Monday, August 31, 2009

Coal's Birthday Weekend

Coal turned three years old on Saturday. It is hard to believe we have reached that milestone already. We celebrated with a sheepdog lesson at Zamora. We've been working on Coal's sheepdog training now for two solid years and both Coal and I have come a long way.

Rime also had a milestone of sorts. He had his first mini-sheepdog lesson too, on Saturday, with our trainer. And then he got to work again on Sunday with me. We are taking our first steps as a team.

PS: Californians, be sure to post your faxes, phone calls and emails to your elected representatives against SB 250!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

SB 250 Update

Copied from the website:

The votes were posted for yesterday’s Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing of SB 250. Contrary to what the Chair indicated, the final tally was not a simple party line vote.

Assemblymember Charles Calderon (D-Montebello) voted NO.
Assemblymembers Isadore Hall (D-Compton) and Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles) are listed as abstained, not voting, or absent.

Had nothing else changed, SB 250 would have died yesterday because it would have lacked the necessary number of YES votes. But a last minute addition of Assemblymember Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) to the Appropriations Committee gave SB 250 the final YES vote it needed to pass.

The Chair indicated that amendments would be made to SB 250 to exempt rescue dogs (presumably means SAR dogs), herding dogs, guide dogs, and hunting dogs.

SB 250 now goes to the full Assembly for a vote. Since it is being amended, if SB 250 passes the Assembly it will have to go back to the Senate for a concurrence vote. Both of these steps must be complete by September 11. Since we have two more opportunities to defeat SB 250, each of us needs to contact our own senator and assemblymember and ask them to vote NO. Our
Easy Letter will do this for you.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

SB 250 Update

SB 250 passed today in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. It was a “B” roll call, meaning a party line vote.

SB 250 now moves to the full Assembly for a vote. Watch here for further updates.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

SB 250 Action Alert

SB 250 Action Alert


Californians need to act NOW to stop SB 250, and save our dogs and cats.

SB 250 is scheduled for a VOTE in the Assembly Appropriations Committee tomorrow, August 27. Californians, please take the following steps:

1. if you have not already done so, fax a letter to the committee members using our Easy Letter

2. call the offices of the Assembly Appropriations Committee members and ask them to oppose SB 250. It takes less than a minute to call each one and politely tell the staff member who answers the phone, or else leave a message: "Hello, I'm Joe Smith. I'm from Bigtown California, and I'm asking Assemblymember Wilson to vote NO on SB 250. Thank you."

Assembly Appropriations Committee Members


Assemblymember Kevin de Leon - Chair
Phone: (916) 319-2045

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano
Phone: (916) 319-2013

Assemblymember Joe Coto
Phone: (916) 319-2023

Assemblymember Mike Davis
Phone: (916) 319-2048

Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes
Phone: (916) 319-2039

Assemblymember Isadore Hall III
Phone: (916) 319-2052

Assemblymember John A. PĂ©rez
Phone: (916) 319-2046

Assemblymember Nancy Skinner
Phone: (916) 319-2014

Assemblymember Jose Solorio
Phone: (916) 319-2069

Assemblymember Tom Torlakson
Phone: (916) 319-2011

Assemblymember Charles M. Calderon
Phone: (916) 319-2058

Republicans - Do no call, they are committed NO votes

Assemblymember Connie Conway - Vice Chair

Assemblymember Audra Strickland

Assemblymember Jeff Miller

Assemblymember Diane L. Harkey

Assemblymember Jim Nielsen

Laura Sanborn
Save Our Dogs

Monday, August 24, 2009

On The Road

Here is very entertaining blog that I am enjoying reading.

Oak Springs RESDA trial 2009

Coal and I ran in the Oak Springs RESDA trial yesterday which was a hybrid course comprised partially of a regular border collie driving course, and partially with RESDA components of a Y-chute and unassisted pen.

We ended up in the middle of the pack with 43 points out of a possible 60, which is not too shabby for a young dog. We still have plenty of places to clean up our act.

Coal will soon be three years old. It is hard to believe that milestone is almost here.

Gentle Readers

I was surprised to hear over the weekend from a few different people that they actually read my blog with some regularity. I am very humbled and complimented to find that out. I knew someone had to be looking at it because the number of visitors on the flag counter keeps increasing! Anyway I hope I will continue to entertain you all enough to come back once in a while.

I did have one visitor who was not pleased with my political views. Here is a hint on social relationships in very general terms: if you call someone a moron they are not likely to respond favorably to you. Hence, comments on my blog are moderated. If you have other views, Blogspot will be happy to set up a blog space for you, all free of charge and you can post to your heart's desire on your own topics.

My political views on SB250 and other mandatory spay-neuter legislation like it come from a desire to preserve a rural and agricultural lifestyle whereever and whenever possible. I want to preserve the working dog in all fields of use: whether it be for search and rescue, herding, K-9 work or the like. My views also stem from a desire to preserve our liberties to act responsibly in this country. I am not a fan of cats but many people are just as devoted to their cats as I am to my dogs. Therefore if a person has a cat of a type that they want to breed and they go to cat shows and such, and enjoy it, and they responsibly produce a litter of cats that they place responsibly in homes, I will defend that person's right to do so. This is not to say I support puppy or kitten mills. But it is a person's right in America to act responsibly and account for their own actions. Enough said and that is only the tip of the iceberg. For much more information, just visit the website. They can say it much better than I can and they are my heroes.

So, we will return to our regularly scheduled programming of silly stories and photos of dogs. Life is good, but short. Enjoy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Let Santa Rosa Decide

Concerned Dog Owners of California

August 19, 2009

Let Santa Rosa Decide


Beginning on Thursday, August 20th, dog owners will go to Santa Rosa to compete in four days of conformation and obedience events.

In competing in those events, dogs will be without their collars; they will not be wearing their tags and owners will not have copies of licenses or Certificates of Sterilization with them. Some of them may not actually be licensed. Some of them may be out-of-state dogs that20have been in the state more than 30 days.

Under SB250, all 10,529 dogs (the number that competed in event in Santa Rosa last year over all the the days of all the shows in Santa Rosa) will be in violation multiple times (multiple days) and if Animal Control chooses to cite them, they must be sterilized. For those competing whose dogs are already sterilized, they will need to come back and prove their dog is licensed. So the only amendment that was made (a licensed dog only has to be sterilized the second time there is a violation) in no way serves the needs of or protects the dogs that will be in Santa Rosa this week-end.

Last year 8963 performance and conformation people attended these dog shows. They spent $1,129,338 on food, hotels and gasoline. But Senators Wiggens and Leno did not ask Florez for an exemption for people bringing this money to Santa Rosa.

Assembly Members Chesbro and Evans have not committed to defeat a bill that would put an end to the safety of animals at dog shows in Santa Rosa. In fact, dog events generate $3,649,000 in Assembly Member Evans district alone. And that is just what the participants spend. It does not include anything spent by people traveling with them. It does not include what it costs to put on the dog show; the tenting, the rentals, the cateri ng, the housing and transportation for judges, the judges meals, the flowers, the trophies, the advertising.

So let's ask the businesses in Santa Rosa if they want SB250 to be passed. At the shows, CDOC President Bil McFadden will have flyers available. Check at the Superintendent's Table. Take a handful. Give one to every local person you meet and every business you patronize. Be vocal.

SB250 is Mandatory Spay and Neuter - plain and simple. In Santa Rosa, the model for Senator Florez likes so much, the cost per capita for their Animal Control Department is almost 2-1/2 times the state average. Ask the people in Santa Rosa if they want their taxes to increase that much.

In Santa Cruz the kill rate is still higher, after 15 years of MSN, than any of the surrounding counties that don't have MSN. Ask the people of Santa Rosa if they want to see more dogs killed.

Ask them to contact their representative and tell them how they feel about SB250.

This is a great opportunity to let the people who will pay for this bill to know what is happening. Be sure you participate.


Florez amendment offers no protections.

So we need to continue the letter writing campaign to the Assembly Members. We've had a great deal of positive feedback on how easy this system is to use.

To make this easy we have put together a special page that has all the information you and they need including the link to the Save Our Dogs page where they can do the letter in less than one minute. You can get to this page by

clicking here

By going to the CDOC website. Go to the Get Involved page where you'll find "Send A Letter".

Please send this link to your Clubs, your friends, and add it to your own website. These letters Assembly Members from their constituent is the most powerful tool we have. If you have a llinked laptop, ask people to do this wherever you go.

$25 AGAINST 250

This is working and is being used to pay for the letters going to the Legislature and printing books. And now for printing flyers for Santa Rosa. So please continue to participate.

We don't have a logo but click here to donate $25.00 for printed materials to Oppose SB250. And then look for your name on our Supporters Page. Let's make sure everyone in California knows just how bad this bill can be.

If there was any doubt about how many more dogs will die if SB250 passes, the City of Los Angeles has resolved those for us.

The proponents would say that this 24% increase - owned dogs that were killed by the City - was due to the economy. But when you look at counties with worse economies, more poverty and higher foreclosure rates, you see that there is one thing that is different about the City of Los Angeles. Mandatory Spay and Neuter. And who brought that to us? Judie Mancuso.


Get this page out to all of your friends and associates so they will get letters off the Assembly Members.

So make your contribution to Defeat SB250 here. With the help of Save Our Dogs and there letter writing system, we'll get the word to everyone!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

1992 Continued

Another great dog from 1992 was Raven, Augie's litter sister. I used to call her "Augie's famous sister" because she competed so successfully in so many venues. Her owner is a wonderful photographer. Here are just a couple of Raven's many portraits:

Chief is Augie and Raven's nephew so a little bit of all of them lives on at our house.
Photo credits: Joy E.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


1992 was a very good year for very good dogs. Augie's birthday is tomorrow, August 20th. He was born in 1992 so he would have been seventeen.
Here are some collages that I created of Augie's photos a while back, sort of as therapy as a result of losing him. He loved to track and was very good at it. I'll never forget his TDX test.

On sheep we had a lot of rough moments due to inadequate training and me being a rank beginner. Still Augie showed a lot of heart and loved to watch and work with the sheep even into his elder years.

Augie was fast in agility but was again hampered by his handler. We did all right though, and had lots of fun with it.

This little guy was also born in 1992 but don't let his size fool you. He won the hearts of many in agility and otherwise. He did make it to age seventeen but unfortunately he passed away last week. They broke the mold when they made you, Moose. Run clean and run fast -- you always did!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Geese and Goats - Photos

Photos from the past weekend: Coal on geese and goats

Photo credits: J. Teichman

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fun, Fun, Fun

We had a fun weekend in Pescadero, once again participating in an AHBA trial with the Willowside Goose Wranglers. It reminded me of why we do all this stuff with the dogs and livestock--because it's fun!

Coal was signed up for five total runs over two days on three types of stock: goats, geese, and sheep. He did well on all of the runs. I'll have to post a tally later as I don't know all of the final results. We ran on goats and then geese on Saturday, then on Sunday the order was goats, geese, and (finally!!) sheep...Coal was so happy to get back on sheep after all of that! He was a very good sport about working the other stock, though, so I'm proud of him. He'd never even seen goats before but worked them OK.

All of the courses were the ranch style, with practical chores and real situations for dog and handler teams to solve. The geese and sheep courses were the large flock variety, with 15 geese and 40 head of sheep, respectively. Those are always fun.

Thanks once again to Willowside ranch and the wranglers (you know who you are...) for a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rime is Eight Months

Rime is just about eight months old so I took a few pictures of him today. I'm experimenting with a Picasa album, here.

Here is one sample:

In honor of his milestone, I've let Rime work the sheep twice this past week, for just a few minutes each time. He's doing okay! We've worked a large group of almost 40 head in order to keep things slow for him. Soon, he'll get his very own sheep dog lesson from our trainer. But until then, we'll just take it slow and steady and make sure he does not get too much of anything. I still have my "dos and don'ts" list from our trainer when Coal started to work not quite two years ago! How time flies when we are truly having fun.