Sunday, January 31, 2010

What dosen't kill me makes me stronger

It just hurts a little along the way.

I have lived around animals all my life. Grew up with horses and cattle for the horse training. Also had dogs and many cats. One thing is for sure when you have animals they are going to get hurt usually through some freak thing that they or you have done a million times. You never get used to it and you always feel responsible. Last week I found that out two fold. First off was Risk. Not sure what really happened slipped on some ice or ran into something. Next morning he had what is called secondary Glaucoma caused by a trauma to his eye. Glaucoma is when the fluid doesn't drain from the eye and the pressure just builds up. We tried very hard to treat his eye but in the end the specialist said our efforts are futile because he had lost his vision and it would feel like he has a giant migraine all the time. I deiced it was in the dogs best interest to remove his eye. Fortunately for Risk he has a very good attitude on life. Everything forward. Not so good for our legs when he has to wear a cone for two weeks.

Took these pics when he got home from surgery.

The stitches and the cone come off on Friday. It will seem like a whole new world after having the cone on for two weeks. Unfortunately the injury has set Risk back in his training not sure if he will make it to trial in his nursery year.
Round Two
I only take dogs in for training under special circumstances. When Jasper's owners ask about keeping him for a month to put more consistent training on him I said yes. I really like Jasper I think he has a lot of potential. The only problem is he is a handful and will need constant work. Jasper had only been here five days when he got stepped on by a ewe in the round pen. He did have bad thoughts on his mind at the time. He came back to me limping. So I put him back in his crate thinking some rest would help. The next morning he was not putting any weight on his leg so I took him to my vet for her to look him over. A couple of x-rays later revealed a fracture in his back leg. I said some choice four letter words. I immediately felt totally responsible. Running through my head how it happened and what I could have done differently. In the end I can think of nothing just one of those things that happens. Jasper's owners are away so he is staying here in my living room. My kitchen table is covered in a vast array of doggy meds.
I can only imagine this all happened for a reason.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Crazy week

Last week was such a weird week. Lots of trauma for many of us. I will fill my readers in at a later date once all parties involved have healed some. I remember saying to Jerry a couple of weeks ago how unsettled I felt. I think woman's intuition was kicking in or maybe I am just a little physic. Tonight I am board and wondering what people did before television. I have been thinking about getting a little dog lately. It was almost one year ago that we lost my JRT to old age. I have vowed after that, that I would never get another little dog. Well never say never. This holiday season a couple of Chihuahua's wormed there way into my heart. What little characters they were. Kyle says "no". Of course it would have to be a rescue. I found this litter girl on petfinder.
There is also a rescue close by that rescues dogs from Mexico and brings them here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I just wanted to get to the post office

Monday is my going to town day. Short list today mail and coffee filters. I unknowingly ran smack dab into the Olympic torch relay. At first I thought the stars of Twilight were in town from all the
tweens waving signs.

This picture is for Jenny. If you look closely you can see the torch on stage.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mid week update

How proud am I that I have stuck to the plan so far. On Tuesday I almost had to abort the plan. The weather has been so warm here all the snow is melting and my outdoor arena is under water and ice. To dangerous to work dogs in. I decided to throw caution to the wind and work the pups in the field. They have a fairly good call off and most of the time a stop. I made Jerry and Jed stay as back up dancers in case things went array. Things went surprisingly well. They both listened and we did not need saving. Bracken is really blossoming this week with regular work. She still has lots of crazy inside but is starting to listen better. I think I will need to be careful or she might become wide. Craig is doing well. He is not totally comfortable when in close to the sheep. He usually runs by really fast and the swings out wide to release that pressure. Doesn't look like he will be as wide and Bracken. He also has very little eye. Yesterday was more of the same. However Craig is now pushing through his stops and yesterday he would not come of his sheep. Today he will be wearing a line in case he decided to pull that out in the field. I am about to go out soon and work them for today.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Plan for the week

This week I have a plan. I am going to work the pups everyday in hopes of making some progress. In the past couple of months the weather has not been good as a result the pups are only getting worked once a week or sometimes less. In order to make some sort of progress you need to work them more often. As I am working with these two I find my self thinking about what their mother was like at this age. Unfortunately I didn't have a blog or a video camera than and a persons memory of their favourite dog can be somewhat distorted when they think back. This week will be the pups electronic diary of sorts. I will do updates every couple of days. I also wanted to mention that the pups turn 11 months old tomorrow. These two could not be more different if they tried. Bracken is pushy and independent. Craig is thoughtful and really wants to be a team player. Bracken has nice square flanks and comes forward like a freight train. I am sure she is going to be a result of my future broken leg. Craig has a nice natural pace and really likes to slice his flanks. Two months ago if you asked me which pup you would keep if you had to chose right now. I would have said Bracken. Today I would say Craig. In two more months it may be the other way around or it might be really hard to choose.
If you look closely there are not good thoughts in these eyes. Sundays workout did not go well for Bracken she would not lie down or stop at balance. When she did stop at balance she came forward like gang busters. After wearing her down I did get a few good stops from her and got her to settle on balance and come forward at a reasonable pace. She is very much like her mom when she get excited all she wants to do is run circles around the sheep. today was a much better work for Bracken she stopped when I asked 90% of the time. Also settled in to the fetch much nicer. There were times when she maybe had no feet on the ground but she fixed it when I asked her to. She never once softens her eyes so I can tell I have gotten through to her. She always has this hard steely glare like in the picture above. One good thing about Bracken is she in not a gripper. She will take some cheap shots but mostly just puppy stuff. just as I was think she had made some improvements today I was walking off with her and she decided to take off after the sheep and chase them all over the arena. I can not once let my guard down or she takes advantage of it.
I call Craig my golden retriever. He is always just happy to get alive. he plays by himself in his run. He loves to be with me. He does have a crazy side. He is in a run all by himself up by the house because when he is in the kennel with the other dogs he gets very excited and likes to bark and chew through walls. It took him a couple of times on sheep to figure out that this was something he actually wanted to do. I had a hard time getting him the balance he just wanted to trot around the sheep. What a difference a couple of months makes. He is easy to work. Well OK not true but easier than Bracken. He doesn't upset his sheep. He has a nice natural pace and seems to think things through better. However each time I work him he gets keener and keener. He is now coming forward quite strong. The big thing I am working on with Craig is his flanks. He does not have square flanks. In fact he enjoys slicing his flanks. That's the break down on the pups. They are certainly giving me a run for my money. After I get in from working them I am exhausted. I hope this will get me into better shape as well. The weather is set to be well above zero all week. We can already see the grass in many spots. Very exciting but also sad because I know there is still more winter to come as it is just January.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Best laid plans

I had ideas of grander for this year trialing. First I was going to hit the Bluegrass with Isla, Rob and Risk in nursery. Then in May the North Dakota trials as well as the Alberta trials in July. But alas it is not to be. One of my other dreams is going to get in the way of my dog trialing. I know it is hard to believe that I have another dream. Other than to dominate the sheepdog world. I dream of a new house. Nothing to extravagant. A couple of spare rooms, an office, and most of all more storage. We have been talking about this for a couple of years now and I finally got Kyle to take the plunge into our bank account. This also means I am going to have to make some sacrifices in my life of luxury. We are going to live in my dog trialing hacienda for maybe as long as eight months. No sleep overs at trials this year. Also means I am going to have to stick around home to make the all important decisions. That doesn't mean I can't take sometime out if Jenny decides to go to new Mexico in July. Not sure Scott can stand us both for two weeks. Lets not forget the last time Jenny invited me to a US trial I can home with my first Open win. But I digress. In honour of the new house I have started a new blog Here is where I will regale you with endless shopping trips for such fun things as Knobs, doors, faucets, and lets not forget flooring. Also will have lots of pictures of the building progress. I wonder what the odds are that the crew will include and herd of shirtless twenty year old boys. Wouldn't that be fun. This will be Kyle and I second time building. We also did a $100, 000 reno on the house we lived in before this one. We are no strangers to the building/construction process. The adventure begins March 1, 2010.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy new year

Happy New Year to my readers

Not much going on here. The weather has been cold and windy. Had to cancel a bunch of lessons and my dogs haven't been worked for a while. I had a brief chance to work the pups last week. Craig has made some big improvements and right now is my favorite one to work. We will see how he comes back to it after the weather warms up. Spent new years eve with friends. Had a good time. I was so proud of Kyle for staying up till midnight. Today because it is too cold to do out side stuff we have decided to clean the shop which is a war zone. More on that tomorrow