Sunday, 23 April 2017

In the Meantime

During this week I have visited a women's baking co operative in Braunenweiler. They bake bread once a week. You either bring in the flour, salt, yeast etc and they make the dough or some bring in the made up dough to just take advantage of the ovens. Its a lovely set up. Once a year they have a big feast and hundreds of local people come. It is in September and I hope I can attend.
It is school holidays so a couple of the children came along too. The bakery had a lovely feeling.

This last week has really been a week of transition. 

I have been finding my way round this part of the Albs and Bear has been learning to work. The dog is a Deutsche Shepherd dog and must act like one ie not like a city slicker having a good time at his handler's expense. Of course whenever I mention Bear I am included because we are a partnership(!) and his faults tend to be mine too!!!
We have had two more training sessions outside the barn and they have been absolutely thrilling. The earlier times Bear was on sheep was more of an introduction. Georg observed Bear. The last three sessions have been very focused and set up to teach Bear specific skills/behaviours. 
Firstly to handle chaos and movement and secondly to find or create a border on the slimmest difference of grasses.
It has not been easy for Bear. He has been put under pressure but I am thrilled that each time we go out he has made significant progress. He does learn quickly eg he travels now over grass between two well marked borders but he still does not hold a straight line. He starts off straight but then wants to move closer into the sheep, a technical thing for those not involved in the tending world.
When left to his own devices Bear can and does work a well marked Graze well, BUT he finds it hard to follow some of the instructions. This is, I think, a combination of work ethic, confidence, knowledge, experience and handler.
But I have no doubt that the next six months will bring all that into line.
It is going to be a great journey.

These photos do not show me running up and down this bloody steep hill encouraging my dog to go ahead of me or yelling at him to get a move on!! (while I am being told I am too slow) The things we do!!!

But this video does......enjoy.

This is towards the end of a couple of hours. So Bear is showing fatigue. But he stuck at it.

And for all those waiting for more from Richie. I am sorry but the weather is not good. Totally unreliable. But do not worry. He is coming. He insists I give him his own page to make up for the current neglect. When we have enough material he will be my next Guest Contributor.

Oh and Kermit is going like a rocket. We now pass and are less often passed.


  1. Alexa, did you bring the ingredients or did you prepare dough for baking? I'm hoping you have perfected your baking technique by early September. Any more snow expected or are you nowroperly on your way to summer?

  2. Hi Alexa, thrilled for you about Bear's progress, you must be over the moon. Talk soon Pat

  3. now bear becomes the star, certainly is a new phase you and bear have moved into.wonderful for your partnership.john

  4. He is getting better and better with all the time he is spending around stock.

  5. Don't those freshly shorn girls look great!

    1. I feel better when they have plenty of wool! And yes, Bear does get better as he is around stock (new blog soon to arrive!!) but being in the hands of an expert makes a huge difference with a dog like him. Can be willful!
      I am absolutely loving the real life experience. And months in the mountains are going to be brilliant.