Monday, April 21, 2014

This 'N' That...

Yesterday we had a small RESDA novice workday to help novices learn more about RESDA trials and what is entailed in running a RESDA course. We had more mentors than handlers, though, as we ended up with about five or so mentors, and only two students/handlers! It was still a nice day though and I enjoyed collaborating with my peer RESDA handlers. It was so neat that while we all have different types of dogs, we come from different paths to this activity, and we all handle and train somewhat differently...but we were all pretty much in agreement as to the discussion most of the time. I found that really cool although I guess five people who volunteer to be sheepdog mentors on a weekend morning are bound to be somewhat cool folks- lol! :)

Our two students were at very different levels as were their dogs but I think they both enjoyed themselves. Unfortunately one of the dogs got stung by a bee on her foot so her participation was limited really fast. The one lesson was, always have Benadryl available in this time of year or whenever there may be bees hovering about. The clinic format started with introductions, questions, and then walking thru the RESDA course step by step, without the dogs. Then each student ran the course with their dogs and one of the mentors judged the runs. We followed this with suggestions for improvement and the dog who did not get stung by a bee, did a second run and showed improvement. After that two of the mentors ran their own dogs through the course and tried to show what we are talking about and looking for. It was not as easy as it might have appeared! :) All in all a good format with plenty of time for questions. I hope we can do it again with a better turnout.

This evening there was time and daylight to get all three of my dogs out to train a little bit before dark. Spot was being fast and furious and somewhat exasperating but I was glad I did not give up. At the last we were able to set up a little drive, and he drove the sheep, with me walking parallel, for a little while.  It's not anything earth shattering but there is always that very cool moment when you realize you are driving with your pup for one of the first few times...and how great it feels.  Spot is a project, that's for sure! :) But we're trying.

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