Thursday, July 30, 2009

Give a man a fish and he eats for a day

Show a man how to fish...

and he clears out your saskatoon patch!

Kate and Bruce are all over the saskatoons. They watched me pick for about 5 minutes, ate the berries I may have offered them (I'll never admit to actually giving them berries, not now that I've created these monsters), picked up a couple off the ground that I dropped ( professional berry pickers - please do not judge me), and then quickly went into business for themselves.

Hope? Not so much.

Dogs are carnivores - veggies, fruit, berries... those things kill.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It seems misery loves company. As if a drought, and what is starting to look like a never ending heat wave weren't enough, we can add grasshoppers to our list of summer 09 woes. To say we have a "few" would be a gross (gross in soooo many ways) understatement. We're crawling, or more correctly, HOPPING with them.

Hey you, hiding in the house - how YOU doin'?

Thankfully, Kate's on it.

One down....

2,000,000,000,000 to go.

Grasshopper - it's what's for dinner.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kate update

Yesterday I realized that I haven't blogged about Kate in ages. There have been blogs about trialing, blogs about out houses, blogs about poop scoops (it's time to get out of THAT rut), blogs about Bruce, but nothing really about Kate in ages.

Kate likes to fly under the radar.

I am stealthy.

Kate turned a year old in April. I've been slowly working with her this summer in between trials and trips with Hope.

Things have been coming along really nicely with her.

She reads her sheep well, tries very hard to be right and picks things up quickly.

As a matter of fact, things have been coming along so easily, that I started to worry a bit about the other shoe dropping. Maybe she was so happy to gather and fetch that she'd be difficult to start driving?

Last week I decided to see what she thought of the idea.

she took to it like a duck to water.

Here's to ducks!

OK - what about inside flanks? In typical Kate fasion - no problem.

We're a long way off from the finished product, but it sure is fun getting there with her.

Away from sheep, she's her usual adorable, easy (once again) to live with self.

I am sweet AND smart.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Snowed in...

sort of.

It's the end of July, we're in Brooks for the One Tree Trial, the sun is shining...and we're trapped in the trailer, Why?

Mosquito: Anopheles — Greek meaning hurtful or prejudicial

We're surrounded. If they don't suck us dry they'll drive us crazy. They're biting us through our jeans. No amount of Deet seems to stop them. We're sucking them up our noses and swallowing them. I hear a high protein/low carb diet is good for you so I guess that is the "silver lining". So instead of sitting outside, watching the nursery dogs run, and hanging out with friends, instead we're trapped in the trailer watching old movies. I can't remember the last time I've seen mosquitoes this bad. It's awful. Louanne will blog about the other miserable thing about this weekend.

Yep. I left home, drove for hours, and actually PAID to do this...not sure if you should question my intelligence or my insanity.

Btw, as usual feel free to check Louanne's blog while I'm on the road because she's blogging about our trip as well.

We're trapped in a small space with seven dogs. Good thing we like each other. :-)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another fencing project casulty

I admit it. I'm a bit of a fence junky. There is a place for everything and everything should be in its place. Once we're done with the latest fencing project we'll easily be able to graze sheep anywhere on the property and when our friends come over with dogs of the sled dog variety we'll be able to do things off leash without worry of them disappearing into the woods forever.

We started pounding posts last night and it was going along lickety split till we got to the dog runs. It was an ackward corner with a gate and a number of trees that we wanted to save. It involved backing the tractor and pounder up while avoiding a million different things.

I avoided 999,999 of them. I didn't rip the run apart. I didn't kill the trees. I did not run over Travis

I did however, run over the pooper scooper. It's a sad day. I know it - it's just a scoop. However, in a former life I owned a bording kennel and that scoop and I go way back.

We've been through a lot of crap together.

Sorry buddy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bruce's weight loss program

It takes about 5 minutes to brush Hope or Kate out entirely. Yet another thing I like about Border Collies - they're pretty much "wash and wear".

Bruce? He's like living with a Muskox.

The muskox (Ovibos moschatus) is an Arctic mammal of the Bovidae family, noted for its thick coat and for the strong odor emitted by males, from which its name derives. This musky odor is used to attract females during mating season. (thanks Wikipedia!)

Maybe Bruce doesn't smell quite as strong as a muskox, but then I don't really know what a muskox smells like - so who knows? The ladies DO find him attractive...

He DOES have a thick coat. This is what 5 minutes of brushing Bruce gets me.

I don't know if I should be envious that he can take inches off his waist in minutes, or terrified at the thought of losing that much hair...

5 minutes of brushing....


Monday, July 13, 2009

A couple young bucks

Showed up in the front yard tonight. We were lounging around on the couch, supposedly watching TV. However the sheep were up to their usual antics playing on the manure pile (yes kids - sheep running over top of their own poo over and over again is much more entertaining than summertime TV programming), when all of a sudden a pair of antlers wandered past the front door.

By the time I got my act together, grabbed the camera, pryed our squeaky door open in the least squeaky manner possible this was the shot I got - buck butts. Travis did his part by convincing the dogs that they didn't need to protect us from intruders. People can pull into our yard with big trucks, trailers, and a moving crew and the dogs don't say boo - a couple of deer and look out! I feel so safe at night...

Any way, they settled down and did some primping in the yard before disappearing into the trees.

I can only assume they headed down the ditch, cruising for chicks, telling crude jokes, making fun of moose - it's what young bucks do.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede may be the "crack cocaine" of the stock dog trial world. The high is amazing, it's over before you know it, and as soon as it's done you want some more. Hope and I had a blast, learned lots, and definitely plan to head back next year.

Stampede is an arena course with a $10,000 payout to first place so needless to say it attracts folks from all over. The dogs move three sheep around a series of barrels, through a chute and then into a pen with a time limit of 4 minutes.

And he's off.

Convincing the sheep that they really do want to weave in and around the barrels.

At the pen, where Lisa lost her marbles because she didn't think she'd actually make it that far through the course.

Huge congratulations to Pam Boring and her dog Mirk from Pink Mountain British Columbia for taking home the big cheque.

Well done Pam!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A whole pile of "firsts"

In the past week I've run in my first Open trial, got my first DQ (disqualification - Hope gripped on a shed which was badly set up by me), and my first RT (retired - after I had Hope take the sheep into the trailer parking lot instead of around the course - that was also a first). Both of which lead to Thank Yous from the judge. It feels good to get those firsts out of the way so to speak...
Incredibly today we got our first pro novice cheque for fourth place out of a field of about 40 competitors. Neither the sheep or the weather was terribly cooperative and we were one of the few lucky ones to make it around the course.
Tomorrow Hope and I are off to run in the Calgary Stampede for the first time - yee haw!