Just when I get disheartened. Just when I think about throwing in the towel, the sun shines through the clouds and shows me things aren't really that bad. After our leash fiasco I was thinking I was doomed towards failure with the dogs. Why wasn't I able to achieve good manners? The hours of work I've put into the dogs seemed to be pointless.
On Friday mom and I went for a walk in the grazing reserve. We were walking though a grassy trail between two chunks of forest. I noticed an Elk. Recalling the dogs I saw it see us and trot off into the forest. Feeling confident it had moved on to safer passages we continued on our way. Ryder saw something in the forest and took off with Diva in hot pursuit. Calling, only Ryder returned. We continued on up to the top of a hill for better calling and visibility. No Diva. Walking around the edge of the forest, calling. No Diva. Backtracking we worked our way back the way we came. Then in a dip I saw black movement. Calling I see these flopping perk ears bounce. You could see her jumping for a better visual. Then she came running. After that she stuck close to us. I think she got disorientated and couldn't find us. There's lots of knolls and trees. (And I didn't have my dog whistle with me.) As a result I think she scared herself (and me!).
Lately at home she's been shockingly well behaved. She sticks close to me. Comes into the house without a leash. Wants to sit near me and get pets. The absolute icing on the cake happened yesterday. At the farm I worked Ryder on sheep (he was a superstar as always). Knowing I had little time to work on training with Diva I decided to put her on stock so she'd at least get some mental stimulation and exercise. She was good! I could lie her down. I could walk up to her and catch her. I could take her off the sheep (with the end of the cord in one hand as insurance). She still worked fast and furious. She still sliced her flanks and tried to dive bomb the sheep. But she showed a willingness to listen I haven't seen from her on stock.
Now after our run, she is laying at my feet catching a nap.
Could things be looking up? Or is she lulling me in complacency only to turn into Diablo Diva once again??