Friday, July 31, 2009

The loller and the thinker

Mr. Chips in the cat's bed. They LOVE that bed. As you can see, typical male style, he has to completely spread out. Middle of the day and he's sound asleep, again, typical male.... All you males, sorry, just been my experience ;)

I call this Lucy's "Thinker" pose. She loves to sit on the small hill at the roots of that tree, and survey her territory. Look at that coat! THAT'S the kind of coat I like!

Smiles, and knees

So, I DID have a smile yesterday. I have to tell you the whole story, so grab a cuppa jo, and read...

While at my nephew's part the other night, I was perusing some magazines that my sister was recycling to us (the women in our family pass on books/mags to each other when we are done with them). I opened I think it was Good Housekeeping, and saw a story, with a sign in it that said "Hoosegow", which, you westerners will know means "jail". I said "that's funny, a friend of mine in Montana used that word a while ago, but I had never seen it used before". My sister said "Who, Kerrie?" I said "no, Penny" (another friend).

Kerrie is my friend who lives in Montana. We became very good friends when she came out here when we were in our late teens. I worked for her uncle (horse vet). We had such fun, and are equal in our love for animals. I told my sister I hadn't heard from Kerrie in a long time.

Well, yesterday after work, the phone rang. Guess who? KERRIE!!!!!!! It was SO great to hear from her! We chatted for a while, when we hung up, we had our assignments to look for cheap flights to get her out here for a visit. It's funny how things work out isn't it???

Knees? bad, worse than before, untenable.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nine Years of Ballet

This is my favorite scene from this movie.

Soldier Hollow - Host to the World's Foremost Sheepdog Trial

Having never been there, this is cool to see

The summer that wasn't

It has just been horrible this summer weather-wise. If it isn't raining, well, I can't say that- it just keeps raining!!! The mosquitoes are unbelievable. The bugs in general. Now, we are in this humidity from heck. It is muggy, buggy and rainy. It puts me in quite a foul mood. I think most of us are that way. The forecast is for chance (big) of thunderstorms for the foreseeable future. Ridiculous. It rained again yesterday, and this morning, I knew it was raining because my dogs just didn't stir. Even Mr Chips decided better of it. I went out this morning with Danny for some ball playing, and got attacked by mosquitoes- again.

Went to my sister's last night for one of my nephew's birthday get together. The cake was extraordinarily good, in fact, I had TWO pieces. I never do that, but MAN it was good.

I don't know when I will work dogs again. It is just too gross. Danny's endurance has improved, but the heat! It's dangerous to work dogs for more than a couple minutes in this. At the farm, when we get set up, we will have big shade trees to be under when we work- that will be good.

Well, there isn't much to say, and I haven't had a smile yet today, so I will have to come back when I have one.

I hope everyone else is having a better summer...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A baby looking for it's momma

Okay, so I said I enjoyed the dancing a lot. Sure, I did. But, my knees, not so much. I have been in misery since. I hate to complain, but they are just out of control. Not much to do, I join the legions of others with bad knees. But, hopefully, they will get better soon.

It rained AGAIN yesterday- at least three separate down pours. Every one's gardens/crops are suffering- there is talk about disaster relief, because nothing can grow without sun light and heat- which we have sorely lacked all year.

On the way out to lunch yesterday, there were some people sitting near the parking lot. Up to them came a baby I mean BABY fawn. He/she was brown with big white spots. I walked over, saying "don't anyone touch it" as I didn't want mom to abandon it. Well, he/she walked right up to me and BAWLED her head off- so loud. She was just a wee thing, maybe 3o lbs soaking wet and WANTED her momma. She had to- if she was coming up to people. I ran in to get some water for her, and then, a few minutes later, she went back into the woods- good baby. The only worry is that she is right next to a busy road. I hope momma came back for her. She was probably one of the triplets I saw a week or two ago at the same location.

I think Danny is finally growing up a bit. He is getting into the routine in the morning and not so bitey on the other dogs. The routine is this- get up, everyone out. Everyone back in. Danny in his crate while I shower- this has to be until he learns to hold it ;)

Then, after shower/dressed, Danny goes back out with me for a bit of ball playing. We play until he's tired, and then back in where I get my coffee made, and the dog food set. He seems to like this. I have learned with my BC anyway, that they love routine, and most especially, a routine with one on one with their owner.

When I come home after work, everyone one, and then Lucy and Danny and I play ball/Frisbee. Danny loves to cool off in the stock tank now. Especially if his ball gets in there... One other really nice thing, is that Danny can now relax a bit in the house. I can leave him out of the crate, and he will chill like the other dogs. He's not quite there yet (he chewed on my fishing pole yesterday), but by and large, he is getting there.

Danny is still really small- he is tiny actually- for a male. But, you know, it doesn't really matter to me- as long as he can cover sheep, that's all that matters. One thing I don't like that much is all that coat- mainly because it makes him so hot. He is just profusely coated. Thick hair- like a Pantene commercial ;) Kelpies- especially Lucy's coat are really much more practical in working dogs. But, that said, Danny is handsome too, with his long locks.

I have decided to bring Danny with to the fair this year. A friend of mine said it would be good for him, and I agree. If it gets to raucous, I will re-consider, but since now we have a "green" tent near us, instead of the talent tent, then we will have a buffer between us and the noise. The sheepdog demos will be on Friday and Saturday- I will be announcing. It's a nice big arena, so it should be good. I look most forward to that. People are always so amazed to see dogs work so well with no treats ;)

Well, that's it for now. On to other "stuff".

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gittin' together with fellow 40 some - things

Well, the wedding is over. What a great time. First, the wedding itself. It was just great. It was set in a beautiful large Chapel, and the organ was HUGE- the sound coming out of that was almost deafening. The Choir was amazing- clearly professional singers and some great Sopranos mixed in. The Priest, who hailed from the bride's home town in Long Island was wonderful. He told a great short story/joke, and just made the ceremonies that much more joyful. The bride absolutely beamed, and the groom? Smitten with his to-be wife- that's for sure.

Then, the reception- it was outside, and a great band played. Lots of good music. The food was good- very good. There was beef, chicken, catfish (which was the best of all three) and assorted starches and veggies. MMM MMM.

About 1/2 way through, some women and I started to dance, and I danced and danced. Turns out we were all either almost 40, or in our 40's. It was so cool to hang with woman who are in my age range- we knew the same music, danced the same way. It was a lot of fun.

There was an open bar, and I actually imbibed on my favorite drink- it was very good too- not too much, but enough. My father video taped the wedding, and he ate at our table, which was nice.

I woke up this morning tired, and SORE. I haven't danced much of late. Am thinking this would be great to start doing more of- fun exercise!

Been a long time since I have attended a wedding, and this one reminded me of why I enjoy them- they are FUN!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Goin' to the Chapel

I bought Danny a Chuck-it the other day. I got the smaller of the two. It's great. If I lob the ball just right, I can make get the ball to bounce on the ground, hit the fence and Danny catches it as it comes off the fence. Cool. Nice safe way to retrieve it :) Much easier on the shoulder.

Today is the wedding. I am almost all set. I have to work, then go home, re-shower, and head to the Chapel. I think I will just have the dogs wait until I am home early evening, before I feed them. Maybe I will give them something to chew on to tide them over.

Tomorrow will be spent just chilling- maybe mow the lawn/string trim. I don't know. Then, next week I hope to work Lucy on sheep. There are several trials coming up, and I certainly need to get her tuned up before them. Though, if I am still not right wrt my cardio status, I may have to cancel out of them.

Got the blood work done yesterday, and man did that rot. I told the chick who was drawing the blood to use a Butterfly, as my veins suck (they have been ruined by blood letting for surgeries). She ignored my request, stuck the usual needle in, and hit a nerve. I screamed, and cried in about .5 seconds. I actually shook. Her only response was "well, the blood is coming, do you want me to pull it?" I said "yes, I cannot stand this". I am used to dealing with multiple sticks, but this was out of control painful. She never apologized. She eventually got blood from the back of my hand- slowly. The vein kept collapsing. Whatever- it's done, and I remember saying "I am never having blood taken again". The things we must go through.

Ricky my Parakeet is still with us. He is less puffy. Maybe he learned a new tune? That high pitched whistle is something else.

Smile for the day: This morning as I attended to the dogs constitutionals, I heard a ruckus from the trees behind my property. Then, I saw a crow with a mouthful of food. He/she landed on the tree to the cacophony of baby crows. I didn't know we had a family near by. Also, did I mention that my yard is over run with baby frogs? TONS of them- every where. I think it could be labeled as a preserve- baby frogs are extremely cute!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ricky and me

Ricky is my male, Blue Parakeet. He is very puffed up today, and he makes these whistling sounds he has never made before- very odd. I hope he is okay.. I put an air freshener out the other day, so I took that out, and opened the window. Maybe he is sensitive to that. He's my favorite, so I hope he is okay. But, from experience, the puffiness isn't good.

Okay, on to me. Went to my Dr. appointment today. Told her about what was going on. They did an EKG. When she looked at it, she said "what happened- your heart rate is not normal, it was normal before-it's very low". Must have been thinking out loud. The low heart rate explains all of my symptoms. She ordered several tests. Will see what we see.

So, that's it so far. I am not sure if I can/should work Danny- I should ask.

Close call for Danny

Last night I was in bed reading a book (happened to be Cesar Millan's first book, which, if I might digress, is well, not, so far, that great). Danny was in the big metal crate sleeping. This was some where between 8-9. Well, he started screaming. I jumped up and ran over and his front leg was stuck between the bars of the crate. He must have laid on his back as usual, and then, in his sleep, turned over, got his leg stuck, and then it was really stuck as he turned to pull away.

I opened the door, and tried to pull. His mouth was open at me at that point, he was a combination of REALLY freaked and it must have hurt. He was looking in my eyes, clearly, pleading for me to help. I had to, as gently as possible, pull his leg out of that. Now, it was stuck midway up his leg, so not on his wrist (thank God).

I got his leg out and he had actually peed- he was that freaked. So, I let him outside- he just wanted to play- my first clue he was fine. Then I brought him in and washed him. Poor guy.

I was really loathe to put him back in there last night, but I finally acquiesced, and did so. He was fine.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Road to Splendour - The cutest kelpie puppies you've ever seen

Oh GOD. I NEED A KELPIE PUPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paradise by the dashboard light

Boy, that Meatloaf- some looker eh? Not. When in high school me and some pals were in a lip sync competition and we did this song- I was the girl, and my friend Cheri was Meatloaf, My mother put together lots of batting for a big stomach, we cream rinsed her hair flat, and put a cowboy hat on. We have it on video- wanna see? NOWAY- that is PAID admission only!

All's Quiet

Well, I got a dress :) It's a one piece, with a jacket. Floraly print, comfy, and looks good. I didn't have lots of hope when I started looking. Had a lady who was shopping remark how nice it looked. So, that' set.

I also bought some stuff for the house. Good to get that done. Today was no rain day, so I was able to be outside with the dogs. That's good. Brother called to tell me that the fence line is just about ready for fence.... I won't be going until it is. I just can't sit around- not in my DNA.

So, two more days to the week. I may work sheep, who knows. I am going to the Dr. tomorrow to discuss this heart issue. I have vaso-vagal syncope, and in thinking back, many of my symptoms are akin to when I have issues with that. Either way, I do NOT want to be such a weakling cardio-wise, so I have to get this rectified.

The fun thing about the wedding this weekend, is my father has been hired to video tape. Cool.

Right now Mr. Chips is laying to my left, Lucy under my chair and all's quiet on the NY front. It's nice that way. Almost finished with the Sue Henry book I am reading for the second time (I didn't realize I had read it when I bought it). She has a new one out due later this year- yeah :)

I am very sad for Darci, one of the blogs I follow, as she has lost her very special Lexy dog. Some how, I feel a connection to Darci- like we are kindred spirits or something- and we have never met. It's odd. But, my hugs go to her in this very sorrowful time.

Well, that's it.

Oh, smile for the day:

I was able to by a dress in the same size as usual. It's a good thing.

Feds on Animal Rights

Unbelieveable. These are the types of people that our administration want to put into power? Seriously? Ridiculous. ABSOLUTELY INSANE.

This report is archived at\

UPDATE July 22, 2009: WASHINGTON (Fox News) -- President Obama's nominee for
"regulatory czar" has hit a new snag in his Senate confirmation process -- a
"hold" by Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who's says he's not convinced that Harvard
professor Cass Sunstein won't push a radical animal rights agenda, including new
restrictions on agriculture and even hunting.

Senators are permitted "holds" to prevent a vote on a nominee from coming to the
floor. They are often secretive and for very specific reasons.

"Sen. Cornyn finds numerous aspects of Mr. Sunstein's record troubling,
specifically the fact that he wants to establish legal 'rights' for livestock,
wildlife and pets, which would enable animals to file lawsuits in American
courts," the Republican's spokesman, Kevin McLaughlin, said in a statement to

The American Sporting Dog Alliance contacted Sen. Cornyn earlier this week.
Please write to Sen. Cornyn and thank him for his support: . Also,
please contact your own two U.S., Senators (see below for information and
links). Sen. Cornyn's hold makes it vital to convince the other senators to
block Sunstein's nomination.

WASHINGTON (July 21, 2009) – Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) has lifted his "hold"
blocking the nomination of Harvard Law School scholar and animal rights legal
strategist Cass Sunstein for the post of regulatory czar in the Administration
of his close personal friend, President Barack Obama.

Sen. Chambliss had blocked the nomination based on concerns of farm groups
because of Sunstein's strong animal rights beliefs, including support of
stringent regulation of people who raise animals and a ban on hunting. Last
week, however, Chambliss met with Sunstein and announced on the Senate floor
that he had lifted the hold on the nomination. The Senator added that the way is
now clear for the U.S. Senate to confirm Sunstein before its August recess.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance is urging all dog owners, hunters, firearms
rights advocates, farmers and civil libertarians to take immediate action by
urging the U.S. Senate to reject the Sunstein nomination to head the powerful
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the White House. Taking
action now is of the utmost urgency.

Sunstein has the strong support of the Humane Society of the United States,
which is the political arm of the radical animal rights movement, according to a
July 15 statement by HSUS Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Michael
Markarian in The Huffington Post. Referring to the regulations to implement the
federal Animal Welfare Act, and new rules about animal fighting and importing
dogs, Markarian wrote: "These kinds of legal changes are precisely why Americans
need a regulatory czar like Cass Sunstein in charge of OIRA -- to make sure the
federal agencies properly implement regulations to enforce these new laws."

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) "reviews and alters
regulations created by federal agencies," according to Congress Daily.

Sunstein, who has published 15 books, would have broad powers to review,
recommend changes and possibly engineer changes in all federal regulations,
including those about dog ownership, farming, hunting on federal lands, and
enforcement of gun control laws.

In his published writings and speeches, Sunstein has advocated:

· Giving animal rights groups the power to file lawsuits on the behalf of
animals against their owners.

· Very strict regulations about animal ownership, farming and hunting.

· The elimination of hunting.

· The elimination of the individual right to keep and bear arms.

· Moving toward a vegan vegetarian society.

· Rewriting the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

· And restrictions on free speech.

Each of those assertions will be documented later in this report by direct
quotations from Sunstein's published books and speeches.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance believes Sunstein would have a severely
negative impact on dog owners, farmers, hunters, gun owners and civil
libertarians – Indeed, to all Americans!

This is underscored by Sunstein's status as a close personal friend and advisor
to President Obama since they met in 1992, when Sunstein taught law at the
University of Chicago. This will give Sunstein unprecedented influence and
access to the President.

It is further underscored by numerous mainstream reports that Sunstein is slated
to be President Obama's next nominee to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court.
This adds to the urgency of convincing the Senate that Sunstein's beliefs are
un-American and in direct contradiction to the basic principles outlined in the
Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Although Sunstein's nomination had been blocked by Sen. Chambliss until last
week, Government Executive reported that he actually has been working at the job
in the White House on a daily basis.
Sunstein's potential use of power – and potential abuse of power – has been
increased because President Obama redefined the role of OIRA shortly after
taking office. The Wall Street Journal reported July 6: "In a significant, but
little noticed, memo written 10 days after taking office, Mr. Obama ordered up a
rewrite of how OIRA goes about its work, the first such revision since 1993.
`Far more is now known about regulation -- not only when it is justified, but
also what works and what does not,' the president wrote. A regulatory review
would make use of new tools and would `clarify the role of the behavioral
sciences in formulating regulatory policy.' "

The Wall Street Journal called the OIRA "obscure but powerful."

The American Sporting Dog Alliance believes that Sunstein will use this position
to influence President Obama's directives to all federal agencies on how to
write, interpret and enforce all federal regulations. This includes regulations
about agriculture, raising animals, hunting on public lands, and gun law
enforcement and procedures. This is a dangerous power to be held by someone of
Sunstein's clearly radical and unconstitutional beliefs.

Thus, we are urging every American to immediately contact both of his or her
U.S, senators, and as many other senators as possible, to urge them to vote
against the Sunstein nomination.

This link will provide a search engine to locate each state's senators, and an
alphabetical list of the senators to link to contact information: Each state
has two U.S. Senators who represent all of the citizens of that state.

We recommend at least two forms of contact: Send an email as a first step, plus
also send a letter or fax, and/or make a phone call. Please do this immediately,
as a Senate confirmation vote could come at any moment.

In addition, please send this report to all of your friends and contacts and ask
them to help, and post it on any message boards that you use. Also, please write
a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and any other papers you read.

Here are some direct quotes from Sunstein to illustrate our concern:

1. "We ought to ban hunting"
- Cass Sunstein, in a 2007 speech at Harvard University

2. "We should focus attention not only on the enforcement gap, but on the areas
where current law offers little or no protection. In short, the law should
impose further regulation on hunting, scientific experiments, entertainment, and
(above all) farming to ensure against unnecessary animal suffering. It is easy
to imagine a set of initiatives that would do a great deal here, and indeed
European nations have moved in just this direction. There are many
--Cass R. Sunstein, "The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer," John M. Olin
Law & Economics Working Paper No. 157, The Law School, The University of

3. "…(R)epresentatives of animals should be able to bring private suits to
ensure that
anticruelty and related laws are actually enforced. If, for example, a farm is
horses cruelly and in violation of legal requirements, a suit could be brought,
on behalf of those animals, to bring about compliance with the law."
--Cass R. Sunstein, "The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer," John M. Olin
Law & Economics Working Paper No. 157, The Law School, The University of Chicago

4. "But if, as a practical matter, animals used for food are almost inevitably
going to endure terrible suffering, then there is a good argument that people
should not eat meat to the extent that a refusal to eat meat will reduce that
suffering. Of course a legal ban on meat-eating would be extremely radical, and
like prohibition, it would undoubtedly create black markets and have a set of
bad, and huge, side-effects. But the principle seems clear: People should be
much less inclined to eat meat if their refusal to do so would prevent
significant suffering."
--Cass R. Sunstein, "The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer," John M. Olin
Law & Economics Working Paper No. 157, The Law School, The University of

5. "Less modestly, anticruelty laws should be extended to areas that are now
exempt from
them, including scientific experiments and farming. There is no good reason to
permit the
level of suffering that is now being experienced by millions, even billions of
--Cass R. Sunstein, "The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer," John M. Olin
Law & Economics Working Paper No. 157, The Law School, The University of

6. "Everything depends on whether and to what extent the animal in question is
capable of suffering. If rats are able to suffer, then their interests are
relevant to the question of how, and perhaps even whether, they can be expelled
from houses."
--Cass R. Sunstein, Martha C. Nussbaum. Animal Rights: Current Debates and
New Directions. (Oxford University Press, USA, 2004). P. 12

7. "A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is
necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government."
--Cass Sunstein, arguing for a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet in his book, 2.0 (Princeton University Press, 2007), p.137

8. "In what sense is the money in our pockets and bank accounts fully `ours'?
Did we earn it by our own autonomous efforts? Could we have inherited it without
the assistance of probate courts? Do we save it without the support of bank
regulators? Could we spend it if there were no public officials to coordinate
the efforts and pool the resources of the
community in which we live?... Without taxes there would be no liberty. Without
there would be no property. Without taxes, few of us would have any assets worth
defending. [It is] a dim fiction that some people enjoy and exercise their
rights without
placing any burden whatsoever on the public … There is no liberty without
dependency. That is why we should celebrate tax day …"
-- Cass R. Sunstein, "Why We Should Celebrate Paying Taxes," The Chicago
Tribune, April 14, 1999

9. "Much of the time, the United States seems to have embraced a confused and
pernicious form of individualism. This approach endorses rights of private
property and freedom of contract, and respects political liberty, but claims to
distrust `government intervention' and insists that people must fend for
themselves. This form of so-called individualism is incoherent, a tangle of
-- Cass R. Sunstein, The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and
Why We Need it More Than Ever, Basic Books, New York, 2004, p. 3

10. "[A]lmost all gun control legislation is constitutionally fine. And if the
Court is right,
then fundamentalism does not justify the view that the Second Amendment protects
individual right to bear arms."
- Cass Sunstein, writing in his book, "Radicals in Robes"

11. "…[T]he Second Amendment seems to specify its own purpose, which is to
protect the"well regulated Militia." If that is the purpose of the Second
Amendment (as Burger
believed), then we might speculate that it safeguards not individual rights but
-- Cass R. Sunstein, "The Most Mysterious Right," National Review, November
12, 2007

12. In his 2004 book The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and
Why We Need It More than Ever, Sunstein claims that "citizens' rights exist only
to the extent that they are granted by the government."
Those views are why the American Sporting Dog Alliance adamantly opposes the
Sunstein nomination. His track record is frighteningly consistent.

Thank you for helping.

The American Sporting Dog Alliance represents owners, breeders and professionals
who work with breeds of dogs that are used for hunting. We also welcome people
who work with other breeds, as legislative issues affect all of us. We are a
grassroots movement working to protect the rights of dog owners, and to assure
that the traditional relationships between dogs and humans maintains its
rightful place in American society and life. The American Sporting Dog Alliance
also needs your help so that we can continue to work to protect the rights of
dog owners. Your membership, participation and support are truly essential to
the success of our mission. We are funded solely by your donations in order to
maintain strict independence.
Please visit us on the web at . Our
email is asda@... .

Danny is seven months

Danny turned seven months over the weekend. I can't believe I forgot to mention it! He's still small boy, mighty mite, mighty mouse? Which one do you like best? His attitude is not small though. He exudes confidence, and balance-ness (is that a word). Hard to get pics of him because outside= ball play. He needs a job! Happy 7 months Danny. You cutie!

Time to go shopping

I have to go find a dress for the wedding I am attending this weekend. Should be a great time. I haven't shopped for a dress in a very long time though. Not really looking forward to it, but so be it. Can't wear ONLY jeans my WHOLE life. It will be a busy weekend between work and the wedding. May see if sis can let my dogs out.

It rained most of yesterday. Still got some play in with Lucy and Danny, but not really enough. My lower yard is back to being flooded again. This is one WET year, with MONSTER biting insects. If I don't catch west nile, I will be amazed.

I had a wash of feeling well last night so I caught that wave, and cleaned and cleaned. Vacuumed (sorely needed) and cleaned the kitchen. I even washed some walls. Just lots to catch up on. Many times I just feel so bad, all I can do is nothing. So, when I feel good, I need to GO WITH IT.

So, wish my luck on the dress purchase. Joy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Don McLean- American Pie

First question: Do you know what this song is about?

Second question: Can you NOT sing along? Thought not- belt it out baby!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Road blocks

Well, as it turns out there is just not anything I can do until the fence line is completely cleared. My brother bush hogged the other side of the field, and it is looking to be VERY good sized. Longer than wide, so not the best for outruns, but it will certainly yield decent working space, as well as good forage for the sheep.

Bugs are just horrible lately- can't be out there without getting eaten. So, the upshot is, I will wait to hear from my brother as to when I can get my helpers (any out there???) and get moving on the fence.

Today, while throwing the Frisbee for Lucy, she did the MOST amazing thing. I threw it, she ran for it, but just missed, so she did a complete 360 around the disc, and caught it dead on. I don't know how she did that.

I cleaned out the stock tank and Danny, who likes water now, got in with his front feet and started to paw at the ball/water. He bowed down with his front feet/body in the tank and his butt out of it. Something else that boy is!

Smile for the day:

While up in the upper meadow, I heard a peep peep. Then, I saw Turkey. For a second I thought it was a Quail peeping, and the Turkey was going after it. Then I realized, it's a baby Turkey. Extremely little, and cute, and very afraid of me!

Workedy work

Yesterday was one of those days where most things go wrong/don't work, but it ended nicely :)

I got up to the farm early- before my bro was even up. So, I proceeded to pull t-posts. That is one cool tool. There were about 20 to pull, so I got that done relatively fast, and by then my bro was up. So, then the next thing was to talk about where to put the fence. So, we chatted, and decided that the sheep pasture would not go to the pond, so people could go there unfettered. Then, we walked and measured one side. It is VERY long. The topography is basically flat on the left/middle, then a hill to another meadow. It will be lots more fencing materials to get the top meadow in there, but I would like to, because then I could do bigger field work. But, finances may dictate... So, we shall see.

Okay, then my brother tries to start the back hoe. Nope, dead battery. So, he puts it on the charger, but also charges his other battery charger. That never got a good charge. Then I had to head out for diesel. Then we go to plan b- the brush hog- THAT is out of gas too. Great. Okay, then my brother decides to string trim around the cow fence. I had gotten gas, and he then brush hogged. Brush hogs are great :)

Finally, we got that back hoe going and made almost the full left hand clearing for the fence. There isn't much you can't do with a back hoe and a chain saw...

Soon, it was time to head to my parent's for dinner/cake. Got there, and my sister and her family showed up pretty fast. The kids went into the pool (it was a nice temp- I was tempted). We had a nice ham/scalloped potato dinner. Then more family showed up for cake. It was very nice.

I finally got home about 7:45 pm, after having left at 7:45 am. I had left Lucy and Danny out. When I got home, I fed everyone, did chores, and then it was time to head to bed. Lucy and Danny were ZONKED. As was I.

This morning, I slept later, not completely intentional, but good. Later, after work today I have to head back up to the farm and possibly start putting t-posts in. I have a pounder, but I am so not good at doing a lot of them. Joy. We will need 200? set? I don't know- a lot.

I just want to get this done. It's been on a low boil for too long.

This morning Danny was a poop head, as in did this in the house. Not good Danny! He was a good boy as a wee lad, and now he's making up for it ;) No more freedom unless I can watch you every single second. He doesn't "do" this often, but even once is enough for a life time.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hi ho Hi Ho, it's off to work we go

First, I am still not right from Friday's dehydration- if that's what it was. Stayed in bed all day yesterday, save for a little ball play with Danny. Every time I would move around, I would get really light headed, and then HOT. Last night I was so hot, I had the a/c blasting and the fan on, and STILL left the blankets off. It was NOT hot out.

This morning, more of the same hotness. I took some Aleve because I simply have to function today. LOTS to do. If we are EVER going to get sheep on the farm, we HAVE to buckle down.

So, soon, I will leave here, and head up to the farm to put corner posts in, and pull t-posts out with my fancy schmanzy t-post popper- that I bought at TS.

Then, run home before going BACK to my parents for our b-day celebration. That shall be nice.

All you who read my blog and have endured the glacial pace of this sheep saga, you are invited to come and work sheep, and maybe get some lamb to go. It's the least I can do for you :)

Well, about to leave. Wish me efficiency and health :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Danny's song

This song relates to Danny my boy while he grows and bides his time to work sheep...

Oh Danny boy, the sheep the sheep they are a calling
Your blood from Glen and Dibs tell you to abide
The summer's here and all the birds are singing
'Tis you, 'tis you must grow and I must bide

But come ye back when fall is in the meadow
or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
Then you'll be grown and then you'll be set to go
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so

And if you come when all the sheep are calling
And I am gone, some where down the road
You just look across the deep horizon
And I'll be there to send you where to go

And when you're grown and soft you tread 'long side me
and all my dreams are starting to come true
I will not fail to show you that I love you
And I will ask just what you pray I will

Another day another weekend

Smile (so far) for the day.

Last night I attempted to read Virgil Hollands "Progressive sheepdog training" book. Couldn't- head ache was too bad. I do think that I was dehydrated- still not quite right today... Anyway, Ginger momma, my old kitty likes to lay on books- goes out of her way to do so. So, I had lain the book down on the bed, and Ginger got up, settled on it like it was her brood, and even grabbed it with her front paw to hold it there, lest it move.

Today I have to hit TS again, and maybe pull some posts. Still not feeling great, so may do that tomorrow- when we set corner posts/braces. I have to clean today, but will it happen? Will it? I don't know....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Good boy Danny

Smile for the day:

Upon driving through the toll booth that I to/from sheep herding, I use lane three. Lane three has a nice gentleman who I have never formally met, but has gone from a polite nod, to a smile, to a peek around the door, to a peek, a smile and a hello. He's decent looking, and seems nice. Will he EVER ask me my name? Shall keep you all posted....

Danny worked sheep. Danny was bad at first. Gripping and wanted to go one way only. If I walked up to him and tried to tap the ground and shush, he stayed planted. Then we worked in the smaller pen. MUCH better. Went both ways, and stayed off.

After a small break, I worked Danny again. This time Danny was in the bigger area, and behaved better. Took another break, and by the last session (there were several small sessions), Danny was laying down well (he has been doing that), and....
I was able to flank him with my pressure easily, both ways. I was even able to take his collar, and "start" him around the sheep. Seriously, he did much better. He takes to my pressure well, and will sort of lay off the sheep when we try to walk straight- still pushy, but that's okay at this point. At one point (or two) a sheep split off, and he allowed her to return to the group, without a yee haw response.

It's very nice to see him progress like this.

The bad part about today was my heart. After just a few minutes, it started again- beating fast, but it felt like my heart was grating against my chest, and it didn't feel like hearty and hale beats- sort of weak beats. All the sessions were stopped because of this. I just had to stop and lay down. Thank goodness Danny has a good lay down- and will stay for the most part.

I am dizzy- have been since then. Maybe I had an overdose of bug spray...
Anyway, I made an appointment at the GP for next week. If I continue to be funky/dizzy or have more weird heart stuff, I will go to the ER. I actually thought on the way home, that if I died working Danny, there are certainly worse ways to go.

Well, that's it for now. This weekend my sister and I will celebrate our birthdays (I am a twin). Looking forward to being with the family, and sis :)

The very first day of the rest of my life

I had a bit of an epiphany the other day. I had an occasion to think about, and be thankful for all the blessings in my life. You know, on blogs we too often just talk about what we hope for, wish for, what went wrong, what he hope won't go wrong, and the like. There is nothing wrong with that. It's what is going on in our head, and if we want to share, that is cool, and more power to us.

But, what we lack so often, is the representation to others just what small little blessings, or wonders happen each day. Tiny seemingly inconsequential occurrences or observations that we enjoy for that split second, and then we forget.

Well, I am here to tell you that I am going to start sharing those small fleetingly wondrous moments, each and every day. It's the journey folks, not the destination.

So, to that end, at some point I will be changing the lay out of the blog, and maybe just maybe the title. Who knows.

At the start of each blog, I will post what that tiny little inconsequential wonderment was that I noticed. Maybe it's a function of getting older and thanking God that we still get along pretty good. I don't know, but I am happy to have had my little epiphany while I can still remember them ;)

Here's the wonderment for this entry:

The other day on the way to work, just before turning into the driveway, a doe and THREE fawns crossed the road in front of my car. THREE polka dotted babies. All looking in good nick.

Two days later, same place, a momma Raccoon and her two babies crossed the road at the same place.

Motherhood- is there any more worthy duty in this world? I think not. I praise all you moms out there. As for the animal moms- I wonder what they feel when they successfully raise their young? Do they blush with pride? Or, are they looking forward to the next set?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Canine Bliss

Phenotype - normal

Went up to the farm yesterday to get a phone # of a person with fence for sale, and also, ostensibly to pull some of the fence posts. Got two posts pulled- the rest need "the tool" that I need to get from tractor supply. They are in it for the duration...

I couldn't get the fence I wanted from tractor supply yesterday. They do NOT deliver (like THAT makes sense), and I had to decide between okay versus good fencing. Price of one roll is $189, or $269. Decided better go with the more expensive, even though that's quite a hit. The fence I am getting from craigslist is good quality, and cheaper, so that's good.

I hope that the sheep will eat some of the bushes down, or I may just get some goats to do it. It really needs to be opened up, and free labor by goats/sheep is better than me having to do it.

When the time comes, I may have a fencing party.... Fencing is not a fun job, but it's nice that you can get parcels of it done- corners, then posts, then the barrier you chose. You do make progress.

While at T S yesterday, I shopped, and found nice Wrangler jeans for an affordable price that were NORMAL! Normal jeans- no low waist, boot cut, what ever... AND....
I am back to my normal size!!!!!!!!!!! YEE HAW!!!!!!!!! Makes the trip out there worth it.

So, today later, I have to go pick up the fencing, drop it off at the farm, and then maybe clean at the house. It's pretty gross- I am sick of the hair I tell you!

So, that's it. Up shot is, I am back to my normal phenotype and it rocks!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Work to do, ain't it cool?

Finally, I have gotten my stuff together, and moved forward with the fencing for the sheep. Will start on it today/tomorrow. First job is to remove the fence posts we have that are in the ground from a previous (unused) fence job, and then start getting them lined up, and determine where the corners will be. We will need wood for bracing/corners, and since there is LOTS of old timber around, it will not be hard to come by that. It feels good to be moving forward. Something usually tells me "I can't", but no, I know I can.

So, that will probably be the better part of a week. Plan is to have all this done in a couple of weeks and get the sheep moved in. It's a very nice setting for them, I hope they like it.

I also want to build a small pen to work Danny in. That means some of the sheep have to be knee knockers. That's okay- good to start sane.

I have to mow the lawn at today as well. It has finally dried out in the lower section, so the whole thing can be done (darn).

My life has been changed by Danny. Never before have I felt compelled to go out and throw a ball for a dog in the morning. But, my guilt has gotten the better of me, so out we go, after all the other dogs are in. I am so NOT a morning person, but if it makes Danny feel useful, so be it. That's what it is- he isn't bored so much as he just wants to work with me.

Kelpies in my experience are different. They do what I do, and are happy. Lucy loves to play, but if I chose not to, then so be it. Danny is always hoping to play- always. I start and end the games, but he's always hopeful.

He's going through a rough stage now, digging, being a brat, you name it. It will be good when August rolls up and we can do more serious sheep training. He needs work.

Well, that's it for now, I am about to be REAL busy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thelma and Louise

A touchstone movie for me. Ne'er before seen chemistry between friends on film.

Green day - Good Riddance(Time Of Your Life) Lyrics

This is the song that strikes a chord with me and my time with Lucy. Enjoy

I can see clearly now

I have ordered the fencing. I plan to get the sheep in sometime in the next month. Looking forward to it. Will fence just about as much as possible, so I don't have to do it again. We already have a bunch of metal posts that are not being used, and we will use wood for the corners/bracers. Going to be very cool. The area as is isn't great for outruns, but it can be made a heck of a lot bigger- just clearing out.

It will be great to spend more time at the farm, and be able to walk to my parent's place. I do so love to spend time with my family.

Danny and Lucy will be able to work sheep every day- imagine THAT?!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Painting and playing

So, yesterday was filled with errands, and a bit of work around the house. I had to go to Home Depot for a few things, and some other places. Got a few books to read as well.

I came home and painted two doors- they look much better. I bought a new exterior light for my front door, it will be nice to have that installed. The other one is just disgustingly old and decrepit.

Played with Lucy and Danny a bit, and not much else. It was a good day. This week not much going on, except for some house stuff. No trials for us for about a month, if I decide to go to any of them.

Soon the fair will be here- six days of fun... It is work, but it is fun too. I have to determine what I will do with Danny. It is very loud, and I don't want him sitting all day long with all that noise- especially when the Gospel singers get going- they have a BIG following and our tent is next doors to theirs....

Maybe he can go to a friend's place for some training that week, we will have to see.

I can't believe that the year is half way over. Time really flies.

I read on sheepdog-l that Bob Vest died- anyone know anything about that? Very very sad. He's an icon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dual fetching

Here's Lucy, Danny and I playing fetch. It's quite handy that they each have their own preferences for fetching toys. Great dogs they are :)

Nope, no trial today

Well, I woke up, ostensibly, early enough to go to the trial, but then I started thinking of the stuff I need to get done at my place. Lots to do. But, now that I am up, I don't feel like doing any of it- pitiful ain't it?

I have to run some errands, and then I need to clean the whole other part of the house that I didn't tackle last weekend. Have to get it done. Too much hair. Danny has sent the hair volume way out of kilter. I guess I need a Rumba- something that runs all day long- that way the hair can be kept up with...

As I lay in bed I started thinking about Danny. Will he turn out? What if he doesn't? OH MY!!! I just don't know what I will do, and so on. Of course I am being a nincompoop. He is only 6 months Julie!!! I think the next month or so off will be good for him, as I can't put the pressure he needs on him, without me worrying about damaging him. See, I am NO expert, and I don't want to wreck him. The issue is, he really wants to GET TO HIS SHEEP. Lucy was not quite this focused getting in there. So, it's new to me. He is starting to learn to bend out, but it isn't what he would prefer. Of course, things could be worse- he could be less keen, and not able to take correction- but those two things, no problem. Anyway, I just have no experience with the BC mind, so I know nothing.

After long thought, I told my self to just NOT WORRY ABOUT it. You can't hurry up maturity/aging. By next month, Danny will be officially training on sheep, and then we will progress as he can.

Now, if I can only remember NOT to circle think things to death!!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I love my dad

I had a night terror last night- I sort of expected it, as I fell asleep and woke back up in a fright at 8:00. Something about having to work someone else's dog- weird. So, some time last night I jumped out of bed and worked hard to unplug my clock radio. No biggy- I've had much worse. Usually, when I have these I am really tired/stressed about something. I wasn't stressed, just tired. Oh well.

I was very tired when I got up this morning- consequently, I stayed in bed late. Then I had to head out to the grocery store.

Then, I headed up to help my father load the power washer in his car, and then we came back to my place and we (he) power washed the entire house, and both decks. I can't believe the improvement. No more green, or black. Just nice pretty siding. My father always helps me no matter what. He never complains, asks nothing in return, just does. Our whole family is like that. But, dad, he's special, because he appreciates just how much I have done myself here, and he is happy to help me keep it up. Thanks dad. You rock.

I just finished a great steak meal, and now I am about to read a book and crash. I have cleaning to do, but it just may not happen. I am thinking of going to the sheep dog trial tomorrow- will see.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Well, the weekend is here- shall we rejoice? Yes, we shall. I plan to enjoy it, savor it, make it last, like a good steak. That reminds me, I need to get one of those...

So, I worked Danny- yes, I did. I plucked up the courage, finally. Danny happens to lay down when told. No, you can't always trust him to stay there, but for the most part he does, so I can down him and face him as I walk to the sheep. How cool is that???? I can also lay him down just about anywhere when needed, once the sheep are stopped- now, that does not mean he will stay- he popped up at least once, but I will say, it does give one a bit of a leg up when you have that. And, I don't have to back it up really, just say "lay down" and he does. Who woulda thunk it?

Anyway, I got Danny to lay down, got to my sheep and allowed him to move. He still wants to go straight to the sheep (I can see it in his eyes), but I can get him around. I can get him to change directions, but he is still real pushy when I walk backward, and I don't really want to get on him for that as he is so young, so I say ah-ah, and then, if he still pushes, we change direction. I am WAY WAY out of shape. I can only work him for, like, 5 mins, and then have to stop. I think that's probably good for him too. His mind is absorbing a lot in a short time, so maybe my physical shortcomings are a good thing. At one point his tongue was hanging out of the side of his mouth, so I decided to stop there, and I downed him and he did... can you believe it? I know I keep repeating but, it BEARS repeating!

So, we did two little sessions, and he was good. He is slower on one side than the other (his least favorite side), but before, it was hard to get him to go that one direction he least favored, so we have improvement. At this point I just want to keep things calm, short, progressive and stop him when he is super keen. He is still so very young, I don't want to cause any issues for him.

After the last session, I had to sit down. I felt like I might have a heart attack. Seriously. My heart felt raspy- as it beat- hard to explain- sort of like it was working real hard for not great result- also, it didn't feel like strong deep beats, only light ones. I have no idea what that's about- maybe I need Lixotinic....

Okay, now that we are done, I took Danny and Lucy down to the pond. They love it there. They both go in, Danny swims a bit, and then they play chase around the pond, and then back in the pond to cool off- lather, rinse repeat. It's such a nice time for them. Who would have thought Danny and Lucy would be such friends???

Even in the morning, as I come out of the bathroom, there is Danny on the bed with Lucy, playing- NO ONE is allowed on the bed, says Lucy.

Okay, so on the way home I stopped and got some dog meds, and then, halfway home, I hear Danny whine. I learned from the last time that when he looks really grim, he has to wee. So, we pulled into a park, and I took him out of his crate. I swear he went for over a minute. I could not believe how bad he had to go.

So, then I got dog/cat food, and then back out for an oil change for my car. Busy but good day.

Tomorrow I may go watch a sheepdog trial, I don't know, maybe. Or, maybe I stay home and get something done here....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ooo ooo ooo, hand up Horshack style

I could not disagree with the following statement more.
Let's dissect it: Scroll down.

" us a working stock dog that is obedient and lacking a little on his natural ability is still valuable in comparison to a dog with tons of ability but lacks obedience. A dog that is biddable is one that can be trained to be obedient, we will cull unbiddable talented dogs from our breeding program before we cull biddable lacking talent dogs."

1) "Obedience - to us a w s d (shortened for brevity) that is obedient and lacking a little on his natural ability, is still valuable in comparison to a dog with tons of ability but lacks obedience"

To me, the MOST important thing in a sheepdog (or stockdog, call it what you will) is a dog's inborn ability. You simply cannot teach a dog to gather in other than arenas, if he isn't born with it. You can train some of the gather/fetch, but by GOD you are not going to be able to send a dog lacking this ability a mile away and have them do it, unless, you have an atv, and a really REALLY long line. An obedient dog will wait for the specific command, and will carry it out with some aplomb. A dog with "tons of ability" will not NEED that command.

2) "A dog that is biddable is one that can be trained to be obedient, we will cull unbiddable talented dogs from our breeding program before we cull biddable lacking talent dogs."

To be accurate, a biddable dog is one that WANTS, yens, if you will to do your bidding- what you ask. It's quite nice in shedding work- you need that dog to come in here, and now. But, biddability will not get you far in a blind out run. The dog will go out only as far as he can hear you, and wait for your next command- all the while, the sheep have exited stage left. GONE.

The last sentence is scary. SCARY. "We will cull unbiddable talented dogs from our breeding program before we cull biddable lacking talent dogs". Translation: we prefer dogs who couldn't figure out how to fetch sheep out of sight, but we can direct the entire way, over dogs who can be sent on their own, but may need some work on widening out, or stopping. HOW THE HECK can you justify trading innate top ability for obedience (which, by the way, any working breed, just about, can give you.) Why bother with a Border Collie? Why not just bring out a wee Sheltie out there, put field trial (retrieving) whistles on it, and work that way.

It GALLS me that people have such LITTLE respect for the inborn ability of good sheepdogs- that they will happily trade that ability for a dog who listens better. What is this world coming to?

By the way, I am ALL for a biddable dog, but that comes in AFTER I know my dog has all the inborn sheepdog ability that they can muster. It isn't about me directing every single move- it's about the dog being able to work independently, doing what it is that makes them special, in addition to listening to me on a dime.

Danny the handsome

Tigerchick Lamb Trailer

Looks like this will be a great program

Now I know why...

I have been tired. Darn cat is waking me up at 3:50 am, by meowing throughout the house. What a little blighter. Well, last night he didn't. Thank goodness.

It rained again yesterday- and stormed. Seems like that will be the norm this year. We didn't lose power, so that's very good.

Mosquitoes are terrible with all the rain, so no stepping outside without bug spray.

Danny is growing into a right handsome lad. Tried to get some pics of him yesterday, but they didn't turn out. Will try again today. Poor boy, he won't be on sheep for like, ever. Oh well. He needs to mature a bit anyway. Lucy, she would like to work sheep too, but it just isn't in the cards.

It has been a bit quiet these days, I think that's good. Makes one appreciate the fun stuff when it happens. Of course, if I had the funds, I would have a camper, and be traveling every weekend- what's that saying? "love what you have, not what you want" or something like that?

I have to find something to wear for a wedding I am attending. Joy. Well, at least I have shed some pounds, so now I have more shopping options.

Well, that's it for now boys and girls. Oh, one thing. Thank GOD that the Michael Jackson super duper funeral is over....

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hi :)

Well, Monday is over, and I am spent. How can that be? I've no idea. Some days I am beat- as in just need to rest, and I don't know why that is. It's annoying. The yard is now about 80% dried out now. Very cool. Danny won't be bringing in filth when he comes in...

I have LOTS of baby frogs in my yard. There is one almost black toad/frog that is smaller than your finger nail, and also I believe, a wood frog. Lots of them all over. I live near a wet land, so maybe it's been a good breeding year for them. Perhaps I should get someone out here to designate the area a prime frog breeding ground, so my neighbor can't wreck it ;)

Lucy is laying under my chair as I type. Just brought her in- she was barking at the neighbors up the hill- they put in a new pool. Danny is still outside, he likes it out there. He's funny - when we are out it's let's DO something, together. A while ago, he was by his ball, and one of the other dogs went up to it, and he didn't care, he just looked at me, and came to me. Now, he loves that ball. That's a good temperament for you.

I've no idea when Danny will be on sheep again, maybe not for another month or so. He will live, and so will I. At this point, the next step is pushing him out, and I don't want to do that just yet. He's still a tenderfoot.

Lucy chewed on her ribbon. What an INGRATE. I shall have to stick it some where safer.

Well, that's it for now, I know, boring. Maybe tomorrow, I will tackle something more interesting, like, maybe some gripes...

Weekend over!

Well, the yard looks right spiffy. I string trimmed, and mowed (all I could, some is still too wet). I even trimmed some bushes. Looks so nice. I think we are supposed to get less rain for a bit, so everything can dry out a bit. That will be nice.

I watched a lot of that crab fishing series on TLC yesterday. Not sure I could do that job- no, I couldn't. I could be the cook or something, but not lug that stuff. Talk about pressure to bring in a good haul for the captain....

Didn't sleep very well last night, and early this morning, Ginger, my old kitty started moving around on the bed, which I took to mean she had to relieve herself. I carried her to her box, and she went and went and went... I don't think it's her lameness as much as her getting harassed by Mr. Chips and the dogs.

I may call the vet today, and have a talk about Tucker.

Well, that's it for now.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Well, I got some of it done- cleaning that is. I did 1/2 of the house. That's a lot, when you consider I mopped, scrubbed, vacuumed, dusted, and washed several loads of laundry. Still have more to go, but have to get outside and string trim today, in addition to mow some more of the property. The lower 1/3 is still too wet to mow, but the rest will be good.

Danny and Lucy have been playing this morning, interspersed with ball throwing for master Danny. He would rather play with me than Lucy, but, hey, fun's fun, right?

Not sure what I will do today besides chores, that sort of thing. Glad that things will be relatively normal next week, and I can focus on the usual routine.

One sad note. It is getting to the time to make a decision about my old boy Tucker. His swollen gland is huge, like a melon. He eats very well, and seems happy, most of the time, but then, there are times where he just seems sad. He is getting weaker in the hind end as well. I don't know if I should let him continue to deteriorate, or not. I don't know. I think it may be hard, the end time for him, because there is nothing OBVIOUSLY that says "put him down". The whole euthanizing him will be so unbearable in and of itself. I just don't know what to do.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Journey of a Thousand Miles...

Begins with one step. Yep, that's true. This also holds true in reference to the cleaning of one's house. We are beyond critical mass here. I have to wash wash wash, and vacuum, dust, mop, scrub. I will be doing this all weekend. The mud that Danny brings in has TRASHED my house. He has started jumping up on my bed, much to my displeasure, which means that my bedding is groty too.

I can't wait for dryer weather. Please Lord, let it come soon.

Friday, July 3, 2009

What a difference a few days makes....

I ran Lucy at the Fetch Gate farm trial. I had worked on her stops on the whistle, and she was doing well, and I wanted to get back on the proverbial horse, after my disappointment last weekend. Let me touch on last weekend a bit. We really didn't do that badly! I was just upset by seeing myself on video asking for downs frantically, and yelling. Yikes. Okay, so now that THAT is out of the way.

I got to the site and walked Lucy. Shortly after that, there was a handlers meeting. The field is gorgeous. Sloping hill, beautiful backdrop to the hills, just a bucolic scene. The sheep were Katahdins (registered). They were using one ewe and two lambs per run. I thought about Lucy and K's, as they really need a dog to stay off them- all K's do, generally- they are rather like Gazelles. But, I had worked on Lucy's stop, and I hoped we could eke out a good run.

The first run of the day was very good. The dog stayed off his sheep and listened. They got a nice pen too. These sheep are not knee knockers, and would prefer not to pen (that's an understatement).

Generally, the runs were pretty good.

Then came our turn. I sent Lucy on the come by side. Generally not her best side, but she set up that way when we arrived at the post, so I went with it. She came around pretty well, though, I considered it a bit tight, though the sheep never noticed her, so maybe not... Anyway, she then came in on the lift thoughtfully and gently. It was very nice. I then blew a stop whistle as they started. Lucy took this, and I let the sheep continue. I blew one or two more stops on the fetch, and as Lucy would get up- she did so carefully, and covered, if they were drifting, without me needing to ask her for this.

Lucy then got them to the post, and they were so calm. You have to realize, that's not generally how I see K's, and it isn't generally the effect Lucy has on them ;)

So, we made a decent turn at the post, and I proceeded the assisted drive- you can't wear these sheep, they have no interest in being with you. They have to be worked by the dog. So, we continue on the drive, and Lucy is once again, taking my stops, and the flanks I give her. As the sheep go through the panels, I give Lucy an away flank, and stop her, and then walk her up, then, another flank, and a nice turn at the panels was achieved.

Then, I realized I better get back to the pen and fast. That was a mistake. Lucy covered well, and stopped when I asked, but the sheep made it to the pen as I did, and they were freaked by me running and my dog was now on the muscle. Bad news. We never did get a pen. Lucy did finally widen out on the flanks I asked for, but it was too late- those sheep were jiggered. So, thankfully, time was called, and we headed off the field.

I was SO happy with Lucy. She was a big girl out there- listening, working clean, well and smooth. That lift and fetch was her best EVER.

So, I then watched more runs. Some very good, some not so good; basically, what you see at all trials.

As I headed back to the tent from the porto potty, a trial friend says "hey, did you see? you are #1". I replied- "really? well, there's still lots more to go".

So, I got Danny, and then sat and watched the rest, and later, I see, we held on to first place. I could not believe it. We have never gotten first place, and it was a decent sized novice class (18-19 dogs, I believe).

We stayed around and watched the pro novice and ranch runs. They were good to watch, but the sheep had learned the exhaust, and were hell bent to get there...

So, later in the day came ribbon time. When our name was called, it was extremely gratifying to have my little red/tan Kelpie take her first place ribbon, and as an added perk, 20 lbs of Canidae dog food.

I know some open handlers will scoff at me for boasting, but I am going to. I am going to bask in this for a little while. A little success once in a while is a good thing.

Yeah, I still can't believe it. Thanks Lucy, you are my girl

Wednesday, July 1, 2009