Category Archives: Training

Be the Bug

Well, tough day at the trial. There was nothing dreadful, just not how I envisioned it.

Vaider was on the muscle so we missed our fetch panels and our drive lines were all over. Chuck ran very tight on his outrun shifting the sheep before he should have. He had to go back to set out to pick one up off the pens; as he did this it broke around and into the bush. I called his run.

The good:

I watched the sheep being set for Vaiders run.  The sheep  scattered around  three times before they got to the setout point. Vaider picked them up and he never let them try him. He handled them so there was no indication of them being a tough set other them they were a little squirrely.

Chuck had a bad manager who should have opened his outrun before he got to the sheep. That being said: When I called Chucks run, he came off and then I was able to set him onto the other sheep and drive them over to the exhaust pen and again call him off those sheep. All this leaving me with the impression that had his manager done his job the run might have been saved. We will not name, names of the manager for fear of publicly shaming him!

And then we come to the point:

On the way to the trial we had a large stone thrown at the windshield doing an impressive amount of damage to it. As the day progressed the line “sometimes your the windshield, sometimes your the bug.”

I kept thinking, I wish I was the windshield.  I then got to thinking, No, I really don’t want to be the windshield. I look at our windshield and realize that is needs to be replaced and not one will think of it one way of the  other. I think of the rock, and yes it did an impressive amount of damage but, the rock is a problem and something to be avoided. I then remembered as a kid I was always amazed at the way different bugs would smash into the windshield leaving a unique mark. I would spend miles looking at the different splatters from different types of bugs (I actually still do this). The trial today made me realize; I want to be the bug.

Why the bug:

Well it really comes down to how we handle disappointment. If we are the rock, we leave an impression but it is an annoyance to the people around us and is rarely good. If we are the windshield, we may hold our tongue but we are discarded in a heap. If we are the bug, we get to show the people around us the beauty that can be found in everything. We get a chance to show others the joy we find in working good dogs and livestock not just in winning.

Today I tried hard to be the windshield. I really should have tried to be the bug. If I was the bug I could allow myself to be amazed at the spectacular things my dogs do even when it does not go as I plan. If I could be the bug it would be easier for me to be a happy man (which would make my wife happier). If I could be the bug I would not make people uncomfortable when I am really trying hard not to make them uncomfortable (the windshield does not seem happy, maybe a little mopey). If I could be the bug I could amaze and thrill people with my spectacular crashes as well as when I avoid the crashes.

Yes, I want to be the bug.


It’s Not Who You Are.

Really, its not you! As I work with different people one of the most common things we deal with is discouragement. Often the discouragement is the result of looking at the low points of our progress. Trust me, unless you stop learning, the low points in your progress are not who you are.

Lets graph it:


Your high moments are “feel good moments”. They are important because they keep you motivated. They are not an indicator of where you are but an indicator of what you can become. If you notice, feel good moments are often followed by a drop in progress. Why would that be? The answer is simple; most often when people hit those feel good moments they often quit learning. They feel good about what they have accomplished and back off to enjoy the moment. Sometimes the feel good moment is followed by a drop because you started to learn something new.

Your low moments are actually your understanding moment or as labeled your learning moment. Putting things together slows progress until you understand. Once you gain an understanding of the principle you are trying to learn, progress gains on a steep incline. This is because once you hit that learning moment it is combined with all your other learning moments. This gives a better understanding of not just that principle, but all you have learned up to that moment. The low moments can be stressful but it is the stress that can actually motivate you to strive to understand.

We see people get discouraged at two different points: 1) as mentioned is the decline before they reach their learning/understanding  moment. 2) when they do not experience the highs and lows.

People who progress at a slow steady rate often do not see their progress. They get discouraged because they do not have moments that stand out that they will compare to. It is only when those people do something different (like working a different dog, see video of where they were, etc) are they able to understand how far they have come.

Be happy for the peaks and valleys. They do not indicate success and failure, rather they indicate potential and learning. Savor your learning moment and the work it takes to get there. Enjoy your feel good moment and the  glimpse at your potential.

Always remember; you are neither your high or your low moments. You are somewhere between the two on your progression to Great Accomplishments!