Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Current Events

So… what have we all been up to in recent weeks?


He seems to have been feeling really good- fighting fit. Charging around at the farm, swimming, swimming and more swimming at the river, keeping the masses in order.

The highlight of his life is still being at the farm, where he rides in the front of the ute (of course), plays his own version of the silly sheepdog games every evening (I think he calls it “Bite the Border Collie”), and sometimes gets to work sheep. Richard is so soft with Jack and lets him have a turn in the training paddock, and last session actually had him stopping and sort of thinking about balancing. Its really not his forte, though- he much prefers a big mob, where he can run back and forth to his heart’s content. I was trying to help load lambs the other day- Muddy dicked his knee, Bill was too sore from other farm work, and the stupid stupid little crossbred lambs just would not cooperate. So I got Jackie out, and he was actually useful- at least his gentle hocking got those lambs shifting much better than my feeble “yah yah”. We know the hocking was gentle, because occasionally as he went around a pen, he’d hock me or Richard.

We’ve been doing the odd bit of agility, between work and farm, and he ran a recent 500 course pretty quick for his old legs. I’ve still been planning on “one day” getting back to finish off his JDM, and just let him enjoy trialling while he still can. And maybe I’ll eventually get around to that UD… just not enough time.

Last few days Jack’s probably overdone it a bit- he went stiff on his bad shoulder after a few days of vigorous walks and Frisbee, and having just recovered from that, we turned up to agility last night and he had another episode of that hunched posture that flared up before the Royal. Seemed very sore in the groin/abdomen, didn’t like being touched there. Is it a pulled muscle, or something more sinister? Today he’s recovered, but I’m still watching him like a hawk.

His usual barky self. Poor lad’s been a bit neglected recently, not much time on sheep, not much agility (because I’m worried about his knee), and I always seem to be cross with him. But he’s fattened up a little bit (finally), and seemed to really enjoy agility last night. He weaved pretty well, and even went full-tilt on the wide open section of the course. And we managed a few tricky turns/pull throughs, without him shutting down too much.

News on the knee- last week at the park, he twisted and held it up, as per usual, but when I went to him, I flexed/extended the knee. He squeaked, there was a palpable clunk, and he could put it down and run around normally. It must be a patella subluxation or similar- the cruciate story just isn’t fitting anymore.

Truly the bottom of the pecking order around here. Even the girlies boss him around.

But he’s still my boy, and keeps surprising me. He’s not had much training time on sheep either, and still doesn’t have much style, but I love to work him, he just never lets me down. I hate to admit he works much better for Richard, who gets him to settle and stop nicely.

He’s loving agility training, and I just love working him. I’ve given up on the spazzy jumping, it just doesn’t seem fixable, although perhaps its slowly improving as we run longer sequences. Maybe he’ll figure out that its faster to jump normally once we start doing proper courses.

Last night he did some longer sequences (I ran him around bits of a Masters-type course- just jumps/tunnels/walk) and he’s so much fun- just wants to blast around as fast as he can. He didn’t drop many bars, did some normal jumping (and some massive spazzy overjumps), and even some pretty efficient serpentines.

I was so excited with his first time on the full-size dogwalk. He’s been doing groovy quick 2o2o contacts on the baby walk, and last night he transferred that beautifully to the full size walk, even as part of a sequence. He was a little cautious the first time, but I wound him up and after that he was just bolting over, skidding down the ramp and trying to hold a 2o2o. On one occasion he went on at too much of an angle and came off at the top, and once he was just going too fast down the ramp and couldn’t stop, just slid down and went tail over tits onto his head instead of a 2o2o, but the great thing about Bill is that he just didn’t care. As long as I tell him how great he is and give him his treat, he’s still raring to go.

Bill’s other incredible talent is his ability to get tangled in computer cables. It doesn’t matter where I put the computer or how carefully I tuck the cables out of the way, Bill will lie down somewhere and in 5 minutes he’ll have the phone cord wrapped twice around his body and the power cord looped around both back legs. And when he leaps up to follow me to the loo, everything will come crashing down. Its uncanny.

The Girlies-
Feral. They’ve hit adolescence bit time, and every day one of them responds to a recall or a request to sit or get in the car with a “Make me!.” Generally they are still pretty well-behaved, but we’ve instituted some new manners rules, and we’re trying to do some obedience work every day.

Both are starting nicely on sheep. Ziggy works a lot more like her mum, without so much eye (a good thing), while Pinky is still a bit puppyish. Zig blew me away the other day when we had to move a couple of hundred sheep from the training paddock to the other side of the hill (maybe a kilometre?). I took Mr Relia-Bill and Ziggy, and for her first time on a mob she was great. When they came through the first gate, the first half of the mob started breaking up the hill into the rocks, and Zig came through the fence and cast out nicely to head them off and bring them back down. She got the hang of wearing back and forth behind the mob with Bill, only occasionally coming around too far.

Being a farm dog at the moment. I think she’s hanging out to get back to town and do some agility- I certainly am. But she is going nicely on sheep, tries her guts out. And Jim is finally getting his act together too.

Feeling rubbish. Bollocks to that stuff about second trimester glow. I hurt, am dog-tired all the time, can’t get comfortable anywhere, and move like a hemiplegic whale. I think I have SPD- agility training on Tuesday night leaves me completely unable to move on Wednesday, my groin feels like its been pulled apart.

Little Jack keeps kicking me down low, and is twisting and jumping all over. I don’t mind if he does his acrobatics now, as long as he ends up head down (oh, and sleeps like the perfect baby come March).

Wish we had a house though- I think I have my heart set on this double story job from ShedCo, but I don’t think R’s convinced and really we can’t afford it. I just love those verandahs…