Saturday, May 30, 2009

Calgary, Canada - Animal Services Program that Works!

People often ask me what ideas I have to offer instead of the mandatory spay-neuter laws to help with animal control and services. Here is the story of an animal control services program that works!

Those in Southern California can actually go and listen!

Friday, May 29, 2009

SB250 Crunch Time!

Updated news on SB 250: it could be voted on as early as Monday but sometime next week. Please respond to the Senate over the weekend. Complete information can be found on the website, as well as on the NAIA trust website, and the PetPAC website (among others).

Contribute financially to PetPAC if you can; Bill Hemby has faithfully been at every one of these legislative showdowns and has made a difference for all of us.

Certainly call or fax your Senator and as many of the other Senators as you can. Many folks feel that the Senators should be giving our state budget their undivided attention and not even consider bills like SB250 at this time.


California SB250, mandatory spay/neuter for dogs and cats, passed in the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 28. It now moves to the full state Senate, which will be voting on it sometime during the week of June 1. The 2nd reading rule was waived, meaning that SB 250 could be voted on as early as Monday.

It is imperative that Californians contact their state senator immediately and ask them to oppose Senate Bill 250. Faxes can be sent and phone messages can be left over the weekend. We need a much larger response, from many more Californians, to stop this bill. Clubs, associations, businesses, and other organizations also need to act quickly. Please act! Here’s what you can do:

· The quickest way for individual Californians to send an opposition email or compose a letter to their own state senator is with the updated NAIA action alert. It just takes a few minutes.
· call the capital office of your state senator and ask him or her to oppose SB 250. Your senator’s capital office phone number can be found here. It takes less than a minute to make the call. Leave a voice message if no one answers. Politely say:
“I’m Joe Smith, I’m from Bigtown California, and I’m asking Senator Wilson to vote NO on SB 250, mandatory spay/neuter for dogs and cats.
· call the capital office of Senator Steinberg (the leader of the senate) at 916-651-4006 and ask him to oppose SB 250 as indicated above.
· fax a letter to your state senator and to Senator Steinberg. Use the NAIA letter writing tool or else our template for policy or fiscal arguments against the bill. The senators’ fax numbers are here.
· talk to your friends, co-workers, and club members and ask all of them to oppose SB 250. Send them to this site for instructions.
· convince your clubs, rescue groups, businesses, and associations to oppose SB 250

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

What would Memorial Day be without some backyard fun? Rime, Chief, and Coal got in some baby pool time this afternoon.

All day I have thought about the reason for the holiday. It's not just about firing up the grill and playing in the pool. As a child we would gather up bouquets of red, white, and pink peonies that grew in our yard, and put them in containers to take to the cemetery to decorate the graves. It was a day called "Decoration Day" almost as often as it was called Memorial Day. The floral containers were often just jars and cans saved for that purpose and covered in tin foil but they might as well have been crystal vases for the care that was put into the effort.

This weekend we built a new pen for some of our sheep at a different and very beautiful location. Today some of them got moved, including some new sheep that we collected from a friend. The new sheep were unbroke Barbs who gave Coal and all of us a run for our money but we got them into the trailer successfully (with just a little cowboying) and they are all in their new home. It is a feeling of satisfaction and a great distraction for me to work on a new project and accomplish something we've been needing to do.

Happy holiday to all!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Just Some Photos from the Weekend


Rime (age 5 1/2 months):
and our special blog guest star, Grace (13 years young):

Saturday, May 23, 2009


A friend told me yesterday, upon the loss of Bid: "all you can do is put all of your efforts toward your other dogs." Wise advice.

I've rearranged the blog a little bit as a first step.

Thanks once again to all who have been so supportive and understanding following Bid's illness and passing.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Missing Bid

A huge thank-you once again to all the kind folks who have responded to me about Bid's passing. I am hurting beyond belief but knowing that others care, really helps. I miss him terribly.

The other three dogs are a huge help. I don't know how I'd get through this without Chief, Coal and little Rime.

Thanks once again to all.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stand By Me

Remembering Bid

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Tribute to Bid

(updated version)

Lovingly prepared by our friend Bob P. who has Bid's brother Zack...

Thank you Bob and all who have responded with such an outpouring of love.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


June 25, 1999 to May 12, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend

Mother's Day weekend was an emotional roller coaster. We ran in a sheepdog trial on Saturday in Ione, but didn't do very well. It was a fun day at the Charles Howard Park, but Coal's and my Nursery run was nothing to get excited about.

We returned home from that trial to find Bid extremely ill at home. He is currently still in the hospital, and very, very sick. There is no diagnosis as yet. I would like to thank all the folks who have been so supportive regarding his illness. It's shocking to deal with and the support from others really helps.

Sunday's sheepdog trial went much better. Coal was back in good form and despite the distraction of his handler (me worrying about Bid being in the hospital) we managed to put in two good runs. The Pro-Novice run included a Maltese Cross in between the drive and the pen. That made it sort of fun and interesting and not just the usual ho-hum Pro-Novice course. The trial was sociable, with a Mother's Day potluck held under shady restful trees at the Spencer farm. The company was grand and the food delicious.

Then after lunch Coal and I ran in the Nursery class. He put in another good run, and we were communicating about everything well, except for those darn pesky fetch panels. His outrun still needs to be improved, but I was thrilled to see him run out with purpose on both runs. We did not do the cross in the Nursery class but went straight to the pen from the drive in the traditional manner. However, the time was shortened by two minutes so I was concerned about making the time, which we did. I thought for sure we would have gotten second in the class so when the awards were handed out, I was truly floored to hear that Coal had won. He's been such a good boy and we've both worked hard for a year and a half towards this goal. I would like to thank his breeder Wendy for believing in me to send him out here so far away from her. I also need to thank Bill Berhow for having faith in us and encouraging me every step of the way as our trainer.

On the sad side, it was also two years ago this weekend that I had to let Augie go. That made the weekend even more emotional. Augie is still very much missed.

SB250 - Encouraging News!

Please see the SB250 - Senate Appropriations Committee Update on the Save Our Dogs website
"California SB 250 was heard today in the Senate Appropriations Committee. There was no vote. Instead, SB 250 was put into the Suspense File. The Chair indicated that the committee will deal with SB 250 later in the month.

ZERO supporters spoke on behalf of SB 250, while 5 opponents spoke against it. Opponents’ testimony, follow-up Q&A kicked off by Senator Runner, and responses by a CA Dept. of Finance representative all made the case that SB 250 would be costly to California’s state and local governments. By the rules, SB 250 went into the Suspense File because the committee concurs that it will cost the state at least $150,000. Great job!

A bill can be brought out of “Suspense” with as little as two days notice and voted on by the committee, or it can remain in Suspense and just die there. Our job now is to make sure it stays in Suspense and dies. Politically, that is the easiest way for the majority party to kill a bill sponsored by one of their own, since there is no up or down vote.

The Senate Calendar indicates that May 29 is the deadline for Appropriations to get bills out of committee. Let’s keep up the pressure!"
(End of quote)

Thanks to all who helped. Please follow through with the directions on the Save Our Dogs website and also be sure to thank Senators Cox and Runner.
Send a donation to PetPAC if you can.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Coal Wins in Nursery!

At the Point Pleasant Mother's Day Trial, May 10th

Coal took first in the Nursery class yesterday, as well as third in the Pro-Novice class (two separate runs) at the Point Pleasant Mother's Day sheepdog trial, Elk Grove, CA. I hope to get the breakdown on the scores later.

Thanks to the Spencer family for another fine trial and enjoyable weekend with friends and family.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bill Analysis - SB 250

Please take a moment to read the Bill Analysis of SB 250 from the Save Our Dogs website:

We encourage you to read all of it and take action by contacting the Senate Appropriations committee. The last paragraph of the analysis is really important so I am quoting it here:

We fail to see the point of this bill. There is no action that is currently legal that SB250 makes illegal. All it appears to accomplish is give local animal control the power to forcibly spay/neuter as many dogs as possible. What it does do is make responsible pet owners afraid of their local animal control agency. This will reduce licensing compliance. It will increase the cost of enforcement. Fewer dogs will be adopted because the public will avoid contact with the shelters. More dogs will be impounded. More dogs will be killed. SB250, The Pet Owner Punishment Act, just kills dogs.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

SB 250-What Can We Expect?

Quoted from the PetPAC website:

"So, what can we expect?

Appropriations can do one of three things:
1) They can hear the bill and vote it up or down. This is a 13 member committee, so it takes 7 to pass or fail.
2) They can assume the bill will have mandated state costs and refer it to their “Suspense” calendar to await a judgment by the leadership of both parties on which bills should survive and which should die. This determination is supposedly made after all bills that cost money are collected and a decision is made as to which are the most important to pass.
3) The chair of the committee can arbitrarily decide SB 250 does not contain state mandated costs and take the bill off the agenda and send it directly on to the Senate floor. That procedure is called 28.8. If you remember, that is what happened to AB 1634, even though the Department of Finance reported considerable mandated costs.
Two things to consider. The Appropriations Committee chair is Senator Kehoe. She voted for SB 250 in its first policy committee. She voted for AB 1634 in policy committee also.
SB 250 author, Senator Dean Florez, is the Senate Majority Leader, one of the Senate’s bosses.
My guess? SB 250 will bypass Senate Appropriations and 28.8 out.
What can you do?
Appropriations will try to shut us out, like they did to us with AB 1634.
Write members of Senate Appropriations and ask them to hear SB 250 because of its hidden mandated costs. If members of the committee put pressure on the chair, she might relent and have the bill heard.
Start writing, emailing, calling and faxing members of the Senate Appropriations committee right now. Call, Call, Fax, Fax, email, email. Don't Stop.
You want the bill heard. You want the bill defeated.
There are 9 million dog and cat owners in California why do they want to make them potential criminals?
With a $40 billion deficit, why do lawmakers want to take on more mandated costs?
It is legislation like SB 250 that turns citizens against its legislature. When legislators listen to their party leaders over their constituents, it is no surprise their approval rating is dropping like a stone.
Why does Senator Florez want to kill more dogs and cats?
The Senate Appropriations Committee analysis will NOT list support and opposition, so concerned owners and breeders are encouraged to communicate with their own Senator and the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
What You Can Do
Write, Call, Email or Fax your opposition to SB 250 to Senate Appropriations Committee members and ask your club to do the same.
Ask your club to allow PetPAC to list them by club name as official opponents."

Oppose California SB250

From the Save Our Dogs website:

SB 250 is scheduled for a hearing and possible vote in the California Senate Appropriations Committee on May 11. Please take the following steps:

  1. Call the senators on the Appropriations Committee and ask them to oppose SB 250
  2. Write to the senators on the Appropriations Committee
  3. Talk to your friends, co-workers, and club members and ask them to oppose SB 250. Send them to the Save Our Dogs website for instructions.
  4. Convince your clubs, rescue groups, businesses, and associations to oppose SB 250

The links to lists of the Committee members, their phone and fax numbers, and sample letter templates are all available on the Save Our Dogs website.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

An Improbable and Exciting Derby Day!

Anyone who knows me very well knows I am as nuts about Thoroughbred horse racing as I am about working border collies. Yesterday's Kentucky Derby, with 50-1 longshot Mine That Bird and Calvin Borel winning going away at a record distance was just thrilling beyond belief. It's a Disney movie in the making! With owners and trainer from New Mexico (called the Land of Enchantment for a reason!) the horse and rider team paired up to give us the most exciting two minutes in sports. The horse I had picked, Chocolate Candy, did not fare too badly, either, coming in fifth.

Photo by Bill Frakes, Sports Illustrated

In news closer to home, the dogs and I have a new ride!

I am calling the color "Kentucky-Derby-Run-For-The-Roses-Red"!