Friday, December 26, 2008

Cabin Fever

I woke up this morning to a much warmer world. Warm by my arctic standards anyhow. For the last few days I had been highly irritated by everything in my little world. (Being sick is not helping.) Reba was being a super brat and the horses seemed out to spite me. So last night I sat down to think it out. It came to me that not only did I have cabin fever, but the animals also had cabin fever. Let's face it, I was not the only one who has been cooped up for the better part of two weeks.

It was great news to discover the weather is supposed to break this weekend. With temperatures moving up into the -10 degree range. So I sit in my home office, day-timer out in front of me and begin emailing and calling my "dog guys". A huge part of being successful at a sheep or stock dog trial is to understand that even if your dog is well trained at home, they need to be well trained at a variety of strange locations. In order to accomplish this you (the trainer) need to be willing to travel and work you dog at other people's places.

Over the course of the next week (while I'm on holidays) I'm going to attempt to take Reba to 3 different stock dog guys places. Even though Reba is at the Kindergarten stage of her training getting her out is a very important step. As a trainer its also good to work with other trainers. I spend most of my time working alone. This means I have no one to watch me, perhaps Reba's bad behavior is an off-shoot of something I'm doing, this can only be discovered by a second set of knowledgeable eyes. Good trainers are willing to learn from other trainers and adapt their behavior to meet each animal's needs.

I'm literally vibrating with excitement.

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