Tuesday, March 31, 2009

So, who are all you guys?

Little by little, I have figured out who the regular readers to my blog are (WAVES! :)))
But, there are a few wascally folks out there, who never comment, and are always there. Albany comes to mind. Someone(s) from Albany NY visits a lot. Now, I know one gal, but the other person... It interests me, just because of the traffic, and I AM only 1.50 hours from there. I know a few folks there, but not many. So, my Albany friend- how 'bout it? Who are you??

The rest of you, well, I delight in "joining up" with folks from every where far and wide :) Hopefully, I don't bore you too much! Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 30, 2009

On the heels of..

My fatness realization, I had a follow up visit with my new internist. I like her very much- she is to the point, has a sense of humor, and is very thorough. Thinks of things I never would have- and I am good at details... (generally, that is).

The good news is, most everything is good. The bad news is that I have high cholesterol, and the bad cholesterol is up, as are the triglycerides. Stinky winky :( I also have elevated C-protein. This can indicate that RA is present, or not, and can also indicate possible heart disease- or not. I am going with the former, because that has been brought up to me before. I am going for a 2nd opinion on the RA in a few weeks.

So, that means ix nay on the fried foods, and more exercise (a LOT). I also have been instructed to take an aspirin (baby) a day. This is to free up any plaques that are gathering. Joy, I feel like a much older person with these instructions. I don't have to go on cholesterol lowering meds, oh, and she gave me some other Rx- I something to do with helping the blood circulation... oh, LORD, now I am one of THOSE people. You know, the ones who when asked "are you on any medication?" have to whip out a sheet of paper. Great.

So, I guess the deal is that I am in pretty good shape, for the shape I am in. Now I have to re-form that shape. No time like the present. Hey- does anyone know if a turkey sandwich with a little mayo, and lettuce on wheat bread is considered "healthy"? It's a much better choice than what I used to have for my main meal, which was a chicken strip wrap and waffle fries....

Oh my, it's come to this...

Fat pants, yes, that's what I said. Fat pants. I had to get jeans this weekend, that were one size larger than usual. Well, actually, to be technically correct, these Levis run small, but STILL. Oh Lordy. To top it off, they are too long. Going to have to get them hemmed- I DETEST those overly long pants that scrape the ground, and get filthy, and ripped.

Buying jeans stinks in so many ways. When I was young, you didn't wear stretch pants if you were over weight. There were no low cuts, boot cut was so extremely nerdy, no one wore them. You certainly would not be caught dead with what I am told is called a "muffin top", which is fat rolls hanging over your waist band. Oh God. Seriously, all I wanted was normal, straight leg jeans. Not stretch, not boot cut, and not low cut. There are almost nothing like that left- unless you go to Tractor Supply- which I do buy jeans from there, but I was at the mall, and dang it, I needed clothes. I bought some other needed clothes too, but I won' t go into THOSE details. Suffice to say, shopping for THOSE items is about as fun as home ec class in junior high.

So, I am back on my banana for breakfast, and no reese's peanut butter eggs (which I am clearly addicted to). Something about hitting 40, you REALLY start to become just well, loose, and I don't mean that in a promiscuous sense- flubber is what I am talking about.... Just like the book that we read as kids by Judy Bloom. It's bad. I have to really get out there and walk more and work that upper body.

On the Danny front, he annoyed me this morning. Why? well, at 3:30, he decided to wake up and whine- no, I didn't let him out, he was just bored. Lordy Dan, I need my sleep. Of course, his little whine dominoed all the other animals into stirring. Kylie left for the living room shortly thereafter, and then about an hour later, Mr Chips started his early morning crying/meowing.

One nice thing, is that Danny and Lucy are playing really well. Lucy is actually a bit of a pain, because she just wants to play when he is inside, and he can't learn to just relax. Add to that Mr Chips starting games of chase... I feel like a Calgon commercial.

Well, wish me STRENGTH in fighting my Reeses eggs addiction, and also more (lots) walking. Those fat pants need to be put far away in the closet as soon as possible....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

In the days before sheep herding...

Mr Chips pondering the meaning of life.
Mr. Chips and Danny wondering what the heck that is out there!
Mr. Chips warning Dan that if he comes any closer....

Mr Chips following through with the warning....

I used to do other things. Today is a day that I went back in time. I actually went to Barnes and Noble and shopped for some new books to read. Got a couple of mysteries, and the recent Dog World magazine (because it highlighted Border Collies- I peaked and saw Eileen Stein's name, and some comments by her, cool).

Then, I came home and finished picking up leaf/stick piles, cut out some roots, and hung out back with the dogs. It was so nice. Just relaxed. I need to do more of this.

Cowgirl Up anyone???

Okay, I know there are a bunch of red neck girls that read this blog, and maybe some wanna be red necks, who knows. I have found a really cool place to vacation, where we can have a great time, but still do our country stuff.

Go to: http://www.guestranches.com/barw, and select "cowgirl up". Does it not look like a blast?? Oh, and this ranch is pet friendly.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Beautiful day!

Wow, what a wonderful day. It is time to hit the nursery and get some of those Blue Spruce trees I have been eyeing planted. I don't think I will do the planting, but, they do need to get in.

I forgot to mention, the last time I worked Lucy! Well, it was good. For one thing, I think she is finally getting a feel for penning. She is starting to give the sheep a bit more room on her own, when she sees it's in the picture, and she is taking good flanks when they aren't coming dead on. At one point, I think she was actually proud of herself :)

We did lots of driving- with lots of direction changes. MAN did she do good- despite my horrid commanding. I think with her, a simple there will work instead of a down. Down + Lucy + me, just will never be good friends. What can I say... We all have our crosses to bear... So, anyway, I was able to have her walk up, drive them away, give her either direction, then, a there where I wanted her to stop, and then a walk up. We did this throughout the field. It was very good- and a bit tiring for the lass. Then we worked on some basic outruns, but in places we have never done them, and then, her favorite- sorting.
Dan still hasn't been on sheep- he needs to grow a bit. But, I tell you, I did get a feel for how he will be today... not really, but, well, I had let Mr Chips out and he was walking along the fence. Danny likes to sit atop the poor cat and munch on him- and Mr. Chips allows this. But, it isn't nice. So I stood in front of the cat, and cat along fence- you get the picture. Well, Danny said, "hmm, for some reason you are blocking me.... oh, here he comes, gotta go!" as the cat squirted out to my left. Hmmm. At least he went for his head ;) !

I got some new shots of Danny since he is 14 weeks today!!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Yesterday, I tackled one of those jobs that is seldom done- because you just don't think of it.
I have an electric range. I use tin foil on the metal pans that sit under the burners (a trick my mother taught me, which makes keeping them clean WAY easier.) I decided to change out that tin foil- dust was the main issue... But, as I took everything out, I spied lots of detritus underneath the burners- the top of the oven? I don't know, all I know is that it took some time to clean out all that "stuff" that had fallen through. It is spick and span now, but man, word to the wise- check that out. It does get gnarly.

I like to do one extra job every day- other than the usual cleaning , or what have you. I find it's the only way I will get to those onerous jobs that get shoved off for ever- because they are so well, onerous.

I think today it will be the laundry room. I know, I can tell you are all so excited reading this ;)

One interesting thing to note- there are so many places for rent now, and much cheaper... I have been looking at houses on farms. I don't know if I could do it... But, there is one down the road from me on 125 acres. How nice would it be to live at a place where we could really stretch our legs. I would not sell my place- I would rent it out, so that would free me a bit. I will contact the agent today and see what she says. I have thought about doing the land rental again, but I won't do that unless the price is significantly cheaper than what I paid last time- AND there MUST be water available, and real fences. I hate electronet. Well, I don't hate it, but I believe it is really only good to use when you have a flock that you need to mow down area on, and not for dogs who are training- you also don't want to move it too much, because I for one, can't seem to grasp that concept.

There is one place I just remembered that has fencing up, and they used to keep cattle there, but no more. The fence needs some work (posts are leaning), but it is not far from my place, and has utilities and water.... One thing about me. I don't jump into things- glacial pace is more like it ;0)

I hear we are getting rain this weekend (boo hiss). So, will have to get dog work in there some where between the rain drops.

Well, that's it for now. Now, everyone- go look under your burners....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A treatise on our predicament by George F. Will

The Toxic Assets We Elected

By George F. Will
Tuesday, March 24, 2009; A13

With the braying of 328 yahoos -- members of the House of Representatives who voted for retroactive and punitive use of the tax code to confiscate the legal earnings of a small, unpopular group -- still reverberating, the Obama administration yesterday invited private-sector investors to become business partners with the capricious and increasingly anti-constitutional government. This latest plan to unfreeze the financial system came almost half a year after Congress shoveled $700 billion into the Troubled Assets Relief Program, $325 billion of which has been spent without purchasing any toxic assets.

TARP funds have, however, semi-purchased, among many other things, two automobile companies (and, last week, some of their parts suppliers), which must amaze Sweden. That unlikely tutor of America regarding capitalist common sense has said, through a Cabinet minister, that the ailing Saab automobile company is on its own: "The Swedish state is not prepared to own car factories."

Another embarrassing auditor of American misgovernment is China, whose premier has rightly noted the unsustainable trajectory of America's high-consumption, low-savings economy. He has also decorously but clearly expressed sensible fears that his country's $1 trillion-plus of dollar-denominated assets might be devalued by America choosing, as banana republics have done, to use inflation for partial repudiation of improvidently incurred debts.

From Mexico, America is receiving needed instruction about fundamental rights and the rule of law. A leading Democrat trying to abolish the right of workers to secret ballots in unionization elections is California's Rep. George Miller who, with 15 other Democrats, in 2001 admonished Mexico: "The secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose." Last year, Mexico's highest court unanimously affirmed for Mexicans the right that Democrats want to strip from Americans.

Congress, with the approval of a president who has waxed censorious about his predecessor's imperious unilateralism in dealing with other nations, has shredded the North American Free Trade Agreement. Congress used the omnibus spending bill to abolish a program that was created as part of a protracted U.S. stall regarding compliance with its obligation to allow Mexican long-haul trucks on U.S. roads. The program, testing the safety of Mexican trucking, became an embarrassment because it found Mexican trucking at least as safe as U.S. trucking. Mexico has resorted to protectionism -- tariffs on many U.S. goods -- in retaliation for Democrats' protection of the Teamsters union.

NAFTA, like all treaties, is the "supreme law of the land." So says the Constitution. It is, however, a cobweb constraint on a Congress that, ignoring the document's unambiguous stipulations that the House shall be composed of members chosen "by the people of the several states," is voting to pretend that the District of Columbia is a state. Hence it supposedly can have a Democratic member of the House and, down the descending road, two Democratic senators. Congress rationalizes this anti-constitutional willfulness by citing the Constitution's language that each house shall be the judge of the "qualifications" of its members and that Congress can "exercise exclusive legislation" over the District. What, then, prevents Congress from giving House and Senate seats to Yellowstone National Park, over which Congress exercises exclusive legislation? Only Congress's capacity for embarrassment. So, not much.

The Federal Reserve, by long practice rather than law, has been insulated from politics in performing its fundamental function of preserving the currency as a store of value -- preventing inflation. Now, however, by undertaking hitherto uncontemplated functions, it has become an appendage of the executive branch. The coming costs, in political manipulation of the money supply, of this forfeiture of independence could be steep.

Jefferson warned that "great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities." But Democrats, who trace their party's pedigree to Jefferson, are contemplating using "reconciliation" -- a legislative maneuver abused by both parties to severely truncate debate and limit the minority's right to resist -- to impose vast and controversial changes on the 17 percent of the economy that is health care. When the Congressional Budget Office announced that the president's budget underestimates by $2.3 trillion the likely deficits over the next decade, his budget director, Peter Orszag, said: All long-range budget forecasts are notoriously unreliable -- so rely on ours.

This is but a partial list of recent lawlessness, situational constitutionalism and institutional derangement. Such political malfeasance is pertinent to the financial meltdown as the administration, desperately seeking confidence, tries to stabilize the economy by vastly enlarging government's role in it.


Good video

Nothing special here, just good utility demonstrated by the dog- and the farmer. See how he opens and shuts the gate with one hand (and the other holding the ram)? Even had a little toddler out there. Good stuff.

Man Catches Ram at Dyffrydan from Despondent Productions on Vimeo.

HOW many DOGS do you HAVE???

Oh, that annoys me. See how some of the words are capitalized, thusly emphasized? People ask me that when they see Danny, and then remember I have other dogs. It is extremely judgemental, and well, un-necessary. They are MY dogs, and it is MY life.

I feel like asking these same people how MANY kids do THEY have? How MANY vacations do THEY go on? HOW MUCH do they SPEND on those vacations? You know, rhetorical questions that only serve to irritate the person being asked.

Truth is, I am full up, and I would like to be down to two or three dogs. Something manageable. But, I certainly am not re homing anyone, or wishing for their demise.

Some day, it will just be me and a couple of cats, that's for sure, but until then, BACK OFF with the judgemental garbage. Unless you want me to take the magnifying glass to your life!

Monday, March 23, 2009

You ARE brave!

Yesterday I heard some barking and looked out the window to see what the fuss was about. My neighbor's father was out back with his little toddler grandson. Now, they are Central American, and the grandfather speaks broken English, so we waved a bit, but didn't talk. Then I brought my barkers in, and kept Lucy out with me- who barked, but only bluffy territorial stuff- she likes everyone. Danny was also outside, but under the deck...
He was scared...

So, I walked up to the fence and bent down, and the toddler was yelling doggy doggy doggy. Had his yellow plastic school bus in his hands. I said "hello" to the grandfather who politely smiled. I then look behind me and there is Danny! He came out after he saw that none of us were worried, and he even got in front of me to visit with the little boy! What a good lad! Perhaps me getting him out more has helped, who knows, but it was a much better interaction than before.

On the physical front- Danny eats twice a day now, down from three times- he seemed ready to do so. He still is short ;0) Not sure how tall he will be, but certainly not as tall as Lucy, unless he gets a turbo boost in height. He is heavier, that's for sure. I usually carry him to the door in the morning, but this morning when I picked him up, I realized those days are over.

Well, that's the update for now. Hope everyone had a fun weekend!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Boring but good

It's been a good day here. For one, I am FINALLY able to sleep past 5:00. This is helping me to have lots more energy during the day. It is just beautiful out today.

Stayed home and worked in and outside. Lots to do. I had raked a lot of piles yesterday, and today I had to deal with them. Then laundry, my goodness. LOTS of it. Even got some grocery shopping done.

Tonight I head out to my parents for a nice meal with my sister and nephew. Will leave Danny boy home, as it will be chilly by the time we leave. Anyway, it was a boring, but good day.

Hope you all had a nice one yourselves!

Oh, and here is a link to a story on a recent sheepdog trial- has some video. Sheep look a bit tough, as in the dog has to more than look the part to move them.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

You made the mess, you clean it up

first, here's a shot of Mr. Dan on his 13 week birthday. Isn't he cute? I ended up bringing him back to the vet on his 13 week, because his eye was pink and he was squinting (and I over-reacted) and by the time we got there, it was fine... Anyway, he weighed in at 16.8 lbs, which is less than what Lucy weighed at that time... I think he will be in the 35-40 lb range... He is doing well. He has outgrown his small crate, and at night now, he is in Tucker's crate, because I don't want another crate in the bedroom. He loves it. It's HUGE. He doesn't smash the sides with his feet, as he isn't so cramped :) He went with Lucy and I to work sheep today- he had a great time playing with my friend's female pup who is 5 weeks older than he. Cute as a button she is- and FAST.

Okay, now onto the mess. I was working Lucy in the field. My friend had brought a garden cart into the field with hay- oh, and he brought one of his dogs. So, the sheep make a bee line toward him up the hill. Picture this, a triangle: garden cart at the apex, sheep pen to the right, and in front of the sheep pen is well behaved dog. I sent Lucy right, so she *should* have been able to head them, before they got to all that mess. But, she decided to avoid the mess on that side, and go left (bad girl!- don't you cross that line!). Okay, so, now the sheep are behind the garden cart, and one the far side is a person (to the right) as well as a BC, laying down, and the pen. She first tries to take them through past the small opening between the cart, and the pen, but there is one big problem- a dog laying there. That's when I said quietly to myself "I told you not to go that way, now, you clean up your mess".

So, then she has to figure this out. Sheep are blocked by garden cart, dog and human on one side, but they are behind them and to the right... So, I give her a "come on", which means get them here whatever you have to do. So, then I see them all of a sudden come to THIS side of the garden cart- and she almost circles them- as it was high pressure getting them around it- well, probably more like high pressure figuring out HOW to get them around it. Anyway, so, then they come down the hill. It was not easy folks. I didn't give her any commands, other than a reminder that she best bring them. I remember hearing from a clinician once, who in response to her dog screwing something up, and making a mess, said "you made the mess, now you clean it up".

These sorts of opportunities don't come along much. But, when they do, please use them. It allows your dog to use the tools they seldom have to, and when they are successful, they are indeed on top of the world.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Her pain is over

I have just learned that my friend Barbara Wust passed away this morning. She is finally at peace. Of late, she could not type, or speak, and was ready to end her journey here with us. God finally allowed her to be freed from her broken body. I have gone from complete shock and disbelief, to sadness, to now, acceptance. I know that Barb, being so active, and so full of life, would not want to continue in that state.

All week I have been feeling under the weather. Needing long naps in the late afternoon, not hungry, or eating right, painful, just not right. This morning, I awoke feeling better; rested, brighter. I learned that Barb passed away this morning. Barbara was a Reiki master, and she believed, as I did, in energy, and it's healing ways. I believe that the peace that Barbara finally achieved has brushed over me, and that now, both of us can be a peace.

I am still so very sad (hardly the right words) that this happened to Barbara, but for some reason, I feel that she is happier now than she has been in a long time. No more pain, no more tumors, no more inability to get around, nothing, just freedom and peace.

Barbara, my friend, I will never forget you. EVER. You will be the one I try and emulate when I get lost. Your legacy lives on in all you have touched. Peace also to Lynn, and Barbara's family. Peace, finally peace.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Lucy

Lucy the day she arrived from Australia

Lucy 5 months summer 06

Lucy's first time on sheep, November 2006

Lucy just learning to wear sheep early winter of 07

Lucy driving April 07

Lucy at her first trial in fall 07

Lucy with Mr. Chips

Lucy at the Derek Scrimgeour clinic fall of '08

Lucy nearing her third birthday, showing her presence, and confidence on sheep

Wow. It's been three years. Lucy turns three today, and it seems like time has really flown. I suppose when you are looking at things in terms of progress on sheep, you just don't notice that your little dog is actually growing up. Lucy has gone from gawky 13 week old just off the plane from Australia, to a fit, athletic adult girl ready to take on the world.

I thought you were so brave!

I brought Danny out into the big world the other day, and he did so well. He played with a Bernese Mountain dog, and met several people. He offered downs to all of them. Everyone was so surprised at how well behaved he was. I will be bringing him out a lot more in the next few weeks, just to get him used to all sorts of things.

Then, last night, my neighbor came out with his young toddler son, with a hooded sweatshirt on (the toddler). Danny just freaked. He had no idea what this thing was that was grabbing his fence, and yelling. There was no convincing him it was okay. So, that means we need to meet more kids ;) But, calm ones that is...

Then, later, one of the few neighbors that I like was walking by with her Sheltie, and I went out there with Danny. Danny was at first a bit worried, but then he was very happy to meet her, and greeted the lady, and laid down for the Sheltie to sniff him. The lady could not believe how well behaved he was. It's like an echo. I swear.

We hung out chatting for a long time, and by the time we went inside, Danny was beat- it was a long day.

This morning, and last, Danny has decided after his morning constitutional, that he would rather stay outside, then go back in his crate when I shower. Mr Chips keeps him company outside (though I am not sure Danny stays with him- he may go to his lair under my storage room). But, by the time it is time to make breakfast for the dogs, I hear Mr. Chips meowing LOUDLY, and Danny comes along. I love that my cat is so great with dogs.

Danny is growing- body wise- he is getting more solid- though not heavy. I am liking his looks a lot. Will be interesting to see how big he does get.

Oh, and got bit by Mosquitoes last night, so today I need to make appointments for the heart worm checks...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Soldier Hollow

Here's a well done video of Soldier Hollow. Some day I would like to get out there for it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Danny Boy

How fitting that on this St. Patrick's day, the song "Danny Boy" should strike a chord in me. This song is quite sad, but it is sung beautifully by Ronin Tynan. He is one of the "Three Tenors" and is just amazing. Anyway, here are the lyrics, and also, the song, as sung by Ronin, along with some beautiful Irish countryside, which happens to include sheep and a Border Collie. Happy St. Patrick's day to everyone.

Danny Boy
Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.

And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

On What's Important

You know, I have spent a whole lotta time worrying about what someone says/said on the internet. People who I have never met, and probably never will. I have really tried to pull back on that. I think it would do us all a lot of good to look at the time we spend on discussion groups and forums, and see what that has gotten us? If the answer is mostly upset, or irritated, well, the answer is clear then isn't it? If the answer is gratified, or cheered up, well, then that's a good thing. But, in general, it is wise to be cognizant of the fact that discussion groups are just that- a way to discuss different things, and not any more. They are not support groups, they are not made up of "friends" in the sense that these people will drop everything and help you up when you have fallen. They are simply made up of people with the same interests, and that's it.

I have some very good friends that I know I can count on, and of course, my family. They are the ones I k-vetch to when people on the forum irritate me. Recently, when I was relating a tail of irritation from one of the forum to my friend, I realized what a complete waste of time it was to a) get irritated and b) relating it to someone else.

Bugger the people who are rude, or who slight me either accidentally, or on purpose.

So, effective today, I am off discussion forums. It just isn't worth it.

What's important? My friend in Virginia is dying. She has metastatic brain cancer. She can no longer type or speak. She has lived her life to the fullest, and been supportive to everyone, and is a salt of the earth lady. She is so young. I can't seem to stop crying when I remember seeing the video of her running her dog in agility, with the aid of a walker and assistant- clearly having a hard time. And, the way her dog looked at her, so concerned. It just is too much.

I am changing the way I operate. If people want to chat with me, or if I have questions, I will simply post them here on my blog, or we can email. Life is about being lived, and not having any regrets, and certainly not allowing others to upset you, for no practical reason, other than it's easy to be rude on line.

So, there you have it. What's important is to help when you can, support as needed, and be there, and be an example of "good people" whenever you get the chance, because you never know when you will be the one needing the support.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Caption this

I like this one:

As told by ewe: Why do I always have to be on the outside? HUH? I hate this!!! Now MOVE OVER!!!!!!!!!

A good idea

I have alluded to, and blatantly mentioned the nervousness I have when Danny and Lucy play. She has already put one hole in him, and well, I am loathe any more issues. Danny is not afraid, but more respectful these days, but he still gets big for his breeches, and Lucy doesn't have a level 1 correction. She ignores the best she can, but then it's game on. So, you can imagine the stress I feel out in the yard, that sort of thing, when he barrels up to her. Anyway, this morning I decided while I made breakfast to tether him to my side, and that worked well. They played a bit. Then, I went into the spare room to check my email, and this is where Lucy likes to lay under my chair. I went in, reminded her she better be good, and then, they played very well. Him being on a leash means he can't, say, jump on top of her, and I also feel like I can get right to him if there is an issue. The funny thing was, I kept feeling the leash get pulled, and I see Mr. Chips on his back grabbing and biting at the leash- so it was really a three-way play session. Too funny. So, that's going to be it- leashed in the house from now on. Makes it safer, and I know where he is. Not that he would EVER run and eat the cat food- through a gate to get there... No WAY not little sweet Danny!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Oh what a Beautiful Morning...

Oh what a beautiful day...Everythings coming up roses, everythings going my way... Or something like that! It was a great day to work dogs. I did not need a coat! Not even an extra layer! Sunny, no wind, and blue skies. Could not have been better. Lucy did well today, and our penning was spot on. It was just a great day!

Lucy looks the picture of calmness- until you see how her nails are driving into the ground...

'K ladies, time to leave your friends.

Good ladies, I will ease up on the fetch.

This can only be described as a very happy sheep.

'K ladies, please let's move on now.

Sheep: Note to self, she means BUSINESS when her ears are off to the side

Just a gratuitous nice fetch pic :)

Crud! Here she comes AGAIN.

Do we HAVE to move off, AGAIN? Answer: Three letters, rhymes with Bess.

Beautiful calm work at the pen.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Danny hits 12 weeks

So, today Danny is 12 weeks. I wish I could say time has flown, but.. I am still doing quite a bit of managing with Lucy- I just don't trust her. She has very little patience. Of course, I may well be overly careful, but better safe than sorry right?

Danny has been a great pup. He likes his routine, and seems to look forward to doing anything new. Since he's my first Border Collie pup, I didn't know what to expect. He is very similar to the Kelpies, albeit, maybe a tad bit calmer? I shouldn't say that out loud, I know...

Danny had his 12 week vet visit yesterday. He weighed in at a whopping 15 lbs. He did very well. Vet said he looked good. He is a good weight- can feel those ribs, but not too skinny. I remember Lucy weighed 18 lbs at 13 weeks, and she is now about 32-35 lbs. So, I wonder how big Danny will get. He is growing at the right clip. I don't think he will be overly hairy- long coated for sure, but not massive. I hope.

So, Danny, here's to you. It's been fun so far, and I hope you are happy with us!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Danny the model

Here, Danny is sporting his brand new red collar. I think he looks quite dashing, do you ?


Okay, now that the remnants of little Bunny Foo-foo are gone... Phew, that was just gross...

On other fronts, since Sunday, Lucy has been having a small amount of gagging when she first gets up in the morning. It is just then, and for less than 5 seconds. I have tried to elicit the classic gag response to test for kennel cough, but nothing. This morning though, I played/grabbed her around her neck and she did let out a cough. Danny goes in for his last shots tomorrow, so she may tag along, IF it is worse. They gave him a bordatella intra-nasal vax at 9 weeks, and sure enough, two weeks later, Lucy presents with this. She is acting, and looking completely normal, so I am in no rush to bring her in just yet.

I wish it weren't quite so dark in the mornings. Makes it hard to get up. This morning I could see a full moon out there- what a pretty sight. I am getting up too early lately, which will happen, I suspect for many months. Time change and me don't mix.

Tucker's swollen lymph node has grown a fair bit. It's pretty obvious. BUT, there are still no other enlarged glands that I can find, and he seems pretty happy- especially in the morning and evening at dinner time. He is such a good role model for little Danny. Danny does everything he does- and since Tucker is well behaved, well, that's a good thing :)

Mr Chips was playing on the bed last night, and well, sort of fell/rolled off. He went boom. Then, about a minute later, completely unfazed, he hopped back up on the bed. He doesn't get embarrassed easily :)

Had a re-check with my foot Dr. I think I like him more each time I see him. He has this air of confidence, not arrogance, and he is practical too. He had on these snazzy cow boy boots, and I asked what they were (what kind of leather), and he said they were Ostrich. Cool. My feet are much better with warmer weather, but my toes always hurt now. They always feel like they are warming up from being frozen. I think this is permanent. It *really* hurts when the pup bites my feet. But, I will get the old peripheral circulation checked soon, and then we will know what we've got.

No sheep work this week- I have a busy one, and next week is looking busy too.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bits o' Bunny

This is very odd. I ran home today to feed Danny, and when I left, I left him out with Tucker, my old wonderful boy. I checked the yard, and saw no Bunny. That was good. Tucker was sniffing the upper left corner of the fence area, but there was no bunny. I figured he must have recovered and left...

Well, today I get home, and Dan and Tuck greet me. Then, I proceed to clean up the yard. I go to all the usual places- including the top left corner. That's when I saw it. A Bunny tail. Complete with fecal pellet. Oh... this is not good for Bunny.

Then, I see Danny on something. It's Bunny hair. Then I see more and more places of Bunny hair and then some skin. Then I see a foot- complete with the bone sticking out. A MASSACRE occured in my yard. Now, who could it have been?

A) Tucker? No, he thinks dead things are gross. He would not bother with them.
B) Danny? Please tell me no, but who knows? I guess I will check his deposits over the next few days
C) That Cooper's Hawk? My money is on that Hawk. Perhaps the Bunny was flailing and the Hawk came in and dispatched it, and left with what he could?

I don't know, all I know is that I cleaned up a lot more than just dog droppings.

Bunny Pinball

Okay, so I have either the world's DUMBEST wild Bunnies around my place, or, well, I can't think of any other explanation.

I let my dogs out this morning, as usual. I heard Lucy on the tail of something, which put everyone ELSE on the tail of something. Lucy, or the Bunny actually squealed. I didn't know what it was at that point, because it was black as pitch out there. Now, I have a fully fenced in back yard, that only has certain areas where the Rabbits can get in and out. Unfortunately for the Bunny, when being chased by multiple dogs, the exits aren't always apparent....

So, thence comes the term "Bunny Pinball". The thing darts this way and that- I only know this because I see the dogs are doing this too. Then it smashes into the fence, and bounces off just to re-start the pinball action. Then, the thing stops from shear exhaustion. I get almost all the dogs in. Lucy sticks with it- it is laying near a tree. I call Lucy back to me, and to my surprise, she comes. All this time Danny is staying near me, as he has no idea of the fun that is going on, and there are important things to do, like empty his tanks.

So, since I left without checking for the Bunny, I suppose I shall have to take a gander out there before I let the dogs out. If it is dead, then I shall have to remove it, lest someone decide to dine on it.

Why, oh why do these Bunnies feel the need to jump in to what is for all intents and purposes a Lion's den?

Monday, March 9, 2009

You've GOT to watch this

This is one of the funniest things I have seen a dog do -ever. Seriously. Watch this video. Notice that her legs are sprawled out behind her.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dan at 11 weeks

It is very hard to get shots of Danny upright and still. If I crouch down at all he comes running. But, here are a few.

Spring? Could it be??

Yesterday, it was just glorious outside. I worked Lucy and Danny got to watch. He is becoming very good at being chained to a fence and behaving :)

Lucy and I worked penning some sheep who haven't been penned. Our weaknesses were obvious. She isn't taking stop on a dime downs, and that is BAD when trying to pen. We were finally successful, but that was after I had yelled my head off at her. Poor Lucy. We need LOTS more practice penning. I will give her this- she works at it as long as I ask. Even if she is spent, and even if I am clear as mud with my directions. Lucy never quits on me, and never loses cover for her sheep. Lucy should live on a farm, and work every single morning, I am more convinced of this than ever.

We did some interesting sorting yesterday. I had worked a small group for penning and wanted to get a fresh group. So, I brought the used sheep in the big field that adjoins the holding area. I had Lucy first keep them back- one tried to bust past her, but she was met with Kelpie Kontrol (that is, blocking/cover, and if all else fails, a grip (that usually happens when they try and jump over her). So, then, I asked her to fetch them and put them way far away, so I could get some new sheep out. She did that well.

Then, I had her get all the sheep out of the holding area, and bring them out, but keep them to the gate to sort. So, then we sorted out some freshies. Then, we got those freshies back to the penning pasture, and once they were in there, I let everyone out. Lucy did this perfectly. She just loves any kind of real work.

Danny watched intently yesterday- well, alternatively with chewing sticks. For only 11 weeks, he is pretty mature. Well, not all the time. Truth be told, he is at the ah-ah stage, which has to be followed up with a physical removal of said item from his mouth. He still looks pretty small to me.

This morning I heard one spring peeper. I can't believe how warm it is. It must be fifty. I am so glad that it is nice out. We really needed this! Now, mud season- I am on my way to get a Swiffer Wet Jet. I can't stand all these muddy paws!

Friday, March 6, 2009

My little Darlin' is a Firecracker

The following video (swoon). Josh Turner came out with the song "Long Black Train" some years ago. What a VOICE!!! I would never have believed that voice would go with such a not HUGE guy. But, what he lacks for in frame, he more than makes up for in voice, and cute-ness.

This song has been out for some time now, and I have long believed that this song should be dedicated to Lucy. She is such a good girl, but she does have a fuse. She can work great, and then I lose patience and her fuse gets lit, and boom, tail flick, something dumb happens. I fully believe I created this- because when I am calm and clear, it doesn't happen. I don't think any less of her, it's just one of her bug-a-boos.

Anyway, without further adieu, here is my main man, and Lucy's song.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Better days are coming

I heard we may hit 70 this weekend. Seriously? Probably that is just a stretching of the truth, but heck, I would take 50! Can you IMAGINE, FIFTY degrees????

I spent some time today getting shots of the young lad today. True, he isn't quite 11 weeks, but it was a nice day, so what the heck!

Remember to click on the photos for best resolution.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


That's a term I coined, to use when it is REALLY freakin' cold outside. Yesterday it was stormy. We didn't get much snow (Thank you Lord, seriously, thank you!) but the wind was whipping, and branches were flying. I was exhausted (again), and when I got home I just had to lay down for a bit. Man, I feel like a 75 year old sometimes! Anyway, Danny was great, and he took a nap too.

Later we spent a bit of time outside, so he could run and play. Lucy played with him, and he had to alligator snap a few times to get Lucy to not play too rough. He learned that with his pup friend up north. I think Lucy thinks it a bit funny, but also she realizes he gets annoyed a bit. It's all good though, because he is finally getting into the pack inner workings. Kylie snapped at him (he tries to "herd" her like Lucy does) and Kylie is not interested in that. So, he learned another lesson (well, for the time being- pups don't have the longest attention/retention span).

Anyway, so this morning the boy actually whined to go outside- not near the door, but still- that is a very good thing. Mr. C likes to entice him into a game of chase, but then jumps high atop something to end the game (cheater!).

I think I like the beginning of the day when Danny is still a bit tired and looks me in the eye, like he is trying to understand me. Then he bites my hair. Oh well- it's those small moments...

I think the temperatures are supposed to stay rather freezing for the next few days. Then, on the weekend, warm up- I hope so. I just got another delivery of oil, and I would like to have a lot left for next year.

So, here we are in another busy week. Tonight is NCIS on the tellie, and since it's on at 8, I should be able to make it through the whole show!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lucy Lou and Danny Too

Hmmm, that's a neat tag line... Yesterday morning, I got up early, as one does with a young pup, and made a wonderful breakfast, and coffee, and thought about the day. There was a big storm in the works starting on Monday, and I thought that it might be a very good idea to get Lucy working again, and Danny to play with his friends again- one more time before the snow hit. It is also supposed to be cold all week, so this may well have been our last opportunity for a long time.... So, that all said- we headed up north again.

I worked Lucy a bit, and she did some good stuff. Again some of the older ewes are pretty heavy, and the lambs are testing, so at one point, I had sent Lucy to fetch them off the pen fence- they had their friends in there, and weren't interested in leaving. Lucy headed up fast, rated herself up to them, and there they stood. So, I could have waited, I suppose, and maybe they would have turned, but every second that you leave your dog twisting in the wind, as I call it- meaning, allowing them to hit that bubble and be stuck, then you etch away at confidence. Now, this is NOT the same thing as a dog walking in and still meeting pressure- for sure- give it more time. Lucy was stopped. So, I said "get them up" Lucy and she ran in, making no contact, and covered as they split, and brought them right to me. No, not the prettiest thing, but it was effective, and my dog knew that yes, she could in fact do what she needed to get them moving. After all, isn't that our goal? To have dogs be able to just bring the sheep, with no injuries to anyone? These sheep are quite heavy and I used to think that I shouldn't work her with them, but she needs to feel this heaviness regularly, so she can work through it and soon it will be just simple as pie. That's my goal anyway :)

We also had to bring some of these heavies into the other paddock, with Danny on the other side of the fence, and being sheep, well, even though he's a mini boy right now, they were leary of him. So, that meant as they got to the gate area, they split, and pushed heavy on Lucy, and Lucy kept them covered and pushed right back, past that pup, and then calmly lay down about 5 feet into the smaller area, and held them back. There was one ewe in there that is just trouble- you can see it in her eyes, and Lucy focused on her, and if she leaned to heavily, Lucy pushed them back five feet.

So, after working Lucy on and off for a bit, I got the Dan-meister out for some more play time with his cousin. They are bestest friends now, and it is great to see him play with someone more his own size- although she is, in reality much bigger, but not like an adult dog.

Later, I watched a young cracker of a dog working- this is one nice BC. Very natural, and easy. Oh, how nice that is. Keen as mustard, but calm. Yikes. That is a very nice thing. So, I brought Danny along on leash, into the field so we could watch. He was mildly interested when they were a fair distance away, but then we started to walk along as this BC wore the sheep through the field. Then, Danny got interested. At one point they had the sheep along the fence and they made a break for it, and Danny wanted to go and get them? I don't know, he was on leash and just started running. So, the BC brings them back and then we get them settled on the fence. Then, the handler asks for a down and the BC gives it, as does Danny- and he lays his little chin down on the ground and watches the sheep- right along side the bigger dog. It was a Kodak moment, for sure.

So, we know that Danny isn't afraid of sheep, which is great. Now, we just have to wait for him to grow legs and add some time to his little time on this planet, and then we see what we have. Should be interesting.