Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Life on the Kitchen Chair

These days, my cats have a rough go of it. You see there are two little Jack Russell Terriers raising havoc - nobody is safe.
This is Snothead - waiting for her chance- maybe they won't notice her.

Maybe if I don't look at the little puke, it'll leave me alone to eat.
Why don't you find a hole to crawl into?

Just 5 minutes of peace, is that too much to ask?

Attack of the midgets.

Please, let me die quickly.

Possibly if I roll off of this chair and fell on top of you, I could break your neck.
Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Busy Weekend

Corey and his 5 month old pup

Working Floss

Wayne and his new dog

Wayne giving Penny tips

Penny Caster working her magic

It all started on Friday, I decided to take all of the dogs and get their hips done. They look good on preliminary - but we will let the Gods of the OFA registry decide. Jill had fallen through a texas gate last fall, was sore for awhile, but now is sound -the radiograph though showed some changes to her patella (knee cap) - Well I suppose if you work them, things will happen. These aren't freeloaders we have around here, they have to earn their dog food. Luckily I have my drug dealers on speed dial.

Went up to Corey Perry's on the next day to train some dogs - Penny Caster and Wayne Robertson showed up as well. Had a really good day, the sun was shining, it was really warm, and nobody got really upset with their dogs since they were having a good day as well. We talked dogs, talked training, and then talked some more. Sometimes is monotonous training by yourself, so I find it like a boost to train with someone else - helps with those young dogs to teach them to lift off of someone. I have a bit of time off this summer, so I would like to visit a few people and train with them (I guess this is a warning for all dog trialers who read this).

My weekend ended with myself going to a course on vomiting cats and dogs. Guess what - dogs and cats vomit by different factors. Guess what - you still bolt straight up in bed when you hear the workings of a good hork at 3 am in the morning- cat or dog. They should use it as an alarm.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

There is a God

Yes, this is post number two today, but some things have to be told. This is Stan, a 4 year old stud horse. He is feeling is oats, so that is why is he locked up tighter than a Brinks armored vehicle. Yesterday, my nephew Joey, who is 8, saw the mean side of this guy. He went to send him to water, and Stan went after him. No good hayburner I said (okay, I said a little worse). This morning, I was walking all the dogs, which has to go by him, when one of the 5 week old puppies decided he would get closer to Stan. In fact, I held my breath as Mitch went between the stud's legs and bumped them. I should say that this stud has had little handling, so imagine my terror when this was occurring. Stan however, just looked between his legs and allowed the pup to go his merry way. Even though Stan showed a softer side, it doesn't mean that his jewels will remain. We will remove those auxillary brains today - there is a God for Mitch, not necessarily for Stan.

Oh Where or Where did My Little Dog Go

I was in the barn the other morning helping Chris trim horse's feet, and my Jack Russell Lizzie and Gin were hanging out in the barn. Gin was sleeping in the tackroom, and Lizzie was nosing around (as all Jack Russells do). My other Jack Russells - the Amazing Artie (amazing he hasn't met his demise), Tessa the Tiger (stay away from her food) and Clutzy Cliff (only cause he has three legs, and is determined to mark his territory by balancing on 2 legs) were all milling around the barn as well. Things were done in the barn, I said "Let's go to the house" and discovered that Lizzie and Gin were no where to be seen. They have never taken off before, but I know what had lured them from the yard - the spring squeal of the Richardson Ground Squirrel (aka gopher - I just like the name of Richardson Ground Squirrel because it is my maiden name). I looked everywhere, whistled as loud as I could, but they didn't come home. Gin showed up all dirty late that night - let me say I was very relieved - I was pretty upset all day long. Lizzie, however was not with her. I had resigned to the fact that I had lost her, probably to a coyote, but this morning she greeted us at the door (that is 2 nights out by herself). She looked pretty clean, makes me wonder if one of our Hutterite neighbors had thought they had found a dog - they always ask about them. Thank God it is cold right now, the gophers have gone back in their holes for the time being. Believe you me, there will be some target practice this spring(only on the gophers of course) - or maybe I should put earplugs in the dog's ears.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Timmy's fallen in the Stall

This is Tim - it isn't going to be very long and he will figure out his freedom.

We use stalls to contain the pups and some of the not so smart dogs we have. The smart dogs who have figured out how to excape from the stalls have to stay in purgatory.
Tim's time will come soon.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

2010 Clock Stock and Barrel

Well, the sheep handled quite differently today, and there were a few more pens than yesterday. They took the top two of each day, and the top 2 aggregate scores. The top two from yesterday was Bob Stephens and Pete and Brian Douthwaite and San. Today, Bob Stephens and Pat, and Carl Sneddon and Fan were the top dogs. Louanne Twa and Isla and myself and Gin were the two with the top aggregate scores - so we rounded up the 6 finalists. Bob and Pete set the standard at 1:20, so we had to whip and spur. I unfortunately whipped too hard and Gin grabbed some fleece. In the end, Bob and Pete was first, Brian and San was 2nd, Carl and Fan was third, Louanne and Isla was fourth, Bob and Pat were fifth and I and Gin rounded up the end. Lots of people in the stands to watch, and the trial went pretty well. There is always some griping from some, but it wouldn't be a dog trial if everyone was happy. After we were done in the morning, I and Gin went back doing what we did for the past 4 days - chasing ducks around....flocking ducks. Well they didn't flock too much, they were done with the whole thing by the end of the day. Nothing worse than an ornery flocking duck.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Clock, Stock and Barrel and Aggie Days

We had 28 dogs run today at Clock, Stock and Barrel - there were only 5 dogs with pens today. The top two of each go round and the top two accumulative will get to go to the Sudden Death on Sunday. There is still a chance with everyone to get in tomorrow. I like it when there is another chance to get into the finals - if one crapped out on the first run, at least there is still a chance. It is as they say, it ain't over until the fat lady sings (LA,LA,LA). I did get a pen with Gin today and one with Fly (well okay, timed out just as I was closing gate - someone said it was 4:00:09). The sheep are what you make them - don't tick them off, and they won't tick you off.
Did a few more Duck Demos today - Gin was on her game. I brought Floss out to test her out, and I do believe a small child now has an imprint of either Floss's butt, a duck's butt or a duck's foot on her forehead. For all I know, it may be all three since it happened so fast. I can see the Calgary Herald headlines now "Amber Alert-Child is Flossed at Aggie Days".

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Aggie Days

What is this Aggie Days - well, 3000 (yes 3000) children come to Stampede Park in Calgary to learn about the country. That number corresponds PER DAY. I have taken things for granted, having grown up on a farm and been on one since marriage - I know where the milk comes, where the egg comes from, and the bacon comes from (no, not from your local Walmart). I and my dogs have been there to exhibit the stockdog and to explain the usefulness of a trained dog. Of course, seeing is believing, and we have ducks (taking big bills to the big city) there to shift about. It does open alot of eyes up just what the dogs can do. Then, of course, the hoards of kids (and adults) have to come and pet the dogs. I didn't realize how tiring petting was for the dogs, but they have been crashing consistently everyday at 3 pm. Good place to socialize the young ones as well. And everyone has a tidbit on how their border collie or cross or other type of herding dog would nip their heels as kids. I just gently remind them of the nature of the stockdog, that if they don't have a job to do, they will find their own work to keep them occupied.

We will do three days of this, then on Saturday and Sunday will be the Clock, Stock and Barrel Arena trial during Aggie Days. Someone asked me won't my dogs be tired after working ducks three times a day for three days. Honestly, if that is all it takes to tire them out, I had better find a different line for athleticism. Guess there will be 30 dogs at this trial, alot of stiff competition. Perhaps we will have an edge by working the ducks.... flocking ducks. We will see.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Grande Prairie was Grand!

Grande Prairie had a trial hosted by Holly Crichton in conjunction with the Peace Country Classic Agri Show. I left from home with a few dogs, picked up Abe Marshall and his two dogs, Corey Perry and his three dogs, and Carl Sneddon and his two dogs- at final count I think (I tend not to count anymore) of 12 dogs. I am sure we looked like a clown car with all of us packed in like sardines. We took our travelling road show and got to Grande Praire in the early afternoon, and did our runs. There was a good crowd, and the trial went smoothly. Driving back we can say we had two winners in the entourage - I and Gin won the open, and Abe and Cap won the nursery. Our heads did not grow that much, so we were still able to all fit into the Jeep.

When your travelling with people, you do alot of talking, and seeing that we had 5 hours with one another, lots of subjects were discussed - oh - alright - mostly the subjects that were covered related to black and white dogs. I think what I came away with is that
a. people trial for different reasons
b. people have different ideas of what makes a good dog
c. many have different ideas how to train a dog, and every dog trains differently
d. a dog that suits one person may not necessarily suit another person- nor should they
e. you have to like what you are running, or you won't enjoy trialing
f. all dogs won't necessarily make trial dogs, but that won't mean they aren't worthy dogs
g. it doesn't really matter what the other person thinks of your dog - as long as you are true to yourself, you can be true to your dog
and the final thing I learned on this trip....
never tie your young dogs with cheap leashes or they may join you in the arena when you are running your other young dog.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My feet are getting itchy

No, it's not athlete's foot! Coming up on Saturday is a trial up in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Going to pick up some fellas and their dogs (Abe Marshall and Corey Perry) and see what havoc we can raise up north. Going to bring a couple of young dogs and see if I can embarass myself. At least they should be able to find the sheep. You must be able to be humbled sometimes when your trialing, or you won't survive. You can be a champion one day, and crap the next - or in my case, in the matter of minutes really. What you have to remember that it really doesn't matter. It's only a dog trial! Which makes me realize, I never said how we did at the Bull Sale. I had brought Fly and Gin, Chris brought Jill and our nephew Jim brought Bill. There was 20 dogs, and they let the first 10 go to the finals. There should be an award for the crying hole, I have been in it so many times. Fly was 11th. Gin was an astounding 20th (no thanks for me - I disqualified her by sending her before the gate was close - note to self - remember the rules). Chris and Jim got their dogs in though. In the end, Denae Frew and her dog Bram was first, Shawna Burton and her dog was Reserve. Chris and Jill finished third, and Jim and Bill finished fourth - so really, I don't think we did that bad in the end at all! And Mike the horse - he got a new home in Langdon - I am sure they will be happy with him.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rubber boots

Things are getting pretty wet around here - thinking the sheep will have to find their own hip waders. Bringing out new dogs and doing some training, the stars must be aligned right, they seem to be learning things quite easily.
Cliff the Jack Russell is doing well - you would never know he had three legs. Mike the Great Pyranese never saw eye to eye, and one day he bit Cliff's leg. It was a heck of a break and unable to heal, and I decided that it would come off. Hasn't slowed him down any though!! He, however, makes a wide berth around Mike now. He is going to have a jacket saying "You think I got it bad, you should see the Great Pyranese - he is singing in high notes now!"
Cliff's son Freddy seems to come by it honestly - as you can see he has great control over this Charlais bull - or maybe the bull is getting a good massage. Sometimes when you own a Jack Russell you just have to look away.