27 June 2008

Here is where the sheep people all get mad at me.

When we practice now, our friends the sheep sometimes come and watch. They're kind of a motley crew, those sheep. Their fur, or wool, or hair, what is that, hangs off in chunks. I believe myself to not be a sheep person.

They are getting used to having sheep fans. Or maybe fans is really not it. Bystanders. Bored voyeurs. Hanger arounders. They are the ones that witness these fabulous contacts but still sometimes dropped bars. And just don't appreciate how hard we're working on fixing our agility flaws. And treated to the sight of me running around, arms a waving, yelling, "Go Go Go Go Go Go!" For every dog, every turn. I try to make everyone have a fair turn. And each dog gets their favorite reward when they do something particularly cool. A big frisbee game for Pop. Ruby tugs on her new rawhide bully stick and gets to go chew it in a corner all by herself. Gustavo plays for a while then eats some cheese out of tupperware then has loveys. It's what works. The sheep watch and do not comment.

And then just go back to doing what sheep do. Which as far as I can tell (I'm sheep sitting this week) is just eat dead grass all day and walk around. And look startled. And stare but with this blank stare. I am glad I don't have to do something like give them shots. I heard that was an exciting day of sheep wrangling. They are so not horses. I just stick with the horses. My life would be fine without sheep in it.

Otterpop dreams that I let her out there to go move them back to their pen. Or somewhere. Maybe out into the busy road. Who knows where she'd put them. She watches them, making plans. I think we won't test this out, to see if she has any herding ability. We'll just let her think she does and leave it at that. Good staring, Otterpop.

So where's Gustavo? He doesn't really register sheep on his interesting scale. And can I just tell you this fact. It's a little braggy but you'll like this. I stuck the channel weaves out there, in a little sequence that was fast and open with a hard hitting pole entrance. Playing Gustavo Runs Steeplechase. With his channels a little open at the entrance. Steeplechase for dummies. And he kept flying through, collecting and hitting that entrance no matter where I was. And doing a rocket speed mini border collie single foot through the poles. I am not shitting you. Would likely be a loser at rounding up the stock. But is totally getting the hang of this agility business.


Elf said...

Wow, I can see that you will be Steeplechase world champions any day now.

Remington used to like to sit and watch livestock for hours on end. When he had cancer, I'd do agility with the other dogs and he could just sit by the sheep fence and watch the sheep for an hour or two and not be bored. He was more of a sheep person than you are, but maybe not a lot more than Otterpop. But would Otterpop stand up in the car for an entire drive to San Diego, looking out the window the whole trip in case there was livestock somewhere along the way? And then be too tired to run in the nationals the next day? That is the true measure of a livestock-watching dog. But not of a steeplechase-winning dog.

team small dog said...

Otterpop has the super convenient habit of sleeping like a log in the car no matter what. So if anything unsavory happens involving her at the Nationals, I will not be able to chalk it up to her not being well rested from staring at sheep from the car.