Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Makes her heart sing

This is my lass scanning the field for sheep. I had forgotten to mention this, but since I have been allowing Lucy to ride shotgun (due to her hatred of the crate), besides being a measure calmer, she has demonstrated to me, without a doubt, that sheep are her zen. Lucy sits in the passenger's seat, and when we pass by a field, she scans the field for sheep. She ignores cities/towns, suburbs. But, when we are driving along fields, she looks very hard for small white four legged grazers. Sometimes she sees them. That makes her heart sing, which makes mine too.

Young Handler (english)

This should make you smile :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A look ahead

This morning I woke up early, which is nice, because much of last week I over slept. It's good to be on track. You know, I was thinking as I threw the ball and Frisbee for the two younger dogs, that it is pretty different- me going outside in my boots and work clothes, to throw toys for dogs in the dark. Well, I do have the back door light on, but ostensibly, it's dark. I never did that before. Danny just needs to do something with me, no matter the weather or lack of light in the morning. He just does. Lucy, she likes to play, but isn't as intense about it. He's just so happy after that. Lucy, she just does what I do, and happily. I have noticed though, that Lucy is a bit less tense around the other females, since I have been exercising her more. That's a very good thing.

Basically, my life has changed, I think in a good way. I am busier, more regimented, and move more. This is good. My lawn has suffered badly, so I am not happy about that, but, heck, if it makes a happier Danny...

My plans to go to the Kelpie Nationals may be in danger. We are short staffed at work, and getting away may not be feasible. This *always* happens to me, it seems. But, life does get in the way, I guess. I am still going to try my darnedest.

The NY Sheep and Wool festival is coming up next month. Looking forward to that- it's only 20 mins from my house, and I will help out at the trial, and eat that wonderful home made chicken pot pie. I love fall. Something so renewing about the change in temps, the leaves falling, and the crisp air. Oh, also, I love apple crisp ;)

Am calling the Doctor today to see about more work ups, going to get this wonky health issue taken care of if it kills me ;)

Well, better run. I hope you all have great days/weeks!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not feeling well

Disclaimer: This is about my health, and if you would rather not hear about this click off now :)

Guys, I am just not right- stop your laughing now- (stomps feet). No, physically I mean. Am going to try to get to the Dr. for a referral to a cardiologist, or really good internist tomorrow. Been having heart palpitations, light headed, and generally tired. Just before I go to sleep every night, I start breathing really fast- like my BP is so low that everything goes hay wire. I am honestly concerned about well, the big dirt nap. Maybe it's just something simple- I don't know, but it needs to be looked into and addressed. The B-12 shots and iron supplements just don't seem to be doing enough.

Alasdair does it. Again, times 2

The man is legend. Seriously. He knows how to handle on the way to finals, to get his dogs schooled properly on the field and sheep, and then, at the big one, he brings it home convincingly. I know that there is a wee bit of chance- as in the sheep, but I believe the man makes his own luck.

When I first started working with Lucy, I signed up for a clinic with Alasdair. Lucy was just completely bonkers- keen, but pushy and just well, a tad bit embarrassing. Alasdair never gave us any odd looks, he never got upset, he just showed me what to do, and by our second session, I was so proud of my dog. Imagine that- not even a Border Collie. It was then that I developed a real appreciation of this man's eyes to see the work in the dog, not the dog, and his ability to work with anyone who really tried.

At the Gettysburg finals, I saw Alasdair- the first time since that clinic. He came up to me and asked how my Kelpie was. Wow. He remembered us. I told him that she had come leaps and bounds. He said "I knew she would".

Truth is, he had more faith in Lucy that I did back then. I was so worried about the differences in breeds, that I didn't see the work.

Since then, I have always rooted for Alasdair. The man simply is the best at what he does.

Good for you Alasdair, keep doing what you are doing, because it works.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chill day

Today is a chill day. Didn't do diddly this morning, and then to a birthday party. Home, made an early supper, and now watching football, and keeping up with the scores of the usbcha finals. Alisdair is still in the lead. How exciting it must be to watch those 17 runs. Can't wait for next year. Will be on our side of the country, and should be great.

Danny got some good ball play in today, and one neat thing. I had the sliding glass door open and had him stay. This time I stood behind him, which was tough. Something made him release- not me. I said "HEY!!!" and the little guy came back to where he was!!!!! That's big. It shows that he is thinking, and not blowing me off, as I had no handle on him. It's an example, I believe of an "honest" dog.

Also, Danny is still trying to grab the odd leg of my dogs, but today when he went for Tucker, I said "hey!!!" again, and he backed off, but didn't look apologetic, he simply just stopped. That's another sign of growing up- taking a correction in stride.

Rain, we need it!

Am up early this morning. Was planning to work sheep, but alas, it's raining way too much. Wet wool/me just makes for a mess, and slippery too. We really need the rain, so I am okay with it. Danny, on the other hand, I bet if he knew were weren't going would be very sad.

I have a birthday party to go to today at 1:00. Should be nice. It's a big one for my nephew, so I may have to do something besides the moolah and the card ;)

Am looking forward to a quiet morning. Yesterday was anything but. Fell asleep very early last night reading a Reader's Digest condensed book. Did you hear that R.D. declared bankruptcy? Sad. My mother's been getting those books delivered to the house since I have been alive. That's not a short time!

Been following the sheepdog finals on Diane's blog- THANKS DIANE!! I now see that the finals are set. Looks like many of the usual suspects. I think what separates the winners from the VERY GOOD handlers is guile. They may run okay in the semis, but they hold just a wee bit back until they get to the BIG one. Let's see.

Well, it's still black as pitch and it's 6:00. Should make for a fun ball throw with Danny. Yuck. I think I may celebrate my boring morning later, by heading out to Barnes and Noble, just to browse.

The Kelpie Nationals are coming up soon. Have to work out house/animal care. I think a friend may stay here- which would be optimal. I was worried about Lucy traveling, as she HATES to travel, but I have learned that what she really hates is traveling in the crate. I have allowed her to ride shotgun, and she seems a good measure more relaxed. After a trip all the way to North Carolina, she should be over her fears ;)

Well, that's about it for now.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Busy Saturday

What a busy day. Besides work, I had to hit the grocery store. Then, home for about 10 minutes, and then to a Church function to sell Burgers and Brats. Was very well attended, and in my home town. Had a nice time- lots of hungry people. Also had to hit the feed store.

Then, I came home and made my signature sirloin steak. It was so incredibly good. I have missed that. Didn't eat much, so the dogs will get lots. MMM MMM for them.

Danny spent the day outside with one of my other dogs, and now he crashed out in his crate.

Supposed to rain tomorrow. Joy. That's okay, I need to catch up on cleaning anyway.

Well, I know one thing, I will sleep well tonight.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Schooling Lucy, and teaching Danny

Lucy's sheep work today consisted of work on proper flanks and stops. There is no hope in Hades of ever shedding with her, if she doesn't learn to keep her proper distance. She also needs this for jiggery sheep, which was made painfully obvious last weekend.

Danny got to run around a pen of sheep, and he was happy to do this ;) He did end up working a small group for about 1 minute- just long enough for him at this stage. I just want him happy, and wearing. Both those.

The weather today is just so beautiful, it's unbelievable. I am weak as dish water today. I have to get back to the Dr. I am not getting better, I don't think. I have lost a pant size, which is good, but I don't like how I am losing- not feeling well, not hungry, just blah.

This weekend is busy with obligations and cleaning. Joy. But, fall is here, and for that I am extremely happy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A GOOD DAY, finally...

Today started out as any other. Then, I got an email from an acquaintance of mine, who, without getting into detail, just was so perceptive, and validating, that it just seriously made my day. Then, I go to the dentist for a cleaning. The technician comes in, says "it's been a while" with a dour look on her face. Well, it had been... Since 06??!!! It COULDN'T be?!! How could that have happened? Well, she set forth cleaning my teeth, and made a remark, that it couldn't have been that long, as my teeth were in good shape, not tartar, no nothing. Hmmm. She took x-rays, no cavities either. Now, if THAT isn't a nice happening, I don't know what is.

Then, at lunch, I had a nice conversation with some ladies, about dogs, babies, that sort of thing.

All in all, had to be one of the best days I have had for a long time, and not because of anything I did, just that I happened to "be there".

Well, let's hope the weekend is fun. I love fun weekends :)

Impulse control

That's what Danny is learning these days. How to keep his butt planted, even in the face of extremely cool stuff.

So, today a new twist. Instead of just throwing the ball, and letting Danny run the minute I do, I make him lay down and stay, until I release him. It took a few tries, but soon he was getting it. Though, I certainly wouldn't say he is solid. This is also neat because it makes him have to look for the ball, use his nose, that sort of thing. A real brain worker, which, I could see made him as tired as lots more just plain ball throwing.

Danny needs to know that there are rules for everything. I hope that this puts him in good stead when he works sheep. See, at this point he still isn't serious, as he just wants to get in there, if you know what I mean with sheep, and if I correct him seriously, he will just quit. As if he just doesn't know what to do. He is still so young, that I think it's a combination of a very young brain, and lots of spent physical energy in the first 2 mins, and then he's blown his wad. Whatever I do with Danny, even if it isn't sheep, he certainly is teaching me a lot.

It was so warm this morning (yuck). Mozzies are back out. I could really do with fall just being here NOW.

Oh, and I have decided to attend the Kelpie nationals. We may bomb out there too, but at least we will be among our boots and pushy peers.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mouse deterrents and dust

When I got home last night, I decided I better get the lawn mowed. It wasn't that tall, but in some places, it really needed it. So, as usual, I checked the engine shroud for evidence of mouse nest. Well, there was... Remember that mouse pup that I got out of the engine? Well, apparently, he had a friend. Who was now a ground up piece of hamburger. Yeah, it was really gross. But, no nest. Apparently dead mouse bodies serve to deter other mice from moving in. I got mowing, noticing that I was low on gas, and I don't want to have to buy more for the season... I ended up mowing in high gear, as I just wanted to get this done. I think I finished in record time.

So, then, a bit of play with Danny and Lucy. Then, I decided to de-clutter the house. Go through, organize paperwork, put things in their place, that sort of thing. Which took me into the spare room. I ended up getting all the assorted stuff put away, that was sitting on the dog crates, and cleaned them all off with Fantastic. My goal today will be to file, and purge more unnecessary paper work, along with that fun job of shredding. The room was much improved. Was nice to catch up on this sort of thing.
I actually had energy- it was weird.

This morning, I woke up a wee bit late, and it was very warm out. I went out onto the deck and there was this huge Toad. Just sitting and looking at me. Glad my dogs didn't notice him... How he got up there, I don't know. Danny had to dip in the stock tank this morning after ball play. He gets very hot.

Am working on more obedience for Danny, and I think that's what he needs more than anything. Next time I work Lucy, he will just watch, up close and personal, but no work, as he isn't ready.

I've three sheep coming back to my place soon, they are Border Cheviot ewe lambs. Lucy will have her hands full working them ;)

Well, that's it for now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fonzie The Pony Show Gothenburg 2009 Trick

Remember me saying I wanted to do something else with Lucy? Well, I am wondering how I would look in THAT outfit...

working sheepdog (Border Collie) in japan 2009.9003

Look at the team work by these dogs.

A Glimmer of Hope

This morning, I decided to set Danny up to be successful, and let the other dogs out first, without him. In some ways, I feel like I should just make him leave the other dogs (some how) so he learns. But, I have learned that his brain just isn't ready to take over some impulses.

Anyway, I let the other dogs out this morning, along with one cat, who believes he is a dog. Hmmm, I wonder if he empties out like the dogs- never checked ;)

Then, after everyone came in, I let Danny out. I shouldn't say "let him out", as what this means, is I open his crate door, and make him stay until I release him. Then he hauls butt to the sliding glass door, and I make him back up, off the tile, onto the carpet, and make him stay there, when the door is open, until I release. After he has emptied himself, I make him stay back from the sliding glass door, with it open, and then release him to come in. It's all very regimented, and I am beginning to see, this BC likes that.

Okay, so I also have a rule, when I am getting the dogs' food ready in the morning, that he is not allowed in the kitchen. Not a single paw on the linoleum. I get all the bowls together, and then open the cabinet. Usually, once I do that, I have to remind Danny to lay down. Well, I opened the cabinet, and got a scoop of food out, and automatically looked back to remind Danny to lay down. I DIDN'T HAVE TO!!!!
He was laying down on the carpet, chin too. Being such a good boy. He maintained that, until just before I got his bowl, at which point he ran to his "station". I might add, that he was laying there being so good, even though the other dogs were running around. That's BIG folks.

It is so good to have friends who are supportive through tough times like this. It demonstrates who your real friends are, when you are down and out and they lend a hand to help you up.

Yesterday, I ran a bunch of errands, and brought home a 1/2 gallon of chocolate milk. I love chocolate milk. Had that, and a frozen Red Baron personal cheese pizza last night. I slept like a rock. It was just great. Sleep, it (and milk) does a body good.

So far, plans this week are to continue my domestic work, and then this weekend, sheep lesson, and helping out at a pig roast.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Danny Boy

You know, the last few weeks have been very busy/hard on me. I had some personal things happen that really upset me, and I have been going to trials now for three weeks in a row, and work has been very busy. I am also very sad about having to face losing my Tucker boy. Getting old is horrible. This is the same time as last year when I lost Cori.

I emailed a friend who trains Border Collies, and she gave me sage advice. BC's are just real pitas at this age. I need to just set things up so he can't bother the other dogs, and give him lots of exercise (which I already do). Today, I sat with the lad out on the deck. He finally calmed down, and looked at me with those lovely eyes, and he had a moment of calm adoration wash over him. Then, later when I was on the phone, out on the deck, Danny wanted my attention, so first he sat, and then he lay down. Just offered me behaviours to get my attention- behaviours I would like.

I do love him, and I feel like I need to give him time to grow up and enjoy him for what he is. I guess I am feeling my age, who knows. I know I am feeling his age ;)
After a couple more months of growing up, I will be sending Danny away for his training, and then, maybe then, he will be a big boy, and will have matured in such a way, that he fits me like Lucy fits me. Border Collies should come with warning labels...

Thanks Carolyn. Your support is always appreciated.

Changes are in store

First, some other details of my trial trip. The handler's dinner was very nice. I finally got to meet some of the folks I have heard about, but now I was able to put faces to names.

The room I had at the lodge was huge. Just very very big. Half the size of my house. Could have fit 20 people in there.

Danny behaved very well, and was so loving to his breeder, who was running a dog there (and who had the top score in pro-n on Sat, let's hope she wins it). He didn't get to play ball, because I couldn't risk it at the trial site (the sheep were loose) and no place at the inn. But, he did very well.

I slept very well the second night, well, except when I was awoken at 3 am, by my upstairs neighbor....

For some reason, even though we didn't do well, I had a good time. I think I just needed to get away. I never do that- that is, stay over night and socialize. I should do that more.

When I got home on Sunday afternoon, everyone was so happy to see me. Mr. Chips came out from under the couch cushion (he's not so outgoing...). I let all the dogs out to run, and heard lots of talking from Kylie. When I checked my email, Ms Ginger, my very old kitty actually came out from the bedroom to be next to me.

I was asleep, I think, by 8:15 pm. Then, at about 3 something, the puking started. First, Ginger, on the bed near me- I shifted her away from me just in time. Then, Kylie?

When I got up, I noticed that my bedroom door was shut, and locked. VERY odd. I must have done that in my sleep. Scary, as I have no recollection about that.

This morning, I let Danny out with everyone, as Lucy is no longer amorous, and I am thanking God for that. I got everyone but Tucker, my old boy in. I think Tucker is almost blind, and pretty much deaf now. Anyway, I waved him in, and he came up the stairs, Now, I had Danny inside, because Danny will not let him up the stairs, or Tucker won't try, either way, as Tucker TRIES to make it up the stairs, Danny grabs him hard on his hock. It *really* annoys me, and it is unacceptable. Tucker is too old for this.

So, anyway, as I was saying, I had everyone in, including Danny (even though he didn't want to come in, because it is so much more fun to harass Tucker). Tucker made it up the stairs, got to the door, and as he tried to come inside, Danny shot out, and grabbed him. Tucker howled in pain.

This is where the change is coming folks. Danny, although I love him, just is not fitting in here. Maybe it's just because he is at a very tough age, or, maybe I am not, deep down, a Border Collie person. I don't know. If he was my only dog, it would be I am sure much better, but he isn't, and won't be. He doesn't only bother my old boy- he's a jerk with all the dogs. Always biting, always body slamming.

It isn't herding behavior, he's demonstrating, it's bullying/bratty stuff, that I think he is doing, because he is very bored in his life. I play with him, and we do some training, but it isn't enough. Danny can't work sheep yet, as he is clearly too immature. Danny would do very well in a house hold with another Border Collie, who can play just as hard and crazily as he. Even Lucy won't go outside to do her morning constitutional as he just runs into her. She is no push over either.

So, to that end, I am going to see what is the next step for Danny. I want everyone happy. I do NOT want Tucker, who is near being gone, to suffer any longer. It makes me really resent what Danny does to him, and I will not euthanize Tucker, so I can take away MY stress, by what Danny does to him. Oh, and yes, I have worked hard to teach Danny, that what he does is unacceptable, but he seems to have no control, and then once he's done it, he is very slavish to me, almost apologizing. Tucker went down this morning when Danny grabbed him. Tucker's weak in his hind legs.

I have also come to peace with maybe doing some other things with Lucy, perhaps Frisbee. She loves that. Lucy can beat any Border Collie out there when she has her head on right, but that comes sparingly. People were so nice at the trial this weekend. I guess since we've been at this a while, maybe they admire my perseverance, I don't know. Sure would be nice to have a stop on the fetch reliably, but I don't think it's coming.

I will still work sheep, but only sparingly, and will work the sheep at my brother's place, and take lessons with various folks. But, even that will be markedly decreased. I *need* to work on my house. I have let my personal life (non dog) get lost. I need a break. I need vacations away from my animals, or, if not quite that, I need a quieter house. I just need tranquility.

So, changes, they are coming, it is time.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Crash and Burn

Yup. That's what happened. Surprised? No, not really, well, maybe a little.

I left for the trial mid afternoon on Friday. I then drove two extra exits, as in I missed my exit, on 91. Great. That added 45 extra miles to my trip.

Got to the Natook lodge- very nice. Not cheap, but nice. Then, to bed. Only ate 1/2 an egg sandwich, and a Babe Ruth candy bar all day. No vending machines, so I said to heck with it, just hitting the sheets.

Could not sleep- my mind was going 90 mph. Ended up falling asleep at about 2, and had to get up at 5.

Got to the field, when someone says that some place is out of the way, they mean it. Beautiful area, right on a river.

So, Lucy and I were in the middle of the running order. I sent her to the left, beautiful outrun/lift. Then they ran on the fetch, so she ran. Then, a mess at the post, and I retired. She was just wired for sound.

Second run that day, I had run her in the fields, and threw her Frisbee and got her a bit tired. I also handled her differently- was very on her. It was again, a beautiful outrun/lift, fetch was eh, drive top shelf. Pen, well, they would not go in, ran for the exhaust, Lucy zipped them, and one split off, and we were dq'd.

Third run this morning, sent her like the other runs, to the left. Again, beautiful outrun/lift. Then, she pushed them on the fetch, would not lay down, I downed her at the post, gave her one chance to engage her brain, and then she zipped, and we retired.

Phew, glad that the trial wasn't that expensive. I got a blue ribbon for my effort, and I find that pretty ironic.

Lucy was just completely wild. Those sheep bring it out, but her head was clearly not in it- except for her outrun/lift. She got 20/10 all three days. If we had retired before the fetch, we would have had lots more points ;)

I left the trial site around 10:00 am today, glad to be home. Last trial for a long long time. Good thing.

Danny was great. Slept in his crate in the car, and was so good at the trial. He's a sweetie, that's for sure.

Well, that's the up date for now. Have to accomplish some things.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Weekend, here we go

Well, believe it or not, another weekend has appeared. Good, very good. I did a teeny tiny amount of cleaning last night. Lots more to do, but it shall have to wait. It was down right chilly this morning. The forecast is for the thirties in the pine barrens this weekend. Jeepers, that is really cold.

I have to get my stuff together, and run errands, then I head out to the trial this weekend. It's a LONG ride. Don't like them- neither does Lucy. Danny is coming along as well. Will be his first hotel stay. We shall see how that goes. Am bringing balls and Frisbees for the dogs, so they can get some exercise. My sister is staying at my house, so that will be good.

BJ the Parakeet is fine. Let's hope he stays that way. Not letting my guard down.

Not much to write, have to get a move on.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Danny, ball play

Danny and his daily routine. With a walk on by Mr. Chips, himself.

Sheep sheep sheep

Finally, things are coming together. It has been a long road. We have a few sheep at my brother's farm, and we shall soon have more (as of mid October). No more traveling for sheep work on a regular basis, and only lessons to get the dogs out on the big fields (the bigger the better).

Danny is ready now to work sheep in earnest. I am excited about it :)

It will have to wait until after the weekend though. Lots of traveling to the trial, and then, next week, just back to the normal drudgery of life- no more trials unless I can hitch a ride with someone--- never want to completely stop!

I cannot WAIT for Lucy to be out of heat. This is just so annoying. Danny whines, Lucy gives her bedroom eyes to him. Separate, that's for sure. Night time is no fun, because as the song says "it's the right time for making love...."

I finished that great novel by Patrick Taylor entitled "An Irish Country Village". You all simply MUST get a copy and read it. There is one more book by the man, that I will get, and then I will keep an eye out and see what's coming.

It was cool this morning. Still though, there are mosquitoes. Yuck. Oh, that reminds me, I need to get some more Interceptor...

Back to the sheep, I cannot wait to invite my friends to come and work sheep. I plan on making it a very fun endeavor- refreshments, perhaps a bit of fal der ral, who knows. I have lots of repaying to do. Maybe we will even have a trial there.

Well, that's it for now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bits of news

Not much to report, I am afraid- maybe that's good. Just back to normal work days. Those are in some instances, good. Lucy and I are running in a trial this weekend, but I don't know if I will be able to school her. Maybe she will be better, because she will just about be out of heat. I can tell you that Danny is pining for her, and she is completely welcoming to him.

I have bad news, I forgot to mention. I lost Lucy II (my Parakeet) the other day. I thought she was getting better, but then I found her dead. That leaves Mr. BJ alone. I won't be getting any more Parakeets until whatever illness took my Ricky and Lucy is done. Sad, really. BJ is lonely, but I have to wait.

Sad news too, that Patrick Swazee died. He was a well loved guy, and Ghost and Dirty Dancing were movies that highlighted his depth, and genuine deep seated character (well Ghost anyway- I loved Dirty Dancing though!).

Danny is itching to work sheep- gotta get him to my brother's soon. Or, he will explode. He is so ready. I have some new moves I am doing with him, which is engaging his wee brain a bit, which is good.

Well, that's it for now folks. Ta ta!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bruised and Battered

I have souvenirs from my sojourn in sheep work yesterday ;) Remember when I mentioned that the one sheep hit me hard to escape being penned? Well, I have nice horn shaped bruises on my thigh. I shall have to capture it on camera, so you can all see what I am talking about. Also, I think at the same time, my foot got mushed. Who would have thunk it? My big toe started to hurt last night, I saw blood on the sock, and removed said sock. Some one's hoof some how pushed down hard enough to lacerate my toe. I remember it happening, but I think the thigh pain trumped it. Oh, and before I even left for the trial yesterday, I smashed my elbow into the closet door jamb. THAT hurt. Let me tell you.

Sheep with horns always hurt me. I shall never have sheep with horns. Repeat after me "I shall NEVER have sheep with horns" Even IF I cause the problem ;)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Trial Report

What a weekend! I am still not feeling great, so I almost didn't run Lucy on Saturday. But, I pulled up my boot straps, and got a move on.

Saturday, the outrun was 125 yards, and it was past a hedge row. This proved tricky for a lot of dogs. When it was out turn, I sent Lucy on an away. She immediately was tight. I stopped her, and gave her a "get out" command. So, she took it. To the left. So, she crossed her course, but kicked out beautifully. Nice outrun Lucy... Anyway, she came up behind, did a small over flank, and found the Scotties starting at her, like, "hmm, what do YOU want?" She nicely walked up (no whistles) and got them moving. Then they ran- probably due to her. Then, we got them tightly around the post, and then we wore. Me having to yell to get her to down, but her complying for the most part. Then, at the pen, the sheep got there before me. Great. The kiss of death. But, no.. I opened the gate, one sheep politely backed up so I could open it, and in they trotted. I couldn't believe we got a pen that easy. Was a decent run, but could have been better for the obvious reasons.

Today, we ran dead last. They had moved the set out point closer, to try and avert issues with young green dogs (I was told) and the hedge row. I was immediately deflated, because Lucy does better outruns and fetches with longer outruns... Oh well.

So, this time I send her left. She does a very nice out run. She comes up, gets them moving and then hurries them to me (which is worse now, because the sheep are closer to me..) Then, we get them around, and I have to yell a lot at Lucy, as she is just not listening for her downs. When we got the pen, the sheep stopped a good distance away. I layed down Lucy. I had her walk up, and then they bolted to the left, then the right, then lather, rinse repeat. The did NOT want to pen. So, at one point I had Lucy in the exact right spot. I said "One step". Not that she knows what that means. But, apparently she does, because she took one step, and then layed down. She really worked hard. Then, the sheep decided to bolt on my side, and one hit my thigh with her horns- hard. That's when I signaled to the judge that I was done.

We got off the field, and someone mentioned that it looked like a good run. It was. Apparently, we would have been one of the top scores, had we not retired- even without the pen. But, the run just felt bad, and I felt discretion was the better part of valour. So, that was our runs. Oh, and Lucy is in standing heat, so clearly, she has better things on her mind, then working for me ;)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekend, YEAH!!

Another week almost over. Still not ahead on the cleaning. Will that ever happen again? I doubt it. I need a live in house keeper. I also need no more carpets...

Dogs are fine, Lucy the Parakeet who was looking a bit under the weather is back to almost 100% normal- yeah!

Lucy and I are running in a trial this weekend. Weather looks a bit iffy, but if that slows my girl down a bit, I will take it. We haven't worked much, due to my schedule, so we shall see how it goes. But, I don't sweat it too much anymore, I know that Lucy is my girl no matter what. She has demonstrated that she is a contender, so now, we finish on a good note this year. Next year we are running pro novice- she is ready, and so am I.

Danny continues to be an adolescent male Border Collie. Pretty much low on the brain power, high on energy, and with hormones going a mile a minute. Every time I get the urge to try him on sheep, I see him skid through the kitchen screaming like a banshee, and I am brought back to earth ;)

Fall is definitely approaching. Leaves are turning, air is cooler, much fewer insects. I welcome it with open arms.

Well, that's about it for now, need to get a move on.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Herding Lesson - Summer 2008

I just had to post this. The commentary by the videographer is just too funny.

Lucy's my girl

I worked Lucy yesterday and it was just great. Lucy has really come into her own now. We worked a bit on outruns, and I was able to correct a bit of tightness on the left, which she took well- and corrected appropriately. Then, on her lifts, the sheep just did not want to move, so she was able to do proper lifts, and make them move, calmly. It was very nice. When she sees sheep are about to bust free she just goes into cover mode, and it ain't that stylish :) Thanks sheep, that was good. Her driving was great. Lucy drove them I don't know how far, but at least 150+ yards? Then, I had her turn them and cross drive them a good long distance (I am bad at estimating lengths!), and then, I called her back, and worked on a couple outruns. Man it was nice. This dog fits me so well. Yeah, she can get a little wahoo a bit, but no dog's perfect.

If I could have another 3 Lucy's, over the rest of my life, I would like that very much.

Danny is on the side lines, until he grows up a bit. He's just too puppy still, and the corrections he needs to keep him out have to be too strong. So, he gets to tag along, and occasionally play, and swim in my brother's pond. He still love to fetch his ball, and again this morning, we played. He gets sufficiently worn out, and comes in to a nice cold bowl of water, and then he lays in the living room, happy as can be.

Well, that's it for now. Busy week ahead.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My beautiful kitties

Mustang Sally

Well, the wedding was awesome. The food was to DIE for. Hors des ouvres were something from heaven. They had Scallops wrapped in bacon, they had cocoanut shrimp, they had spinach turnovers wrapped in filo dough. That's just a small example. So good. The band was very good too. They did a rendition of Mustang Sally that rivals any other band I have heard. Just great.

On Saturday, the day after the wedding I was SPENT. I have to go get more B12 shots.. My energy is gone. I just couldn't function yesterday. Other than the bare minimum, nothing got done.

Back is still not right. Really must have annoyed it some how. Today, who knows. Maybe another nothing day, but maybe, a trip to Barnes and Noble.

Well, that's it for now.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Second verse, same as the first

Today is the wedding. I had to go find something to wear. That was not exactly fun, but was definitely my exercise for the day. I finally found a skirt and top I liked. Not generally something I wear, but it looks good. I have definitely lost more weight, as everything was loose.

This morning was eventful for Lucy. She came in from outside holding her foot up, and was crying in pain. She got stung by a bee. OUCH. Right on her tootsie.

The wedding starts tonight at 5, and I heard the band is great. I know the food will be good. Nice weather too.

This weekend, I have hopes of pulling up the carpet in the bedroom. Heck or high water.

On the Danny front (isn't that a great shot of him??!!), he has learned to put his whole body in the water tank. No more sheep work for him for a while; he still isn't there mentally yet- he's keen, but not calm.

Have to focus on Lucy anyway. Last time I worked her, her driving was just so good- AND her outruns were good.

Well, going to chill a bit

Look at that boy!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tiny Update

So, my back hurts. A lot. This really stinks. I thought I was over back issues many years ago. Let's all collectively hope that this is just a passing issue.

I am liking life a bit more lately. The weather is better- cooler, especially at night, and a lot less insect activity.

Danny is growing up, a little each day. He's such a sweet boy.

My goals this week are to clean the house VERY well, and chill out a bit. Not very lofty, but they will have to do.

The two Parakeets are BEST FRIENDS now. It's very cute.

Oh, my brother heard from two separate neighbors that SWORE they saw a Mountain Lion. Interesting. More predators, that's all we need.

Well, that's all I have for now, boring as it is. Don't worry, I am sure something will come up.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back on plane

Do you all know what that term refers to? It refers to the process, when operating a boat, of getting the vessel on a level plane at acceleration- or something like that.

It's good to be back to normalcy again. I was able to read my book last night, and between last evening, and this, I got my lawn mowed/string trimmed. Back to morning ball play with Danny.

Made pancakes for dinner tonight- I don't have any food in the house, and won't be going to the market for a few days.

BJ, the new Parakeet- I think that will be his name- he looks like blue jeans, and Lucy are getting along famously- they do everything together. She really hearts him :)

This weekend I have another wedding to attend, so that means I have to find something to wear. I have lost some weight of late (as evidenced by my loose jeans) and that outfit I wore at the last wedding was a bit loose. That will have to happen on Thurs? The wedding is on Friday.

This weekend will be spent JOYOUSLY doing what ever comes to mind. It's a long weekend, but I have no plans.

Am thinking of going on a cruise- yes, seriously. The fall foliage I took several years ago is about $500.00 cheaper now. I would so LOVE to go. I may just freakin' do it.

Well, that's it for now.

It is with great sadness I report

Glen, Danny's father died last week. I just learned of it this week, having been incommunicado due to the fair. Glen is the reason I brought a Border Collie home. I spent a long time (years) eschewing the breed, but when I learned of a litter sired by Glen, I knew that this would be my best chance to get a Border Collie that would suit me best. Glen always did everything asked of him willingly and with such a great attitude. He was never a troublesome dog, and he never bothered anyone. Glen in his hey day competed and did well at all the big trials.

Danny has some very big shoes to fill. I know he will. Godspeed Glen, you will never be forgotten.