Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Birthday XE Maid

Happy Birthday, MAID. (It was actually yesterday but I never had time to post as I didn't get home until after midnight).
Maid is nine years old but certainly doesn't act her age. She thinks she is a young pup and runs around all the time at full speed. We got Maid from Scott Glen about 18 months ago and she has brought me great joy. I needed another Open dog and she arrived to take over Tess's position.
We had to learn to work with each other and she finally figured out that I was slow and deficient so decided to quit rolling her eyes when I was slow to give her a command or over command and she began to teach me how to run a dog. You could see her shoulders sag when I was giving her 500 rapid fire commands and when I saw that, I would slow down, then her shoulder would perk up. She tried her hardest to do all the commands and not be bad. We worked through our issues and settled on a common ground.
Then one day, it seemed like magic. Instead of DQ or RT at a trial, we began to place. We often tied with Nan. She quit gripping and trusted me and I trusted her. At one trial, one lamb kept breaking at the pen and she never lost her cool. She would look at me, shrug her shoulders and get the lamb. The lamb wanted to join his buddies in the pen so kept breaking for that. 
On the drive, she used not want to release the line but now she does it willing. On the shed, we exchange the sly smile at each other and I call her in for the shed. I used to do that sly smile with Tess and now it is with Maid. It's a wonderful feeling and I am so blessed to have such a talented partner.

I enjoy her tremendously. She is a gracious housedog and sleeps next to me at night. I often have an arm over her side. She likes to have her head on my pillow. She snores.
She has fit in the pack and Rainey and her have developed a truce. It took a while as she wanted to establish her place in the house pack. When Tess was alive, she was the boss and Maid will lay next to her and Tess would clean her face. Maid adored Tess and would follow her everywhere. They would snuggle on the couch. Now Rainey is the boss dog in the house but Maid is the alpha otherwise. They have learned to get along and even sleep next to each other on the couch.
Maid loves to work the chickens, Guineas and ducks. She is my right hand at night when I do chores. I let the chicken free range and most of them go back into the pen but some will want to sleep outside. So Maid's job is to put them away. Watching her work three chickens who go three different ways is amusing and she knows she cannot bite them She will air snap near them to make a point. She enjoys doing the night chores. Sometimes she will have to hold sheep off the feeder or move them to a new pasture.
She has also  learned to tend the sheep. I will let the sheep graze on the lawn, grab a chair and pop and watch them. I set up a boundary and the sheep have to stay in the boundary. Maid quickly figures out what the boundary is and then tend the sheep to stay in the area. Each time we do this, the area changes so it is not a routine. Nan and rain also do tending. This is where Maid had to learn to work as a team with Rain on tending. They make a great team.
Tonight Maid will get some steak for her dinner as well as a smoked bone. I showed her the bone and she got big! She keeps running back and forth to the kitchen eying her bone and then to me, as if to say "can I have my bone?" She will have to wait until after dinner..
She is a grand dog and we are happy that Scott let her be part of the family.
Happy Birthday, MAID.

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