Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving weekend was a wonderful break from work. Thursday was spent at Linda's herding sheep and eating turkey. I got up early in the morning and fixed cranberry sauce, mixed berry jello, green bean casserole, and coconut macaroons to share. One of the folks from New Orleans, Rebeca, has two rescue Aussies. Her bitch, Hope, is a red merle that looks like she could be related to Grace. Unfortunately, Hope for now wants to assist from the sidelines rather than be in charge of herding the sheep.

When it was Grace's turn to herd Linda had me work on her stays. We also spent some time using the large rake I had purchased to keep her further back behind the sheep. The rake was a tool used in an Aussie herding video I have viewed.When she improved on staying back from the sheep we used Heather Dickinson's soccer flag whip. Heather had the flag rubberbanded around the end to soften the tip. The whip action allows the wand to make a snapping noise which Grace was respecting. The soccer whip is much easier to use than the rake... okay so I'm now going to purchase herding staff number five. I'm still struggling with walking backwards at times (see inset photo).

Friday I worked around the house moving furniture. The replacement sofa was delivered in the morning. I met up with Tracey for tracking in the afternoon. Both Grace and Bern tracked well. Grace tracked through a gate, a brief walk on a dirt path, and a cut through the woods - all went well. Sparkle looked good when she wasn't near forested areas.

Saturday Bern went for his annual checkup and Grace got her kennel cough shot. We then visited the Louisiana Renaissance fair. It was my first time. By far the most interesting presentations were by the glass blower and the falconer. The master falconer did a great job discussing issues related to the birds - not throwing food trash by the side of the road. She also spent some time discussing why birds like Red Macaws needs to be owned by folks who understand what they are getting into. Good job with the info/demo combination. Her birds are transported in vari-kennel crates and would fly on "kennel up" command to their crate. Her husband stayed at the crating area to release and recover birds. His presence also kept visitors from bothering the crated birds while they were not in a protected area.