Thursday, June 18, 2009
So I reckon I wasn't elaborate enough about Hanks new digs, and how he ended up there, so I guess I should splain myself since Ive had so many inquiries.
Hank was in my mind, never destined to stay with me. If you all remember Rose, Hanks sister and litter mate, she was the "Chosen One" from the day she hit the ground. Sadly, I lost my Rose, who was the little apple of my eye to parvo. Hank also came down with parvo, but unlike his sister, he survived.
He then became the last Lex pup for me, as at 9 yrs I had her spayed a year ago.
Hank is a strange dog, full of quirks and nervous tendencies. He was never a favorite of mine, and truth be told, he was a difficult dog to manage.
On sheep, Hank became a different dog. Gone are the nervous habits, the uncertainty, and weirdness that made him who he is. He became focused and user friendly. He loves to work, and learn and is very intelligent, (though you'd never know it to see him off sheep)
After loosing Rose, I briefly thought to keep Hank, but he was always just to weird for me. A biddable dog, friendly to any and all, goofy, happy, but strange too.
We got along fine, but he was always a bit of a thorn in my side for several personal reasons, so when I saw that he was going to be keen and trainable, I started letting folks know, that he would be available when I thought he was ready for a new home.
Originally, the plan was to bring Hank to Utah and give him to my friend Taylor who was interested in learning to train and work stock dogs, but that plan didn't pan out. I didn't trust my friends situation at the moment, or that he would be able to care for Hank the way I felt he deserved. So, I didn't push the issue, and Taylor, a close friend of 17yrs, and knowing me like he does, didn't press the issue when I didn't bring up the subject. He knew if I still wanted him to have the dog, Id have asked him to come get him. Seeing as I hadn't mentioned it, he didn't ask. Its great when you can have friends that know you so well, that they don't have to ask or question, they just know. It saves a lot of hurt feelings and the possibility of having to say things you might regret later. That's why he and I have managed to stay such good friends for so long. He has taken the time to know me, and Ive always appreciated him for that.
Anyway, so Tracey (a good friend of almost 10 years)has a Lex pup from a litter she had about 4 years ago. Lyric is her name, and Leery (for short) has never seen a sheep except for the ones on the Serta matress commercial on TV. She has been an outstanding pet and companion for Tracey, and a good first collie to get her feet wet in the breed.
Tracey has accompanied me numerous times to trials and work days, and was always hanging on the fence line watching me work my dogs prior to my move to NC.
When she met Bear, and then after watching him work, she became hooked, and was very interested in getting a dog that was ready to start. I took her with me to Kelly Creek, and she got to see and start to understand what good dog work verses bad dog work is. She was able to witness and tell the difference between working and dogs harassing sheep, and commented about the differences she saw.
I could see she was getting it.
She offered to work Hank in a round pen, and I think that pretty well sealed the deal. It was a bit yeehaw, but we all had fun, and she wanted more.
Rather than to try to start Leery, (who just in case your wondering, yes I did take her to sheep, and she proved to be her mothers daughter which was exciting to see) Tracey was concerned that starting to train Leery might change the dog she knew and loved, and was reluctant to go there with her companion, and I respected her decision and didn't press the issue. (though Ive got a feeling had she opted to try to start Leery, Tracey may have been pleasantly surprised) But Hank being Leery's brother on their dams side, she felt as if she knew Hank already. Both are similar though Leery being older is not so uncertain and nervous. She reportedly went through a stage like that about the same age as Hank, and out drew it within a year.
Hank thinks Tracey is pretty cool, and is always hanging out with her, avoiding my hand for hers, so it wasn't hard to me to see that the two would get along just fine. Hanks gets along great with her other two dogs, and even Tracey's moms poodles and terrier, so I offered her Hank, and she didn't hesitate. My only stipulation, was that she have him neutered.
So Hank has been with Tracey for a total of like 3 days.
This evening when I stopped by there to visit on my way home from town, (and steal some of her moms delicious goulash,) there was Hank, ignoring me, like I was a stranger, and he had all eyes on his new master, owner, handler.
Oh, he eventually came over and said hi to me, but it was clear they had bonded that quickly, and I was very happy and pleased to see it, though a bit sad too, that he would forsake me so soon. But he and I really never had the bond that Bear or Chris or Lex and I have shared, so I think Tracey is just what Hank needed.
Tracey will be joining the Utah Stock Dog assoc and will be going to work days, trials, training sessions, the works, and it just so happens that her dear friend Darci, just happens to have sheep!
So, yes, I gave Hank away, and I don't think I will ever be sorry for him landing on her couch. They both seem very happy with one another, and Tracey cant wait to get going with him and learn all there is to learn. She is very excited about Hanks potential, and is looking forward to all the bumps, lumps and bruises Ive warned her about.
The sheep are doing a good job already of getting her broke in, as one stepped (stomped) on her foot the other day, and she is sporting a nice purple bruise on the top of her foot, (silly gal was wearing flip flops!) But she takes great pride in telling folks that a sheep stepped on her foot while she was trying to work her new prospective stock dog.
I work with Tracey, taught her to groom about 6 years ago, and she brings Hank with her to work everyday, so its not like I wont ever see him again.
I will keep you all up on his/their progress as time goes on, but whether he makes it to being a full fledged working dog, or a couch potato, I know he will have a home for life with Tracey, and that's really what I wanted most for him.
- ▼ June (8)