Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Slash J Trial - We Got Slashed

Moving to Saskatchewan allowed me to be in the backyard of the Slash J Trial and the Big One -I packed up the dogs - lucky 13 - or so I thought.  I had packed up and slipped into town, removing the 50 pounds of mud off of Dora and the trailer, planning to go on the highway to get to the border.  I luckily was reminded that a passport was required to cross the border, so back I went back home and dug out my pass into the great U.S. of A. - and then proceeded on the gravel roads to build up another 50 pounds of mud on my unit.  I removed the mud before I crossed the border, and lo and behold, the let me in (I guess all the warnings did not get to them in time).  I rolled into Joni's about 7 hours later, and caught up with some old friends.  The last to arrive was Amanda Milliken and Sue Shoen - who were to be my bunk mates for the night.  I hoped I would not keep them up with my snoring - but they beat me to the punch - it was like the dueling banjos between the two of them.  Morning came early, and Ron Enzeroth was to be the illustrious judge of the hour - or should I say hours.  I had only Gin to run, and I was glad to say she was on the top half - the top half of those who didn't get a score.  She thought she would cross over, and then when she did get to the right spot, the ewes hightailed it back to the set out pen.  Oh trialling can be very humbling at times.  Please trial gods, I have been humbled a lot in the last year - I am an expert on it.
I noticed I was having a slight air problem with one of my tires, so I ran in to get it checked out.  Good news - I got into town before getting a flat. Bad news - I will be the owner of two new tires by the end of the weekend.  Then I noticed that a cap off of my dog trailer tire decided to leave - and having had this happen before, I have made arrangements for that to be dealt with before my tire leaves my dog trailer, or wrecks my axle.
The first day of the trial was good for some - most notably Amanda and Monty, and Joni and Possum.  Tomorrow will be the young dog's turn - Mitch and Floss.  I have a feeling that I will have donated a lot of money this weekend - but can you really have a price on fun?  Well yes, about $800 or so!

Monday, May 28, 2012

CSI - McCord

It was a wet, dreary day, and I came home from find death of my rose bush.  Only a few days ago it was full of red roses, planted with dreams of big beautiful plants in a month's time.
 Not one, but two bushes were destroyed in this heinous crime.
 On close inspection, it was found that this bag of dirt was tampered with.  Were the culprits trying to bury the evidence?
 Around the corner this was found - a patio table smashed to smithereens.  It must have been one hell of a fight.  Calling cards were left around the debris.
Adding up the evidence, it added up to....four.   Four delinquents were responsible for the ravaging that had taken place.  The ring leader was the one who uncovered their hiding spot, since he was wearing a bell.  The suspects were caught and questioned without mercy....but they weren't talking. Their lawyers have been contacted.
Previously the four hombres had stayed nicely in the tampering of the corrals was noted.   I found out that a certain individual had seen them out of the corral, but did not have time to put them back. There certainly may be a murder in McCord in the near future. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Small Town Living

 Living in a sparsely populated area in Southern Saskatchewan, this vet has done something I have never done before - that is to have vaccination clinics at the neighboring towns.  I brought a trusty table, all my drugs and transformed each fire hall into an examination room.  Over two days this drug dealer visited six towns. 
In the last town, it was noted that the town hadn't been that busy since the last vaccination clinic. Examinations were done in front of the post office on main street.  Fir Mountain is not even a one horse town - the horse left many years ago. Many houses are left behind, but only one family still stays within the town...and they don't have a dog.
After the annual vaccination clinic, the end of the week came and Mankota had it's annual rodeo.  There was a lot of rain over the week, so the whole rodeo had to pack up and go to McCord to their indoor arena (town hockey rink in which it hasn't seen ice in ages since there is not enough kids to play hockey).
Chris and I went and took in the rodeo.  Every man and his dog was there (and where were they for the vaccination clinics I may ask?)
I am not sure why they call it tie down roping, but when I grew up it was calf roping - but I will be politically correct and call it tie down roping.
 Mothers who did not like their children very much allowed them to go in the wild pony race.
 The can chasers were out in full force.
 Lots of team ropers went through - unfortunately, the holes were too big in the ropes since many steers got away.
 The last event was the bull riding.  Talk about taking the bull by the horns and getting a job done.
It was nearly Edmonton and the CFR all over again - I stayed very close to an exit just in case the bull did puissance jumping. 
The first rodeo of the season was over, and my rodeo is about to commence - a rodeo of travelling to dog trials.  First will be down to North Dakota to Slash J and the Big One - these trials are in my back yard.  After that, we will whip up to Drayton Valley for an arena trial, with a small stop at Stettler to pick up a pup (since we have the urge to fill every kennel in the place), and the Alberta tour will end with me working in Nanton for a week-to pay for all the entry fees. 
Hold on to your hats - we're going for a ride!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

First You See Them, Then You Don't

This Lil' Bo Peep has lost her doggin sheep
And doesn't know where to find them.
I've left them alone, and they haven't come home
....the coyotes have probably devoured them.

This Lil' Bo Peep has found her doggin sheep
I guess the coyotes didn't find them
They left them alone, and they came running home
After they had slept in the quonset in the a.m.

Last week with my visitor from Ontario, we had made the sheep very unhappy - to the point where they had disappeared from the ponderosa - vanished into thin air.  I had looked every day, along the creeks, and in the few bushes that are around.  As I went to work I stopped at every rock pile to make sure they were rocks and not the escape artists.  One day I thought I had found them mixed with some black Angus cows, and just about went into the ditch when I stopped.  But alas, they were only their calves - (they were Charolais cross calves so they were off white in color).
After 5 days of being missing, I accepted the fact that they were likely gone for good, and Wiley Coyote now knew the taste of sheep all too well. However, luck was to be on my side - Chris went into the machinery shed (which is a mile from home) and found them - the biggest sheep trap in history!

They are back with the rams - and I have no idea why they would want to have left these handsome fellows - perhaps they just wanted a girl's getaway.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bees Weren't As Busy As Me

Well, I would have to chalk this weekend as a whirlwind.  It started on Thursday, when I went up to Peter and Pam Gonnet's place to vaccinate a few dogs (29), and after that feat was done, they took me to supper at a place I had never entered before - a Casino.  Whoa, the bright lights, the dinging of bells - reminded me when the police pulled me over from coming home from the dog trial last weekend!  After supper, I put in $10 in a slot machine - should have cashed out at $8.50 but Peter forced me to continue to press the button.  That will be $10 for someone else (probably the next guy who used it). 
The following morning I made my way to Saskatoon to sit in a class regarding the Canadian Food Inspection Agency qualifications to be an accredited veterinarian - basically it was a class to teach us how to draw pictures of horses and take blood for Coggin's testing.  I learned some interesting tidbits - Canada is the highest exporter of horse meat to Japan, and in California they milk camels-apparently it is good for diabetics.  Who knew?
The next day a visitor from Ontario came to the ponderosa to work dogs - Cathie Vodden.  She had a full sister to Floss named Jill that she was working, and a housemate called Rue.  That day we worked the doggin' sheep at home, and apparently we really hurt their feelings because the next morning they were nowhere to be seen. 
That was not to stop our training weekend, we went to our big flock where they were pastured.  First there was a few tails that had to be docked.  Gin was the chore dog of the hour.
 The Border Leicesters were glad they didn't have to go through the procedure again.
 Cathie was my gate for the alley - the Scotties appeared unimpressed with the change of their Sunday routine.
 After the chores were done, we shed a few sheep and then did some training.  I had brought Mitch, Floss and Gin.  Mitch has a problem with making a proper outrun, and stopping when he is told - my great nursery dog is going to do wonders this year.  I wonder if he will figure it out.
 He probably ran a few miles during the sessions.
  I do believe a light popped in his head by the time his training was done for the day.  Hopefully that light bulb won't burn out.
Here I am in my training gear - I wished Naomi Shields was taking a picture of me - Cathie knew how to use that zoom button all to well.
 Floss was put through her paces - and her pace is quick so that was one thing we worked on.
 A little shedding, a little look back and a little pace was obtained.
 I sat back and watched Cathie work Jill, and it was like watching Floss - fast and furious but still wanting to listen.  I am not sure if Cathie would miss her if I put Jill in one of my kennels.  She probably would.
After we finished, we headed back home-to the smell of fresh bread.  Chris the cook had made a loaf before he went to work in the field.  As I was chowing down on a piece of warm bread, he came in the door, needing my help to get the tractor unstuck.  I changed from my dog training hat to my vehicle towing hat and pulled him out. Chris went to a neighbor's branding, and I was called out to check on a sore horse, so I quickly put on my vet hat and toodled out the door.  By the time I got back, Cathie had walked my dogs and cleaned my kitchen.  It was too bad she couldn't stay longer - she made a great maid.
A thought crossed my mind to take it easy tomorrow, but the dogging sheep are still missing, and I would like to put in a garden in tomorrow.
Who was the idiot who only put 24 hours in a day?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Alberta Bound-A Trial Of (Nit) Wits

After practicing on the ducks at the Regina Pet Expo, I felt confident that my dogs were ready for the first trial - the Alberta Stockdog Association Field Trial was held outside of Okotoks.  The handlers could view the nice mountain scene if their run wasn't going well.  I looked at that scene many times during the weekend.
 The mornings were crisp - but everyone was raring to go, including the dogs.
We sat back and watched the runs as they unfolded.  Some folded up like a tent in a wind. 
 Small family reunions occurred.  Louanne Twa's Gus and his grandma Gyp did their trialing by the sidelines. 
 My friend Penny and the young lady she cares for came out to watch.
 Ellen's motto of life is "Don't Worry, Be Happy"-a motto that many should live by.
 We used Louanne Twa's flock for the trial.  She wasn't in this picture, but #144 was the cruel jokester of the group.  Sorry Louanne for setting that one out for you.
 The novice people were out in full force, showing their reflex moves.
 I thought I would take a nice picture of Naomi Shields and Nim at the pen.
 I then asked Naomi if she could take a picture of me and Floss.  Here I am with her.
 Here is another flattering picture of myself - I haven't looked so small (Naomi, there is a zoom button on the camera).
 We all helped to set out the sheep.  Billie worked like a dog down at the pens.
 Stormy and Meg set out in style.
 Every day crepes were eaten - except by Norm Sommers - he wouldn't eat those "creepies".  If you ask him out for supper, only offer him potatoes, meat and corn.  He loves cheesecake (but hates cream cheese), that white cheese is horrible, cottage cheese makes his blood curdle-don't try to hide it in lasagna or he will find it (like a drug sniffing dog).  If you offer him bruchetta, call it like it is - tomatoes, but don't be suprised if he ends up calling it borscht and it ends up in the garbage.  Also, he hates ceasar salad - I think he is prejudiced - he has something against white.
 Religion played a part during the trial - peace be with you.  I prayed to the dog trialing gods many times during the weekend - I think they were out.
 On Saturday, some of the bars opened early.  I promised the bartender I wouldn't mention any names.  I fulfilled your wish Chris Hanson.
 A Saturday night handler's supper - lots of meat present.
 The big winners of the trial were the Zoerbs (winning Nursery, ProNovice and Open), Jerry Kubatoff and Anita Ashton. Gin finally decided to listen on the last day, but then my eyesight wasn't very good, since I missed drive panels. I really wish there was a bubble award - I was on it several times - just out of the money. I was happy with Floss - first time in the open and she got her sheep - we got a shed and pen as well - I do have to remind her it isn't a speed event though.
 After the awards, I trundled back home.  Note to self - you can't leave the back door of Dora open - it drains her battery.  After Dora was boosted, I made it towards Medicine Hat to stay with Mildred Barry for the night.  The drive would not be uneventful, as I was driving through the town of Gleichen, the flashing purple and blue lights stopped me.  "Do you know why I stopped you?" Mr. Policeman asked.  I replied, "Not a clue."  Apparently  I did not come to a full stop at the stop sign.  Registration and licence given, I was prepared to receive that pukey yellow paper.  He came back and told me to have a nice evening.  Thank you Mr. Policeman-I will stop (a complete stop) by and drop off a box of Timbits the next time I am through.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Have We Gone Quackers?

In moving to Saskatchewan, we not only became part of the taxpayers of the province, we also became members of the Saskatchewan Stock Dog Association - a good group of members (and I am obliged to say this since they asked me to sit in on as president of the club-and by the looks of Stacey Rosvold I may have to be kissing some babies really soon!) 
This past weekend we went to Regina to participate in the Pet Expo and to spread the good word about the border collie.
 It was a one day affair, and even though there was a downpour of rain outside, many families came to see what the thing was all about.
 The police dogs were out.
 There was many things to see, such as cats.
 Face painting was part of the afternoon-I do believe Regina has the best face painters in the country.
 We had two demos to do, we did the first one outside, and it was weather fit for a duck - they almost had to have hip waders as well.
 Our second demo was within the Conexus Centre - on the fifth floor.  I do hope they can get the duck crap out of the rug.
 Gin and Chris Jobe's ducks (thanks Chris for letting me borrowing them) were a hit with the kids.
 A few volunteers were asked to move the ducks about - the ducks thought they would stop and make a speech.
 Gin ended up helping the kids move Daffy and the gang.
 Floss also did her debut of duck herding.  A very strong dog is required to move this dangerous type of stock.
Floss practiced her penning for the upcoming ASDA trial that would be held the following weekend.  A 10 point pen was achieved. 
 A brace competition was then done.
The day ended and the ducks and dogs were packed up and we headed home.  A few conversations were held, and I do believe there may be some spectators at upcoming dog trials this year.  Who knows, one day the Hilltop Trial at McCord, Saskatchewan may become as big as the Meeker Classic. We will strive to do this, one duck step at a time.