Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Confessional


 Okay, this is Laura's fault - I decided to participate. So here goes!

I Confess - That when I first started blogging, I gauged my success on how many followers I had!! But when I got over that....well...

I Confess -  the friends I've made in blog land are amazing and I've enjoyed every minute of getting to know each and every one of you!

I Confess - keeping up with three blogs gets to me sometime, but hey I'm a person with many interests and don't want to bore one group with my thoughts on every subject.

I Confess - it use to hurt my feelings when my quilt blog friends didn't give a hoot about how great an out run Tate had!! and that my dog buddies thought I was nuts when I told them about winning some quilt blocks in a drawing!! Hence - separate blogs!!! 

I Confess - confession IS GOOD for my soul!! Thanks!!!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!   

Thursday, January 26, 2012

TMT 2012 #4

1. How do you search for and choose a trainer? 

How do you define "trainer"? If a trainer is someone that you hire to train your animal for a specified time and then show it or assist you in showing it - I don't have one. If you define "trainer" as a professional that assists you in your training of your own animal - then I have several. I watch several open handlers and then grill them and ask them how I can improve. I go to their places and work with them. It works for me and my program.

2. The dog world is small and ...uh... talkative. How do handle situations where there is talking that is not beneficial. 

I walk away - that's life - people are always going to "talk" about things - and I choose to only participate in productive conversations that help me and others become better handlers.

3. Do you believe that a person's personal life should influence your choice of a trainer? 

If a person participates in an activity which affects their ability to assist me then I probably wouldn't ask them for assistance.

4.  When you have a breakthrough moment with your dog, do you feel that moment makes your connection with that dog stronger and the next step in training easier? 

You bet! Working Border Collies (any animal really) is about a relationship that grows each time you are together where both of you are learning to make each other the best you can be!

5. Do you stick with one trainer, or do you go to multiple sources for help? 

Answered in question #1.

Have a Great Week!!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

TMT 2012 #3

Another wonderful session of TMT with Laura - and it is sure to be an exciting trip!!

1. What is one lesson you learned this week? 

It is okay to grow old!  Growing old! (especially if you have dogs!)

2. Who or what have might you been in an earlier life? What might you be in a next life? 

For the most part I've always been happy/content with who I am, and the time frame in which I live, so I've never really thought about it much. But I do think it would have been totally awesome to have been Margaret Thatcher! I would have made a great Prime Minister. Next life: Yo Yo Ma!

3. What unusual things do you like the smell of but don't usually admit?

I love the smell of dirt - farm land, garden, flower beds. I also like the smell of brussel sprouts - but that totally grosses out my family! Feed stores - love to go in the back where the feed is stored.

4.  What are your thoughts on continuing vs. retiring when a trial run is going badly? How do you decide? Where do you draw the line?  

Knowing your dog. Reading why the run is going badly - dog's fault, sheep's fault, handler's fault. Does the dog take a command and/or correction readily. The line for me is: when Tate is skybugging!!!!

5. Question and/or topics that I would like to discussed in this venue.

  • Favorite season of the year and why
  • One thing that you would totally redo (if you could) in regards to dog training
  • One thing - not related to dogs - that you would like to do that you have not done
  • One thing that you enjoyed doing in the past that you no longer participate in
  • What is one thing about yourself that you know bugs other people - but you do it anyway

Thursday, January 12, 2012

TMT With Laura 2012 #2

First of all I want to preface by saying I missed last week for a good reason. We made a round trip of about 200 miles to haul concrete water troughs for a job we are doing. We went on Thursday, but I thought, no big deal, I'll be home late afternoon and be able to get the first TMT with Laura done with no problem. But here's a couple of  pictures of how the trip went!

Needless to say, TMT went out the window as it was dark thirty Thursday when we got home and then we spent all day Friday getting troughs unloaded, tires changed, troughs reloaded, hauled to the site, unloaded again. So by Friday evening, I just crashed and didn't do much of anything. 

But I'm ready to go for this week! Loved reading others responses last week.

1. Stopping your dog - What do you prefer? On their feet? On their belly? or some combination? 

Ideally I'd like a combination of both, but I've not achieved that in my noviceness. (I know that's not a word, but hey it works for me.) My first dog, Skeeter, was a natural down dog, when she stopped, she naturally laid down, so I trained my next dogs to lay down when I stopped them, and for the most part that works okay, but there are times that I want Tate to just Stop and Hold, so I'm working on a "stand" command, which is coming very slowly. I've watched some handlers, both live and on video, that use "Lie Down" to mean stop, but when I say "Lie Down" I want them to do so and stay there until I give them the next command. Now on an outrun, when I blow my "stop" whistle, I just want Tate to stop and turn in, not necessarily "lie down" - He does this very naturally, so we are good there.

2. At what point to you start teaching this? 

Another "noviceness" answer. When, I'm dry working pups, they must lie down when I tell them, but when I put them on stock, I won't make them lie down until they seem more confident and are listening and not just working because that's what they do. Totally depends on the situation. Like last night, Bess (who is nine months old) was doing chores with me. We went into the pen (60' x 80') where the milk cow and her calf were. Immediately, Bess went around and began to balance and fetch. She worked nice and wide and when she got to the back side, I asked her to lie down, which she did and then I poured the feed into the trough. Then, I went to Bess and we went out of the pen away from the cow. A great "teachable moment" for Bess, where she wasn't threatened or put in a stress situation, but was asked to obey, partner with me, and get a job done. The "Lie Down" command for me is "You better stop and take off the pressure", where as the "Stand" command would be "stop, but keep the "presence" on the stock". Ask me this question in a month, and I'll probably have a different answer!

3. Do you have a favorite dog? I won't tell. 

The one I'm working at the moment!!! But truthfully, I'd have to say Bess is my favorite, because she is such a happy dog ALL THE TIME and she loves me!! Ask me this question tomorrow and I'll give a different answer!

4. What is the #1 thing a dog can do to push your buttons? 

Not listen/not obey something that they know to do. I call it "sky bugging" - they are looking for bugs in the sky and not listening to me!

5.'s winter. What is your favorite soup recipe? 
Next to chili (Laura already did that and my recipe is real close to hers) it would have to be
Chicken Corn Soup

About 2 cups of any type of cooked chicken and or turkey (more if you want it meatier)
Chicken broth or stock
1 small onion chopped
some chopped celery (desired amount)
1 can cream style corn
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup

Saute onions and celery in butter. Add remaining ingredients and add water so it is not too dry. Simmer, until bubbly. 

1 cup flour
1 egg
a little salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

Mix rivet ingredients with fork. (Might have to add a little milk, so the rivets "make")  Then pinch "thumb" size dumplings and drop in simmering soup. Let simmer for about 10 more minutes. 

Yum Yum!!

Have a Great Day!!