It was a very difficult decision to sell Midge. Watching her work sheep on Monday made it even more difficult. Working Gel on sheep is like driving Hummer, it’s big, comfortable, powerful, with a large turning radius. Working Midge is like driving a Porsche, fast, quick, powerful and intense. The last time I worked her, she was having difficulty leaving my feet in an outrun. On Monday, she was readily leaving my feet and easily was going out at a Pro-Novice length outrun.
If I were going to continue trialing in USBCHA, I would not have considered selling her.
I managed to make it to agility class last night. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get out of work on time, but I lucked out. It was quite cold last night. Gel ran hot and fast. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him run his contact obstacles as fast as he did last night. Unfortunately, even though he didn’t blow the contact, he didn’t stop. I believe I said a while ago that I didn’t practice contact obstacles at home. Guess I misspoke. While I was waiting for the other dogs in the class to run, I did short training sessions with Fern. After just a little bit of shaping, I had her offering to get on a low table and sitting. She’s an operant fool! Smart as a whip too. She’s a lot of fun to train and I’m glad that I only have two dogs to train right now.
After the class, while we were helping the instructor pick up tunnel bags, tunnels, etc. we let the dogs run around and play together. The two Aussies were very interested in Fern during the class and when they got the opportunity to play with her after class, they were a bit overwhelming to Fern. After a few minutes though, Fern was up and playing with them like they were long lost buddies.
I am amazed at how snobby certain people can be when it comes to evaluating what makes a good stock dog. Amelia Smith (Bordersmith Bordercollies) made a snide remark in reply to a post on the Kensmuir Stock Dog list. The original poster has a male dog who has several high level agility titles, but he’s also running at the Open level in USBCHA and made it to the semi-final round at the USCHA Nationals this past fall. It seems to me this is a really nice dog who can excel both at agility and stock work. Where does Amelia get off making snide remarks about agility titles being reasons for careless and clueless buyers to buy them? She’s really a nasty individual.