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We are heading to Huntersville, NC in a few minutes to spend the afternoon at the Rural Hill Farm sheepdog trial. Their website says your dog is welcome on leash so I thought it would be just me and Jody. Well, both my teen age sons decided to come along and one has invited a friend. I got up early and baked bread and brownies for the people picnic. I made hot dog jerky (super high value) treats for Jody just to be sure I can get him to pay attention to me.

 

I am really looking forward to this day. My second time to get to go to a sheepdog trial, Jody's first time, a car full of kids and a really nice picnic. My idea of an almost perfect day!

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We had a ball! I think that if Jody could talk he would say it was the best day of his life so far.

 

I saw Julie P. to say hello to. I recognized her because of her dogs. LOL.

 

It was fun to watch the dogs work. They are so fast and beautiful. Jody was on his best behavior all day. I was so proud of him. When we arrived he was oblivious to the shhep and dogs working them. There were so many new sounds and smells for him to take in.

 

Just the other day I read a post in the training threads that talked about the moment the dog "sees" the sheep. I didn't get it when I read it. I thought of course the dog sees the sheep. They are big and right in front of him. I get it now because an hour or so into the afternoon, I saw Jody "see" the sheep. His whole demeanor changed. No more looking at the dogs next to us, no more trying to get half my sandwich. He watched that field like it was the court at Wimbledon amd he was the main judge. My hotdog jerky treats could have been cardboard for all he cared. It was like his whole body was vibrating. After a while we took a walk over to see the agility demo and he loved watching that too. He actually had all the people around us laughing when he started up the roo-roo-roo to tell me he wanted to play that game too. He was very loud!

 

It was like watching your kid discover something new and wonderful. Most of my friends and family would think I was a little nuts for that. I think folks here understand.

 

Cherrie

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Hey Cherrie,

It was good to see you, if only briefly. It had been a long weekend (with a cold night Saturday when my propane connection bit the dust, thus no heat, brrrrrr....) and I was anxious to get on the road home, knowing I had chores waiting. There were a good number of spectators for the weekend though, and lots and lots of dogs!

 

J.

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Julie, I understand. My drive home was only about 40

minutes and lucky for me the only chore once I got there was to get dinner on the table. You can bet my family got simple food tonight. One of these times maybe we'll catch up when there is tme to talk.

 

Your dogs are all so pretty together. They filled up my eyes. They look like a dog kaleidoscope dancing around with you at the center. Very cool.

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We had a ball! I think that if Jody could talk he would say it was the best day of his life so far.

 

I saw Julie P. to say hello to. I recognized her because of her dogs. LOL.

 

It was fun to watch the dogs work. They are so fast and beautiful. Jody was on his best behavior all day. I was so proud of him. When we arrived he was oblivious to the shhep and dogs working them. There were so many new sounds and smells for him to take in.

 

Just the other day I read a post in the training threads that talked about the moment the dog "sees" the sheep. I didn't get it when I read it. I thought of course the dog sees the sheep. They are big and right in front of him. I get it now because an hour or so into the afternoon, I saw Jody "see" the sheep. His whole demeanor changed. No more looking at the dogs next to us, no more trying to get half my sandwich. He watched that field like it was the court at Wimbledon amd he was the main judge. My hotdog jerky treats could have been cardboard for all he cared. It was like his whole body was vibrating. After a while we took a walk over to see the agility demo and he loved watching that too. He actually had all the people around us laughing when he started up the roo-roo-roo to tell me he wanted to play that game too. He was very loud!

 

It was like watching your kid discover something new and wonderful. Most of my friends and family would think I was a little nuts for that. I think folks here understand.

 

Cherrie

 

Hey Cherrie,

Glad you had a great day - and I do very much understand. Watching Brodie and Robin on sheep the first time really brought tears to my eyes. They were doing what they were bred to do, performing well and loving every minute of it. Life can't get better than that.

 

So which are you and Jody going to take up -- sheep or agility? :)

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I think I am going to try agility with him. I got phone numbers from two people who can help me find classes close to home. After the agility demo they let spectators bring their dogs out to try the equipment. He ran right through the tunnel from my son to me and back. No balking or fear at all. He also jumped some of the hurdles and through the tire. He even followed a treat through the weave poles.

 

We can make an agility area in our yard pretty easily and be able to practice every day. Even though I have 5 acres the neighborhood has restrictions about farm animals. I don't think I can hide sheep! Besides, the fiirst thing that would have to happen for Jody to work sheep would be for me not to be scared of the sheep. It just wouldn't do for Jody and the sheep to chase me off the field, would it?

 

Hmmmm... What can I say? I'm not afraid of spiders.

 

LOL. All comments will be accepted in the good humor they are intended. Have fun y'all.

 

Cherrie

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I think I am going to try agility with him. I got phone numbers from two people who can help me find classes close to home. After the agility demo they let spectators bring their dogs out to try the equipment. He ran right through the tunnel from my son to me and back. No balking or fear at all. He also jumped some of the hurdles and through the tire. He even followed a treat through the weave poles.

 

We can make an agility area in our yard pretty easily and be able to practice every day. Even though I have 5 acres the neighborhood has restrictions about farm animals. I don't think I can hide sheep! Besides, the fiirst thing that would have to happen for Jody to work sheep would be for me not to be scared of the sheep. It just wouldn't do for Jody and the sheep to chase me off the field, would it?

 

Hmmmm... What can I say? I'm not afraid of spiders.

 

LOL. All comments will be accepted in the good humor they are intended. Have fun y'all.

 

Cherrie

 

 

Well, I am scared of goats and geese--go figure. So I can say I understand!

 

Are you a writer? I love the visuals you give...like the main judge at Wimbledon...kaleidoscope of dogs.

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Star, that is so nice of you! I am not a writer. My creative outlet is in stained glass and lately in hot glass work. I guess the words come from trying to get the ideas in my head onto paper and then translated to glass. For me, the first part of drawing a picture is to describe it to myself in great detail.

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I think I am going to try agility with him. I got phone numbers from two people who can help me find classes close to home. After the agility demo they let spectators bring their dogs out to try the equipment. He ran right through the tunnel from my son to me and back. No balking or fear at all. He also jumped some of the hurdles and through the tire. He even followed a treat through the weave poles.

 

We can make an agility area in our yard pretty easily and be able to practice every day. Even though I have 5 acres the neighborhood has restrictions about farm animals. I don't think I can hide sheep! Besides, the fiirst thing that would have to happen for Jody to work sheep would be for me not to be scared of the sheep. It just wouldn't do for Jody and the sheep to chase me off the field, would it?

 

Hmmmm... What can I say? I'm not afraid of spiders.

 

LOL. All comments will be accepted in the good humor they are intended. Have fun y'all.

 

Cherrie

Close to home is a major factor as is an area to practice!

 

I was a bit wary of sheep myself and then I found the "dog broke" sheep that the pups started lessons were a whole different kind of critter who just glided right up to me as I entered the pen and I'm thinking....what now! But they're very sweet -and knew far more than I did what the game was so I'm quite liking sheep, at least the ones I've met so far! We'll see as we progress!

 

Liz

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Dear Ms. Cherrie,

 

Glad you could come. Rural Hill is spectator friendly and draws thousands from the metro Charlotte area. I am always glad to see so many people with their pet dogs enjoying an outing. Dean Holcomb, the host, says in the years he's run the trial he's only ejected one dog (tried to nip a kid).

 

Of course those who'd bring their dogs on an outing are in the top rank of pet owners.

 

Rural Hill asked the handlers to please keep their dogs on leash so the pet dog people wouldn't wonder and we did when we remembered to.

 

Lovely cool weather, decent sheep, fine judging, edible food at the concessions, good friends and beautiful, brilliant sheepdogs. Thanks Dean for a fine trial.

 

Donald McCaig

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Mr. Donald,

 

I did notice that most of the handlers had their dogs leashed. I also saw some off their leads. It was a little thrilling to see the ones that were loose. First because they were so well behaved and focused on their person in the middle of all that excitement. Also, it was a little like being at a concert and having a member of the band walk by on his way back to the dressing room. I wanted to ask for paw prints on my program. LOL Just kidding. Wouldn't that make my teenager want to crawl under a rock?

 

But seriously, in the year and a half since I started reading these boards I have learned so much about what real trainers invest in time and resources and of themselves for their dogs. I look at the events and the participants from a different perspective than I used to.

 

Cherrie

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I looove going to Rural Hill. I enjoy watching the working dogs and seeing all the pet dogs. I love just walking around, soaking up all that land and dreaming/hoping one day I'll be luck enough to own some land one day. Even with all the people there, I still feel a sense of freedom while I'm there. This year when I told DH which weekend it was, he asked me "Which day are you going?". I'm glad he understands me.

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