Friday, November 30, 2012

You Know It's Going To Be A Bad Day When.... come to work to find your patient dead.  I guess I wasn't that surprised, the little poodle had been a long time without being on insulin for his diabetes.  Still, I try my damnest to save them all if I can.  After this morning's greeting, I expected the rest of the day to go without any other episodes - wow, was I wrong.  After pregchecking a few heifers, I felt like a schmuck when I had to put a large "O" on all but three of them.  When there is a wreck, there is a wreck.  You see, the "O"s stood for open, that is empty, meaning there would be no calf for them in the spring.  This was a heck of a lesson learned - test the bulls in the spring.  One (bull) plus one (heifer) should equal two (cute of a baby calf).  However, in this case, the equation equaled a big fat zero.  Well, that should have been all of the excitement for the day, right?   Wrong again.  The next thing that I had to do was to look at a bloated calf that was to come into the clinic.  For those that don't know, imagine how you feel like after eating at a buffet (I guess I can only speak for myself).  The bloated ruminant (word of the day) looks like a woodtick that is about to pop.  How you treat it is to pass a tube down it's throat and let the gas spew out (don't light a match).  Well, this one came running in, and as I was trying to put it in the head gate, she went tits up.  I grabbed a hose and shoved it down her gullet, but the gas wasn't coming off fast enough.  I grabbed my necropsy knife (maybe that was a premonition) and tried to stab her, but it was sharp like a butter knife.  I quickly found a scalpel and poked her side, and within a minute, the gas was gone out of system...but unfortunately, the spark was also out of her eye.  You know they say hindsight is 20/20 - well, I should have stabbed her right away.  No, wait, I should have been an accountant instead. 
So the last thing I did today was to rework the waterworks of a steer.  Waterbelly is like a blocked cat - and as a vet may say, both are equally challenging.  For those who don't know what that is, it is when a stone gets stuck in the waterworks, and there is nowhere for the urine to go.  The stone was found and released - I now hope the bugger will pee till the cows come home. 
But you know what they say, things happen in threes.
Perhaps I should change my name to Dr. Kavorkian.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Agribition Was Slightly Aggravating.

The Western Canadian Agribition is usually the last trial we make for the year.  It is always a mini-family reunion for us, since my roots - all the grey ones- are in Saskatchewan.
This is my nephew Tim holding his favorite - Tim Hortons....
 ...and his son Reece.
 No, this is not all my family, but there sitting down in the back in the blue is my Mom - it had been years since she had come watched - so with her eyes cleared of cataracts, she was able to watch.  Perhaps that is my problem with obstacles.
 Then there were rest of the damn family.
The serious ones.
 The nuts.
 The ones from friendly Manitoba.
 Even Chris was pulled away from the ranch.
 Jack Rieger was the illustrious judge - we are not sure if his cataracts were done for the event. 
 For the half time show, the dignitaries....yes, that included me, got to ride in the wagon.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! 

 No, I really meant it - we didn't want a runaway to happen.  Lara Forchuk was on the wagon as well - and damn near fell off...but that is not surprising at all.
 No dogs were squashed in the proceedings.
 So, two good runs would get a person to the top five for the finals.  Creed did well for Chris.

 Jill did well as well - each penned - too bad a combination of the two couldn't get you in.
 Gin and I had a good first run.  Out of 35 dogs in the first run, only 13 had completed runs.  Both Gin and Floss were able to pen the first round - would I be lucky enough to get a clear round with both of them?

 In the end, the answer was an astounding NO!  I did get a pen with Floss again, and ended up 8th overall, Gin got lucky and got a very unlucky yearling, one that took her out of the running.  I am not sure what I was thinking, but as three and a half minutes went by, and I was still trying to get the bugger to the pen, I should have walked off - I am sure Gin wanted too.  Darn it anyways - I paid for the four minutes to be out there!
In any case, it was not to be any from Hilltop Ranch to get into the 2012 Finals. 
All I got in was an hour of selling stuff from the SSDA booth.
Stacey Rosvold is the queen of the booth.
 Bev Sommers did her annual stint as well.
 Then I found out what was the food of champions.
 Yes, this is the 2012 Agribition Stockdog Champion - Norm Sommers. 
Next year I will ask if I can have a piece of his pizza - maybe it will rub off onto me - cheese and all.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Trialing Can Try Your Nerves

Apologies for the long wait for the next blog - you see I was waiting for pictures that would show proof of how well things went - pictures by a well known artist no less! It started with Chris and I packing up the dogs and a ram lamb to go to Lisa and Travis's - a very nice bed and breakfast - in Athabasca. We dropped off the ram to their new owners - Chris and Rob Hooper, and in part trade, we got these two beauties....christened Chris and Rob, the bantams.
 They would ensure that we would have breakfast in the morning.
 On the travels, we found this big sausage, but knowing it wasn't glutton free, we did not bring it to Lisa and Travis'.
 Our first trial was to be the ASDA Arena Finals - the illustrious Ken McKenzie would be the judge.
 Organizers Carl Sneddon and Cory Perry helped put on the event.  I looked upon them with awe, as Corey and Jill won the finals - Gin and I got into the finals and finished third - or second loser.
 The dogs had a nice rest, and were able to stretch their legs...
.... as Fly and Flint watched on.
 After a nice stay at Lisa and Travis's, in which many eggs were consumed, we packed up our chickens, and headed off to Edmonton for Northlands.  Penny Caster would be our hostess for the remainder of the trip.
 It wasn't just dogs at Northlands....the almighty shooters were out in full force.

 One can understand why earplugs were a must for the event.
 Even Wild Bill Hickock found it loud.
 The important balloon guy was important to keep the event aimed in the right direction.
 There was also a tradeshow to see - we found a nice little trailer.

 There was many things a person could buy.
 I ran away quickly after I took this photo...fearing the photo police.
 There was other things to see in terms of demonstrations.  We saw this old goat here.
 Yes, old Ian Zoerb was in the house.
 Then there were these goats.
 Old McDonald's farm was there in full force.
 Chris and Creed showed the crowd how the course was done.
 "Lie down....lie down...LIE DOWN!"
 "Away to me....I mean come by!"
 The Sheep Shuffle.
 After it was all said and done, I would be able to go into the finals with Gin.  Lisa Wright and Ben, Pam Boring and Mirk, George Walker and Lass and Dale Montgomery and Ben would round out the group.  As we waited for the finals, I thought some more people watching should be done.
 One had to be careful for escaped bovine in the area.
 Chris and I had been invited to the Hereford party - we looked at all the bulls, a lucky person would win a bull...we would not be the lucky ones.
 Now, since I didn't think about having someone take pictures, I had a well known artist - Bernie Brown, draw some of the action.  These are some pictures that he has done in the past.

 These following ones are in preliminary stages.  After the Hereford Congress supper, I got Gin and waited on top, waiting for the shooting to start.  We had been told that the shooters would go first, and then the dogs in the finals would go-therefore, because of the loudness, we would wait out of the arena.
I wondered why I was the only handler around.  Soon it was apparent when I was summoned to go quickly, since they had changed the order, and the dogs were already running!
 There was no time to be nervous, I had already missed my run, so I and Gin walked in and did our best.
 We penned the sheep, and for the next 10 minutes we would watch the other handlers go.  In the end, Gin and I won the kit and kaboodle, and Lisa Wright (right in picture) and Ben was second, and Pam Boring and Mirk (left in picture) was third.  The girls would rule!
 After the dog trial was done, it was time for the Ranch Rodeo event
 Cattle sorting was done.

 Branding was done.

 Cow milking was done as well. 

Want to see some action?
 Perhaps they should have got our wild cow...Wild Daisy.
 So that was it, 2012 Northlands was in the history books, and the chapter was completed.  In a couple of weeks, another chapter would start - the 2012 Western Agribition.  Bernie Brown would be busy in his booth during the event, so no pictures would be drawn of myself or of my dogs.  Art world's loss.