Mira has FINALLY started working sheep.

I mean really working.  Not this chasing, diving, biting and barking crap that she’s been doing for weeks, or rather months.  No, suddenly the light came on, she went around the sheep, brought them to me and stopped.  I swear you could have heard me hooping and hollering in the next county.  I did a crazy happy dance, picked her up and swung her around and hugged her.  I mean, how many people would keep coming out to sheep with a 20 month old dog who showed no eye, no balance and no gather for 20, 25, maybe 30 times?  Everyone I know told me to give up on this dog, to forget about her ever working, and to just do agility with her.  And I knew they were giving me good advice.  But something told me to just keep trying.

Mostly I think I kept trying because I felt there was a chance that it was MY fault she wasn’t working, and not her genetics.  After all, her dad is a former UK national champion, her mom works, and the siblings I know of all work as well.  So she SHOULD work.  

Of course most dogs, even with the most talentless trainer, would probably have shown more talent than this by now, but I kept thinking of other things I could try, other ways to get her started.  After all, I’ve never started a dog before – my trainer started Hannah for me, with me at her side, but she did the work.  With Mira it’s been just me.  And since everyone said she’s never work, I figured I had nothing to lose, and nothing to screw up.  

When I first got Mira, an animal communicator told me that she was to be a teacher for me, as I’ve mentioned now a number of times I’m sure.  Well, she keeps teaching me more and more as time goes on.  She has taught me a lot about homeoapthy, and a lot about behavioural modification.  Well, she has now taught me how to start a dog on sheep.  That is no mean feat, I have to say, and I’m rather proud of both of us.  Starting a dog is really, really tough.  Especially if you are a novice handler.  So getting Mira to go to from barking and chasing and biting to calmly and steadily wearing is one of the biggest training successes I feel I’ve had in my dog training career.  But I doubt I would have taken the chance of starting her myself if people hadn’t told me she was useless.  If everyone had been telling me that she was a hugely talented future open star prospect, I’m sure I would have gone to a professional to start her.  I only spent all this time messing around on the field with her because I felt I had nothing to lose.  And in the process, I sure gained a lot. 

Thank you miss Mira Lou for continuing to make me a better trainer and dog ‘owner’ in general.  Even if this is as far as we ever get, I’ve learned more than I could have ever expected.