Thursday, September 30, 2010


I love being able to work my own dog again :). I went out to Dianne's yesterday for a lesson, and also to pick up my new agility pause table (thanks, Ann)!

I brought Mossimo along, and it was a lot of fun working him. We worked on the usual stuff, outruns, driving, inside flanks, etc. He was pretty good! I worked on using my whistle as much as possible, which is tough because:

A) I'm not that good with it, and
B) My tone is a bit different than Dianne's, so Moss doesn't always know what I mean.

But we're getting it. He kept getting "stuck" on the crossdrive, so after struggling for awhile, I walked up closer to help him. He was about 100 feet or so away from me before, and I walked up to about 30-40 feet. That helped a lot, since I was able to get more finesse and really show him what I wanted. I think he had a light bulb moment or two.

I really want to focus on saying as little to him as I can get away with... I tend to be, erm, quite talkative on the field and I need to learn to relax, trust my dog and let him learn to make decisions on his own. As a bonified type-A micro-manager, this is understandably difficult for me. But I'm loving every second. I really missed doing stockwork... we haven't done much since the spring. Thankfully I've figured out a regular time slot that works for both me and Dianne, so at the very least I'll be able to go out once a week. That makes me feel better. I am thinking about signing him up for beginning agility (starting in October), just for something else fun to do. Thoughts? Will agility take away from his herding training?

My happy boy :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Band of Brothers

This past weekend, Moss's brother, "Link" came to visit, along with his owners, my friends Autumn and Jair. Link is from the most recent Peg x Riggs cross, born last winter. He's now ten months old, and what a handsome guy he is!

Can you see the family resemblance? :)

"Oh hai, brudder!"

Moss: "Toy?"

Link: "Can I get up now?"

Link was down here from Northern Idaho to get his start working sheep with his breeder, Dianne. He did quite well! Here is a photo of him just getting started, courtesy of Autumn:

Here's a picture of Moss watching Link working out in Dianne's field. I love the drool... LOL

My handsome boy <3

There's been a change of plans re: Moss. He's back home now for the foreseeable future. I just couldn't handle sending him away for such a long period of time, and was finally able to admit it to myself and Dianne. So, I'll be working/trialing him myself, but will still be taking lessons from Dianne :)

In addition to being Autumn's pet, Link's also in training to be her service dog:

What a good boy! Link and Autumn have a great bond. It's wonderful to see :)

It was a lot of fun having them here for the weekend.... we can't wait to see them again!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I'm so excited to congratulate Moss's daddy, "Riggs" and his handler/co-owner Patrick Shannahan on becoming the 2010 USBCHA National Sheepdog Finals Open Champions!!!!!!!!!! They scored a full 25 pts over the second place team. Way to go!!!!!

Check out the scores here.


Friday, September 24, 2010

End of Week One, er Two... uhm...

This morning I completed my last "required" C25K run of the week. Like I said before, I accidentally started myself off on Week 2 instead of Week 1. Thankfully, it went just fine! I'm feeling great and although I think I could go to Week 3 next week, I am going to stay on Week 2 at least another day or two. Even though my stamina is pretty good, I don't want to hurt myself since my body's not in the best of shape yet. I'm really enjoying seeing the benefits of all the positive/"healthy" changes I've made in my life over the past few months. I am getting slimmer, I have more energy, and my skin is great... probably because of all the water I force myself to drink! I'm just chiseling a little bit of negativity and unhealthiness away at a time, and replacing it with things that are good for me and make me happy. That's all I can hope for at this point, I guess. :)

Oh, and for all you Border Collie fans, check out the USBCHA National Finals Webcast! it's FREE!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Even Wordsworth Knew...

...the ego is never up to any good. It is responsible for most of my anxiety, and I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone there.

This post is pretty random... I'm in a weird place in my head right now. So, I apologize if it doesn't make sense.

Anyways, I love Wordsworth. I'm taking a class on him this semester, and while it's been incredibly challenging, (agh... close readings of 18th century poems certainly get tedious) I have learned a lot so far. And my (extremely British) professor rocks, too. I was excited to take a grad class from him after taking a few classes from him in my undergrad years.

Soooo..... back to Wordsworth.

Wordsworth's poetry makes an interesting companion to Don Blazer's The Nine Secrets of Perfect Horsemanship. LOL. I often revisit Blazer's book whenever my insecurities start to bleed back into my life. Blazer talks a lot about the ego, and how destructive it can be to, basically, anyone trying to achieve anything. Because of our desire to look good in front of others, we often end up making stupid mistakes and make choices that do more harm than good.

A section from his poem, "Lines Left Upon A Seat In A Yew Tree."

Stranger! henceforth be warned; and know that pride,
Howe'er disguised in its own majesty,
Is littleness; that he, who feels contempt
For any living thing, hath faculties
Which he has never used; that thought with him
Is in its infancy. The man whose eye
Is ever on himself doth look on one,
The least of Nature's works, one who might move
The wise man to that scorn which wisdom holds
Unlawful, ever. O be wiser, Thou!
Instructed that true knowledge leads to love;
True dignity abides with him alone
Who, in the silent hour of inward thought,
Can still suspect, and still revere himself,
In lowliness of heart.

Awesome, eh?

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program. :-P

Monday, September 20, 2010


So... I went running today for the first time in many, many months :-P I am really motivated to lose some weight and get healthier... and have already made some good progress with just diet changes only (lost 13 lbs!), but I need to start exercising in just to really kick myself in gear. I can't stand being so out of shape anymore... I want to be able to run Cedar through a whole agility course without huffing and puffing. Plus, I'm not happy with how I look and it affects too many areas of my life and self-esteem. This is my attempt to change that.

I'm following the Couch To 5k (C25k) program to kind of ease myself back into running. This program promises to get you in good enough shape to complete a 5k race in nine weeks. Here's a link to the website: C25k. So far, I really like it. I was pleased to find that I am not in as bad of shape as I thought after accidentally doing the week 2 workout by mistake (haha). It was challenging, but not impossible... and kinda fun! It was pretty cool being outside early in the morning with Moss. He had fun, too :) Plus, I felt (and still feel) great afterwards and have a lot more energy than usual. I am motivated to stick with it this time... I'm notorious about giving up on exercise and I don't want that to happen again. That's just the easy way out :)

No pain, no gain, eh?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

That's So Fetch

In my quest to become a better photographer (i.e. actually know how to use my camera on manual settings), I take every opportunity I can get to snap some new pix. This morning, the dogs were driving me absolutely nuts. They obviously had some energy that needed burning off. So, I enlisted the help of expert Chuck-it engineer (and the hubby), Joe, and we took the three mongrels out to the back yard for a good old-fashion session of fetch.

The lighting was a bit tricky... alternating between dull cloud cover and bright sun. I did my best trying to figure out the proper settings :) Bear with me as I try to figure this stuff all out; I need to learn this stuff before I move up to a higher-caliber camera (hello Canon 7D... I'm lookin' at you, gorgeous).

My favorite photo of the day (LOLZ):

Moss is back home for a week or so while Dianne is competing in the USBCHA National Finals in Virginia. She's been doing awesome so far... making it to the Nursery Finals with two young dogs, Petal and Fame. Congrats, Dianne!!!!

Looking at these photos, I see a lot more maturity of body in Moss. My little puppy boy is starting to fill out!

Look, he's even starting to get his big boy ruff :)

The above pic was taken a few days ago... after a bath. You can see how much he loves grooming... not.

He'd much prefer doing this:

or even this:

(subtitle: FAIL.)

At one point, Joe threw the ball into the baby pool on accident (notice the clear water). Scully took some initiative and went for it.

Problem was, she couldn't grab it out of the water with her short little nose.

"The creature is taking too long," Cedar thought.

...and grabbed it for herself.

Sometimes that needle nose of hers has its perks.

I got a little bored with just cropping in Photoshop, so I made these:

Black and white Scully:

And Cartoon Moss:

I think Cartoon Moss looks pretty damn awesome, IMO. Maybe Cartoon Moss should become a regular occurrence on Cedes of Change?

Scully would like y'all to know that she doesn't give a hoot either way.

"Change the water in here, kthx? These collies are hooligans. Muddy, muddy hooligans."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Change of Pace

This morning I went out with my friend Aimee to take pictures of her and hang out while she had a riding lesson. Aimee and I have been friends for a LONG time... we used to ride at the same barn when we were kids. Now, I don't have a horse anymore and Aimee is working very hard to train her Warmblood mare, Izzy.

This is Izzy:

Aimee and Izzy are a great team and it was wonderful to spend some time around horses again. Aimee still rides with the same instructor as I/we did when we were younger, but they recently moved to a new barn.

It was a beautiful morning, with lots of sun and almost perfect lighting. Aimee started Izzy out on the longe line. Izzy is still young, so it gives her an opportunity to get out any excess energy before Aimee gets on.

Isn't she beautiful?

After letting Izzy go around in both directions, Aimee got on and warmed her up.

Izzy is quite the character... and has such an expressive face! I loved photographing her.

They worked a lot on some basic dressage stuff... getting Izzy to round her neck and back and become "soft" and quiet. Izzy was a team player... sometimes :)

Next, Aimee had Izzy go over some trot poles...

And then, she practiced some jumping. Izzy is just learning, and thinks that jumping should be done at FULL SPEED.

Aimee did very well with her.

Izzy's favorite part of the day:

A fun time was had by all!

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