Well at least when I awoke this morning there wasn’t any new snow. That’s a plus. Vickye has to take the girls to a house warming in Colville, quite a little drive today. Oh well I can practice tonight over at Hopes. Around three Misty calls and asks if she can go with me tonight. Of course I don’t mind, she’s a good kid and I love watching her grow as a handler and person. I figured Vic would be back by 5 p.m. because she knew I wanted to go work the dogs. Misty is outback working the sheep my dogs are going nuts because they can’t work and Vickye isn’t home yet. I’ve got such a tight time frame to work that I’m almost ready to not go tonight. But right at six she drove up and I decided what the heck and loaded the boys up and headed for Hopes.
Well all my best laid plans are not coming together tonight. Shezzz drove through a hail storm on the way there almost turned around again. What the heck I can see blue skies up ahead. Once I arrive right away I notice one of the large woolies is limping. I noticed a slight limp yesterday but didn’t give it to much thought. One of the guys might have gotten a little to close but I didn’t witness a substantial grip. Anyhow I see two new calves out there tonight. Hehehe I love new blood. I take Tigr out first and pen the sheep with her. She just makes this look to easy. I know Hope can’t wait to get her back. I send her out after those new calves. My Gosh, they are complete idiots acting like they don’t have a clue what a dog is. One is much faster than the other and Tigr is having problems keeping them together. Once they get on the fence line I’m pretty sure they will be hard to lift for a young dog. Well guess I was wrong she hit their heels and peeled them off but she don’t really know how to teach them to act. Young dogs try to compensate with speed or hitting heels, just the opposite of what’s really needed. This is why I’ve been talking about getting her on new stock so she can experience some of the different reactions cattle have to dogs. Pretty soon she has them fetching to me. I’m not going to over do it with her because I know these aren’t working off a dog normally. She has full control now and I think this is a good place to stop.
Well I figure this is a good place to see how much Kane has matured. I must say I was quite happy. He came around and slowed the runner with a good clean grip on the nose, then popped around and pushed the slower one. His grip wasn’t excessive or anything, just enough to let them know he was in charge. This isn’t even the same dog I was working last fall. He has grown mentally so much its shocking. After this little bit of work I decide to do a few drives and cross drives with him. I’m telling you this is a pretty fine dog.
Next it Tait’s turn and he is ready to rumble. I don’t want Tait to chew on these new calves, I’m sure just getting worked by dogs in a strange pasture is stressing enough for these poor critters. He does a nice little outrun and comes in hard to lift so I blow a “lie down” and I holler at him Heyyyy you better not buddy. He knew I was on to him and started working with eye instead of brawn. This dog can score an almost perfect score on ASCA ducks and is capable of working ewes with lambs, I’m sure he can move a couple of calves with out gnawing their legs off. From that point on he showed why he is one of the top cattle dogs in the nation. He drove these two around the pasture any where I desired.
Spike didn’t get a long session. When they first went out he was flagging and showing insecurity. He would much rather be working sheep no doubt, because he kept trying to get to the sheep pen. I told Misty to chain him up and let him watch her work Tait for a while. In no time at all he started focusing on Misty and the calves and whining to be with her. I blow a real quiet “lie down” and Tait hit the dirt. I ask Hope to unsnap Spike. Misty was just ecstatic her dog was working hard for her and on the stock she determined. She went and tried for the center obstacle and was jumping up and down when they made them. Hope and I were both laughing at her antics. We both love to see young people or beginning handlers succeed. It was getting close to dark so I told her it’s was time to stop on a good note, because I wanted to work Tigr once more.
Little Mz.Tigr acted like she learned something watching tonight. From the moment she was let loose she was all business. She fetched those two calve with such precision in a perfect straight line. She was very intense but not sticking. I had a predetermined direction around me in my mind. This she accomplished with ease then a long drive away to the corner of the pasture. She was taking her inside flanks like an old pro and hit that obstacle with ease. I turned to Hope and say I think this is the perfect stopping place. Hope was grinning from ear to ear. From the sparkles in Hopes eyes I didn’t even have to ask how she thought her little red dog was doing, just her look said it all.