A while ago I shared some reasons why herding people should not call anyone crazy. There is a lot of crazy out there so here are some handler habits that have been unconsciously shared with me by my fellow handlers.
You have more whistles then jewelry.
Flinging a stick is a perfectly acceptable form of communication no matter where you are.
You get really worked up and are freaking people out when you are explaining about that awesome redirect you had two years ago.
You read on the internet about a good working dog passing and you shed a tear and feel sad even if you never meet the dog. When aunt Petunia died you where bummed because you missed good sheep time attending her funeral. And you still pissed of all the relatives because you used the time practicing your whistles.
It is slightly erotic to cares the horn on a beautiful stock stick.
You keep a mental note on what kind of snack most judges like.
You sometimes practice shedding in rush-hour traffic with your car, catching bumpers and looking for gaps where you can make a good cut. Trying to see how big off a gap you can make and hold as many cars as possible back, letting a single go and stopping the rest. Usually you stop right after you stuck your head out the window and smacked that pushy Corvette on the nose with your stock stick. You hope the Judge/Police did not see that because that would be a DQ.
Have a really hard time to recognize the front of people.
You know that the California trials almost never are sunny and warm but often snowy.
You practice your whistle as you are driving down the road to the point that you are almost passing out while doing 75. Once your head stop spinning you go right back to practicing whistles again.
You see one of those famous golf courses on TV and all you can think is that that would be a great place to have a trial if you filled in those holes.
That beautiful woman and her dog just had a great run and as they are walking off the field you are checking her out, her lines, how she walks and her eyes. You go out of your way to talk to her; you put on all your charm and you are really working hard to arrange for some romance…No, not with the human silly, Your male dog with the bitch that just ran so nice. You can find a woman like that anywhere but finding a bitch that holds a single like that is almost impossible.
You been limping for years and that is ok but you will take your dog to the emergency vet if he stub a toe, and do acupuncture and massage for the following two weeks.
You will not judge a farm by the size of the house or if it has granite counter tops. What matters is how long outruns they can get and how many sheep the land will sustain.
You really truly believe that a Scottish accent works better for Border Collies.
You are more superstitious then a baseball player. “My black jacket usually works better when my dog need a long outrun” “My grey pants shed better”. When you dress for a trial you don’t dress for the weather but for what combination might work for that specific course.
Your dog has a bucket list
You can sense how your dog is feeling from a mile away or if he is a tad off. But you have absolutely no idea why your wife has not talked to you for two days, and you are really not too worried about it as long as her tantrum doesn’t bother your dog.
A good hotel is a place that has a big grassy field for your dogs to run.
You think there is too much stupid crap on Face book but never enough pictures of sleeping puppies.
If someone mentions white Rebooks you know exactly what they are talking about.
You probably learned to whistle in your car; maybe you made your self finish the national anthem at every stop light. And when you finally got it you where so happy. Not because the big guy behind you where just about to beat the tar out of you but because you finally hit that tricky high note.
Sometimes you drive down the road and notice you have blood and placenta on your pants and you decide it is time to do laundry, but not until after you go to the grocery store and get a haircut.
Finding an old run order in your pocket makes you smile and you still remember if you got the pen.
You look with horror at the mom constantly nagging at the kid in the grocery store and you are thinking that maybe you could give her some pointers “Smack his nose with your hat and make him yield to your pressure, get in his face until he change behavior. The real trick is to remove the pressure when you get the result you want” But she probably would not appreciate the advice, just as she would not appreciate the idea of a childrens tie-out outside the store or crate him in the car until he is mentally ready for a visit to the store.