Yesterday, for a 12th birthday present for Uncle Gizzer, we drove up to Bridget's http://www.realitycaninecenter.com/ for a lesson. Syd went too, to see if she still had the drive.
I was happy with Sydney's behavior, mostly for non-sheep related activities. To avoid the biggest mud puddles, we went through a small yard to get to the sheep pens. Inside the small yard were 4 dogs. Two Italian Greyhounds (I think they were mixes, or the fattest IGs I've ever seen!), an Australian Cattle Dog, and a hairy Tibetan Terrier. Syd was afraid as we brought her through the gate, but she never showed an ugly face, and going through the yard the first time, she simply tried to avoid and get away from the other four dogs. After the lesson, on our way back out of the pens, Syd was calmer and not as worried about the other dogs as we went back through the small yard. It was a huge accomplishment IMO, for her to control her fear and not try to act out to cover over her insecurity.
I think it's safe to say that Syd still has the spark!
Video of Syd and Giz and their herding lessons is at www.youtube.com/hurrikanecardigans . Listed in the "Videos" section.