Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cricket at the Clinic

We know who the photographer in the family is. Of all the shots Dale took, I kept one. It took the full two days for Cricket and I to quit fighting each other and to FINALLY get her to just relax and trust me, and do what she does best - work stock. It was a breakthrough of epic proportions, really, because she's very talented but very dominant and not really into "do it my way", preferring to do it HER way, the best way or not. She's kinda back where she started as a puppy, when she'd rate and balance all on her own and very nicely, without any interferance from me, completely naturally.

So it was a good weekend, but exhausting. It's a long drive there and back, a lot of sitting around watching and waiting, then 20 or so minutes of intense physical and mental exertion for both dog and handler. Plus, once home on Sunday we had to catch up on a lot of stuff too that didn't get done over the weekend. But, it was worth it.

Love Cricket peeking out from under Dale's leg

Cricket does a little driving. Not that I asked her to. But this is how we always seem to start our fights, her and I. I want her to bring them to me. She doesn't trust me with them, so she takes them where SHE wants. By the end of the weekend, she was not only bringing them to me, but going back to rating on her own, trusting me finally

Hoke at the Clinic

Hoke went on Saturday, which was a good thing it was only on Saturday, as on his last go-round, he tweaked a muscle in his back leg and had to pack it in for the day. He's fine, but with the rain and all, the ground was slick and he only really has one speed - Mach 6 - so things do happen. But all in all, he and Dale did well and made progress.

If I act like I'm really way out, maybe we can get OUT of this dumb round pen and out where I can REALLY get up some speed

Like out here

A rare sorta walk up from the hotrod

Oooooookay then, I'm nice and calm and goin' DOWN, just like I was asked to. But I got something between my teeth and I really need to floss with some of that tasty wool right there, y'know the feelin'?

Where did THIS dog come from, walking up all nice and steady and calm?

Gem at the Clinic

Last weekend, we spent the weekend at Ken and Debbie's place in Sweet Home, attending a clinic by Marti Parrish, a well known Aussie trainer/trialer/breeder of topnotch working Aussies. It was Gem's first time on stock away from home, and to say she started out a bit freaked was putting it mildly. The tail went between the legs and stayed firmly clamped there for a few hours, what with all the dogs and people about. But, she eventually relaxed enough to let the tail swing a bit, especially after her first go-round, with goats. She did some nice stuff out there with Dale, and by the second go-round, she was getting with the programme pretty well, and I think Dale learned a bit about getting more out of her too.

Ooooo, GOATS!! I love the taste of goat in the morning!

Okay, just let go the leash and I'll take care of this loner, put him back where he belongs. Just drop the leash, go ahead, just let it go, it'll be fine...

I feel the neeeeeed for speeeeeed

I'm OUT already, okay, I'm OUT! Hey, look - more goats! I do NOT have ADHD! Hey look - more goats!

Hey, who let this one with the stick in here just when I was starting to really have a good time?

Gemmy Bear

Gem, the BC puppy, who will be 2 years old in August, with her bear in a charming montage