I sheared the pregnant ewes yesterday.....boy do they look nice...and VERY gravid! I put down fresh straw and also introduced a molasses lick.....all in an effort to help those bare-naked ladies with this crazy weather and overnight temps in the 20's!
Thursday came and the TMT challenge was this:
1. How do you search for and then choose a trainer?
2. The dog world is small and... uh... talkative. After choosing a trainer how do you handle those people in your life who don't believe in that trainer/trainers methods and criticize them to you?
3. Do you believe that a person's personal life should influence your choice of a trainer? (i.e do you believe a person's choice to be a party animal outside of work would affect your choice?)
4. When you have a break through moment with your dog, do you feel that moment makes your connection stronger with that dog and makes the next step in training easier?
5. Do you stick with just one trainer, or do you go to multiple sources for help?
All day long, as I over-thought about my answers to these questions...I kept hearing this voice in my head....
"and now, we interrupt this regularly scheduled program for this shameless plug"
Indeed...as co-CEO with Geri in our production company, Little Horse Mountain Productions....together we have helped trainers introduce their methods to the world. I've always hoped this would help folks not only learn, but sort through what style of training feels good to them and then seek these trainers out for the personal, one-on-one, live training we all need at some place in our journey.
Who would have thought, just 7 years ago, as I started my journey with an all-breed instructor and dabbled in arena trials with a rescue border collie, that my life would unfold as the wildest, most vivid, craziest dream of dreams come true. Working with the likes of Jack Knox, Patrick Shannahah, Scott Glen, Alasdair MacRae, Derek Scrimgeour...then moving into the cow dog world and having Shane Harley work with me and my girls.
Here is where TMT meets Confessions.......
I have tried to keep my blog about my journey...dogs, sheep, ranch and those experiences that I believe all unfold to mold me into betterment if I am pliable and willing. As mentioned above, this journey is unfolding as I sit in amazement that it is my life! I die daily to the "if onlys"...as in, "if only I could train with _____" "if only I had more acreage" "if only I wore a size______" "if only I lived where my sheep live" "if only I had a dog like ________" (this list could go on and on) and find thanks for this journey, just as it IS unfolding. Thankful for the shepherd that calls to allow me and my dogs (that I am thankful for) to do some "real" work on the big acreage. Thankful for the friends that allow me to come and train on new sheep in new places, allow me a place to lie my head , break bread, and share hearts. Thankful that my place is small enough that I can leave for Canada with a couple weeks notice and thankful for friends who can take care of what I leave behind. Thankful for my mentors that speak truth to me for my betterment. Thankful for friends that allow me to over think and then dabble in that with me!
All this said, over the past year, I have been called a "name dropper"; I have been asked for input and had that input offend. I do love my dogs and if they are my best and only redeeming quality....so be it, at least I have a pack of redeeming qualities. LOL. I've vowed to myself, as I move forward, to exercise a little more discretion of my words and who I share them with...especially the words I value most for the relationships I treasure. I will keep my blog about my journey.....dog, sheep, ranch, adventures.....and remember that it is my journey and everyone else has their own journey that is suited to just them. I've also promised myself a long time ago that I would not use my blog to shame others or become an "authority". Instead, I hope that if somebody enjoys my blog or learns something through my experiences.....that is just darn right cool. Otherwise, I hope those who read me, do so to enjoy another take on life.
And NOW this has turned into TMI Saturday so I will end with this....
4) I cherish break-through moments with my dogs! I long for them. I've never assessed if they make my training easier because, over time, training has become more about the climb.
5) When I take personal one-on-one lessons with a clinician....a) I look for similar styles with the foundation of method I use when it comes to training my dogs b) I look for the styles of handling I admire and a deep respect in the knowledge of handling dogs for those I seek help with for my own handling. And I do indeed focus on one or the other at my lessons. I believe, for me, there is a difference between training a dog and handling a dog. I did not really understand that until last May....and now, that idea of handling is the foundation of a whole lot of over thinking: different handling for each dog, type of sheep, each dog on type of sheep, time of day....it's a fabulous way to go.
Seize the Day!!
Spot March 2017; Listening; Hearing
15 hours ago