I have some really nice Kern River photos, but I want to chat about a revelation I had today. Not really a revelation, because I kind have thought this way all along. But, anyway, I'm going to share it with you all. Or whomever comes across this blog and reads it.
Today, I went to a small AHBA trial. Small, being with 5 or 6 in the advanced classes. Even so, the competition was fierce in the advanced classes....don't get me wrong there. There just weren't as many "hearty" souls to come out in the wind and rain. What fools we may be.....but (I) love it.
Now, I'm never sure what Yoko might do on in one of her trial runs. Even though we were working on "home" turf where I train, who knows what lurks in the mind of a white faced Border Collie name Yoko. Sometimes the home turf is a HEX, because the dogs are expecting the stock to "break" the same way they always do and when they don't, they find they are not on balance as they thought they should. Now for you non-herding folks that might not make a whole lot of sense. But, for the herders, they know what I am talking about.
Back to my original train of though. NEVER give up. We all want our dog to be the BEST on the trial field and beating the pants off of the pros, etc. We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't like competition. Right? Well..sometimes it just doesn't happen. That's OKAY. Well, at least that is okay with ME. I have trained all of my own dogs. I don't believe ALL of their problems stem from me. I'm sure a minuscule of them stem from their breeding. LOL I'm competition savvy and most certainly breeding/stock savvy at this point.
Hey, you all, these DOGS are my FAMILY. I have one son over seas in the military in Japan and one grandson in the military working as a Hospital Corpsman in CA. We are F-A-M-I-L-Y....isn't there a song that goes like that? (insert....too many bloody Mary's here) Hahahaha
So if you know your dog isn't like the BEST working dog ever......do you dump him? Do you find a free home for him on a ranch where he will be happy and you will be happier for not having to trial him? Probably, for quite a few folk. But, NOT for ME.
I'm telling you, I have learned something from EVERYONE of my dogs. First, I thought JET was the most amazing dog in the world. He really isn't. Actually, no ONE in an arena can beat him on nice sheep and I promise you NO ONE in America can beat him on behavior (trick) training). Put myself out on a limb there, but I feel pretty competent about it.
KILT....might be the most amazing dog on earth. Add another jigger of Vodka on this one. One open win and some open placements and the rest of our open classes she gives me the middle finger. But, when it comes to ranch work or working with "Scott Glen," she isn't going to miss a beat. Kilt is one of the smartest dogs I have ever known. A bitch around other dogs for most of the time, loving to all people.....and has a HUGE place in my heart no matter how many times she has SCREWED me on the trial field.
Yoko....oh my little white faced Yoko......I never know what you are going to do. It is always a mystery. As one gal wrote, "You may stop for a smoke" on the lift, if the sheep look tough. You try to pretend you are not a threat. But, somehow, someway, you always get the job done. Maybe, not like the judges would like to see it done (or me, for that matter) BUT, you get 'ER done. I do love you so. This is what this whole post is about. "It's not about having the best, though, that would be fun.....to me it's ENJOYING what you have. Make the MOST of it."
Today, at the AHBA trial, I saw a competitor that has just been a struggling competitor for many years. TODAY, I saw a relevation. These were OLDER dogs. I saw the BEST work I have ever that seen in her dogs. I was THRILLED for her.