Monday, August 31, 2009

The fair, a written review

Well, it's over for another year, and we all survived. It was a long week, with mostly good weather, but some bad.

Remember the previous post I wrote about Kylie's sore mouth? That was on Tuesday morning, the first day of the fair. Well, that night, I got home to a very sick Kylie with loads of blood and diarrhea in her crate. To say it was horrendous would be an understatement. I had to carry her to the tub to wash her before I could do anything. Then, I quick hosed out the crate while I had her outside, and then fed the dogs, and off to the emergency clinic. We got there about 8:15 pm. They took her vitals, the vet examined her, and then they got a critical case in. While I waited, I heard them tell the owners there was no hope, and they elected to euthanize the dog. Very sad (it was a burst splenic tumor). Then, just before she came in, another critical. That ended the same as the first, though, this was a bloat. Then, ANOTHER critical, brought in on a gurney. This was an old shepherd who the owner elected to keep on Oxygen over night, but it appeared she would die too. Can you imagine the sadness there? It was just terrible. Finally, they got to Kylie. She had vomited six times while we waited.

They took blood, and did radio graphs. Looked like Hemorrhagic gastro-enteritis. They wanted to keep her, but by now it was almost midnight, and I knew I could bring her to my vet at 7:00. So, they administered sub-cu fluids, and an anti-emetic, and sent us home with medication.

The next morning, I dropped Kylie off at the vet's office for IV fluids, and headed to the fair. I was worried, but knew she was in good hands.

I picked her up after the fair that night and she was on her way to normal again. What a terrible illness. Dogs just get so sick so fast.

Thursday was a nice quiet day at the fair, which was good, because I was a little tired....

Friday, we had sheepdog demos in the horse riding arena. It was a nice sized area to work dogs. Besides the dogs that the expert brought, a few others got to work. One was a thirteen year old Border Collie who comes to the fair with her owner every year and hasn't worked sheep in many many many years. She has three legs. Her owner brought her out and the expert took over. To see the light turn on, and her work so hard to cover, and well, it brought a tear to my eye. You had to see it. Her owner came up to me afterward, a tear in his eye, and gave me a hug and a kiss, and told me that he didn't know how to thank me.

Then, another dog who never gets to work sheep, but was bred by a well known breeder in VA, went in. She was AMAZING. Just that perfect combination of keen-ness, and biddability. Wow.

Then, are you ready for this??? Danny got to go in! She took hold of Danny's line, and let him go. Keen, yep, Danny is nothing if not keen. He did pretty well- went both directions and didn't cause any wrecks. It was great to see him work other sheep in a completely strange place, and take corrections well.

Lucy then got to work these sheep. She was high a kite, from not being able to work sheep much. Got some good driving out of her though, and good outruns.

The expert brought a new dog that she had. He was very VERY nice to watch work. He is going to do very well.

So, then on Saturday, we had more demos, but the weather did not cooperate, so we basically just got through it.

Sunday, they last day of the fair was MOBBED, biggest crowd ever. At one point traffic was stopped for five miles in all directions. People were walking more than a mile to get to the fair.

At the end of the night, I got my car, got the crates in the car, the dogs hopped in, and I waved good bye for one more year. We did well, I thought.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Pictorial Review

Lucy keeping an eye on things

Danny with me gabbing about something

My friend Sue and Lucy (with Danny peaking from his crate)

Mare and foal in draught horse class

One of the Bucking Bulls

A large black Percheron with reflective wraps!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sore mouth

This morning the weather was just beautiful. Not humid, and not hot. Supposed to, so far, be good weather all week- which is great for the fair.

Kylie has I think a sore mouth- was not eating well this morning, which, if you knew Kylie, you would know is really bad. I looked at her mouth, and it appears her left carnassial tooth is very inflamed at the gums. She already had the right one pulled for a big crack in it. So, she will have to get to the vet's soon. I hope that doesn't have to be pulled. She only chews occasionally on an old marrow bone. Bones are dangerous I tell you!

Danny seems fine after his Rabies vaccination- good thing. I have packed his ball and a Frisbee for Lucy, and then some treats, and soon will head off to the fair. I plan to bring my video camera, so you all can see just what it IS I go to every day. I will also video tape the sheep herding later this week, and the Bull riding too.

This fair signifies the end of summer, and that in and of itself is a good thing!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A good day

Today was a good day. I am glad I got that cleaning done yesterday, so I could focus on the other stuff. Today, as soon as I got home from work, I mowed the lawn. Before I started the mower, I checked for traces of grass under the engine shroud, like I always do. There was indeed grass. This means that a mouse has set up house keeping. Usually I pound around the engine, and nothing happens, or maybe, an adult mouse runs out. Believe me, I have learned the hard way to always make sure the mice are clear of moving parts...

Anyway, I took the shroud off, and cleaned out the grass. I then looked closer, and see a small baby mouse. About two weeks. Fully furred, but eyes still closed. Great. He keep squishing himself deeper into the bowels of the engine. So, I get a stick and sort of push him down, and then plop he goes on the shed floor and then he darts to the back corner. This is good- just what I wanted. He was certainly in good nik. So, I finally got the lawn mowed, and called the vet to see if I could get Danny in for his Rabies vax. I hate doing it, but we would be hung out to dry if something happened and I could not prove his proof of Rabies Vaccination.

So, on the way to the vet, I see this kid walking a French Bull dog. The dog was walking at a brisk trot- apparently not fast enough for the kid, as I saw him in quick succession yank the dog off his feet about 5 feet forward each time. At which point I yelled "Hey!!! EASY with that dog!" He was a bit surprised when he heard me, but good, I hope it sinks in that he was WRONG.

So, that's the day today. Everything I wanted to get done got done. Now, T minus 10 and counting for tomorrow.


Hi everyone.

Yesterday turned out to be a productive day. I cleaned my house. I have not felt well in so long, it really really needed a good cleaning. I am not done, but it's 75% of the way there. It is hard to be the only one who does the cleaning (and I know I am not the only one who deals with this- even the married folks must feel the same way at times). But, I like my house to be presentable at all times, and with animals, it takes some perseverance in the face of weakness!

I got Lucy 2 a new friend yesterday. Headed out to Petco- it was MOBBED. Apparently there was a Rabies clinic going on. I saw so many Puggles- Lordy. How anyone could want a Puggle...

Anyway, Ricky 2 is a dark blue, I guess you could call him a blue jeans coloured boy. Lucy 2 immediately took to him, and within hours had herself squished against him. He is rather shell shocked still, but he will come around.

Today besides work, I have to get the oil changed in the car, and Danny needs his Rabies vax. He needs this so he will be set for the fair- all dogs must have this. As to getting ready for the fair- I have it down to a science. Drop the two crates in our area, cooler, and fan if necessary, and that's it. Not too much to do.

The Bull riding is back this year. Very cool. I love it. I especially love the cow boys in their jeans :)

I will work hard not to eat too much junk. That's hard, but I will try!

Danny will get loads of socialization, and Lucy will love people doting on her.

I never did get that lawn mowed, so maybe I will see if my nephew can do it for me while I am at the fair. I was going to do it yesterday, but the ground was too wet from all the rain we have had. Has not been a particularly "pretty" summer for my yard. The bugs are as bad as ever as well.

Well, I guess this is enough for my disjointed post.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I am a schmuck

Well, I never made it to the trial this weekend. We lost power on Friday night. That means no alarm. I got up too late to get there on time. Then, Saturday, I started to feel sick, and have been at home. I am still not up to par with regard to my energy.

I have take the circumstance to be home to do some cleaning, interspersed with rest. The dogs are handling it fine, which is good, because I am at the fair all next week. 12 hour days. I will be able to play ball with Danny and Frisbee with Lucy a couple times per day, but other than that, that's it.

I may try and make a trip to Petco today to get some give aways for our table at the tent. Last year I got some cheap toys and pigs ears, for a cheap price to sell (proceeds to rescue) and no one bought any. Any suggestions for this year? I may get some bark bars, or maybe some bandannas. People like those.

Danny is spending more time loose in the house which is nice. He just needs a toy to keep him occupied. He made the mistake this morning of jumping up on the bed right into Lucy, who quickly, well, attacked him, and he learned his lesson. She's a bad dog, I tell you!

Mr Chips doesn't seem to trust/like Danny. He sort of hides out when he's loose. Also, Mr. Chips is not eating his canned food in the morning, I don't know why, but this is day # 3. I may bring him to the vet soon, if that doesn't rectify itself.

I am planning to get a friend for Lucy (the Parakeet). Wish me luck on Ricky # 2 being accepted by Lucy # 2. She's bored, and eating a lot.

Well, that's it for now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I LOVE these sheep!

This is set in Norway. Both my mother's parents were Norwegian born, and didn't emigrate to the USA until later in their lives. I have been to Norway more than once and I love it. What is not to love?

Fall, where for art thou?

Can we please fast forward to fall? Can we, huh? PLEASE please please? The mosquitoes are absolutely crazy this year- as are the deer flies, the horse flies, you name it. I believe that the bug spray manufacturers must be raking in the dough. I got a mosquito bite on my eye lid yesterday. Also, tons right where my shirt sleeve met my arm.

Danny had a deer fly half way in his nostril. It's just crazy.

I looked at my lawn- it needs mowing- do I want to do this? NO nada, no way. I may have my nephew do it. I am on strike from this weather.

Went back to Rhinebeck the other day and worked Danny and Lucy on sheep. Lucy's driving is beautiful, her out run has faltered though. Not good. So, she needs boot camp on that. Danny is going around decently now- his come by side was good from the outset, but away, not so much. That will be all the work for him now for about a week and a half. This weekend is a trial, and then the fair starts on Tuesday. Supposed to be cooler weather, so that in and of itself is reason to celebrate!

The one female Parakeet I have seems to have adjusted okay without her boyfriend. Figures. I know he would still be pining for her.

There isn't much else to talk about at this point, so I will sign off!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Golf IS sheepdog trialing

For quite a long time now, I have been of the belief that sheepdog trialing is very similar to golf.

From Wiki: According to the most widely accepted account, however, the modern game originated in Scotland around the 12th century, with shepherds knocking stones into rabbit holes on the current site of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.[5]

So, you see, it is *a bit* steeped in history. Anyway, I do, on occasion watch golf on the television and am enthralled by the players you generally see on the leader board- Els, Woods, Michelson (well, he's a choker, but we still love him), Singh, Harrington (the Irishman himself).

These top players are not there by chance. They are there through plain hard work, determination, dedication, and true grit. Just like the Alisdairs, Lamberts, Millikens, and all the westerners I can't think of the names of!

The parallels as I see them:

The course- same for handler and golfer- you get there, you suss it out and you use your guile to determine just how you will handle it dog or ball.

The swing- that's pretty much the dog in golf. You need a good versatile swing- and dog. Strong, but gentle when needed.

The club? That's the handling. The golfer who is on top simply knows what club will work where, and how to use it to it's utmost advantage. Same for the sheepdog handler.

The holes? Of course they are the obstacles. You need serious control on your swing, and club to make an eagle, and you surely need the same to accomplish the same goal in sheepdog trials.

Then, there's the 18th hole. The end. The last hole to seal the deal. You better bring your A game. For sheepdog trialing, that happens at. every. single. step. of the trial.

Golf is only for seriously dedicated, some would say obsessed, people who record every single game, and look only to improve, no matter HOW good. Same for sheepdog trialing.

So, the next time you are chatting with friends who don't know what sheepdog trialing is about, tell them it's just like Golf. They will get the message.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ricky is gone

Came home today, and found that Ricky had died. He was emaciated. Lots of diarrhea staining around his vent. I don't know what caused this. I know I have had him for a long time- can't remember how long, but at least 5 years +. The female that is left seems a bit out of sorts. I will have to get her a new male friend. Ricky was really a cool Parakeet- he would interact with me a lot. Just now the female, ostensibly known as Lucy, is now calling. I am sure she is looking for her mate. Very sad. You know, I have thought at times it would be easier to have no more Parakeets, but I do so love to watch them together, and hear them in the morning.

I am going to wait, to make sure she is healthy before I get another bird, but when I do, he will be a blue boy.

Susan Lucci Wins an Emmy Award for Lead Actress

I was reading about Red Oliver and him not being nominated into the ABCA Hall of Fame. I don't know Oliver, and honestly, other than recognizing his name, I don't know what he has done. It must be something, for such grass roots effort to get him nominated. Apparently, it failed, again. So, it made me think back to Susan Lucci, of "All my Children" who has been "Erica Kane" on that program since 1970, and who has been nominated 17 times for an emmy. Well, last year, she *finally* got that emmy. Finally. What a moment for her. What a moment to watch.

Hot as Hades

So, we finally have summer. It's hot, it's humid, and it's fraught with biting insects. Not my favorite time of year- not by a long shot. Things are pretty quiet at my place- most of the animals prefer to be inside in the a/c. When you get to be an older dog, you relish your creature comforts. To illustrate, yesterday when I got home from work, I let the dogs out and then, much to my chagrin, played ball with Danny. Yes, he still wants to do this. I believe that he honestly believes that the back yard is for ball throwing, and the occasional constitutional. So, we play a bit, but there is a fair amount of stopping at the stock tank to dip half his body in- but only when I put the ball in there. There must be a purpose to going in there, you know. When we were done, I came inside and all the animals were lolled out. Mr. Chips was still outside laying spread eagle by the stock tank. I only have one smallish a/c - and a fan, and that has to do. It gets very warm in the house starting about 4:00 pm, until about 4:00 am.

I found Ricky, my favorite Parakeet on the floor of his cage today. He is not well at all. He has had diarrhea for some time now. I gave them a treat stick some time ago, and not long after that he was sick. I looked on the package and it was expired- whatever that means. He looked fine this weekend- the female wasn't, but he was, and he was going to her and feeding her. He is such a sweet bird. I got some activated charcoal and put it in some warm water, to help stop the diarrhea, but I am afraid it's too late. I believe when I get home he will be gone. I am sorry Ricky.

Well, that's it for now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

On Bedlam Farm

Here is an excerpt from a site I found that discusses the setting for the film "On Golden Pond".

On Golden Pond

Twenty years ago, Hollywood went scouting for the perfect New England Lake to be the location for the classic movie, “On Golden Pond”. Of course, the lake had to be gorgeous, pristine and undeveloped. And, it had to be within two hours of a major metropolitan area. It was a tall order, but they found what they were looking for at Squam Lake. Today, it would still fit the bill.
- New England Travel & Life, 2001

Why, you ask, do I bring this up? Well, because it is eerily similar to something that Mr. Jon Katz has done. Years ago, long before I knew much about Border Collies and their use on sheep- I had an inkling, and really wished to live on a farm, but could not afford to buy a place, I read the book "Dogs of Bedlam Farm". I was quite smitten with the general idea- the ability to buy a farm, have sheep, work the dogs on the sheep, and basically the whole idea. Some of the things that were chronicled, I found to be a bit disturbing, but in general I appreciated the book.

As I learned more about dogs/Border Collies/herding, I realized that there was something off about how Rose worked the sheep- as in she did pretty much what she wanted, got hurt a lot, and spent hours watching them. These activities are not conduscive to good work out of a dog. But, still, I believed that Rose did have a good quality of life, living on that farm with her charges. I started reading the blog at Bedlam farm, and read that there were a couple of new dogs added (not Border Collies) and they seemed to take up much more bandwidth...

Then, I read that the sheep were gone- sold. Oh, that sucks for Rose. THEN, I read that the farm is for sale. Seriously? The farm? Which leads me to the purpose of this post. Did he buy the farm solely as a muse for his book? Did he move there so he could have intriguing subject matter for his readers? Could that be? Since Jon is first and foremost a writer- words from himself, I have to believe that he did. And, it sort of really irks me, I feel like we were played. Sort of like that movie where the guy wakes up and is actually in a movie- his life is a movie.

Anyway, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cooperstown 1, Julie / Lucy 0

Well, it was almost a mirror image of last year, but worse ;) As I recall, last year, Lucy pushed on the fetch, I walked from the post and we finished without a score.

This time we didn't get that far.

We were 4th in. The runs were not going to well. The Scotties knew where the exhaust was and that was where they were going.

I sent Lucy come by; she was not as wide as I would have liked, so I gave her a "get out". She took it, and came in decently behind the sheep- and not hard. Well, the release by the set out was all it took for those ewes to decided to head for the exhaust.

I gave Lucy several "aways" and she tried very very hard to get to their heads to stop them, but when they entered the suck zone - the area where the sheep are close enough to the exhaust, that they are going hell or high water, the sheep moved even faster. Honestly, even IF Lucy had gotten to their heads, I think they would have run right over her. The sheep made it to the exhaust and Lucy was ready to bring them back, but one jumped the gate, and that's all there was to that. I called Lucy to me, and she came back happily, doing her gazelle pronging to look for other sheep.

Some days you're the windshield, some days your the bug. We were most definitely the latter. Oh well. You win some, you lose some!

Pics from the trial

A happy couple :)

Here's my friend running her dog, she's quite nice

Nice fetch :)

Getting ready to turn the post

Turning the post.

Nice driving girl!

Here are some shots of Danny's mom run. She is quite a pretty girl, small, and speckly. Wonderful temperament too, and has dominion over sheep

Move along ladies

Through the drive panels

Danny's mom marching them right along

Danny's mom cooling off after her run, isn't she pretty?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

When the going gets tough....

The tough eat chocolate. What a whirlwind of days I had. Yesterday, on my way out of work, I picked up a personal sized pizza with a side salad. I was so hungry, on my way to the feed store, I ate the pizza, saving, I thought, the salad for when I got home. When I got home, I reached my hand into the bag holding the salad container. Some FLUNKY left the cap loose on the dressing. My whole hand was covered in dressing. Nice job. So, I chucked that.

While I was out, I stopped at the pharmacy to get the iron supplements that they ordered to be in on Monday. I get there, several days after it should have been filled, they first, could not FIND the drug, then the had to have a conversation as to why it was not filled. Then, I go to pay, and it came up full price, which being a generic, it should not. So, it was 45 minutes, waiting for a simple prescription.

Oh, you're wondering about the chocolate? Well, I stopped by Rite Aid to get one chocolate item. I brought up a 8 Reese's peanut butter cup pack. Yeah, one? I know, I am bad... But, it gets worse. The thing rang up as 99 cents!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you BELIEVE THAT???????? I grabbed three more. I will hand some out at the trials. But, I already ate most of a pack. What can I tell you, a deal's a deal.

That's it for now, I need a nap.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No more sheep????

Well, I am at a loss. My old boy Tucker has become pretty incontinent lately. I don't think he knows he is going. He is also very weak behind. I think his time is coming. This is very hard for me. He still has a tail wag for me, and is still engaged in life, to some degree, but I know it's coming. How do I know when? I am making some changes in his care that ought to help with his bladder issues, but other than that, I just don't know. It weighs on me heavily.

Border Collie people who read my blog will probably recognize the name Jon Katz, and have formed your own opinions of him. I won't go into mine, but I wanted to mention that in a recent post in his blog, he mentioned that he no longer has his sheep. He also later, in another posts mentions that he wonders where he will be living in the future. At first it shocked me. Poor misguided (well, unguided) Rose. The Border Collie who was the resident sheepdog is now out of a job. I thought how horrendous for her. Then, I began to think about my own situation, and how tenuous it is with regard to being able to work sheep. It could end for myriad reasons at any time. There is nothing shocking about it. So, I may follow Mr. Katz to see how Rose holds up to this change.

As I ruminated about not working my dogs, I realized that they would be fine if I didn't work them. Lucy lives to work sheep- when sheep are there. But, if they are not there, she just lives to be with, and do things with me. Danny too. Danny truly loves the ball right now, and he is the same way with sheep as Lucy, but he would certainly survive, without sheep in his life. We all would. It's taken me a long time to realize this, but I am getting, in my heart, comfortable with the notion that if we could not work sheep anymore, we would survive, maybe even thrive. Of course that means finding another hobby, and we have been offered a slot in a dog "act" consisting of agility/Frisbee, and what have you, that travels all over. That may be an option.

I don't miss agility, so it won't be that. It would have to be disc dog, with a wee bit of agility mixed in. No, no flyball for Danny, as it is one of the most annoying sports to me. I can't stand the barking, and insanity of the dogs. Whatever the dogs and I do will be fun first, that is just the way it will be.

I feel sort of free now. Free from my self imposed jail of everything surrounds sheep work. It's sort of like over load. I just need to release that pent up anxiety of looking for my next "fix" and just live my life for God sake.

So, now that I have had my catharsis...

Friday is the trial, and I believe we are 4th again- same as last year. That is just weird. Last year not so good. Uh oh.

Lucy was lame yesterday after playing Frisbee- that cut on her foot is bothering her. So, this morning we took it real easy, and I only threw a few times for her. Danny got lots more ball throwing in. His endurance and heat tolerance is much better, so I am pleased about that.

I am so tired today, just knackered. I may just pass out when I get home.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

People for the Ethical Treatment of Insects

If you can't read it, click on the picture to enlarge it.

Dapper Dan

T- 10 and counting

Okay, from about today, until some time in September, maybe, I am going to be flat out. Ugh. This Friday a trial. Not sure if we should go. Lucy has not been worked enough. Lucy is like a three day eventing horse. She needs work to be under control. It's rather like asking her to do dressage on a cross country course. It's going to be bad, I have a feeling. But, we are entered, and there are no refunds at this point. Gotta think positive!

Then, next week, busy at my day job. Then, that weekend, another trial. Oh Lordy, do you see where this is going? Then, that following week, starting on Tuesday is the fair that runs through Sunday. Then one weekend off, then another trial on the following weekend, and then another trial following that. I kid you not. What was I thinking?

Oh, and then there's the Kelpie Nationals in October that I wanted to go to. Can I do it? I don't know.

Then, in and amongst all this, we need to get the fence set. I have some big bills to pay first, so everything in it's proper order.

Lucy cut her foot last weekend working sheep. She sort of sloughed off a piece of her pad on her back right foot. She licks it a fair bit, but seems sound.

Danny now has taken to giving Kylie flak when she goes outside, so now I have to come down on him for that. He has learned, I think to leave Tucker alone. He's at a hard age right now. Not quite 8 months, but FULL of testosterone.

Yesterday was so hot and humid, it was dangerous to do a lot outside. I think the heat index was near 100 degrees F. So, no ball playing. This did not make Danny a happy boy. But, dem's the breaks little boy! This morning was extremely muggy. Oh, and we had MAJOR thunder/lightening last night. Very close. Dogs were not impressed. Okay, back to this morning, just a short while outside with the dogs left me with a wet face from the mugginess. I cannot WAIT for fall. Something about this summer has really just stunk. Except for that one high point- we all know what that was!

Well, that's it for now.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My Opinion

What you think about people putting up donation links on their blogs? Do you find it okay, or distasteful? No, not for donations to worthy causes, like we see so often, which I am whole heartedly for, but rather, donations to help the blog writer get by every day. A blog writer, who has gainful employment, asking for money for her own use, to use for well, anything.

I find it really distasteful. So much so, that I think I will not be following that blog anymore (no, it's none of the ones I have listed at my blog). I mean, it would be like me putting up a donation tab for money to trial with. Sure would be nice to have extra money, but the old fashioned method of EARNING it, seems to sit much better with me.

Perhaps if this person who is begging for alms for the poor, could see that it is distasteful, maybe they would donate the money to a good cause, not to further their own wishes. But, that's just my opinion.

My weekend

Yesterday morning, I woke up and wasn't sure what the day would hold- save for a trip to the market. I am still not better from my brain fog, and general weakness, so I have to sort of play things by ear.

After morning chores, I headed out to the market. As I drove up a back road I take on the way to the market, I saw some sheep in a remote field, all clumped together, looking, quite frankly, terrified, and I thought that was bad. I turned my car around and got out to take a look at them. They were in e-net, which was knocked over, and loose. I then looked at the sheep- a key thing to note, was even though I was there, they were still staring into the woods. Upon closer inspection, I saw that one sheep had a blood smear on her flank, and two had major bruising on their necks.

Since I know the owner (almost got some sheep from them a while back), I drove to their house, and found the wife outside caring for their Ducks- they must have hundreds. Anyway, I told her that I thought something was wrong with their sheep. She then told me that her animals were all freaking out this morning. She added that they lost sheep to Coyotes this year, even though they had traps out, and hunted for them, no luck. One of their pet cats was eaten in the back yard. She was worried, and headed for the house to get her husband as I left to go to the market.

On my way back from the market, I saw the woman standing with the sheep. I pulled over, got out, and looked at what she was looking at. The ewe had had her skin pulled from her body- from behind the back legs to the front of the rear legs. It looked like she was wearing a dress. It was feet of hanging flesh. I was at the same time angry that this happened, and very upset for the sheep- she must be in pain, and shock. The woman's husband had gone to get the vet. These are old sheep slated for auction. We chatted a bit, and I told her I would look around for a good LGD for her. They need one. Man, was that just gruesome looking. Those poor TERRIFIED sheep. I did notice that some were laying down, as they probably felt safer with the owner around.

After that, I went home, dropped off the groceries, and then back out to get other things I needed. Then home. Then I passed out- just about. I was so tired, I could just not function.

After a while, I got up, cooked an early supper, and didn't eat much of it. Just not into it. But, then I got my second wind- thank GOD. I went out and string trimmed, and then mowed the lawn. Looks MUCH better. I am one of those people who hate it when the yard starts to look cruddy. I take pride in my place. It isn't perfect, but it's nice enough, and it's mine.

Last night I watched that "In the Dog House" show- that guy has a Napoleon complex- he makes Cesar look contrite. I really don't like him. After that was a new "It's me or the dog"- a good episode, but that lady's red hair was just TOO much.

I didn't sleep very well last night, not sure why. Went out and played with Danny and Lucy for a good long while, then back in for their breakfast, and my coffee, and a few chores. Now, I am chillin'.

I may head out to Barnes and Noble later, to get another book to read. Shall see. Other than that, it's just cleaning, interspersed with dog stuff.

Photo update

This is momma kitty, aka "Ginger" in her bed. She loves this bed

This shows Danny's daily conundrum. How to keep all the balls together, and will his eye do it?

Danny clearly does not like the taste of this green ball- ptooey!

Lucy eating one of the many apples

Big apples!

Danny says "see ya later aligator!"

Friday, August 7, 2009

It's a great day to be alive

You know that song by Travis Tritt? Well, it applies. Finally got to work sheep- just Lucy. Danny is on official hiatus until the fall, so he can grow up.

Lucy began to learn to shed today. Yep, it was pretty cool. She did very well, considering we don't typically, as in ever, do that sort of thing. By the end of our work, Lucy was getting it- getting it so well that she would not allow the two groups back together. As we started to walk away, the un-selected group wanted to run back to their compatriots, and Lucy turned back and held them from doing that. Lucy's most favorite thing is head on, turn them away work.

Then, we went to a really big field, our task was to hold for my friend. Lucy did well. She gets the whole holding sheep thing. Then, it was our turn. Now, I don't know how long this outrun was, but it was long enough that I thought it might be hard for Lucy to make it out there. She saw her sheep, I sent her away. She ran out well- not too wide, not too tight- perfect, honestly, if I do say so myself...

Then, she got to some high grass, high enough that she had to jump as she ran to find the sheep. She has never had to do that. So, she jumped here, jumped there, and then as she saw them again, she kicked out, and came in behind. She brought them back well, but as they started to bolt, she rang them- I can't blame her- that was her first extremely long outrun, as well as the last portion of it being blind.. But, then she got them to me nicely. We did a couple more, and there were some odd things, but in general, this girl has gas to spare for long outruns. Some day I shall have to take her out to a field that is long enough that well, she has to run on blind faith, and then, see how she handles it. No long grass though! We don't have re directional whistles for that! It was very cool. I needed that. Lucy really needed it. She was so happy.

Danny was just a co-pilot and found the day rather boring, I am afraid, save for when he could see the sheep being worked.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Went to the Doctor today for the full follow up. Am anemic in addition to the B12 deficiency. So, got my B12 shot, and will start iron supplements. Today I was so weak that I could not hold my head up. Dr. remarked how pale I looked. I think my values must have gone down further. I just couldn't function. So, they being a good practice got me in early. So, now it's wait for everything to kick in.

I expect my mood to improve drastically once I am feeling better too. The dogs will appreciate that ;)

Been thinking more and more about sending Danny out for training. Any suggestions?

Lamb on the Lam

Jeez, anyone want to get their Kelpie or BC and get this sheep? Lordy. How hard can it be.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 3:34 AM CDT
Lamb on the lam
By JON ERICSON, Courier Staff Writer
CEDAR FALLS — A wayward sheep is causing headaches for local officials.

For more than two weeks police in Cedar Falls and Waterloo, along with animal control officials have been trying to capture a loose sheep.

Police first started getting calls about the sheep a little more than two weeks ago.

"Basically, in a nutshell, we can’t catch it," said Cedar Bend Humane Society co-director Kristy Gardner.

The first sightings happened in Waterloo, in areas near Central Middle School. Then police began getting calls in Cedar Falls, near the John Deere Product Engineering Center.

"At one point last week it was down by Cedar Heights Drive and Viking Road at the roundabout. More recently we had reports in the area of Grand Boulevard," said Cedar Falls Police Lt. Kelli Head.

Gardner said the sheep escaped from a rural Cedar Falls residence. Animal control has been getting about two calls per day regarding the animal.

Most of the time, the sheep has been spotted in open areas , making it difficult to capture because it escapes into cornfields. At one point an animal control officer shot the animal with a tranquilizer pellet, but the sheep’s skin was too tough to penetrate.

"Of course we’re concerned with the welfare of the sheep, but we’re also concerned about it wandering out in traffic and causing an accident," Garnder said.
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Health updates, and whatever else

Howdy folks. Well, heard from the Dr. the other day. Turns out I have a B-12 deficiency. This will result in all of the symptoms I have been having. This means shots of B-12 for now, and hopefully pills thereafter. I do eat a diet rich in B-12, so we need to find out why that's happening. Good to know that I am not nuts.

As to the knees- it's patello-femoral syndrome- knees are not in proper alignment causing all kinds of improper loads, and most significantly, pain. So, that's that for the health department- everything is fixable. Good to know.

Haven't worked the dogs in a long time on sheep. Danny is enjoying his morning, afternoon and evening ball play. Lucy has decided to join us in the morning for a bit of play, so she is incredibly fit. She has always been fit, but wow. Three sessions a day for her and Frisbee results in a very svelte body. Danny is fit too now. I hope this serves him well when and if we do get back on sheep. Honestly, it's too hot to work dogs on sheep now, so I am coming to peace with not doing it. But, like I said before, I may have to pull Lucy from the trials if we can't get some regular work in.

So far, Danny is not any easier than Lucy to start, in fact, I think he's harder. Lucy pretty much went around the sheep right from the start. Danny, as of our last session was doing that, but still he wants to go right into them, here and there. Lucy also took much lighter corrections. Everyone told me to get a Border Collie because they are so much easier. HA HA. Serves me right. The Kelpie Gods are teaching me a lesson. Danny may end up being sent out to be started- if I can't get him right myself. Figures.

He's a nice boy at home, but he needs more socialization with other dogs. He doesn't seem to like other breeds of dogs. So, when we are at the fair in a few weeks, he will have a baptism by fire. Dogs of every breed will be around. He will have to deal. By the end of it, he will be well socialized to just about every breed there is.

So, starting next week, I am going to be very very busy, through the whole month. Hopefully there will be some fun stuff mixed in there. We shall see. I truly look forward to fall. This summer has been a bust.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mac Davis - Hard To Be Humble

This goes out to the Dr. I saw today for my knees. He was truly enamored of himself. I am surprised he didn't offer me his autograph. I think he should be subbing the the actor in "Royal Pains".

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Just the ticket

Okay, after lots of starts and stops with this fence, I have finally come to the conclusion that I simply can't do all of it myself. Between the fatigue and the knees, it just won't happen. I have sheep WAITING to be moved in. It's insane. So, I put up an ad, and guess what? I have already gotten responses. This is JUST THE TICKET. I will be able to set the line, and then the big strapping guys can pound in posts, unroll fence and stretch it. All very good. Then, I can go about working my dogs regularly. This business of here or there working just doesn't cut it. I get more and more depressed and my dogs just can't progress (at least Danny can't).

The place isn't the greatest in terms of outrun work, but it is decent for most everything, and the barn will be great in the winter. I may even be able to use the cattle pasture in the winter. This will be good too, if I get a ram- to keep him away from the ladies.

It's funny how you hem and haw, trying to decide WHAT to do about things, and then the answer becomes very clear. I was starting to get really depressed, because working sheepdogs is what I do- it's what decompresses me, it's what centers me, and when I can't do that, it is not good. Perhaps I need to take up knitting.

Well, onward to getting something done today.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A day among days

Not sure what that title means...

Anyway, today was a good day. Got up, and decided to take Danny on his first solo walk with my near the golf course. He has always been good with people, but this was slightly different because there were people coming and going in all directions, and lots of joggers. So, we started our walk, and pretty much immediately, a jogger came up behind us, and Danny "spooked" a bit. Hackles up, that sort of thing, but was over it fast, and then, after that, joggers coming up behind us, and toward us he didn't even notice. Then, we came upon a Standard Poodle coming the opposite direction. I gave them a wide berth, and it was good, because that Poodle was giving a hard stare to Danny, who reciprocated with bluster. That was the only other dog we saw.

On the way home from there, I went by a garage sale and saw a nice book case (home made and SOLID) for sale, so I turned around and asked the woman how much. Apparently, it wasn't for sale- it was just to hold the other stuff. Well, I got it for $12.00! You cannot BEAT that. It's so well built, and will hold all my books. I love it.

Stopped at the grocery store on the way home for dinner food, and when I got home, I unloaded and decided to clean out the car (when I was moving everything to get the book case to fit, big puffs of dog hair wafted out- that was embarrassing ;). Anyway, I noticed that in the FIVE minutes I had Danny in the car when I got my shopping done, he had chewed on the leg of the book case. Thanks Danny.

Anyway, I got it all set up and I love it. I then had my early dinner, and am now just going to chill. It is very very hot today- too hot to play ball, or any yard work.

One thing I wanted to comment on- there was a package of Australian lamb chops for sale- 4 of them for over $8.00 !!!!!!!!

Okay, so I made my wonderbar meal- steak, corn on the cob, and watched a movie. Next task is to clean. Joy.

On the knee front, made an appointment for Monday (can you believe I got in that early?) My knees hurt while just trying to sleep, and now the one is bruised. Can't wait to find out what it is, and hopefully, get a jab of cortisone. Anything to make these things chill out.

You Never Even Called Me By My Name!

EXCELLENT SONG!!!! Listen all the way to the end.

Sylvia - "Nobody" Video

My friend Janet and I used to blast this song. Many moon 'go.