Thursday, April 19, 2012

I've Been Everywhere Man

By the length of this blog, you better get a cup of coffee and make sure you have gone to the bathroom, it is a long one. I will start this by asking not to touch Dora the Explorer - she is very hot. Hot to trot. It started last Friday, April 13th , when I loaded up the Border Leicesters for a trip to Jamie Van Ryan's to get shorn (in which Rodge the Dodge was used to pull a trailer, not my poor little Dora). I had planned to get there about 1 pm, but as I was driving with my cargo, a message from work asked me if I could come in to cover . As I was driving by the clinic, I decided to stop in to apologize for not responding to the message that had been left an hour previously. My stop lasted about 4 hours, since often on Fridays there is only one person at the clinic - and that day only Dr. Alan was around, and a C-section on a farm had to be done which was about 1 hour away. A call to Jamie was made to make sure I wasn't going to miss the shearer, and I, Gin and Floss manned the vet clinic for the next 4 hours. While I was there, a dog that got hit by a vehicle came in (I am sure it wasn't me - I do not condone make work projects) and a splint was put on the back leg (I'll do anything Doc as long as it doesn't cost a lot of money, so I won't take the dog to another clinic to get x-rays done, I will just let you and your crystal ball decide whether he can heal and be normal again...oh, no, I don't want him vaccinated, I don't want to put too much money into him). The afternoon passed quickly, and I was able to leave by 3 pm. I raced along Southern Saskatchewan roads (which are improved goat trails) and got to Jamie's and Harvey's with time to spare. The sheep were shorn, and we went in and devoured the spread that was cooked. We almost ate the kitchen table but thankfully it was nailed down. Now, if anyone looked on the map, Shaunavon is about 80 miles west of McCord, and this year, we had mineral delivered as close to possible to us....this happened to be 20 miles west of Shaunovan. As I was in the vicinity, after I left Jamie's, I went to pick up the last shipment of mineral that had been dropped off, which also happened to be at a cousin's of Chris. By this time, the sun was setting, but I was sure I could remember how to get to Mike and Marla's place. I was wrong. I found myself calling them from a Hutterite colony after I had white knuckled my way down...then up a very steep hill - it would have made the truckers who are used to Roger's Pass in the Canadian Rockies pee their pants. If people think Saskatchewan is flat, they haven't seen a lot of the province! After I got my bearings and my directions, I gripped the steering wheel again to make it back down that valley to only go up it again from another direction. Eventually, I made it to Chris's cousin's Mike's - where I found a fish floundering on the kitchen floor. Alright, Mike's last name is Poisson, which is French for fish, and he was lying on the kitchen floor. It wasn't because he had drunken too much, but rather he was doing some electrical work for the renovations that he and Marla were doing on their kitchen. I stopped for a visit while I hoped I would not smell any fried fish, and after the mineral was loaded, I was on the road again. I eventually rolled back into the homestead at 2 am in the morning, and the naked Border Leicester flock joined the rest of the group. The next morning, I packed up and travelled to my Mom and Dad's to Broadview - with a quick stop at Walmart in Moose Jaw to buy a new pair of shoes (the running around had caused me to wear a hole in the ones I was wearing). I got there by the late afternoon, and found my parents as I usually find them - at the kitchen table playing cards. My sister Sharon and her family were also there, and the smell of chicken cooking was in the air. No, their last name isn't Pullet and no electrical work was being done. Before supper, Sharon and Terry's kids, Adam, Erin and Jeffrey, did their nightly 1/2 hour run. They run a lot of marathons, and Adam, who is graduating from high school this year, received a scholarship because of his running with the University of Regina. Man, if I had known running would have allowed me to have a paid education, I would have run as well....who am I kidding, no I wouldn't have. The supper concluded with a birthday cake - to celebrate Mom's 81st birthday. A fire extinguisher was on hand, but did not have to be used. Dishes were washed, and another game of cards were played. The Strueby's ran home to Regina, and the next couple of days I visited with Mom and Dad and played more cards...."Sticks" was the game of choice, and if you know the difference between runs and sets you will be all set! On Monday I set back home with a stopover at Eyebrow(which is close to really, go check it out on Google Maps) and picked up Scotty - a guardian pup who was to become Fiona's working partner. I know, you ask, what happened to Pete who had come the same time as Fiona. Unfortunately, a mother cow who was having a calf being fostered onto her thought Pete was a threat, at least that's what I think happened, since I had found Pete's lifeless body in the sheep pen the day the cow and calf was put in the pen to make sure she had bonded to her new calf. I would say she bonded. Now, any cows with foster calves are put in the front of the barn, and not with the sheep in their pen. Live and learn - often the hard way. So Scotty, a full month younger than Fiona, has been forced to learn the rules - that is.... "Sheep are good, and out of the sheep pen is bad!" Fiona loves her sheep and hopefully Scotty will love them like her. After getting back home in McCord, I worked a couple of days in the clinic - cat spays, limping dogs, semen testing bulls and prolapsed vaginas (in which one was called in as a prolapsed uterus but she hadn't calved would be a miracle to prolapse a uterus and still be pregnant..I have found it important to ask the question "Has she calved yet?" to people's calls, hoping not to offend the more savy ranchers who know what the difference is-the difference is about 2 Advil in my experience.) Nights after getting home, feeding Andy the orphaned lamb and training a few young dogs are done before walking into the house to call it a day.
A week has passed since the sheep shearing, and the sheep will be processed to go to pasture, since they think pasture these days are in my backyard...who needs pruning shears when you have sheep?
Get Outta Here Ewe Guys!
Then, I will pack up Gin and Floss and go to the Clock, Stock and Barrel trial in Calgary, with a quick stop back at Beiseker to load yet a few more of my worldly goods (slowly but surely we are moving in). Did someone say Saskatchewan has a slow pace...not in my books!

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