We are getting some really beneficial rain and it is coolish and I really don’t want to take the dogs out for a walk this morning. As I write this, I can hear the rain on the roof and it sounds wonderful … I want to go back to bed. Because I haven’t taken the dogs out, Fern is making it a point to picking up all the things on the floor I don’t want her eating or chewing on. Good dog!?

It is neat how I hear from people from all over the World from both this Blog and Natural Rearing Notes. Just yesterday I heard from a local woman looking for a vet who would not hassle her about feeding a raw diet or vaccinations. This morning I heard from a woman in Switzerland. What did we do before the Internet?

Just got back from a walk. It’s gross out, but at least my dogs got some exercise and I can feel justified in putting Fern up in a crate with a fresh bone. There are individuals who will say that many people mismanage Border Collies because they feel they need to be kept busy 24/7. I did it at first with Gel and was lucky to be able to fix the damage I did to him because of this. To this day he will bring me things to throw for him. Sometimes I will throw it, but more times than not, I don’t. There are times I go out with him and we play a game of fetch. He loves it, but I start the game and end it.

Border Collies were bred to work hard, all day, every day and when I ask Gel to work or play agility, I work him hard and I need for him to be fit and able to sustain his work effort. In order for him to be in this condition, he needs a lot of conditioning exercise. That takes time and commitment. I’m glad I have the ATV because it enables me to get miles on both dogs in less time than it would take me to do it on foot. The rule with the ATV is that I walk the dogs in the morning (for my exercise) and the ATV comes out at night. I get training done in between the exercise routines. I know a fit dog is less prone to injury than one that is not.

We’ll be going to agility on Saturday and I really need to get Gel on weaves before then so I won’t be embarrassed because I know the instructor will know that I haven’t been practicing, well, she’s going to know that no matter what, but I’ll make the effort. We’ll do that either tonight or tomorrow morning. It doesn’t take much time to tune him up. Once the ASCA trials are over, we’ll crack back down on agility and focus on USBCHA herding trials. I probably won’t trial at all in April, but there are several reasonably local agility trials in May. There is a very local USBCHA trial in May, but I’m not sure I’ll do it as the sheep are usually very difficult to work.