Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Winter, will it ever leave?

I have just about had enough of this winter. We just received about 14" of snow on Friday. I don't mind the shoveling, but I do mind the inability to work sheep. Lucy will happily work in all sorts of weather/terrain, but I have a problem moving, so in order to keep the work at the level I want it, we are waiting until we have better ground on which to work. Soon spring will be here and the mud season will arrive, but that is easy to take when the really good weather is around the corner. Lucy has been playing with Lad the kitten often- this breaks up the monotony during long snow storms. There isn't much going on right now, so I guess I'll sign off now.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Winter Musings

Well, this has been one very long winter. If it hasn't been snowing, it has been freezing. If it isn't freezing, it's pouring rain. Then there's the ice. Basically, in order to work sheep, you need to NOT have a skating rink under your feet. So, work has been done sparingly. I am so looking forward to spring, green grass, and warmer weather. The dogs have taken it all in stride, making the best of it when we take our long walks. This spring I hope to run Lucy in some trials, and see where we stand. Lucy is very keen, and sometimes is a but pushy on the fetch. We have worked hard on that. I see no reason to rush her, and we will see how it goes. I want to get her driving well, and also learning to shed. Lucy loves doing different things, and I think this keeps her fresh, and her brain absorbing more and more, which only makes her a better sheep dog. I recently saw some video of a very nice Kelpie working calmly and smoothly, and the dog is only 9 months old. I was very impressed. I think Kelpies range in their work styles as much as the Border Collie. This is the year I hope to really build up our goose control work. The dogs and I enjoy this work very much, and I would love to have this be our main focus. Goose control is good for the environment, the geese, and the working dogs. Everyone benefits. Fingers crossed for growth in this area of our lives. Only a few more weeks until March, and some warmer weather. It can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kevin and Kay Howell June 2008

I have been diligently working with Penny Kukuk in Montana, to organize a visit to the USA by Kevin and Kay Howell from Australia. Kevin is a top trialer, and third generation farmer. Kevin was last here in the USA in 2001. I am extremely excited to meet Kevin and Kay, and learn from someone so knowledgeable in all things Kelpie. Lucy will benefit from her work at the clinic- she will help move sheep, and work in the clinic, and to me, it will just be three days of heaven- to Lucy I can't imagine- all those sheep and three full days of it. Perfect, just perfect. We are having the clinic at Sheepdog Junction in Middleboro MA, and Rich Seaman will be there to help ensure everything goes swimmingly. So many folks are excited to meet Kevin and Kay, it should not only be very educational, but downright fun! As the days tick by, I will update here, how things are going. Suffice to say, I can't wait!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lucy, the gift

Lucy, is quite simply, a gift. She is such a wonderful dog for me, and opened my world up to all the wonders of sheep herding.
Lucy not only works sheep pretty well, she also is the top dog in my goose control work, and is just a wonderful dog to live with. In the house, she is a model house pet. Get her on sheep, and she is all business. The dog has never, and will never quit. She has demonstrated her ability to think quickly, handle sheep in all sorts of situations, and she has one of the nicest casts I have seen in any Kelpie. She has loads of natural ability- has very nice walk up, cover, and her drive is not too shabby. She is still such a young dog, we have a long way to go, before I can say we have "gotten there", but at this point, she is everything I had hoped for when I started this whole sheep herding shootin' match. I could not be more proud of Lucy if she were a clone of any of the top working Kelpies ever born.