Monday, January 2, 2012

The Maid update....

Maid has bonded to me like a tick on a hound dog. When I am outside, she is near me, waiting just in case. You know, in case I suddenly need a dog. She has all the gates figured out and when I walk near any of them, she will run to it, hoping. I have been using her to push the lambs off the feeder. She will also hold the ewes off the feeders while I load them. She did a great job of singling out the lame ewe to be put in the lambing corral.

Tess has her nightly chore of putting the chickens, ducks and guineas away. She takes it seriously. Nan follows Tess and to Tess’s irk, barks and wags her tail and thinks it is great fun. That usually stirs up the poultry to run in the opposite directions and eventually we get them put away. Maid has been watching from the sidelines. She has decided that Tess does need proper help so has jumped in to help. She actually does work the poultry well. I have been working a tandem with the barking Nan in the background. Now Maid can add poultry herding to her resume. I am sure that Scott will be delighted to hear that. Or maybe he already trained her to work chickens? Be sure to ask him that!

I am sure that Scott will be doubly delighted to hear that Maid’s nickname is “Moo-Moo” and she likes to sleep upside down in my lap and have her belly rubbed. I consider that working on her down and staying in place. What do you think?

Maid adores Tess. She will lick her face and roll over in front of Tess. Tess will put a paw on her and clean her face. Does she think that she is a long lost puppy? They get along quite well and are buds. They sleep together and Maid will put her head on Tess’s ribcage and fall asleep.

Maid love her bop-ball. I fill it with treats and she has to roll it around to get the treats out. Tess, Nan, Rainey and Maid all have a bop-ball. The first time it took Maid about 30 minutes to get the treats out. She can do it in seven minutes now. I try to give it to them several times a week. Nan ignores Maid and I think she still is a bit put out by her. She will get over it. Rainey and Maid are working out who is my best friend but Maid doesn’t help by trying to clip Rain on her hocks. That got her a quick roll over and correction by Rain and then a scolding by me. The girls will have to work it all out and be friends.

Maid loves Getty and follows him too. It stand to reason as she was Scott’s dog. He also does the feeding and every time at night, around feeding time, she will lean next to him and give him the big, sad eyes. He tells her lie down and she drops like a rock. I am sure that she would work for him but he has no interest in working a dog.

I only have had Maid for less than two months but she has fit in here well. She knows the routine and is now one of the official greeters when company arrives. She got her own purple collar with her nameplate and wears it proudly. This year, all of the girls will get rhinestone collars also.

She has a great sense of humor and likes to play games. She love to toss the toy in the air, with her tail held high and bark. I can see that she is related to Nan as Nan does this also. She is the “killer of the squeaky toys”. One of the toy has plastic water bottle inside and she has figured out how to pull it out. Then she wait until I am taking a nap on the couch, walks up next to me and crunches the bottle loudly in my ear. No doubt, she loves my reaction! I swear she laughs at me!

Oh, yea, on working with me on sheep….that is probably what you have been dying to read! When I work another dog and Maid is tied up, she will shriek and yowl so the entire neighbor is well aware of her displeasure. She is ready to go anytime. She does nice outwork for me and will hold the pressure on the side on the fetch. We don’t have the drive down yet but slowly chipping away at it. I need to give her more freedom and she needs to trust me more. It’s a fine line and we have time to work on it. She tries her heart for me and tries not to put a foot wrong. Her shedding is impeccable for me. She loves to shed and her eyes are bright with delight as she comes in. No ewe will try to challenge her as she holds them They see the fire in her eye and her quick step and they stand back. After our session, she will race around me and nudge me for pets. Once in a while she will jump up and bark. She can be silly yet be serious. On stock, she is all business while off stock, she has a delightful, funny side.

I was in one pasture and just had put the sheep through the gate. The geese ambled up to me and Maid walked up to them, as if to herd them. I told her “that’ll do” and she came off. I turned my back to shut the gate and when I turned back, she had snuck away from my side to the geese. The ill-tempered Toulouse goose gave her a warning hiss, which she ignored. She took a step closer. BAM, the goose reached out and pecked her between her eyes. She jumped in the air, raced to me and hid behind me. The goose was pleased that Maid realized her place! And Maid realized the goose was not a chicken!

I am really enjoying Maid. She is well trained and has no baggage (beside me). She has done it all and I have to step up to the plate with her. I am so excited to have the opportunity to own such a talented dog as her and I can see many years with her on the trial field. I have a great string of dogs in my trial lineup now. Nan and Maid are excellent Open dog. Nan has over 16 points towards the Finals. I hope to get the needed points on Maid. We are so close!

Rainey and Sava are my PN dogs. They will be stepping into Nan and Maid’s shoes. Actually, I probably will move Rain up to Open in August and when Sava is ready next year, she will move up. Nan is nine and only has a couple of year left before she joins Tess in the "Couch Potato Club." All of my dogs are different in their working style so I have to adjust to each of them. From soft to edgy and it has made me a better handler. Each of the dogs handle different sheep and I have to either help them or slow them down.

Working with Maid on different sheep has broaden me. I worked her on the 100 sheep when they had gotten out. She handled the non-broke sheep with ease. A few of the ewe took a run at her and she met them with her teeth. They did not try that again. She pushed them over the marsh, through the gully and into the far pasture. They had broken out and Janet called me when she drove past the pasture.  She and Scotty got then together off the road and next to the fence. I used Maid and Janet used Scott and we put them away. It was the first time that I worked that many sheep with her and she did well. She has handled anything that I have asked of her and I hope that I can team up with this talented dog to showcase her talents.

It will be a wonderful journey that we will travel together. I am looking forward to this year with her and as I write this, She is cuddled next to me on the couch. Snoring, as in loudly. Scott failed to mention that she snores. Very loudly. But she is a good couch cuddler!

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