Seamless Connections

Doing chores with a dog is part and parcel of what we do here. Often there is no goal other than bringing sheep home and no one is watching. After awhile it starts to feel less than special. It's just what we do. Hence it's easy to get sloppy and let old habits slide into the working routine.  

Jayde was the dog on duty for the gather tonight and I've been trying to pay attention to setting her up better before I send her as she has been going pretty flat on her gathers lately. In our rolling hills pasture the dogs do need to go wide enough to see sheep they don't necessarily see when waiting on the ground beside me. If they have a good start chances are they'll do better at collecting the sheep. 

Sometimes the lay of the land and the ability to go with the flow also determine what happens. The field where the sheep are eating is turning out to be a great field to work in. 

Tonight a very long slough bed plus the cows drawing the sheep along, gave us an unforeseen opportunity to do a long cross-drive (something I never purposely train my dogs to do) with Jayde and I on opposite hillsides, the slough bed between us. It was glorious and it seemed to happen effortlessly - just a girl and her dog bringing home sheep.

I've stored the feeling in my memory and in my heart, for use the next time when all my planning and clinging to expectations get in the way of the seamless connection I know exists because I'm blessed to have working dogs at my side.