Ready To Fall In Love

Whew! What a couple weeks! Two weekends ago I went back to Idaho to drop my dogs off at my folks’ place while I’m in Europe. Its always nice to go home for a few days. I get to see some friends that I haven’t seen in forever, go to my favorite coffee shop and get some time with my family who I’ve been away from way too long. Then, I came back to Washington just in time to jump on a plane to head to the midwest to judge the Missouri State Championship Sheepdog Trial in the beautiful Sedalia, MO at Larry and Jan Moore’s gorgeous farm. It was a weekend full of laughs, good food and really nice competition. I was really jealous that I wasn’t competing! But the MacRae’s and Flemmings, who were helping put the trial on, insisted that I take Nell out and do “demo” runs after they set the course each day. It was interesting, fun and really an enjoyable time. I don’t get to see those friends enough, and I have to say that the “Show Me” state showed me a lot of love and I totally fell in love with it once again!

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Now I’m back in the Evergreen State and preparing to leave for Europe on Monday. Goodness I can’t believe that its this close. For years I’ve dreamed of competing at this level and now its a reality and I’m in a bit of a panic to be honest, and jet lagged… very jet lagged. Nell however seems happy to be wherever we end up. She took the plane rides well and came out in good spirits so that makes me feel better about flying her around the world!

Even though I’ve been preparing for this trip since October, I still feel like I’m not prepared enough. I don’t really know what to expect, but do we ever know what to expect? For example, what sights should I see? Where should I go in my spare time? Where CAN I go in my spare time? Will I have any spare time? And for God’s sake where I am I going to get the best coffee?! These are serious issues that need to be resolved! Seriously sometimes I feel like I need a team of people just to get me ready for work, let alone to travel across the world…  If you have any suggestions for sights that someone has to see when in the Netherlands or in Belgium, please message me here or tweet me @derekjohnfisher! Also, who wants to be my assistant/manager/life-coach? Seriously send resumes, you have four days.

My first dog Jim:

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Who would have thought that 24 years ago when I got my first dog that I’d go all the places that they’ve taken me? I’ve been to almost every state in the country, into parts of Canada that I never would have had much of a chance to go to, and now I get to travel across the world! And for what? To send my dog up a field to work some sheep! What a crazy life! Everywhere I’ve gone, there’s been moments where I fell in love with my experience. Even places that I’d rather not return to have given me moments that made me fall in love, at least for a minute. From thunder storms in Wyoming to walking through the fireflies in Georgia; from having people coming up to me in tears after a run in Meeker, CO, to walking my dogs, by myself, in the peace of the Texas prairie. Its a beautiful gift that these dogs have given me, even though sometimes I find it hard to stop and let myself get lost in a moment. I think its important to let yourself be open to falling in love with something or someone every day, and for me its a conscious effort to do so. Who knows whats coming for me in the coming weeks but I’m looking forward to falling in love with the parts of Europe that I get to see. Europe, please don’t disappoint!

As most of you know, I’m still working to raise funds for my trip. Its been crazy how many people have helped me out so far, in fact I’m almost to my goal! If you want to be a part of this, you can click this link GET DEREK TO THE NETHERLANDS

Also, I’ll be doing my best to post updates to this page and to my Facebook pages so that all my peeps are up to date with what’s going on! I hope you continue to follow me! And thank you all for the continued support! You’re making it possible for me to follow a dream that I’ve had for a long time! Thank you and much love!

 

 

LOOK BACK!

IMG_0572I love my dog. She loves me. Its pretty clear to me that she has more than an average affection to me. Its part of our bond, our chemistry. Its part of our, do I dare say, “magic”?  If I had to put together a list of the things that I love about any particular dog, or a list of things that I really need to be successful with them (and I’m defining “success” in a pretty broad way from working to trialling to coexisting with them) I’d have to say that there’s that one thing that isn’t really definable, except to say that they have a sparkle to them. To me, its what sets a dog apart from being a “good” dog, and a “winner” to being a “good dog and a winner”.

I’ve run dogs in the past that some might call winners, and I’ve run dogs that were good dogs but didn’t win much, like my first dog Jim. He was tough as nails, gorgeous, useful on any level… except he was a pretty bad trial dog. IMG_0616

And I’ve been privileged to run dogs that were good dogs along with being winners, thank you Heidi. She could do most any job and then head to the trial with no fine tuning and come out on top. She had the sparkle, that extra something that made us work together in a way that meant she was one of the few dogs that I felt confident that I could be competitive wherever I went. I’m not trying to brag necessarily, but that should’t suggest that I’m not. I’m proud of what we did together and I’m even prouder of her for everything that she gave me and taught me. Thank you Heidi.  Continue reading “LOOK BACK!”

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