Friday, October 17, 2008

Peekay Herding Practice Report

I've been dreading doing this blog entry. The last time Peekay and I have done any herding was over two weeks ago on Thursday, October 2nd. Last week we were rained out. This week, Doyle is at the Border Collie Nationals. It's been so long ago since we've been herding I'm having trouble remembering specifics from our last practice. So I am doing the only thing I can think of to help my recollection -- drinking! I sit at my pub table in my kitchen. Three of my four dogs (Lucky, Peekay, and Lauda) are nearby sleeping off the effects of their protein laced dinner of chicken backs. Friday practice from this weekend's Formula 1 GP from Shanghi, China is playing in the background from my TIVO.

Tonight's drink of choice is Chianti. Specifically it's a bottle of 2005 Placido. Very yummy. A nice bold, full flavor, with lots of body. I can taste the suttle flavors of vanilla, hickory, and melba toast.... NOT.

Writing about wine reminds me of last year's trip we took with our friends Traci & Rod to the Napa Valley. If I am ever short on blog topics perhaps I'll write about that trip. Winery marketers are masters at weaving a tapestry of bullshit to describing their wines.

So even after glass #3 of this fine Chianti details are still sketchy. I do recall how pumped I felt leaving the field after each run. No big wrecks, excellent out runs, and great control. I really feel lucky that Peekay is my dog.

So I'll speak from the heart instead. Peekay is my "Big Dog". She's the one. She is my third German Shepherd, and most likely my last. I think she's ruined me from ever getting another GSD. I can't imagine finding another as talented as she. She truly WANTs to work with me. She lives to work with me -- be it obedience training, sheep herding, agility, or simply playing fetch in the back yard. Herding is what she was breed to do, and she is one of a select few GSDs that has the opportunity to fulfill her destiny. She's a pro, and she knows it. Peekay makes me want to be a better trainer. I will always have a special place in my heart for Unser and Lauda, but for the first time I have a dog who first and foremost wants to work WITH me. We are really a team.

My best friend Jim was in Atlanta for business last week. He spent the weekend at the house, where we did a little cycling (Our Silver Comet ride is a planned blog topic), a little Tiger Woods 2009 golf playing on the Xbox (my career golfer is a planned topic too), and a little dog walking. After a walk in the park he gave Peekay the nickname of "The Terminator". "You can't stop her". "You can't reason with her". "She's always coming". He even asked if she was made out of liquid metal!

By no means is Peekay the perfect pet. On a leach she's like a Formula 1 race car. She's not going to give you a comfortable ride. If you divert any concentration away from her, she'll burn you. But in her environment, in the right hands she is a thing of beauty. Every hair on her body was made for just one purpose -- working. I've had fellow herding competitors at trials come up to me and tell me how they enjoy watching her work.

Tomorrow morning we're going herding! We'll be at Hubert Bailey's farm in Dawsonville, GA for his herding seminar. Our AKC herding trial is at the end of December and we need to start sharping our skills. We'll most likely be in Hubert's large front yard with the other intermediate dogs. Not surprising we'll probably be the only GSD in a group of border collies. I wouldn't have it any other way!

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