Thursday, October 23, 2008

As the cold wind blows...

I went out to Dianne's on Tuesday for a lesson, but before I tell you about that...

Last weekend Joe and I (and the crew) drove up to Idaho City for the day. It was a lot of fun! The leaves were just beautiful and the weather was about perfect. I wanted to find a ghost town and explore it, but that didn't really come together. But we did get to see some gorgeous mountain scenery and play Chuckit with the girls.

The only bad part was the two times that Ivy (the Brittany) got violently carsick... ugh. But overall it was a great day.

Okay, now time for some photos!

The drive there:

Some scenery:

And, knowing me, the end of the trip turned into a Cedar photo-op :D

So anyways, back to my lesson with Dianne :)

First of all, it was FREEZING! The season has definitely changed now, that's for sure. Because of the new colder weather, both the sheep AND the dogs were feeling friskier. The sheep were much lighter than on previous days, and Cedar was extremely full of piss and vinegar. At first, she was not respecting my bubble at all. I was using the stick as a crutch instead of as a proper tool, and Cedar was getting desensitized to it. I also have this thing with flailing my arms around too much... LOL. Thank god Dianne is there to watch me and let me know when my body language gets too out of control! :D.


Like usual, we were working on getting Cedar out more, and to get her to stay comfortable behind her sheep. When she gets too close she gets nervous and goes back and forth with increasing speed. Her "lay down" is very unreliable at this point, which makes things a bit tougher. But we worked on that, too. I was getting wayyy too flustered with her at first, but thankfully was able to get things under control by the time our second work came around. I finally was able to get Cedar to settle down without too much yelling. My timing has improved soooooo much lately, it sure does make things easier!

After working Cedar, Dianne let me mess around with Nikki. She is am awesome dog! I really love working with her. Too bad she's not for sale.... j/k :) Dianne let me work her alone, which was neat. I think she was watching me from afar, though... hehe.

After doing a few outrun/fetch exercises like I used to do with Rob, I got brave/bored (haha) and decided to mess around with driving. Mind you, I don't know the first thing about driving and how to do it, but thankfully Nikki does :). It was very cool. I drove her around the field with a decent amount of success. At least, nothing bad happened and I didn't get the feeling that Nikki thought I was a complete idiot. I hope I didn't mess her up too badly ;) I am not yet whistle-proficient (haha) so I had to give her all voice commands, which was pretty tiring. I can definitely see the appeal and usefulness of whistle training.

Thanks Dianne for another great lesson!

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