I was snuggling with Tess the other night and realized that we have developed many rituals over the years together. Then I thought about the rituals that I have with my other Border Collies. I realized that I have a ritual with each one before we step out on the trial field.
When I was running Tess and just before we stepped on the trial field, we would do a country western dance. Usually it was to "Big and Rich." We would laugh and get in sync for our run. Our eyes would mesh and we would smile at each other.
Nan would bounce up and down on the way to the gate and I would sing to her "Nan, Banana, you are so Beautiful" and she would bark. She would act so goofy that one would never know she was a serious dog. She totally ignores the sheep, people, everything as she is so intent on jumping up and down and barking. Once we walk through the gate, she get serious.
Roo love to fetch so before his run, I toss for him. It takes the edge off him and we just have our solo time together. He really keys on me and as a result he stays keyed on me during his run. The few times that I haven't done this, he has been a bear to run.
Rainey is the newest member to the team. right now, a few runs before her, I take her out and we sit and watch the runs. I ask her, "Do you see your sheep" and when her eyes lock on the set out, I tell her, "Good girl". I also put her in my lap and kiss her tiny snout and she lays her head on my shoulder. She closes her eyes and takes a short nap. It's a good feeling, one of trust and love.
So what ritual do you do with your Border Collie, Kelpie, Aussie (or what breed go you have) dog before your run?