Where have I been?
What happened to me?
That is a complicated question, but in the past two years I have stopped reading and participating in all my old online dog groups. I have no idea what is going on in the Aussie world, other than what happens to come through Facebook.
I can barely bring myself to peruse the Aussie Times when it comes, whereas before it was nearly the highlight of every other month, mail-wise. In the past year I have pretty much given up training my dogs. I still work the sheep when needed, with my already trained dogs. But that's it. I'm entirely without motivation and the reasons for this are fairly complicated. This week I put most of my sheep up for sale. I haven't been to a trial since the summer of 2012 and that was mainly to judge. I'm not even sure when the last ASCA trial I went to was. A couple years, maybe. I have tried without success to place several dogs that I don't need. This has been a discouraging endeavor, to say the least. So, if you're wanting a dog, partly trained, drop me a line. They are on the two for one discount- and the first one is free. Good homes only though. I still love my dogs. I just lost interest in the rest of the dog world.
I don't really know if anyone has noticed or cared about my dropping out, but this week I have been doing a lot of soul searching, and decided to write something of a goodbye post.
A little over two years ago I started going through some very personal stuff, too personal for this blog, that led to me rededicating myself to my marriage, to my husband, to my home and to my kids. With this shift in focus came a gradual reluctance to travel, and when I did go to trials all I could think of was getting back home again. You might call it sort of a paradigm shift. I didn't intend to stop trialing or training, it just found its way to be less important and less attractive to me. The less I trialed, the less I felt the impulse to train. Trialing gives me incentive to train the same way an upcoming test would give me the impulse to study back in school. The less I trained, the less ready the dogs were to go to a trial, so I didn't enter them. It's no fun to go unprepared. Besides, I didn't want to be away from home anyway.
Also, when Sprite came up dysplastic it had a shattering effect on my breeding plans. Sprite is an extraordinary dog in so many ways. I had such hopes for the pups she and Hank might produce. When she was spayed it put a huge dent in my morale vis a vis dogs. Then I had an accidental litter which also didn't do anything for my confidence in myself or my interest in the dog scene.
The only intact female I have now is Pepper, and while she is a great dog who could pass on some real talent, I really have no interest in dealing with puppies, or with prospective puppy owners.
Last year we had a horrible lambing season. It was cold, the lambs came early, which was my fault, and many of them died. It was heart breaking, absolutely heart breaking. And for why? I don't need more sheep. We had more lamb in the freezer than we needed. For some reason, mainly the economy, people stopped buying it.
Now, we are looking at moving sometime soon. So, cutting back on sheep made sense from many perspectives. I just can't get rid of all of them and end that segment of my life, my one time passion.
My husband also didn't want me to give it up- the dogs, the sheep, the trialing, training and socializing. He worried that I was giving it all up for him, and he didn't want that to happen. So by keeping a few sheep I'm leaving the crack open to start up some training again. I don't know. I just don't have the will to do it right now. I keep saying "maybe later". It makes me sad though.