Laura from Crooks and Crazies posts these fun lists of questions every Thursday. I'm experimenting with my first answer and it is even on the wrong day for extra points :)
1. If you're not at the 2011 Sheepdog finals this weekend what are you planning to do?
In between lamenting about how I am not at the finals and not watching the live feed of the finals or reading tweets of the finals or explaining to myself why I am not doing any of those things, I am running Zora in an agility trial, taking 2 exams, writing a paper, taking Lucy to sheep twice and cleaning house.
Of course, during all of those activities I will be obsessively refreshing the browser on my smartphone to read said tweets and yammering on to agility people who don't care about the contents of tweetdom...
2. One item you NEVER walk onto the trial field (any trial field, or training class will suffice) without?
Well, hopefully my dog? I would normally say my whistle, but I did forget my whistle whilst doing chores the other day. Interestingly I just whistled like I would ordinarily whistle a tune and Lucy somehow by divine providence understood what I meant and was a gem. I would like to learn to finger whistle, in which case I could successfully avoid going ANYWHERE without my whistle, barring any unforeseen amputation events.
3. Katy wants to know if you have a pre-run ritual that you observe?
Yes. I work my dog within 48 hours before the trial whenever possible. The day before the trial I make sure my dog gets a moderate exercise day. Once on the trial field, I try to attend the handler's meeting. If I've missed the meeting I find the course director first thing and ask the course. Then I will make sure the dogs are set up in the car with water and shade and go visit and chat for a while, just getting the lay of the land. I pick up a running order if I did not print one at home, then fold it into 6ths with the current runs showing. (Check run order every 5 minutes ad nauseum until returning home.)
4 runs before mine, I take Lucy out and let her watch 2 lifts if I can. I used to do this only 2 runs in advance, but then one day the 2 dogs before mine never found the sheep. I, of course, went to the post wondering if I had my cell phone in my pocket to dial 911 before I died of heart palpitations. Lucy, cool as a cucumber in spite of my palpable insanity, ran out and found the sheep anyway. I did not allow her stellar performance to prevent me from developing a new obsessive habit of going out 4 runs in advance rather than 2. Between these spotting sessions I put Lucy back in her crate in the car if it is at all feasible. If that is not feasible, we go somewhere out of sight and quiet. After the last spotting session, I get out my crook and double check my whistle.
When we are just walking around relaxing and visiting, Lucy is generally off leash. When we are getting ready to spot and run, I leash her.
1 run before mine, we find a quiet place near the gate to sit and relax. I make a mental picture of how I want my run to go, and Lucy gets a neck massage.
4. How old were you when you had your first real kiss?
I was 5, my brand new dog was 2 ;)
5. Bonnie wants to know what you do for yard mud control during the winter?
We have a small potty yard for the dogs. There are 2 trails they tend to make it a habit to travel so we spread shavings on those trail areas from autumn through spring. There is an astroturf doormat outside the door and a heavy duty high-profile doormat inside the door which catches most dirt. If it is really horrible outside I also wipe paws.