I was away for a few days and since I was gone we had a bit of a Twitter-gone-mad problem here on the blog. It is all fixed now so everyone should be able to read this post without an issue.

Okay, so I got a new phone a couple of weeks ago. I can make calls and get onto a couple of websites (not my own, not Facebook) but that is about it.   I don’t even know what “kind” of blackberry it is, so I am including a picture. It really isn’t a very intuitive piece of electronics.

My new blackberry

My new blackberry

As pathetic as it sounds,  I can’t even turn the ringer up! Any of you that may have tried to call me and I missed your call, it is because unless I am holding it in my hand I don’t hear the whisper-like ringer!  By the way, my cell number has changed so those of you that previously had it you will have to contact me for the new one as I don’t think posting it here for the two thousand plus people that pop by each day is a very prudent idea. I think I need to go to Blackberry school. Since I bought the phone in the US on an American provider (Verizon) I assume I will have to wait until I go back down south to solve some of my issues.

Any of you that have cyber blackberry lessons please let me know (or at least send on your best Blackberry tips, that would be awesome!).

So I packed all four dogs into the RV and went away for three days, leaving John some peace and quiet at home. I have been at a fundraiser agility trail, aimed at raising money for the FCI Canadian World Team. We didn’t have the knockout  turn out I had hoped, but it sure was an enthusiastic group! Thanks to the organizers (Linda Barton & Danielle Levangie) for coming up with the idea and to all that generously donated their time like; the judges (give it up for Carol Cote and Mike Bita) the CKC (donated all of their fees back to the team!) and to all of the others that came out and volunteered.

My goal for the two days of trailing was to work on my team work with Encore (which continues to be super) and to take back control of Feature’s contact performance. While in Washington Feature took great liberties with her end position on the dogwalk in particular, to the point where her stop and nose touch at the end was present only in the visualizations in my mind before the run.  At the risk of sounding like one of my students I will state “I don’t know where that came from, she has never done that before at home!”

The video evidence of the Grand Prix finals clearly shows she barely hesitated before she left the board and dove into the tunnel. I can honestly say this is the first time since the mid 90’s that any dog has ever done that with me (it was Twister). But alas, Feature isn’t like any of my other dogs. She definitely is “different.” She is a dog that must constantly push the boundaries of any criteria, especially that of control behaviours. She is unique, no doubt about it.  I have trained a total of 8 Border Collies in my lifetime. Some were my own, others were sent to me to train. All were a little different, with their own personal quirks, but none were like

Feature as captured by Ken Kennedy.

Feature as captured by Ken Kennedy.


Looking back at videos of trailing with Featchy this year (I have videos of almost every run she had done) it is clear that this contact performance did not just “happen” it certainly has evolved. She started her career in January of this year where she often would weight shift into contact position but would also drive to the end and then rock back before her nose targets.  On occasion she would over shoot her proper position completely and then step back and start her nose targeting. It did improve slightly but it all lead up to her performance in the GP in Washington (you can see a video of the run in a previous post).

So now I have identified my training issue I will let you sit with it until my next post when I identify my training program that helped me to turn it around.

Today I am grateful for my youngster Feature. Her uniqueness is a big part of her attraction. She challenges me as a trainer, but more importantly cracks me up daily as my family pet. I love her like crazy.