|RE-ENACTMENT: The city slicker-stick wielding-Vegetarian is losing her mind. Look out, she's gonna snap!|
Herding hurts my head. It is an addictive and way-to-fun sport ... "just one more time and I think I can get it right." I'm never left satisfied, which keeps me coming back for more. Like everything I do - I'm on the constant quest to do better. Damn you Gyp, why did you have to like this sport so much! Damn me - why I am such a curious person who never is satisfied and wants to keep learning new things.
Gyp waits patiently for her turn.
"Sorry for not being a better stock handler Gyp, I'm trying, but I'm a city girl!"
Herding is THE MOST DIFFICULT thing you will ever try with a dog - atleast in my experience. Jane did JRT trials - which where all pretty much based on the instinct of the dog with very little training - either they wanted to kill the prey, or they didn't. Jane wanted to kill it. I've done bird and field work with Kaleb at a beginner level and hunting for real (I don't shoot, Pete does - I just do the training) ... the animals that are prey, that K hunts are alive, BOOM BOOM, then they are dead ... one less thing in the equation. Now I can focus on the dog and me. And when we train, the birds are either A) dead or B) in the form of a Dokken or Bumper. Very difficult in its own right, just like the Open Field trials of Retriever Trials, Herding also takes an a whole other level of pushing dogs limits and having them work against instinct at times. We are no where near either of those levels in bird or herding training. Not sure we ever will be - but boy do I love the journey!!
I like to think Agility is my forte - it's where most of my energy and time is put. I am pretty sure I don't suck as bad at Agility as I do at herding. But if I put it in to perspective - my first year of training Agility with Jane 10 years ago was laughable ... oh man I must have looked like a fool. My poor dog. So I get the learning process, and that fact that I only know what I know, and I don't know what I don't know - how's that for a philosophy. Now I look like a fool again, my poor dog!! Crap, I'm seeing a pattern. Thank goodness for wine.
For those familiar with Agility and wonder what herding is like ... or those that do both, tell me I'm wrong ... I'm at an Agility Trial ... I'm running a planned course, I'm up next, I've walked it in my head, I feel confident with my dog, we walk onto the course ... then all of the sudden out of no where untrained, out of control beasts are out there the course and now I have to run my dog, stay on the path all while watching the pack and trying to navigate them around at the same time. It's awful, dreadful and really FUN!!!!
OMG COULD YOU FRIGGIN IMAGINE!!!
Pretty sure the saying don't quit your day job applies here ...
but Gyp and I are enjoying this part time job :)