Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas in the snow

I arrived at my mom's yesterday to spend the holidays. The dogs are so happy to see almost two feet more snow than we have at home. So I did the obligatory torture photo session.

Craig is growing up so handsome

Bracken is her mom through and through

The group photo did not work out so well. The pups are so hard to get set up. Instead they would rather do this.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Worlds best cat

I am not a cat lover. Never have been never will be. Have you ever noticed how cats gravitate to the person who detests them the most. I am finding out that cats are a necessary evil when it comes to living in the country. The first year we lived here we battled off the mice but slowly year by year we have been losing ground. Finally we decided it was time to get a cat for the shop. Mostly because the mice were eating the dog food faster then the dogs were. What we needed was a cat that was wild as F***. Our neighbour got word we were looking for wild cats so he trapped one for us. Even though this was a barn cat he wanted him to go to a good home. He trapped the cat and brought it over, set it free in the shop and it was a streak of fur. I never even noticed the color or nothing. Kyle and I set out food and a litter box and checked it weekly. After a couple weeks of seeing no cat and the food still being there. We started to think the cat had just gotten out one of the doors and ran away. In the meantime the neighbour was phoning every week asking how the cat was doing. I responded "It's the perfect cat it's like he is not even here". I had resigned myself to the fact the cat was gone and we just weren't meant to have a cat. We would have to go back to trapping and poisoning the mice. Then about two months into the missing cat saga I went into the shop and was almost knocked down by a fly by cat. Kyle and I were both in shock that the cat could have been there the whole time. A very wise cat friend of mine said he was probably out of food that is why we saw him. Sure enough no food and a full litter box. We had stopped checking after a month of no sightings. I now know where he hides as does the dogs.

Here is a pic of his hiding spot.
If you look close he/she is not very good at hiding half his body sticks out.

If you move the plywood you can see him/her

None to please with being on the blog.

The good news is most of the mice have been dealt with and I think we have a very fat cat.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Be still my beating heart

Looks at little dark but who cares it's Russell Crowe. I would have picked different Maid Marian.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What else are you doing you ask

I know you are all tired of my snow moving escapades. I thought I would share what I am doing with the rest of my time. I am reliving my youth.

I bought super Mario brothers for Wii. I have played every moment of down time since the cold snap hit almost two weeks ago. My thumb has gone numb. I have a sore on one finger from the controller. Sometimes family and dogs have gone hungry because I am sitting in the dark playing Wii. Why the dark? Because I started playing when the sun was up and can't be bothered to pause the game to turn on the lights.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

As requested

Many of you asked to see a picture of the skid steer. Some other questions you had, yes it has heat. The heater is really good I am always turning it down. It also has air conditioning. Although thing would have gone terribly wrong if I was moving snow with the air conditioning on. The other thing that goes along with the Skid steer is my ipod. I usually move snow until my ipod battery is dead, I am out of gas, or I am hungry.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My new addiction

Kyle has certainly created a monster with my birthday present. The OCD in me really comes out when I am moving snow. Things have to be just in the right spot. I am getting really good at driving the Skid Steer. We have giant piles of snow everywhere.

Moving snow comes with some casualties as well.

Whoops!! Did you know there are no rear view mirrors on a skid steer.

All the animals are happy to be dug out just in time for round two. We here there is snow and wind coming again this weekend.
I am not without my talents. I found out I am gifted at snow sculpture.

I still have one big task to finish. The arena.

However my Skid Steer is DOA this afternoon with a flat tire.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Half time show for the snow storm

I never listen to the weather mostly because in Alberta the weather forecast changes every ten minutes. Well not this time we were told to batten down the hatches. Kyle put up extra straw bales for wind breaks and I brought my sheep home from Jerry's. One thing Kyle neglected to do was put the bucket on my skid steer. Hard to move snow when you have no bucket. Even harder to get out of the shop when the door is covered with a ten foot drift. When you have no trees to stop the wind all the snow collect behind whatever is in it's way. Luckily I had plugged one of the tractors in last night. After the Skid steer was freed from the clutches of the shop I spent the rest of the morning rescuing our cattle from being trapped behind drifts.As a side note all of these pictures were taken with my blackberry. My camera seems to have died. Yeah for me. New camera for Christmas.

There is about 20 sheep in here somewhere.

This year I put up snow fence on the north side of my outdoor arena in an effort to stop the snow from filling it up. Well for those of you that know what a fail is this is a snow fence fail.

The arena is 100 x 200 and the fence is 4.5 feet tall. All of it half full of snow. My round pen didn't fair much better.

Looks like I am going to be digging out for a couple of days before I do anymore working of dogs.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's Here

Yes, boys and girls winter is upon us.
Tis the season for three layers of clothing and bringing in the dogs in at night. Also the season for donuts in parking lots. That's right you guessed it my baby boy had his first run in (that I know of) with the police. Saturday night I received a call from the local police saying if this was what my son was up to he didn't want any of it in his town. $402 stunting ticket later. Luckily he has been saving up to buy stuff for his truck so he has some cash lying around. He was out looking for job after school today.
Not sure where time has gone. All his shenanigans is making me feel really old. In fact I think I saw some grey hair tonight. Which reminds me to pick up my two cases of wine.
Not much else going on around here. Snow on the ground and probably here to stay.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We got home last night just in the nick of time. Woke up this morning to a blizzard.
Lost my phone charger somewhere in Regina. Left my camera in Judy's jeep. Just wanted to let you all know Dennis Edward from Sundance, Wyoming won the finals. Dennis is too funny very enthusiastic out of course. As I said earlier his mission impossible moves are amazing.
tomorrow I am being invaded by 4-H kids to learn all about herding dogs.
Should be a fun day snow and all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh Agribition

We are in Regina. This is my first time to Agribition. All I can say is the sheep were great. The first go Isla and me got 1:28 and placed 11th. That's how fast the times were. Second run was not to be the sheep had figured out where the out gate was. Isla ran good and tried her best. Our time was 3:30. Second go fastest time was 1:00. Top five scores were under 1:15. So much fun. Instead of going out hoping to finish the course and not grip off you had to go out and figure out how to shave ten seconds off your time.
My favorite moment was the last run of the second go. Dennis Edwards of Sundance, Wyoming. He had a smokin good run going. As he was closing the pen he tripped and did a mission impossible roll. Really needed to be on video.
Top five runs went to the finals tonight at that rodeo. All five runs had combined times for to runs under 2:49. Crazy fast. No word yet as to who won.
Just heard a snow storm is on the way for Friday so we may go home tomorrow to miss it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New players in our game

A couple of weeks ago I went out and bought myself some more sheep. I brought home 15 Suffolk and Suffolk/cheviot ewes.

I have owned Katahdins ever since I first got sheep. Easy to care for no shearing required. In doing so my dogs have never learned how to push into pressure and know that it is OK. My Katahdins are like deer. I leave the house and they are already running for a corner of some far away field. I do alot of all breed lessons as well. My sheep have just learned if I am coming outside nothing good can come from it. The new sheep are strictly for me and my dogs to work. Maybe some friends. But they have to pass a prerequisite first. LOL
I love my new sheep. They are cute and don't care what I am doing. So far they blow Isla's mind. She has to get right in their faces to move them. She is learning to enjoy it. A bad side effect is that when it comes to moving the hair sheep she is crazy pushy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

pigs fly alright

I am self diagnosing myself. Yes it is swine flu based on my symptoms. Thankfully I am mostly over it. Just a bad cough and chest congestion left. But have heard rumors of relapses when you start feeling better. Unfortunately my partner in crime Lisa got it much worse than me.

I think these pigs look far too happy to have swine flu.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Better than expected

Got back Wednesday night only to wake up Thursday morning with a bad cold/flu. Lisa went home Tuesday feeling sick and now she is face down on her couch.
The trial went better than expected. After my blog about not being good at arena trials Isla and I seemed to get it together. The first day we had a great run and ended up 5th. The second day we had a tough set and didn't get the pen. The sheep were tough. One minute they were heavy and the next they ran like deer in every different direction. Isla handled them well. We made it into the finals and I swear had the same set as the second go. I think we ended up around 7th out of 10. Happy with Isla she worked her butt off and did everything I asked. The funny thing about having a colored dog is when the do bad they stand out and when they do good they stand out. I had people for two days coming up to me telling me what a great dog I had. One guy even offered to buy her for lots of money. I told him she was not for sale.
Rob was a different story. This first run I couldn't get his over flanking or the not stopping under control so I retired. The second day he ran to the top lied down and wouldn't get up. So I retired from that run too. I am disappointed with his effort. He is such a puzzle to me sometimes.

Now I am off to bed to rest up.

Monday, November 9, 2009

On the road

My plan was to come up with a very clever blog before I left for the dog trial this morning. Well true to form I let time get away from me this morning. I was on the phone to long and then my phone wouldn't stop ringing.
I am currently on a stop over at my mom's on my way to the Edmonton trial. Farm Fair is a fun trial. It runs in conjunction with the Canadian Finals Rodeo. Which means lots of cowboys.
We are hoping to do better than last year. I know arena trials get a lot of flack for not being real dog trails. But let me tell you it takes a certain amount of finesse. I have yet to find that finesse.
What I am really nervous about is leaving Justice home by himself for two nights and three days. He really only has two dogs to look after. When I was his age I was home by myself and looking after the farm.
That is it for now. I am trying to write and my mom won't stop talking to me. Making it very hard to concentrate. Oh! Note to my other critics my mom is now telling me about my spelling and grammar errors on my blog.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Urban legand or Gaurdian Dog?

Some time back I was having problems with what I thought was the neighbours dogs getting in with my sheep. One time Kyle raced out there the chase it off. I was on the deck watching through binoculars. The sheep were certainly not running away like it was a dog. They would run for a second and then turn around and look at what ever was following them. What I saw looked like a small dog maybe Carin Terrier size and color or a pig size. I thought to my self oh great our totally useless Meat Head Team Roper of a neighbour got another dog. Just what he needs. The three he already has jump out of the ditch in front of your vehicle as you are passing his house. About scares the bejesus out of you. By the time Kyle gets out to the sheep it is gone.
Early in September I got a call from the good neighbour saying our pig must have got out and it was chasing the cows. Funny I said we don't have a pig. Thinking back to two months earlier I remembered the little dog chasing my sheep. I asked Ken if he was sure it wasn't a Terrier type dog. "NO NO It's a pig" Then I said Meat Head must be collecting pigs now. Poor Ken that was the last thing he needed to hear. You see Ken and Meat Head share a fence line and are mortal enemies.
This week Jerry and I headed out to the back pasture to sort out some fresh sheep. I sent Isla out to bring the sheep. Jerry says " What the heck is that. A dog." It was chasing Isla on her outrun. It was on the other side of the fence. I called Isla off and we jumped in the Ranger to go and chase the Dog! off. We found this!

Meet my new Guardian Dog! He is mostly a parameter kind of working dog.
As we walked up to the fence he was happily waggin his tail. Still not sure who he belongs to. I refuse the phone Meat Head and ask him if the pig belongs to him. I was totally ready to keep him as a pet and Jerry was totally ready to cook him for supper.

Here he is working the parameter.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday morning scenes from my deck

I can't wait to build a new house and see the mountains this every morning from my bedroom window.

I really wished I had a wide angle lens for these pics.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The monster I have created

Now that Bracken has been shown what her true mission is life is there is no stopping her. Not even our 2000lbs Angus bulls. Last week I was pretty sure she was going to die. We were just finishing our morning walk and we had to walk past the bull pasture. Which has never been a problem in the past. This day the bulls were standing next to the fence and Bracken decided they should be moved. Imagine this image but little 8 month old sprightly Bracken on the nose of our bull.

Disclaimer: this is not Bracken just a pic I took off the Internet. But this is exactly what it looked like.
Scary I know

There was nothing I could do. I had two other dogs with me I was trying to control. She was full on nose biting and heeling the two bulls. At one point she got kicked and rolled. She got back up and went right back at them. At that point all I could think of was how much my cattle dog friends would be drooling. I was pretty sure she had broken something but it was not stopping her. She got kicked a second time and then decided she had enough and finally came back to me. I proceeded to carry her home so she didn't get into anymore shenanigans.
It was at that point I decided maybe she needed to be worked more than once a week. Once a week has just caused more problems than anything.

We are working on her call off of stock. When she gets out of her run she goes hunting for something to herd. Be it cows or sheep. Today she discovered the pasture with the new lambs I just bought. She was like a fly trying to get through a screen door. Bounce, Bounce, Bounce. She is fun and exhausting at the same time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Update on Jet

Hey Kids,
Just wanted to give you a quick update on Jet. She is moving better and we have managed to control the pain. Which helps her move around better. But she is still not eating and now is vomiting a couple times a day. Her favorite spots to throw up are on the couch, on our bed or Justice's bed. Since she is not eating it is a really nice shade of yellow and stains anything. The vet is getting her urine culture back today. So maybe something will come of that. Next on the list is a blood culture.
Even though she is not eating her spirits are up.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sick again

Jet is sick again. Friday morning I woke up to Jet not wanting to move at all. She had the same symptoms as last December when we almost lost her. I immediately took her to the vet. She is very stiff in her back end, high fever, high monosites on her blood test. We picked her up today as the clinic is mostly empty over the weekend and my vet though I could care for her at home and maybe get her to eat something. I was sent home with lots of drugs. She is still not better. A little brighter and some of her movement is back. But I just took her temp and it is still up. I am thinking she might be a little septic because since she has a hard time with her back end she has been unable to poop. But she also hasn't eat since Thursday night. Not sure what this mystery illness is or why it has came back.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pups on sheep

I have been taking the pups to sheep a couple times a week now. Craig just came home from his two month old Caughlin family vacation. So he is a couple weeks behind Bracken. Which works out good because Craig is not as ready as Bracken. She is all business on sheep very serious and has a crazy look in her eye. Bracken also has taken it upon her self to move the cows a couple of times. She reminds me so much on her mom. I wish I had taken video of Isla training on sheep than I could compare them two. Craig is more of a boy. Not really sure what he is suppose to do. He seems to really want to drive rather than get around the sheep. I am not really training them to do anything just moving around the pen. Some circling and fetching. No lie downs in fact I don't same anything. Very hard for me not to say anything.
On Sunday I thought they looked so cute I wanted to take some pics of them on sheep. Below is the result of that plan.

Cute and stylish aren't they?
Not really sure what I was thinking. Eight month old pups, a camera and some sheep. Clearly not my best idea.