Thursday, December 31, 2009

As we approach 2010....

Well, today is New Year's eve. No plans, as I have to work tomorrow, plus, I just don't have the energy to stay up until midnight! Was thinking today about an article I read recently, on the economy, and the recovery that will ensue- very slowly. Many economists are predicting about ten years before we dig out of the mess we are in. During that time job opportunities will remain sparse, lending will be tight fisted, and houses selling prices will fall, or stabilize. Basically, it's more of the same for about ten more years. It's very sobering news.

That got me thinking about my plans, and that I need to make fundamentally sound choices with regard to purchases, and plans. It's not a matter, any more of want, really, it's a matter of need, or *really* want bad enough to save for it.... When I got in bed last night, I heard myself saying "I love this house, and my animals". I don't normally talk like that outloud, but for some reason, I felt very content, and grateful for all I have. Sure, I would love a bigger house- if I could afford it. Can't. I would love an RV if I could afford it. Can't. Lots of things come to mind, but what do I really need? Just what I have.

So, I think these hard times have made me realize that always wanting something you can't have is just plain wasted time. Just enjoy what you have, and live your life. Sort of like what the dogs do every single day!

Small respite from cabin fever

Well, yesterday, although cold, I finally got to work the dogs. Still no whistle, since Lucy ate mine (though I got the new whistles in the mail yesterday). But, we worked anyway. We did a nice shed first, and then straight away driving- trying to get her to hold lines better. I think she is coming in that aspect. I wore about 4 layers, and of course my Smartwool socks, and muck boots.

I worked Danny too, and I am learning a lot. For one, just because he is a Border Collie, does not automatically mean that he will know everything. And, two, that I need to remember that. Danny's flanks are good now. Now, I have to get him to stop flanking so much. He learned first to flank, not come in on sheep, then flank, and now, we need some pace, and no wasted flanking. He learned a lot in one session, and I think two or three more sessions, he will have it. He is so willing to do what I ask, and try, and is just a nice boy to work. He's always ready to go back in, but he's calm when we do so. Almost have him stopping the business of zipping when we first start too.

When we got home last night, I was just so tired- I picked up a slice of pizza from the deli, put it away until I fed the animals, and then ate, and chatted with a friend on the phone, and then bed. I was beat. But, I awoke at 12:30 and 3:30. No idea why.
I then slept a bit late this morning- weird. I did end up with some frostbite on my toes, so I am going to have to get more feet warmers at Dick's.

So, today, it is snowing. I hope we don't get a lot of accumulation. I am not planning on doing much, besides work, and then home.

Then, tomorrow we ring in the New Year. Here's to a great 2010!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Brrrskie, oh, what the heck......

I am so glad I took the dogs for a run yesterday. Starting last night, into this morning, the temperatures dipped majorly, and the wind really picked up. This morning, when I let all but Danny out (he still has to go out alone, as he just can't concentrate when the other dogs are out there), the dogs came back in in almost record time. After letting Danny out, I thought about not even throwing for the dogs, as it was so cold and windy. I acquiesced though, and got bundled up, and got on with it, as they say. Didn't stay out that long, and when the wind picked up even more, we headed in.

This winter has been a real boo hiss for me. No working dogs due to snow, cold, you name it. At least we have a place to run them now...

Tucker, my old boy who is seemingly near his end- his back legs just are not working right- he is so strong and big in front, but his hind legs have atrophied. He has also not been able to hold his urine well. Anyway, I have a big nice couch that I used to have a slip cover on, but the cover ripped, so I through it away. Tucker peed on the couch once, and I steam cleaned it, and pulled the cushions up, so the dogs could not get on the couch... or so I thought...

Well, Tucker, some how, pushed all the cushions off the couch and lay on the frame. Now, if you remember, he doesn't get around well anymore, so I was impressed. I have decided to chuck both the couch and the recliner chair, and to replace them with two love seats, so I said "why not? I will just let him lay there, it's trash anyway".

Boy was he happy last night. Only moved once all night, whereas when he is on the blankets in the room he's up and down several times. Now, I need to find decent small home furniture....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Peace and love, and exultation

Took the dogs for a run today. They were just exultant. It has been so long since they ran, and I think I may have found a safe place for this. Lucy definitely has more endurance than Danny, but then, I think Lucy has more endurance than any other dog living. She is also the fastest dog I have seen, other than a racing greyhound. May try lure coursing with her...

The first picture was a "had to" as it just captured the inner peace, and love that those two kitties have.

My babies fitting in nicely

A duel

Lucy perched atop a sculpture

Danny, utter joy

Best mates having a race!

Green Heron hunting

Upon seeing Danny, this Green Heron stretches his neck

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Danny's growing up

So, I finally had a day off. I thought of all the things I could do today, but I think I will just stay home, chill out, clean, and rest. I could use more rest. Last night, I noticed that Danny, of his own volition, and not in his crate, decided to go to sleep behind my chair. This is a biggy. For the most part, Danny has spent a lot of time outside- his choice, but now, that he is older, and wiser, he chooses to hang with the pack, and I. I still don't trust him 100%, but we are getting there. For instance, right now, flanking me are Lucy and Kylie, with Danny between them chewing a bone. That is good. The girls love the boy.

This morning I woke at about 5:15, let the dogs out and left Danny loose, and went back to bed- since I finally could. Then, got up, let him back out for a potty break, came back in, and took a shower. When I got out of the shower, I found the signature of Tucker- pee from his crate, through the bedroom, through the kitchen. He pees when he walks. I was irritated, because he could have also gone out when I let Danny out. Tucker is getting old, and I shouldn't be irritated, but cleaning up that distance of pee, really entirely stinks.

It is very warm today- forecast is for the fifties. Ground is still frozen, so lots of water and mud- enough that I won't be throwing the ball out there. Danny will have to make do with indoor games, and just chilling. I need that chilling anyway.

Friday, December 25, 2009

An awakening

I have not been very festive lately- I think it's because I have been so busy, and don't ever seem to have time to just stop and smell the roses as it were.

Yesterday I was in no mood to head up to my parent's house later in the day, after working. I was tired, had a stomach ache, and just wanted to skip it. At one point, I got up to check on Lucy and Danny in the yard. They were playing like pups. I stopped and was entranced. Lucy had found a big branch that she was prancing around with, and then would put it down and rip bark off it. Danny did this too. Then they would wrestle. It completely changed my mood. I felt like someone above was showing me for the millionth time, it was time to stop and enjoy the small things.

I got ready, and headed out to my parents. We had some wonderful finger food, and Norwegian cookies, and the best cinnamon Spritz cookies ever made. They were THAT good. Then, we headed to Church. We are Lutheran. It was to be a candle light service. We sang myriad Christmas songs, and the Pastor O'Rourke had a great sermon. And you know what? The primary topic in his sermon was that of the lamb draped on a shepherd's shoulders, and the affect it had on the baby Jesus, and he went on about shepherds, sheep, lambs, etc. I sat there thinking how apropos. I am sure glad I went. The candlelight part, where the lights were turned off and we all sang Silent Night, was just great. There were so many candles, you thought there were lights on, somewhere....

After the service, we went home, had more cookies, and opened up presents, and then it was time for me to head home, and hit the sack, as I had to work the next day.

On the way home, I heard golden oldies like "The cold, and the heat miser", and "Grandma got run over by a reindeer", and I just had to smile. There is something so familiar and well, memory filled by these types of odd songs...

So, got home, let the dogs out and headed to bed. This morning I awoke a little later than normal, and went out and ran the dogs.

It dawned on me sometime afterward, while making coffee, that 2010 won't be filled with things I want to do, it will be filled with the person I want to be, the acceptance of what I have, and not always striving to "get something". I want to make my house more a home, and have friends and family over more. I want to just live each moment to the fullest, and I won't dwell on the haters in this world, who just like to have a go at me (either directly, or more commonly, by trying to create drama, that doesn't exist). They are not worth my time. Life is short, and I aim to fill it with happy, giving, friendly people.

I am forever on the search for a nice piece of land to call my own, near my house. I won't be looking to move house, but it would be nice to lease some farm land. But, it won't be all encompassing anymore. It just can't be. I have to enjoy my life, live it to the fullest, and to hell with nay Sayers.

So, in closing, I would like to thank our Pastor, and Church for showing me what's really important, and that is love, and living life to the fullest. My grandfather used to say, "I am not rich, but I am the richest man I know", and by that he meant, that he felt fulfilled, and that's because he knew how to enjoy the small things, and appreciate everything around him, for it is all a gift.

Merry Christmas to everyone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Time for some pics!

Danny seems to have misplaced his front legs....

OMG! OMG! OMG!!! We are going to PLAY NOW!!!!!!!!!

Hello Handsome boy!

Dapper Dan

Danny and Lucy at the ready. Now, have you EVER seen such a good looking Border Collie and Kelpie together???

Here Danny is cooling off ON the stock tank... Yep, run hard enough, even in winter, you feel the need to coooool off!


So, lately, my shoulders have been bothering me. Methinks it's tendinitis, or God forbid, Bursitis. I just love getting old. Yeah. Right. I wake up to majorly painful upper arms/shoulders each morning. It's annoying, and I haven't time for it! Okay, done complaining!

It was a good morning today. Well, except for the rodent over my head rolling a nut- GOD I hate that. Once Mr Chips started his morning sing-song, the rodent stopped. Good. I was up early enough to get outside and play with Danny/Lucy before I left- it was cold (about mid teens), but not as cold as it has been. Ice patches are almost all gone as well, so that's good. I am happy to be back in that routine for the dogs, as I feel guilty working all day, when I can't run them first.

Danny is a quick learner. I don't allow him near me when I get the dog's food ready in the morning; Danny lays in the living room watching. It can be an issue when Mr Chips walks right up to him (as I mentioned before, Danny will sometimes show his teeth). Well, I have reminded Danny he better not think of that, so this morning, MC walks up near him, and Danny turned his head away, like "If I don't see you you creep, I won't get mad, and then mom won't get mad at me". It's so Border Collie behavior.

So, I am 95% done with my Christmas shopping. This year our Christmas Eve will be a bit different, as we are going to Church, after we eat, and then back to open presents (as Norwegian tradition is to open presents Christmas Eve). But, I doubt I will be able to stay up that late- I get up at 5:00, and staying past nine is really REALLY late for me. But, we all get together for a fresh ham dinner on Christmas day, and then, I can partake of the festivities! Plus, I hate being gone so long when I have the dogs to take care of...

I have to go with my old friend tomorrow night to visit her husband in the hospital. He had brain surgery last week, and the outcome could have been better- as in there are some residual issues with eye sight, hearing, balance, etc.. I am going to try and lift his spirits, and we will bring him some edible food- that should help. I have known these folks most of my life, so they are truly like family to me. She's one of those friends who you don't talk to often, but when you do, it's like you never left off.

Well, that's it for now. I hope you all have a fruitful week- getting ready for the impending holidays, and also, get some pre-emptive rest!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Top of the morning to you

So, let's see. Yesterday, we had a forecast of upwards of 7" of snow, which around these parts is not really a big deal. Nevertheless, when I hit the grocery store yesterday, it was MOBBED. Barely found a parking spot. It was like Apocalypse now. People were just stocking up. Give me a BREAK! At one point I walked down the aisle with pancake mix, and people were snapping that up- like they were going to be snowed in or something. Well, I bought what I needed, headed home, and did the usual stuff, and then made a very nice meal. I had the butcher cut me a nice sirloin steak (enough for two meals), and I bought a couple of sweet potatoes, and another veggie.

Well, that meal was stupendous. That sweet potato was to die for, seriously. MMMM MMM. Today, I will make chocolate chip cookies- not sure what is on the menu, as I HAVE to finish shopping!

This morning, that big storm? A dusting, and only, as far as I could see, on my front steps- so little, my foot could brush it off. What henny pennies these people are. BUT, Long Island, NJ, VA, and MD got almost 2 feet. Poor them- they can have it though!

There was a great show on yesterday "Snow Blind" about a woman who is legally blind, running in the Iditarod. She had to scratch before the finish because she had to retire so many dogs. You know, we talk about athletes in the form of sheep dogs, well, these sled dogs? A thousand miles? They are the real athletes. They go until they cannot go. Thank goodness for the good vets at the check points. Dogs scratched off the team get flights back home.

Tonight is another Raw Anatomy program- this time on the African Elephant- should be great. You know, when I read about other people eschewing the tv because it is all bad programming, I have to say, they are missing some seriously good stuff. Yeah, there is bad stuff, but for the most part, I am good at selecting decent, entertaining and educational programs.

Okay, I have another beef. Maybe it's because I spent my childhood summers at my gp's farm, and, because I worked horse farms for several years as my first job, so I know lots of things most people SHOULD know before they obtain livestock.

Here are some good rules to follow, when considering bringing livestock home:

1) Invest in good fencing. Start small, and add on as you can- think of predators, and if you will need to hot wire (offset) the bottom, and don't go short on height.

2) Invest in good shelter. Tarp buildings, unless they are built to professional specs, and guaranteed, will do nothing but rip, and collapse in the winter, leading to at best, crappy shelter, and at worst, injured animals. Real farmers/ranchers, invest in their barns- you will note that their barns are often better built than their homes.

3) In the fall, you need to get good hay. If you make it yourself, great, if not, don't buy the cheapest moldiest garbage- and if you have horses, and buy the aforementioned, you will pay in vet bills.

4) In the winter, plan for freezing water buckets/tanks. Get a electrical de-icer before winter hits, and make sure you know how to use it. Animals should not have to wait for you to go outside and break the ice.

5) In winter, it's best that animals are left out as much as possible, as this will keep their feet healthier, and prevent all sorts of nasties from spreading at close quarters.

6) Real ranchers and farmers make sure that the animals needs are met before our own.

7) Don't get animals unless you want a top shelf operation. We do not need anymore "farms" that maintain animals in sub-par conditions, just so they owners can say they have them. These animals should be treated better than, well, almost anything. They bring income in, and they help feed/house you. They deserve that.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Today Danny is one year old. Hard to imagine. He has turned into such a great dog, and I know we have many many memories to create. Even in his short tenure on this earth with me, he has taught me that dogs really do live to please us (some do), and that life is meant to be lived, not watched. Thank you Danny. I love you boy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Various and weekend

This is a pic of Lucy watching the A. Macrae shedding dvd we got. I finally got this after much persuasion from my fellow training buddies. Would make me a better shedder, and all that. Well, they are right- this is a must have for anyone who wants to learn how to shed right. It's good stuff.

It is way way way cold out today. 9 degrees this morning on the way to work. I initially went out to play with the dogs, but it was too cold this morning, and icy. I just bagged it. We played a bit inside.

I still have yet to finish my Christmas shopping. I have drug it out this year. It will get done this weekend, God "willin' and the creek don't rise. No working sheep- my sheep are in with the cows now, and the footing is just not good- too icy. Oh, and Lucy, that little brat, ate another steak knife (hande, no, not the blade!) and my whistle! I could just... Now I have to buy another whistle.

I just got the NEBCA newsletter, and there was a small nice piece that Fiona Robertson did on Glen. I so wish I could have gotten the poem I wrote into the editors... it was inspired by Glen. Glen was the father of Danny, and in fact Danny's was the last litter that Glen sired. I sure hope that Danny can walk in his father's shoes. So far, he has the personality, and temperament down. I had looked at so many Border Collie breedings, but some how, I knew, with Glen as the father, this pup had a huge step forward in being a all around very good dog.

Danny is still thin, but maybe gaining a little. I have started adding some yogurt and safflower oil to his food. Hopefully he will get back to healthy weight soon. It's probably good I am not working him much, so he can just recover that weight.

I actually cleaned the house yesterday. It was just vacuuming and dusting, but it is done- for now.

Well, that's it for now. I hope you all have a good, safe weekend!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Barely treading water

I suppose many people get like this, this time of year. Too much to do, to much to plan for. I have been very busy at my job, and I have not had much time to do anything else. Still not finished with Christmas shopping, house not decorated, and house needs major cleaning. When? When we will I get it done? I don't feel very festive this year.

I get up around 5 every morning, and do the normal morning chores, and then it's off to work, and then, come home, more chores, relax a bit, bed, and lather, rinse repeat- ad nauseum. Have not been able to play ball outside with the dogs- too icy, and the mud will be heinous soon. I kick a ball in the morning for Danny in the living room, and he appears to like that, but I would love to run him. Oh well. Danny is still so thin. I may have to ask around for some good probiotics to use with his food. His coat isn't shiny either. He has a great appetite, but I think the Giardia got pretty bad before I caught it.

Oh, I think I have to have a chat with Mr. Chips. He is getting rather, um, chunky. When he sits, he reminds me of one of those Russian nesting dolls....

As well, I noticed the other day that he had a bit of trouble getting through the baby gate (accordion style). I had to extend it a bit, so he could fit... Believe me, I know how he feels!

I worked Lucy and Danny the other day. I don't know what is going on with Lucy, but she is acting a fool sometimes, and I think it's probably my tension. We have to go back to basics on flanks, and just work her when I am in the right frame of mind.

I worked Danny too, and let's just say that he is a work in progress. Actually, he is doing pretty well, as he is doing small gathers now, and his flanks are good most of the time, but if I get all tense, he does too. So, I just need to kick back a bit. It will make me a better trainer, I know. If he would just stop being a jerk when I first start, it will make me much happier. I did catch him just as he was about to explode into the sheep (thusly ignoring me). Just as he got up to run at them, I caught him and corrected him. It made a big impression and he didn't do that again.

It's just hard, because I haven't been able to work the dogs much, and I am so behind the eight ball on everything. I just need some time off.

Calgon, take me away!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

That's the good stuff

Yesterday, I had to work, and afterward, I was just so tired, I could barely function. I just needed to rest, but alas, I had to go to my sister's Christmas party. So, I made my spinach dip and headed up there a bit early to help. There was a ton of very good food, and some folks brought yummy things like Artichoke dip, Sushi, and these willow bar scrumptious items. I happened to really like the little Nathan's pigs in a blanket ;)

The party went well. There were lots of kids who went and played fooz-ball downstairs, and video games. My sister's kids were all home, and my other sister's boy was there. He is just a cool kid.

I was enlisted to drive him to a friend's house when we left, and we had a great time looking at the Christmas lights, some were just amazing, but not gaudy. It's a reason to go out at night this time of year. We had a nice conversation about various things, and it reminded me how lucky I am to live near my family. It's really important to me.

When I got home I was plum tuckered out. Just too tired to do much but feed the dogs and cats and hit the sack. But, I was absolutely entranced in the "Raw Anatomy" program on a Croc dissection. I learned some extremely cool things, and I almost called a fellow Biologist at home to tell him about it.

This morning, I let the dogs out almost normal time, but then back into bed. Now, I have fed, let a few out and am just chilling. I wanted to try to work dogs today, but it appears more snow/rain is coming, plus, I think Danny is cutting his wittle paws on the ice- I saw pin prick sized blood dots on the linoleum this morning. He is the only one who runs out there pell mell, so I bet it's him. Oh, one other thing, since I am talking about the boy... He has gotten so painfully thin, that I brought a fecal sample in to be tested. Turns out he has Giardia, so I have started him on the anti-parasitic. Hopefully he will be normal weight soon.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter Quietude

Not much has been happening, sad to say. I haven't even gotten my order from Border Collies in Action, that I placed sometime week before last... I wonder, if since it is coming from Wyoming, that the storms knocked things out of whack?

It has been too cold/icy to play fetch outside with the dogs. Danny slipped on an icy paver the other night and was lame, but okay the next morning. I have always heard/thought that BC's could be prone to injuries, let's hope Danny isn't one of them...

Nikke, my 9 year old Kelpie had a tumor removed in '07, well, it appeared to have come back the other day. I made an appointment, but by the time the original surgeon came in to see it, it had resolved. So, let's just pray that this was just an anomaly, and that I don't have to go forward with the oncologist, as I cannot afford Chemotherapy.

I have been very busy at work, and trying to keep up with house work. I also feel bad that I can't do a lot outside with the dogs. But, that's pretty much a broken record- every winter I feel that way.

I have a Christmas party to go to tonight, going to do the Knor Spinach dip. I still have to finish Christmas shopping. Lots to do, in like, 12 days.... I think I will put up my wee Christmas tree today.

Oh, yesterday, two hawks, I think Marsh Hawks flew right into my back yard, and were calling to each other, like they were a pair or something. Since my yard is Squirrel (red and gray) mecca, it's like the Country Buffet at my place- perhaps they were checking on their reservations ;)

Well, not much else going on, better get to it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My girl, epiphany and cookies

Yesterday morning it was very cold- some where in the low twenties. I trundled out the door to throw the ball for Danny, and the Frisbee for Lucy. Danny doesn't care a bit about bad weather. Lucy, however... We didn't play long because I was afraid Danny would cut his pads on the ice. At one point as I was watching Danny, Lucy came up and gently slid her head under my hand. It was quite a moment. We were just us, together. Anyway, I took it as a more practical sign, that she was cold, and we should head in... So we did.

Today, I am making Chocolate Chip cookies. Yum. Going to start them now... Okay, got the first batch in the oven... Cleaning a bit today- this is a good thing :)

So, what was the epiphany you may ask? Well, I felt like I had been spinning my wheels with Danny. He was making little progress, as it was a battle with his slicing in, although it was getting less and less. I just didn't like his too fast approach, almost not thinking.

So, this last time I worked him, I decided no more whip, or stick just me. Me who was not in a particular jovial energetic mood. Me who was going to work my dog, not react- just work him. So, I go out there, stand up tall, and stayed calm. I had a different dog by miles, I mean many many miles. Danny just worked- calmly. Thought of getting tight maybe once, but no, not really. I even had him doing small gathers. He was so nice behind the sheep, kept his head low, behind, and lay down when asked. It was huge. A major breakthrough, and all because I changed how I comported myself. I feel like we will make very good progress now because both our heads are in the right place.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas, Sugar!

TOO FUNNY!!! I LOVE This song, this vid is just a nice extra :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I love Sundays

The view this morning

So, yesterday after work, I came home and proceeded to clean. Well, not too much, but I did pull the furniture (including the bed) out from the wall, and vacuum the dust etc., that was residing there. Then, I did lots of laundry. Finally, I had a nice dinner, and read a book. Good day.

Last night, there was *nothing* on tv. Well, with the notable exception of the PBS drive with Peter from Peter Paul and Mary, and another gentleman, who were doing a drive with their music, and memories of Mary. It was so very touching. At one point it came up that Peter was with Mary when she died. He recalled noting that she was in pain, and he asked if she was, she said yes, so he went and got a nurse. When the nurse returned, Mary fessed up to just wanting him to get to the point of his story ;) I can see that would be me on my death bed ;) Anyway, I cried, because these two had been through so much together, they broke up the group for 10 years, but came back together like they had never left. They sang in the 60's a period of time where music brought people together, and gave them hope- like Peter said. Imagine, having your dearest friend with you when you pass. I am always so deeply touched by the strong, and impenetrable support that is there when you need it. Mary, you were a cool lady.

This morning I got up and then went back to bed, but it was short lived, because Danny was absolutely going to die if I did not allow him his usual play session in the morning. So, after that, I did the usual morning preparations, had some great coffee, and then headed out to the MALL.

I got some jeans, and a nice soft sweatshirt that was on sale. I also went to PETCO, and was dismayed to find the Snuggies for dogs all sold out! So, I just got some bird food.

Now, it's home, and just time to chill. That's what's nice about Sundays....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cramps, Lucy, and cleaning

Man. I am getting old?... I worked the dogs yesterday, and came home, had a bad for me dinner, and my legs were pretty cramped up. My right thigh quad was fasciculating, and I was just plain uncomfortable. Woke up at 2:00 am really hot, and then had a glass of water, changed into summer night clothes, and back to bed. Awoke this morning, and found that my legs felt like I had run a marathon. It's odd. I guess I am in bad bad shape... Danny makes me run a bit, though it is less and less.

Would like to finish Christmas shopping, but lack the funds to do so.. So, I will have to wait on that. I really want to clean the house today, it's groty- I may even shampoo the carpet in the living room.

This morning Danny was laying in his normal place while I prepare food for the dogs, and Mr Chips walked over to him, and I saw Danny's nose crinkle! I may have even seen a little pearly white! I corrected him for that. Mr Chips is clueless when it comes to dogs. He thinks he IS a dog, but doesn't read dog language well. Well, he does read it somewhat, because he is a bit afraid of Danny- I can see it in his body language. Danny likes to nip him, and he did that today- he was just playing, but I have to come down on him for that.

Danny is coming along nicely on sheep- we still need to keep him calm when he first starts- he wants to zip them- it's almost like he wants to get it out of his system. And, it's very hard to get in there and block. So, not sure what I can do, but will have to figure it out, because that is basically the only issue right now. He is yielding to my pressure, and he did something cool. When I just stopped, and the sheep just stopped, he just stopped. That was waaaay cool. It's good that he is seeing that he is "doing" something with the sheep, not just flanking around.

Lucy was a nut case yesterday. I sent her to fetch the sheep to the barn, and then almost there, she headed them?? WHAT THE HECK??? She may be feeling neglected with Danny getting more work, but she best stop that. She is so fit, that dog could hold out for lessons, run a farm, run in trials non stop. She doesn't even need much food. Her hair is cool- she was muddy yesterday, and I just used my hands to brush her off, and she was clean.

I may hit Petco today, and use that gift certificate the cat owners gave me... Maybe a nice new cat tree for Meow, aka Mr. Chips. Other than that, as I said, cleaning and maybe just maybe chilling out. I ordered the Alisdair shedding dvd, so if that comes in, I will watch that. Oh, and I finally ordered a lanyard for my whistle- the yellow ribbon ain't cutting it anymore....

So, I hope everyone has a good weekend. I hear we may get some snow. Joy to the world eh? Well, as long as it melts, that's fine with me!

Friday, December 4, 2009

HMKG 04 Norwegian Military Tattoo

Since I am 1/2 undiluted Norwegian, this is just very cool to see!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Charlie Bringing in Sheep

An illustration of why sheepdogs exist.

Speed, holes, and fire

I see it's been a few days since I updated last... It's a trend caused by being so busy, and just wiped when I finally do get to stop.

I worked the dogs again, and there were some memorable moments, that I would like to share.

First, Lucy. I was working her on shedding, and I had only three sheep- that's hard, but I figured what the heck. She was forced to re-set her position several times, as she was too tight, and the sheep were being butt-heads. But, to her credit, she never thought of NOT doing what I asked. So, I finally get the sheep set, and when I have Lucy down, she takes a couple steps in- that is the KISS of death for shedding.

So, I had a glove in my hand and I went to whack it against my other hand, but missed (I wanted to underscore to Lucy that lie down means lie down- right then). The glove flew to the ground and one of the ewes decided it looked like lunch, and she ran over to it, making a nice hole, through which to call Lucy through. TOO FUNNY. I thought, hey, that's ONE way to make a hole :)

So, later one, I had Lucy shed two off, and put them near a fence. I want her to learn to just cover and hold, and not be so compelled to mix it up- if you know what I mean... So, she had them there, and then, I guess she had to pee, so as she is giving the hairy eye ball to the sheep, she pees. When she pees her tail came up, and when she finished, she had her tail up, and one leg up, looking like a pointer. I was thinking "hey, do we get extra points for style on this?" Gotta love a dog who just works through the bodily functions ;)

The other thing, and this I am not sure I can adequately convey... At one point, Lucy had to cover, I forget why, but she had to turn on the speed. She went out and she ran. She didn't just run, she covered ground as fast as any single dog I have ever seen. She looked just like a racing Greyhound. She completely extended her entire body, and looked to spend very little time on the ground. My mouth actually fell open. At that point, I thought to myself, I defy any dog to beat this speed. I have seriously never seen a dog run/float/motor that fast. Afterward she wasn't even freakin' winded.

I worked Danny too. We are getting there. He is so keen, and just wants to keep going back to work, and well, I love his little mischief he also gets, when I have the sheep on the fence and want him off, and he does a little stomp at the sheep, just to rile them. Yes, it's bad, but I LOVE a little fire in a dog.

So, that's it for now.