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

Sunday, April 29, 2012


 I had no lessons scheduled yesterday so I loaded up 3  lambs in a dog crate and took them to Shelley in Ct and then I went to the  BC trial at the Tolland Ag center.  It was not that interesting. I didn't stay that long. I did decide my dogs would have had a tough time with the sheep . The sheep were either not moving or running to the exhaust. They were looking for ways to beat the dogs and my dogs don't like that very much.

I got home in time to help Ed spread 4 yrds of mulch. The gardens look great.  And then I worked both dogs and stayed calm and quiet and they worked nicely. Much better than yesterday in the bad wind. Dually and Dare are entered in a trial this coming weekend so we are working on A course. Probably should do some ducks this week too. But I am having issues with the turn around the post to the Y chute. Dually is good at it and Dare pushes too hard and so it always becomes a controlled runaway. I would really like it to look like a drive so I am going to continue to work on that piece, maybe not this week. My problem where I am  going is going to be getting from the hold  pen to 4 and then the sheep are going to RUN thru the cross drive panels and I dont' think Dare is going to like that one little bit.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fetch the cows

   I sent Dare into the Calf pasture and told him to bring them. He zeroed in on the closest and youngest(Larry)and Larry wanted to sniff him. I told Dare to bite him but he didnt' bite him on the nose which was right in front of him.  He bit him on the shoulder and so Larry kicked him. Dare didnt' even flinch.  Then he ran down the pasture and Dare ran after him and they turned around and ran back to the other 2 calfs,at which time Dare decided he should bring them all. He was then poetry in motion moving each one individually  and keeping them grouped and he brought them all to me. And then when I said That'll do he was willing to come . He was not willing before that.

Today I will try Dually on the same exercise.  Go get them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dumb Larry

    I went out to feed the cows this am and Larry is still bawling like he's starving to death.  I gave them all grain and he started to eat it and then walked away and started mooing at me.  NO Larry I am not buying you more milk.  get over it.   He was eating just as much as the other 2 cows when I stopped feeding them milk and they were just fine about it. He has been very vocal from day 1. He is very different from the other 2.  More skittish ,  more kicky and louder. He was eating 2lbs of grain day  with his milk  so I was within my rights to stop the milk.  He is making me feel guilty though.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Damn ducks

  That's what Dare says about them I'm sure.  I had him in the duck arena and I made him drive the call ducks 100ft from me up to the far corner.  Most of the time he did it well,but once he brought them back to me.  So I made him take them all the way back again.  The reason I am doing this is because in the past he has failed to drive the ducks past me to the 1st panel in an ASCA trial.  He gets into flanking back and forth and forgets how to push so I am not flanking him much just asking him to walk up. It worked pretty well, but I want to do it again.  He still fades off to the left or the right so I need to work on that straight walk up.

Dually worked on taking the ducks up the middle with me walking forward and he needed to work on a straight walk also without overflanking. He did well,moving the ducks very little off the center line.  I had a student do it too with her BC. The dog overflanked big time but by the end , he walked a couple of steps behind the ducks.  If I remember correctly , it took about a 4 day clinic before Dually would walk behind and not overflank like crazy.

Larry the cow

Larry  is now officially off of milk replacer.  I dont' think he is going to be happy, but I moved him this morning in the rain out back with Cupid and George.  I fed them all grain but Larry chose to go explore rather than eat. Well guess what Larry, George and Cupid are not going to save some for you.  If he is unhappy, I wont' be able to hear him mooing out there.  I could  hear him very well every morning outside my bedroom.  Especially today, because I slept in till 8.   What can I say, it was raining.

It's 8 hrs later and Larry is still mooning. I just went out and gave them all some grain, but he is still crying for his milk. Too bad so sad go eat some hay.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


   I took my shower and I am ready for bed, but the wind just picked up  and now I have to run outside with a flashlight and check to see if the tarp is still on the little bit of hay I have left.  This does not make me a happy camper.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hard Day

   Very sad this morning, but then I got busy and took  the dogs to their obedience class and on the way home I stopped at the granite place and they allowed me to pick whatever I want from their  scrap  heap for memorials.  I got 7-8 stones.  all different. dark to light.  I will get them engraved for Ebony(it's been 27 yrs so it's time)Molly 17 yrs ago, Piper 8 yrs ago , Mom 16yrs ago, Dad 11 yrs ago and Mikey I have a little  garden planned for where they are all resting now. very therapeutic.

Then I gave an instinct test to a nice little sheltie with a lot of drive.  She came with her neurosurgeon dad who I gave a hard time to for being late before I knew he was a Dr.  I was annoyed he was late. I was a bad person. Oh well, he said he wanted to come back.. we'll see

Then 2 more lessons and in the house for soup and shower.

BTW,  another bark this morning, but not a good bark. It sounded like Mikey but it sounded like a human crying along with the bark.  very odd. No more barking please Mikey.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


   Mikey woke me up this morning with a bark at 4am and then again with a different younger bark at 7.   The mind is a wonderful thing. Or maybe he really was there , telling me he was ok and thanks for letting him go.  I hope that was it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


This is my therapy , so sorry if I keep writing about Mikey, but I need to.  Don't read it if it bothers you.

I spent the morning walking Mikey and cleaning the house to keep my mind busy. Our appt was for 1pm. My sister came over to go with me, Thanks Judi--and we went to Dairy Queen to give him his last ice cream. I think he enjoyed it.   My vet Annie was wonderful. no second guessing.   It took us about 1hr to get the sedative to work. He kept fighting itand we had to give him a 2nd type.  He didn't want to leave and I didn't want him to go but his legs were going to fail in the next couple of days and his cough was worse and his twinkle in his eye   had left.   I needed to make sure he left this earth with dignity and love.
 The way I parked the car, I was able to raise the ramp and he walked in under his own power, turned around and said ok Let's go! Thanks Mikey for making that part easy for me.

I brought him home and Ed helped me take him out of the car.  I then let each dog out individually to see him.  I thought they would all go to Ed and make much of him because they all know him and love him but they all very  carefully and thoroughly smelled Mikey and then turned away.  It was sad but interesting.  Not sure how it will change the dynamics in the house since he was so low on the totem pole anyway.

Ed and I placed him very carefully in the grave and then  I added the ashes of my Mom  and then my Dad and then Molly and lastly Piper.   Mikey is in excellent company and Ebony is buried right next to him now. They are close to the house where I feel comfortable knowing they are there, but they are really not there at all are they?

Now I work on getting by and living with 3 black dogs and no blue ones. Thanks for listening .

Mikey's story

   I went to the USASA Nationals in 1998 to meet up with Mikey's breeder. She had promised to bring me a puppy and she had pretty much decided it was to be a black tri female with brown eyes.   When I got to the motel, she had changed her mind and hadn't told me ahead of time. She had brought me Mikey  my little blue eyed , blue merle, ball of love.   He looked like a little tank ,but I just couldn't live with that name so I called him Mikey. I do have 2 brother's in law named Michael too, but only one then and one came later.
     All my pups at that time came to work with me. They had to stay in the car, but got out during my lunches and breaks and so were not locked in an expen waiting for me all day like poor little Molly had been.  I don't remember much about him growing up, but he got into trouble like young males do.  He stuck his nose where it shouldn't have been once and got bit by  something that swelled his face and nose up. He survived.  He jumped up  over enthusiasticly once to greet me and came down on top of a 2ft metal post and almost castrated himself.  He was in trouble a lot. He would escape and run down the street. If I opened

I trained him in obedience and he loved it. I never titled him because at that time we were doing more agility which he also loved.   I have a wonderful picture of him coming out of a chute cross eyed.  very cute. He was just a little devil . Such a love of live and everything and everybody in it.  He was my trick dog. Bang your dead and he would ham it up and roll upside down for a sec and then jump up and wag his whole body and beg for his treat.  He also knew the usual stuff, shake, turn left turn right, back,  One of his crowd pleasers was when I would breath into his face and ask him how my breath was and he would take his paw and swipe it across his nose as if to say "horrible".   The last 2 tricks I had been teaching him were to say I love you and he was getting it.  What a great trick that would have been, but he said I love you every day to me in his own language.  I also tried for years to get him to shake his whole body as if he was shaking after a bath on command. That was hit or miss. He knew what I wanted but could only do it once during a training session and it was never on command.  funny little guy.

What a swimmer he was,  loved the water and it was hard to keep him out.  loved to just lie in the kiddie pool  in the summer or go swimming anywhere.  He was a good swimmer too. Riding in the car , just to go to the bottom of the driveway, he was there.  Just a couple of weeks ago, I put the ramp up into the back of the car  and he was out wandering the yard and the next thing I knew he had gotten in there by himself and laid down and was waiting for me to Start her up and let's get going.   I should have taken him for a ride then I guess, but I didn't. It would have been his last "fun" ride. Sorry buddy.

When Mikey and I started herding, I had no real help.  I did some Bob Vest clinics a few times a year and then most of the time I was on my own.  I had call ducks and I started him on call ducks inside the xpen. He ran around that pen so fast , it was like a mini tornado.  I couldn't get in front of him fast enough to turn him. On sheep it felt the same.  I have some video of him and it really wasn't that fast, but I was so green and it all seemed so out of control. He had so much natural talent , that I unfortunately could't harness correctly. Bob Vest really like him, but I would get so angry at him when I would send him later in his training for the livestock and he would get to balance and keep on going.  He would circle the sheep and look at me and grin and say " this is what you want right mom" and keep on circling.  Not that hard to keep a dog behind livestock but it is when no one is telling you that is what you need to do.  Piper was so natural at fetching that I thought Mikey should be too. He just needed a little guidance and I failed him at that.  In spite of my failures, we finished ADV sheep and ducks and were workingn on Open cattle when I retired him.  He wasn't listening and I was convinced he was going to get himself killed by them.  If only I knew then what I know now, he would have WTCH'd.

He loved squeaky toys and invariably had the squeaker killed him secs after I gave him a new one.  He loved balls that moved too. If I threw it and it stopped, he wasn't interested, but if it was still moving , he was  the man.  OMG he loved his dumbell.  I used to keep it in a cupboard under the tv and I would just be talking about it and he would run to the cupboard. That was the last toy he played with this week. He has been chasing it 3-4 ft in the living room and bringing it back to me and then we would play a little tug with it and I would throw it again.  He almost chased the ball last night, but the effort was just too much. He turned his head quickly and went after it a few steps but it rolled down the hill and he gave up.

The guys came over with the back hoe last night and we were outside watching and I had to stop him from investigating so he wouldn't fall in the hole.  There is still life left, so it's going to be a very hard day, but I would rather remember him with some life than hold on to him until he's in so much pain that I have to get him to the vets right now and you know that always happens when you can't get there"right now".

Peaches is going to miss him terribly. They have been companions for 12 yrs. They always cleaned each other's face and ears. Dually will miss him because he is a very sensitive dog and will know that I am upset. Dare , I think, will be relieved. He started to attack him this winter so he has been getting in trouble when Mikey was anywhere near him.  They will all be allowed to see and sniff his body so they  know he is gone.

 I am so grateful that he came into my life and taught me so many things.
What a patient and loving and forgiving dog. Such a sparkling life force . The spark is almost gone and  I need to give him the one last gift of love, a release from this world into the next where there is no pain and breathing will be easy again and somebody will throw a ball for him and he will be able to chase it and play keep away, where the door never closes and leaves him behind, where he will be invited into every car and go for a ride whenever he likes.  I won't be there with you buddy, but there are people who will love you there too and I will be with you soon enough, just wait for me there.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Worked the calves

   Even though this think with Mikey is ongoing, Jan was here until  noon so we dog broke the calves.  We moved them into the control pen and then I worked Dually first. He won't stay in the pressure so Jan and I held him in there with rakes and he did get better.  We flanked him into the corner to the fence(kiss the fence) and then down.  the calves moved off and so we reflanked to the heads and kiss the fence and down. It's the kiss the fence part that is so important. Dually kind of blows up if the calf faces him. He has to learn to take that  pressure.

Dare did the same exercise and was better at it.  But he still needs to kiss the fence.  Once the calf got to the middle and I asked him to walk up on it to put it back out into the next pen and it just stood there. Dare stood his ground for 30 secs and I waited and then he just bit the hock and the calf kicked at him and he just ducked sideways and it missed him, but he never moved his feet and then the calf moved . It was cool.  What I didnt' like is  how high on the hock he bit, but I don't have any control over that.

And then we worked B course ducks.  I worked on a shed with Dare and that will take more work. much more work.  but I entered B course ADv ducks at the end of May. Better get cracking.   Dually went out and dove straight thru the middle of them.  Aghhhh

Kathy worked Tru out there and lost 2 ducks into the wood thru the fence. Dare got one back but the other eventually made her way back to the duck pen by the house.  Hmmm I guess Kathy needs some work.

Jan and I left early for her 4pm flight and stopped at Sadie Greens where I got a watch and a hat and Jan got some hair pins.  very fancy.

The AC in the car didn't work and it was 92 by the time we got to the airport.  Yikes.   We stopped at Reins Deli for lunch --it was good.

And then I took Mikey for a walk out back into the arena and near the cows.  He wandered around a bit and then we came back to the barn and I filled up the kiddie pool and he got in. Peaches knocked him down but he was able to get back up again. He loves the kiddie pool.  Later on we went back to the front yard and I took some pictures. About 7pm Tim showed up with his backhoe and dug a nice hole near Ebony. I plan to bury Mikey with Piper and Molly's ashes and maybe Mom and Dad's all next to Ebony. They can keep each other company while they wait for me.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


   In spite of my Mikey worries, I got some good work done with both dogs. Dare did a really nice duck run and brought the call ducks to me in a relatively straight line and with no redirects.  

Dually did a  nice Intermediate AKC sheep run and I learned how best to get from 4-5 on intermediate.  Good tip thanks Jan.

I think everybody is leaning a lot and having a good time.  

Mikey is better tonight.  Feels better.  He wasn't eating well so I wasnt' getting the rimadyl in him and so he felt bad.  I started to feed him anything other than his  wet dog food and he ate  it and his pill and so feels better tonight so maybe I can sleep tonight.

Where to bury a good dog?

    Mikey is fading and he is really not feeling that well. He pretty much won't  eat his dog food , but he is still begging treats from anyone who walks by.  He will mostly eat meat but last night he found some grain on the ground and just picked at it.  He did enjoy begging some Chinese food tonight .  His coughing is getting much worse(congestive heart failure) and I would rather he not die a painful death so I have decided to go ahead and made the extremely hard decision to help  him along and not be selfish and try to keep  him here.   I have the clinic this weekend and so I'm afraid he has to wait a few more days, but I will probably take him in on Tues.  If you want to say good bye he will be here until then. I write this with a heavy heart  and many tears.  He has been a very good friend, companion and entertainer for 14 years .  He and I had many firsts together.

He drove me crazy sometimes but he always did it with a twinkle in his eye.  Even this week he is still trying to escape the little nylon fence enclosure I put out front for him, but it's just habit now.There is no joy in it.

I have a picture in my mind's eye that I will always have of Mikey and I will post it when I can find it.  It's Mikey as  a puppy , the same week I brought him home. I took the picture lying on the ground and he was trotting towards me like a little tank. I thought his name might be Tank but Mikey suited him better.  It's a wonderful picture off a wonderful dog and I will miss his funny sense of humor and his loving nature.   It's never easy.

As for the Posts Title--Where to bury a good dog?    The answer of course is  --In my heart.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Mikey didn't eat all of his breakfast today. He is usually worse in the morning anyway  and picks up later in the day a bit.  He played with me out in the yard last night, but then he went outside and wandered for a while later on.  He is getting weaker by the day in the rear.  I have to help him down the stairs  now or he will certainly fall. He can still make it up the stairs.  (3 stairs not upstairs to my bedroom)He has stopped begging food from me too. Not good signs.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Farm clean up

Ed and Kathy were here again today and the place is looking spiffy.  The cellar is all set for the clinic and Ed spent a few more hours raking hay off  the arena.  His idea, it really was fine.  All the duck panels came out of the hayloft and I sorted the trash --only 1--gotta sort thru the other one tomorrow.

Called Roland about more hay and he has a bale he can sell me for the cows so they can stop eating my nice 2nd cutting. Gotta go get it on Wed. Now I have to figure out how to keep the cows from destroying it as the eat it.

Mikey is rather odd today.  His back legs are getting worse. He keeps falling.  He keeps getting up but it's hard to watch.  I was going to take him for a ride in the car, but I couldn't get him in.  He can't help at all anymore. Tonight he kept wanting to go out but I am not sure why.  I let him out , but I didn't watch him to see what he was doing.  He came back in and I put him in the kitchen but he wanted to come out again.  He did seem to get stuck by the front door. Too slippery for him to get his feet under him. I  had to lift him up which puts pressure on his heart and starts him coughing.  Not sure how we are going to go to Pa for the trial with him like this.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My new bathroom vanity

This will be the new bathroom vanity with a granite top and and undermount sink.  This will be painted but I am not yet sure what color. Might be white, might be a pale green or aqua. Might have to wait till after it's installed. 

Worked MY dogs

   No lessons today so I took advantage of the extra energy and sorted some sheep and took them out back to work Dare and Dually.

Dare first(Dare is always first) Why is that you ask?  I love a challenge.   I wanted to work on something that I had never done before so I set up cones about 30ft apart in the middle of the arena in a line.  The object was to  drive the sheep in a serpentine away from me  and then flank dog around and fetch them back in a serpentine.  Dare had big holes.  He would not could not take his flanks that far away from me.  Interesting.  He is such a control freak that he is sure I am always wrong.  It got better but I had to move up closer and insist on his flanks.  I was really surprised that we could not make the first cone on the fetch back towards me. The sheep took off and he could not flank fast enough to catch them.  I think perhaps my timing was off or he was flanking too wide or both.  He as very tired when we were done.  There was a lot of running by him not the sheep so much.

That exercise is a little advanced for Dually so I had him gather them first and present them to me. He is good at that. He doesn't like to push them over the top of me. Sometimes he stops too early.  And then we drove them away and he is really good at that. He just walks straight at them and he does adjust his line.  He never even thought about diving in today.  Must mean we are getting better. I did a little bit of inside flanking but they aren't very square and that will really hurt me in the long run.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vanity top and Dare and cows

Dare eyeing the calves out back in their new enclosure.
This is a bad picture of my new vanity top.  It is sort of aqua with a tiny bit of rose.It's very pretty. really it is.