Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunny Sunday; Rainy Forecast

Today was nice and sunny and I soaked it up like some sort of lizard. Coal and Rime and I had really good lessons today. Coal did really big-boy work, and is looking very good on all of his outwork and drives. Our only real challenging area right now is the shed so I just have to keep working at it and not get frustrated. Rime hasn't had as much practice as I would have liked (due to three weeks of rain and mud) and we were a bit helter-skelter. Rime will be 14 months old, next weekend, and is of course quite enthusiastic. He shows really nice moves when I am not interfering with him. He also got to start driving today, just one step at a time, which was a thrill. I have to get calmer in my training management of Rime (and in shedding with Coal). I think it's time to go back and re-read my old favorite book, "That Winning Feeling".

Oh and it's supposed to rain every day this upcoming week, which is not helping my winning feeling!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rough Couple of Weeks

It's been a rough couple of weeks, weather-wise and for other reasons. Today was nice and sunny so we got a chance to dry out a little bit. At one field, it's not too bad for working dogs but at the other, the mud is so awful that it's hardly worth trying. I hope that all this rain is taking "drought" out of everyone's vocabulary for a while.

Coal and Rime have not been trained much as a result  of the rain and the mud, and Chiefie has missed most of the social-dog outings down at the park. We are just in a winter holding pattern, it seems.

I am just crossing fingers that the weather holds so we can have our sheepdog training lesson tomorrow. Stay warm and dry everyone!

Missing Man Formation

One of the very special "one for the book" team members has said his goodbyes...walk on, Duffy.

It is an appropriate time to re-read the Mother of All Sheep Stories in his honor.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Over 2000

Wow, there have been over 2,000 U.S. visits here according to the little flag counter thingie. I'd better write something interesting or at least post some nice doggie photos! ;-)

Thanks, everyone!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Too Much Rain

We've had way too much rain all at once over the past three or four days! Blurry photos taken with my phone at one of our sheep fields this evening...dumb motorists driving through a flooded road and getting stuck.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wild Weather; Mild Report

Lately, there hasn't been much to report. Given what is going on around the world, I have absolutely no problems and am very thankful to be so fortunate. Yesterday the forecasted winter storms started, with lots of rain and wind. We truly need the rain, however, I would prefer that it would rain without the big storms. It looks like I will not get my wish this week. Lots of places are under standing water. Here's hoping the rest of this week is not too bad.

Luckily there have been breaks inbetween storms so that we can still check sheep and work dogs. We're chipping away at assignments from our lessons weekend before last. I don't make a lot of progress during the work week, although tonight I worked with both Coal and Rime in the mud fest because it wasn't raining. Tomorrow evening it could be pouring, so I thought "why not"? After pulling a screaming lamb out of the fence where she had her head stuck through, Coal and I worked on our shedding. Then Rime and I worked on his little gathers; he didn't want to stop very well tonight, but on the good side he is getting more of a cast to his work, for lack of a better term. Some forward progress, some back, but I am glad to have the chance to work even for five minutes with each dog on a weeknight.

The Zamora running orders are out, and Coal and I are on the list for Pro-Novice. So, the countdown begins for that February trial, giving us something additional to gear up for.

Stay warm and dry, all. It is not so bad to not have much to report.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Make It Your Destination

Yesterday on Sirius radio the announcer (can't really call them "DJ"s anymore now can we?) made a comment that intrigued me. He was introducing a number by a performer who had evidently switched musical genres from "pop" (ballads, Great American Songbook, and that style) into strictly jazz. The way the announcer phrased the sentence really caught my attention. Too bad I wasn't able to write it down verbatim, but he said something like "before (performer's name) made it his destination to pursue solely jazz, he recorded this "...and then played the song. I really liked the idea of making something worthwhile that we pursue our destination.

Come Bye - Horse & Country TV

There are some really nice sheepdog trial videos at the British TV site, Horse & Country. You can watch the Irish Nationals and more. Check it out! There are several episodes of "Come Bye"...I have only started watching one of them but they look good. Enjoy!

Monday, January 11, 2010

20th Anniversary

I realized a short time back that 2010 would represent my "20th Year Anniversary" with Border Collies.  Back in 1990 I brought home a seven-week-old black and white female pup, who I named "Alix" and life changed forever. I was a horse person at the time and wanted a truck dog and companion, however, I was certainly in for a surprise. This would probably make a good story for me to write about in my blog. Stay tuned. Below is a picture of Roxy, Alix's mom. Roxy was always one of my very favorite border collies. She has been gone a long time but lives on in many people's hearts as one special girl.

Thanks to the dear readers for the votes of confidence.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


So tonight I watched the movie, "Julie & Julia", which is about Julia Child and blogging, among other things, especially cooking and wonderful relationships between friends and partners. The movie was cute and well done and certainly worth renting. But, it really makes a person think about what he or she puts in a blog!

I started this blog because I wanted to write more, and have a place to share photos and stories. It certainly never entered my mind that it could be considered narcissistic. I'll have to think more about this particular angle because it has been mentioned now in several different contexts.
That's all until later!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Rime is Almost Thirteen Months

Rime is almost thirteen months old, and we have had two real lessons together with our instructor. So, thanks to the kindness of a friend to "film" us, here is some video of us working with the sheep today, as well as a few still photos.


Friday, January 1, 2010

A Shepherd Story

Here is a short story about a shepherd on a holy night, by Heywood Broun, that I enjoyed reading. Broun was a 1930s era writer/reporter.

Thanks to my Facebook friend Richard, for posting the link this morning.