Sunday, May 25, 2008

Herding - Does a Body (and Mind) Good!

This is Uncle Gizmo. He's 12, and he's the reason I started trekking 128 miles round trip to tromp around in muddy pastures. It's because Gizmo LOVES to go play with sheep. At almost 10 years old, I took Gizzer for an instinct test, and he was a natural. So, when the puppies were young, they started tagging along with Uncle Gizmo to lessons, and Sydney showed a spark for the sheep early on.

Yesterday, for a 12th birthday present for Uncle Gizzer, we drove up to Bridget's 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 . Listed in the "Videos" section.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Follow up Visit with Dr. Perkins

I don't know if I mentioned it before, but a couple of months ago, I decided to consult with Dr. Perkins about Sydney's insecurities. Dr. Perkins has seen most of my dogs and limits her practice to acupuncture, chiropractic, and TCVM. I took Syd to see Dr. Perkins in hopes of some success from a "quiet the mind" type approach. An acupuncture treatment and an herbal supplement seem to have helped my girl. It did not surprise me at all to hear that by the definition in Eastern medicine, Syd is a "Fire" personality.

Last night, Syd went for a follow up visit to see Dr. Perkins and Syd was completely calm, no panting, no pacing, and accepted the acupuncture treatment with no stress or anxiety. Dr. Perkins was very pleased with Syd's progress, and it was nice to see Syd improved in yet another place where she had previously expressed anxiety.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Two Majors- First Weekend Back!

To say I'm speechless is an understatement! This weekend my girl really did me proud. Not only did she behave calmly and comfortably at the local Sunflower Kennel Club dog shows Saturday and Sunday, she won the 4 point major both days! How's that for getting back into the swing of things? :-) A huge thanks to co-owner/breeder Jacque Glenn for showing Syd like a superstar!