Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ann wants to know.....

What your perfect dog?

Do you like a dog that is really on the muscle?

I find the fact that dog people use this term hilarious.  We use it in horses all the time.  A horse on the muscle either means they are jacked up so high you can't really do much but work them down or they (in the racehorse world) are so up on the steroids they give them that they are flying high LOL..
Its a lot of effort for minimal reward so I'll pass on a dog like that :)

Do you like a dog that needs a steady stream of whistles?
This would elude that I could spit out a steady stream of decipherable whistles...LOL so the answer would probably be NO

Are you a maximal or minimal whistler?
going with minimal

Do you like a natural dog that feels the sheep and just needs a little direction here and there?
Yes I like a dog with natural feel.  Most of our work is done at home and I don't want to be barking out commands.  Cover when the sheep try to break, hold them in the corner without me instructing you to hold them there, etc...

Do you like a dog that prefers certain type of sheep?
I have a mixed flock; slow wool sheep that will turn on a dog, crazy hair sheep that run like bats out of he!! at the slightest movement of anything, and some pet sheep that were attacked by dogs and require very careful dog working right now.  So I need a dog that can work them all!

Do you like a dog that wants to partner up and be a really good team player?
Yes, I like a team player, but being part of that team means I also have to admit when I am wrong and the dog is right.

Do you like a dog that really knows what s/he wants and you, as a handler really has to manage?
Isn't that inherently bred into the working border collie?  Maybe I don't understand the question, it is the afternoon before a holiday, I'm not really here...

Do you want push?
Yes, not too much push LOL

Do you want a good listener?
Yes, but I want them to not listen when I am wrong

Do you want try? (Not tri.)
Yes I want try and I have a bunch of tri's

Do you like a dog who gets the job done, no matter the sheep, but it’s a big job to get that dog listening?
No, I like a dog that trust me enough to listen for the most part.

Do you want it all?
Of course, doesn't every female

Can you have it all? Since I don’t know enough to know what I don’t know, what do you want? What do you like?
No, my OCD will come up with something else unachievable before I get to "it all".

I have 3 dogs right now.  Jen was my first and she's a little spitfire!  A whole lotta push and try with great listening.  If I can get her geared down just a little she is going to be an amazing dog.  Sometimes she frustrates me when I know she is just trying to be helpful, only because she has a bit of push.  She has been a great first dog and has taught me so much.

Dutch is completely opposite.  Quiet and reserved.  Where Jen tends to upset sheep Dutch quiets them.  Dutch's making a mess of things isn't anything like a mess, he neatly puts it back together and doesn't get overly flustered.  As Pat S. once told me, this dogs whole desire in life is to work sheep perfectly the way you want them worked, he may be timid natured but he has a big heart and wants to be the dog I need him to be.  He is honestly the go to dog at 2 years old for the irrationally crazy sheep I own right now just because he doesn't upset them more than they already normally are.

Hep is new to me and comes from great training.  We are just linking up but she seems to be a mix of Dutch and Jen.  She is a very nice dog and I really enjoy working her so far!

Friday, December 9, 2011

TMT a day late :)

We had a ton of things going on yesterday so I didn't get to this, so I guess for me its TMF!!
1. What are your plans for the holiday season?
Well my holiday's tend to revolve around family and Tucker.  So we have some stuff planned in that venue.  But honestly I'm trying to keep it stress free!  I plan to work dogs some, work a bit, take some time off, and I've had my Christmas shopping done for the most part since before Thanksgiving!

2. Do you decorate? If so, what have you done so far?
Yes, I do but not much.  We are going to get our tree on Sunday.  We always have a big family trip to the mountains to cut down our own tree which I love and I can't wait.  I have my 2 wreaths down but I haven't hung them yet.

3. a. Favorite recent dog photo? b. Photo that shows your mood today (or one word)?
Ok the photos will have to wait, its hard getting pics with a phone! 
My mood today???  HAPPY!

4. There's been a discussion on the BC Boards about "don't train for the novice classes... just train for open and the rest will fall into place." What are your thoughts on this?
Well since i'm really not a trainer and am still quite the novice I'm not sure.  I mean I know what it entails to get to open and have an idea of the basics of training for that.  But in all honestly I don't "train" my dogs at home.  I need them to do chores and work on the farm (as small as it is).  So my dogs have had to split sheep off of the group before.  And they do gather the sheep out of the back field.  And we do move sheep from paddock to paddock.  So maybe we do train for open we just haven't gotten far enough along to get to open?

5. What are your top five cannot-do-without-them dog items?
leashes - because somehow even though my dogs are rarely on leashes I end up needing one.
papertowels - not really a dog item but I swear if I don't have them someone either barfs in my car or has an accident :(
medication - I always have several with me, cause you know just in case a dog or ME gets sick
crates - I need more crates though, anyone got any for sale
neon green collars - my dogs wouldn't be complete without them

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I know, I know I missed a week!

But it was Thanksgiving :)

Nothing really new and exciting going on here.  I've gotten out to work my dogs locally a couple of times but am itching to get off work for a few weekends and head out to some trials, though I promise as soon as it gets cold I will change my mind.  I hate cold, can summer come back please!!

The guard dog is slowly starting to form a bond with the sheep or maybe it should be the sheep are slowly starting to form a bond with the guard dog.  They still don't find his leaping antics very funny when a person walks in the pasture and still don't want to sleep near him at night but we are working on that! 

I swear I'm going to try to get some pics for next week.  The new sheep haven't been seen or the new dogs either so maybe they need some photo ops!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Week 2 of updates and I'm keeping up

Didn't do a whole lot in the way of dogs last week, considering it gets dark at 5:30 I can't get much in other than a quick walk. I did make it out to Rural Hill for the trial last Saturday.   Had a great time and met some new people.  I wish I had a dog that was ready to run but maybe next year :)

I got to go out to a friends and work sheep on Sunday.  Its the first time my dogs have worked in over 2 months because I am rebuilding my sheep flock.  They were both great!  Jen was driving quite well and not looking back at me so much.  And Dutch was looking nice as well, his outruns still need work but they are getting better.  I finally got to work the dog I have on trial, Hep, she was very nice to work and was taking my rendition of her whistles!

I'm still on my quest to be nice.  Its trying at times.  Especially when people who are supposed to be your friends stab you knowingly in the back.  It just reiterates to me why I don't have many close friends.  Maybe that's what I need to learn, how to be acquaintances with someone without being their friend or truly letting them in my life.  Whatever it is I'm trying to push forward with this lesson!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A new leaf?

Since we aren't doing TMT until after Christmas I thought I would try to keep up with updating my blog on Thursdays anyway.  Its week one so we will see how I do :)

There are some changes at the farm.  This spring/summer my 2 first dogs went over the bridge to be free of pain and suffering.  Emma passed when her bone cancer got too bad to bear and Oliver passed unexpectedly from hermangiosarcoma.  It was a sad time with both of them going but I will say I know they are no longer in pain and will be waiting at the bridge for me when it is my time.

So I was down to 4 dogs of my own Jen, Dutch, Duke and Spottie.  Spottie will be 14 on Monday and recently had a stroke type event so I'm not sure how much longer she will be with us either.  She is enjoying her newfound freedom in the house, at least in her old age she is somewhat trustworthy!  There are a few dogs at my house on trial.  We will see how they work out in the end but for now I have a trio of tri's.

I'm trying something new with myself.  I typically shy away from people, I don't like people, don't like people in my business and would prefer to be alone.  But for 1 month I am going to try to be outgoing and meet new people.  It is going to be a BIG stretch for me but I figure anything that doesn't kill us makes us stronger.  If I don't die from this maybe I will be a stronger person when it is all over?

Oh and I need to update on my survivor sheep.  Buddy is doing well, his wounds have healed and he is his typical goofy self again.  Dot still has a ear that sort of hangs, she can move it but its just a big "different" now.  She also appears to be pregnant.  That means that my st. croix ram that died in the attack may be able to live on through her lambs, lets hope she's pregnant and not just super over weight! And poor Friendly is still chugging along.  The wounds behind his ears have almost healed and hopefully the very slow healing wounds inside his mouth will continue to heal as well.  I will try to update with some pics in the near future!

Friday, November 4, 2011

TMT a day late and probably a dollar short :)

Yes, Yes I know I'm late this week...whats new???

But here we go anyway!

1. What are you thankful for this week?

I'm thankful I have a job that sometimes pays the bills, I'm thankful that i'm done dealing with the lady with horrid Rottweilers that she doesn't keep contained.  And most of of i'm thankful for the strength I find within myself, especially on the days where I feel like everything is falling down on top of me!  Oh yeah and Tucker and the dogs because they don't get mad when I take it all out on them ;)

2. How do you deal with a squeaker/shrieker/noisy dog?

Ummm they leave?  Seriously I can hear dogs if they roll over in crates, I can't take shrieking.  I have one now that does some talking and we are working on correcting that EVERY SINGLE TIME.  But she doesn't do it much inside.  Its like nails on a chalkboard to me...

3. Barbara wants to know: what would you say is ONE skill or attribute needed to be successful?

I have to agree with Laura on this one.  I think anyone who is determined to do something is going to make it happen.  I think they also have to have the strength within themselves to overcome the obstacles that get in there way as well.  Ok so that's 2 shoot me..... 

4. Pippin wants to know: what are your favorite games?
Games?  I mean I regularly attend baseball games but that can be attributed to the fact that my son plays baseball.  And I don't mean just baseball in the spring...the only time we dont' play baseball is in the dead of winter.  I may complain about baseball but I really do love it.  I mean I dated baseball players in college.  I have withdrawals when we dont' have baseball and have no idea what to do with my extra time for weeks after it ends. 

But that wasn't the question.  I don't think I play any games...Well...nah I'll just hush

5. What are some of your strategies for dealing with winter?

I hate cold!  I dont deal well with winter.  It makes me cold and tired just thinking about it.  I like LOOKING at snow but really don't want to go out in in.  I do love to snowski but I like it in the spring when the snow is slushy and its warm enough for a light jacket :)

I have a VERY old house that does heat well, so basically we freeze all winter and live under blankets.  My dogs are all hot natured so they love it.  I however do not and make them snuggle up with me at night.  I'm looking at a woodstove this weekend to add to the house.  Then that can fuel my OCD to be in a state of panic about burning the house down daily!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

TMT shortened

I for one am glad you shortened TMT this week, its been a busy day at work and I just got back from fire safety training as well as getting my flu shot for the year.  My arm is already burning...its that possible?

What obstacles have you overcome this week, and what did you learn from them? This can be training obstacles, life obstacles, whatever obstacles you want to talk about.
Well I'm trying to over come an obstacle right now.  My battery is dead in the parking lot.  I get off at 4:30 and my son has a baseball game at 6 pm.  I must get AAA here, jump off my car, make it to the battery place to get a new battery and then to the baseball field in time for his game.....

My mind is working beyond the here and now right now so I can't tell you what other obstacles I have over come this week, though I feel there were many given how tired I am :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Its TMT...I've lost track of my number and that's probably because this week grosses me out

So here are Laura's questions this week one induces nausea in me....

1. What is your favorite Little Debbie snack? If you hate Little Debbie then I bow down to your greatness. (I suppose you can include some other favorite snack. Maybe it'll inspire me to get over LD for today.)

Ummm yuck, how does anyone eat those and not want to vomit?????  I mean I guess if I was dying and that was all there was I could manage.  But gross, my child eats them and even the smell gets to me.  I'll take straight dark chocolate with almonds Thanks!!

2. What do you use for laundry detergent?

Glad to know i'm not the only person using the Xtra brand LOL.  But now I may need to steal your version of homemade detergent.  I have old bottles, I'll keep them out of the trash in case I can re-use them.

3. Tighty Whities or Boxers? (this, obviously, is open for interpretation)

Who wears underwear anyway??  Kidding...boxers or maybe those boxer briefs.  Tighty whities make me thing of redneck men who are drunk walking around in their tighty whities and wife beaters!

4. Dogs: On the bed? In the house? On the furniture? Never? What are your rules?

Well some are allowed on the bed, some are restricted to the floor...yes annoying dogs who can't be still at night are restricted to clicking around on the floor.  On the couches yes when there is room.  e don't really have rules, except muddy dogs are confined to the dog room!

5. Favorite dog-related website (aside from my blog, obviously har har har)? Favorite NON-dog related website? Can be blogs, or whatever.

Well like Laura, border collie boards are frequented but rarely posted on.  I like fugly horse of the day too, though its recently changed ownership and isn't nearly as controversial which takes all the fun out of it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tell Me Thursday #4

So this week Laura wants to know.........
1. If you won the lottery (a big one... I'm talking stupid muchos cash) what would you do with the money?

Ohhh I would buy a huge farm where I have various places to work my dogs and keep LOTS of sheep :)  And pay off other things such as student loans and cars.  Maybe then I could fly whatever trainer I chose out to my place to keep me and my dogs working properly too!  Other than that i don't think much would change.

2. After winning the lottery would you work a day job? If so, what would you do?
Yes, I would keep a day job but it wouldn't be working in an office.  I think I would go back to doing something with tech, run a kennel/dog day care, back to being a horse trainer.....soemthing like that

3. Do you have any auxiliary dogs? Auxiliary dogs are dogs that are not essential to your main purpose (usually tiny, but not always). If you don't have an auxiliary dog what might you choose?

Does a non-working border collie count as an auxillary dog?  That's all I got, well and a retired, deaf, partially blind, loves to bark working dog!  But up until recently I had a pit/lab mix and a collie/greyhound mix as auxillary dogs.....I have kept my mom's min pin and while he's nice to snuggle with I don't think I could keep a small dog in my house, Jen tends to think small dogs are cats and wants to eat them!

4. Do you have a favorite crock pot recipe (or other recipe) you can share?

MMMMMMMM Crock pot macaroni....I want some now!

Crock Pot Macaroni & Cheese
1 - 8 oz pkg elbow macaroni, cooked and drained (= 1 3/4 cups dry pasta)

1 – 16 oz pkg sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 – 12 oz can evaporated milk

1 ½ cups regular milk

1 tsp salt

1 stick melted butter or margarine (I think you could use less…)

2 eggs, beaten

Combine all ingredients in crock pot; mix well.

Cook on LOW heat 3 ½ - 4 hours.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tell Me Thursday #3

Wow everyone should be impressed, I've managed it 3 weeks in a row!!

OK so this week Laura (and friends) want to know this....

1. What movie do you love but are too embarrassed to admit you love it?

Ummm embarrased no....a silly chick flick YES.  Sweet Home Alabama.  And yes it is on every weekend over and over again and yes I watch it at least once every weekend, though usually in parts :)

2. Ann wants to know: How far do you drive/travel to attend trials, clinics, lessons? How far is too far?
Well hmmmm I haven't trialed much, but I did back in spring drive 8 hrs to a clinic for the weekend, it was great fun and I planned to do it again but alas I will not be able to through not fault of my own.

3. What is your theme song (circa Ally McBeal)?

I'm supposed to have a theme song?  Sorry this I do not have

4. Laura S wants to know: If you had to choose a new dog activity, one that you had never done before, what would you choose?
Well hmmmm maybe agility or search and rescue....

5. What would your dog choose (or scribe, if you're Pippin)?

Spottie would choose barking and she says don't argue with her that it's not a sport

Jen says is cat herding a different sport than sheep herding?  Ok how about cat biting?

Duke says he would like to take up sheep herding (and will need to find a new handler to do so!!)

Dutch would like anything that involved jumping on top of crates, maybe agility would be the sport for him!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tell Me Thursday

Today Laura wants to know

Going forward over the next six months, what are your goals?

Hmmmm......that's a hard one since right now I am just trying to survive!

Lets see

1. Continue to improve my property (add fence along property line, add flowers/shrubs, etc...) and improve the pasture fencing as I can (horses are behind 3 strand hotwire)

2. Finish indoor home improvements (painting, putting floors down, more painting, putting up doors, etc...)

3.  Get my dogs out to work more places and try to have them both ready to trial in PN by spring - I'm down to only 4 dogs, 2 of which work so it really shouldn't be too hard, just need to find the time!

4. Become more organized - this may be scary for those who know the OCD me, but maybe being more organized will help curb the OCD?? :)

5. To continue to grow in my career and not get stuck in a rut - I like change and get more fairly easily at work, if it doesn't challenge me or soemone doesn't keep me super busy I find things to amuse myself like blogging....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tell Me Thursday

So after my trauma of losing Oliver to hermangiosarcoma, having 1/2 of my lambs stolen and then the super traumatic experience of walking outside to Rottweilers killing my flock of sheep I'm back, maybe I'll keep up with my blog this time.

Here's what Laura wants to know for this week:

1. If you're not at the 2011 Sheepdog finals this weekend what are you planning to do?
2. One item you NEVER walk onto the trial field (any trial field, or training class will suffice) without?
3. Katy wants to know if you have a pre-run ritual that you observe?
4. How old were you when you had your first real kiss?
5. Bonnie wants to know what you do for yard mud control during the winter?

1.If you're not at the 2011 Sheepdog finals this weekend what are you planning to do?
Well Saturday is my birthday so mom and I are coming up to the Raleigh area for a huge tour of farms in that area.  I'm planning to look at some BFLx lambs while I am there and hopefully pick up some great naturally raised food as well.  I might even get to deliver Julie's puppy so that will make me extra happy to have puppy time :)  Sunday if I can borrow a computer I hope to watch some of the finals (we dont' get internet access at my house unless you want to pay like $125/month...i'm just can't justify that)

2. One item you NEVER walk onto the trial field (any trial field, or training class will suffice) without?Well usually its the nice yellow stick I work dogs with.  I don't know why but I feel a need to have it, I rarely use it, but one well know handler with the initals P.S. has used it to anchor me in one place since I tend to want to move with my dog!

3.  Katy wants to know if you have a pre-run ritual that you observe?
Well considering I haven't trialed much no.  I do tend to be very stressed that I am going to miss my run so therefore get my dogs out probably way too early.  But thats just me and my OCD.  Though I think that will come in handy with Jen since she needs to have that tendon warmed up before doing any work.

4. How old were you when you had your first real kiss?
I think 14.  A boy I met at the beach and I remember nothing of it other than it being dark, it was super hot and he wasn't a very good kisser though who can blame him I'm sure it was his first kiss too!

5. Bonnie wants to know what you do for yard mud control during the winter?
Your supposed to control the mud?  Ummm yeah I just don't.  I have a "mud room" which is where dog crates, etc are so I just let the dogs in there, I try to wipe feet and I do a lot of mopping of that floor! 


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I know...I've been AWOL again.  Winter just isn't my thing and the start of spring has proven to be busy with a new job, baseball, clinics, and GRADUATION!  That's one thing I can't wait for, yet I am considering going right back to get a Masters in Human Behavior Analysis....

But on to the dogs...

Jen is back to work, I even ran her in a trial.  It wasn't stellar, it probably wasn't even acceptable.  But she did it, the start of a P/N course.  You can't imagine the joy (and fear) of watching that dog leave my feet and do a beautiful outrun, lift and fetch after all she has been through.  There were times in her rehab that I never thought she would go back to work and there were times that I thought about giving up.  But we forged on and look where it go us.  Now if I can just get her back to taking inside flanks while driving we will be ready for so much more.  She is my inspiration, no matter what she never stopped trying.

Dutch is coming along nicely.  I attended another Patrick Shannahan clinic with him and we made great progress.  He is an interesting dog, not soft but very sensitive.   He is a true reflection of me, he wants to be right all the time no matter what.  He needs confidence and starting to drive gave him a lot of confidence.  He loves to drive.  Right now I am walking along with him, he is "brave" enough to push them maybe 20 ft or so ahead of me and he is starting to take inside flanks with just a "here" and then the flank.  He may be slow to mature but I think he will be a nice trustworthy dog when its all said and done. I've been thinking a lot about techniques and training methods since the clinic.  I really like Patrick and his methods make sense to me.  The make sense to my dog as well, obviously.  Dutch even came around and started to work for him!

Emma passed away on March 17, 2011 at 13 yrs old.  Bone cancer brought her down and  I wanted to let her go with dignity.  My house is awfully quiet without my personal doggie alarm clock, but I know that she is pain free now.  Its hard having old dogs...there are 2 more in my house Oliver, 11, and Spottie, 13, they are both doing great for now so I am hopeful for more time with both of them!