Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Too much stuff happening.....

It’s has been a busy few days. This weekend I was at the Scott Glen clinic. As usual, it was wonderful. In my opinion, you will always need to go to clinics or take lessons. You sometimes slip into a comfort zone and never get out of it. To become a better handler, you have to challenge yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Anyways the weather for the weekend was awesome. It was nice, warm and once in a while, a cool breeze would drift through. There were all stages of handlers from Novice to Open. The dogs, as well, were from all different stages.

It was a good clinic. The dogs were put in different groups, three per group and we had four groups. Each group had a session and then a second session. I audited the clinic. Several of my students were in the clinic. Nancy had Blaze and Jack, Courtney and Logan, Monique and Lucy and Janet with Mattie. There were twelve people in the clinic.

Most of you are very familiar with Scott. I recommend attending a clinic and seeing how everyone advances. Or at the very least, take a private lesson. At least try to go to a clinic/lesson from the top Open handlers. I have gone to Scott, Jack and Kathy Knox, and Patrick Shannahan to name a few. And I will continue to go to the top Open handlers.

So I knew that this two days clinic would be a tough weekend for me. It was very tiring for me to sit all day. I had to take pain pills (and yes, Monique was driving) and by end of the clinic on Saturday, I was exhausted as well the chest pain was starting to be intense.

Monique ordered Indian food for dinner and we all hung out and ate well and then attacked the rest of the Black Cherry Pie. I took an Oxycontin instead of a Vicodin since it was an intense day. I really needed it as I was feeling it. Nan got to sleep with me on the bed and really enjoyed it.

Sunday was yet another wonderful day, although it didn’t start off that way. It was very foggy and had a little nip to it. I was bundled up as I am still underweight and have no body fat and I didn’t want to get chilled. Nan was with me and didn’t need a warm parka. She was quite content to stretch out and snooze. The last time I had brought Nan to the clinic was in March and she was nervous, whiney and would shake when she saw the sheep on the field. This time she ahs really settled down and fell fast asleep and one time the sheep came bouncing to the front og the tent, just a few feet from Nan and she lifted her head up from the ground as if to say “Hey, I am asleep…go away” and then promptly feel back asleep. This is good as she is much, much more relaxed now.

But when I would go to work her in another field, she was all business. I was working on opening up her flanks and stopping her on the fly. She did quite well but her eye still does draw her in still. But she tries so hard to do everything I ask of her without fighting me. I remember when I first got her, she would obey but there was a edge to her and now she is soft and willing.

I am sure that Nan was quite pleased that Tess got to stay home and that Nan was the center of attention. For the rest of the clinic, Nan was very well behaved. She has calmed down and feels comfortable now

The Sunday sessions were good and you could see the dogs had learned from the day before. The handler also put what they learned to good use. I am not going to into specifics but control, rating, downs, feeling the pressure and handler positioning were some of the topics. It was nice to see the progress of the students who had attended the clinic in March.

By the end of the day, I was totally wiped out and my chest was hurting pretty bad. I didn’t take any pain pills since I knew I would be driving. I had to try to walk the pain out or doze in my chair. Talking was an effort and the day seemed to drag on.

On a side note, I got some cool fleece dog beds at the clinic,. There was an agility show and a vendor had a booth. I got two cool beds which are far superior to the bed I had at home, a ball catapult and a *water bottle toy” The *water bottle toy* is a bright animal toy that has a empty water bottle in the center. When the dog squeezes the toy, it makes a crinkly sound and the dogs love it. You can replace the water bottle and the toy is durable. It is much better than a toy with a squeaker. If I have a toy with a squeaker, they will rip out the squeaker and then loose interest in the toy. This toy you will just replace the water bottle.

Scott broke down and got one for Skid. We all about fell out of our chairs. to see that Scott actually bought a dog toy. He claimed it was for Skid (and Jenny) but we all think he got it for himself. We all had a good time teasing Scott about him buying a toy and he took it in good stride.

So the clinic ended and Monique and I headed out. My car was at her place and we loaded up my gear and I headed out, Thank goodness that Monique lives only an hour away. It was a LONG HOUR drive home and by the time I got home, it was late and I was over the edge. I took my pain pills and fell fast asleep. Getty unloaded the car for me and took care of Nan.

Monday was recovery day. I slept most of the day and my body was aching from the long weekend. Finally mid day my chest quit hurting and I was able to make dinner. I was not really hungry but made myself eat a half of a hamburger. I can’t believe how much the weekend wiped me out and how much I hurt. But I learned a lot.

Over the weekend, my hay guy “Chris” came over and started mowing my far field. He got about halfway done and then he got a flat tire. I am excited that he got that much done and he will soon finish the rest. We plan on haying the field next year (two haying) and he is prepping the field this fall. So if you need some good grass hay next year, drop me a line.

Tony came over on Monday and brought his tractor. He leveled near the barn so we could bring hogs fuel in. Our field gets wet during the winter and can get muddy. So our game plan is to put in hogs fuel so we have good footing. We did that last year but didn’t have enough hogs fuel.

This morning I went to work (FAA) to get my badge since my old one had expired. Then I had to sync up my laptop so I would have my work on the laptop. Of course, the laptop wouldn’t sync up and my *intended hour* at work turned into over 2.5 hours. I also met with my new manager, rob. He is a really nice guy and has a lot of enthusiasm. He is going to be an asset to the group and from all reports, everyone likes him. I enjoyed my meeting with him and am glad he is taking over the reins.

So of course, I didn’t take any pain meds all day until I got home and my chest was hurting. I took my pain meds but I still felt some pain for the rest of the day. I had to do the chores (feeding, kennels etc) as Getty was unable to help me today, He has the flu and really bad so he stayed in bed all day. So we are a good pair, Getty with the flu and me with chest pain and very tired.

Today we got three loads of hogs fuel and a load of gravel. Tony got it spread out. He put gravel in the lower pasture entry way. Last year near the gate, it got very deep in mud. He put the wood next to the barn and a path to the round pen and also in the round pen. We also put rubber mats in front of the stall doors so it would not be muddy. We are almost ready for winter in the pastures. Where we tie the dogs up, I want to put the wood so they will not get wet or muddy.
The lower pasture looks really good and we still have one load of hogs fuel to spread. The third load came after Tony quit for the day.

Janet came over and helped with dogs while I did kennels. She moved the dogs about while I did rearranged the kennel situation. She worked Scott and I see how much better she had gotten. She attended the clinic and I could see the results. Her handling was better and then I went out and helped fine tune her a bit. She was much more confident with Scott and he worked well for her.

Then I was fading quickly so I went up to the house. Janet was going to work Mattie using the new skills she learned over the weekend.

Getty was still sick so we hung out. I actually took a short nap and got up at nine and took my pills. I wasn’t very hungry and ate crackers as my stomach was upset. I think I am getting Getty’s flu or have pushed myself too far over the weekend and today. I sure hope that we feel better tomorrow.

No comments: