Thanks for visiting my blog. It's rather flattering to have someone read your minds meanderings. I hope it's entertaining and sometimes educational.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Road Trip

    Going to an AHBA trial in Pa tomorrow.  I am taking all of my dogs and Betty and 2 of  her dogs.  It will be  very cozy.  Betty is concerned all is not going to fit.  I think it will be ok.  I will double up Dare and Peaches but I have a crate divider.  They will not have a lot of room, but that's fine.

Dually is entered in level 2 HTD and HTAD  and Dare is Level 3 on ducks inHTAD and sheep in HTD I think.  We'll see when we get there what I actually entered. I'm sure it will be a laid back trial. We plan to drive back on SUnday night. That might be a mistake now that I think about it. Oh well. Sunday night traffic thru NY is not good. Oh WEll. We will be fine.

It's 20 deg here and got to almost 30 today, but I had lessons and they went really well. Nice work by BoKay and Kathy  and Spike too. Her friend Jane has 2 very nice aussies that are getting turned on too.

Ed is making some progress on cutting trees down on the hill . Should have taken some pics.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I'm home

It was a quick trip home, 2 days.  spent the night in a rest area in VA but when I woke up and tried to start the truck, the battery was dead.  The rest area attendant was nice enough to jump start me at 6am and off I went .  Day 2 was a 12 hr drive and I got home at 6pm.  I just pulled the truck and trailer into the driveway and unloaded a few things for the night. 
In the morning I backed the trailer into  it's spot near the pasture and unloaded the rest and winterized the trailer(again).  I  think it's there for the rest of the winter although I would love to go back to Fl and stay for a few months. Not this year I guess, but definitely next year. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 2 and 3 ASCA trial

No qualifying duck runs on Sat or Sun for us.  What the F'?

Dually fiished his OPen Cattle , open sheep, advanced sheep and open ducks this weekend with one advanced duck leg . 3 more legs and he WTCH's.  I should have bu;mped him up to ADV cattle but hindsight is 2020.

Dare was consistent  this weekend  and he hasn't been consistent before. He had some very nice runs and I am pretty happy with him.

The trial was done by 3 today and I am working on closing up and hooking up the trailer and I plan to get an early start.  I need to do a load of laundry first and go out to dinner and then I can hook it up. But it will be ready to go.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 2 trial in Al ASCA

It's hard to believe that I had the AC on when I got here on Wed because it has been damn cold since then. Today the wind was blowing all friggin day.  I had my  overhauls and my down coat and my earmuffs etc on all day.  
The ducks were unhappy with the weather and I either called my own runs or we got excused in 4 out of 4 runs. The goats went better, but it was so  many hours ago , I can't remember any of the runs. The cattle went the best I guess. Dare apparently(I can't remember it) had a first place run  with a 119.  Geez you would think I would remember that?  Dually's runs were getting increasingly out of control on cattle.  Not sure what to do about that tomorrow. Maybe just leash him up and put him in the dog  box.

Dinner was Mexican and it was very good.

I got the other propane tank to work so I should have heat and hot water tonight. Not sure why the fridge shut off on that tank on the way down, but it's working now.

One more day of trials and home or at least that direction on Monday.

Trial Day one--Dothan Al--ASCA

We started out early but didn't get started early.  Handlers mtg was supposed to be at  7:30 . It was probably closer to 8:30 and then we started with duck runs. The ducks were pretty good, but they didn't want to go past the midline. Once you got them past the midline you were all set and the penned eaaily.  It was not an easy run. Dually got excused for stepping on a duck which is an improvement I guess.  He qualified in his next run and so got his first ADVduck leg.  Dare Q'd in all of his runs yesterday which is a new record.  All duck sheep and cattle runs.  The cattle are phenomenal here. The  goats are fun to run on and less scary than sheep. They aren't going to kill themselves.
Then we moved onto the Post advanced runs which lasted until 3 and we couldn't start the rest of the arena trials utnil then.  The arena trials(2) lasted until 8 or 8:30. They have lights in the arena. Dually , had 2 good OPen cattle runs and I would have sworn he Q'd in both but was disappointed to learn that 1 judge did not Q us.  So we need one leg to finish  our OPen title. He q'd twice on Adv Goats.  Oh geez I guess I have my ADv sheep title and I could finish my WTCH here theoretically which I had not planned on.  Hmmmm He's not really trained, it's just that the stock is so good and I can handle him around the course.

I was very pleased with both dogs, but as usual not so pleased with scores.  My lines need to get straighter and the course needs to be done more cleanly.  When Dare started to get riled up , I got quieter and calmer and I could physically see him come down a bit.  It was neat.  I tried very hard to stay calm with him.

It's very supportive atmosphere and I will definitely do this trial next year and I am going to do Post ADvanced next year.  Dare , maybe could have done it this year, but for sure next year. Goats don't rile him up like sheep. Sheep would have been impossible because they would have run to Canada.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Training in Al and other things

First  of all, if you are on the road, you NEED a tv or the country could be at war and I wouldn't know it.  I haven't seen a tv in 2 weeks.  On the face of it, you would think that was good thing, but it has forced me not to read, but to play stupid  computer games. They are mindless and I resent them.  So I have to get a tv for this trailer and now the question is how big and where do I put it.  There is no obvious place or I would have bought one at walmart  the are night.The other reason I didn't was that they were out of the 2 lowest price tvs and I dont'need a bigger or fancier tv.

Ok on to training--My God it was cold today.  It was supposed to be in the mid 50's but I dont' think it made it that high.  And the wind!!!!  It was not nice out there and this am it was overcast and sprinkling on and off. Lovely day.  We started out working the 8 or so Billy goats.  They moved nice but if the dog used eye on them, they would butt the dog.  We worked on taking them out of the corners and making the dog hug the fence and keep loose.   Both dogs did well on this and did'n't get butted.  The goats for the trial should be a bit lighter than these, but you still have to work them like little individuals.   I like working goats. They sure make a dog honest.

Later we worked cows in the arena.  The cows were a little light but if the dog eyed them they would go after them.  The key was to keep the dog working and moving and not stopping and eyeing the cattle. With Dare I worked on the 2nd panel and getting to  the middle. Dare had to do a lot (lot) of full speed flanking before we even attempted to stop the little bugger and with Roger and I both getting in front of him when we said STOP sometimes he actually did stop .

Dually did flanking and turning on the short side first .  He did some nice downs and walk ups  and then we took them out of the corner and up the long side. He had to stay on the eye and keep them on the fence. We worked  together and I walked up on the inside eye too. And then he took then around the panels himself and  I think he missed the 2nd panel a few times but we worked the center by reflanking him aournd me to catch the eye and stopping them and then the cattle turned off of me and right thru the y chute. Slick as snot.
He also had his share of stupid moments but fewer than normal. Maybe Roger yelling and me yelling helped. He did however, dive in once and the cow stopped dead and he ran is nose into a solid cow and came out shaking it and licking it.  I think it must have felt like running into a cement block. Too bad so sad, shouldn't do stupid things. Can't wait for tomorrow.   Really liked what they did today.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day of rest??

  I don't have anything I have to do today.  I woke up a little late but still before 8 and played on the computer all  morning after walking dogs.  The dog walk area is right outside the trailer but no  fences so it's really a dog "walk"

I went out around noon to try and find Roger's place. No luck. HOpefully someone will tell me how to get there tonight ..The gps said I was there but it sure didn't look like a house and a farm.  I was low on gas so instead of looking around I went back to town and got gas for  2.99 gal. What a deal.

Then we had lunch at Sonic.  chili dog and coke and on to Jeffers pet supply superstore.  It really wasnt' very big and not many good deals. I didnt' buy anything, but they had a nice secluded area to run the dogs off of the parking lot.  I took everybody out and started to walk into the field and Mikey took off for the parking lot. So I am chasing him and yelling at the other dogs to lie down which of course they did not .  I have no idea where Mikey thought he was going but he was moving at  fast little walk. By the time I caught him, and he ducked away from me once, Dare was all the way up to the warehouse building. Good thing they are dog friendly, but I called and he came tearing across the parking lot and we all went into the field for some running. I had to keep a line on Mikey because he wasn't going to stay with us at all.

Then back to the campground and I watched a Doc Martin show on netflix and played on the computer all afternoon.  I just turned the AC on because I couldnt' get it to cool down in here much.  Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy and cool.  It will be good to work dogs , but cold for me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday -travel day

  I left at 8:30 and I was going  to stop but it just wasnt' that far to Al and so I pushed thru. I got here about 4pm and set up , but had a little trouble with the sewer pipe. Suffice to say, You don't want to walk back there.

It's still nice and warm here , in the 70's.  Another gorgeous day .  And the ride was great.  Traffic was light and everything went nice and smooth. However that damn GPS .  I got off the exit to Dothan and it said keep right and when I did , it said make a U turn and when I did , it told me to do it again. it was confused and I felt like a dancer going around in circles.

Dare wouldn't get in the crate this morning so I offered the front seat and he got in there, but he was so nervous and fidgety and was drooling so much that he was distracting me so I stopped and carried him to the crate and put him in. He is exhausted right now while the other dogs are ready to go.

I am parked right next to the dog walk area, but unfortunately it is not fenced in. bummer. I have a trailer on each side, but they look empty so that's good.

Dinner SAt night

Forgot to blog That we went to a seafood restaurant known for catfish and  I had a fried plate of catfish, scallops,clam strips,frogs legs, turtle and alligator.  Frankly it all tasted the same except the catfish .  It was all very good.

On the way to Alabama

  It sure is pretty here in the morning. sky is clear and the " sun " is out and it's semi warm or semi cool  whichever way you want to look at it. Strange birds are making strange noises and it's just darn nice.

The trailer is all closed up and ready to be hooked up and then we will get on the road.  It looks to be only a 7 hr drive.  So maybe I can do some touristy thing on the way?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Trial Fla 2011 Asher Dell Farm

The trial is over and we did ok.  Not great , not even good, just ok.The sheep were dead dog broke and way too heavy  for B course dogs.  Dare won Std B yesterday and 2nd today.  Dually got excused yesterday and we got thru the class but no Q today.  He screwed up the outrun lift and fetch royally(no pun intended)
Dare Q'd both ADV A duck classes.We will have a Masters title in no time. LOL
Dually Q'd both days in STD A ducks.   But in Std B ducks we got excused both days. Well yesterday we got excused and he grabbed ducks today and I thought I heard a thank you but apparently really didn't but I leashed him up anyway and we woudn't have Q'd at any rate.

I don't know if I like AKC stuff. Seems like a lot of waiting around like agility. Probably should have entered Dare in ADV A sheep . should coulda woulda.

I am pulling out tomorrow sometime and going to a campground somewhere and finishing up on Tues. Norma   has to go someplace tomorrow so no point in hanging around.  We talked about bringing my sheep down here and using them here for 3 mos and then trucking them home.  I would have to buy or rent some sort of home while I was here.  Food for thought.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 2 at Norma's in ST Cloud

  Slept well last night.  I think I like melatonin.  Puts me out pretty quickly with no aftereffects.  I think my cold is finally running it's course.  I feel better and I am not coughing as much.

So we went to Sherry Lee's to work the dogs today.  What a nice place. Big huge flat grassy fields.  So big that when I sent Dually for an outrun, I had to call him back in because I have no idea where he was going.  Dare on the other hand was up close and personal as usual. They both did poorly and Sherry smartly changed the light sheep for duds after the first outrun.  However , I am not sure if that was our problem or hers. I wasn't letting my dog control them yet, because the outrun was so bad and the sheep kept running back to the repen. But the heavier sheep helped a bit. The outruns were still lousy and Dare was sniffing and doing a lot of avoidance behavours.   Dually was actully pretty fine.  The outrun was too  big but I can deal with that. However he wouldn't finish the outrun. He kept stopping short.  Guess I need to find some bigger fields.  So today's practice only cost me $50 .Yesterday's was $90.  I would go broke down here.

Norma and I talked about the possibility of me staying down here for 3 or 4 months next year.  It's an intersting thought.  The weather is pretty darn nice here.  

The dogs are enjoying the pond out back .

Day at Norma's

We left Amy’s about 10am today and Dare didn’t want to leave.  I had to trick him into getting in the car. Well I had to trick him into coming out from underneath the trailer or wherever he was hiding. I went to the gate into the livestock pens, but to be nice. I let him gather up the goats and bring them and then drive them off and then I caught him and we had a fight about getting into the car.  He liked being at Amy’s house and so did I . Wonderful people and fun to play card games with. Next year will be my year for a possible win.  Right Amy?

It took me a little over an hr to find Norma’s house in ST Cloud and I pulled in and parked and unhooked and set up the trailer.  The dogs have a wonderful fenced in yard with a big pond in it to play in. I didn’t’ let Mikey in there because I thought he might drown.  They are all wet and smelly tonight.

So around noon , I loaded everybody up again and we went off to find Norma’s veterinary clinic.  I didn’t know it was hers but soon found out the whole sordid story.  She is a glutton for punishment.  We chatted for about an hr and then I took off the find Judith Kelly’s place in Malabar.  It was a good hr from the clinic.  Beautiful place though.  I needed to work the dogs  there a little before the trial there on Sat,Sun.  Good thing   I did because Dare was his usual “ Where am I and what am I doing here for his first fews runs. I worked ducks in the duck arena and then took them both onto B  course where we worked on outruns. They both cut in badly so we fixed that and then worked on Dare’s pace a little.   It was in the 70’s and the dogs were a little hot.

I finally got the water in the holding tank to work but , there is still some sort of short when I turn on a light, the heater fan goes on.  It did turn off this time, but weird. No it’s not off, I can hear it turning on and gearing up and gearing down.  Now it’s the 3 light switches as you walk in the door and then the bathroom light seemed to turn it on today too.

I’m waiting for Norma to come home so we can go out and get some food.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Training Day

  We went to 5 guys for lunch.  It was very good.  I would recommend it.

Then home again to work the dogs. First on ducks, Both dogs were on their best behavior and did everything I asked them to do even though I had a rock bottle ready to throw at Dare.  He was good.  It was close quarters and he knows I can get to him. We even tried a little shedding.  Need to work on that more.
Dually was a good boy. Just flanked and fetched a little. Then we worked some outruns in the big field and they had a tough time . Duallly didn't seem to know where to go and had trouble completing the outrun.  Amy held the sheep for us and I dont' think they wanted to go by her either. Finally he completed it with my walking up the field and fetched them to me nicely.  Dare had trouble on the outrun too, but then he kept diving in.  I caught him up and put him away twice and then moved to a smaller field where he did the same thing so I tied him to the fence and ignored him. The next time I sent him , he was more thoughtful and diidn't dive in.  Maybe it worked and maybe it didn't .  Don;t know with him.

Tomorrow I leave here in the am and go to my friend Norma's place.  I am camping there till Monday. I will be driving to the trial from there. I am really excited to see Norma. I havent' seen her or talked to her in 12 yrs.  Many changes for both of us I imagine.

Florida arrival

   I started from the KOA in NCarolina yesterday at about 6 am and  had a good trip with a good book on cd .  I got to Amy's at 4:30.  I set the camper up but had trouble with the water. I will fix that today.  We are going to work dogs and then go to lunch at 5 guys and then work dogs again. I will stay more night here and then go to Judith Kelly's tomorrow to work dogs on B course.  Apparently I didnt enter either dog on A course. Duh.

The dogs look like they have recovered  from the trip and are ready to work.

I had fresh oranges this am --OMG  \
Last night I had a mint tea with a fresh lemon (grapefruit size)

The sun is out and it is beautiful  although a little chilly.  Maybe no jacket. Not sure yet.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 2 ends in the rain--580 miles today!!

   I woke up at 4:45 and I had set my alarm for 5 so what the heck.   I wanted to get on the road before the Harrisburg morning traffic . I had trouble getting the sewer pipe unhooked from the trailer so I was out there at 6 am banging away on it with a wrench.  My neighbors must have loved that. It took me a while but I never give up!! Almost never.  Dogs fed walked and mostly pooped out. lol

I finished up yesterdays book on cd and started another one.  This one is about a family tracking some old family history , but it really about a slave's life and what could have happened to her. It's very engrossing.  I listed to 5 tapes today before I finally shut it off to concentrate on driving .  I hit traffic in Charlotte NC and it started to rain at the same time. Once it rains, I'm done.  It Was 4:30 anyway so I pulled in at the next KOA.  My friend Laura wanted me to pull into a Walmart campground and stay there, but not without water and elec.  I need my internet fix every night.

So driving today was good, but more traffic than I anticipated. I guess maybe the south is just getting more populated so it's almost like driving up north. Not quite but sometimes.

Nothing eventful happened today although Peaches did find a big piece of chicken that somebody had thrown out at a rest stop. bones and all. And then she found a pb and J sand.   Pig.

It's supposed to rain heavily tonight which will be nice to go to sleep to.

The people I hit yesterday went to the hospital and are claiming back and neck injuries.  Welll.... Maybe but they were fine yesterday.

I did finally get  a call from my friend Norma in StCloud Fl and I am definitely going to go see here and I can stay at her house too which is good. Still no confirmation for the trial this weekend so maybe I am not going to trial but will find some places to train which is fine with me. It will cost me a lot less!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


   I had planned on leaving at 7am but I didn't want to get out of bed.  I still had packing to do and the trailer was not hooked up or even closed up..  I was still doing laundry this morning.  I forgot poop bags.   I had to back up numerous times this  morning to get hooked up. My lining up ability was bad.  I actually had time to take the dogs out  back for a little exercise before we left while Mikey wandered to the front yard and waited for me on the front porch.  Dare did not want to get in the truck and we had a fight about it.  Now I know why.

   Drove fine till about 3pm and apparently there was a backup on 81 just north of Harrisburg. The family in the minivan had too stop short and I didn't have enough room to avoid smashing into them.   I stood on the brakes but with the trailer in tow, I just couldn't stop.  No injuries even though the back window shattered all over the kids in the car.   Sorry....

I looked at my truck and could hardly find a scratch. They told me it was a tank when I bought it.   The minvan will need a whole back end including the hatch and probably some stuff on  either side. It was drivable but they thought perhaps they shouldn't with the kids and all. They  were incredibly nice about it.  Sorry

Anyway I'm ok , the dogs were unhurt  , I stopped at a campground right after that  because the traffic was too heavy to want to keep going anyway.

It 's a nice KOA and I can run the dogs in the cornfield,although they are all asleep at my feet and it's only 5:30?  Maybe we are all stressed. Tomorrow will be better because the Thanksgiving traffic  will be over?

Thursday, November 24, 2011


  Ok there are a lot of things I am thankful for.  Family (even though they drive me nuts sometimes)Friends(everybody needs friends) Dogs (they make my life complete).

We had our turkey at the Public House restaurant.  It was pretty bad.  Suffice it to say, I will not recomend them or ever go there again for Thanksgiving.  But that's ok , My  friend will be giving me a leftover plate tomorrow maybe with homemade yeast rolls.  Mmmmm

So I was home from "dinner" by 1pm.  I went out and sorted the light sheep and went out back and worked the dogs. I worked again on calm and quiet and everything went very well with both of them.  Dare's down didn't get better and at the end it  seemed to get worse,but I kept calm.  Dually  worked the A course and I stayed at the handlers post  .  He did very well . Calm and quiet is the key.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


just one batch of molasses cookies and then  new type.  cranberry cookies and then I made clam salmon chowder for supper and after that I made a loaf of cranberry bread, but may not get to taste it until last tomorrow because I don't want to eat much in the am since I am having my Thanksgiving dinner at 11 am. Achhh

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yoga Day

   I am really starting to like my Yoga class. There are 2 of us most of the time and the instructor is great.  She wants us to do things right and she  is always explaining and adjusting us.  I can do things now that I could not do when I started. One of them is childs pose.  I could not sit back on my heels to save my life. It killed my knees but now no problem.  Not sure if my balance is improving but I think it is.  I'm not as tippy as I was when I started.  Tree pose isn't much better but the other stuff is stronger. I am going to miss this class when I am in Fla and Alabama in the next 3 wks.

    Thanksgiving is going to be at the local Public House Restaurant this year.  We have an 11 am seating which had I been asked , I would not have agreed to, but....  There will still be time to work dogs when I get out of my $49 lunch.  It  better be damn good!

   Got the rest of my hay today so I should be good until May. hopefully.  I am down to 11 sheep and 3 goats and they generally only eat 1 bale mo and I have 10 bales I think.  Also they hay is set up so maybe nobody will have to touch it for a week.  So my volunteer livestock feeders will have little or nothing do do with the hay other than to MAKE SURE THE TARP IS TIED DOWN TIGHT.

 Also got another calf hutch this weekend, but I sold the first one to Laura so I still only have one but hopefully another one on the way courtesy of new student Erin.  The horse trailer is still out there so when it rains the sheep and goats go in there too.  They are set for the winter. More shelter than they usually get.

Tomorrow it is supposed to rain pretty hard so I think it will be cookie day. MMmmm  molasses cookies and spice

Monday, November 21, 2011


   So last night we went to the chowda fest at the nearby high school. It was $5 and you walked around and picked up samples from different restaurants and schools.  There was seafood chowder,clam chowder,corn chowder and other less traditionally soups.  The best for me was from Picadilly Restaurant.  It was the most normal without odd flavors and no smokiness.  The best other soup was a red pepper corn chowder with a little kick. Surprisingly it was made by a chef from the Masonic Home(nursiing home,assisted living and elder homes).It was realllly good.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friends and students

  I had friends come for lessons yesterday and they went very well with all the dogs.  3 aussies and a corgi  The corgi is a little pistol but she likes to pick fights with the sheep.  My ram was not impressed and I hope she stops doing it because the ram went home with them. They also took a ewe lamb and I  think I am down to 11 or 12 sheep and 3 goats.  My other friend took 2 goats and 3 Indian Runners home with her and so I am down to 11 Indian runners and about the same in calls.

We had a nice homemade meatloaf with mashed potatoes and carrots for supper.  lots of conversation and fun.  After dinner we loaded up a bunch of ducks and 2 goats into the back of a minvan and off they went. Good luck Shelly.  Laura and I set up the ROKU box on my tv later that night and it took us forever because it kept asking for passwords and they didn't like the ones I kept giving them. Finally made a phone call to Verizon support and they told us where the network password was located.  So it's up and working and I can watch netflix on my tv now.  Better than watching stuff on the laptop screen.

So this am we got up and lazed around for a while and then went out and loaded up some ducks and some sheep and off they went. Now I have a full day of lessons ahead of me. Hope it warms up some.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Trial day two am

The bathhouse  is beautiful here. nice and pristine clean and warm and the hot water is really hot.  It was nice to take a shower and stay under the water for a while.

The trailer is great except there seems to be a wire short  which is associated with the overhead lights and the heating fan. When you turn on the lights the fan goes on too.

Last night we followed the GPS to what we thought was a steakhouse and it sent us to a trailer park with no steakhouse. Strange. We ended up at Cracker Barrel and had a lousy meal.   Oh well, note to self, no Cracker Barrel down here.

B course outruns were good on both dogs but the sheep didn't want to lift and Dare dove in and got excused and before Dually did , I downed  him and called him off.

Dually's duck run was more controlled and he got 2nd place and RHIT on ducks
Dare's duck run was less controlled and he got 4th. Since we started trialing in AKC , we have not yet nq'd on ducks.  Easy to get the new Master duck title.

Dare had a great run going in ADV A sheep but we got to the Hold pen and they slipped by and bolted for the repen.Dare swung out to turn them but they ignored him and leaped over him but did turn and he got them back to me working each one individually, but he opened his mouth to bite one(but didn't connect)and she called our run.  I was really bummed.

Betty got 2nd in STD B sheep with Fios.  and 2nd with Zest on STD sheep(nice run).

We decided to stay  the night even though the trial was over at 1pm.   So we went Walmart and picked up some stuff and went home and had dinner in the trailer.

In the morning we got up at 7 and we were on the road by 8:15.  I drove all the way thru and we got home at 5:30..

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Trial Day one

Not Good.

Dare got excused 2out of 3 classes but got 2nd in ADV ducks and reserve HIT
Dually got excused from both of his classes even though judge Amy Hill tried very hard to ignore the big mouthfuls of feathers he was coming up with. He was a very bad boy.

Dare attacked him last night in the trailer and wouldn't let go. Betty had to lift both of his back legs to make him release Dually. I think it was about food but not totally sure.

Dually could not do the outrun on the B course until I sent him the other way and it was beautiful but then he couldn't bring the sheep to me and ran at them and out we went.

Dare did a nice outrun and ok lift and messy turn around the post in couse B

  We sort (not really) fetched thru the first panels and he of course was pushing too hard.  We lost them at the 2nd set and he shoulder bumped one and it tipped over and out we went again.

Dare's ADV sheep run me runnning down the field trying to get control of him on the outrun. WE did and we continued but we got really screwed up at the hold pen  and he ran them down again with a bite this time and we left the arena again;.

Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Va day 1

   We started at 1pm and drove thru till around 8pm last night. We did stop at Cracker Barrel for dinner and then we found a campground using the GPS.  It was dark  and the mountains we were going down made the brakes on the trailer burn  a bit and catch a lot.   We got there though.  It looked like a dump at night but we hooked up and stayed the night.

I couldn't figure out how to get the water heater to work so we didn't shower. We couldn't fine the bath house either. It was way to hell and gone as we found in the am.  Left there about 10am and went up the mountains which is harder on the truck but easier on the brakes.  Drove a few hrs and stopped at cracker barrel again. The food is good mostly.  Back on the road and in traffic going around DC and Baltimore.  It probably caused us an extra hour, but this campground is nice and they have a fenced in dog yard.  Got the water heater to work and took my shower yay.  The dogs are sleeping in the trailer tonight and I think Dare is very happy about that.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I guy came to buy one black Indian Runner hen today and I sold him 3. Wish I could have sold him more.

Packing tonight for the trip  to VA tomororrow with Betty.  It wouldn't be that hard except the trailer is not set up with stuff so I need to think about that as well as the stuff I need for me . And to top it off , I have to drop Mikey and Peaches at my sisters with all their stuff tomorrow morning. I also have to make sure all the fences are down so the pellet delivery can be made while I am gone and put in the right place and oh what else?  I did remember to put Dare and Dually's special collars on tonight.  I am afraid I will forget something important like meds for me or them.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sheep gone

  3 got butchered today and 4 left on a trailer for breeding stock.   They practically ran onto the trailer. Kinda hurt my feelings.

2 more will be sold as breeding stock on Tues and the ram and a lamb will go to Maine next week for breeding stock.  My sheep are just pretty darn lucky. I'm not sure how many that leaves me with.  I think I will end up with 6 bred ewes and BB, Jake,Pete and Redi.   plus the 3 goats.   I will be glad to have less stock to feed and deal with.  I also sold 2 call ducks which I hadn't intended on but what the heck!

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Friday and still no power

National Grid said we would have power by last night.  I guess they didn't actually come out and look at the damage.  Anyway there are power trucks on the street today, but I'm not holding my breath for power today.

I've been working Dare on the hold pen and going to 4 and sometimes going to 5.  I am using the heavy sheep so he stops panicking about them getting away. He is getting better.  Yesterday I had to work on the down again and I will do that again today. It seems to slip away so easily.

So I have been sending him in to get the sheep  out and then continuing the go bye until the sheep hug the fence and then I am calling hiim off and then we start the drive to 4 and at 4 we turn the heads into the fence and i call him off again. Then I will send him on an away and a quick go bye if I need it and then a walk.  If he perceives they are going to run then the away to me is at hyper speed and I can't stop him on the other side. It's a balancing act.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Heavy snowstorm update

 This has just been not good!  October is not supposed to be a snow month and with all the leaves on the trees , it created a  huge huge problem.  The amount of tree and line damage is extensive.  I am still without elect. day 4 , but I purchased a generator and that is keeping me warm and the frig cold.  Unbelievably, the internet and phone lines are working. If you saw what the lines looked like you wouldn't believe anybody had service. Yesterday they finally cleared the road so that it wasn't like driving thru a maze of downed branches and wires. It's not completely clear but it's way better.

Oh ya , no water here either. Fortunately the sheep are eating a lot of snow so I haven't yet had to take them to the swamp to drink.  I used the tractor to pull buckets of water up to the house  from the swamp pond to flush the toilet and then I figured out how to catch the runoff of the roof which is 1. closer to the house and 2. cleaner water.

Last night I watched a movie on the computer thru netflix.  The problem with no elec is you can't do anything. You can't clean, or cook or fix anything. You are really dead in the water and the town still has no elec either. I mean main st.  Walmart has been closed for 4 days. Can you imagine? There are a couple of DunkinDonuts open but they are on the way to Southbridge which is okay because daily I drive out and try to find out who and what has electricity.  I also have to go to Southbridge to use the hotel to shower. My sister has a gym membership there and I am using her card to get in and shower.  I can also use the pool or hot tub, but I haven't done that yet.  I was just too tired to do that stuff the other night. I need a shower this am , but I have somebody coming to look at lambs .   I need to sell the lambs more than I need a shower.

The temp has been below freezing every night and that isn't helping either. I have 6-8in of snow on the ground in some areas and I need to have it melted so I can give lessons this weekend.  There is also a trial on Sunday that my sheep are going to . I hope her arena is cleared out or those collies are going to be mad.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Farm Trial

  The Farm Trial was last Sat and the sheep entries were full and the duck entries were not.  I was worried about the course I had set out , but almost everyone qualified and did very well with the sheep. There was only one running sheep incident and that was with crazy legs who has to be worked gently anyway.  No crashing sheep and the rule about knocking off pumpkins on the fenceposts made people more aware of going thru the gates thoughtfully.

The first run was a little hairy until the stock handlers figured out the best way to do it and kept the dogs back there to a minimum. They ended up doing a fantastic job. Laura,Nat and Kathy.

The duck trial was fun and funny.  We had to do a duck sort which was not as easy as I had anticipated.  And the ribbon pull on the ducks was downright hard. Especially since the ducks would not keep the ribbons on. By the time I got to the ribbon pull , I only had one duck with a ribbon so he was my choice. I nearly fell over the chute to get the ribbon off. Hopefully no pics were taken.

It went very well over all and I think eveybody enjoyed themselve. Dare finished his Open FTDs title and the boys both  got their first Open FDTd legs.

I think I would do it again. It was more fun than an arena trial.

Friday, October 14, 2011


 We needed a get your head out of your ass and get to work God today to help Dare on sheep. I don't know where his head was at,but it wasn't on working sheep.  The water in the arena was everywhere and the sheep were not cooperative, but we got them up to panel 1 and then Dare lost interest and started to wander around while the sheep did the cross drive themselves and then I got him back to me and sent him on a big gobye to bring the sheep thru panel2 .  He did  and he went into hyperdrive and turned them to me at the center pen  and then sorta got lost again.  I couldn't get the gate open fast enough so the sheep were sort of holding it half open . I had to walk around the pen and push the sheep myself so I could get the gate open.  He just stood there holding his side, but it honestly felt like he was not mentally in the game.  I felt I could have penned them without him and I'm sure the judge felt the same way.   I was embarassed by the run even though people outside thought it was great.  Hmmm not sure what they were watching.

But his first run of the day was on cattle and he really was turned on.  He was truly working cattle the way they needed to be worked and I was in awe. He was hitting heads on one and when he turned that one he started on the next one. The only problem was that he was really working for himself and not really for me. Still I was impressed.

Dare's duck run was ok, Not perfect and we had a bit of trouble at the center pen but we got them all in and repenned.  I didn't stay for awards.

Dually was horrible on cattle. Hitting the heads and turning them and not bringing them anywhere. I retired the run.  His Sheep run was impossible. The group of sheep we had got caught 3 times in the corner of panel 1 and wouldn't go thru the opening because of the water.  He held the pressure about 10 ft away but every time I asked him to walk up 1 step more , he blew.  Nonetheless, when I called That'll do he came and didnt' blow thru once.  So I retired him too.

His Duck run was pretty good. Cant' remember details. Got the center pen.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

new sorting gate

  I bought a 2 way sorting gate from Premier so I would have it for the farm trial in 2 weeks.  Well  I have been thinking about how to set it up for 2 weeks since I got it here. I finally decided to put it temporarily right where they are going to have to do a sort for the trial. I was unsure how it would work there because it is really designed to go on a fence line and not butt up to another gate.  Well a friend and I set it up and then added some  8ft panels to make a chute and it works beautifully.  I have been playing with it for 2 days.  It's amazing how quickly my  dogs learned to put the sheep in the chute without my saying anything.  Now if I can get Dare to stop  pushing them through it a full speed, I may have something. Dually did fine at it.

    I also went out to train a bit in the arena tonight.   I worked on some stops and outs with Dare and then tried to pen the "light" sheep in the free standing pen.  We got 3 in but it was tough going.

I worked with Dually too and worked the pen and after a rocky start , we got all 4 in and then we quit on a high note.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bees and one tough dude!

    It's no wonder I have such a hard time with Dare.  He is one tough cookie.  I was sorting some sheep today and he started to bite at himself. I brushed off a bee that was biting him and sent him back to hold the sheep. He went but while he was going he was biting at his front leg.  He never stopped though. I called him to me and brushed off 2 more that were stinging him and off he went to fetch the sheep.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

PWCC AKC trial yesterday

    It was a beautiful day,unlike today's rainy weather. I had only entered Dare in the trial. I guess I was trying to save money that week.I'm trying to finish Dare's ADV sheep title.  We had a really good run up till the cross drive and then we couldn't hold it together.  I tried to send him against the fence and he took it but wouldn't stop after he got them thru the cross drive panels so he turned them back to me and then I tried to get him to take a go bye and save it to 5 but he wouldn't and went away again. It was kind of a  mess. I asked if it was an attempt at 5 and the judge said yes so I took it and repenned them. We lost more than 1/2 the cross drive points so didn't Q.

The duck run on call ducks was better. He was doing everything I asked except really stopping. Going really really slow though.  step by step inch by inch slowly he turned and then he couldn't stand it anymore and pounced, but that was after the hold pen. We had some trouble again at the crossdrive and he dove in again but again we didn't get called on it. We repenned and won the class and High in Trial too. Go figure.  But it was a 3 pt major towards his Herding championship so I'll take it!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I  took the boys for a practice today which I never seem to do.  Dare did some really nice heeling and sits and a very good figure 8. His stand was not good. We did the high jump and the broad for fun and worked on the dumbell which he pretends not to see. If it's at his feet , he will pick it up but if I throw it 3 ft, it's on another planet. He loves to fetch stuff too. so.....

Dually was his usually goofy self.  I did get some okay heeling and some better sits. Not so crooked. I didn't work on the stand but I should have.   I did some recalls with him and sorta got some fronts.  Also threw food over the high jump for him to go over and when he came back he fronted automatically. Not well mind you but he has the right idea.

So far, Dare is much much better at heeling , but Dually will get better(Ihope)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Eastern STates Expo

So Today we are off to the fair.  Betty and I are going to watch the Stock trial in the arena. It's almost always just BC's but it's a fun course to watch in a small arena and the sheep are usually nuts so it's a great deal of control on the dog's part.  I watched it years ago with another BC person and asked her if she thought I could do it with my then dog Piper. She kinda hedged but bascially said no.  I think I could do it now with Dare but I am going to watch it again before I put my neck on the line.

But then again Dare was an absolute idiot when it came to loading the sheep on the trailer yesterday. He was as high as he is when there is a trial. No idea why. He had sheep all over the place .

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Traveling Sheep

Today the sheep are going to another farm to see if they will be suitable to use at the upcoming AKC  trial there. I  am bringing12 sheep-2 groups of trial  sheep and 2 groups of HT/PT. They are going in a  trailer for their first time ever. I'm sure Dare will convince them it't the place to be. The other supplier had a fox kill this weekend. Stuff happens.  Hopefully this will all be beneficial to my students who will be trialing.

Ok we decided to use my group of trial sheep--I had only brought one group because I thought they were using 3 but they are using 5.  Mine were light enough but not crazy.  The test sheep will be fine.  My students did well using my sheep and the farm owners too.  I think everybody was pretty happy.

Dare could not get them thru the cross drive panels again. I used the farms sheep and the draw was along the back fence and he either pushed them to the end or if I sent him the other way he turned them all the way back to me. I finally just gave up.   Try again another day and on other sheep.

Picked up Ice cream on the way home.  big dish of pistachio , my favorite.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Trailer here and old trailer has been sold

   I picked up the new trailer last night in Hudson. Laura drove it down from Maine for me which was a big deal for me.   She towed it behind her truck which already had a truck camper on it so it was a heavy load for her truck. And of course it was raining to beat the band yesterday.  It was  easy to hook up and it pulled very well. By the time I got home it was dusk and raining and I backed it into the driveway but that is as far as I got. I really couldn't see well enough to back it up.

This morning I got up and pulled it out of the driveway so that I could pull it it back in and into the pasture to turn it around and park it where I had the other trailer parked. The pasture was a bit muddy and I got sorta stuck a few times and the pasture is all rutted up now.  Oh well.  It will flatten out in time.  I was able to back it up right against the fence where the other one was and I am quite proud of myself for that.  It is about 6 ft longer than the other trailer.

So I went in and tried to get the bump out to push out and it wouldn't . Hmmm not sure why.   Will play more with it but I am also going to start putting stuff from the other trailer into it.  Well I figured out how to get it pushed out.  I had to go outside and pull on the sticky side.  I have it all the way out now. I wonder if there is someplace I can put WD40?

Lucky for me I had a family look at the old trailer last Sunday and they made me an offer and picked it up on Monday night. Gone , yay good by. Have a great time with it. I think they got a good deal, but at least I sold it and didn't take too big a loss.

Greg fixed the new trailer since it was all rotted underneath.  I haven't been able to take a close look ,but I glanced underneath last night and it looks really really good.  Hopefully all the other stuff in the trailer actually works. Never tried any of it before I bought it. duh

Thursday, September 15, 2011

kelpie exercise

I'm not sure if we were doing it right but they did pretty well.
Put 2 sheep in the corner and then flank to the fence. If they dont' flank to the fence then walk over and put them on the fence. Then walk them up until the sheep just move and then OUT the dog again on the fence line.  Stop the dog and reflank the other way .  We are looking for square flanks right to the fence and then a walk up on the fence line and an out on the fence line.

Dare did pretty good. They both started out off the fence line about a foot but I moved them in and they kept the distance pretty well. Dually started out much stronger and less square but he got better too. It's a mechanical exercise but they do get to move the sheep a bit.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

working 3 goats and one lamb

    Somehow the dogs thought this was inherently wrong.  Dare worked them all , but kept both eyes on the lamb and made the lamb run so he could chase it down. I don't condone this behaviour and he was soundly chastised. He didn't  care.  He did bite the goat when I asked him to.  The goat was standing at the gate saying make me and so we did.

   We fetched them across the field with Dare overflanking the whole way. He seems to think that is how he has to move them. It worked but it's not pretty. Then we worked on the hold pen out and the drive to #4. I think he was getting it.  More days of that and a much better out is needed.

Dually did the same exercise .  He had to be told a few times to get back and pick up goats. He thought still goats were invisible goats.  LOL.  He had his eye on the lamb too.  We did the same exercise to the hold pen and the out and then the drive to #4.  He had a much harder time of it than Dare.  I was working on his "There" this is where i want you to walk . He didn't want to walk there but we kept at it.

 BTW   Sheep love caramel corn.  I thought the goats would get it, but I'm not sure they got any. I had an old bag of it and I threw it in there and they cleaned  it up. Not a kernel  left.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I'm Human again

I had 2 really bad days.  No sleep from Cluster headaches followed by no sleep from reflux followed by 24 hrs of sleep off and on and I feel normal again.

Boy oh boy has the rain been coming down hard. I ran out this am in the downpour and opened the barn door and the sheep RAN in. I guess they were tired of the  rain too.

 I expect no  lessons today.  Supposed to rain off an on all day and clear up tomorrow and be nice all weekend.

The Farm trial is not going to fill I guess. Hmmm surprised actually.    

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A course

I went to the trial site on Thurs to attempt to do the A course advanced. The draw was so strong back to the repen I could physically feel it and certainly Dare could.  We made it around the cone to the Y chute although it wasn't pretty. He's pushing too hard and then holding too hard.  Then had a hard time letting them come out of the corner to the Z chute(Mr Must HOld them).  Finally made it to the Hold pen .  I fooled around with how far out I had to send him to get the sheep out.  Next county would have been good. He can hold from a long way away.  I got them out and to the number 4 but then I could not figure out how to get them off of 4. If I sent him on a go bye, he rushed in and ended up chasing.  If I sent him on an away he brought them back to me.
I think I need to get heavier sheep at home and try it. I tried it with my light sheep and I created a draw at home and we couldn't do it here either. So if I get heavy sheep that won't worry him so much maybe I can convince him to flank to the fence and STAY on the fence to get them off.
If anybody has any suggestions please feel free. The trial is next Friday.

My next issue is with Dually in Started and it's the Draw back to number 4.  I think I need to get him farther off of them. He is pushing and stopping pushing and stopping.  Lots of turn backs by the sheep. Not very smooth.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

duck training

I had some ducks out for a BC that wouldn't turn on today and so after they left, I set up the AKC A course and worked DAre and Dually. I was just going to work on the fetch but the best laid plans and all that.  I did work the fetch but then I worked the whole course .  I paid  attention to the hold pen because I have had issues with that in the past. I took them out myself first and then later on when I was just sitting  on a rock and talking on the phone,  I sent him in to get them out himself.  At first he went in the middle and the next 2 times he took nice go byes and brought them out himself. Sometimes when we are calm , we are amazing.  Then I worked on my timing on the turn to the cross drive. I was quite late with my lie down and he kept bringing them back to me.I got better and so did he.

Dually did some nice things but we need to work on the lift and fetch some more. His outrun is usually very nice. I worked him at the intermediate level to see how hard it was. Not that hard with him.  I worked the hold pen with him for the first time but I brought the ducks out and then I worked on my timing for the cross drive with him too. It's a little different because I can be in the picture in intermediate.

Monday, August 22, 2011

upcoming trials

Ok it's fallish and I have got to train my dogs.  I have been giving so many lessons lately that I have neglected my own  dogs training.  So sorry some of my non regular students, you aren't going to get any time that you want this fall.

So I went out this am and worked on going from Panel 1 to panel 2.  I want to teach Dare to go to the fence when I flank him up there so he is not always trying to run after the tails of the sheep when  they bolt thru the panels.  If I flank him to the fence and stop him and then flank him again to the fence , the sheep should stop and stare at him wondering what he is doing and then we should have a great set-up for the center pen or chute.  It was hard for Dare even though I was using the broke sheep.  He didn't even want them thinking about breaking into a trot.  And they just moved away and put their heads down to graze. He is so worried they are going to run. I might play with this with the goats who will stand more still I think.

Dually needs pen work apparently.  I had a tough time penning the sheep because he either would not flank when I asked him or he was too close. It was mostly not moving that was killing us.  He is a bit sticky.  I think he is sticky when he is unsure what we are doing.  He just needs more work.

Then I hooked up the travel trailer and put it down by the road , but I don't have a for sale sign for it yet.
Spent about 4 hrs moving manure with the tractor and spreading it on the arena.  It's almost all cleaned up and ready for this years  hay which will be  coming soon.

Friday, August 19, 2011


  I did  too much. My back is objecting this morning. I will have to get going and see if I can loosen it up a bit.

work day

    I was busy today .   I had to hook up the trailer and then load it with garbage from the trailer with the flat .  I also loaded the blue recliner that I have had on my porch for 2 yrs for the trip to the dump. Then I unhooked everything and went to my obed class which was fun.
 Dare did  really well . We even did a little  heeling routine which was pretty good for not training much.  He didn't want to hold the dumbell in the new location so I guess I will have to take that on the road a bit.  Dually was his usual goofy self.  We worked a sit stay and a down stay  and his face was just saying now Mom -you must want me to  move now Mom.  Dually's heeling routine was messy to say the least.
   Then back to hook up the trailer again and off to the dump.  It only cost me $5 to leave the recliner  and a lot of effort on my part.   Then I took the empty trailer to the Town Barn and conned them into loading a used up street sweeper brush onto the trailer and home again.  I have been waiting to get one of these for about 2 yrs but never had a place secure enough for it. I had my fence guy put a nice post in for  it last week and when I get enough help to lift it onto the post then the sheep will have a nice scratching brush.

Zip on out to pick up  a bale of hay and back home to roll it off-Those suckers are heavy and not that easy to roll off the trailer.  Did it though and then fired up the tractor to move it into it's new  home in the corner.  Put gates around it so the sheep can't get at it yet and on to the next project. It's 6pm by now. I had  a bite to eat cuz I was feeling like I needed something.
     The next project was continuing to air out the trailer so someone could see it at 7pm.  It had 2 dead mice in it this am and it was still stinky --oh well.     I had to fix the shelf the computer had collapsed  which took some time .  Unhook the computer and try to figure out what the heck they had done to the shelf.  I got it fixed but I'm not sure I would want my computer on that shelf. Oh ya it is my computer ...well hopefully not for long.   They came and looked at it but no offers.  
Now I am tired but do you think I can sleep ?  Probably because of the upcoming clinic this weekend. Many more things to do tomorrow and not sure I have the energy.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Goats are stupid and smart all at the same time.  I have 3 babies 4mos old. They went out of the fence to browse on the other side. Fine I have no problem with that because they left one of them behind and she was the draw so they didn't wander off. But when I went to get them back in, Dare (of  course it was Dare)pushed one of them back instead of flanking around and the stupid thing ran 1/2 way around the outside of the fence where of course  she couldn't get thru to the main pasture.  So I sent Dare (I must be a slow learner). He chased the thing all the way to the shed and then it jumped on a barrel and Dare didnt' know how to get it off. I'm outside the fence yelling away away away and when he finally took it, he pushed too hard and the goat just went around him and back on the barrel. I was highly annoyed with both of them so I took 2 plastic chairs and climbed over the fence, picked that damn goat up and bodily threw her over the fence. Don't worry no goats were harmed in this maneuver. Then Dare and I walked all the way around the fence and gathered them up and put them away.
Not sure how long these goats will stay.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dually (the better dog?)

    I had to move sheep today and I almost always use Dare, but I  was tired and I didn't feel like fighting with him so I took Dually out.  He is quiet and obedient and wide and knows when he hasn't brought the goats with the sheep.  He is just a joy to work and I don't work him often enough.  He went around the tractor and brought the sheep to me and not at a full run either and we penned them and then he went back on his  own to pick up the goats while I was talking to the fence guy .  I was so darned proud of him.   He doesn't jigger everybody up and he makes things easy and fun to do.   Dare you better watch out, you may get replaced.

Monday, August 8, 2011


    Just finished working Dually on breaking lambs and off balance work.  He dove in a couple of times but not too bad.  Started to figure out where to stay on the off balance at which time I quit, probably should work him longer.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


   It's coming down cats and dogs outside.  We need it desperately but it's seems to be running off.  It did rain lst night and I know something is sinking in , but now we are wasting a lot of it.
Just got thru 2 lessons in the pouring rain.  We persevered though  --It's so hard for anyone to hear me when it's coming down that hard.

I was so wet that I decided I should work the dog in for training and that went quite well. He's very talented but noisy so I got on him for that and I think he got it at least till the next time. Of course I came in and dried off and now I can't hear rain on the skylight.  It figures.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Clinics. and Trial

  We finished a wonderful 3 day clinic with Jan last week .   We did a lot of advanced dog work and it was a lot of fun .   She really pushes people beyond their comfort zones and it's incredible how well they do.
  Then we went to Maine for a one day cattle clinic and 3 more days of  sheep and ducks.  Good work there too.  Both dogs were not stupid on the cattle so I was quite pleased.

The weekend culminated in a 2 day ASCA trial. Dare and Dually qualified in every class which is quite different than what happened when we went to INdiana. Dare won Cattle both days and was  HIT cattle and HIT aussie on Sat.  We had some great setups to the center and then I blew it by overflanking them.  Dually did really well in his debut in Open ducks and sheep. He won Open sheep Sat and OPen ducks on Sunday.  I didn't dare enter him on cattle. I think I need more control on him before I am comfortable with that.

  While I was there I bought a new travel trailer. It's a bit longer --25 ft with 2 bumpouts and no carpeting and   a big b athroom.   It's awesome but it's still in Maine and I have to go pick it up soon and sell the one I bought last year that I thought was the bomb at the time. Now I think it's too small and dark and uncomfortable for me and 4 dogs.  Will post pics when I get back to Maine.

Monday, July 4, 2011


   I took dare out to work the course this am since we haven't done that since our last trial in April.  Not good.  I used the heavy sheep so he would have to push. He was all over the place and then wouldn't take his flanks. He thought I was nuts. Kept going opposite to what I asked. Lots of yelling and throwing going on.  I put him away and worked Dually on same sheep. He was very good. He took off balance flanks for me and drove them thru the panels  with me on the Open line.  We penned them in the center and then we went to work on the take pen. It was all pretty good. He did dive in a couple of times and I threw lots of shake cans at him.  He got better and better as he worked.

Then I took Dare out again and it was like he had an epiphany.  He pushed and held the line and took my flanks. Much much better.

It's  getting too hot to work  more till tonight maybe.

Happy 4th of July

     I have a clinic coming up at the end of the week so I have been getting ready for days.  Today will probably be mowing and trimming day.  Yesterday I fixed a window box in the shed and put the flowers in it and hung a door to my garden .  Love it, but gotta fix the fence so it matches.  I don't think that will happen  this week. I fixed some gate hinges and oiled some latches.  I also raked the control pen . Some of the drainage rocks keep popping to the surface.    A few days ago I took down the AKC  course and put  up the ASCA course in the arena and maybe I will put up the ASCA duck course today although we may want to use that arena for some smaller pen sheep work.  

I also worked Dually yesterday on the ducks.  He worked a long time because I wanted to see if it helped with  his diving in if he was tired.  I think it does.  I am going to go out this am and do the same thing on sheep although that might force me to do more work and it's getting hot out there. Dare was kinda awful on the ducks. He didn't seem to be having any fun or putting any effort into it.  I will have to see what Jan thinks about him.

I made a list of food for the clinic so I dont' have to be scrambling every day on what am I going to feed  today.  I almost made the ceasar dressing last night but there was no dijon mustard to be found.

I am also planning a lobster and clam dinner for Fri night. My family will be coming in addition to the people who will be staying on property for the clinic.

I have also changed the duck pen a bit so that I can put out a lot of food at one time and then when I go to Maine next week they will be ok until somebody can come in and feed them.. The have swimming pools so enough water.  The sheep will have free access to hay but I have to fix that too. I need help for that job so I will wait until Kathy comes over. No lessons this week so I can't  snag a student to help me. The only other thing I have to think about is packing the trailer for a week in Maine. I haven't had time to think about that.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


    I just got back from talking to  a nice old farmer about the tractor he is selling.  It was pretty big and had a front end loader, but it was 1060's vintage.   It needed a new seat and new muffler and not much else according to him. But it was old....The price is right --at least in my price range  and he would deliver it, ,but it was old.... and dare I say it.... dirty


    I had a full day of lessons yesterday that I really enjoyed.  It's  rewarding being able to teach someone else something that you are passionate  knowlegeable about.    It's especially rewarding when you are appreciated and I think that all of yesterdays students were happy with their progress and some were thrilled.

I spend a lot of time thinking about this dog or that dog to try to think up the best way to motivate the dog and get him to do what the handler needs to get done.  I also spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get the handlers to do what I want with the dogs. That is often a lot harder.

Today I had 2 lessons .  In the end the people got it and the dogs got it, but it was tough for them  to get to that point. Part of the problem is they don't come often enough so we seem to always be playing catch up and not moving forward like we should.  I can't force people to come regularly, so I can only hope they will see the value in regular and consistent work.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


    Just got home from the 2nd trip to pick up hay.  Kathy and I went to get 2 round bales with a trailer that can only hold one. We knew that before we started, but we started at 4:30 and just got home for good at 9 and still have not unloaded the 2nd  1100 lb bale.  It's 1st cuttiing but  it will do until the farmer gets his 2nd cutting. It rolls right off the trailer just as smooth as silk .. And hopefully doesn't slam thru the fence.    LOL

Friday, June 24, 2011


   I was working Dare in the arena today with about 16 sheep , mostly working on Driving , but it's set up with an AKC open pen on the far side.  I had him drive them up past it and I told him to pen them and I'll be darned but he did it. And it was obvious that he was tucking them all in there. Thanks Bob..   I was way on the other side of the field. Now if he just learn to pen with me standing  there LOL.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Working 2 dogs at once

   Sometimes it's just easier to give in and not fight with them.  I wanted to use Dually to sort some sheep but Dare would not stay  outside the fence so I used both of them. I flanked them both and then when I wanted to put them out a gate, one wanted to hold (Dare) and one wanted to push so Dare got a rock  can thrown at him and it connected with his head.  He gave in and went where I asked him to.  I didn't think  much more about it, but later this afternoon when I took him out to sort the sheep back to their original pens, he actually stopped and sat every time I asked him to Stop.  That was unprecedented and the only thing I can attribute it to is the can in the head.   Silly dog.  But what a hard head.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


 Just finished training with a student. We worked on outruns for her dog and my dog.  Dare has a "fear" of another dog holding sheep for him or he just gets confused when the sheep don't move as he starts his outrun. At least they both need the same things although for different reasons.

  Dare started his big beautiful outrun and then he saw the dog and the sheep standing still and slowwweddd waaaay down, but he continued and he really had to lift because the sheep were not just coming running.   It was really neat to watch although I wasn't close enough to see what was going on.   However once he got them off the other dog then he had a little trouble getting them to me because they wanted to go back to the other handler and dog.He was too close and they cut back over the top of him and he had trouble covering.   It was really interesting and fun and we are going to do it again next week.


I was thinking about this as I was trying to fall asleep last night so I am trying to recreate the feeling today. I was remembering Bob Vest work the puppies.  He was silent(never said a word nada nothing) and the people  watching were practically holding their breath because it was so awe inspiring.  No extra movements on Bob's  part and no fast or jerky movements. Everything was slow or barely moving. The pups got slow and calm and thoughtful.  If they were in the wrong place Bob either stepped into them or moved aside or just lifted his stick. It was so minute sometimes that you could easily have missed it.  He was working my young pup once and the pup was pushing a little so Bob bided his time till he could get the correction he wanted. I was right there and I  heard the correction but it happened so quickly that I am still not sure where he bopped him. Still nothing was said and the dog continued to work but a little more thoughtfully.
    So here is the AHA  .... And it's not like I haven't thought of it or heard it before but last night it became crystal clear.  STOP MAKING SOUNDS!  All it does is take the dogs attention off of the job at hand when all the dog wants to do is to keep working. No more aghhh or yelling or Hey or any of that at least with my young dog.  Keep the personal stuff out of the dog training. It's not personal and you make it personal when you interject your emotional noise.
  I still don't feel that I have said what I felt last night, but I am trying to get this across to a student who wants to praise her highly driven BC all the time. He doesn't need it and he doesn't want it and it interferes with his working ability , but she seems to need it.  We all often need tape on our mouths. The dogs would all be better off.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I have been taking my 2 boys to obedience lessons and they are loving it.  We are learning the Dawn Jecs Choose to Heel.  Sort of a bastardized version of it, but still better than the jerk and yank method that I used on poor Molly(my UD Lab).
    It's incredible to me how fast they learn things.  We worked on awareness of the hind end today by having Dually stand on a box.  I thought that would take the whole lesson but he put one foot on it and I clicked and he got it.  ONCE  only once and he got it.   Amazing.   We worked Dare on throwing a distraction while I was heeling and he got it after 3 throws.  You weren't going to catch him looking at no stinking toy.  And they are happy doing it.  Of course no corrections but still I remember drilling and drilling and drilling.  Poor Molly.
   Fronts are coming along too and I think the stand for exam will be my hardest, but I like how we are doing that  a  lot.  Starting in a sit with me in front, I feed him while the instructor touches him. They don't look at her because I have food.  We have also done kind of a watch and while he is looking at me he gets clicked but if he looks at her , he gets nothing.  I have always had a problem with the stand so I really like this positive method.   It's a fun little semi private lesson that I am trading herding lessons for .  works for me!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thrilling moment

  I was sorting lambs from ewes this morning with Dare and I had put all the ewes in a pen but a lamb had snuck in there too.  I had to take them out of that pen into the next and sort out the lamb.  I was in the pen I wanted them in and about to send Dare on a away to me to get them.  One Ewe walked up to him at the gate and was going to go thru in spite of the fact that he was standing there. In the past , he would have grabbed them too late and they would get by him.  This time he timed it perfectly, she stepped forward and he nailed her and let go and stood there. For me it was justs perfect and I was thrilled with it.  He also nailed her close to the head which he never bites so we are making progress.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Dually has been bad from the get go about blowing into pressure. I have been working him and putting him back in the pressure for 3 yrs without seeing much progress. The last 2 weeks I decided to do something different.  I am not saying anything when he blows into the pressure because that has made him bounce off and flip away.  It was getting bad.
I have been using rock bottles for a year on Dare with great success so I decided it was time to use them on Dually.  I have been using them for 2 weeks now and I am seeing improvements.  Today I walked him up on 3 sheep in a corner and he didn't blow up.  He even called off of them and he did and out off of them and never blew up.  It was a miracle.  His duckwork has improved immensely this week too.  I am very very pleased and hopeful.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011


 I had very low hopes for this trial but we qualified 4 out of 4 runs.  Halleujah(sp)Last weekend at the ASCA trial Dare only qualified in one out of 6 runs. Dually qualified in 3 STD runs.
So Dare won his first ADV sheep leg and got another ADV duck leg.  2 firsts.
Dually got 1st in STD sheep and 2nd in STd ducks and 2 legs.

I can only attribute any sucess to the fact that we practiced over on the field this week.  We used the duck field and I worked sheep too. I was lucky enough to not get the facility owners sheep but the borrowed sheep who didn't have as strong a draw to the repen and so was able to get the cross drive.  First Time Dare has ever completed a sheep course at a trial or even at home.
 He didn't break his stay at the beginning and he didnt' crossover. He was not upset about anyone holding sheep or holding the duck ring so those are all big big big huge improvements.
Dually need to learn to rate.  Hmmmmm

Monday, May 23, 2011

Talent show

The Hospital  benefit talent show was last Sat night and Dare pulled it off without a hitch.   We flanked around the ducks for a few minutes and then I put them over the bridge twice and into the dog crate on  a  very slippery 15 by 30 stage.  Most of the feedback I got was about the ducks not the dog.  How cute etc.  Oh well.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Monsta

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who grew up knowing  something but not knowing it at all.  I was just thinking about this piece of furniture that now resides in my basement.  My Dad made it probably 50 yrs ago for my Mom to keep her sewing machine and other stuff in it.  It originally was in our very small kitchen in Auburn where I grew up and I remember it very clearly there.  Anyway it's pretty big and for whatever reason he painted it a pink or peachy color.  It had a name.   It was called the Monster.  I've always called it the Monster and it will always be called that by every member still left of my family , but the funny thing is I didn't realize  until I was well over 30 that a Monster is not a particular piece of furniture like a table or a desk. One day it just dawned on me that it was a  nickname.   I don't think I ever went to a furniture store and asked where their Monsters were, but that would have been pretty darn funny.

Monday, May 16, 2011


And the rain goes on... 
However, I have been able to train between raindrops.  I have also been working both dogs on attention and heeling and  fronts.  Dare gets it , but Dually does not.  He thinks it's dumb, but Dare would do just about anything for food or toys. Dually doesn't care about food which makes it a little harder. Especially when I am trying Dawn Jecs " Choose to Heel" method.  Not sure if I like it yet, but  it beats jerk and pull.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Talent show

    I have been asked to be in a talent show for the local Hospital. I hemmed and hawed and finally said yes.  It's a charity event so I guess I can try to be charitable.  They wanted the dogs.  I am giving them one dog and 3 ducks.  We had a rehearsal last night and I  just wanted to see if would be doable on a stage.  It wasnt' too bad. Dare was sort of out of control and I couldn't set him straight because there were people there.. They wouldn't have understood. I also had to drag the ducks out of the crate and I dont' think the people thought that was amusing although I thought it was funny as hell.
    There was a singer who sang Memories and I was truly afraid Dare was going to start howling along with her. I don't think she would have a sense of humor about it. It would make the whole show though.  Maybe I will suggest it. Peaches is a great howler and Dare is good too.

So I have to write up a thing about Dare and what he is doing and I  will record it and it will be played with music while I am working Dare.  I think a couple of flanks and some walk ups and maybe put the ducks over a bridge and the finale will be trying to get them back in the crate.   Hope nobody calls animal control on me, but you never know at these public things.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Call duck work

    I picked up my male call ducks today from a friend who had borrowed them and I brought them home to reintegrate them. The females were all very angry with them and gave them what for.
    I had to work them to see how they would work because I have agreed to be part of a talent show in a couple of weeks which will involve herding call ducks on a 15 by 30 stage.  I wanted to see 1. if they  would herd and 2. if my herding dog could work them. . The answer is yes to both questions. Dare was quite nice on them,staying slow and way back without me telling him to do it.  They also are going to be very  good in teaching him how to push straight. I had him fetch them to me and they didnt' want to come to me so he had to push and cover. It was a lot easier than doing Indian runners. The calls are so much slower that he could get the idea of cover and push.  It was a lot of fun.  I am going to enjoy working them and getting what I want out of Dare.

     I downloaded the aussie natl's premium today to see what I want to enter and maybe I will work on some obedience and enter the dogs in that in addition to stock.  I don't think I want to try agility with them. I would be too much work and I just don't feel it. But I could  whip them into a Novice obed routine fairly easily,maybe even an Open routine.  I will start playing tonight. Nothing like a good goal to motivate.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm back from clinic oblivion

   Just took Jan to the airport at 6:30 this morning.  We had 7 straight days here of 2 dif clinics.  Lots of good work by many dogs.  Weather was good except for yesterday.  We got to use my new arenas. We used the duck arena a lot and the bigger arena a few times.  I only had 4 sheep to use for all 7 days and they are very glad the dogs and the people have gone home . 

I am tired too, but I went out and worked Dually and Dare today and Kathy worked Ben and Tru. We tied all the dogs at one end of the arena (inside) and I had Dare push the duck up there. That is what he has a problem doing at trials and of course it was not a problem here.  The ducks didn't care that they were going right up towards dogs. They didn't push back much at all so I had Kathy stand up there and push on them. That helped some and he did have to push. 

So  I will spend the next week getting things back to normal around here and getting rid of the extra food.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm home

I got home last night at 9pm .  I drove from Indiana and it took 12 hrs.  Not too bad. Just a little traffice coming out of NY at around 7:30.  The dogs were starting too get antsy. At least Dually was, The others were ok, but he as whining a bit.
I parked the truck and trailer in the driveway and went up to the house to turn on the pellet stove and the hot water.  I let the dogs out to run and then I brought them in and went to bed. Not a great nights sleep but tonight is going to be superb.

I worked both dogs today.  Dare did some nice sorting today. I am working on teaching him to Hold at the gate and get back and release one sheep at a time thru the gate. I'm trying to make him responsible for Holding and releasing and not make it my responsibility to sort by just moving the gate. I want the dog to understand the job.

Dually was worked on the light sheep.  I want him to understand that when I say get around , regardless of where I am standing , he should go get the sheep. Sometimes he just stands there with this dumb look on his face. I can set him up and do and outrun , but I don't always want to HAVE to be standing in just the right place. He got better. I just need to do more.

The Long Way Home

The campground I stayed at for 2 nights was perfect except no  wifi.  Great for the dogs though.  WE had bad thunderstorms last night and torrential rains and Peaches and Dare had diarrhea because of something vile they ate in the woods.  Dare is fine now. Peaches not yet.
    I got up early to get to the trial site at 7am .  I had in my head that the handlers meeting was at 7 .  It was not. It was at 7:45.  Not a great site for a trial.  Parking was away from the entrance gates and you had to walk down the street and thru  some yard to get there. Duck arena was nice and ducks were fine. Dare did a very nice outrun and lift and that’s it.  He tried to fetch  them directly  to me but they were feeling too much pressure from me and he wouldn’t take his off balance flanks and so they split and he bit and that was just about it.
Sheep  was worse. He crossed over on the outrun and then just stopped. I called him back and redirected him and he took it  but when they saw him  and moved he dived in.  I called  it.  
So I left early and I am southeast of Cleveland but not very far I don’t’ think.  If I push hard tomorrow, I could make it home.  Not sure I want to do that.
I found a campground that has wifi but I can’t get it to work. They have a low signal.  Maybe if I take the laptop to the bathrooms I could get it to work.  I’ll try it. 

I did get it to work . Yay.  HOme tomorrow.