23 September, 2012

On the road again, almost... and with an airsick bag.

Well, I'm at the point now where I vacillate between giddy enthusiasm and nausea with general malaise. The weekend was tough with trailer problems and the electricity at the house being out for 10 most inopportune hours, putting me behind on laundry and homework.

The homework is done, the trailer is fixed, the laundry is clean. The camper is all packed and I will fold it down and hitch up tonight. The car is almost all packed and I just need to run to the store for a few things before leaving ungodly early tomorrow.

Lucy is ready. She is physically and mentally fit and has been looking great in practice. We had a little discussion during practice yesterday that ended in mutual understanding. Carolynn and John made it possible for us to haul out to a local hay field and stretch out a bit. It felt good. She is a well-trained dog and her biggest liability is clearly me.

I've been working on ME. Working hard. A friend prompted me to define what exactly I am nervous about. I don't want to look foolish, I feel like I got in by the skin of my teeth and some people would consider the trials my points came from "easy." I don't want to let my dog down, I want her to look good and want people to like her. I worry I will disappoint my mentors and friends if our run goes badly. I worry that I will be a "sore loser" if it does go badly. I worry that if there is a mistake on the course, I won't be able to shake it off and straighten myself out for the rest of the run. I feel like I don't belong, like my name being in the program with those other names isn't quite right.

Mostly it boils town to a perfectionistic overthinker who has a global fear of failure.

Alas, the time for worry is mostly through. I'm off work for a whole week!!! (WOW) And I've turned in all my homework in advance so I have little to worry about while away. The hubby is staying home with Magick, the cats and Stanley. The collies and Zora are coming on the road with me and they will all have fun either way. The camper is going for its inaugural trip and hopefully it will keep working! I will get to spend a week away with friends and dogs, watching some of the most amazing teams in the US and Canada walk to the post. What a privilege. Thank you, Lucy for making it happen.

15 September, 2012

Productivity vs. Senioritis!

Ok so I sent in my graduation application and now I have a BAD case of senioritis. Procrastination is the name of this game. I can't be bothered to do my homework in advance like I normally would, it gets left until the last moment an acceptable job can be done. Of course, I'm conceited enough about my grades that these are not suffering, but I'm not engaging with the material like I should. Rather than my usual zest for learning as much as I can, I find myself doing the minimum necessary to maintain. I haven't yet decided if I want to actually change something about this, or just ride the wave of mediocrity toward commencement.

While my punctuality at school is WAY down, my productivity in other areas is way up! The collies have been getting consistent work and exercise. The house is less of a wreck than usual.

This weekend is a great example. Yesterday I was up at 5, worked dogs in the morning, did homework mid-day, Rye had CU class in the afternoon, trip to the farm to feed and water sheep and chickens, home and everyone got nails clipped and brushed and the car got loaded up for agility.

Today, agility all morning. I haven't been to an agility trial since April and it felt like a vacation! Running Zora was interspersed with a nice long off leash walk for the collies and agility practice for Rye. Mid afternoon I headed up the hill to the farm to work both collies, water and feed sheep and chickens and work on setting up a hay delivery. Then, back to agility for a few hours since Zora had 2 more runs in the late afternoon. Now we're home and I'm blogging when I should be doing homework!

Zora's ribbons for today!

Zora had a lovely day of agility. She is such a great partner. Six attempts, 4 flawless runs with 1st place ribbons. Neither of us was entirely perfect today: I accidentally caused an off-course in one round and she figured I was an optional part of the team for an off-course in another round. That off-course went something like this:

Me:  Come IN, frame!

Zora: [beady eyes gazing adoringly at tunnel under the A-frame while she runs at top speed]

Me: [sees the beady eyes looking the wrong way] ZORA! HERE!

Zora: Yeah, I'll be back in just a sec [speeds through the off-course tunnel with great flair, leaping out of the exit and looking pleased with herself]

Me: Come here. Frame.

Zora: K! [completes AFrame while shrugging shoulders]

elapsed time: ~6 seconds

Yep, it was an off-course but I was just laughing at the discussion we had in those few brief seconds. I love having a partner whom I understand. Though we don't always agree, there is always comprehension on both sides.

Rye did some neat stuff on sheep that I've never seen him do before! Very fun! He is changing all the time.

Tomorrow will look a lot like today except with working dogs and unloading a couple tons of hay in the afternoon rather than mid-day and an evening trip to the clinic for Sunday treatments of a sick kitty.

See what I meant about LIVIN' the life? Feeling blessed today.

11 September, 2012

Canadian Journey v. 3.0 ... Of Youth and the Big Dance

Yep, it's true. I've been so busy LIVIN' the life I've been hard pressed to carve out a little time for blogging.

This summer we missed out on having Scott come to Fido's Farm as usual in August. I couldn't believe it. Here I am like a blind leper trying to train my young dog and get ready for my first prom with Lucy and no lessons, let alone just the right dress and stilettos?

Alta-Pete sunrise

Well, there was quite a logical response. Nothing 26 hours of driving and a pile of cash can't fix. Commence Canadian Journey 3.0, a quick jaunt across the Continental Divide to get help. It was so very much fun. We made some great memories.

I was united with old friends.

Alaska missed me, but was astonished I did not bring Timbits

And made a special delivery from a good friend:

Special edition Spidey meets Hello Kitty (J. Glen)

We had blazing sun and black thunder clouds bringing a gorgeous light show. Quiet mornings and evenings full of the buzzing of those DANG mosquitoes! The dogs ran right through their pads but were keen to run some more with wrapped paws.

Obi Wan helped me get a little bit of understanding with Mr. Rye and the beginnings of an outrun. Lucy and I went under the shedding microscope and came out larger than life.

Rye finishing a gather (J. Glen)
So here we are at the end of Summer. Rye is coming along slowly but surely. Slow to mature but I just love him.

Lucy and I are working on her physical fitness and our teamwork, trying to peak just right for our first trip together to the sheepdog finals, and my first trip to the post there (Lucy ran in the 2009 Finals with Jenny). 

Lucy's Auntie promised to bring a bucket...

Lucy "cooling off" between holding sets.
 See you 'round the bend.