Friday, March 30, 2012

Borders To Cross

So, you thought with the title it had to do with crossing the 49th parallel eh? Nope - it has to do with the new purchase this past week.
Meet Deakin 11-1683RR - born in Illinois, and got his immigrant status on Feb 22, 2012 before winning it big at Lexington, Kentucky (no, it wasn't the Bluegrass). He is the head honcho of my new Border Leicester flock.
And here are his women and a few of his children. They all hail from Antigonish, Nova Scotia. They had a brief 6 month stay in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan before I chanced upon them.Apparently these are the only Border Leicesters east of Ontario. We have had registered dogs for years, now we have registered sheep - I may have to show them off at a show in the future - as long it doesn't conflict with a dog trial.
The plan is to cross them with the Scotties (sheep, not the curling bonspiel), make a mule (the cross of a Scottish Blackface ewe and a Leicester ram, not a cross of a donkey and a horse), and then take the gimmers (the ewe lambs of the cross, not gummers) and cross them with a terminal sire (the ram you use on the crossbreds to make a market lamb, not an airline terminal).
And that is what I meant by Borders To Cross...although this little flock has crossed a fair number of borders until they have called McCord, Saskatchewan their final home.
Now all we have to do is make them naked like the rest of their new friends.

Monday, March 26, 2012

We Went To The Park

There are always jobs to get done with the dogs around this place, and this weekend was no different. In the morning, Chris had asked if I wanted to go for a little ride to check out a pasture that we were hoping to get for our cows this year. It would be just like the old days before we were married, just going for a ride.
Before we left, I had trained a little on Floss shedding on the sheep - and she was going great guns, and I thought was a nice second open dog she may turn out to be. I then used her to help me take a cow and her adopted calf (William the Holstein) to a field. Now the horse I ride, Toad, is well over 16 hands, and there were a few gates to open. Large rocks would soon be a friend to me for this trail ride. The cow had other ideas, climbing through fences, so that made me have to open more gates, and because she loved her calf so much, Floss was having a rough time controlling her -old Bess wanted to ground her into the ground, which of course did not help in confidence building exercises. I had wished I had brought another dog to help, but I was destined to open a few extra gates and chase her with the horse before the job of trailing her to the next field was done.
With a little cursing (okay, a lot of cursing) we got the cow and calf into the field. The old bat better say in there.
By this time, Chris sauntered up with the trailer, and we loaded my soaking Toad and drove to the pasture to check things out. With Municipal map in had, we stopped at the edge of our field. We would have to ride three miles to get to the pasture in question.
Along the way there were gates to open.Being the gentleman that he is, Chris opened all of the gates.
The horse that Chris was riding, Dexter, was the lead horse in this trail ride.The day was a nice day for a walk for the dogs. They travelled twice as far as what we did.
Finally we got to the Grasslands National Park. There was nobody to pay at the gates, so we walked on in. At this time, mother nature called, and I can officially say that I pissed on the Canadian Government! Sorry Mr. Harper.
After we entered the gates, there were a couple of miles left to ride before we got to where we had to be. Finally we arrived at the destination. It looked much like we started - rolling hills, a lot of rolling hills. There were a few residents who were squatting on government land, and when they saw us, they didn't stick around for any close up shots. (Squint really hard and you will see ten deer in this picture).
Then we turned around and went back. Thank God there was a fence line to follow, I think we may have got lost in those hills. I am sure there are bones there of fellow travellers, some with cellphones, still searching for a signal.
By this time of the day, the sun was going down, the air was getting cooler, and I was beginning to get cramped up. Charlie horses came in large herds. They were the Percheron of the charlie horses. It was at this time I had wished we had brought a shovel so that Chris could have just buried me out there.
We finally got back to point A and Mr. Snowy Owl was there to greet us.
In his wisdom, I could see he was asking, "Why didn't you drive to the gates with the signs - it would have been a shorter ride!"
The twelve mile trail ride finished, I had turned into a cramped up, teeth chattering frozen corpse. A hot bath and a hot toddy was had and I was rejuvenated.
I will pre-dose myself with Advil for the next adventure.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Have To Join The Bandwagon.

Apparently there is a holiday which I never knew about - International Puppy Day. There have been a few fellow bloggers putting up pictures, and I, for fear of feeling left out, have dug into my archives to see if I could find any cute pictures. Well, I have loads of them - I have never seen an ugly puppy, but sure have seen a lot of ugly dogs. Here are some snippets of a few pups that have started their lives here.
No one can say puppies in boots aren't cute. These have passed out due to the smell.
This is Mitch - he still gives me this look today, as if to say - What exactly do you want done?
The famous Kitty and Kenny - luckily owned by the Petric family-picking on Tranna.
Dan (now at Don Grant's, and name changed back to Ky) - should have called him Radar.
Ricochet - being chased after by Lisa Porter. Future Flyball Fanatic!
Cricket - Agility protege for Cindy Toy.
Lisa Wright's Flint - the early days before the ears.
My Becca -still waiting for her ears.
Alice - the devil in disguise.
And Tim - Alice's older half brother-now a cowdog.
Puppies come and go - but the memories in the pictures stay behind.
Apparently the memories of the work to raise a litter fade - guess it is much like childbirth.

Little Off The Sides Please

On my days off, there is always something that has to be done. Recently, that job was to shear the sheep. First, we had to split the lambs off of the moms-and they were not happy about it. I am sure you could hear the bleating all the way to Regina.
Then we had to split the ewes into the two groups - the fine wool and the Scotties (which are fine in my mind).In a couple of hours we were all ready for the shearer. Gin helped to bring them in an orderly fashion.
Cliff the shearer brought the tools of the trade - including the chute for the ladies....
....the wool bags and wool packer. Chris was packer of the wool, and with the speed of Cliff and Christine, he wasn't standing around much.
Cliff has been a shearer for 40 years, and has bent over 100,000 times. Oh, my aching back.
Christine (who I had met in Kingston with Kate Broadbent) has been all over the world. I wouldn't want to take her on with a match of arm wrestling - I certainly would lose. The speed of the two would make those who shear at the Calgary Stampede quiver.
Soon, many would be in their birthday suits.
No wool over my eyes!
The last ones to do were the rams.
Watch where you put that clipper!
Oh, the humanity!
Could you make some lambchops please (for those not hair inclined, that would be long sideburns).
The Emporer's New Clothes.
So everyone, naked as a jaybird cuddled up in the shed, wondering where their sweaters had gone. With the jostling around, a few new babies were born over the next few day.
I must be part of a nudist colony.
Wholy Cow - are they going to shear you?!?!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sommer Time

Well, this past weekend was a trip up to Bev and Norm Sommer in Pleasantdale, Saskatchewan. Before I went, I had to become legal, and finally got my official license plate for Saskatchewan - 903 I'm Generally Right.
The trailer and Dora were loaded with dogs, and myself and 10 hounds made our way up to Sommer's, to train some dogs and to count another wrinkle in Bev to add to her years on earth.
As I travelled north, there was more evidence of actually a winter of 2012 - Muck Boots were going to be the footwear of the weekend. The Schwehr's came over as well, and we all did some training.
The Sommer hospitality would give the Rimada a run for their money.
I wondered if Mitch would be ready for nursery this year since Norm's nursery dog Mirk looked much farther ahead in training. I will have to pull up some britches and work harder-perhaps Norm's secret is his training aid - the Normanator. This article can be found on the Saskatatchewan Stock Dog Association website.
As you can see, Mirk respected the Normanator greatly.
We finished off the evening going out for Bev's birthday, and conversation and laughter ensued. Colleen Schwehr had told us earlier that she was trying to get out of a trip to China - since she did not want to travel 12 hours on a plane. It would be a quick four day shopping trip. Yup, four days total. There was also talk of our bucket lists - things we wanted to do before we died. Colleen's number one thing to do on her list was to travel to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. She will probably want to stay three weeks there.
A quick sleep was had, and breakfast of champions was eaten (left over cheesecake) and I brought back some extra cargo.
Fiona the Fuzzy and Pete the Sleek.
The Welcome Wagon came to introduce themselves.
Fiona acknowledged her neighbors.
Pete was more worried about getting a square meal.
Jenny seemed put out about the whole thing. Do not worry Jenny, your job as head guardian is still in existence. Job security exists.
Around here we hire young and retire old.