Argh!  Another crazy busy week.  I started my new job this week, which is great and I think I am really going to enjoy it.  But I am still wrapping up my other part-time job, and I also am doing research for my dissertation.  Oh, and it’s harvest time and I’m trying to put food by for the winter.  Where does that leave the dogs?  Bored and full of beans!

Today I took Kestrel for a nice long walk at the conservation area.  I am not spending enough time with her alone, so decided to take just her with me today.  Plus the dogs get a little too wild to take to public places when they haven’t run in a few days.  Now that Labour Day is past, the beach is abandoned once again and I’ll be taking the others down there for a swim in a few minutes.  The water is calm and still warm, even though the air is getting quite cool and the leaves are starting to turn.

I haven’t done any training with the dogs since the weekend.  I tracked down the contact information for the agility person I hope to start training with.  Her prices are very reasonable, and now that I am working again, I will be able to afford to come out and train one evening a week.  I would like to get Hannah trialing this fall, but I also want to do a class with Kestrel for bonding purposes.  Mira I can train on my own for now.

The dogs are all getting much better at hanging out in the yard without me.  When I first moved here they would all hover around the door, wondering why they were locked out.  They were not used to having a yard and really didn’t know what to do with it.  Except for Kess, that is, who I expect spent a lot of time on her own prior to coming here.  Now all three girls will happily stay out for a couple of hours at a time, although I like to sit out there with them as much as possible.  I think the sun and fresh air is good for them.  There’s shade but not much shelter from rain, so as the weather gets wetter they’ll stay in more.  For now, I have them out as much as possible.

I had a really great chat with Kestrel’s breeder on Sunday, which was a nice pick-me-up after the beating my self-esteem took on Saturday.  Kess’s breeder is a very cheerful, positive person and was very encouraging of my efforts with my dogs.  She commented that she rarely sees dogs in such good condition, and especially with as much training on stock as mine have, coming from a city home.  At the risk of patting myself on the back and giving myself a swelled head, I do have to admit that I put a lot of work into them.  I always feel like I could do more, much more.  But I know few people who live in the city and travel and and train as consistently as I do in herding.

That said, I hate spending as much time away from home and away from the dogs as I have over the last few weeks.  Now that I have a longer term contract, I am going to be able to set up a regular schedule and be home much of the time.  Yesterday I was offered more work, but I turned it down (which was really tough because I could really use the money!!) in order to preserve what little time I have for the dogs.  As it stands, I will be away from home for two 8 hour days a week, and the rest of the time I will work from home.  That should allow me to train three evenings a week, two in herding and one in agility.

Time to bring the girls to the beach before people get home from work…