The girls and I spent last weekend in Tulelake with our friend Ellen. Ellen trains and breeds working border collies - she found Taff for me, and Lara's dog Mo is out of Ellen's dog Emmer. We had a great time - watched the end of a sheep dog trial and had several lessons with Mo.
Both Lara and Emma are naturals with dogs. While Emma is not quite old enough to work sheep, Lara has an amazing intuitive sense for working them. Part of this, I think, is because our kids haven't had to unlearn bad habits. For example, Lara seems to understand the "pressure and release" approach to working livestock and to training dogs better than most adults. Most times, she's in the right place at just the right time. She's fun to watch!
Emma is counting the days until she's old enough to have her own puppy. In the meantime, she's using Taff for 4-H obedience and agility competitions. She's very sweet and kind with Taff, who is generally a one-person dog. He's enjoying the extra attention, and Emma's learning about responsibility. She's also fun to watch!