The Fire Diaries: Adventures in couch surfing~week one

Clancy & his dumbbell stylings

Our first generous host home was in the heart of hipster-land. It was the dogs first time living in an actual apartment building with dogs, people coming and going all the time. The PFE store gave Roosevelt an orthopedic bed and after that he totally calmed down got some sleeps and enjoyed himself. The bed gave him a safe central location to meditate. 
Aunt Liz gave us 2 bolster beds that belonged to her polish lowland sheepdog  girls Zoe & Sona. True loved Zoe and he got right into the beds, while they were still in the front seat of the car. LOL
My friend Deirdre gave me a big bag of new with tags clothes one of her co-workers donated. Donated Victorias Secret PJ’s are the best!!! Deirdres handsome lab Clancy goes to true & Roys ring prep classes:

Our great pal and CGC helper Dolores loaned me a giant roller suitcase. Incredibly helpful for couch surfers. Thank you ladies!
Then Jeffery’s Natural Pet Foods the home of K-9 Magic and a whole bunch of other magics gave us a gift certificate!!!  Thank you Anna.

Outside was a parade of loud streetcars, hoards of suffering hipsters so exhausted by life they can barely lift their feet up to take one more step & tons of dogs on flexi-leads. Its also super fun, social and a cool place to live with amazing food ♨ everywhere, great stores and something going on all the time. I lived in the mission for 8 years. Roy has actually spent a lot of time in the mission socializing as a puppy and while working on The Hydrant Project. 

The boys liked it! 【ツ】

Most of all they loved living with their all time favorite person ever and their brother Zero who were the best hosts ever. 

The roof the roof the roof IS ON FIRE☢

Its was actually the floor the floor that was on fireinsertincrediblysadfacehereplease 
Dang, my house got burned up last friday.
The good news: I was home so all of my dogs lived. 
What happened: Dunno…except that my landlords husband told me later that he was working in his workshop  (which was in the crawlspace underneath my bedroom). He went into their apartment for 30 mins and a fire started in his workshop. I noticed smoke pouring out from under my bathtub, went out into the living room and it was snaking all over the floor. Smoke streaming out of the electrical sockets and the edges of the room. Black snakes of smoke.  So I grabbed the dogs and my cell phone and ran outside. I looked into the backyard and the basement door was open with huge clouds of smoke pouring out. I yelled fire a couple of times, dialed 911. Talked  to the 911 people. Saw the landlords husband come running from their place and go into the basement.  Called my wonderful, life saving boyfriend aka/Mr. Gearhead ( I don’t actually call him by any nick names, Im not super nick namey &  Mr. Perfect seems too obvious) who came right over, immediately. That was it for awhile. Then I sat down the hill with my dogs and watched the firefighters. Friends stopped by to help, to bring water, food, hugs. Thank You! 
The bad news: We’re homeless.
The rebel is no more
My place is uninhabitable, my belongings trashed by fire, smoke & water.
The firemen found my laptop and put it outside when they first walked in!  We got some stuff out after they were done. Some more was stolen the next evening because the landlords insurance company didn’t properly board up my house. Their house=totally secure. My house=wide open windows. Thanks guys, you are total morons really something.
Mr. Gearhead took care of everything, helped me form thoughts, carried stuff, carted us all over to his place. friends immediately started a fund for us and friends, clients and people I have never even met donated  to help us out. Its been pretty moving to  have so many people reach out with love & support. Thank You   

Me: I appear to have lost my personality in the fire. I’m hoping its just blurry edges and not an inherent weakness of character. Me also=mad
Roosevelt: is an old guy and he’s pretty stressed, lots of pacing around. Cookies, a dog bed of his very own and carpet may help.
True: Was a total saint the day of the fire and offered therapy dog services to everyone including the firemen. He is a little convinced the sky has fallen but he is also having a great time getting to smash his cattle dog Zero into the grass at the park every night. 

 Roy: has gone feral. He no longer speaks English and has changed his name to NIDHOGG

Racing for Rosettes

I am a title whore. I like the pretty shiny ribbons. But the longer I train the more I discover I want those titles to come from my dogs freedom to think while at work and my ability to be a real partner to my dog whatever the sport, if we are herding, running an agility course or doing obedience. The more I train with my own dogs the more I am learning to ask questions and then be quiet and listen.
Herding is the one sport where Roy is utterly willing to work no matter what, he is unaffected by other dogs, unlike with obedience or agility where he is afraid to train with other dogs present. He has been frustrated and pushed to the edge by my heavy handed reliance on pressure and attempts to smother and control him, but he never quits. No matter how ugly, sloppy or shitty it gets, he lives to do the work. He is all drive and natural talent but he’s too much dog for my herding training skills and I was ruining our relationship because I didn’t know how to show him what was right.
I want to pay tribute to my dog, his breed and the beauty of herding not because of the titles we win but by the teamwork we create. Roy has more instinct, drive and intelligence then I could have ever hoped for. He’s 10 times more dog then I have the talent to work with. So my job is to stop trying to bring him down to my level and to step up, shut up and learn to be the working partner that he deserves. 
So as much as it pains me I’m slowing down. I’m going for the real deal. Im going to let my dog & I really learn how to herd without thinking about when I can enter us in the next trial. I’m branching out and working with other trainers even if it means I have to drive even further. Im going to get us into some clinics and be the odd dog out (not a border collie, LOL).
I even took a full 2 months off from herding. Then we went to see a serious big time border collie trainer. Not an all breed person at all, which means we are starting off on the wrong foot before we even start. She was (and is) horrified by Roy. He’s not a border collie. He’s terribly uncouth and too wild. He listens but only just enough to get mad and scream back. He’s easily frustrated by a handler, any handler.
But he’s got great flanks and balance. Every-time it all looks like chaos he suddenly glides into something ancient and beautiful. Thats what I wanted to show him, thats what I want to give him.

“They are not remote control vehicles. They have the seemingly magical ability to see, process information, understand it and react to something that we can only imagine. The job of trials, if we will utilize them, is to truly SEE this magical ability and to understand it so we can preserve, and in some cases improve, our breed. How can this purpose be fulfilled without SEEING true instinct?
We need to stop thinking we know so much. Most of us have little if any instinct. This doesn’t mean we can’t learn, we MUST.
But we can learn a lot from our dogs if we will just be quiet long enough for them to show us.”