Saturday, December 29, 2007

Jet's Day

Today was Jet's day to spend with her mom. My Friend Lynda was having a new year agility fun day and I decided to do something a little different and take Jet for the day. It has been a year and a half since Jet last did agility. Jet went into early retirement because of arthritis in her pasterns.

Jet was never particularly good at agility she was more in it for the social aspect. She loved it when people would shower her with attention and feed her treats. And today was no different. Everyone was very happy to see Jet out having fun.
Now a days Jet spends her time giving the other dogs their exercise. We call Jet our lure rabbit. She just loves to run and when she runs the border collies chase. She used to be the fastest of all the dogs but time is catching up with her and her arthritis is slowing her down. (she will be eight this year).

I would take her with me to herding trials now but I live in fear that she would get loose and end up on the field chasing sheep and we would never catch her. Jet loves her sheep.

So when I am off doing the sheepdog thing her and fox take care of things at home.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy New Year

Wanted to wish everyone a happy new year. I hope everyone had a good Christmas. I spent the week at my mom's place at Lacombe. We had a good Christmas. Really nice to sleep in the same building as the bathroom. The dogs especially love going to our Lacombe place because they get to go for long walks on the trails in the trees. Or what they like to call find the deer and scare the crap out of them. Then chase them until we can't see them anymore. We just got home yesterday and everything is still standing.

Good news is one of my foster puppies found a new home. They have been super pups. So easy to take care of and slept through the night from day one. I know the other dogs will not miss them when they are gone. I think they are tired of being tackled and chewed on.

The reconstruction of our house is suppose to start the first week of January. I have already picked out new kitchen cabinets and purchased them. Gotta love Ikea. You can plan, buy and build a new kitchen all in one day. Everything they need to rebuild is sitting in our shop just waiting to be installed.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tis the Season to help the less fortunate

In our house the less fortunate means the four legged kind. When I lived in Red Deer, I managed a pet store. we helped out Shauna at Misty Creek rescue when we could. When I heard that Shauna was over run with puppies and was desperate for foster homes over the holidays. I decided that we could help out. When I contacted the foster coordinator and explained how I knew Shauna and would like to help out by taking a couple of puppies. She knew just the right puppies for me. She had two border collie pups that were slated for euthanasia in the next day and the shelter had no room to take them in. I was more then happy to take them in. Kyle was adamant that we take both pups.

So I met with Shauna in Vulcan and picked up the pups.

Enter Earl and Eddie.

They are suppose to be 4 months old but I suspect they are a bit older. I also suspect that they have a little more then border collie in them. From what I know they have spent most of their lives at animal control in Taber. They are both over weight and out of shape.
Earl is the more " No you come to me" type of dog. He would rather sit on my feet then play with the dogs. Looks to much like work.
Eddie on the other hand is full of energy and ready to take on anything.
Finger crossed that my good deed goes unpunished.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Our tree

I was thinking that we need a little bit of Christmas since it is getting close.
So I decided that we needed a tree. What kind of tree do you get when you
are living in your holiday trailer and space is at a premium.

One just the right size for a Jack Russell.

This is Fox our resident house pet. I made her pose next to the tree and then she hid under the couch for 4 hours. I guess she is not the super model type.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Just like Little House on the Prairie

Remember watching episodes of Little House on the Prairie and just when you are thinking nothing else can go wrong it does. You know the one where Pa has a wagon rolled on top of him while Laura is saving a sack full of puppies from drowning in a lake. All the time Ma is at home saving the rest of the children from Scarlet fever or some other killer virus. They must have been some tired settlers by the end of the day.
Well sometimes I feel like I am living a little house episode. Of course when the ingall's family house burnt down I am sure they lived in a wagon or tent. When my house burnt we moved into our 30 ft holiday trailer with a microwave, high speed Internet and two satellite TVs.
I guess it is not so bad.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Another year older and wiser

This week we had two birthdays.

Isla in now three and Kipp is the ripe old age of two.

Can you tell they are happy to pose for their birthday picture. I was just thinking about the last time I took a birthday picture of Justice. I think he was about the same age of Isla. I am a bad mom.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Winter Wonderland..... yeah right!!!!!

So environment Canada says it is going to be the coldest winter in 15 years. How you ask am I going to get through it? A good strong case of denial denial. Also hearing Chinook rumors are good. " I hear it is going to be +10C on Monday"
It is hard to be optimistic when the snow keeps coming and the temperature keeps dropping.

Of course all the animals taking in stride. They don't seem to concerned as long as they have food water and shelter.

Did I mention food

Well I hope to go and work my dogs tomorrow. Also did you hear there is a Chinook coming in the next day or so. LOL

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Poor Kipp

Poor Kipp he has some built up "tension". Ok I am just going to say it "Sexual Tension" Isla is in standing heat and has been parading around two runs down from him and he just can't deal anymore. What is a dog to do?

I know first lets drag our bed out side and then I will tear the shit out of it. Stuffing everywhere. Yeah that will show them.
Then my silly mom gives me and new bed two days in a row. What a sucker.
Well I am a sucker no more. Today I went out and bought some big bones from the butcher
and he can use his teeth on them instead.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dog training advice from the man

I have been training and trialing my dogs for a while now. And in that time my husband Kyle has come to watch me trial once and only stayed to watch my dog grip. Then he gave me a kiss on the cheek and said "Good job honey, I need to go to work now". In fact some people question if he really exists. He watches me train even less. So it always surprises me when he gives me advice on how I should train.
For example just the other day I asked him to help me wean some of our lambs and move them to another pasture across the yard. So all was going well until we started to move them to the other pasture. I was using Isla and she was being a little over zealous. I would ask her to lie down and she would stay for a second and then keep on pushing. Then the lambs would take off. So kyle says "just get her to lie down and stay there" OH really. Pretty soon there are sheep everywhere with Isla in hot pursuit and me telling her to lie down. I went over and had a little discussion with her. And then Kyle say " I don't think you need to be so hard on her". That one I ignored.
Yesterday kyle was watching me work some of my dogs. When I came in the house he said "I know how you love it when I tell you how to train your dogs" I thought oh great hear it comes. Then he says "I was watching you work Kipp and it seems to me that if you just kept him off the sheep. Things would go better". Wow I should have thought of that.
So I have a plan. I am going to get him out to work a dog and he could see it is not as easy as it seems from his arm chair.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The ramblings of an empty nester

So Kyle is off to LasVegas for a guys trip and Justice is staying in town to hang out with his buddies. Too cool to hang out with his mom. So what to do?

I am having fun with dogs right now. Two girls in season and two boys who think they need to duel for their affection. Poor Kipp he is such a sensitive guy he always ends up getting his feelings hurt.

I start to clean up around the yard because is has been warm lately and you know what warm in November means is southern Alberta. WIND and when I say wind I mean like blow trucks off the road wind. So most of the neighbours trash ends up in our yard. As I am cleaning up the I start to noticed we are growing this weed that seemed to be everywhere and must be growing because I know I picked up mounds of it when we first moved here in July. What is this weed you ask? Baler Twine. I am not sure what people are thinking when they just leave twine on the ground. I am hear to tell you people please pick up your twine for my sanity.

What else to do? Hmmm

Watch Ghost Whisperer and no hockey or video games.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So you want to be a cattle farmer

As some of you know we are new to this cattle thing. Kyle grew up in the city and we had cattle growing up but strictly for training the horses. So when we decided to get into this cattle business with Kyle's dad Warren we thought he would lead us through it all. But two weeks after we bought the cattle Warren came to us and said he got a job offer he could not refuse in Dubai. I was thinking how are you going to fit all those cows on the airplane much less your apartment. Kyle did not think that was very funny. OK fine I can deal with some cows. All you have to do is make sure they have food and water right. How wrong was I. No No we are going to show them and breed them. Which means we have to calve them out to.

Summer goes fairly uneventful. We decide to put four of our cows and our bull Rascal into the first Canadian Lowline show at Farm Fair in November. Apparently you need to get all sorts of stuff to show cattle. Whatever! We decide to hire somebody to do all of that. Thank goodness for Murray. Murray says get a farm banner for you stalls OK easy. Well when we got there and set up the banner we looked like the trailer trash of the breed. I guess you are suppose to go all out. Below is our stalls and below that is Brian and Brenda's stall. Lesson learned for next year.

So the day of the show Kyle and I wondered around looking at the other cattle and how they set up their stalls. We both agreed the Simmental stalls were the best. I am not sure what I liked about it the best maybe it was the leather couches or the two 50in plasma TVs or maybe it was the log bar they had set up with the matching stools.
With all the people around the Simmental booth I thought that maybe Brad Pitt was in town again. Nope just lots of people talking about cattle.

After two days we learned lots and came out unharmed. In the end Rascal won grand champion bull and got to go to super Saturday and show with the big boys( I do mean that literaly). First Prize for super Saturday was a truck and trailer. But a lass the powers that be were not going to let a little Rascal beat out the Angus or heaven for bid the Simmental.

I took this picture of Rascal while he was waiting for his champion picture. He is standing next to a two year old charolais bull. ( Rascal is four) Not a great picture but shows you the size difference. I added a link to the Canadian lowline website if you would like to learn more about our little cattle. Stayed turned for what is sure to be fun calving in the spring.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Update Part 2

The trial season sped by. In September Penny and I made the trek to Solider Hollow Classic. We entered our dogs in the AHBA trial that runs in the field beside the open field. Had a great time even though it was super hot. My dogs Isla and Kipp both made it to the AHBA finals. I opted not to run Kipp in order to let a local person run in the finals. In the end Isla ended up in second place and we brought home a nice silver medal.(thanks to my friend Vicki Atkins for taking a pic with our medal). Coleen, Robin and their crew did a great job running this trial and I would recommend going if you get the chance. The big field was awesome to see. I would love to run my dogs on that hill. (Someday)

After Utah our trialing sort of went downhill. Isla decided she knows better than me and it was a challenge just to get around the course. We went to the Canadian Finals to run in the nursery. Didn't do much better there.

I had to come home early from the finals because our house caught on fire and we lost our kitchen. Kyle decided to turn on the dishwasher before he went to town for supper. When he got home the whole house was filled with smoke and all he could do was call 911. That brings you up to date. We are now living in our Holiday trailer till what looks like February. Our house has been gutted because of the severe smoke damage through out. The rebuilding is going to take some time.

Tomorrow we are off to Farm fair in Edmonton to watch our cattle at the show. We have a small herd of lowline cattle( a small version of black Angus). Below is a picture of our bull Rascal.(Kyle says he is going to win it all) Rascal is full grown and stands just above your waist.
I will let you all know how it goes. TTYL

Monday, November 5, 2007

getting you up to speed

OK, So I am going to get everyone up to date with us. In July we moved to a new place. We got tired of the neighbours complaining about our sheep and dogs. So we packed up and found our perfect place. 110 Acres all game fenced and ready for my sheep. The house is a small manufactured home that we plan on selling and building something bigger in a couple of years.

The first thing we needed was kennels for the dogs and we found an awesome building that worked out perfectly.It is 16ft wide by 14ft long. I managed to fit six runs in it and the dogs are very happy.

The next thing we did was to build some smaller pens. So I had somewhere to work some young dogs.

I have four Border Collies right now. Isla will be three in December and she is so full of her self right now. She started off with a bang this year get a qualifying leg for the USBCHA nursery finals. But never quite pulled it together to get a second.
(sorry Jenny we would have loved to be there with you and Laddie)
My number two dog is Kipp. My great hope for the future(no pressure). Kipp will be two in December and will be my Nursery dog for next year. We really have our work cut out for us this winter. We are going to the finals this year come hell or high water.
I guess Dru would be number three. She is almost 15months and still trying to figure out this game. She is a little on the soft side and heavy on the pouty side.I swear my next dog will be a male. Some days I would much rather work Kipp than argue with the girls. They can just be so bitchy. I also have a 18 month old little red dog I am putting some training on and then plan to sell her.
Last but certainly not least is the two honorary pets Jet and Fox. Jet my retired agility dog and Fox is our token little dog JRT. Fox lives in the house with us and Jet is there to make the other border collies run faster.
Stay turned for more updates. It get better I promise. Her is a hint it has to do with Kyle doing the dishes and the fire department.

First Entry

Ok, So I saw Jenny Glen's new blog and thought it was cool so I decided to try it out for myself.
I also want to get on her favorite Blog people list. hint hint.