Thursday, December 27, 2012

Just because you're paranoid

Doesn't mean that you're not being followed!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

I had plans to go out and do a Christmas photo shoot with the dogs. The weather has been very cold and I've been waiting for things to warm up just a little bit. Now with the local news meteorologist bragging that this will be "The coldest Christmas in 50 years!" I've realized that warmer weather just isn't going to happen and so I've decided tol reuse an "oldie but a goodie" instead. The dogs seem just as happy as we are to curl up by the fireplace. 

Merry Christmas everyone. Here's hoping your holidays are filled with family, friends and furry four legged creatures. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Living in a post apocalyptic world

isn't much different than what I'm used to....Huh, who knew? 

I leave you with a picture of Ralph facing his fear of the unknown...a Sears Hand Model. Terrifying, but he survived! Thanks for yet another great shot Jen - and Danielle for braving the beast and offering her tingers! 

Here's to longer days, a little less moonshine and a bit more sunshine. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Another great shot by Jen - thanks!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


we have

lift off!

Thanks for the great shots Jen!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Getting all my dogs in a row

It doesn't happen very often. Today I got all my dogs in a row - and took a picture before they took off down the trail. I don't have ducks, or I'd try that too. 

This what regular wandering in the bush with nothing but the company of canines does to a person. Make's them find slightly rephrased idioms...HILARIOUS! 

4 or 5 months til trial season starts up again...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fly today

More than happy to claim the sun beam.

It's been a hard winter so far. Lots of snow and lots of cold. Here's hoping that we're just getting all the bad weather out of the way before the new year. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Now I start my day with

"Morning Sam"

"Morning Ralph"

And in case you don't recognize them, here's the original pair. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Put me in coach!

This could have been a whole other kind of blog. A Holy SH*T kind of blog. The dogs were hanging out with us while we were doing chores, which included putting fresh straw in the sheep shelter. Niether one of us was paying attention and the next I noticed, the dogs were headed through the open gate out to the pasture...heading straight for the sheep. Miraculously, Flint came when I called. Incredible. Apparently I CAN teach a dog to recall. 

Gyp on the other hand, did not. She kept on going - straight for the sheep. Huh. Eight months old and loose on 10 acres with 30 some sheep. It started out fairly chaotic, but by the time I got out there she had things fairly under control. I knew I  couldn't catch her, so I figured the easiest thing to do was to have her bring the sheep in and put them in the round pen.  

And so she did. 

And she surprised me by doing a really good job of it. 

If you look in the back ground you can see Flint having a fit and cursing himself for recalling - we'll see if he makes the same mistake next time!

Way to go Gyp. What a nice surprise - I'm kind of glad I left that gate open!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Another new face

After that big catch up last week you'd think there wasn't much to talk about. I'm happy to report that Gyp is settling in very nicely. She seems VERY comfortable.

She's delightful. She's settled in so easily it feels like she's been here for ages. 

You'd think that would be the end of the news, but no. Sam has grown into a good dog and he deserves good company for all of his efforts. While he loves his sheep we know that he'd appreciate some full time company. 

Meet Ralph. He's 3/4 Maremma and 1/4 Anatolian Shepherd. He'll help Sam with homeland security against all things lurking in the bush and they'll keep each other entertained in between shifts. In the meantime - my god he's adorable!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Time for a big catch up.

First off, in case you're reading from somewhere hot and sunny, summer's over and winter has definitely moved in. No point in taking special pictures of the snow because it's hard to miss when taking pictures of anything else. 

We went ram shopping a couple of weeks ago and brought home this new registered boy. Picking him up was pretty much blog worthy on its own, but lets just say that a. I really appreciate the work of a good experienced dog (which we did not have with us on this trip) b. one person can not control a ram by hanging on for dear life to it's tail and c. necessity IS the mother of invention. 

We put him to work right away with the older girls and he was more than happy to oblige. 

We put the brown ram lamb from Holly in with the yearling girls and it seems he caught on quick as well. Looking forward to what they give us next March. Btw, the black and white ones in this picture are some left over whethers from this summer - they're happy to watch the goings on instead of heading off to market. ;-) The rest of the boys DID go to market and this year's crop is delicious!

Halloween is by far my favourite holiday so as always, I carved some pumpkins, 

made some refreshments,

and then Travis and I got cleaned up

for a big night out on the town.

Having somewhat recovered from all the "scaring the bujesus out of folks, young and old" that Halloween brings, we welcomed friends Wendy and Chris up for the weekend - there was one last bit of trialling to be done for the season. 

Apparently travelling light in McCord Saskatchewan means bringing everything you might need with you...

including chickens. 

After a great breakfast of eggs, we headed off to Mayerthorpe for the Alberta Arena Finals. We all had good runs and both Wendy and I made it into the finals - Wendy with Gin in Open and Ben and I in Nursery. Sadly we both suffered from that dreaded disease "too much pressure at the pen" and both dogs came in third. On the upside, Chris got us both to and from the trial through fairly horrid road conditions - making it home alive is even BETTER than winning - thanks Chris! 

While in Mayerthorpe I picked up this little sweetie. 

Gyp is just shy of 8 months old. She deserves her own blog update and she'll get one, but for now lets just say that she gets along fine with everyone and has taken no time whatsoever to settle in and is super adorable. I'm looking forward to starting her this winter. 

After Mayerthorpe it was off to Farmfair in Edmonton. Ben ran a little hot the first go around - funny how flipping a young dog back and forth without a lot of stops can do that. I took him home and made sure he got out for a good run and he ran much better the second day, making it into the finals.  He ran equally well in the finals and we finished up as Farmfair's Reserve Champion - a great way to end a terrific first year for two year old Ben. 

I think that's it and I'm fairly caught up. I'm sure with the boredom that comes with winter I'll find time to blog more often. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Working singles up against a fence...

Last weekend (actually, now that I think about it, it really was the weekend before last. Time flies when you're having fun or just busy) the princesses, minus the princess palace made the trek to out to Lee Lumb's for a clinic with Alasdair and Patricia MacRae. 

The setting, as it always is at Lee's, was beautiful.

The clinic was REALLY good. I learned a lot about what to do, and what NOT to do with both Ben and Flint. 

This being Tricia's first trip to Canada we made sure she got the full experience including a full length and intimant tour of Canada Customs, great fall weather, and lots of sight seeing....or something like that. I hope we can convince them to come back soon...ever? 

I've included this picture of Ben...because he's running on green grass. Something we probably won't see again for about 7 or 8 months. 

Many thanks to Lee, Carly and Brian for being such great hosts and Kristi for her help in organizing the clinic.  You've set the bar high. Many thanks as well to the MacRaes for sharing their knowledge in such a clear and concise manner. There was MUCH talk under the tent about how "easy" the exercises were to grasp, and that was obvious by the improvement in the dogs and handlers.  

Now, out to the field to do some work!

Friday, October 5, 2012

This blog will be short

Much like Ben's National Final's run. After a fantastic season, lack of experience caught up with him. After a good session on the practice field the day before I was looking forward to running Ben. He left my feet the way I expected, but when he got to the top he was spooked by the set out crew (no fault of theirs, they were completely consistent through the week), lost his sheep back to set out and we retired. Such is life running young dogs. 

Having said that, we had a Fantastic time at the finals in Klamath Falls. Many thanks to the everyone who made these finals a success. We spent the week watching great teams run, visiting "Texas and California", closing down a party or two, and just plain visiting with old friends we don't to see often enough as well as meeting new friends we'd like to see more often. 

I didn't take any pictures, but Kristi Oikawa took a bunch of great ones. Her slide show really says it all. 

Looking forward to doing it all again next year. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My bags are packed...I'm ready to go.

Not leaving on a jet plane. Instead Ben and I are headed south in style in the Princess Palace, on our way to Klamath Falls in Oregon for the USBCHA finals

Apparently there's just no such thing as packing light for these things. Does it ever rain in Klamath Falls? Who knows, but we've got rain gear. Don't worry Kristi, the Best In Show chair didn't make the picture, but it did make its way into the truck - as did the zero gravity chair. A girl can't be too comfortable sitting out in the blazing sun (why am I bringing rain gear??) for a week watching dogs and sheep. 
Really looking forward to seeing all of our friends that we just don't get to see enough of, watching great dogs work, and running Ben in Nursery. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Baby's all grown up.

This morning I realized that Sam is two years old. 

It's hard to believe that he looked like this when we got him. 

I'll be the first to admit that raising a guardian dog has had its ups and downs, but now that we're two years in I can say that for the most part it's very much been worth it. We have yet to lose anything to predators and hearing Sam's bark at night is reassuring (I worried before I got him that it might be annoying - but other LGD owners were right - you get used to the barking and it does give you peace of mind). I like visiting with him when I go out to the sheep, and he's a good reason to go out to them. He's very bonded to his sheep and, knock on wood, has not gotten into any trouble at all for a bit now. He's also very entertaining and definitely a conversation piece. While he doesn't live in the house with us, he is very much a part of the family. 

Happy Birthday Sam. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones

Macklin, like many small towns in western Canada is famous for its "big thing". After all, when you're small you need to find something big to hang on to...

Macklin's "Big Thing"? 

Why, the world's largest Bunnock Bone of course!

What is Bunnock you ask? Why it is a game played with (horse lovers, avert your eyes NOW please) 52 horse ankle bones. Developed in the 1800's by some very bored members of the Russian military who found it difficult to pound rods into the tundra to play horse shoes,  it was introduced into Canada by Russian German immigrants. 

Nowadays, you can find reproduction bunnock sets made out of plastic, but personally if I'm going to throw bones, I want to throw the real ones (I love horses, but I'm a practical person too. I love the historical aspect of the real bones, and frankly they just "feel" better and sound WAY better when they hit each other). 

The town of Macklin hosts the World Bunnock Championship. They limit (and there is a waiting list) the entries to 320 teams. 

The game involves throwing bones at a your opposing team's line of bones.  As with most good throwing games, beer is generally involved (and if you go to the World Championship, add deep fried food of course)

Here Travis, a Macklin native, shows good form.

After a few years of whining "we never get to practice" as our main excuse for a. losing b. not entering the World Championship and c. LOSING, Travis's parents were kind enough to not only gift us with a set of bones, but a set of REAL bones. 

We knew we were getting them at Christmas, but given the waiting list for a real set of bones, we just got them now, which is perfect given that now is Bunnock  (and beer) season!

Of course we had to play. 

There was carnage.

Mostly mine...

Due to Travis's good arm. Don't worry honey - I'll practice (which is sweet talk for "I"m gunning for you").

Want to learn more about Bunnock? First prize at the World Championship is $10, want to learn more?? Click HERE

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

There's a Fly in my kitchen...

and she's adorable. 

I think she should stay.