Happy Fourth ‘Gotcha Day’ Jack

Four years ago today my life changed.

A lot.

Daniel and I drove to Kingston Springs after work to pick up Jack the Border Collie.


He hesitated a few moments before trying the stairs up the porch to the front door. But quickly decided a few steps couldn’t stop him from exploring his new home.

He met Angel the geriatric cat.


They’ve since become buddies. Although he still herds her mercilessly.


Jack initiated me into the wonders of sharing my life with a border collie, and now I can’t imagine my life without one. Within days he not only taught me that while it’s true border collies are not dogs for everyone, but for those willing put forth the effort to gain knowledge about breed, accommodate their quirks, keep their minds active, and become partners with them in learning, there is no better companion.

Every once in a while a dog comes into your life and changes everything.

Clicker Work With Damon

Damon’s my little clicker training rock star. He just gets it and enjoys it. He picks out the behavior I’m clicking within 2-3 repetitions. Amazing. I have to say I thought Jack would take to it better than Jade or Damon. Was I ever wrong. Jack gets it, but for some reason doesn’t seem to enjoy figuring it out as much as Damon. But I’m still working on it with him.

Here’s a short video of Damon’s work today. Most of the time we were working on the mat. What I want is for him to lay on the mat. Didn’t take long. Eventually I’ll add a cue to the mat and send all three to the mat when the doorbell rings.

Toward the end of the video I’m reinforcing some targeting we worked on a few days ago. In that sequence my hand is the target where he is to place his paw. Eventually I want to be able to hold his paw and clip his nails.

Looking forward to eventually getting a chest harness and head harness for my GoPro camera. I think that will make watching the dogs work much easier. More dogs. Less me. 🙂

You can watch the video here.

Sigh…Confession Time

Theoretically confession is good for the soul. But in practical application it can suck.

Since my doctor told me to stop running last February I’ve allowed myself to gain 15 pounds. Doesn’t sound that terrible, I guess. Except that when you’re barely 5’4″ that’s almost two sizes. So not only do I feel like a loser for gaining a little weight back, I juuuuust can’t fit into any clothes other than my scrubs.

I’m angry at myself, at the universe, at my stupid arthritic back. Waaa,..waaa…waaa…  During the past few weeks I’ve indulged in several pity parties.

But I’ve got to find a way to get back on track. So I’m trying something. I’m going against my doctor’s advice.

You see, I love to run. I love the mental release. I love the spiritual connection to breath and life. I love the meditative quality of it. Some of my most deep conversations with God have happened on a run.

So, I’m going to run again. But I’m going to be smarter. I’m going to stretch. A lot. I’m going to start out only running 2 or 3 days a week. I’m going to really bump up the core workouts.

We’ll see how it goes.