Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

Ryme says he is ready for Halloween!

I like these smiley guys as they are cheery and happy... something we all can use right now.

Spot says I think I like this holiday thing? But I need to know more...much more...

Spot is ready for Halloween! (whatever that is, he says...)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Great Workday!

We were fortunate to go to a fantastic workday up in Mendocino County last weekend. Sponsored by RESDA and the ranch owner, we were treated to a 100 acre field to work in, as well as a 6 acre field, and as many lovely fresh Dorper lambs and yearlings as we wanted to have sorted out for us. The pastures were lovely hayed fields, with trees and a ditch providing some terrain to an otherwise level landscape. I felt like I was on a true holiday for the day! It was so nice to break out of the routine.

Coal worked well and I was so pleased. It was a great way to lead up to the two trials that we are entered in. To be able to stretch him out on the big field was surely a gift for which I am very grateful!

First we did a long outrun with the sheep held for us. Coal ran out well and found the sheep with no problem. The lambs were getting hot and hard to move so after our fetch I decided to quit trying to drive them and just practiced some flanks.

Coal also spotted sheep for a friend's young dog in the 6-acre pasture, to help get her used to picking up sheep off of a stock handler. The young dog is coming along, almost three, and finding her way in things. Super to see!

Later we decided to set up a double lift scenario for another handler and I wanted to do that, too. First the other handler, who is much more experienced, showed us how it was done. We had enough friends with working dogs to have two packets of sheep held for us in opposite corners of the 100 acre pasture. Such luxury! My friend's dog nailed the double gather (she has done them in competition before) and treated us to a fabulous display of working dog and handler partnership.

The stock handlers were not too tired to hold sheep again so after the group was split back into two groups, they were taken out to their respective spots to be held for Coal and me. I can't even say how fun this was because I was on Cloud 9 the whole time.

Coal was really focused on packet of sheep #2; unfortunately they were spotted in the exact place where he had done his morning outrun. He did not see packet of sheep #1 off to our left. But with some help and whistles and stop and re-sends, he got out there, which I took as a great chance to show him that he can believe me when I send him somewhere for sheep. The turnback was done with a couple of whistles and the second packet fetched into home base with no issues. This was only the third time that Coal has had this scenario "set up" for him with two stock handlers and the whole bit. To say I was very pleased was an understatement.

Everyone else seemed to get in good work with their dogs and accomplish much of what they came to the work day to do. The ranch hostess provided us with ideal scenarios in which to work our dogs and one could not possibly ask for anything more! It was just fabulous and I am hoping we get to go there and work again. I feel very fortunate that I've had a couple of other chances as well, to stretch Coal out and work with him prior to the two trials that we are entered in.

As for the other dogs, I've been working Ryme as if he were going to trial, even though he is not (at least for now). If I don't then his work starts to fall apart. Spot's training sessions have kind of gone on hold although I have worked with him a couple of times per week, lately. I think once these trials are over then I will start anew with Spot.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lamb with Cranberry Treats

The boys have been asked once again to sample some Fromm dog treats from This time Chewy sent us some Fromm Lamb with Cranberry Recipe treats for dogs.

As usual Ryme spit his out the first time (as he does with anything new) but once he'd had a chance to check these out, he liked these treats (but not as much as his favorite Milk Bones - ugh!). The other boys really liked these Fromm treats. Normally they each get one when they go into their crates at night. They "put themselves to bed" knowing that a goodie is on its way!

Chewy has been very nice to work with on this sample tasting program. The boys have had a chance to try out some different things that I might not have purchased otherwise.

Some of the dog folks have not yet heard about how great the Fromm products are, in general, so it gives me a chance to say how pleased I am with their products! We use several of their dog food choices including the Classic (which is a chicken and rice dry dog food), the Gold (their mid-level food which is very good and the ingredient list starts off with duck and chicken I believe) and recently I tried Chiefie on the Pork and Applesauce from their Four-Star line. I have been happy with any of the Fromm products that we have tried this year. Fromm has a large variety of choices as far as protein bases, grain or no grain, and so forth. It's a family owned company that manufactures its own products. Highly recommended. If you like to order your pet products, Chewy's service is very good too and they carry almost everything.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

One Foot...

.... in front of the how it seems the past few weeks and months...

Chiefie turned twelve on Saturday - his birthday is October 5th. He did not get a birthday party but we enjoyed having a weekend together. He is just the best dog...the last of the dogs remaining from when my folks were alive; he was my mother's favorite of my dogs, as he would sit with her by the hour while she patted him on the head. He never lost interest in her and she loved to find animal shows on television that would make him interact with the TV. PBS nature shows, African safaris, sheepdog trials, they were all the same to those two! Chiefie has made me a lot of friends and he seems to have his own little fan club. Rock on Chiefie! We love ya...

This is an old photo but I have always liked the connection that it shows between us. Ah for some green grass, I say!

Coal and I are still chipping away at his work for the Open. We are now entered in two trials. It is so frustrating that all the trials in our area occur on back to back weekends in late October/November. There is no chance to go to all of them due to money and time off work constraints. But I am trying to tell myself that I am grateful to go to a couple of them. I just wanna run... I hope Coal and I will be up to the task. His attitude is good. I have to work on mine!

Just putting the work in, on Ryme. I am insisting that he do proper work even though he is not going to trial. It's good for me to work another dog, even if he just does farm work. In between farm chores I try to take him out at least once a week just for that he gets a training/work session where I pay full attention to his work and not just which sheep we are sorting. When money allows, Ryme will get "tutored" but it's expensive, like everything else. Sigh.

Spot is now about 13 1/2 months. Coal is smaller but Spot is sort of Coal's mini me.

The National Finals has started so it's hard not to stay glued to updates of the scores. It will be a long week, with one foot in front of the other.......