Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012


Zack sends his greetings from Florida!

Here is that handsome fellow again

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Ok so it is Sunday night and not Thursday, but things are as busy as ever and I'm just getting around to Tell Me Thursday.  I work, and then there was a sheepdog trial that I was the secretary and course director for, both of which opened up nuances of thought that I had never considered, despite all these years of watching and participating in sheepdog trials (but having never been secretary or course director before). Who knew? But that is probably the topic of another blog post. And then today there was buying and unloading hay and catching up with friends, working dogs who either sat home or sat in a crate in the car yesterday, and the dreaded yard work. So there goes the weekend; I wish I had President's Day off work tomorrow, but alas, I don't. 

The sheepdog trial on Saturday seemed to go really well; it was a small local club show with Nursery, Pro-Novice, and Novice-Novice classes. My dogs did not run since we don't fit any of those classes right now. It was fun for me to just work the trial and make it happen for other people. A few of us were remembering our first few runs in Novice-Novice and how scary that was...and it made it nice to be able to provide a good experience for people who are in Nov-Nov now. We had 20 runs available and we had a waiting list. The trial could have filled at least half-again with P-N and N -N runs if we'd had enough sheep. The interest in the area for Nov-Nov and Pro-Nov is huge; and our Nursery class had 6 dogs...and none of them were just "go-to-the-post-to-make-the-nursery-class" dogs either.  The class winner is now qualified for the 2012 National Finals! Woo-hoo! Results are available on and there are some nifty photos that I took of happy people with ribbons and a great judge to boot!

Anyway back to TMT!

1. Jorgen would like to know what skill would you like to have that you don't currently have?
2. If someone were going to play you in a movie, who do you think it would be?
3. Kelsey wants to know what is a quality that you admire in a dog but would never fit with you?
4. If you had just enough money to pay someone to do one chore for you, what would it be?
5. Are you a procrastinator, a doitnower (I made that word up), or something in between?

1. I would like to have the skill to not procrastinate (I did read ahead!). 
I would also like to be able to drive  a quad bike. I got to drive a really cool farm vehicle (don't know what to call it but it was not a quad bike, it was bigger, and it had a full seat for a second person who was brave enough to ride with me, and a place in the back to haul all kinds of neat stuff) this weekend, My Queen For A Day experience at the trial and man was that fun. I guess I will have to get lessons on a quad bike. 

2. I would pity the poor person who had to play me in a movie however since Meryl Streep seems able to play just about anyone in a movie I guess I would just dream really big and pick her. 

3. Number 3 is hard since I have had limited number of dogs. I know that there are dogs who fit really well with the top players in this activity that I do...and there are dogs who fit really well with me. I think I have had a couple of both and some probably should have gone to one of the top players instead of me but that's the way it worked out.  I hope that I get the opportunity to work with at least a couple of more dogs in my lifetime so that I can discover a few more nuances in the dogs that come my way and learn to work with them. It is a journey. 

4. Definitely help to keep my house up and the yard. It would be a toss up between house and yard but probably someone who could do some of each. I get weary of both. 

5. I am mostly a procrastinator but occasionally I just jump in and say let's do it folks! You have to watch me like a hawk because I get enthusiastic and slip into that mode at times. 

Well for those of you with a Monday holiday -- enjoy!!! And think of we poor folks who will be having a nice easy commute into work and no possibility of bills in the mailbox.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spring is Just Around the Corner...

Entries open by postmark tomorrow for both the Sonoma Wine Country Sheepdog Trial and the Zamora Hills Sheepdog Trial. Whoa. That is a lot to say in one sentence.

This is what we did last year at the Sonoma Wine Country Sheepdog Trial:

While I am hoping for more rain in our area this winter, we really would not like to repeat the experience of clearing Calistoga Road of fallen trees early on a Sunday morning so that the "show (trial) can go on..."...

It is exciting to think that spring is just around the corner, however, and dropping those entries into the mailbox has become an annual ritual for me. I have spectated, volunteered, and/or handled (or a combination of the three) at all of the Sonoma Wine Country trials since I have been out here in California since spring of 1997 (with the exception of the one year it went on hiatus during that time). It was a personal goal achieved to send in my first entry, with Bid, for Pro-Novice. It was another huge goal achieved, to enter with Coal last year in Open. It was a huge goal achieved to get a score- not a big one - but to get a score - in 2011! Woohoo! Here we are (below) at the pen on the hill course. My goodness -- we made it to the pen. Yowzer!

Coal and moi on the hill course Sunday, 2011 Sonoma Wine Country Sheepdog Trial
We also got scores at Zamora Hills. I was so excited that my little black dog was bringing me the sheep from that huge outrun on the hills that I nearly forgot to handle the fetch and post turn. From there on it was just gravy. This year I hope to have more of my wits about me. Bring it on! ;-)

Here's hoping the weekends surrounding St Patrick's Day will be the best yet!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Story Behind the Herding Rabbit

Here is the story behind the herding rabbit video that has gone viral lately. Cute!



This author event yesterday at Copperfield's Books in Santa Rosa was a really fun event for me. It was such a great opportunity to re-connect with former office mates and co-workers from my first job in Santa Rosa. My former manager Frederick Weisel is now a published author of a mystery novel, "Teller", which is set in Sonoma County.

All of the graphic design for the website and all the promotional materials (not to mention the book cover and posters) were created by one of the friends from the former office, as well.

Proof that all writers speak with their hands!
It was a very enjoyable afternoon!

Friday, February 10, 2012

TMT 2012 #6

This week's questions:

1. Robin wants to know what your ideal number of dogs is?
2. Lora wants to know if you find that your dogs are better or worse after time off from training? 
3. What is your favorite power tool? What power tool do you wish you had? 
4. What did you want to be when you grew up? 
5. How many of your friends are not "dog people"? 

1. Ideal number of dogs...hummm...a tough question... the ultimate ideal number of dogs is two if they are both of an age to compete in whatever it is one likes to compete in; and one boy, one girl works really well also. It was wonderful, having my Alix and Augie get along so well and be able to compete in the many things I was doing at the time. But as we all know that doesn't last forever, so eventually if you want to continue to participate you have to get another dog.  Right now I have three. I love having three and that is probably max for my budget. And three dogs fit into the Nitro. I would really love to have a second dog to trial in Open but that is not happening for me right now. It's a long-term goal.  I have had four dogs in the past but at that time, two of them were seniors. 

2. I am going to find out the answer to #2! My dogs have sort of been on hiatus due to winter, darkness, and lameness. Coal has worked sporadically all along doing chores but not much big stuff. Ryme has been laid off since early November. We are just now getting "back in the saddle" so to speak. I am hoping that the layoff will have indeed helped Ryme to maintain a cooler head. We shall see...I do know that when we are preparing to trial that Coal needs work almost every day. Coal is a merry little fellow but oh does he need to work. Not only for his mind, but for his body. During December-January when we worked the least, Coal's cobby little body turned into a bowl of Post Toasties that our chiropractor had to work hard to put back to rights. He turns himself inside out all the time when he is not worked. Since we have been back to working, this week's chiropractor monthly visit showed Coal to be in great shape. Yes! And Ryme got greenlighted to go back to activity, as well. Celebrations all around!

3. Power tools. I have few to none. I know I could not maintain my yard without the mower, chain saw and blower/cruncher thingie. I would love to have a hedge trimmer thingie, power washer, cordless drill, a work light or two, etc. Just a nice set of basic tools, power or not. It's pretty slim pickin's here in the old garage.

4. What did I want to be when I grew up? I have no idea! I am not sure I had figured out how that was going to work. Clearly I did not dream of being a utilities analyst. Probably I dreamed of being the author of The Black Stallion or Lassie. 

5. How many friends are not dog people? A few...mostly friends from various former employment situations.  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Goodbye Meg

Goodbye, Meg...Bid's sister. It's difficult to pick just a picture or two, because Meg's "mom" is such a great photographer. I have chosen just a few... Meg -- I hope you are running pain-free now!

And now there are two remaining: Zack and Jess.



Gone on before them: Bid and Maggie, in the same week, May 2009.


Monday, February 6, 2012

RESDA Annual Meeting 2012

Saturday was the RESDA (Redwood Empire Sheepdog Association) Annual Meeting in Santa Rosa. Members attend this meeting once a year (or send a proxy to a Board member) in order to set up committee assignments, to be in the running for the year-end high point trophy, and to set the trial schedule for the year. Judges' assignments are drawn out of a hat for the season, plans are made, issues are ironed out. Sometimes the meeting goes on for several hours because there is just a heck of a lot of ground to cover in one session. This year was no exception, but the overall mood was cooperative. Lots of good discussion was carried out and compromises were made. There were some new members attending their first year of RESDA events, and there were some treasured handlers in attendance who have been loyal club members for forty years or more, and everything inbetween. The RESDA club dates back to 1947.

The 2012 RESDA schedule is posted. 

Hope to see everyone at the Fairs and the other trials.

Shutting the pen gate with Coal at the Mendocino Fair eliminations trial, 2011 (photo by T. Tucker)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

On the Soapbox Again

While it's doubtful that too many One For The Book readers live in Hawaii, this topic bears mentioning. If you've been a reader for a while you might recall a couple of nasty pieces of legislation (that were defeated before passage, thank goodness) in the California legislature a few years back that would have required basically mandatory spay-neuter of dogs and cats. And you might recall that this blog was one of the places where you found lots of opposition to those proposals.

Well I'm back on the soapbox. Again. Peggy over at AHBA has reminded us that the efforts to put MSN in place all over the US, yes even in Paradise (Hawaii) have not stopped.  There is a piece of bad legislation awaiting consideration in Hawaii that would require sterilization of any dog or cat that is sold or given away. Think about that and the reality of it. Yes Hawaii has limited land and resources and none of us is in favor of over population of dogs and cats but total extinction of dogs as domestic animals, is simply not acceptable.

Opposition to MSN can create strange bedfellows, as well. While you won't find many favorable references to AKC on my blog here is a link to the best article I could find about this Hawaii thing.

Hawaii SB2504 Would Outlaw Sale of Any Unsterilized Dog

The Hawaii Senate Committee considering this proposal meets on Tuesday February 7th. If you live in Hawaii, consider voicing your opposition on Monday. Or even today. What I learned about opposing those bills in California is that the Senators' fax machines work all weekend until they get jammed. Jamming them with hundreds of opposition letters might not be a bad thing...and if you don't live in Hawaii be prepared to fight this fight in your own state because I guarantee it has not gone away.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tell Me Saturday

Thus far One For The Book has not jumped on the Tell Me Thursday bandwagon...however, I have read with interest many of the posts that others write on their blogs in response. Last week's questions about choosing a dog trainer, etc. intrigued me (maybe I will go back and answer those later). One of my goals for 2012 is to write more, so maybe I will use this as excuse to get on the blog more. In the winter time, non-trialling season, sometimes there is just not much to blog about. Work for pay is really busy, for which I am grateful, but that means gratuitous computer time often gets shoved onto the weekends with everything else like buying hay, feeding sheep, trying to work dogs, and oh yeah that pesky house keeping stuff.

With the best of intentions , we begin with the questions from the past Thursday:

1. Julie would like to know one frugal tip this week.

It's really a small savings but I recently downsized my garbage container. It will save me just under $6 a month on my city utility bill and every little bit helps.  In California we have strict regulations about cities reducing the amount of garbage that is landfilled, on an increasingly stringent schedule; most waste now and in the future, must be recycled. I have a HUGE recycle container and now, a really teeny-tiny garbage cart. The only time it will be difficult is when we shear the sheep but we'll figure a workaround there for the waste wool.  I called the local trash/recycle pickup provider and the deed was done to downsize the can in just a few minutes with a pleasant man on the phone -- who while I was on the line discovered that my account has been in the wrong name for years. Unfortunately I had still been receiving the utility bill just fine all along -- oh well. Two things fixed up for one phone call - yes! 

2. What are you reading this week?

I don't have much time to read. But the book I was given for my recent birthday by The Big Brother is called "Half Broke Horses" by Jeannette Walls. Whenever time allows, that is what I will be picking up.  He recommends it very highly. I have a wish list on Amazon and it includes many titles of books and DVDs that I want.

3. Barbara wants to know: do you hit the snooze button on the alarm clock, and if so how many times?

Yes, at least once, when I am really naughty, twice. The clock radio is tuned to KDFC in San Francisco.

4. If you had to travel in a sedan (or if you already drive a sedan type car) and you had five or six dogs, how would you handle it?

If the back seat folded down at all in the proposed sedan (some of them do) I might do that. Five or six dogs makes it pretty difficult, depending on their sizes. I have three dogs and that is hard enough at times.  If five or six had to all go at once I'm afraid it would be a free-for-all in the back seat of the sedan, and whoever is lowest on the totem pole, riding shotgun in front so that he didn't get picked on.  In my little red car (Dodge Nitro) I have three crates for border collies. But that leaves no room for anything else; trips get a little interesting.  

I have not had a sedan in years. That's just life with dogs.

5. How much do you filter what you put on your own blog?

A lot. I don't name most of the people's names although I always give other photographer's credits, or at least I try to. I don't blog about many things because they are private, or else they involve people who are intensely much more private than I am. I try to respect that. I do post photos of public events sometimes, like local sheepdog trials and workdays and such...when I can remember to bring my camera and actually get it out of the vehicle and use it.  But yeah my blog is very filtered -- so be it -- as others have stated, it's my blog and I'm stickin' to that. ;-)