I glance over at my blog feed, the list being full and long on the right hand side of my own blog page......only a handful, if that, are current. I wonder why? The running blogs I follow are filled with current updates, the same to be said with the bee blogs. Of course, Pioneer Woman posts every day, sometimes more than once! What has become of the working dog blogs?
Personally, my life has changed radically with the move to new land. I'm still training my dogs but the days of "every weekend trialing" are gone for now. The list of "things to do" here and closing up shop there, makes for days on end being full from sunup to sundown. I hit over 120,00 steps for the week for the first time since my half marathon. My days are filled with hemlock and thistle eradication, planting, feeding, planning and dreaming. I've added bees to help the orchard thrive and have plans for an enclosed, deer proof garden.
But my love is still the dogs! My freelance sheep work has continued well past lambing. Young Sis is coming along and I try to work her on the mobs whenever the fields allow for mistakes and learning. I've got a friend's dog in for some training; new lines are making me dig deep into the tool box to get understanding. An old friend, from a life that feels past, once told me, "do what makes your heart happy" and here I am.
As I watch the youngsters sort and learn, my heart can hardly be contained in my chest. Sis gathered a field of mamas and babies the other day. The field did not allow for the gather of my dreams; two string polywire lined the back end and Sis does not have the experience to sort that. Well, not without either losing sheep through the wires or getting shocked in the process of bending. As I work on her bending and sorting top ends....a shock is NOT where I want to go ever, so I got my Fitbit steps in and walked her out......pushing the stragglers over to form a single mob as we went out wide. The push to the holding pen was nice and easy with everyone staying together and Sis covering all those who might want to stay. Sis was quite comfortable being way ahead of my slower, two legged trot that never seems to keep up with anything four legged especially in a wet field. Once we got to the need for some real "pushing" the pressure brought some fight out in a couple of mamas. I watched in amazement as Sis sorted out what to do and when. One ewe, Sis just held the pressure and the mama moved off with her baby. Another ewe decided her family was not going in the pen and came at Sis. Time froze and I knew....this was a make or break moment.
Watching a dog find themselves...learning what they are made of.....still takes me breath away. I had no idea that Sis had a lovely face bite in her.....a soft one and a nice hard one.... or that she could take the "stand there" to allow the ewe to move off once the defensive move was delivered. Perhaps I could have manufactured the experience in a controlled training session.....however, watching Sis sort it out herself was that sweet reward of all the lies in these amazing working dogs. It's that "thing" that I can't take much credit for......perhaps just allowing "it" the time and miles and trust and relationship to grow up and finds its way out in the real work.
I'm still here, although life looks a little different these days. I still train and work and I'll get a few trials in here and there. I still think about the dogs and ponder their ways as I do my land improving work. I believe my blog will take a little turn as I feel compelled to write about my new days....filled with bees and flowers and gardens and sheep and always, always dogs.
Seize the day!!!
Spot March 2017; Listening; Hearing
15 hours ago