Hope is an amazing thing. It can fill a person's bucket. Without hope, life is a wasteland of disappointment and depression. Today, Ken filled my bucket. I was up with the birds and the bees and on the road by 6:30a to reach his farm before the heat of the day hit. (Yes, our heat is puny compared to you southern folks...) We had a big day planned filled with horses and dogs. Two of my ultimate favorite things.
We began by working Ryder. He was a superstar. We stretched out his outrun (where he goes and collects the sheep) and his confidence just grew by leaps and bounds. I love working this dog. Next, we moved horses in closer, took a lunch break in which I delighted in teasing his daughter, and followed up with Diva.
My mouth turned down I looked at him when he asked if I wanted to work her. I kept telling him not really (we'd just had a phone conversation about how naughty she is and how frustrated I was), he kept pushing me. Finally I told him to work her. He did. She was soft and smooth as butter. The biggest shocker for me was how she kept looking for me. Diablo Diva wanted her mommy. (Yes, I know that's icky and bad form but I don't care.) It got so bad that Ken told me I'd have to work her. In short order she pulled some of her standard "Piss On You" tricks. Pulling me to the side, Ken gave me a stern talking to. Taking a deep breath I walked back out armed with some strategies. And they worked!!! I was able to maintain calm and focus. Ken said it was the best he's ever seen me work Diva. The best part was I was able to get Diva to a workable, trainable, and team minded stated.
For the first time in a very long time I felt hopeful about this dog. That I was capable of managing her and working with her through her issues. And she showed me she wanted to try. That she wanted to be trained. I felt really, really good when we walked away from the sheep.
This was followed by riding horses. What more could a girl ask for?
Well... Ken invited me to come out and spend a week working dogs and riding horses. Yes please!!