Sunday's herding lesson was great. I drove out the Hybrid to Carnation and I worked my trainer's dog, Scott for about an hour in a huge field with 5 sheep. I will be working Scott in my very first trial on November 15, so I am practicing with him as much as possible. He is a totally awesome, sweet dog.
Herding, even with a fully trained expert dog like Scott, is still challenging because I'm still such a novice. So, practice eventually makes perfect. Scott has thousands and thousands of working hours on him (on both sheep and cattle), I have maybe a hundred total now. So, Scott is showing me the ropes. Below is a professional picture of Scott working a ram with his handler/owner, Diane. My trainer is Diane - this is her website http://www.deltabluez.com/.
Eventually, I'll be trialling with my own dog, Mattie. Mattie and I are coming along but we have our challenges simply because I'm learning what I need to do (and what I shouldn't do) in order to make Mattie successful and ensure no sheep are injured in the process. Again, practice, practice, practice.
After my lesson, I attended the quarterly Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue volunteer meeting (http://www.spdrdogs.org/). We were shown some points on dog first aid (dealing with arterial bleeding) and were introduced to animal communication. For those of you who know me, I do believe in supernatural events and telepathy and stuff like that, so I am actually interested in learning more about this. I'm investigating local classes that teach methods and practices.
Anyhoo, after the meeting I met Jerill and Michael at the bowling alley (they were bowling!) and we went to dinner at a Szchechuan restaraunt in Bellevue and introduced Michael to Chinese Hot Pot. Jerill and I aren't particularly in love with super spicy Chinese food, however, this place is great and offers a hot pot that includes a plain broth in addition to the traditional it's-so-spicy-I-think-I'm-going-to-die peppered broth. At Hot Pot, the staff brings you plates of vegetables, noodles, raw fish and raw meat. Then, you cook it at your table, at your leisure. There is always too much food! Since you can't take the raw foods home in a doggie-bag, you have to cook the left-overs at the table, then you can doggie-bag it home. After hot pot, we headed to the Muckleshoot casino where I lost $5 playing penny-slots. I'm not a big gambler.
Yesterday, the Hybrid took me to MLT for work, averaging 44.2 mpg for the 96.8 mile round trip. I'm working at home today. Here is what is going on out at the birdfeeder... I think every BlueJay in the neighborhood is at my place today...