Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Once In Four Years

Well today, being a special day seeing it only once every four years, became extra special. Another nephew was born into the family - increasing his family to a whopping seven kids. (Please Carol, I have seen enough of 19 Kids and Counting, please don't follow in her tracks). That would make a grand number of 30 nieces and nephews between Chris and I. I have made some rules over the years relating to gifts, 1. no birthday gifts, since I forget the dates all of the time, (although February 29th would make it easy to remember) and 2. Christmas gifts until they graduate from school. When I was growing up, we were the three last of the youngest nephews and nieces of either of my mom or dad's families-we had no cousins really to play with, as they were much older than us. But as I grew up, I remember my Auntie Grace (Dad's sister), she was the aunt who bought us Christmas gifts and brought us gifts back when she went on trips. Not that I expected the other aunts and uncles to do the same, but looking back on it now, it is one of the fond memories I had growing up. So, I suppose it is a tradition in my mind - Auntie Wendy getting a little something at Christmas, and during trips from far away places for the nieces and nephews. I am not sure if they appreciate it now, but maybe 30 years from now they might.
So for the newest member of the Sinclair Family - be prepared to get 18 years (or would that be 4 1/2 years) worth of little gifts - they may not be worth much, but maybe in the future you may thing they were priceless. I will try to remember to take the price tag off.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Was It Something I Said

Another weekend was spent at Randy and Val Dye's and the dogs were put through their paces. It was supposed to be a dog party, but the snow gods were out, dumping quite a bit of snow on the roads. I still had to travel on them since I had to work at a small clinic in the country on Saturday morning. I headed off to the Dye residence after I was done work, dying to get there without slipping off of the roads, and found out the party would only be myself and Randy with the dogs. You think a little snow will stop me - hell no! Mitch seemed to finally figure out what the inside flank was about, and a customer dog I had brought with me was put on the sheep as well. Dozer is his name, dozing is not his game. I may have to buy a new pair of running shoes for this fellow. A quick sleep at the Do Drop Inn, and I made my way back to the old homestead to fill Dora and the dog trailer with my worldly items (mostly found at garage sales) to make my way back to the ponderosa. I do believe I can say I have the kitchen moved to McCord, Saskatchewan! I took it one piece at a time, and it cost me more than a dime (thank you Johnny Cash). I wanted to get back, so in my wisdom, I decided to drive back Sunday night to McCord - and on my way back I picked up Sue, the border collie who was going to stay for classes. I got back by 7 am on Monday (quick cat naps were had along the way), and unpacked the dogs as well as the new kitty cat named Eldon - to the dismay of the resident cats - one which has since tried to start drinking since it has found the liqour cabinet as a great spot to get into-perhaps she was looking for Sour Puss, or Cat Pee In The Bush - a nice wine that would go with fish. Uneventful was the day, but that would all change the next day. It started by finding out Sue's middle name was Houdini - since she had escaped from her run with it still being locked. Great, one day with a customer dog and she was gone! I travelled around the country, trying to find tracks, but it was as if she was gone from thin air. Neighbors were called, hoping that someone would see her. I had to build up my courage to phone the owner, and then decided it would be done in the evening. The day went along, some lambs were neutered, and some dogs were tutored. Then came the call, luckily it was the call from a neighbor. He was out driving and noticed a dog - he stopped the truck, called out "Sue", and she bounded into the seat. I guess 12 miles on the lam was far enough. She now is in the run deemed as the Alcatraz Run. There is to be no bail. Sorry Sue, that is what I have to do.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Breaking The Law

Now I view myself as a law abiding citizen, and try my best to live within the laws. I will say my halo is tarnished when it comes to speeding, perhaps the low carb way of life will help my heavy foot in time. I will have to be careful, or my halo will totally destroyed with what I have found out at the bottle depot today. Apparently each province has their own bottle deposit program, and didn't think much of it today until I saw a sign on the wall - $50,000 fine for knowingly depositing a bottle brought in from another province in Alberta...$500,000 fine for a corporation! Yikes...I brought a few milk jugs from the new place and deposited them in Alberta..yikes, some of those bottles were from Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the United States. I wonder if Al Capone broke out in a sweat when he was bringing liquor over during the prohibition -I may have to put an extra coat on of Degree on when I travel back from Alberta drinking my bottle of Coke Zero bought in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. I certainly hope I am not going to be seen on an upcoming episode of COPS, I would break down (cry into my contraband Budweiser bottle) and confess my sins if they came in and inspected my recycling bin - bottles from Saskatchewan, B.C., and the United States, jugs from Saskatchewan, cans from the States (don't try put a Coors can in the recycling, they will notice that right away). I may have to go on the lam. I would be found and put in jail...then I would have to get a tattoo. Maybe we will start milking our cow - I am not fond of tattoos.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Birthday Fiasco

When I got home this weekend to Saskatchewan, there was a plan to have a surprise birthday party for Chris on the Sunday at Jamie Van Ryan's place. I was looking forward to it until Chris said he wouldn't be going since he had too much to do, but told me I could go, and then leave for Alberta from Jamie's. Instantly I was in a foul mood (yes, occasionally I do get perturbed) - I thought we were supposed to spend a day together, and since I had driven 7 hours, would that be much to expect from your husband? Apparently it was. Well, eventually I blurted out that all I wanted to do was spend a day with him, and there was a surprise party that had been planned. In the end it was decided I would stay and we would take some sheep to a field for training. Okay, not a bad plan. We loaded up some sheep and went to a field. I wasn't watching what happened, but heard some yelling and before I know it, Chris and his dog was walking after one of the ewe-lambs - I think she was going to Regina. I quickly brought out Floss, and gathered the remaining girls before they hightailed it out of there. There was a moment I bent down to Floss to explain the difference between come bye and away to me, and when I looked up, there was the girls, making an exit towards Saskatoon. The direction they went led them into knee high grass, and they blended in quite well, so well, that I had thought they had disappeared. I must remember next time to bring the Scotties, so at least we can see their black heads. A quick jaunt in their direction of travel, and I spotted them (finally) when they were about 100 yards in front of me. Floss gathered them up and we proceeded to do some remedial classes. As it went along, the girls (Targhee/Columbian cross ewe lambs) got very heavy, and Floss decided she had to grip one to get things moving....big mistake. That ewe split off, and went off about 50 yards before Floss let her go, and the ewe looked back at her friends. Now, in sheep handling 101, all you have to do is bring the flock to the singleton, and all should be good. Unfortunately, this was not to happen. The remaining girls still didn't want to move, and the single ewe had gotten a second wind, and she headed off to Regina as well. Back into the tall grass and over the hill she went. By the time I got over the hill, I saw absolutely nothing. Vanished into thin air. In the distance I did see Chris walking back, with only a dog in tow. This turned out to be a great afternoon after all! We loaded what was left of the sheep, and made our way back home - where luckily we found one lone girl out in a stubble field. We drove around her, quickly jumped the sheep out, and I was in the process of taking them to her when she looked up, and then went towards Swift Current. Chris jumped back into the truck, and followed her about 400 yards away, and he and June got her in the trailer. Never did see the other renegade - I hope Wiley Coyote enjoyed her.
Happy Birthday Chris -perhaps we can do a repeat of this when it comes to my birthday. No, just kidding.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Have Armpit Juice Will Travel

On The Road Again....Willie Nelson, who knew your song would be my signature song. However, there is another song that may be moving this song into second place - Red Solo Cup. On my way back to Saskatchewan, I stopped in at Chris Jobe's and gave mouth to mouth resuscitation to a couple of bottles of wine - which unfortunately passed on during the wee hours of the morning. We gave a valiant effort in any case. Once again, it was an evening of talking dogs, planning which trials to attend, and discussions of what our long term plans would be - which turned out to be dogs and trials. I do believe I have found a travelling partner to go to Kingston this year to the Canadians - Ontario, look out - hide your wine. A quick sleep was had, in which I just about got smothered by a cat, and realized the buzzing in the head wasn't caused by a hangover but by the motor of said cat. There was a cup of Java and a quick work with Mitch on the rams before I headed back to Saskatchewan. Before the final trek, I went back into Medicine Hat to fix a slow leak on a tire, and picked up my vacuum cleaner that was fixed (now I have no excuse for not doing housework). As well, I prayed to the Automobile Gods - Dora the Explorer had a burp. I was going to stop at a liquor store before I left to ensure my emergency kit was stocked up - blanket, candle and wine - because believe me there would have been some whining from me if Dora's transmission petered out.
I got home with no problems, and said hello to the menagerie that I had left a month ago. Little do they know I would be turning around in a couple of days to go back to Alberta to work one more week. This time I will be taking the dog trailer - loading a few more dogs to take back with me who will be finding new homes along the way. I must remember to take their tags off so they can't be traced back to me.
I will also be bringing a red solo cup - let's have a party!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Itching To Get Back

I have been away at work for a month now, and even though I have spent each weekend wisely (and yes, training dogs make you wiser beyond your years - I am feeling 104 now), I am looking forward in getting back to Saskatchewan - albeit just for the Family Day weekend. The plan is to drive quickly (well, not too quickly, I can't really afford the speeding tickets) back to Beiseker, and pack up a few more household items - there does seem to be a dent put into the whole moving thing. By the time I get things stacked in Dora the Explorer, I should have my whole kitchen en route to Saskatchewan (minus the fridge, stove and kitchen table and chairs -wonder how good the rack is on top of Dora?).
It will be a short trip, enough time to unload the stuff, hopefully getting over to Jamie Van Ryan's for a day of dog training (it is the weekend you know, and we can use it to celebrate Chris's birthday as well - killing two birds with one stone is my mandate in life), hitching up the dog trailer (some new pups are finding homes, and want to take a few young dogs again for a visit to Randy Dye's the next weekend) and return to Alberta for a final week of work.
I thought the Saskatchewan move was going to give me a slower pace of life - in the time I have been there, I have gotten myself on a couple of boards, convinced myself to put a trial on, taken a few outside dogs to train, made some pies for a community supper and pimped Dora as a moving van .
I don't think I will have a midlife crisis this year, there is no time for one!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Another Weekend Gone To The Dogs

When one is involved in dogs, you are also involved in the politics in the dogs. This weekend was the AGM of the Alberta Stockdog Association. Before the meeting, I stopped in at Louanne Twa's place and did a short training sesson on Mitch, poked Flint McPukey (owned by Lisa Wright - and maybe he is pukey because of his raw diet) with his vaccine and then had coffee at Randy Dye's prior to the meeting. I rode up with Randy and Don Grant and finally learned what LMFAO meant on texts - all this time I thought it was Fat - as in Let's Make Fat Alberta Offal - still doesn't make sense to me. Talking about offal - I think it was served at the restaurant where we had the meeting. And it was awful! Don't touch the ranch dressing, you may regret it.

After the meeting, some of us (Naomi Shields, Abe Marshall, and Don and Nelda Grant) went back to Randy and Val's place and had hamburger soup (which wasn't offal), drank some chocolate wine (which certainly wasn't awful) and trained a few dogs. Naomi made sure the babysitter (her husband Bill) was okay, since she was going to stay the night.

In the morning - we did a little more training on the dogs out in the field

We critiqued each other - some to the point of crying (sorry Randy, I will bring tissue for you next time.)Even the dogs critiqued one another.Mitch may even see the trial field with whistles on him -but I will wait for the invariable brick wall in training that is alway hit when things go well. After Randy's, I stopped at my friend's Penny place for a quick visit, and finally got back to Nanton to work yet again. On my way back, I discovered I misplaced my whistle, and I knew I had it in Randy's field. A quick text (without LMFAO), and Randy replied he would look for it. Getting ready for bed that night, I found the whistle - around my neck. Good thing my head is attached or I would lose that as well.

Plans are in the making to visit The Do Drop Inn again in a couple of weeks. I'll be sure to bring the tissue.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yikes, I Hit A Raw Nerve

As a veterinarian, we are required to have several hours of education throughout the year to maintain our license. There are many things I have sat through, some seminars quite dry and boring - leading one to want to pull a fire alarm to end things quickly, some which improve your understanding about subjects - go ahead, ask me about diarrhea, I bet I can pinpoint where it is coming from (besides the back end). I currently went to a seminar relating to nutrition, and happened to mention it on Facebook - wow, the sparks flew. It appears that if presented with scientific information regarding a balanced way to feed a dog, the raw food people are quick to defend their choice of how to get nutrients into their dogs. Some people buy whole ground up carcasses, add some egg shells and feed it - noting it is more healthy because is doesn't have things like bone meal (which is ground up bones - which are in carcasses) and additives like calcium carbonate (which is the scientific name for egg shells).
My dogs occasionally eat raw - easier than digging a hole for the dead cow that occasionally happens. I just find it hard to drag that carcass around to dog trials - and I get stared at. James Spratt (I think he was Jack's other brother, and he could eat fat) in 1860 created the first dog biscuit and Dr. Ballard (who had practiced in Grenfell, Saskatchewan-who knew) made canned dog food in the 1920's-wonder why they developed these foods -most likely they were sick of feeding raw.
I think I am going to go pop a multivitamin.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Marking Days On The Calendar

I tend to do this every year at this time - going back from the USBCHA, Alberta Stockdog Association, Saskatchewan Stockdog Association and British Columbia Stockdog Association websites, with pencil and calendar in hand, deciding what trials to fill the year up. I also have to pencil in life in as well - work and other family commitments (notice that pencilling in allows one to erase them as well). This year, we are also pencilling in our first trial to be held on the ponderosa - Hilltop Trial - and truly hilltops will be seen. I am hoping a few will come out, and will just have to use my powers of persuasion to obtain sheep for the trial - I think it won't be too difficult, since the Saskatchewan way seems to be to help anyone at anytime. Heck, think I will jump in with both feet and do 3 open trials - a carrot at the end of the stick for some trialers - and have 3 nursery trials as well. The plan is coming together perfectly! Just have to make sure Dora the Explorer is tuned up, and make sure the dogs are tuned up as well-a few miles will be done this year. In the list so far is a trip to the Bluegrass in Kentucky, the North Dakota trials, the Wildrose trial (minus any tornadoes please), Calgary Stampede, Bow River Classic (maybe I'll get a plane ride again), the Canadians (in Kingston, Ontario), the Shaunovan and Maple Creek trials, Meeker (in Colorado) and the USBCHA finals in Utah (of course, that is if there enough points on the plate). Truely like a bad drug, this dog trialling sport is. Perhaps an intervention is in order.