick so well and what we will continue to work on. I learned today that Chesney needs to still learn his flanks. He is purely reading my body language and goes the direction based on that. Fine with me. Just means we need to work on it. We also learned that when you lay a dog up for four months they are really excited to FINALLY be back working their sheep. That being said, when I sent Chesney on his outrun, well it was much more of just a run, there was no out in it, he went straight up the middle and ducked out to the go-bye and got behind his sheep. The plus in this... He didn't go busting through them and he went out (finally) to the direction I originally told him. Both improvements!

On the gather the sheep were moving at a nice CLIP, and Chesney finally took the second lie down I gave him that was preempted by... Hey you! What are you doing (while stepping into him). I guess he figured he might want to listen to me today. After that it was just sit back and ride the breaks the whole way. He was sharp taking his lie downs. He hit the dirt the fastest I have ever seen him take a lie down before, I was very happy. He was responding to the steady and taking his time when asked. We got them through the first gate (Yay!), and he moved them through the gate himself I didn't have to actually walk through the gate (not supposed to usually) then we moved on to the next. Through the second gate we only got one through because of my stupidity and bad positioning (once again I am ruining my dog and he is picking up my slack*sigh*). Then we were off to the pen. I noticed that everyone else who was having trouble with their pen were not beating their sheep to the gate. So I used Chesney to hold them off the pen while I opened it and then sent him around to put them up. We only played ring around the rosie once. Then he penned them nicely. Got them out quietly and we went to hold them. It only took me once to reposition myself and get everyone settled to stand for a minute. Then off to the Exhaust and That'll Do!

Everyone was exceptionally nice. A very welcoming crowd of poeple. I got a few numbers of people who are willing to let Chesney and I come out to their place and work with them. I'm excited for next semester to finally work my dog on a regular basis.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sheep? Did someone say sheep?!?!?

Thursday was a good day down in the pasture where we go sheep herding. Chesney did very well. We worked the sheep in the larger of the two paddocks and continued to practice our fetching and small outruns. Chesney at first was having a hard time listening to the "lie downs" I was giving him but settled in nicely and much quicker this time than he did last week. He made some new friends today. A little black/white girl named Piper who was so attached to her owner it was beyond adorable. Miss Tikkle was there and as sharp as usual. She is such a cool little dog. Then came Sprout, a young girl that was brought trained to work on a goat farm. She was sharp, good little dog that unfortunately was starting to develop so bad habits that Anna was trying to get her out of. Chesney and I got to meet Lucky. A very pretty red tri girl, who is also Tikkle's grandma! That girl can work some cows! She did well today. Then there is little Mr. Rain. Boy was he cute! Only about 3 months old and the sweetest little guy you would ever meet. Poor thing got a dreadful fox tail up his nose though and didn't get the chance to work before he was whisped away to get it taken out.

After Chesney's first trip out on the sheep the second tim
e we were asked to move the sheep to the outside main (rather large) pasture. I was kind of nervous but I had faith that Chesney would listen well and things would stay relatively under control. For the most part they did! I was struggling and fumbling a bit on the hills and gopher holes as I was walking backwards and a rather brisk pace to try and keep ahead to the sheep's fast pace because of Chesney's quick pace! Phew! Alas to no avail I got trampled on... And it wouldn't be the last time for the day! So out in the big pasture we practiced our fetching some more. And some gathering and getting around the sheep and at the top of them cutting in on a straight line... It was good. We put them away and Chesney rested for his third time out which was going to be "functional work" as I like to call it.

On to the functional work... We helped with turning the sheepies out for the night. Chesney and I went to get a rather large group (or larger than we've ever worked with). There were some real buggers in that group
and one male tried to stand up to Chesney, who stood his ground and forced the sheep to move! Way to go Chesney! I had him circle a few times each direction so he could get a feel for them and also get used to working in smaller tighter spaces. Once I opened the gate the wanted to break, but I was ready for it and got Chesney in a good position to be able to stop them. Which he did quite well. We took this group of sheep for a "walk" then turned them out and headed over to the other smaller group to get them turned out. I went into the larger paddock with Chesney at my side (good dog for staying with me!) and we were going to get the 5 or so sheep out of the small pen they were in to join them up with the 3 school sheep already in the paddock. Well it seemed like a good idea to take Chesney in there with me. This pen, let me explain, is about 4'x10'... not very big for a dog, its person and 5 terrified sheep! This has disaster written all over it! One of the sheep head butted Chesney, who stood his ground and changed the sheeps mind that that might be a good idea.

Now, getting 5 sheep out of a pen that small past a dog is exhilarating to say the least! Yes this was the second time of the day I got trampled. Quite funny actually because I should have seen it coming! Get up dust myself off and try to collect my dog who is running a muck after the scattered sheep. Comical.... Right!?!? Not so much. Finally I get everything under control and in good spirit take a bow to all those who were watching. Chesney
and I get the sheep out into the open pasture and take them for a walk again but only a short one because Chesney had over heated and was going to injure himself if I didn't stop him. We went to water and he sat in the trough for a good 5 minutes. All in all it was a great day and I couldn't ask for a more rewarding thing to do with your naturally born talented sheep dog!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Just me and my boy

Now that I have ten minutes to myself while my little man takes a power nap. They are all power naps, never really long enough to get anything done without his help. But I love him for that. Chesney is my handsome Border Collie. His name Chesney well lets just say his full name is Livin in Fastforward! That boy is just on the go all the time. He came into my life at a much needed time. In May of 2005 this fur ball of a 12 week old pup came bouncing into my life after the loss of my Sheltie the previous Thanksgiving. Getting Chesney was an important moment for me. It was getting him that helped me move on from a long two years at a college that really didn't turn out to be the right choice for me, and Chesney was going to be with me for our long trek from California to a new school in Louisiana! Here is where his and my real journey began. Learning from eachother. Chesney has taught me that I have the ability to give such love and care to another being that I thought I never had. I found this when I thought I'd lost my boy forever. He escaped one night and was gone for a hour (felt like years!) At that moment and time I truley realized just how much I cared and loved him. After that moment, not a day goes by that I think about how much this little dog really means to me. Thanks bud!

Now enough of the mushy stuff, here's a little bit about Chesney. He's fast, athletic, and driven, loves working his sheep. He thinks about wanting to work the cows but thats still a challenge in its own that neither I nor him are ready to take on yet. He loves his soccer ball more than his frisbee, but loves his frisbee more than his ball. He loves his rope more than all those, but loves his Sheep and Border Kitty most of all!

Some about me... Well not really much to say to tell you the truth. I play division 1 soccer in Louisiana after transfering fromplaying division 1 soccer at a school in Nothing (I mean Northern) California (jk being a Southern California girl my whole life, Nor. Cal. is like another state!). I am studying Athletic Training and would love working in that field at the college level along with being a Firefighter in California! I will forwarn you that most of my blogs will indeed be about me and my dog, but I will in time throw in other stories along the way!