Yes! It's back!
1. What are your plans for the holiday season?
Drinking. A lot of drinking. I hope my son comes and spends some time with me. The coast-to-coast calls have gone quiet. I'm sure I'll talk to my sister like I do almost every day. It'd be nice if she could come back up, but that's a lot to ask. Quite honestly, I am dreading this holiday season, unfortunately. I miss my brother like nothing else.
2. Do you decorate? If so, what have you done so far?
When Justin was young, I used to. I have boxes and boxes of Christmas crap in the "garage," and planned on doing a bit this year, but now that I hurt my back, I've decided it's easier to leave it there. No point in getting a tree. I'm the only one who would see it.
3. a. Favorite recent dog photo?
Confirmation of Echo's lettuce ejector ...
b. Photo that shows your mood today (or one word)?
4. There's been a discussion on the BC Boards about "don't train for the novice classes... just train for open and the rest will fall into place." What are your thoughts on this?
The Boards are becoming more and more difficult for even me to follow. Having Mr. Wannabe Writer continue to address people by guessing what level of training they are at is no less insulting today than it was months ago. You're on a message board ... there is NO reason to address people, no less address them by "Dear Wouldbe Sheepdoggers" ... really? Wouldbe ... if what? If you were an open handler? I guess being able to handle moving livestock in real situations excludes you from being a "real" sheepdogger. But if you are running in open, and the thread is geared that way, then you are addressed, "Dear Fellow Handlers." Imagine that. Anyone who says that this is not intentional has their head in the sand. It is very rude and the moderator continues to do nothing about it. But ... who am I to criticize? He has an entire following of people that find everything he posts to be the greatest thing ever written -- even though it's mostly pompous, obvious bullshit, geared toward gaining himself more attention. If there's a 22 page thread, no no ... he won't post to it. He has to start his own quasi-related thread. Ridiculous. He now has another "wouldbe sheepdogger" ("wouldbe" but she's an AKC judge) handler doing the same now. What a joke.
But call Root Beer to the carpet on her experience, and you get your ass in a bind with the moderator in a heartbeat. Apparently, she's special.
And whatever you do, do not question the "expert" trainer / newly-elected magazine guru on why she puts puppies -- very very young puppies -- on stock and promotes doing so on the boards ... when top handlers all over the country do NOT recommend starting pups until they are much older. Oh, and crossbred puppies are acceptable to, since they are "bred for work" I guess. Even though you look back in some of her posts, and she tells a fabulous tale about how she only has one or two litters a year, the story is much different when you start paying attention. But ... don't mention that. It's negative. The boards are for holding hands and singing Kumbaya.
My goal is, and has always been, to move the livestock in a calm, efficient manner, and I train accordingly. Proper handling of livestock. There is a big difference between running a few sheep through an obstacle course while playing "the game" to be able to move up that social ladder ... and actually raising and managing a healthy flock of sheep on a day to day basis. You know ... the "behind the scenes" stuff. The stuff that needs to be done when everyone goes home. To me, that's where a dog needs to shine. That's the part one should train for.
5. What are your top five cannot-do-without-them dog items?
1) My house that they live in.
2) The couches they sleep on.
3) The water bowl I pee in.
4) The truck I drive them around in.
5) Their sheep.