June brought me a rare opportunity in regards to dog work. I participated in a Jack Knox clinic and then two weeks later, hosted a Kathy Knox clinic. The opportunity was found in working two dogs with Jack, spending two weeks sorting out what he said to me, and then working them with Kathy for some final input until I see the Knox's again.
Sometimes, when I work with Jack, I don't totally understand the concept of what is presented until I chew that cud over and over and over. My over-thinking seems to start on the drive home from the clinic and continues as I work the dogs...with dedication to seeking out the answers, clarity comes. With Bella, we worked on that tiny bit of tension that remains at the top. She is coming in tight and a bit "wrong". Jack suggested a stop and blow out as one tool to try for a while....with the goal being Bella finding the answer in the correct and then seeking it herself over time.
|The Italian hand gestures coming out in me, working Bella|
Two weeks later, I greeted Kathy, Lorri, Cheryl and Geri at Rocking Dog Ranch....for the pre clinic pep talk. I was thankful I had weaned lambs but wishing I had weaned the katahdin lambs as well. Thanks to help from friends and my neighbor I mowed, pulled a few fences, and generally cleaned up the ranch into spiffiness. Most of my own personal clinic experience learning was obtained from the top end as I moved and set sheep with the help of Lana and Geri. Actually, it was interesting to be up where I could not hear but could watch intently. It was fascinating to see how the sheep behaved by how they were handled.
|Geri and Kathy working in the bottom pasture|
Kathy helped me put Gyp on lambs...and all the "feel" I have been looking for poured out of that 17 month old pup! Oh, so that is what Jack meant! I need to be conscious of making sure I put Gyp on sheep that create the need to think...those type of sheep certainly brought out the best of all I have been working towards with Gyp.
I have to confess, I really enjoy my time working with and discussing dogs with both the Knox's. I love the experience they bring to the dogs....and the fact they are so willing to share all that they know. They never seem to hold information back...even for questions not asked. I now have a whole summer's worth of over-thinking material...until I see Jack again in August. He is coming back in August to judge a trial I am helping put on......I'm not sure he has ever seen me run a dog! That might be the start of a new chapter of "discussions with Jack"...handling on the course!
Seize the Day!