Saturday, September 29, 2012

All the leaves are brown....

And the sky is gray.... This song came to mind this morning, as I was letting Joe out.  It was dreary and wet and not at all inviting, but in some ways, it was inviting.  I love fall, and all that comes with it.  I have always felt this way.  Something about accomplishing another year, and looking forward to just relaxing a bit.  I  want to make plans to go apple picking and I am looking forward to the sheep and wool festival.  Almost time to start making apple delights like crisp and pie...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sheep update

So, before the Big E I dosed the puniest lamb again with Ivermectin.    I took a look at everyone when I got back and she was still not pink/red.  So, at this point I believe the Ivermectin is just not working.  She's a bit better, but not normal.  Then, yesterday, when I went to let the flock out of the room I keep them in when I work Joe, I saw the ram laying down again (he's lazy) and decided to check him. He was not real pink either.  What the hell is going on?  Maybe they normally are not that pink?  So, I called the vet and did not hear back, but am going there to get Valbazen today, and be done with this.  They are all acting well, but this is not cool.  I started graining them yesterday, so from here on out they will all get a small amount of grain, which I hope the lambs will do very well on.  So, that's it for now, will update as things either improve or not.  Part of me says send the puny lamb down the road, because one weak animal can really mess things up for flock health, but the other part of me says this is my fault for not being more observant and pro-active given the mild winter we had....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thought I would be wiped out yesterday, but as it turned out, after a coffee break at work with some sort of apple delight, I woke up nicely.  That was really good.  Worked all day, and then headed up to the farm with the boys.  We had a big cherry tree come down during the last storm and the sheep were starting to eat the leaves, which are poisonous, so my brother had his friend Mark take away the left over leaves/twigs after another guy cut it up.  No sheep have died thus far...  Anyway, checked the sheep, and all look okay.  Only two girls marked so far.  Took the breeding harness off the ram and put the raddle marker on him.  I think the crayon was pretty much defunct, and the harness was uncomfortable for him.  I checked the lambs again. Two look good, and two others have less than good coloring.  I wormed the worst one again before the Big E.   I will call the vet today and see if I should just give her time, or go ahead and get a different wormer- do NOT want to do that, as the resistance issue of the parasites is always looming.

Have my big giant, horrible rotten school tax bill due next week.  I detest this time of year for that.  I wanted to enter a trial in November, but just can't do it- any and all money has to go to paying bills, not for fun things like trials.  So, time to just enjoy the outside... and working Joey boy.

Joe worked pretty well yesterday.  We are now working more on "do not push the sheep past me you little imp!"   Still, if sheep are a long way away, he will split them.  Need to work on/think about a transition between working him on flanks and outruns, where he does not get the difference...  All in all, he is fun to work and he's very keen.  I do like that about him.  He has no fear of getting  between the sheep and the fence- doesn't really rush as he does it.  It's so great being able to work him a little each day..  So great.

I took out the a/c unit in my bedroom yesterday.  The trim got ruined by some leakage by the unit a few months ago, but thankfully, since I re-set it so it leaned a LOT more, no more wetness.  Just the trim will have to be replaced, not the whole window sill, so that is good.  Also, before I left for the Big E on Sunday, I noticed that the roof over my storage area had a leak near the chimney.  Not good. So, I called the guy who replaced my roof a few years ago, and within just a few hours, he was there and fixing it.  Is that not cool?  That's excellent service.

Weather is supposed to be iffy for the next few days.  Will make the best out of it that I can, but no work scheduled until next week with Charlie.  I am so much happier without all the heat/humidity and bugs, I can't tell you.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Am back, after two days of trialing at the Big E in Massachusetts.  I have never run in this trial, so I did not know what to expect of Dan and I.  There were two trials on Monday and one on Tuesday. 

Our first run was not too spectacular.  Several sheep missed panels, and although Dan listened well, things were not as tight as they could be- still though, I was happy.  Here is a video of our run

Anyway, after that run in the morning, we ran again in the afternoon, with a different drive direction, and we had a great run going.  All up until we finished the bridge.  We had gotten everyone through everything and Dan and I both got a bit jumpy, and Dan pushed in on the sheep behind me as I tried to guide them into the pen and then he zinged them a couple of times, and we did not get the pen.

That night we were all so tired we ordered take out delivered to the hotel and ate, and went to bed.  It's a long 12 hours at a fair...

Our run on Monday was better than the other two.  We got all the obstacles and I kept calm, and Dan worked superbly.  We ended up with eleventh place, and a little bit of money for our efforts- that was the cool part :)

I was so tired on the way home, I missed our exit off the parkway... I missed Joe a lot when I was gone, but it appears he is no worse for the wear.

Back to normal life now.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Atta boy Joey

Yesterday, I worked Joe again.  He's getting a bit better each time.  I worked Dan on the sheep first, to calm them down a bit, which is good for Dan, and then I have him leave them not too far from me, the gate and Joey.  I get between him and the sheep and although he's tight, he is going around- generally, and if he is tight, he will re-group everyone.  It's looking better.  Been working on keeping him from pushing them over me- as these sheep will go past and of course then he wants to get in front to cover.  We are also up to doing some walk abouts, which is cool, because of the trees- keeps it interesting.  At one point the phone rang- it was the vet's office (I had called about dosage of the Corid for the lambs), and I was able to down Joey, speak to vet, and hang up, and when I flanked him, he was good, not too tight.  That's a biggie.  We are still not 100% no zipping on flanks and he is tighter than he should be on the left, but we are working on it.  This working a short time each day is so much better on these young dogs.  I am so happy to have these sheep to be able to do this, and my cash flow is not so negative owing to so much gas money going POOF!

When we were finished working, I brought Joe to water, and he had a smile on his face, and a slow, happy wag. That's how I know it was a good session.

Atta boy Joe!

Lambs and Crayon

I gathered up the sheep as usual yesterday, and set to treating the lambs.   I got Corid from Agway (liquid form).  First, I wormed everyone, and I included even the good looking ewe lamb, as she could be pinker.  Then, the Corid.  It definitely does not smell sweet... They were not really into this, but we got it down, and I did it slowly, so no one would miss a full dose.  Have to repeat for another four days.  I had marked the lambs twice now with wormer, and had to again with the Corid.  So, they are looking decidedly war paintish.  Have to figure out where to mark them today.  Maybe a leg for each day? ;)  Hopefully this will do the trick.  I did some reading of the Merck Manual and it discusses Coccidia causing diarrhea, but not barber pole worm, so that is a good differential for me.  It also discussed how worms are generally more of a problem in late summer early fall, and for me, that seems right on.  This will change my management a bit, so that all lambs depending on color, will be wormed twice in the fall.  As I said earlier, I am going to be checking their color more often.  Lambs are just not very strong- even with a lot of grass.  The Merck Manual also suggested keeping lambs separate from adults, as adults are reservoirs for parasites, so maybe if I have a big enough lamb crop next year, I will just keep them separate for the summer.  Who knows.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Using the tools you have before you

I mentioned earlier about the lambs, and having wormed them, with one still being a bit pale.  I have been checking them all every day, and the littlest one is still paler than I would like.  I drove out to the local (not that local) large animal vet with a mixed dropping sample to see what I should do next.

When I walked in there, there were a few women getting some stuff at the counter, and in the reception area I saw a bunch of kittens for adoptions.  Oh goodness were they cute.  There were some black ones, a black and white and a beautiful little tiger.  I did not handle them, but adored them from afar.  A child, probably one of the vet's kids, picked up the tiger and I walked up to see him/her, and noticed they eyes were goopy and the ears not clean, so thought better of it- don't want to bring that home.  So calm they were.  My sort of kitties.  Anyway, my turn came and they just took the sample, my phone number and that was it.  They did not charge me before I left, though I do know it will be $28.00, but it was nice to do business this way for once.

I was not home for an hour when a vet from the practice called with the results.  Presence of Strongyles  sp (this is the barber pole worm genera) and Coccidia.  BOOM! that's it.  That makes total sense.  Now, as he told me, all animals harbor Coccidia, but lambs are way more susceptible to it and signs are diarrhea (the lambs have dirty butts) weakness, dehydration and death.   The vet and I talked on the phone and he gave me instructions as to dose of Ivermectin (re-dose them heavily) and Corid, the anti-Coccidial, which they have at Agway.  I called Agway, and they have it.  So, today I worm all the lambs again and start the first of five days of anti coccidial.   The vet mentioned it is common in wet places, etc., but my sheep are out on pasture and are moved regularly.  This Coccidia could have come from where the lambs originated, but who knows.  I screwed up and will not let the sun set on a dirty butt again!  I will also check the color of the lambs regularly, because that horrible barber pole worm just sucks the life right out of them, and the only sign that I see is paleness.  You can even detect it by their ear color.  I also am getting good at feeling for it- seeing how much fight a lamb puts up, or doesn't put up...

I am going to move them to a new pasture as well, this should make things better.  Sheep.  Always something new to learn!

Star Light Star Bright

Every morning when I go to let the dogs out, before 5:00 am, I stand out on the deck and look up.  I see dark clear skies and myriad stars.  I am going to try and get a picture for you all, because it is truly something out of this world.... pun intended.  Seriously though, I am so humbled by this beauty.  What a wonderful way to start the day.  The air is cooler now, and I feel energized, no matter what my worries, aches or pains, I am motivated to move ahead and enjoy the days for what they are- a gift. 

I also love my morning routine, one that works for me and the animals so well.  Everyone knows when everything happens, and there is a sense of fulfillment, and contentment in knowing we are having another great day.  All started by the stars.  Thank you stars.  Thank you for just being there.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

PSA for today

When installing Red Brand Fence, make sure that the red wire is at the top.  The reason it is red is so that you know that IS the top.  It is a thicker guage and prevents sagging. 
All day rain yesterday.  Lots of leaves everywhere, which is good because I can mulch them up when I mow :)  I hate raking.  Boy kitty wanted out yesterday, that is, until he stepped one foot out there, and then he backed up rather quickly.

Today is supposed to be decent out, so back to normal programming I guess.  So nice not having to drive to work Joe.  Especially since I couldn't afford it anyway, with the gas prices the way they are.  There are so many just like me with decent jobs, but earning less and less each year.  Am I better off than I was four years ago?  Hell no.  I am worse off.  Something has to change or we will be a nation on welfare.  I am not saying that Romney will fix things, but Obama has to start DOING something instead of letting the boat drift, and saying it will get better.  Sure.   Perhaps a second job- I am actually entertaining that idea.  I have done second jobs a lot in my life.  At least I have that option.  We shall see.

Got some house cleaning done yesterday, and went to the Dr for my knees.  Apparently, it's patello-femoral syndrome- where your kneecap does not move in the right track when you extend your knees.  There is not much that can be done, save for some exercises to strengthen your quads, etc.  He said hill walking is bad, and that's what I walk every day.  I get so sick of getting a new exercise program in place and having to stop because I hurt.  Give me a break.  So, I don't know what I will do... I have to walk the dogs, and walking on a track is no real fun for the dogs, or for me.  He suggested biking too- that may be an option- especially where the farm is, because it's quiet around there.  Hmmmm.

Today I may head up to Barnes and Noble to see about another book to read.  Am almost finished with "An Irish Country Medical Student' by Patrick Taylor.  If you haven't read this series, do yourself a favor and pick one of the series up- you will not be disappointed.

Well, better get to, lots I want to get done today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

As the years go by, time seems to fly.  We used to spend our time waiting for a special day, or weekend, and now, we look ahead to the next six months, and we bide by planning for paying bills, or things that need to get done.  I hope that at some point, I can really kick back, honestly and just enjoy myself, with no guilt that I am not accomplishing something.  Maybe it's the routine with the animals, where you don't really have time to loaf around, I don't know, but I sure don't want to miss the fun stuff, the relaxing time with family and friends.

Some how, I know everything will be okay in my life, between my belief in God and my family, there isn't anything I can't get through.  Then there are the evenings where I just get in the right place mentally, and the day seems worth it.

I have always been fiercely independent, don't know why, but even though I am staunchly behind getting things done pretty much myself, I do enjoy company, especially when it's a job/work that goes so much faster with many hands.

Today it is raining.  A good day to relax, maybe putz around the house, but not too much.  I spend days like this getting a little done, and looking forward to good weather and any plans ahead. 

Looking forward to fall and all it encompasses..........

Monday, September 17, 2012

Could not find them anywhere...

Yesterday, after a breakfast of okay pancakes (did not put enough milk in and they were too thick for my liking), I headed up to the farm to get the day started.  I brought the Cheviots in and then set forth to gather the training sheep.  I could NOT find them.  I walked that field several times.   Of note is the HUGE amount of TALL white snake root, which blocks any decent view on the left of the field and then the wooded section on the back right.  We seriously need to clear out that field (you hear that Charlie?!)  Anyway, I even had Dan with me, and no luck.  After several trips I finally went in and told my brother that we had a problem.  He came out and started on the right side of the field and me on the left.  After a few minutes, I heard my brother call me.  THANK GOD.  I got over there, and there they were standing there.  They are chunky monkeys, so I really didn't think they would have the energy to actually get over/under a fence, but I looked HARD and did not see them.

After that, I checked the lambs and still pale.  I will call our local large animal vet today and see if he suggests a different wormer.  Not sure if maybe it is coccidia? I noticed some diarrhea in the field.  I am watching them closely.  They are all grazing and chewing their cud. 

I worked Joe a couple times, and he's pushy as all get out.  He will come in a bite a hock if they stop before they get to me.  Right now we are in the "not sure you are the boss lady" period, and this is where we need to get past to progress.   So, we will keep at it and if I get stuck, we will have to take a lesson with someone.

I had a light dinner and was beat after the day.  My knees were BAD. I mean keep me from sleeping bad.  I see the Dr. on Tues, and I bet he will suggest that syn visc stuff he mentioned previously.  I will take anything at this point.

Gotta see when Charlie and I can get back at the work again.  Things are looking better, slowly but surely.

Oh, that picture shows a brush hog swath through all that snake root...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It was time

To get sensible sheep for Joe.  Gas prices are out of this world.  No more excessive driving to work him on sheep.  I have a neighbor down the street who raises mixed wool sheep and I got three pretty wool crosses to use.  They are well dogged and pretty.  Picked them up yesterday.  When we pulled into the field with the trailer, my sheep could smell these sheep and pretty much ran up to see what was happening.  The new girls who are dark in color, checked out the water, and then headed off to other areas, with my flock following, especially the ram.

This morning when I got to the farm, I saw the three new girls near the barn, and the Cheviots were else where.  I had Dan collect them all, and I separated out the chocolate girls to use for Joe.  They were good.  They may run a little, but stop and look.  This is good.  He was a bit tight at times, but they were more forgiving, and Joe is really learning to cover and bring back whomever leaves.

I then decided to check out the lambs.  One runty lamb just looks a little less than perky, so I checked her gums, pale.  So were the gums of another.  So, all the lambs were wormed.  The adults were good.  I bet this is what killed the other lamb.  I had wormed everyone on August 1st, but I guess I should have kept checking on them- even though they acted normal...  I will check everyone again tomorrow and if no improvement, I will order a new kind of wormer.  No messing around.  The ram did mark one of the ewes... Hmmm.  Hoping he would not get busy so early.  Well, I have marked down the date.  Hope it's not too cold a winter....

I am home early because I had to drop my nephew off at a birthday party.  I am pretty tired today, so may just hang out and read my book.  Tomorrow will be a full day at the farm, pulling more snake root and cleaning the pasture.  Will also work Joe.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I got to the farm yesterday with some trepidation.  I was frankly worried about my sheep.  I don't know what killed that lamb, so who knows what's next.  When I went into the field I could not see my sheep (that stupid white snake root is taking over at the back edges).  I walked further in and saw them, all looked okay.  One smaller lamb in the mix looks okay, but why was my bigger lamb found dead?  Well, I will never know.  Anyway, they all looked fine and were eating.

After I walked the dogs, I started to pull the snake root- whenever I am upset about something I get to work on some task, and it makes me feel better, and well, I need to get rid of this stuff.  I sprayed it in the other field, but the sheep are in this field now, and I won't use chemicals when they are in there.

So, I started pulling and pulling.  Figured out a trick to make it easier- pull a few canes in the bunch at a time and it's less bulk to yank up.  Got about a twenty five foot area done and called it quits.  I then took the dogs for another walk, as I know they are bored.  After the walk I headed home and made some dinner (this was late), and I actually was able to stay up and watch "The Incredible Dr. Pol".  Then, I actually slept almost through the night; woke up at 3:30, but was able to go back to sleep.

Today is work at the farm day.  I am very stoked about it.  Charlie is a great worker and we get a lot done.  Today will be cut up the trees that are down (and a few more) and get the lambing pen re-fenced with good fence.  Going to cob job the gate, as I don't have anyway to get the holes dug.  Given that this is a tree farm and the trees were planted in a row... This means I have two trees to use for the gate and the gate neighbor.  Not bad eh?  Yeah, cob job, but money is an issue and I am not hand digging a three foot hole.   When Charlie is cutting up the trees I may pull more snake root.  That is one evil weed.

Then, the rest of the week will consist of working the dogs and getting some workable sheep. I have decided not to work my Cheviots with Joe until he is much more solid and calmer.  I can't afford to have them have bad things happen to them..

So, that's it for now.  Last night was gorgeous, no need for a/c or heat... Just a nice night.  Wish it could be like this every day!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11

It's here again.  The anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the USA.   I am now at the point that I want to remember, but I am cried out.  Of course, if I went to any of the 9/11 memorials, I bet I could do more crying, but my heart is also ready to hear how the kids of those lost in the attacks are doing.  How they have fared?  Has a Phoenix risen from the ashes?  You know, before 9/11, none of us really thought that we were un-safe in the USA, but that changed that fateful day.

I do remember what I was doing and where I was when I heard of the attacks. What a beautiful day it was, not unlike today.  It was surreal.  So many tears and the world seemed to grind to a halt.

I hope that as the years go by, we never forget this horrific event and that this history is taught to our children, and not glossed over by some over played politically correct syllabus.  It's a fact, it happened, and nothing can change that.  I also hope that with each year the pain lessens just a little bit for everyone.  I really do.  It ranks up there with D-day, the invasion of Pearl Harbor.  We look at those who were in those events with a strong reverence and see the wisdom they gained in such a short time.  We are all changed just by knowing those intimately involved. 

We all need strength and healing.  And in time, it will come.  God Bless the USA.


Bad day yesterday.  When I gathered my sheep there was one lamb missing.  I looked all over for her, and worried that maybe when I had tried to work Joe on them that she got out.  That stupid white snake root plant is taking hold in the big field too, so it was hard to find her.  After a while, I found her.  She was in a stand of the snake root, dead.   She had some white froth that came out of her mouth but otherwise, I saw no issues.  I got the garden cart and brought her deep into the woods, as my brother was not around so we could dig a hole.   I don't know if the stress of working Joe on the sheep caused her to just be stressed really bad, or what, I just don't know.  I DO know that I won't be working Joe on my sheep again, until he's much further along in his training.  I can't have this, this eats at me like nothing else.  I did not sleep last night.  I know, you have livestock, you have dead stock, but no, I don't accept it, not a healthy animal like that dropping dead. 

After dealing with the lamb, I went to Agway and got more roundup to finish killing the white snake root in the hill field.  So %U(%U#()U% much of it.  I have just about had it with dealing with it. I may have to have a professional company come out and just deal with it, when I have the money.  It dies back every winter, but then in the spring it has to be obliterated.

I am going to get three calm sheep for Joe to work from a friend of mine.   I just can't afford to drive hours every week to work Joe and he needs work every day.  He worked so nice the other day, we have to keep on that plane of work.

I put the breeding harness on the ram yesterday.  He's noticing the girls now, but so far, they are not interested.  They must know the weather will warm up again.  The temps are back into low eighties again later this week.

Well, that's all I have for now.  I pray the rest of my sheep are fine....

Monday, September 10, 2012

No Go

Didn't go to the trial this weekend.  The weather forecast called for potentially very bad weather (there was a tornado watch until 10:00 pm Sat night) and I did not want to be gone and attempting to trial my dog on a hill in weather like that.  I got a bit of a stomach ache at the lost money, but it has taught me a lesson on where my priorities are.  I over did the trialing this year, and I think next year, I am going to pick trials where I can get more runs (perhaps the Canadian trials) and not have to go weekend after weekend.  It gets a bit tiresome.   Also, I need a camper of some sort, as hotels are extremely difficult to deal with- they seem to charge you immediately, when you reserve, and getting your money back can be very hard.

So, since I stayed home, I decided to work Joe on the Cheviots.  I worked the flock this time and it was only marginally better than with the three.  They are just not workable by a young dog.  The lambs were lying down, and the adults were splitting off.    Yesterday, I went to my friend's place to work Joe as it was just a bad memory we formed on my sheep.  He did very well- once I got him to stop trying to get around me to head the sheep, and not push so hard behind the sheep- which causes the former!  I really like Joe.  I worked him several times and he just got better each time.  I always expect he will be exhausted at night after working, but he is not.  It's amazing.

Got my house vacuumed on Saturday.  Looks better, now I have to get some other cleaning done.  This week will be geared toward cleaning and working the dogs. 

Cooler temps this weekend, especially tonight.  I bet the ram starts getting to work now that it's cooler.  

Well, that's it for now!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Worked my guys at my friend's place yesterday.  It's a long drive, which costs $$, but it is well worth it, not only for the work, but for the friendship.   It was pretty comfortable about there when I got there, and first thing I did was work Joe?  not sure.  It went okay, but the more I work him the more fresh he gets... Something about respect... who knows.  I am not worried about him being too tight now, just not grabbing wool as he goes around ;)  Dan worked well, but on the first outrun was way short on his lift, and I told him to get out of that, which he thought just stop, so, we re-did it and he was better.  His lifts can be spot on sometimes and really wonky other times.  Ever since seeing that video of Jim Cropper and his dog at a trial, I now know what the true picture should be when working my dog- the speed of the sheep, the orderliness of it all... 

Joe got a few works and Dan a couple.  Then we had a nice lunch, and I headed home.  Hit traffic on the way, which added a good half hour to my trip. 

Today I am busy at work, and will not get to work Joe or Dan.  Joe is getting fitter and fitter.  Scary.  Early tomorrow morning we leave for the Merck Forest trials.  I have never been there.  I hope it's a nice one.  We will stay in a hotel Sat night, and I don't run on Sunday until later in the day (drat) so I have to head home later than I would like.

I got in touch with Charlie and next week we will finally get that fence put up (and only one or two gates), and there are some trees that fell in a storm that need to go.   It's cooler out now, so it's time to get back to work.  Still have to clean out the barn, but I am going to have my nephew do it- he's got a cell phone bill to pay each month, and I think this is a good way to help him earn the money.  He likes animals, and my sister asked if they could have a lamb to take to the fair next year- no problem! I would love it if he showed it, and even sold it at the auction ( I don't want it coming home from there- due to all the ickies that live at that place).

Well, that's it for now.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I am good at this particular thing... Yesterday, I knew it was time to clean my house, so, I went right ahead and cleaned out my car and then shredded documents.  Yep, avoided that house cleaning quite well.   The car is new, and I want to keep it as nice as possible, so I set to that, and then the shredding, well, there was so much to do, I had to do that BEFORE I dusted, right?  Well, now I've no excuse.  HAVE to vacuum... 

This morning it was the most humid I have ever felt.  I swear it was like a wall of humidity when I went out there.  YUCK. 

I did not watch the convention (and did not watch the other one either).  My parents and sister did, but I am just not into that sort of thing.  I really have no idea how I will vote.  I *really* don't like the current Pres in terms of attitude/arrogance/ability and I don't agree with what he has done in many cases, but on the flip side, I am all about women's rights..... So, I want debates.  I want to hear what they will do, and not one more word about how BAD the other side is.  It's SO annoying.  Most of all, I want it over with.

I have some old hay that I am giving away.  I could try and sell it, but I just want it out of the barn.  Someone called and I will give them a ring and have them come out on Friday.  Then, I can get a good start on cleaning the barn out.

I was worried about boy kitty yesterday; I found him lying under my bed, which is not his usual m.o.  Later I noticed that he was there because he was afraid of the thunderstorms.  He's dog like even in that way.  I have no kids, but he's as close to one as I could get- it's weird- never thought I would say that.  He's just such a cool cat, and so loving and even empathetic.  Ginger, the old kitty is still plugging along.  In good shape for the shape she's in and she has been jumping on the bed still- from the floor.  I don't know what's gotten in to her, but she has not done that for years, and now all of a sudden she's like a high jumper!

Well, that's it for now!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I decided yesterday was the day to try Joe on my sheep.  So, I tied Dan up near the barn area, hoping that would keep the sheep away, and I brought Joe out to three girls, two adults ewes and a yearling.  Joe started out tight and then the sheep ran.  Two stayed together and one broke off.   I had to get Dan and have him be back up.  He was great at this.  He did not let them leave, and if they did he brought them back- all without commands.  At one point one ewe did not want to come closer to me and he had to "put the hammer down" on her to move her back.  Can't say as I blame her, but we need to get Joe on my sheep, so there will be a learning curve for each.   

After I worked Joe, I worked Dan, and he did not cover one ewe, so she bolted to the barn.  He ran after her and she stood alongside the  barn and would not budge.  He tried a couple things, and then he stood there in her face and I told him he was a good boy and then I gave him the command to move her, and he did.  I stopped him after he got her going (as having to grip is still exciting to him, as I bet it would be most dogs), but in the end, the best part is that he was successful.  We did work on fetch stops and other things.   My brother needed a ride to some fields that he is leasing to hay.  I had not been to them, but when I pulled into the one, I said "FINALLY a good field to work my dogs".  So, I think I just have to sign a liability release and we are good.  Exciting because this place is literally across the road from my pasture.  I hope it works out.

House needs a good cleaning, and I meant to get on that yesterday, but it was not meant to be.  This trialing business takes me out of my normal routine and things just get behind.... Another trial this weekend and then one more this month, that is IT!  I just can't keep going away, not to mention the money factor, which is ALWAYS on my mind.

Well, that's it for now!

Monday, September 3, 2012

This past weekend was the Woolly Winds novice trial.  I entered Dan and I in ranch.  I could not get away to an open trial (my house sitter was away), so I made the drive forth and back each day, which was exhausting, but I am glad I went.

Dan had never run at this field.  On Saturday, the course was a fetch, and then, back through the fetch panels and then a loooooong way ahead past them and up a rise to another set of panels on the right, basically a dog leg.  Well, it was a looooong way- did I say that?  Anyway, Dan got them to me, but I did not stop him at the top and I did not like him pushing them so hard, and we turned the post, got the first set of panels, and tried for the panels in the abyss, but did not make them.  Got a good pen.  When we were done I was sufficiently humbled.  Not easy- it was very hard, and I was proud of Dan just doing what I asked at that distance. 

The next day, it was a regular course, with an open chute instead of the pen.  This time I stopped Dan at the top (he did), but then again, no stop on the fetch.  We missed the fetch panels because of it.  Guess who gets remedial work on stopping on the fetch this week?  Anyway, we had a nice turn at the post, got the drive away panels and attempted the cross drives a few times, but I think an UFO had landed near there, because Dan sniffed and peed...  actually, I think he was feeling stressed, or there was a bitch in heat, but anyway, he got back to work and we brought them back on a good line to the chute and we got the chute- even though the last ewe decided she might not want to go in- she did (thank you sheep Gods).  So, not great work, but in the end we ended up with a fourth on Sat and a second on Sunday.

I was super stoked about how Dan's litter mates did.  His brother Ben tied for first on Saturday, but lost in the run-off, so he ended up second, and his sister Meg won on Sunday.  Cumulative points were 1, 2 and 3 for all three litter mates.  Nice litter that one was.    I keep flip flopping as to who I like more- Ben or Meg.  They are both very good in different ways.  Dan is a mix of both.  Very neat to be able to see litter mates compete against each other, especially for the breeder, I bet.

Today I have to exercise Joe and Dan a fair bit, they are extremely bored, especially Joe.  I have to also clean the house....

Oh, the other bit of news... On Saturday after the trial I had let the dogs out and was cleaning up the yard.  I saw a mushroom and kicked it over, as I never know which mushrooms are poisonous.  Only this was not a mushroom, it was a BAT.  The bat flipped over on it's back and went " eeee eeee eeee!!!!!!!!!!!" at me, and all I could see were teeth.   I yelled at the dogs to get away, and got a shovel and it took some doing, but I got it on the shovel - all the while it's really loud and mad at me, and hurled it over the fence.    I called the Dept of Health and was told that yes, this Bat probably had Rabies, as paralysis is the hallmark sign of Rabies in bats at least.  I am very glad all my animals are vaccinated- a really good reminder that even if your animals are in their own yards, Rabies can still come for them... Scary stuff....