Well the new year, Chinese New Year that is, was brought in with a bang. No, there were no fireworks or the sorts, nor was there shots fired - just wait ....there was.
My weekend started when I stopped at Louanne Twa's and did a training session on the young girls - Nan and Kelly -who are my working partners this month while I am in Alberta. The shots were about to be fired by Louanne's husband Kyle at visiting coyotes, but the plan was thwarted as he got stuck in the field with his truck. The coyotes lucked out on this one. My next stop was at the owner of Randy's Real Rooster Ranch at Bowden, Alberta. I do believe Randy was mistaken in thinking it was the year of the Rooster (it is the year of the Snake), since it was discovered that in his hen house, some of the residents came out of the closet, or nest that is, with bigger combs than some of their comrades. Yes, the four egg per day production was correct - the other seven could only join in the production through a crowing rendition of Sonny and Cher's "I've Got You Babe."
Don Grant stopped by with his dogs, Gem and Cher (Sonny was nowhere to be found), Abe Marshall bought his Tell and Cap, and along with Randy's Kate and Ben (Kelly's older brother), Jocelyn Dye and her dad's (but would rather be with Jocelyn's) Sweep and my two gals, we thoroughly made the sheep happy for the light to be turned off later that evening. Visiting was done after, with harrowing renditions of hunting expeditions experienced by Randy and his family and friends (in which I don't think I would have the guts to handle - swollen rivers, steep cliffs, jackknifed wagons and runaway horses seem a little to much for a day of riding). The next morning, a few more sessions were done, I said my goodbyes, and I and my travelling partners stopped one more time at Louanne's. Last Sunday was the first time Louanne saw the girls, and the first time I witnessed Louanne's Gus (Kelly's brother) doing large outruns, driving, and doing all his flanks. The next on the learning agenda for Gus would be whistles. Last weekend, Louanne (and Naomi Shields) witnessed Nan not wanting to stay put as a very short outrun was attempted, and Kelly showed she did not have a good feeling about walking up onto her sheep. This afternoon, I believed Louanne was flabbergasted (I do believe "WTF" was mentioned) after showing Nan and Kelly's driving skills (there is plenty of walk up), pretty fair outruns (no 20 pointers for sure, but at least 10 pointers), some off balance flanks and an inside flank from Nan. I have decided by next weekend the girls will be fully on whistles, there will be shedding and look backs, and next Monday, Gus and the girls will partake in a double lift.
More likely, several backward steps will occur, and they all will forget their names (but that would be totally my fault, since I have been calling them every name under the sun except their own-perhaps the Year of the Snake is allowing my memory to slither away!)