Re-Evaluating Goals

September 4, 2011

The Chaseman was in Hazel Kentucky again today for the herding trials.  He was only entered on Started Ducks.  Yesterday, when it was 100 degrees, he could not get the ducks off the fence so didn’t qualify.  Today was much cooler, but Susan couldn’t get Chase to do his job.  They walked to the handler’s post, Susan told Chase to sit (which he must do before he can begin his run), and he said “no.”  Not really “no”, he said “hell, no!!!” and wouldn’t sit.  After many muttered commands, Susan took a step forward and again told Chase to sit — finally he did — though they’d lost a tremendous number of points.  Part way through the opening portion of his little herding effort, Chase lost one of the ducks, he swung around to get it, but Susan told him to leave it, and decided they’d try to take the four remaining ducks through the obstacles rather than risk losing more.  A little bit further along, Chase lost another duck — he didn’t even look toward it.  After all, today you could lose ducks and it didn’t matter, but three ducks wasn’t enough so Susan sent him to get his lost ducks.  That was not pretty.  Chase doesn’t like to be fooled and thought Susan was dinking around with him.  Needless to say, he did not qualify again today.

So, we’ve talked about it.  Chase doesn’t like ducks — categorically.  I don’t believe in making a dog participate in a venue that he truly doesn’t like.  He’s had four tries at Started Ducks with nary a Q.  The boy is a sheepdog, with great stock sense and balance.  So, we are bagging ducks (figuratively), and Chase will focus on the love of his life (next to girl dogs).  He’ll be happier, Susan will be less frustrated, we’ll waste fewer dollars on empty entries.  Chase will be trying for his Intermediate Sheep title this fall and, hopefully, we’ll be ready for Advanced Sheep before the Ohio Nationals.

At home, we are having a mostly lazy day with just moderate spurts of housecleaning thrown in.  Nola loves her little half-sister Riley and the pair romped and raced through the house and yard the better part of the morning.  They are now crashed.  By being with the big dogs, Riley learned that she coveted a crate.  She’s now voluntarily snoozing in the little crate in her puppy pen.  She loves the rocker board and uses it to launch herself at Nola.  We played the hand-touch game and Riley picked it up immediately by watching Nola and Holmes.  I use LiverLips for the treats which now have earned the Riley stamp of approval (mine gave theirs eons ago).

The Bulletin is off with the proofreading teams (bless each and every one of them) so I can’t do any work on it.  And tomorrow is another day off of work — YES!!!  I PLAN TO DO NO LABOR ON LABOR DAY.


  1. C-Myste says:

    Truthfully, there’s not all that much call for duck-herding anyway. (Now a dog who didn’t like sheep and *only* wanted to work ducks would be a different story.)

    I may “Labor” on “Labor Day” but it won’t be at the day-job.

  2. Builder Mama says:

    Sheep and girls – Chase just wants to stick with what he loves best! 🙂

  3. susan says:

    It is not a requirement that the dogs sit at the handler’s post, they must do a stop. It can be a sit, drop or stand. I was insisting that Chase sit, because we always do and with him refusing, I needed to remind him that I am the senior partner (the run would have been even uglier if I had agreed that he didn’t HAVE to sit). Chase insisted he knew better – which is the root of all of our herding problems. On top of that, there was a bitch in season at the trials. Chase was VERY aware of it.

    But, the boy does not like ducks. He said so quite emphatically today. We do eventually listen… He LOVES his sheep.

  4. DeAnn says:

    Sorry about the ducks. :(. Stinkers.

  5. Taryn says:

    Well, if I were Chase, it seems sheep would be a whole lot more fun/satisfying to boss around. Sounds like he’s been trying to get that message out there and this time he did. These Cardis definitely have strong opinions!