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I have a little blog, which is most of the time in Polish (though not always) but today I wrote a post in English about Kelly, my first border collie. She is over 10 years old, and just as I had read Mr. McCaig's post, something happened of which I write i the blog :).

 

http://owceimanowce.blogspot.com/2016/07/kelly-sheepdog.html

 

I hope you enjoy it :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am not going to put this on the blog, but here is today's story about Bonnie:

 

The joys of having a hard-of-hearing dog :) :

 

We needed to move sheep to a different pasture, the sheep were sleeping far away in the shade. I told Bonnie "find sheep" with the plan that when she spotted them I would lay her down and walk to open the spring gate, so that when I give her the flank gesture she will know where the sheep are.

 

But. The best laid schemes of mice and me... Bonnie, upon receiving this "Very Important Task" command (which in the past was sometimes given when I didn't know where the sheep were either) instantly threw herself into a enthusiastic flanky gallop and within a split second she is out of her hearing range. She flies over the spring gate, ends the outrun, lifts the sheep, starts fetching them and tells them, "Woollies, you jump over the gate or else."

 

So most of the sheep "elsed" and just plowed through the spring gate knotting the springs into an unbelievable tangle. And after we took the sheep to the other pasture, we had the task of untangling the 4 strands of the spring gate in the blazing heat.

 

I'm so glad she has no idea how much the trouble she had caused. She was so happy with herself, lying in the shade watching us work :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

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If anybody is interested, I wrote another post in English.

 

(In the little video clip, after Bonnie drives the lambs a bit, she comes back with the "find chickens" commands where is is searching for them as she is running, that's why she is turning her head to both side as she goes.) http://owceimanowce.blogspot.com/2016/08/my-previousblog-post-in-polish-was.html

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  • 4 weeks later...

Today I went out with both Bonnie and Darinka. Bonnie's hearing is so bad and Darinka's so good I can actually work with Darine without engaging Bonnie. Most of the time.

 

So today I wanted to practice going over the fence on an outrun, so that Darine knows that with "away over, she is to go over the fence. She had been taught at first not to go over fences because she was in a habit of hopping over everything and anything just to get to the sheep.

 

So Darinka had some problems because there were sheep at the back, and I wanted her to go to the front over the fence. I spoke quietly so that Bonnie just milled about. But Darinka still had some problems, so tried to help her more.

 

At this point it seemed like Bonnie came to the conclusion that this is silly, and she (really!) went over to Darine as though saying, "This is how you do it, kiddo!" Then she turned and took off on an outrun over the fence and into the forest. Darine instantly followed suit. And they both vanished. In the forest.

 

 

So I stepped over two fences and moved to the field with the sheep too and waited. Bonnie reappeared at the far end lifted and brought the sheep at a gallop since I can't seem to stop her with a gesture yet and for some reason she does not lie down on her own anymore. Darine in the meantime must have seen the sheep move towards me for she retraced her steps and emerged not too far from me. Bonnie in the meantime was bringing the galloping flock of twenty odd sheep straight at me as is her wont. I managed to step out of the way and in front ob Bonnie and tried to stop her with a gesture (she was quite a bit off). But while I have managed by now to get her to react quickly to my gestures my performance and her understanding of them leaves a lot to be desired.

 

So Bonnie took a fast flank instead of lie down and made another attempt to mow me down with the flock. I stepped out in time. and managed to gesture Bonnie to me. Darine all this time was lying down as I had told her at some point.

 

Bonnie was very proud of herself. And I was laughing. I wonder if Darine caught on about the fences.

 

I don't think I can stop working sheep with Bonnie, but it is proving more difficult than I had thought. But then, I don't have a television set :) . Here of course was my mistake that in trying to guide Darine I must have gestured for a flank. This is going to be always very interesting: working with Bonnie and Darine - like Ying and Yang in skills and personalities.

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  • 3 years later...

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