Saturday, 30 May 2015

Teaching the Musher - Bet

Howdy Ho Everybodies!!!

As you may already know (and if you don't, where have you been, my goodness, keep up peoples!) I'm teaching the Musher how to herd sheepy sheeps.

Yes, yes, I flunked out of the Alta-Peet Stockdogs school of herdy herding, but it was a lifestyle choice really.  I had a higher calling to herd Pretty Curly Tails, but whatever, the Musher started going to her friend's house and they have sheepy sheeps, and they have herdy dogs, and she seemed interested in the whole process, and she also likes whistling really loud, so seeing her interest in the job I figured I'd oblige her by giving her some training.

Frankly, I hope she loses interest in this soon because I'm the one doing all the running around, but I can't resist giving her something fun to do.

Anyhooooooo, so we went out to a real field the other day.  It seemed as though she was ready for that next step.  You start out doing it in a small field because if the sheepy sheeps go all wackadoodle and run off... well, that's never a good thing

Photo: Alamy
Instead of going big, we went small, with a nice bunch of sheepy sheeps.  I didn't want to overwhelm the Musher on her first big field event.

It's ok Musher, they're very nice sheepy sheeps, they won't stomp on you
I had a talk with Manny, Frankie, Lou, Nelly, and Lucinda and told them to go easy on the Musher, as she was new to all of this.  Then I took the Musher aside and told her that she would do just fine, just lay off the "down" stuff.  Even though it's a big field, things still poo on it, and I'm not laying down in poo.

So I started them off for a leisurely run to get some real estate between them and the Musher, just to see if she remembered the whole "come here" command.

Beautiful grouping guys, but don't make it too easy on her!
The Musher is having a LOT of difficulty remembering to say Come-Bye or Away to Me because she's so used to Gee and Haw.  When that happens, I just glare at her.

Seriously?  Gee?  Do we not remember our sheepy commands?
Sometimes I just can't help myself and just take over... I mean I don't want to go chasing the sheepie things when she lays out a Walk Up while the sheepies things are running full tilt bozo in the opposite direction.  The Musher gets a bit frustrated when I take over, and I try really hard to let her make mistakes, but eeesh.

Watch out Musher!  Don't walk in front of the sheepie things, they'll smoosh you!
She gets frustrated too, so when that happens, I ask the gang to cut her some slack, and hopes she remembers the "There" so I can "Walk Up" and move the sheepie things at her.

Ok, seriously?  How much closer do you want them, and NO, I'm not laying down, there's a bug on the ground here
She also likes to have things "just so" and all perfect.  I guess she's never heard "close enough for sheepy things work", so I asked Manny to step on her foot.

There!  Um... how about a "That'll Do?"  I'm thirsty you know
She did very well today, despite some challenges, and I think she has a lot of potential, if she can forget all of those mushing commands, but I have a feeling that this winter, she's going to be out on the training trail and TOTALLY freak out the team by yelling COME-BYE!!!

That'll be fun to watch.

- Bet


Pat E in MN said...

Great post. Thanks. Keep up the good work Bet (and Karen).

nuri said...

Laughing out loud here, Bet. Good thing you are such a patient instructor!

Williesmom said...

Way to go Bet, you are the best at all you do!