Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Getting back to normal

Things are starting to settle back to normal now. It has been a long few weeks for me, and I am, I think, starting to catch up on some sleep. Danny and Lucy have been playing like gang busters lately. They race around outside, lay down, eat mini apples, and just generally enjoy each other's company. It's nice to see. Earlier, I looked out and there was Lucy eating a mini apple, Danny laying near her, and Mr Chips laying next to them both. It was very sweet.

There isn't anything planned for a while now, it's going to be quiet, which is just how I like it.

I ate very poorly the past several days, so I think a run to the grocery store is in order. While out, I also have to buy Lucy another Flying Squirrel frisbee, as Danny demolished it.

It looks like it is about to start raining (again). I guess I may not mow my lower back yard until, maybe next year....

Well, hope you all are well.

Okay Okay

I got 10 emails this morning, when I checked in from people asking why they couldn't access my blog. I had made it private, but I don't know how to get every one's emails.

I will for the moment, keep it public, but I will tell you this- those of you who simply like to remain anonymous, but enjoy the blog, you are more than welcome. Those of you who are here for nefarious reasons, and have proven that you are not interested in being friendly, LEAVE NOW. It's like having an enemy in your living room. YUCK.

This has been bothering me for some time now, so after my cathartic last few days, I figured I would address it. If you don't like me, or my writing JUST GO AWAY.

All my other peeps, you please stay- you're the reason I write :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dunsborough, WA - Sheep Dogs

Don't believe everything you hear- especially on youtube.
The bit about Kelpies being only 70 years old is wrong. The bit about kelpies being mixes of border collies and dingos is wrong. The bit about kelpies not being gathering dogs, but on the backs of sheep (yard and drivers) is not correct either.

Blog going private

Hi followers :) Those of you who are listed as followers, will be placed in the invite category of my blog. I feel like this blog is a bit intimate, in a way of saying, in that I would prefer to believe people visit my blog because, perhaps they either like what I write, or me. If they just visit to keep up on me, and in some cases, some I know actually do NOT like me, but visit me EVERY SINGLE DAY (that is weird) then, they are not on the invite list. I look at it this way, if we are in a room full of people, I gravitate to the people who I like/enjoy, and steer clear of those I have no use for. I am just doing a service to those in the latter category.

I am going to need the emails of those of you who want to follow. So far, all I have is Darci. Please list your email in the comment section.


All better now

I posted earlier about my trial weekend. I was in as about a low place as I have ever been. You know? Well, I just had about a two hour conversation with a good friend, who is an open handler, and he let me vent, and gave me a shoulder to cry on. I guess we have all been there.

It's just that I feel like I have let my dog down due to my failings as a trainer, and I hate that other people can't see how good she can be.

What matters (and the only thing that matters) is that we are in this together, and we love to work sheep, hands down, that is OUR activity together. OUR time to be a team, and OUR time to help each other out. It's pretty much what I live for.

So, thanks to my good friend for being there. I guess we all need somebody to lean on sometimes....

Thanks Carolyn for posting your supportive comment, even though many others did not apparently, have any support to offer. You are greatly appreciated. I hope that when I read a blog post like that, that I am able to offer a shoulder, or support in some way.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

By Process of Elimination...

I now know who Albany is! Thank goodness! It was just vexing me... A big shout out to my Albany follower. See you tomorrow?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bear in my neighborhood

Interesting reaction from the lgd. I don't think he saw the bear- was running from the guy who was video taping.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Weekend is a comin'

Slept much better last night. Instead of pancakes (did not want to deal with the mess), I opted instead for egg salad. Was a good choice indeed, and the dogs got the left overs.

Today it is really humid out. Even in my living room it was muggy. Danny got some work on down, and staying there. It started because he wants to sit close to me when I get the food ready, and that will assuredly cause trouble with Kylie.

The High Point trial starts today, just open. I heard on the radio that the thruway northbound was shut, both lanes due to an accident. I sure hope that no one heading to the trial hit that mess.

Tomorrow and Sunday Lucy and I run. I plan to video tape several other runs, and maybe we will even video tape Lucy and I, for once.

I wanted to get a bit of work in with Lucy this week, but work has been way too busy, so no time, as well as I have been BEAT because of it.

Well, that's it for now....


Anyone who wants to leave a comment is welcome to. As long as you sign in. If you have something to say, you should be proud of and stand behind it, like I do. That's sort of what is great about this country- we can do that.

I think good, cogent discussions are well worth the time and effort. If you have an opinion, voice it, after you sign in. If you don't sign in, and do comment, it's rather like spray painting grafitti- people may read your information, but they ignore it, because no one knows who wrote it, and there is no way to respond :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cap and Trade Bill

It's a BILL alright- and you will be paying it through the nose.

When I can't pay by electric bill, who on the Obama train will pay it for me? I can give you my address, so you can post me a check. I love it that we will punish the Americans for using the energy that for most is the only choice. Have you priced solar energy for your home? What about for apartments?

It's a sad day when the Dems screw the very folks that voted for them.
I urge you to contact your representatives and tell them NO on this bill.

President Obama opened his address to a joint session of Congress last month by saying “the economy is an issue that rises above all others.” By that standard, his key energy proposal fails badly. Obama’s proposed Kyoto-style cap-and-trade plan would be the biggest tax increase in American history. It would hit every American who fills a gas tank, pays an electric bill, or buys anything that has to be grown, shipped, or manufactured.

Cap-and-trade is a way to impose a massive energy tax and pretend it’s not a tax. It puts a cap on overall greenhouse gas emissions, and establishes a market for companies to buy and sell the permits. In Obama’s version, the permits would all be auctioned off and the hundreds of billions of dollars would be used to fund higher government spending.

The hardest hit will be those least able to pay: lower income families, who spend a disproportionate share of their income on energy.

The so-called cap-and-trade energy tax would, according to the president himself, force energy prices to go way up. In an unguarded moment, speaking to The San Francisco Chronicle last year, Obama said: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocketthey would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

The economic impact of imposing these huge new costs on energy consumers would be devastating. Even using the Obama administration’s own numbers, it would amount to a tax hike of $645.7 billion over the first 8 years, over $80 billion per year.

But as the cap becomes more and more strict over time, those costs would skyrocket into the trillions of dollars.

Obama’s proposed 83 percent reduction below 2005 levels by 2050 dwarfs the proposal from last year’s Lieberman-Warner bill, which included a 63 percent reduction.

An analysis commissioned by the American Council on Capital Formation and the National Association of Manufacturers projected the economic impact of last year’s bill by 2030: 3 to 4 million fewer jobs, $4,022 to $6,752 in lower annual disposable income per household, an annual hit to GDP of between $631 billion and $669 billion, and much higher energy prices — 60 percent to 144 percent higher for gasoline and 77 percent to 129 percent higher for electricity.

These figures are all adjusted for inflation. The hardest hit will be those least able to pay: lower income families, who spend a disproportionate share of their income on energy. The Obama plan requires considerably steeper cuts and therefore will be even more expensive.

Much of the cap-and-trade tax revenue will be earmarked for the so-called Making Work Pay tax credit, worth $400 for a single-worker family and $800 for a two-worker family. So while the left hand offers $400 or $800, the right hand snatches $4,000 (or more) from the pockets of American families. Some deal.

This is not an unintended consequence of the plan–it’s the intended goal. President Obama made it plain as day when he said that he wants to give so-called renewable energies a market advantage. That requires stepping in with heavy taxes to dramatically raise the price of fossil fuels, which are much, much cheaper than renewables and are projected to remain so for a long time, especially since oil prices have come down sharply.

And what do we buy, environmentally, with this enormous hit to the economy? Basically, nothing. Cap and trade is already failing to reduce emissions in Europe. And even if emissions targets are met, climate models show that the reductions would have no detectable impact on global average temperatures. That’s why leading climate alarmists have hailed a Kyoto-style cap-and-trade regime as just the first step of 30 to curb global economic activity. There’s never a good time to embark down such a path, but it seems particularly hare-brained during an economic crisis.

And that’s not all, I urge you to also keep an eye on the Environmental Protection Agency. April 2nd marks the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA that found, on a 5-4 decision, that the EPA can shoehorn a cap and trade regime into the 1970 Clean Air Act, passed before anyone in Congress–or anywhere else–had even heard of global warming theory. EPA is likely to celebrate the anniversary by laying plans for moving ahead. Before Congress does anything else on this issue, they should pass a clean bill to stop the EPA and give us time to consider our policy through the proper democratic process.

No matter whether it’s through legislation or regulation, cap-and-trade would destroy the only bright spot in the current economic environment, low energy prices, and cause severe economic pain. Anyone who supports it can’t be serious about putting the economy first.

Phil Kerpen is director of policy for Americans for Prosperity.

Have you ever been so tired you could...

die? Work has been long and hard this week, Danny has not let me sleep past 3-4 (cat assists by meowing). I am about to fix some pancakes so I can load up on carbs so I can sleep. Haven't been eating right either.
Trial this weekend, no work before hand, oh well.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hundeshow 09

Just extremely incredible. Wow.

Sheepdog Training With Ted Hope Pt 3

Part three of the series

Danny the Golfing dog

Danny sinks this ball perfectly, he's even par here :)

A Bogey

Danny misses on the first two tries, but finally sinks it. It's rather like Phil Mickelson in clutch play.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Picture of Danny


My old kitty Ginger Momma hasn't been doing so well. She has had a hitch in her gitalong for some time now, but, of late, she is really not getting around well at all.

She has a sore wrist, and either her back is making her rear legs weak, or her legs are just weak. She seems to hurt when she lay there, trying to get more comfortable. The other night, she kept moving around on the bed, and finally, got into the cat bed and peed. I think she just couldn't stomach having to try to make it off the bed to the box. The day before she didn't want to get up to eat her canned food, so I held the bowl for her, and she ate with gusto. The last few days I have been carrying her to the box, and for her breakfast (she can go from my bed to her dry food and water all on one level).

I would rather I brought her to the box, than have her have to go in my bed. But, it is bringing home the thought of losing her, and it just kills me. I lost Cori in Sept of last year. Watching her spirit leave was the hardest thing about euthanizing her. That bond forever gone. I cannot IMAGINE this happening with Ginger. It's too much to bear. I know I need to bring her to the vet- they can do blood work, and radio graphs. That's all well and good, but what I would prefer is that she get looked at in my home, and get some pain meds. I will see if one of the vets at the practice I use, can come out. She does not need all the stress of going to the vet.

Please pray for my kitty. Recently, on the show the "Closer" part of the shows have been about "Kitty" who's kidneys are failing and she is getting medicated and fluids when at the work office. Boy, does that make me cry.

I will call the vet today.

Sheepdog Training With Ted Hope Pt 2

part 2

Sheepdog Training With Ted Hope Pt 1

Great video.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Good days with family

Yesterday ended up very nice indeed. We had a party for my father's birthday and of course, for father's day. We had steaks on the barbie, baked potatoes, and other gourmet delights. We then had ice cream cake, which we had to eat fast, because I left it out too long. That was very good too. It is so nice to be able to get together with your whole family. To me, family is the most important thing. Friends may or may not be there for you, but with family, it's a given. At least in my family. We had good conversations, and my brother lamented that the steers are getting pretty friendly. He notes that they just eat and eat all day. Yep, I reckon that's all they need to do.

I told him I may just buck up and get the fencing delivered, just so we can go ahead with getting the sheep there. He and I agree that all this talk and no action is rather tiresome. The plan is to get Cheviot sheep. They remain a bit wily, and light, and will be good for my needs. Of course for Danny, I will need some knee knockers too. The meat chickens need to go before the sheep come, because they are in the section I would put the sheep in at night. Coyotes are a huge problem in my area, and they have even taken sheep from barn yards at night. They have even taken adult sheep.

So, the lambs I get will have to be in at night. My brother suggested I get a Llama- to live with the sheep. I don't know- I just remember the ones I see are pain to catch up when you want to work the sheep. I also have visions of using my flock as a breeding flock, and selling lambs to like minded folks (dog trainers, who need good sheep). We have enough room, that we could even have enough to use for a trial. Sure would be nice to have a nice group of Cheviots for a trial.... Will have to see on that.

Ginger, my old kitty is very sore. She ate her canned food in bed yesterday- she didn't want to go and get it. Then, last night, she peed in her bed. Great. That got thrown out. This morning, I carried her to her canned food feeding area, which is in the same room as the litter box, so she would remember about the litter box. I may have to get some pain meds for her. She is sore on a front wrist, and her back legs/back are not cool either.

Danny and Lucy have been playing like gang busters lately. This is great. When we were working sheep recently, they just ran and ran together. Lucy instigates the chase game, and then they run to the pond and cool off. It's very nice. When Lucy gets irked about something, Danny backs off immediately, and it quells everything well.

I didn't get a THING done yesterday. I was just painful and tired. Too much driving of late. I did watch that movie "Pursuit of Happyness"- what a great movie. Seriously. Kind of shows you what is important, and how bad things can get, just before they get better. Good one, yes it was.

This week it may rain- imagine that. They say we have had rain now for 18 days of the month. That is just odd, and not to mention, gross. As in filth in my house from the dogs. I have to clean, and I am going to box up books, and other sundry items, so I can re-arrange things. I need a decent book case, so, until then, the books go away.

The "Closer" is on tonight- my FAVORITE show. Can't wait. Well, better get to it.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday sunday

Well, today I awoke with my upper back in knots, along with my neck, and a whopping head ache. I have gone to the store already today, to get some stuff for the party later. I walked by the bakery, and got a whiff of something very yummy. I asked the baker what it was, she replied "Toast, I made toast for breakfast". TOO FUNNY! I guess it doesn't take much to please me.

Danny has gotten FILTHY in this wet/mud outside. Methinks he will have to become acquainted with the hose.

I want to report a little bit more on Danny's sheep time yesterday. What was good about it, was, a couple times when one split off, he initially chased it, but then allowed it to go back with the flock. That was good to see- that he sees the group.
Danny is super keen, and isn't afraid to meet a sheep one on one.

We aren't going to do any serious training until he's about 8 months, he's still so young, no rush. He's been such a good boy. Waits until his turn, and doesn't cause a ruckus. His temperament is just great.

I think I need a nap, though, I best get it in soon, as I need to run more errands before I head up to the party. Big headache, tired, you name it. This week will be busy at work, so well, whatever, rest when I can, I guess.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hi Everyone :)

The weekend's here, the weekend's here!!! This morning, while driving in the car, John Denver's "Sunshine on my shoulders" came on. Of course I sang along. That man truly understood the small wonders of life, and how to apprectiate them.

It is POURING AGAIN. I mean a DOWN POUR. I am so sick of this. It's untenable I tell you!

Lucy got to work sheeep again, and Danny too. It was Danny's day! Danny did very well. He seems to be kicking more into work gear, and there are just little things that look good to me. I think I will be able to work him very soon. He is definitely one sided, so that will be something I will work on in short order- he LOVES come by, but we need away. Funny, Lucy's favorite was away...

I am tired today, and tomorrow is an around the house day. Have a party for my father's b-day, and I look forward to that.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mugulated outside

It was so muggy today. Absolutely disgusting. Not only that, but the DEER flies are HORRENDOUS. I think they are immune to my bug spray. The dogs (especially Lucy) were getting chomped on.

Lucy got to do some real work. I got to do some too. I am fat, out of shape, and need to correct this.

Lucy and I helped worm some sheep- I marked, she held them in the corner. She did this pretty well. Then, we had to separate out the Kathadins from the new lightly broke other sheep. They are a bit jumpy, so they busted the gate backward, so I had to send Lucy in to get them all out. Well, they just did not trust her, or, wanted to move off her, so she had to deal with one or two coming at her as she tried to flank around the wall. At first she thought she might not do this, but, then she came up on meany ewe and nipped her nose, and then no more problem.

At one point, I needed Lucy to push all the sheep away from the gate, so I could sort. They all lined up, ready to send her packing. There were about 6 leaning forward. Lucy just got up there, calmly, and when they didn't turn, she gripped, and moved on to the next. It was very very good work. No overt roughness, just good helping me.

Lucy got to load a trailer- it was not hard, for some reason they were happy to go in.

All this work, with two different types of sheep, separating sub groups, all that- it was just very tiring. Lucy did not work real well on our field work, because she was just plumb hot and tired. I wasn't in fine form either- lost my patience.

But, Lucy did earn her dinner tonight.

Danny got to work sheep a bit too, he was pretty good, but it's hard to keep up the stamina when you blow your wad diving in ;) I think he's got the circle thing down now. He will not be easy, as in will stay off sheep easy. I am going to have to be in good shape to work him.

Well, that's it for now. Time to rest.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Canine Crop Circle?

This is the scene that greeted me when I got home from work tonight. Lucy had assembled these items in this order. Hmmm, two pens, a de-shedder, and nail clippers. I really would like to have seen how she did this. Did she go and get one at a time and add, or did she get them in a few trips and re-arrange? Anyone know? Is there something more nefarious going on here? I suppose we will never know.

Time to build an ark

It was pouring this morning, I mean POURING. Dogs hated going out. Danny did his usual runs around the back yard, but got awful wet and dirty, as I noted when I stepped out of the bathroom, back into the bedroom and noticed the smear of dirt all over my bed. Great. Lucy, I thought you didn't want Danny up there? Can't even count on my dogs...

I keep visualizing Gibbs from NCIS working on his boat in the basement. Thinking I should pay close attention to the joists, and that sort of thing. I don't remember this much both duration and volume of water falling. It's not a good thing for those who have to hay. You can't hay unless you get a good week of dry. We haven't had that since I can remember...

Yesterday when I got home Lucy was in FINE FORM. She was so happy. She ran into my bedroom as I went in there, hopped up on the bed, and did a play bow. She was absolutely googly!

Then, I brought she and Danny outside for some ball and Frisbee. Lucy fetched a few Frisbees, and then did her little game of put it on the ground, open mouth wide, and pick it up with lots of grass on the other side. It's SOOO fun.

Danny fetched well as usual, but he has added a new trick. I HAVE to get video...
When he holds the ball, he holds it between his two left canines, so he is free to pant. When he is just sitting with it, and waiting for the next excitement, he uses his tongue to turn it on it's axis. So, the ball spins between both teeth. Sometimes his tongue lolls in really weird ways. It is very cool. Danny, yur neat.

Later, Lucy got a wild hair and invited Danny to chase her, and he obliged. They ran and ran. Lucy is still faster than he, but he kept up best he could. Then, they wrestled on the ground. This went on for a long time. At certain points, Lucy jumped into the stock tank, and Danny got a couple laps in before they started again. It was really nice to see them play. Danny got tired enough a few times, that he came over to me. I think it's a mix of tiredness, and also, wondering when Lucy may lose it.. Poor guy, she certainly can be a bitch.

Danny is growing slowly, but I do think he will be one of the smallest Border Collie males I have ever seen. His hair makes him look bigger, but...

So, anyone have any plans for arks?

Border Collie Rescue - Nice Work Episode 1

What an excellent video.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Annie- Herding Instinct Test -June 09

Here is a dog on sheep for the first time. The owner is called, as the dog is unsure without her, then she turns on. Notice how even in the beginning she is trying to head the sheep. Sheep are not overly stressed, dog allowed to work/feel it's way. Good job.

I do have an opinion

I have been reading some discussions online of late, and I am happy to say that I have stayed out of the fray, and read what is being written, and feel enfranchised to post my opinion here, as well, it is my blog..

On starting dogs. I have seen two methods used on starting dogs. One is the control every movement, dog on line, big rake in hand, and the other, dog on line, a long stick in hand, but dog is controlled vicariously- not by any line- though he may trail it to catch him up if he is super keen and, well, grippy, or doesn't want to stop.

I much prefer the latter method. Lucy experienced the high control method, rope on the dog, and not allowed to actually influence the sheep. For a young, talented dog, I can't see how this does ANYTHING to teach said dog that a) they can control the sheep, and b) we WANT them to control the sheep. Both they are born with. If you put that dog on a line, never letting them get to the head to turn the sheep, they never learn that they can. Sure, some people say that all well bred dogs will be able to head and gather, so we can "quash" that for now, until they are under control. I say that is hooey. I say you can teach a sensitive young dog real fast, how to quit, as they can never be successful. Starting a dog is not "easy" and should not be geared toward making it "easy" on the novice handler. It is about starting the dog. If the trainer needs to get a few first lessons on that pup, or dog, then so be it. Once that's done, the novice handler can shadow the trainer in the field, and learn what has to be done.

Just in case there is any question, what should be happening is you have a super keen young dog, running around you/the sheep. The sheep should be appropriately doggy or "puppy sheep", thusly, they stick with you, making it EASIER on the dog (notice, I did not say the handler). The main deal is to keep that pup from gripping, get it to change direction a few times, and most importantly, keep the sessions short, and positive. That dog will learn a LOT about working sheep, even though it appears he is just circling wildly. That's how they gotta learn. They have to be able to feel and react to sheep. It's their lot in life, these sheepdogs. Keeping the dog on a line so he can never react, or make a single decision, is just a tragedy. It is a strong instinct, but it can be very fragile. Our job is to cultivate the dog's inborn ability, not control the heck out of it, so he never learns to actually control, and work the sheep without our help- isn't that why we have sheepdogs? To do a job?

When starting dogs/pups, it's about the dog, not the handler. A good trainer should fade away when the dog is right, and come into the picture when the dog is wrong.

So, that's my opinion on starting dogs.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Enough rain already!!!

I cannot believe how much rain we have been getting. It rained again last night, pretty big thunder storms as well. The deck is slick, and everything is growing in rain forest proportions. The Hostas are HUGE. Glad I got that mowing done. I think Weds might not rain....

Yesterday I am afraid, was not an energetic day for moi. I have days where I am gangbusters getting things done, and days where I am just the opposite. If I were a sheepdog, I wouldn't be ;)

Nothing much planned this week, going to be quiet I am afraid. No trials for a couple of weeks. Will work dogs here and there, but that's it.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Scratching my eyes out

Yeah, I think I just about did that this morning. I don't remember when my allergies have been so bad. I am on Fexafenadine, but apparently, either it barely works, or I am worse. I am generally okay, but NOT okay in the morning. That's when the F has worn off. So, this morning, I was up a bit early, and started sneezing. Got up, fed, back to bed (as I have an issue with being up at 5, when I don't have to). I lay in bed and my eyes started itching. Just so bad. I rubbed them to the point of my left eye feeling like it had sand paper on the insides of the lids. Eyes were so swollen, I couldn't read the clock on the cable box. I finally got up and used an eye irrigator thingy (it looks like a shot glass) and rinsed my eyes. My eyes were veritable slits. I then took my fexafenadine, and slowly things got better. Wow, it was bad.

Okay, back to normal stuff- yesterday afternoon I mowed the lawn (I know, big whoop), but I am glad I did, because it POURED this morning, I mean POURED. My lower back yard area is standing water. Danny doesn't seem to mind running through it, but I do.

Hit the grocery store this morning, and picked up a new bed for Tucker (Danny ate the other one) and another bed for the dogs. Small, but it should work, since they sleep in a cat bed ;)

Today will be a chill day. I am tired, and I just want to read my book (Diane Mott Davidson's "Fatally Flaky". She's a great culinary mystery author). Would be nice to work the dogs again, but it shall have to wait.

Anyway, that's it for now.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A jolly good day

Today was up and at 'em EARLY. No biggy, because, as usual I was awake some where between 4-5 am. I headed up with Lucy and Danny to work sheep. Lucy and I worked on outruns, wherein she had a bit of trouble coming in straight when the draw was to the right. She also has issues pulling sheep off people, so she flanks to and fro. So, we worked on that. I would down her, have her walk up and if she started to weave, then I stopped her. It's just one of her things. Now, to her defense, these sheep like to stick to people, and they WERE near the draw. Later she picked them up perfectly, dead on and forthright, so well, she can do it right. Her shape was good, and her lift, when right was right. She is getting better on the fetch too, finally, I think it's sinking in, that she has to pace herself, and she has to down when I ask, no matter what....

We also did a little bit of driving. She really seems to be liking cross driving. It's nice to see her just put those sheep where I ask her to.

It was very muggy and buggy. I really dislike both. Applied and re-applied lots of bug spray- even Lucy needed some. Those deer flies were eating her alive.

Then, Danny got a try with the sheep. After his last session, I was a bit hesitant. But, my friend who knows 100% more than I was game, so okay, we will. We had him work in the bigger area. He was much better than last time. Lots less gripping, and smoother in general. He changes direction okay, and even was starting to wear a teeny bit, well, that is, he stayed off his sheep as his handler walked backward. It was very good. Smart little guy.

Afterward, he was a hotty totty, so we walked over to the pond. I stood on a rock, at the edge, and called Danny toward me (so he would have to walk through the water a bit). He came to me, and then.... he turned left and swam and swam and swam! He has never been swimming before. He was a total natural. Oh, he LOVED it. Even after he got out, he went back in for more. Very smooth swimmer too.

A jolly good day indeed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Danny is six months

Here are just some shots I took today, on Danny's six month birthday :)

Mr. Chips beautiful markings

Here I am world, ain't I handsome?

Look, the ball fell into the hole I dug!

As Danny stares down the ball, Mr. Chips asks him if he is okay....

Ball almost made it in the hole....

Danny blocking the ball from the hole. Such power he has..

lebar sdt2009 0002

Excellent video.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rare footage: Caucasian Shepherd defending the flock of sheep.

Wow- brutal. Seriously. Amazing that this footage was caught. That Caucasian is one tough customer. Probably about collapsed from exhaustion after that...

Elated, Stoked, Jubilant...

I don't know where to start. Have you ever had one of those days where EVERYTHING seemed different? You start out a normal same old same old day, and then something really good happens? Well, I had one of those days.

Yesterday, after work, (so, yes it was a long day) I went up to meet with Danny's breeder, and meet her and the pups at a friend's place, and to work Lucy.

Two of Danny's sibs were there, a female and a male. All the pups look so different. The female is a wee thing (even smaller than Dan) and the male is bigger than Dan. They had not been on sheep yet. I think I have mentioned that I LOVE to watch pups tried on sheep for the first time, so I knew I would enjoy myself. The female was first. She was a bit tentative with a stranger in with her and sheep, but did go around a bit. The male just wasn't ready yet- new person, place, and sheep. But, he did show interest, so he just needs more cookin'. Then, we tried the little female again. OH MY. She was a star. Going around with speed, but not too fast, and changing direction. Stopping on her own when the sheep were brought to the fence, basically I would be BEAMING if that were my pup. Of course, these pups aren't even 6 months yet, so we are seeing instinct, but it was good instinct ;)

Okay, so, Danny was next. Oh boy. He did so good the last time (the second time) with the sheep. This time? Not so much. I HAVE to remember he is so young. Danny went in like gangbusters, and sure was busting- the sheep up- if you know what I mean. He would go around a bit, but his first order of business was to get to the sheep, and open his mouth. Danny! What happened to my sweet little boy??? And, in front of your breeder??? Danny quickly exhausted himself too. Danny is NOT afraid of the sheep- he preferred front end grabs. Anyway, he is going to be put up for a couple more months, as there is no sense getting him on sheep, when the correction he will need will be a bit more than his wee puppy brain can handle- I think.

I bet by now you are wondering why I listed the aforementioned title? Well, be patient, it's coming...

So, after others worked their dogs, I got Lucy out. Now, anytime someone sees Lucy work for the first time- especially a "BC person" I get a bit well, nervous. I don't want Lucy to re-confirm to others that Border Collies are the only breed worth a damn on sheep. So, we got out there, and I have her fetch the sheep to me. Good outrun. Then, I have her turn them at the imaginary post, and down the field we go. She was working pretty good, and we got some good steering done, and generally, I was certainly not embarrassed by her work.

Then, later, after all was said and done, I went out again with Lucy. I wanted to work on driving. How do I describe this? First, Lucy turned them around me, and then drove them off me as straight as a pin- no flanking -YES!!!!!!!!

Then, she drove them several yards, something like 150? away from me, and then I had her do a half flank, to turn them to the right for a cross drive. She kept them on a line almost perfectly, with only a couple of resets- YES!!!!!!!!!!!! It wasn't too short a cross drive either. Then, we got to some gates, and I was able to steer her left, right, down, walk up, what EVER I wanted, to get those sheep through those gates. Then, I had her drive them further away, and I was even able to get her to speed them up- with no flanking side to side- YES!!!!!!!! I saw visions of an open dog. I kid you not. I seriously kid you not. After I had her drive them away, I called Lucy to me and jubilantly told her what a good girl she was. She ran so fast to me with, what I SWEAR was a big smile on her face and she was just so happy. I can't tell you how happy she looked, and how happy we both we together. I could live on the fumes of this joy for weeks.

While driving home, the song "Red Neck Woman" came on the radio, and I blasted it. She may surely be the wrong color, and the wrong style, but she is a proud workin' girl, and she OWNED those sheep. Hands down- no apologies, no nuttin'. She freakin' rocks. WE rock as a team. I could just not be happier.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dog school near miss

So, when you are at your next cattle dog clinic, apparently, you should be on the OTHER side of the fence!


When I got home from work last night, I made some awesome egg salad. No, nothing special, it just really hit the spot. Then, it was time to play with the dogs. Specifically, Lucy, and Danny. So, for the first time, I decided Danny could be outside with Lucy and I while we played. I tied Danny up, as I knew he would not be able to contain himself when Lucy was fetching the Frisbee.

Anyway, I played a while with Lucy, until she was hot, and she went to the tank to cool off, and then I got Danny, and we played ball. After a while, I thought to myself, that Danny ought to see that the tank is a nice place to cool off...

So, I brought his ball over to it, dropped it in, and told Danny to get his ball...
So, he did, well, he tried. He finally had to put a leg in to get it. He seemed to like that game- I swear, I almost had him dropping it in, so he could get it... At one point it was in the middle of the tank, and he had to put two legs in to get it. After he got it, he popped out and looked at both his sopping legs like they were aliens. It was soooo funny.

I have been not leaving Danny outside by himself so much anymore, because he gets into mischief. He ate the little slats on my dryer vent... I thought he would rather be outside, than crated, but honestly, I think as long as he is with us, he's cool. He gradually is loose more and more, but I gotta be careful, because he has certain bathroom habits, that I need to be mindful of.

Oh, the best part of yesterday. It was somewhere between 5 and 6 pm. I had been hearing lots of birds, and I went out on the deck with my binoculars to see what I could see. The deal is this, behind my back yard is some one's else's back yard, but their house is way up the hill on the left- out of sight. Behind that back yard is someone else's back yard- a house that has been vacant since it was built, so it's more like a twice a year mowed meadow. Well, on the property that is behind me is a wet area, boggy, lots of animals love that area. Also, to the right of my property is a wooded section. It's pretty nice in there, all tucked away...

So, anyway, I sit down on the deck and start to look. I see 6 male Gold Finches, and two females. I saw a house finch. I saw a male and female Cardinal. I saw a red wing blackbird. Then, two dear popped into the meadow I mentioned, and they didn't stay long. It was like a nature program. I was so serene. I forgot the things that annoy me (my horrible neighbor etc). I was about as tranquil as I have ever been there.

When it was time to go in, the birds had all dispersed a bit, and it got a bit quieter. I thanked God for what I have, and the ability to appreciate it.

Life is very good sometimes...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday at the farm

So, Sunday started out LAZILY. I was just tired- but not clinically- just lazy, I think... After breakfast, I got back in bed, and then I decided I best function. So, I got some things done at the house. Then, it was time to go up to my parents' place.

I stopped at my brother's farm on the way. The Steers are doing great!!! Totally comfortable there, liking people, and when I got there, they were bedded down by the barn chewing their cud. They have put a bit of weight on, so I guess the grass, with daily supplemental feeding is working.

Then, I went to see the kittens, who were born on Mother's day. OH MY LORD, they are cute. My brother has done a WONDERFUL job of socializing them. They all came right over to me, and started climbing on me, and chewing on my shoes and jeans. There are three male red tabbies, and one really dark looking calico female- she looks black, but I can see hints of stripes in there. I set them up their first litter box by using a flat that water bottles were in, and cuddled with them. Have I said how much I love red cats???

Then, went and looked at the meat chickens. Not much to see there, but they looked happy. They have access to outdoors, but apparently, they aren't into that...

Then, my brother told me how he is down from 43 chickens to 31- he has been losing about 3 day. Well, Saturday, he was talking with a friend, and guess what comes walking right along the hen house? A Bobcat. Hmmm. My brother got his gun, but missed his opportunity. I was thinking that I had seen Bobcat scat down in the cow field...

So, I wonder if Bobcats mess with sheep? I doubt adults, but lambs???

It is always so relaxing there for me- I get renewed vigor to get the fence up and get some sheep there. Ah, but for the lack of money....

After the farm visit, I went to my parents and had a great roast turkey breast dinner with all the fixings. My eldest nephew was there, and it was a very nice time.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Nothing interesting

Well, the weekend has been pretty relaxing, and I cannot ask for more than that! Saturday found me heading out to the grocery store, and Barnes and Noble for a couple new books (though one is going back, because I read it already). I came home and played with the dogs, and just sort of chilled. It was nice. I was pretty tired.

Danny and I play fetch for short periods each day. He loves this. I have to be careful, as he is zeroed in on that ball, and I don't want him hurting himself... The lad seems to be growing- his head anyway...

I have been having him loose in the house more, and it seems cool. He leaves Lucy alone, and focuses more on me, and/or Mr Chips- but not to the point of obsession. Dan seems to be very people oriented- more so than the Kelpies I have.

I can also use the word "aaah-aaah" when he is doing something he shouldn't, and it works! He seems biddable in that regard.

We have been working on downs, and also he waits in his crate when I open the door, until I release him. He has that down. This is all working toward impulse control- something the big hats all say is important to have.

Mr. Chips has been exceedingly loving/cute lately. More often than not, he comes up when I am sitting, or lying down, to cuddle. I gently stroke him on his "moustache area"- he loves it- try it with your kitty. Also, every morning now, he has to go out with the dogs, and then, after they are back in, I call him and he comes running.
He sure is a dog kitty :)

Today I made some good pancakes for breaky, and then the rest of the day, who knows what. I will be heading to my parent's for dinner this evening. May bring the dogs for a nice walk when I go up there.

Well, that's it for now, see? Nothing interesting.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Whale Wars

I watched "Whale Wars", which I think is well, not well done. First, I am totally against animal rights- and animal rights activists, which many of these volunteers are. Second, they are using an old ship, which could fail/sink, depending on the conditions at any time, and thirdly, they are so completely naive.
When they saw Whales swimming by, they sounded like third graders. This is good insight, I believe into the fact that they are operating with hearts only, and not brains.

I 100% agree that there should be NO whaling of any endangered whales, and that the Japanese whaling under the guise of "Research" is the biggest load of hooey we have EVER heard. This is something I think Obama needs to bring up with this country.

I am not against their tactics in some ways, but risking the lives of naive do-gooders, in a pig in a poke way is wrong, just wrong.

I hope to heck this ship doesn't hit a berg, and go down.

Besides all I have mentioned, it's really just sad, the old ship, the young, naive followers, and the first mate who is certifiably, Capt Ahab in his deportment (and that is a metaphor, as we know all about what Ahab was about in the book).

Anyway, just a small gripe. Not worth watching, that's for sure.

Friday, June 5, 2009

GOOD times...

You know, I love that song. Allen Jackson. He's coool.
Anyway, I worked Lucy again, and it was very good. Every time I walk out into that field, I don't know what exactly I will get- not that she isn't consistent- it's more like my plan is not set, and well, I am just not the best trainer.

Anyway, we worked on driving- I put the line on her, and we worked a bit on her coming up and driving the sheep straight off me- no flanking thank you very much. She did this with aplomb.

Then, we worked on some outruns, and they were fine. Then, we penned, and Lucy has got this action down.

At one point she was fetching them, and they did a peak a boo behind the pen (they were on my side), so Lucy tried left, then right, and then slowly got them going. I shushed her a bit, because they were leaning heavy after this- in case you doubt- watch dogs who flank left and right, and see how much less they are, shall we say, respected, by sheep. Anyway, Lucy "got them up" well, and it was good.

When we were driving, one split from the rest, these are not real light sheep. Lucy was very good, and made sure to give that ewe a bit of room to catch up- this is one of her fortes. I don't think she has ever left a sheep behind...

Toward the end of our session, I got the sheep in the spot where they are the WORST for being driven off me (pressure is due east of me). And........ drum roll please......

That little girl came in straight as a pin, and never flanked/move up on them, just stayed behind and kept pushing. Wow. I bet it felt good for her too.

We are slowly getting there. Lots more line work to get the picture right in her head, and I think we will be good.

Well, that's it for now. Sure was good :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Small update

Hi boys and girls!

Not sure why I wanted to say that, but, I guess imitating Mickey Mouse is on my brain? Does that mean I want to go to Disney World?

I hope you have all been having a good week. Mine is same old same old. When you are low on money, it sort of removes some options. I did finish "Love Mercy" by Earlene Fowler, and I encourage you ALL to go get a copy and read it. I hope she comes out with many more in this series.

Kylie is fine, I believe that trash getting into was her undoing, and now she's fine. I will have to secure the trash better from now on.

On the Lucy front. Well, what can I say? The business of not wanting to eat, I think was mainly due to bad feelings in that crate that compliments of Kylie, was sullied. But, she appears to be getting over that. When I watched the girls eating last night, they all ate a bit slower. I wonder if something is funky with that food.

Lucy is shivering a lot less lately, which is a VERY good thing. Last night Mr. Chips jumped on the bed, and went up to Lucy, which gave me a bit of a worry, but she simply growled a little and turned her head. That's normal- she used to let him near, but he bit her ear more than once... So, once bitten twice shy and all that.

The best thing, though, was this morning. I was getting ready to leave, and Mr Chips was on the living room floor, and Lucy was standing next to him, and then started to sniff, and play a bit with him. He just lay there, letting her mouth him, etc. It was like old times. That is very very good. He is such a great cat.

Danny is well, Danny. Doing fine, and is now allowed loose in the house while I shower, and get ready. The only concern I have/had was of Lucy. But, he appears to be leaving her alone, and that's a smart puppy Danny!

The weekend is fast approaching, and I have no plans. There is a fun trial- if someone would drive with me, I would certainly go, but...

Well, that's it for now.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dolly Parton honest and funny interview

I love Dolly Parton, always have. She is a very real person, and very sweet. You don't find people like her much. She is, I believe, 64 years old. She looks very good for well, 23! She makes no excuses for surgeries she's had, and whomever does them, deserves some serious accolades!

Anyway, here's a cute interview.

Did you know that she wrote the song 9-5 while on a plane?
She put the beat together by tapping her fingernails against each other. She's just very cool.

Unexpected edibles?

Hey Kylie, what you lookin' at?

Hmm, what's this???

Well, it doesn't appear to be alive...

Take out!

MM mm GOOD!!!

Mom says that was the grossest thing she has ever seen, and gives me a look, so, I leave to find new adventures

Lucy is not right

When I got home last night, all was cool with Kylie. Whatever she got into, I believe, the day before, has left her system. Though, remember how Lucy didn't eat well that morning? Well, last night as I prepared their food, all the dogs ran to their crates, as is usual, except for Lucy. She just didn't. She stayed on my bed. That's odd. Then, I called her, and she did not want in that crate as that was the gross crate, so I fed her near my computer chair, and she ate so slowly. I called the vet, thinking something was wrong with her jaw- because when I touched the joint area, her jaw popped open and she started shivering again. So, we went into the vet. Vet could find nothing wrong- no fever. I was actually hoping we would find an answer to this shivering, and now, being hesitant to eat.

Well, after a clean bill of health, we went home, and chilled for the evening. This morning, I fed Lucy in a different container, in that crate, nope, would not even think of eating in that crate. So, pulled the bowl out and put it near the chair. Again, she ate very slowly- she was licking the food, not gulping it as normal. I don't know what is going on with her- seriously. She is fine otherwise. I am wondering if Lucy needs to eat away from the other dogs? Is her anxiety due to Danny coming? What the HECK is going on? I mentioned to the vet how she dug a hole in the grass to lay in while we watched other dogs work sheep- how she then curled up in a very tight ball. He wondered about false pregnancy too. I just don't know. The next step is going to have to be blood work.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Every year, around this time, there is a working dog Kelpie muster, which includes a working dog auction. The folks in charge have supplied a concise description of the levels of training on a dog and what they mean.

Here is the url for the catalog- wherein you can find many pre-listed dogs.


Catalogue Working Categories Definitions These definitions are a guide only and buyers’ must use their own judgment when purchasing a dog at auction.

 Displays interest and approaches stock according to natural ability.
 Given basic commands. Some training on a lead. Come, sit.
 Keenness to work may override obedience.
 Rides on a vehicle or motorbike.
 Interested in stock and going around them in an enclosed area.
 Works according to natural ability.
 Handler needs to be on foot.
 Short practice sessions.
Well Started
 May be unsettled in strange places
 Confident on a small mob. May not handle a big mob.
 Makes a few mistakes.
 Reasonably obedient depending on level of desire.
 May need a while to settle when working.
 Brings small mobs of stock towards handler in easy situations.
 Learning to drive stock but sometimes goes to the head of the mob.
 Needs firm hand and encouragement.
 Can be worked from a bike, horse, on foot, or when settled, partly from a vehicle.
 Needs time to bond with new handler.
 Mature in appearance.
 May be unsettled in strange places.
 Shows confidence in approach to stock it is used to working, in appropriate working conditions (eg if a paddock dog – in a paddock; if a yard dog – in yards etc).
 Acceptable level of obedience.
 Keenness to work and nature will depend on genetic make-up.
 Yard dogs: keen to force when required.
 Needs time to bond to new handler.
NOTE: Time taken to bond with new handler will vary, approximately 6 weeks is reasonable.

More on yesterday, and bad morning

I realized that I didn't really go into our sheep time a lot yesterday. Frankly, I was beat when I got home, and just didn't feel very "talkative". Getting old does that to you...

Anyway, Lucy was a good girl for the most part, at one point before that good stuff at the end she got tail waggy, when she was pushing the sheep, and I realized she was just at her limit, so we chilled. I do a fair amount of having her down when she drives, as she flanks ahead too much, so I just have to get that long line out and be done with it. I want her comfy driving, and in the right place, so I won't have to down her so much. Poor thing, she does everything I ask, but I must sound like a drill Sergeant...

There was another young dog who got to meet sheep yesterday- quite a nice job he did. It's so cool that these dogs just innately know what to do- with strange place, strange people, strange handler. You gotta admit, it's pretty cool.

Danny wanted straight into those sheep at first, but then, got around, and was quite fast, but then settled in. He's still pretty short, and that makes it harder. I like his looks already. When everyone else was working, there was Danny, on his chain, just sitting and watching. He's such a good boy. When you call his name, he's just so happy and waggy, but not crazy. He doesn't fight for attention when another dog comes up either. At one point, we took all the dogs down to watch others work, and Danny found some sheep poop to eat- I stopped him, but... this is an important note...

Last night when I got home, Kylie seemed fine. I fed everyone. Then, Kylie started her cough/gagging when she feels like she has to puke. I gave her a Pepcid, which is the drug of choice to relieve her misery. Since she continued, I crated her in the spare room over night, knowing that she would typically be fine, though, she would make lots of noise, and keep me from sleeping. There is simply nothing else that can be done- you have to wait for the Pepcid to work- and it did- by 10:00 she was quiet as a house mouse.

So, I woke up around 4:30, and tried to sleep a bit more. Then, I smelled what I thought was gas from Danny's sheep poo eating. Great Danny....When I finally got up to let the dogs out, I opened the door to the spare room, and it hit me. The smell was from Kylie. I looked in her crate and she was standing in a pond of diarrhea. So, I decided to let everyone else out, and then deal with Kylie. I was not letting her walk through the house...

So, after everyone was back in, I opened her crate door, and carried her to the tub. She was covered in the stuff. It was on her back legs and head, and lots on her tail.
So, the bathing started- lots of soap, and lots of rinsing. Of course my tub has been slow to drain, so when it came time to rinse, I used water from the sink, to decrease volume. This worked okay. I dried her and let her outside. Then, I had to tackle that Vari kennel. Carried it outside, and began hosing it. I did a pretty thorough job, I thought...

Then, I took my shower, and cleaned up the bathroom. By now the whole house smells. I then cracked several windows- even though it was only 38 degrees out...

Okay, now it's time to feed the dogs (sans Kylie- she is being with held food for 24 hours). I had washed the bowl that is Lucy's that was in the soiled crate, pretty well, I thought. Anyway, I got every one's food ready, and Kylie didn't want to eat- she lay on the dog bedding in my bedroom. Lucy went in that now cleaned, crate, and ate- or so I thought. No, she didn't- I went in there, and saw that apparently, it's true that dogs smell better than we do, and she definitely was not eating in there. So, I pulled the bowl out and she ate, albeit tentatively. I wonder if the bowl still smelled. Lucy is also having trouble eating hard biscuits, so I need to get her teeth looked at.

Anyway, then I re-washed the bowl, and used vinegar/water to clean the crate of odors again, but I may have to use fantastic when I get home...

I left Kylie crated in that crate- she was hesitant to go in, but dutifully did so. I hope she is okay while I am gone. I thought about leaving her outside, but she sort of freaks when left alone outside, and I just didn't want her being more upset.

So, we shall see what happens when I get home. I don't know exactly what caused this, but remember, she did get into the garbage on Saturday....