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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

White Ain't Working ... I know ...

I tried changing the background to white in hopes of brightening up some of the photos, but it didn't work, and I don't like a white background.  So I'm going to change a bunch of stuff around soon.  Not sure when.  I have all kinds of little projects going on.  I still need to publish the results of the Big Freeze trial, and post photos from last weekend when we went out and worked dogs, and finish painting the dog room, and whatever else I've got going. 

I haven't had a Diet Coke since last Thursday.  This ... is basically a miracle for me.  Now that I muscled my way through that, I am not inclined to drink it ever again.  If I got up in the morning, and I didn't have a soda, I had a headache like nobody's business.  I don't have that anymore.  Woo hoo!  I've also cut way back on carbs (although not killing myself with a "diet") and my clothes fit better.  I'm trying to look at it as a new way of life, but man, do I miss homemade bread.  I don't miss it all that much when I just slip right into my jeans though.

The last trial bothered me a bit.  It's one of the reasons I don't like running one dog.  There is so much pressure on that dog to do well.  But after looking at it, how badly did we really do?  I bought her as a pup dirt cheap, I've done all of her training, and she's one of the best dogs I've ever owned.  We got around the course on Saturday, she took every command I gave her for the most part, and all of those mistakes were mine and mine alone.  On Sunday, we got stuck at the top of the outrun.  If that's the worst that happened, I think we're ok.  A top-of-the-outrun training issue is fixable.  And the rest of it just needs miles.  My timing ... eight years in ... is still off.  I can feel it.  But all of her training is mine, and I am proud of how far we've come.  It's just recently that we're getting around a course without gripping off, or splitting one off and chasing it through the fair.  Or looking for a boyfriend while on our way to setout on the outrun.  So yeah.  We got around the course on Saturday.  There's solid improvement in and of itself and I'm happy with that.  And we actually got numbers instead of letters.  So there's that!

I've come to realize how often we set out own sheep and do outruns with no one at the top.  Last Saturday, Phyllis, Glenda and Dawn Marie set sheep for us, and Phyllis was wearing some type of scary cape-like thing, and I practiced sending Echo into that environment.  The first time was a bit tough.  She wanted to come in front of everyone and just sort of sneak around and get behind the sheep enough to peel them off of the scary people.  I got after her and kicked her waaaaaay out and way back behind all of the commotion, and asked her to come right into it.  She was pretty unsure about that, and it took a lot of positive encouragement on my part to get her to trust me.  But she did it.  Finally.  From there, it got better and better, and the last time of the day, she was pretty confident, although still a bit wary of Phyllis' cape.  But a huge improvement.  Good thing people don't normally dress up like Batman when setting sheep.

Brrrr ... it's a bit chilly this morning.  I hope my truck has warmed up.  Off to work.


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