Of Hair and Holes

Hair, hair everywhere.  When I got a SMOOTH coat border collie, I mistakenly thought there would be less hair than on a rough coat.  WRONG.  Hair grows under my chairs and around Tai’s crates.  It’s on my clothes and on my couch.  It’s everywhere.  Not just hair…but dirt that comes in on paws – from our sandy backyard soil or the muddy hole we step in on our walks, or the hole that must be dug.  Sigh…I’m learning to like sweeping my floors – not with that old noisy vacuum cleaner … but with a good old-fashioned broom.  I find it relaxing, actually…the arc of the handle, the soft swish of the bristles, the challenge of catching that soft sheltie undercoat hair that flies ahead of the broom and the satisfaction of seeing all that hair and dirt gathered up and ready for the trash.  Even knowing there will be more tomorrow.

But I also love burying my face in the hair of my dogs…so soft; to dig my fingers in behind the ears and neck as I massage and feel their pleasure as they lean into my hand.  To stroke their flanks…firm underneath but so soft to the touch.   To pat their hairy heads and feel them lean against me.  I guess dog hair isn’t so bad after all.

Now, of holes.   I set up a challenging international style jumpers course for Breeze today and we nailed it first time out.  Then we took a little break and ran it again with a little different handling and it felt even better.  Next?  Tai man’s turn to came out to play….to work the course in pieces.  This course had it all…push-thrus, threadles, send dog and run hard to position, double fronts, serpentines, rear crosses, wraps, push out of weave poles.   How did it go?  Well, let’s just say I was laughing a lot, amazed at his skills some of the time and only a little dismayed to find we have some “holes”.  Well, that is kind of harsh, I guess.   Let’s just say our near term training plan got some additions today.

Now, it wasn’t just Tai, either.  One of the nice things about working with a young dog like Tai, is how he can teach me.  Out of position?  He’ll tell me.  Late arm change?  He will tell me.  No forgiveness makes for a better handler.  The really good news is that I was able to get to all the positions with Tai that I made with Breeze.  Just needed to use a bit more distance…ok and maybe run a little faster.

So, tomorrow, we’ll be sweeping hair and filling holes.  Not a bad plan.


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