Thursday, December 31, 2009

As we approach 2010....

Well, today is New Year's eve. No plans, as I have to work tomorrow, plus, I just don't have the energy to stay up until midnight! Was thinking today about an article I read recently, on the economy, and the recovery that will ensue- very slowly. Many economists are predicting about ten years before we dig out of the mess we are in. During that time job opportunities will remain sparse, lending will be tight fisted, and houses selling prices will fall, or stabilize. Basically, it's more of the same for about ten more years. It's very sobering news.

That got me thinking about my plans, and that I need to make fundamentally sound choices with regard to purchases, and plans. It's not a matter, any more of want, really, it's a matter of need, or *really* want bad enough to save for it.... When I got in bed last night, I heard myself saying "I love this house, and my animals". I don't normally talk like that outloud, but for some reason, I felt very content, and grateful for all I have. Sure, I would love a bigger house- if I could afford it. Can't. I would love an RV if I could afford it. Can't. Lots of things come to mind, but what do I really need? Just what I have.

So, I think these hard times have made me realize that always wanting something you can't have is just plain wasted time. Just enjoy what you have, and live your life. Sort of like what the dogs do every single day!

Small respite from cabin fever

Well, yesterday, although cold, I finally got to work the dogs. Still no whistle, since Lucy ate mine (though I got the new whistles in the mail yesterday). But, we worked anyway. We did a nice shed first, and then straight away driving- trying to get her to hold lines better. I think she is coming in that aspect. I wore about 4 layers, and of course my Smartwool socks, and muck boots.

I worked Danny too, and I am learning a lot. For one, just because he is a Border Collie, does not automatically mean that he will know everything. And, two, that I need to remember that. Danny's flanks are good now. Now, I have to get him to stop flanking so much. He learned first to flank, not come in on sheep, then flank, and now, we need some pace, and no wasted flanking. He learned a lot in one session, and I think two or three more sessions, he will have it. He is so willing to do what I ask, and try, and is just a nice boy to work. He's always ready to go back in, but he's calm when we do so. Almost have him stopping the business of zipping when we first start too.

When we got home last night, I was just so tired- I picked up a slice of pizza from the deli, put it away until I fed the animals, and then ate, and chatted with a friend on the phone, and then bed. I was beat. But, I awoke at 12:30 and 3:30. No idea why.
I then slept a bit late this morning- weird. I did end up with some frostbite on my toes, so I am going to have to get more feet warmers at Dick's.

So, today, it is snowing. I hope we don't get a lot of accumulation. I am not planning on doing much, besides work, and then home.

Then, tomorrow we ring in the New Year. Here's to a great 2010!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Brrrskie, oh, what the heck......

I am so glad I took the dogs for a run yesterday. Starting last night, into this morning, the temperatures dipped majorly, and the wind really picked up. This morning, when I let all but Danny out (he still has to go out alone, as he just can't concentrate when the other dogs are out there), the dogs came back in in almost record time. After letting Danny out, I thought about not even throwing for the dogs, as it was so cold and windy. I acquiesced though, and got bundled up, and got on with it, as they say. Didn't stay out that long, and when the wind picked up even more, we headed in.

This winter has been a real boo hiss for me. No working dogs due to snow, cold, you name it. At least we have a place to run them now...

Tucker, my old boy who is seemingly near his end- his back legs just are not working right- he is so strong and big in front, but his hind legs have atrophied. He has also not been able to hold his urine well. Anyway, I have a big nice couch that I used to have a slip cover on, but the cover ripped, so I through it away. Tucker peed on the couch once, and I steam cleaned it, and pulled the cushions up, so the dogs could not get on the couch... or so I thought...

Well, Tucker, some how, pushed all the cushions off the couch and lay on the frame. Now, if you remember, he doesn't get around well anymore, so I was impressed. I have decided to chuck both the couch and the recliner chair, and to replace them with two love seats, so I said "why not? I will just let him lay there, it's trash anyway".

Boy was he happy last night. Only moved once all night, whereas when he is on the blankets in the room he's up and down several times. Now, I need to find decent small home furniture....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Peace and love, and exultation

Took the dogs for a run today. They were just exultant. It has been so long since they ran, and I think I may have found a safe place for this. Lucy definitely has more endurance than Danny, but then, I think Lucy has more endurance than any other dog living. She is also the fastest dog I have seen, other than a racing greyhound. May try lure coursing with her...

The first picture was a "had to" as it just captured the inner peace, and love that those two kitties have.

My babies fitting in nicely



A duel



Lucy perched atop a sculpture



Danny, utter joy



Best mates having a race!



Green Heron hunting



Upon seeing Danny, this Green Heron stretches his neck

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Danny's growing up

So, I finally had a day off. I thought of all the things I could do today, but I think I will just stay home, chill out, clean, and rest. I could use more rest. Last night, I noticed that Danny, of his own volition, and not in his crate, decided to go to sleep behind my chair. This is a biggy. For the most part, Danny has spent a lot of time outside- his choice, but now, that he is older, and wiser, he chooses to hang with the pack, and I. I still don't trust him 100%, but we are getting there. For instance, right now, flanking me are Lucy and Kylie, with Danny between them chewing a bone. That is good. The girls love the boy.

This morning I woke at about 5:15, let the dogs out and left Danny loose, and went back to bed- since I finally could. Then, got up, let him back out for a potty break, came back in, and took a shower. When I got out of the shower, I found the signature of Tucker- pee from his crate, through the bedroom, through the kitchen. He pees when he walks. I was irritated, because he could have also gone out when I let Danny out. Tucker is getting old, and I shouldn't be irritated, but cleaning up that distance of pee, really entirely stinks.

It is very warm today- forecast is for the fifties. Ground is still frozen, so lots of water and mud- enough that I won't be throwing the ball out there. Danny will have to make do with indoor games, and just chilling. I need that chilling anyway.

Friday, December 25, 2009

An awakening

I have not been very festive lately- I think it's because I have been so busy, and don't ever seem to have time to just stop and smell the roses as it were.

Yesterday I was in no mood to head up to my parent's house later in the day, after working. I was tired, had a stomach ache, and just wanted to skip it. At one point, I got up to check on Lucy and Danny in the yard. They were playing like pups. I stopped and was entranced. Lucy had found a big branch that she was prancing around with, and then would put it down and rip bark off it. Danny did this too. Then they would wrestle. It completely changed my mood. I felt like someone above was showing me for the millionth time, it was time to stop and enjoy the small things.

I got ready, and headed out to my parents. We had some wonderful finger food, and Norwegian cookies, and the best cinnamon Spritz cookies ever made. They were THAT good. Then, we headed to Church. We are Lutheran. It was to be a candle light service. We sang myriad Christmas songs, and the Pastor O'Rourke had a great sermon. And you know what? The primary topic in his sermon was that of the lamb draped on a shepherd's shoulders, and the affect it had on the baby Jesus, and he went on about shepherds, sheep, lambs, etc. I sat there thinking how apropos. I am sure glad I went. The candlelight part, where the lights were turned off and we all sang Silent Night, was just great. There were so many candles, you thought there were lights on, somewhere....

After the service, we went home, had more cookies, and opened up presents, and then it was time for me to head home, and hit the sack, as I had to work the next day.

On the way home, I heard golden oldies like "The cold, and the heat miser", and "Grandma got run over by a reindeer", and I just had to smile. There is something so familiar and well, memory filled by these types of odd songs...

So, got home, let the dogs out and headed to bed. This morning I awoke a little later than normal, and went out and ran the dogs.

It dawned on me sometime afterward, while making coffee, that 2010 won't be filled with things I want to do, it will be filled with the person I want to be, the acceptance of what I have, and not always striving to "get something". I want to make my house more a home, and have friends and family over more. I want to just live each moment to the fullest, and I won't dwell on the haters in this world, who just like to have a go at me (either directly, or more commonly, by trying to create drama, that doesn't exist). They are not worth my time. Life is short, and I aim to fill it with happy, giving, friendly people.

I am forever on the search for a nice piece of land to call my own, near my house. I won't be looking to move house, but it would be nice to lease some farm land. But, it won't be all encompassing anymore. It just can't be. I have to enjoy my life, live it to the fullest, and to hell with nay Sayers.

So, in closing, I would like to thank our Pastor, and Church for showing me what's really important, and that is love, and living life to the fullest. My grandfather used to say, "I am not rich, but I am the richest man I know", and by that he meant, that he felt fulfilled, and that's because he knew how to enjoy the small things, and appreciate everything around him, for it is all a gift.

Merry Christmas to everyone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Time for some pics!

Danny seems to have misplaced his front legs....



OMG! OMG! OMG!!! We are going to PLAY NOW!!!!!!!!!



Hello Handsome boy!



Dapper Dan



Danny and Lucy at the ready. Now, have you EVER seen such a good looking Border Collie and Kelpie together???



Here Danny is cooling off ON the stock tank... Yep, run hard enough, even in winter, you feel the need to coooool off!

Holidaaaaaaaaaays

So, lately, my shoulders have been bothering me. Methinks it's tendinitis, or God forbid, Bursitis. I just love getting old. Yeah. Right. I wake up to majorly painful upper arms/shoulders each morning. It's annoying, and I haven't time for it! Okay, done complaining!

It was a good morning today. Well, except for the rodent over my head rolling a nut- GOD I hate that. Once Mr Chips started his morning sing-song, the rodent stopped. Good. I was up early enough to get outside and play with Danny/Lucy before I left- it was cold (about mid teens), but not as cold as it has been. Ice patches are almost all gone as well, so that's good. I am happy to be back in that routine for the dogs, as I feel guilty working all day, when I can't run them first.

Danny is a quick learner. I don't allow him near me when I get the dog's food ready in the morning; Danny lays in the living room watching. It can be an issue when Mr Chips walks right up to him (as I mentioned before, Danny will sometimes show his teeth). Well, I have reminded Danny he better not think of that, so this morning, MC walks up near him, and Danny turned his head away, like "If I don't see you you creep, I won't get mad, and then mom won't get mad at me". It's so Border Collie behavior.

So, I am 95% done with my Christmas shopping. This year our Christmas Eve will be a bit different, as we are going to Church, after we eat, and then back to open presents (as Norwegian tradition is to open presents Christmas Eve). But, I doubt I will be able to stay up that late- I get up at 5:00, and staying past nine is really REALLY late for me. But, we all get together for a fresh ham dinner on Christmas day, and then, I can partake of the festivities! Plus, I hate being gone so long when I have the dogs to take care of...

I have to go with my old friend tomorrow night to visit her husband in the hospital. He had brain surgery last week, and the outcome could have been better- as in there are some residual issues with eye sight, hearing, balance, etc.. I am going to try and lift his spirits, and we will bring him some edible food- that should help. I have known these folks most of my life, so they are truly like family to me. She's one of those friends who you don't talk to often, but when you do, it's like you never left off.

Well, that's it for now. I hope you all have a fruitful week- getting ready for the impending holidays, and also, get some pre-emptive rest!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Top of the morning to you

So, let's see. Yesterday, we had a forecast of upwards of 7" of snow, which around these parts is not really a big deal. Nevertheless, when I hit the grocery store yesterday, it was MOBBED. Barely found a parking spot. It was like Apocalypse now. People were just stocking up. Give me a BREAK! At one point I walked down the aisle with pancake mix, and people were snapping that up- like they were going to be snowed in or something. Well, I bought what I needed, headed home, and did the usual stuff, and then made a very nice meal. I had the butcher cut me a nice sirloin steak (enough for two meals), and I bought a couple of sweet potatoes, and another veggie.

Well, that meal was stupendous. That sweet potato was to die for, seriously. MMMM MMM. Today, I will make chocolate chip cookies- not sure what is on the menu, as I HAVE to finish shopping!

This morning, that big storm? A dusting, and only, as far as I could see, on my front steps- so little, my foot could brush it off. What henny pennies these people are. BUT, Long Island, NJ, VA, and MD got almost 2 feet. Poor them- they can have it though!

There was a great show on yesterday "Snow Blind" about a woman who is legally blind, running in the Iditarod. She had to scratch before the finish because she had to retire so many dogs. You know, we talk about athletes in the form of sheep dogs, well, these sled dogs? A thousand miles? They are the real athletes. They go until they cannot go. Thank goodness for the good vets at the check points. Dogs scratched off the team get flights back home.

Tonight is another Raw Anatomy program- this time on the African Elephant- should be great. You know, when I read about other people eschewing the tv because it is all bad programming, I have to say, they are missing some seriously good stuff. Yeah, there is bad stuff, but for the most part, I am good at selecting decent, entertaining and educational programs.

Okay, I have another beef. Maybe it's because I spent my childhood summers at my gp's farm, and, because I worked horse farms for several years as my first job, so I know lots of things most people SHOULD know before they obtain livestock.

Here are some good rules to follow, when considering bringing livestock home:

1) Invest in good fencing. Start small, and add on as you can- think of predators, and if you will need to hot wire (offset) the bottom, and don't go short on height.

2) Invest in good shelter. Tarp buildings, unless they are built to professional specs, and guaranteed, will do nothing but rip, and collapse in the winter, leading to at best, crappy shelter, and at worst, injured animals. Real farmers/ranchers, invest in their barns- you will note that their barns are often better built than their homes.

3) In the fall, you need to get good hay. If you make it yourself, great, if not, don't buy the cheapest moldiest garbage- and if you have horses, and buy the aforementioned, you will pay in vet bills.

4) In the winter, plan for freezing water buckets/tanks. Get a electrical de-icer before winter hits, and make sure you know how to use it. Animals should not have to wait for you to go outside and break the ice.

5) In winter, it's best that animals are left out as much as possible, as this will keep their feet healthier, and prevent all sorts of nasties from spreading at close quarters.

6) Real ranchers and farmers make sure that the animals needs are met before our own.

7) Don't get animals unless you want a top shelf operation. We do not need anymore "farms" that maintain animals in sub-par conditions, just so they owners can say they have them. These animals should be treated better than, well, almost anything. They bring income in, and they help feed/house you. They deserve that.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANNY!!!!!!

Today Danny is one year old. Hard to imagine. He has turned into such a great dog, and I know we have many many memories to create. Even in his short tenure on this earth with me, he has taught me that dogs really do live to please us (some do), and that life is meant to be lived, not watched. Thank you Danny. I love you boy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Various and weekend




This is a pic of Lucy watching the A. Macrae shedding dvd we got. I finally got this after much persuasion from my fellow training buddies. Would make me a better shedder, and all that. Well, they are right- this is a must have for anyone who wants to learn how to shed right. It's good stuff.

It is way way way cold out today. 9 degrees this morning on the way to work. I initially went out to play with the dogs, but it was too cold this morning, and icy. I just bagged it. We played a bit inside.

I still have yet to finish my Christmas shopping. I have drug it out this year. It will get done this weekend, God "willin' and the creek don't rise. No working sheep- my sheep are in with the cows now, and the footing is just not good- too icy. Oh, and Lucy, that little brat, ate another steak knife (hande, no, not the blade!) and my whistle! I could just... Now I have to buy another whistle.

I just got the NEBCA newsletter, and there was a small nice piece that Fiona Robertson did on Glen. I so wish I could have gotten the poem I wrote into the editors... it was inspired by Glen. Glen was the father of Danny, and in fact Danny's was the last litter that Glen sired. I sure hope that Danny can walk in his father's shoes. So far, he has the personality, and temperament down. I had looked at so many Border Collie breedings, but some how, I knew, with Glen as the father, this pup had a huge step forward in being a all around very good dog.

Danny is still thin, but maybe gaining a little. I have started adding some yogurt and safflower oil to his food. Hopefully he will get back to healthy weight soon. It's probably good I am not working him much, so he can just recover that weight.

I actually cleaned the house yesterday. It was just vacuuming and dusting, but it is done- for now.

Well, that's it for now. I hope you all have a good, safe weekend!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Barely treading water

I suppose many people get like this, this time of year. Too much to do, to much to plan for. I have been very busy at my job, and I have not had much time to do anything else. Still not finished with Christmas shopping, house not decorated, and house needs major cleaning. When? When we will I get it done? I don't feel very festive this year.

I get up around 5 every morning, and do the normal morning chores, and then it's off to work, and then, come home, more chores, relax a bit, bed, and lather, rinse repeat- ad nauseum. Have not been able to play ball outside with the dogs- too icy, and the mud will be heinous soon. I kick a ball in the morning for Danny in the living room, and he appears to like that, but I would love to run him. Oh well. Danny is still so thin. I may have to ask around for some good probiotics to use with his food. His coat isn't shiny either. He has a great appetite, but I think the Giardia got pretty bad before I caught it.

Oh, I think I have to have a chat with Mr. Chips. He is getting rather, um, chunky. When he sits, he reminds me of one of those Russian nesting dolls....



As well, I noticed the other day that he had a bit of trouble getting through the baby gate (accordion style). I had to extend it a bit, so he could fit... Believe me, I know how he feels!

I worked Lucy and Danny the other day. I don't know what is going on with Lucy, but she is acting a fool sometimes, and I think it's probably my tension. We have to go back to basics on flanks, and just work her when I am in the right frame of mind.

I worked Danny too, and let's just say that he is a work in progress. Actually, he is doing pretty well, as he is doing small gathers now, and his flanks are good most of the time, but if I get all tense, he does too. So, I just need to kick back a bit. It will make me a better trainer, I know. If he would just stop being a jerk when I first start, it will make me much happier. I did catch him just as he was about to explode into the sheep (thusly ignoring me). Just as he got up to run at them, I caught him and corrected him. It made a big impression and he didn't do that again.

It's just hard, because I haven't been able to work the dogs much, and I am so behind the eight ball on everything. I just need some time off.

Calgon, take me away!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

That's the good stuff

Yesterday, I had to work, and afterward, I was just so tired, I could barely function. I just needed to rest, but alas, I had to go to my sister's Christmas party. So, I made my spinach dip and headed up there a bit early to help. There was a ton of very good food, and some folks brought yummy things like Artichoke dip, Sushi, and these willow bar scrumptious items. I happened to really like the little Nathan's pigs in a blanket ;)

The party went well. There were lots of kids who went and played fooz-ball downstairs, and video games. My sister's kids were all home, and my other sister's boy was there. He is just a cool kid.

I was enlisted to drive him to a friend's house when we left, and we had a great time looking at the Christmas lights, some were just amazing, but not gaudy. It's a reason to go out at night this time of year. We had a nice conversation about various things, and it reminded me how lucky I am to live near my family. It's really important to me.

When I got home I was plum tuckered out. Just too tired to do much but feed the dogs and cats and hit the sack. But, I was absolutely entranced in the "Raw Anatomy" program on a Croc dissection. I learned some extremely cool things, and I almost called a fellow Biologist at home to tell him about it.

This morning, I let the dogs out almost normal time, but then back into bed. Now, I have fed, let a few out and am just chilling. I wanted to try to work dogs today, but it appears more snow/rain is coming, plus, I think Danny is cutting his wittle paws on the ice- I saw pin prick sized blood dots on the linoleum this morning. He is the only one who runs out there pell mell, so I bet it's him. Oh, one other thing, since I am talking about the boy... He has gotten so painfully thin, that I brought a fecal sample in to be tested. Turns out he has Giardia, so I have started him on the anti-parasitic. Hopefully he will be normal weight soon.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter Quietude

Not much has been happening, sad to say. I haven't even gotten my order from Border Collies in Action, that I placed sometime week before last... I wonder, if since it is coming from Wyoming, that the storms knocked things out of whack?

It has been too cold/icy to play fetch outside with the dogs. Danny slipped on an icy paver the other night and was lame, but okay the next morning. I have always heard/thought that BC's could be prone to injuries, let's hope Danny isn't one of them...

Nikke, my 9 year old Kelpie had a tumor removed in '07, well, it appeared to have come back the other day. I made an appointment, but by the time the original surgeon came in to see it, it had resolved. So, let's just pray that this was just an anomaly, and that I don't have to go forward with the oncologist, as I cannot afford Chemotherapy.

I have been very busy at work, and trying to keep up with house work. I also feel bad that I can't do a lot outside with the dogs. But, that's pretty much a broken record- every winter I feel that way.

I have a Christmas party to go to tonight, going to do the Knor Spinach dip. I still have to finish Christmas shopping. Lots to do, in like, 12 days.... I think I will put up my wee Christmas tree today.

Oh, yesterday, two hawks, I think Marsh Hawks flew right into my back yard, and were calling to each other, like they were a pair or something. Since my yard is Squirrel (red and gray) mecca, it's like the Country Buffet at my place- perhaps they were checking on their reservations ;)

Well, not much else going on, better get to it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My girl, epiphany and cookies

Yesterday morning it was very cold- some where in the low twenties. I trundled out the door to throw the ball for Danny, and the Frisbee for Lucy. Danny doesn't care a bit about bad weather. Lucy, however... We didn't play long because I was afraid Danny would cut his pads on the ice. At one point as I was watching Danny, Lucy came up and gently slid her head under my hand. It was quite a moment. We were just us, together. Anyway, I took it as a more practical sign, that she was cold, and we should head in... So we did.

Today, I am making Chocolate Chip cookies. Yum. Going to start them now... Okay, got the first batch in the oven... Cleaning a bit today- this is a good thing :)

So, what was the epiphany you may ask? Well, I felt like I had been spinning my wheels with Danny. He was making little progress, as it was a battle with his slicing in, although it was getting less and less. I just didn't like his too fast approach, almost not thinking.

So, this last time I worked him, I decided no more whip, or stick just me. Me who was not in a particular jovial energetic mood. Me who was going to work my dog, not react- just work him. So, I go out there, stand up tall, and stayed calm. I had a different dog by miles, I mean many many miles. Danny just worked- calmly. Thought of getting tight maybe once, but no, not really. I even had him doing small gathers. He was so nice behind the sheep, kept his head low, behind, and lay down when asked. It was huge. A major breakthrough, and all because I changed how I comported myself. I feel like we will make very good progress now because both our heads are in the right place.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas, Sugar!

TOO FUNNY!!! I LOVE This song, this vid is just a nice extra :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I love Sundays

The view this morning





So, yesterday after work, I came home and proceeded to clean. Well, not too much, but I did pull the furniture (including the bed) out from the wall, and vacuum the dust etc., that was residing there. Then, I did lots of laundry. Finally, I had a nice dinner, and read a book. Good day.

Last night, there was *nothing* on tv. Well, with the notable exception of the PBS drive with Peter from Peter Paul and Mary, and another gentleman, who were doing a drive with their music, and memories of Mary. It was so very touching. At one point it came up that Peter was with Mary when she died. He recalled noting that she was in pain, and he asked if she was, she said yes, so he went and got a nurse. When the nurse returned, Mary fessed up to just wanting him to get to the point of his story ;) I can see that would be me on my death bed ;) Anyway, I cried, because these two had been through so much together, they broke up the group for 10 years, but came back together like they had never left. They sang in the 60's a period of time where music brought people together, and gave them hope- like Peter said. Imagine, having your dearest friend with you when you pass. I am always so deeply touched by the strong, and impenetrable support that is there when you need it. Mary, you were a cool lady.


This morning I got up and then went back to bed, but it was short lived, because Danny was absolutely going to die if I did not allow him his usual play session in the morning. So, after that, I did the usual morning preparations, had some great coffee, and then headed out to the MALL.

I got some jeans, and a nice soft sweatshirt that was on sale. I also went to PETCO, and was dismayed to find the Snuggies for dogs all sold out! So, I just got some bird food.

Now, it's home, and just time to chill. That's what's nice about Sundays....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cramps, Lucy, and cleaning

Man. I am getting old?... I worked the dogs yesterday, and came home, had a bad for me dinner, and my legs were pretty cramped up. My right thigh quad was fasciculating, and I was just plain uncomfortable. Woke up at 2:00 am really hot, and then had a glass of water, changed into summer night clothes, and back to bed. Awoke this morning, and found that my legs felt like I had run a marathon. It's odd. I guess I am in bad bad shape... Danny makes me run a bit, though it is less and less.

Would like to finish Christmas shopping, but lack the funds to do so.. So, I will have to wait on that. I really want to clean the house today, it's groty- I may even shampoo the carpet in the living room.

This morning Danny was laying in his normal place while I prepare food for the dogs, and Mr Chips walked over to him, and I saw Danny's nose crinkle! I may have even seen a little pearly white! I corrected him for that. Mr Chips is clueless when it comes to dogs. He thinks he IS a dog, but doesn't read dog language well. Well, he does read it somewhat, because he is a bit afraid of Danny- I can see it in his body language. Danny likes to nip him, and he did that today- he was just playing, but I have to come down on him for that.

Danny is coming along nicely on sheep- we still need to keep him calm when he first starts- he wants to zip them- it's almost like he wants to get it out of his system. And, it's very hard to get in there and block. So, not sure what I can do, but will have to figure it out, because that is basically the only issue right now. He is yielding to my pressure, and he did something cool. When I just stopped, and the sheep just stopped, he just stopped. That was waaaay cool. It's good that he is seeing that he is "doing" something with the sheep, not just flanking around.

Lucy was a nut case yesterday. I sent her to fetch the sheep to the barn, and then almost there, she headed them?? WHAT THE HECK??? She may be feeling neglected with Danny getting more work, but she best stop that. She is so fit, that dog could hold out for lessons, run a farm, run in trials non stop. She doesn't even need much food. Her hair is cool- she was muddy yesterday, and I just used my hands to brush her off, and she was clean.

I may hit Petco today, and use that gift certificate the cat owners gave me... Maybe a nice new cat tree for Meow, aka Mr. Chips. Other than that, as I said, cleaning and maybe just maybe chilling out. I ordered the Alisdair shedding dvd, so if that comes in, I will watch that. Oh, and I finally ordered a lanyard for my whistle- the yellow ribbon ain't cutting it anymore....

So, I hope everyone has a good weekend. I hear we may get some snow. Joy to the world eh? Well, as long as it melts, that's fine with me!

Friday, December 4, 2009

HMKG 04 Norwegian Military Tattoo

Since I am 1/2 undiluted Norwegian, this is just very cool to see!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Charlie Bringing in Sheep

An illustration of why sheepdogs exist.

Speed, holes, and fire

I see it's been a few days since I updated last... It's a trend caused by being so busy, and just wiped when I finally do get to stop.

I worked the dogs again, and there were some memorable moments, that I would like to share.

First, Lucy. I was working her on shedding, and I had only three sheep- that's hard, but I figured what the heck. She was forced to re-set her position several times, as she was too tight, and the sheep were being butt-heads. But, to her credit, she never thought of NOT doing what I asked. So, I finally get the sheep set, and when I have Lucy down, she takes a couple steps in- that is the KISS of death for shedding.

So, I had a glove in my hand and I went to whack it against my other hand, but missed (I wanted to underscore to Lucy that lie down means lie down- right then). The glove flew to the ground and one of the ewes decided it looked like lunch, and she ran over to it, making a nice hole, through which to call Lucy through. TOO FUNNY. I thought, hey, that's ONE way to make a hole :)

So, later one, I had Lucy shed two off, and put them near a fence. I want her to learn to just cover and hold, and not be so compelled to mix it up- if you know what I mean... So, she had them there, and then, I guess she had to pee, so as she is giving the hairy eye ball to the sheep, she pees. When she pees her tail came up, and when she finished, she had her tail up, and one leg up, looking like a pointer. I was thinking "hey, do we get extra points for style on this?" Gotta love a dog who just works through the bodily functions ;)

The other thing, and this I am not sure I can adequately convey... At one point, Lucy had to cover, I forget why, but she had to turn on the speed. She went out and she ran. She didn't just run, she covered ground as fast as any single dog I have ever seen. She looked just like a racing Greyhound. She completely extended her entire body, and looked to spend very little time on the ground. My mouth actually fell open. At that point, I thought to myself, I defy any dog to beat this speed. I have seriously never seen a dog run/float/motor that fast. Afterward she wasn't even freakin' winded.

I worked Danny too. We are getting there. He is so keen, and just wants to keep going back to work, and well, I love his little mischief he also gets, when I have the sheep on the fence and want him off, and he does a little stomp at the sheep, just to rile them. Yes, it's bad, but I LOVE a little fire in a dog.

So, that's it for now.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Updates, and a bit of a miracle

The last few days have been busy- working, enjoying Thanksgiving, working and also squeezing in some sheep dog work. To say I am tired, well, not EXHAUSTED, but a bit weary, but the good thing is, I have dived into a new book, which I quite like, so am getting good rest at night.

I have done 80% of my Christmas shopping. Should finish up this week :))
I got a new friend for BJ the Parakeet. She's an older girl, not old, but mature, and as of today, they are sharing a perch. She's blue too. I think BJ is happy.

Lucy worked on helping others, and outruns and she did some good sheds. It's fun doing that with her.

Danny is finally getting how to start off right on his flanks, and is giving ground when I ask, with nary a problem. It's amazing, how much he has matured. We are still in the round pen and will remain so, until such a time as he is consistent on not slicing or zipping. It's going away, but still not quite gone. Considering that he started out by diving directly into the sheep, he's come a long way. He's also nice to call off- no problems. He loves his lovin' after he works too. He is definitely a boy who LOVES to WORK for ME. It's very cool.

Lucy's mom in Australia had a litter of pups- ELEVEN!!!! Stay tuned on which pup is coming to the USA to KICK BUTT on the trial field :) If you know anyone who may be interested, please contact me. It's cheaper with two in a crate, for shipping :)

Okay, here's the miracle. Two + months ago, a husband/wife at work (they both work at my institution) told me that their cat went missing. They believed perhaps a Coyote got it. They had just moved into the new house a couple months before.

I kept a watch on Craigslist, and they also posted ads on Craigslist. So many pets are found through this listing service, it's amazing.

A few weekends ago, I saw an ad in the local paper- someone had found a Tabby cat, and they left their phone #. I don't normally LOOK at the classified ads in the paper, but I did that day. I forwarded the contact information to the folks at work.

Well, today, I got an email, that the folks who lost their cat finally got in touch with this person who had a found Tabby cat. IT WAS THEIR CAT!!!!!!!!!! He is now home. The big thing is, he had to go several towns over, to reach this woman's house. Miles and miles, across busy traffic.

I can't tell you how this warms my heart. Their sons were so upset, and missing their kitty.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good Dogs

Today, I took some time to go and work the dogs. I have to work the rest of the week, including tomorrow and Sat, so I decided I best get to it.

I have been working Lucy on driving and shedding. Also, tuning up her chintzy outruns. It's funny how they can slide some times ;) Well, Lucy "gets" shedding. So far it's been easy for us, I say "easy" because for some reason I am just really calm doing it, and that must make Lucy calm... Once we get the single shed off, we work her away. Well, the ewe today first decided to play ring around the rosy around some trees, and then we got her off. Well, then she ran hard up then down the hill. Then she cut left, and a few times just tried to run FASTER than Lucy and almost OVER her. Lucy was in her element. Lucy was on her toes, because that ewe never gave it up. It was just very good work.

I also worked Danny, and today was a bit of an epiphany for us both. I finally decided I had to get him OFF the sheep, and notice that I exist. Danny yielded when I finally got through to him, and then I have him some flanks. BOY is that a break through. He is going to be a good one, I think. He is NOT afraid at ALL of sheep, and he has good work in him. He's also such a lovely tempered boy.

They were both so good today, it was very rewarding to work them. Now, it's time to build an appetite for food tomorrow...

lucy learning to shed.mov

We are just starting to be able to shed... That ewe gave Lucy a run (literally) for her money, but Lucy covered her like white on rice.... I don't normally look that chunky, but I had 4 layers on.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Look

Lucy has always been a looker- well, yes, of course she is good looking, but I mean, she likes to spy hop like a whale, looking for sheep in a field. I noticed this year that as we drive along she will look in fields for sheep. She ignores developments, or cities, but fields? Yes. So, when we were heading out to work sheep recently, we drove by a field that had some woolies. Lucy noted them. Got excited- now to be clear, we were on a major divided highway, on the other side of the median and going FAST. Not sure how she saw them...

On the way home, I had forgotten about them, but Lucy did not. I was driving along, when all of a sudden, Lucy turned her body perpendicular to me, and stared out the window, and had her eyes peeled on that field where the sheep were. They weren't there, but she sure was looking for them. How she remembered that THIS field had the sheep, I've no idea...

Yep, she's a looker.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hi, I'm Danny, and I am going to give you all a lesson in proper form for fetching



MINE




First ever recorded Kelpie moon



Come to Poppa!



I got it I got it!!!!



Look at that extension!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Himself

Food = Energy

So, the weekend is here :) Good. We all need that, I bet. Was having a real energy sink day- sink meaning my energy was being sucked away, and I barely could function- until I ate, that is... I have the most major energy swings. I am NOT energy efficient!

Danny learned how to lift his leg while he was gone- impressed? I am - LOL! I sort of wish he wouldn't because it's much cleaner... Oh well.

Last night Danny kept shifting in his crate- it has no bedding because he would eat it. Well, last night I relented, and got a big old couch slip cover, and put it in there. He LOVED it. He didn't move one muscle.

For some reason, I awoke at 4:30 this morning. That is MAJORLY annoying. So, finally, the dogs decide to get me up at 10 of 5. That stunk. Well, then I got back in bed for a bit, and then, when I went to exercise the dogs, it was pouring. So, Danny got a bit of ball play in the house- a real gyp for him. But, even HE didn't want to be out in that rain...

I am going to go Christmas shopping today. Yep, I swear I am. After work, that's my plan. Get it done, so I don't have it hanging over my head.

Well, that's it for now- oh, I have some video of a rescue BC that needs a home, and Danny, my boy, I will put up the links soon :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Danny's home!!!!!!!

Danny is home. I am amazed at how much I missed him. I worked him a bit before picking him up, and then on to home. Not a hitch on folding back into the pack. He remembered most of his manners, and boy, is he like a pup. After we played this morning, he went up to the top of the stairs on the deck to meet me and was one big movable "s" shape. He's such a sweetie.

He slept pretty well, and is eating well too. I think Lucy is happy he's back, a boy, not a female to have around- that always makes her happy.

I am under the weather today, so it won't be a long post, but just wanted to update everyone :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A dogs show

Now THAT'S a hill dog.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Golden Girls : Sofia and Dorothy "I GOT YOU BABE" !

I have always love the Golden Girls, and this is one of my FAVORITE clips :)

Age doesn't matter

Nothing special about this video, save for the fact that the handler is 92.

George Richards & Hummel at Dachshund Speciality 2009 from John Richards on Vimeo.

She called me a "baby"!

Now, like most self sufficient, independent women, I believe I am pretty tough- for most purposes. I pride myself on my ability to rebound from insult or injury.

Well, yesterday I had a Dr. appointment. Had to get my B12 shot. Well, the first time I got one, I didn't feel it- a nurse had done it. The second time, the physician did it, and it hurt like a &%%U$%$. She told me that that was because she used a different needle, or some such hooey, because people believed that if it didn't hurt, it wouldn't work.... Yeah, right.

So, when she jabs me with the needle, I flinch, just a little- more because I was expecting pain, but I did. In response the Dr. said "You are a baby!" Now, that irritated me. Let me give HER a shot. Please. Most physicians I have met are the BIGGEST babies.

Add to that the fact that when I went to leave, on my paperwork she circled something about allergies (as the reason for the appt), and that she gave me a requisition for b-work, not having mentioned that she would, and I left there a bit annoyed.

Question: Would you be annoyed? What would you do?

She is a good Dr, but she lacks in bedside manner, and evidently, memory...

ps: my arm aches. Give me the nurse next time, please.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chips and Cookies

My boy, Mr. Chips



Here are the peanut butter cookies I made yesterday- they are tasty- TOO tasty!

Another week, another.....

Well, here it is Monday again, just one in a string of them ;) You know, I think if I won the lottery, things would be much better. No, I would not quit working, but I would seriously take more time off, go places, do more fun things. So, if and when I win the lottery, I have my plans covered ;)

It was a very quiet weekend. No dog things scheduled for some time. Not sure when Danny is coming home. I know he is very happy where he is, so it's a bit selfish for me to want him home... I know. But, I do miss him.

Lucy hasn't worked sheep since early last week, and I think yesterday when she got in the car, she thought we were going to do just that, but alas, it was just a trip to the store.

Well, there isn't much to report, so I will sign off!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hybeck Moss ISDS - 8 months old, guinea-pig herding

LOL!!!!!!!!!

Various

First things first, my friend in Australia gave the thumbs up on the new colours- apparently green and gold are Ozzie colours! I had no idea, guess it was fate...

On a very disturbing note (and please note, I am pro choice, even if I would not chose to have an abortion, unless my/baby's health required it) I read an article on forced abortions in China. Still going on. In order to have a child, you must have a "birth permit". Those who don't get the permit face these forced abortions- some done at almost full term, with babies, still alive, and reportedly, just about full term, being dumped in the trash. The Dr's who perform this have tricks such as puncturing the skull, to make sure the baby is dead. It's all very heinous.

Approximately 500 women commit suicide per year in China. Male children is all the country wants, and with the birth permits, and forced abortions, and elective, if the child is female, they now have 37 million more men than women in this country. This also fuels the sex trade. It's all very disturbing. The article I read was well written, and was due to information brought illegally out of China. We need to measure our need to be friendly with China, with the equal need to pressure this heinous practice to stop. Yes, China is over populated, it is. They have starving people. But, what about rewarding people to take birth control, something that would prevent unnecessary births, but not take away individual rights.

Another completely different note, I watch Victoria Stillwell, and Cesar when I can. They all tout the benefits of walking our dogs. Ostensibly, I agree. But, what if you have a neighborhood that has poor examples of neighbors, and their aggressive dogs, every other house? Dogs that frequently get loose, and go after people and dogs. Is it good to walk my dogs in my neighborhood? Even in another neighborhood, I find that the rational versus nincompoop dog owner is heavily weighted on the latter. I just simply don't want my dogs attacked.

Oh, and one more thing- I told you this was various- if you have a cat that pukes his canned food, make sure that when you plate it, you squish it down into the bottom of the bowl. This makes the cat work harder, and take longer to eat, thusly, removing the need to puke.

HAPPY COWS SHEEP ESCAPE

An oldie but a goodie :)

Not the shopping I planned....

Well, after work yesterday, I headed out to the mall. But, at the intersection where I could make a last ditch change of mind, I did ;)

I headed to Barnes and Noble, on the off chance that some books from some of my favorite authors were in. THEY WERE!!! I was SOOOOOOOOO happy. I also got the bio by Paula Deen for my mother for one of her Christmas presents (give me strength Lord, not to read it.. it looks very good).

So, after that, I headed up to the vet's to get medicine for Kylie, and another month's worth of Interceptor for the dogs, and also to Home Depot for water softener salt. Then, I went to the feed store, and got feed...

Then, I came home, ate a big dinner (today will be a light meal, I am sick of big dinners), and watched some tv. I fell asleep very early.

This morning, I am not sure what I will do. Feel like being lazy again, but I see this is becoming a habit... Maybe the mall. Probably not.

Hopefully, Danny comes home next week- fingers crossed!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

When the going gets tough.......

The tough go shopping. Update later......

Friday, November 13, 2009

Much better

Well, I will be darned. That heating pad did the trick. I turned it on low and got into bed last night, and before I knew it, the heat from my sore back was overtaken by the heat of the heating pad. Then, it was like, just wonderful. I really needed that. I slept like a baby last night, even a bit late this morning. Wow, when my muscles get sore, they get SORE.

I haven't had the energy, or what have you, to do much of anything this week. So, maybe this weekend will be better, who knows. I know that I really don't like all this darkness.

I may make some cookies this weekend- have a hankering for home made Peanut Butter cookies. We shall see...

Well, that's it for now.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Last time I do THAT

That's the last time I stay up to watch anything past 10:00. I stayed up to watch "Top Chef", and then, I could not fall asleep.

Then, my upper back was burning so bad, I could not sleep. Seriously. I was just in agony. Perhaps it is all the driving I have been doing, or the extra work, I don't know, all I do know, is that it is untenable.

Aches and pains, though part of normal life, are a real pain ;) I think a nice massage would be good, with perhaps a shot of chiropractic... We tend to store tension in our upper back, and I guess I would be a good illustration for that.

Dogs are good. Bought a new canned food- Taste of the Wild. Don't like it. Comes in slices, and boy does it create gas in Tucker. Won't be buying that again. Cats are good too, but I am getting pretty sick of the boy (Mr Chips) getting up before 5:00 every morning to meow us all awake. He succeeds in getting Kylie up, and then meows/talks to her, telling her his tales of sadness that I won't get up. I ended up getting up early today, because he was able to get Tucker up, and being an old boy, he has to go, when he gets up. Darn that cat.

This weekend, absolutely no plans. That is good. Well, maybe I will do a bit of Christmas shopping- yes, it is getting to be that time, and for once, I do not want to have to rush around. Thanksgiving is the week after next, and then it's a mad dash to Christmas.

Well, that's it for now...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Update on Danny

I went to see Danny working the other day. Of course, the battery to my video camera was dead as a door nail.

I hid behind a tree, and the trainer started working him. I could see immediately, that this was a different dog than the pup I sent up there not quite a month ago. Danny was not tight, he was freely moving. He would do nice flanks, and then walk up as asked, and he was so super focused and serious.

I then got to work him just a little, as I wanted our interaction to be good, and he was good for me too.

Later, as we chatted, Danny lay down, and watch the sheep intently, but his ears were back listening... Every once in a while he would turn his head back, as if to ask permission if he could walk up.

Danny has joined up with his trainer, and she is as far as he is concerned THE sheep goddess. He was happy to see me, but really, what he wanted to do was to work for whomever would, but he has bonded to the trainer very well. It's my first experience with that. Kelpies don't generally bond to other people so well.

Danny is so happy there working sheep, it's really hard to articulate. He has matured so much on the sheep, and is just all about the work. He is still a puppy to be sure, but he has come leaps and bounds.

I will be getting him back next week. Glad to have him back, but I will need to make sure I keep him worked.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Do you like the new colors?

I am still thinking of tweaking them, but I need time to play, and that I haven't got of late....

I wanted to mention that the other day I was working with Lucy, and her driving was just well, not right, bad, terrible, you name it. The sheep were heavy, so maybe that was it. All I know, is I think the next time, she will be wearing a long line, so I can help her..

So, once I realized that it wasn't going so well, I figured I would change things up and work on shedding. Well, these sheep stunk for driving, but they were good for shedding. Also, Lucy was just better on flanks, and they kept calm. So, I got things settled, and I called her in when the sheep made a hole, and we held the two I asked for. We did this two more times. It was so cool.

Something about Lucy being three? All I know is that she really is thinking now, and working as a team with me. I think we will *always* have issues on the fetch, but I suppose all dogs have their issues. Anyway, it was "all good" :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

That'll do Lucy

Yesterday Lucy and I ran at an ASTA trial (Australian Shepherd Trial Association). Asta also happens to have been the name of one of my grandparent's dogs, but I digress.

This was the third year Lucy and I attended this trial, and this was the best weather we have had. I expected to see lots of Aussies, but there were only two. The rest were Border Collies, and we had three Kelpies including Lucy.

I thought that there would be an outrun/lift and fetch for the intermediate and advanced classes, but there was none. Instead, we were treated to things most of us had never done (at least in a trial situation). I was mildly apoplectic at the thought of having to accomplish this...

The first thing we had to do was walk on to the field- not so hard, really. They had let three sheep out of the holding pen, and we had to put them back in another pen. Okay, so that was done easy peasy. There were already another three sheep into where we put them, so now there were six. Then, we had to put the dog in the pen (yikes) and shift three up into the race/chute that was there, and separate the three with a guillotine door. Lucy was PERFECT working in there, she just was calm and I never had to ask more than once for anything. So, we got our three sheep out as directed, and I remembered at the last minute to close the door.

So, then it was have Lucy drive the sheep through a set of panels that had a big log, acting as a jump. Lucy did well, listening, and took my flanks so we actually drove them through with me at a good distance.

Then, we had to take them to the figure eight, and the "posts" were a donkey in a corral and a ram (with breeding harness on) in another pen. In my class we had to stand in a hula hoop, and not move, and direct the dogs to direct the sheep around. This may ostensibly seem easy, but the sheep were very attracted to Mr. Ram, so they would stick (literally) to his pen. For some reason, Lucy and I did this with only a few bobbles (to my memory) and a couple times one sheep headed for the holding pen area, and Lucy just went and got them. No slicing, just good calm, "I'll get that one for you" work.

Then, we had to (while standing in a hula hoop) put the sheep in what's called a trap- basically a chute with the end door closed. Once in, we had to hold them there, until the judge said "okay". We tried for all three, but we managed only to get two in. Lucy's flanks were good here, and that helped keep the sheep calm. So, then on to the drive away panels. It was hard to get them away from that chute and we wasted lots of time- I also got frenetic. I HATE when I get like that. I am so sorry Lucy.

So, we got them into those panels, and time was called. Then, we had to put the sheep away, and we were done.

I have always loved this trial. The folks who put it on are so friendly and nice, and it's a good way to spend a fall day, that is for SURE.

So, in the end, Lucy won her class. She earned some nice $$ to take home, and more respect from me, her hapless handler.

Yes, that will do Lucy. You will ALWAYS do.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Koko's RED DOG Screen Test

Did you vote?

Well, election day is over, and just about everyone I voted for got in. That's a nice thing. Some races were very close- just 8 votes separating the winners and losers. I have always voted, it's such a wonderful privilege that we all should take part in.

Slept a wee bit better last night- until almost 4:30. I think slowly I am adjusting. It is definitely colder out there lately- furnace is coming on every night now. Basically, it's in the low thirties in the mornings. Fifties during the day.

It has been so quiet in the house without Danny around. It's nice, but a bit odd. I miss the little guy. He comes home in a couple of weeks. Then, I get to take over his training.

Hey, if anyone who doesn't feed raw, is looking for a good dry food, I can 100% stand by "Health wise" Chicken/Oatmeal. My dogs do just great on it, and it is cheaper than many similar brands. Their coats shine, very low output, and good energy. Good quality control as well- doesn't change appearance like so many do, over time.

I also feed one of my cats this food, and he LOVES it. I have tried all the high end brands with him, but he never really liked them- he would eat a little, and then meow, and look for the real food he was supposed to get. With this food, he eats with gusto. It's also affordable.

Well, that's it for now, I hope you voted!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rotten time change

Well, maybe that is a *bit* harsh, but honestly, for the life of me, I can't get adjusted. I have been waking up some where between 4 and 4:30 every morning. The animals are all up at that time to, and it takes a fair bit of convincing to get them to stay in "bed". The cat is the worst offender- constant meowing.

So, when I do finally get up, I feel like I need way more sleep. Also, this business of dark at 5:00? That really stinks. I will be glad when we hit the winter solstice.

Oh, a nice little thing (NOT!), I went to go to bed last night, and SOMEONE had PUKED on my pillow case- I think it was Lucy- just bile, but man, was that acrid. Could you have TRIED to aim elsewhere? Oh, and on Sunday I had washed all my linens, so of course that would happen.

Rest of the week will be filled with work, doesn't that sound like fun?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tail gate sale

Wow, it was fun :) I brought Lucy, and when I arrived, the first thing I noticed was that there were LOTS of poultry- ducks, Quail, Turkeys, LOTS of Chickens. There were also Bunnies, Sheep, Goats, well, I am not sure what else, because I only stayed an hour, and more was coming as I was heading out. Lots of stuff being sold.

Lucy rather enjoyed herself- a bit too much. The Chickens were bringing out the Coyote in her, and she truly got very interested when they squawked when someone picked them up. The sheep consisted of ewe and ram lambs some 4 months, some 5 months, who were not dog broke. They thought Lucy was another sheep, I think. For some reason, Lucy was not interested in them. Well, when they were unloading, yes, but not in their pens. There were Jacobs and Dorsets. I came *close* to taking the Jacobs.



So close, but so far...



Lucy says "If I sit real nice, can I PLEASE have them?"



Pekin mixed meat Ducks (only 14 weeks old)



BUNNIES!!!



Lucy is looking at lunch on the run



The boys again, look who's looking at Lucy again...



Lucy eyeing the Turkeys- she thougth there gobble sounds were amazing



The male Jacob, and Dorset sheep, and wethered goat, who's eyeing Lucy



Turkeys



35 lb male Gray goose- word is, he's looking for a girl friend



HUGE show Chickens- all roosters



Prettiest Japanese Quail I have seen



Boar goat kids



Close up of "Lamb Chop" ewe lamb



Jacob ewe lambs, and a Dorset ewe lamb

Half over

Well, weekend's half over, and I still have a full weekend of stuff I want to do!
Yesterday, I worked all day, and then I hit the grocery store on the way home. I stopped at my sister's place for a visit, and then home. No more leaf work, but it's coming...

Made a nice supper, and then some good old brownies- love them with a glass of milk.

Today is a farm tail gate sale not far from me. Everything from sheep to chickens and supplies will be there. Should be a a lot of fun.

Slept well last night, which makes it doubly better that the clocks went back an hour last night- feel doubly rested.

I have to clean this house today, maybe I will before I head out to the sale, as when I get back, I surely won't want to.

Weather is iffy today, but it has been like that pretty much this whole year. Makes working dogs in good weather a gift. Won't be working Lucy today, maybe some other time...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Edmund Fitzgerald

Every year about this time, my mind goes to this horrible tragedy, which happened on November 10, 1975. This is the first video I have seen that lists the names of the men who perished.


The Edmund Fitzgerald: A Memorial

Dee | MySpace Video

Friday, October 30, 2009

SLEPT

Wow, I didn't think it would happen, but it surely did. I slept. Like a rock. I so needed that. I guess you hit a place where there is just no choice, and no night terrors either, but, I did have a dream about Derek Scrimgeour clinic. Wow. My brain is humming right along...

I worked Lucy again the other day. It is so good working her. She did some very good things, and other people got to see them! That NEVER happens. I sent her to fetch a few sheep up, off a fence, where they were hanging with another flock. I sent her, she came up right along the fence, slowed to a creep, tail got stiff, she slowly moved in, sheep came off fence, she stayed nice and calm, and listened when I asked for a down. It doesn't seem to big, but it was, trust me. She has matured so nicely. I also see, now that I am working her more, a better flow to her. We then worked on penning, and it was great to see her keep OUT on ALL flanks, and when I had them at the neck, to just stop, lay down and wait, instead of pushing. We also worked a bit on more downs at the top, which I have decided will be the way we work it no matter what now. She needs that whistle to put me in her head, and allow the sheep to move off calmly. Wish I had done this when she was younger, but she is a good natural gatherer, so I let it be, and that ended up meaning that she got pushy, because she loves to push.

When we were done working, I sat and had a sandwich, and Lucy lay under my chair and took a snooze. She knew she had done well, and is just happy with the world. Is there anything better than asking your dog to do something they have not been doing long, and they exceed your expectations, and then, say, when you are working on the drive, you call them back after they took all your commands, and they turn and come back with a big happy grin on their face, tail wagging- they knew they did well, and into your arms they go, and you give them a big pat, and tell them how good they are?
I don't think so. I believe THAT is why I am hooked on this. The partnership.

So, we are into the weekend now. Halloween is tomorrow. No plans. Hope the weather stays dry so I can mow the leaves into teeny tiny bits, and clean out the gutters one last time.

Corgi's and Collies BANNED

We knew it would happen. Once you put any breed into the category, it will just grow. Corgis and Collies? What next? Yorkies?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Exercise while sleeping

This week has been a tough one for me. I have been having night terrors each night. Now, they aren't something new to me, but generally only happen occasionally, and not several nights in a row. The thing is, they are tiring, because you basically sleep walk, and it can be a lot of moving around, when you should be resting. The other night I think I got up about 5 times.

Last night, I was watching Top Chef reruns, and was falling asleep when my sister called, and asked if I knew anymore about my brother. My brother had been sick, and went to the ER, and then his own Dr. That's the last I heard, I told my sister in my groggy voice. She said "No, he's been in a car accident- on the way home from the Dr. appointment". THAT woke me up. Apparently, someone pulled in front of him, and he was brought to the hospital with "bumps and bruises". That's all I knew when I drifted off to sleep....

So, some time about 11:10 at night, I have a night terror, and jumped out of bed, realizing that I had to make some food for the Top Chef competition by midnight. I ran into the kitchen, looked around for food, then, realized it was another "dream", and went back to bed. Can you imagine? Lordy. So, I then went back to sleep, but have been up now since 4:? since I was just wired.

I wonder if this has to do with us not turning the clocks back when we normally do? All I know is I am very tired now, and the day will be a long one....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Neat little video

Sheep Dog Trials from Charlie Westerman on Vimeo.

Thanksgiving is coming!

No good news so far. Maybe not for a while. Oh, well. So it goes. Can you believe that Thanksgiving is a month away? I *love* Thanksgiving- well, the food anyway. I am a decent enough cook now, that I can make everything my mother makes, just about as well. I would love to do more, but my mother likes to handle the big stuff. So, we (my sisters and I, and now the nephews) help with prep and we do all the clean up, which is substantial.

Then, it's on to Christmas, and then a new year. I am happy about a New Year, as I look forward to getting some bills gone, and planning more fun stuff. Didn't do much this year in the way of fun, and will make sure to correct that this year.

This week, it was supposed to be nice all week, and now they are forecasting rain. Well, I guess that's to be expected in the fall. Need to do one more lawn mowing, to mulch up ALL those leaves, and then be done.

Word on Danny is that he has settled in well, and is doing good for a pup his age. I am just glad that he is being a good boy- I suspect if I had kids, I would be most worried about behavior if I sent them to camp too....

Last night a BIG scare. Was in bed, on the phone with my mother, when I saw a HUGE spider. I mean, it had legs 1.5" long, and just walked across my bed. My cat saw it first (thank GOD), and I went to dispatch it, and the first two time I used my book (hard cover) to squish it, the thing just bounced back! I could NOT believe it. I finally used all my might, and it was then gone. LORD. ON MY BED?????? I don't mind spiders, in their own realms, NOT in mine.

This week? Nothing planned. Sort of boring, I know.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend flew by

Well, this weekend wasn't very efficient, but it was nice. Saturday I had to work (boo hiss), and then, when I got home I took a nap- that was very nice, and very needed.

Sunday, I drove up to an Aussie trial in Massachusetts. I find it odd, in a sheepdog trial, or, well, any sort of stock dog trial, for their not to be a fetch to start your course. The dog was sent, and had to immediately drive the sheep to the left of the arena, and drive them along the wall. Lucy would not love this- her love in life is an outrun... Then, you had to drive the sheep to the other side of the arena, and not (in the upper classes anyway) go past the yellow tape line. Most dogs had trouble with that- perhaps because that part of the arena was pretty shady? Anyway, then they sheep had to be put through a Y chute, and then re-penned. I knew by watching that I would have just raised my blood pressure if I ran Lucy, so I am glad that I just went to watch.

I got home in time for chores, and then bed. It was a pretty good weekend, but nothing special.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Country Driving

Nice distance on the cross drive


Waiting to be sent


Driving up hill between pressures


More cross driving


All done, for now :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Confirmation

So, last night I headed up to my home town for my nephew's Catholic confirmation. It was set to start at 5:00, and I, and the throngs of others got in around ten of five, and sat, and talked. It was set in a gymnasium. The choir was doing background singing, under the direction of the leader, who played an acoustic guitar. We were all having a pretty decent time, until Mr. choir leader got a bee in his bonnet, and said in a very loud voice, while looking over in my direction (I was sort of swinging to the beat- it was good music)" EVEN THOUGH WE ARE IN A GYMNASIUM, WE (the choir) SHOULD NOT HAVE TO SING OVER YOU" Well, I NEVER ;) He was just rude. We all looked around and mumbled to each other what a jerk. Then, I turned behind me to my sister, and said that I felt like Judge Judy does toward a lazy, no good, stupid male defendant. Just contempt. Okay, so that was that part.

Then, we go on to the service. It was cool because the Bishop actually interviewed my nephew. Neat.

As the service droned on (it was about two hours), my mind began to wander. One of the officiants last name was "Curley" and all I could think about was the movie "City Slickers".

Then, the Bishop came forward with his beautiful crook/staff. I mean it was SO NICE. I had half a mind to ask him where he got it, as I wanted one just like it. Then, I thought it would be nice to have THAT crook, I mean, it has to be consecrated, right?

The only other thing I heard, was the word "lamb", during the long service.

Then, at the end, I saw this man walk by. I recognized him, but didn't know from where. My mother knew who he was. He was my Elementary school principal, Mr. Lewis!
OH MY!!! I haven't seen him since, well, several decades. So, I walked up to him, and told him who I was, and he had a blank look on his face, and I said, "Well, you might not remember me, I never got in any trouble..."

After the service, we headed out to my sister's for a small get together, and then home.

I slept fitfully last night, and had lots of sleep walking going on. Then, this morning when I went to open a can of dog food, my stupid can opener handle broke right off. Great. Piece of junk.

So, that's it for now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Indian Summer

So, not too much going on, other than the usual. Did get to work Lucy the other day. I have to find a way to get her happy about downing on the fetch. She just detests it- so maybe a down followed immediately by a nice flank to the heads- that will be my game plan. She was faced with some less than happy to be worked sheep, and she had to actually grip one to make her move. This put Lucy in a way more settled mood, and she worked nice. I love working her. Have I said that before?

It has been warm out- warm enough for Lucy to hop in the stock tank after playing a bit of Frisbee. I have another big load of leaves to do (some day). This weekend I may go watch an Aussie trial, that my friend is running in. I always have more fun at trials if I don't run ;)

I slept today until it was time to get up. Wow. That's a novelty. How nice. I feel almost lazy, not having to go outside and play with the dogs. But, I make up for it with being busy in other parts of my life.

I miss Danny, but I hope he is settling in nicely, and, that he's not too cold.

Tonight is Top Chef- another show I enjoy. I hope I can stay up to watch the new episode, which is on at 10:00, but it's doubtful. I am reading a new book, forget the title, but it's okay. Keeps my mind occupied.

So, that's about it. Hope to hear about the "big news" I may have for you all, soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Made it Through

Well, we made it through the weekend. Weather was fore casted to be really bad, but in reality, it wasn't THAT bad. Saturday was fine. Sunday was sometimes a little rainy, but not bad- if you had the right clothes. I looked like the Michelin man by the time I was done donning all the layers I needed on Sunday.

My friend arrived Friday night, and we went to dinner, and then early bed. I was tired and so was she. Saturday the trial went nicely. Lucy was even allowed to work the sheep, as a bit of a demo? Lucy has not been worked enough and it showed. She had a beautiful outrun and lift, but the fetch- no down, and then a slice flank, which resulted in the sheep going to the corner and Lucy holding them to someone there. Then, when one tried to bolt over her, she gripped her on the nose, with all the fans oh, about 2 feet away. That was fun. We retired then. On Sunday, I ran Lucy, and this time I was at the sheep when she started her fetch- to get that down. She was stressed (as noted by the grazing and she peed once), and that was because I had that evil stick with me- I think). Anyway, we went through the course and ended with getting most of them in the pen (all but one). Poor Lucy. No real sheep work for months, and then this. Well, what can I tell you? I am not one of those folks who have access to lots of different flocks and can work my dog often, so Lucy suffers.


The food was great, and I enjoyed myself. I announced, and there were some good questions, and the crowd was really interested.

Danny left to go to his new home after the trial. I was sad. In fact, I was sad about EVERYTHING last night. Sad that Lucy suffers because of me. Sad that Danny left. Sad that I don't have my own farm, and most likely never will, and just plain weepy. I think I was just tired.

The dogs that are home now seem more relaxed now that everything is back to normal, and I am ostensibly happy, because I think the sadness has me thinking a BIG change of life is due, and I finally have the guts to do it. More on that later.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Peter, Paul and Mary -Puff The Magic Dragon

Always brings tears to my eyes. We lost Mary recently. Godspeed Mary, thanks for the memories

Thursday, October 15, 2009

When Sheepdogs Die...

When Sheepdogs Die they don't go to the Rainbow bridge
They wait, at the gate of the pasture in the sky

They sit and wait, patiently like they always did in their mortal days
The pasture is as big as they eye can see

There are rolling hills dotted with sheep
Waiting for their Shepherd, and his dog

It may be many years, but the sheepdog will wait
He is faithful, always was, and even more so now

See, he has his freedom, now that he has left the bounds of earth
But, more than ever, he feels he must wait

For this pasture is the one that will surpass the others
There are no real fences, just wonderful sheep, rolling hills
And all the time in the world

Why would there be a gate you ask?
So the shepherd could find his sheepdog

So, when your sheepdog loses his grip on this world
Do not spend so long shedding a tear

For this sheepdog awaits you no worries no fear
He waits to join you again

This time it will be forever
Forever with you and the sheep

-Julie Williams