Wednesday, April 30, 2008

...just an update....

Well, I was going to post my students scores but not all of them gave them to me so here is what I know

Kathleen and Emma: started sheep, qualified
Tony and Faye: started sheep, qualified and started cattle, qualified
Nancy and Jack and Blaze: started sheep, qualified
Courtney and Logan: started sheep, qualified

Not everyone one did all the runs for the weekend...some just did Sunday runs.

But looking on how Kathleen, Nancy, Courtney and Tony did.....they handled their dogs well, the stock was under control and it was very quiet and controlled. Yes, no run was perfect so everyone needs to fix what was broken and remember what good they did.

heck, I screwed up the worse this weekend by stepping over the handlers list which is a MAJOR BOO BOO...

A few months ago, Emma, Jack and Logan were puppies and at 17 months old, they were running at a trial and they did well....most of the problems were puppy type of stuff and lack of miles...nothing really bad.

I am very proud of my students as they did well and they should be proud of what they did. Some of the people they beat had been running for YEARS!!

Keep up the good work as it showed

Monday, April 28, 2008

April Showers ASCA Trial weekend

We ran in a ASCA trial this weekend. It was 4 trials in 2 days. The judges were Wayne and Kaye Harris from Colorado. They are very nice people. The venue was at Sara-Jo's and John's place in Arlington. It is a beautiful place with good honest stock. It is a very nice and well run trial and the people are wonderful.

I ran Scott, Tess, Nan and Ray. I also ran Blaze for Nancy on Sunday PM. I was beat fter the seemed like I was running from one class to another!!

The High in Trial Other Breed awards were embroidered towels....very cool!!!

Tess got the highest score that Kaye Harris has even given. Tess was awesome on ducks....I am so proud of her. Tess won every class she entered in!!

This was Scott's last trial and he was having fun. He ran his own course on the ducks and forgot his come-bye but he had a blast anyways. I could not but laugh at him since he was enjoying himself so much. I ran Scott in all classes all weekend and Tess and Nan in a couple. Then I added Ray to help fill classes on Sunday.

I had a great time and Kathleen, Tony, Nancy and Courtney did should be very proud of yourselves as you displayed good stock work and dog work. And I love it when my students beat me in trials!!! Tom is going to do some more homework then enter again. (Tomorrow I will post the students scores...I have to get them first)

Thanks to Janet for helping on Sunday....she is a great duck handler!!

Saturday AM
Adv duck
1st Tess 107
Scott 71 (he was super sticky)

Adv Sheep
1st Scott 108

Open Sheep
1st Nan 116

Adv Cattle
3rd Scott 97

High in Trial Other Breed: Nan
High Scoring Open: Nan
High Scoring Adv: Scott

Saturday PM
Adv duck
1st Tess 114
Scott 86 (he was super sticky)

Adv Sheep
1st Tess 111
2nd Scott 109

Adv Cattle
Scott HCT

High in Trial Other Breed: Tess
High Scoring Adv: Tess

Sunday AM
Adv Duck
1st Tess 123
2nd Scott 110

Adv Sheep
1st Tess 119
4th Scott 101

Open Sheep
1st Nan 115

Adv Cattle
Scott 50.6 (I stepped over handlers line!! we would have gotten 2nd - OOPS)

Started Cattle
1st Ray 79 (his first trial and I was proud of him)

High in Trial Other Breed: Tess
High Scoring Open: Nan
High Scoring Adv: Tess

Sunday PM
Adv Duck
1st Scott 113

Adv Sheep
2nd Scott 100

Started Sheep
3rd Blaze (I forgot the score)

Adv Cattle
2nd Scott 77

Started Cattle
3rd Ray 56

High in Trial Other Breed: Scott

Overall for weekend (Highest Scores for the weekend):
High Scoring Sheep: Tess

High Scoring Ducks: Tess

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Kudos to Kodi

Kodiak.....7.5 yrs old

Victoria and Kodi (they grew up together)

Kudos to Kodi on a job well done. The Coyotes came prowling and yipping about and he went OFF as in barking and then went galloping off into the bushes. A few minutes later, no coyotes yipping and Kodi came back pretty smug with himself.
Next time I see Kodi..... he is laying in the stall while lambs climb all over him...a far cry from a few minutes before where he was all set to kill a coyote.
Kodiak's resume
  • Coyote killer
  • Lamb babysitter
  • Handy white dog to pet in pasture
  • Loud Announcer when people drive up
  • Sandwich and coffee mug thief (oh, that probably shouldn't be in here?)
  • Savior of sheep flock when barn burned down in 2006
  • Awarded "Service dog Award" for OUTSTANDING LIVESTOCK GUARDIAN
  • Will walk on leash for treats
  • Loved by the family at DeltaBluez

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Metchosin 2003"

Metchosin 2003
I found some old pixs and decided to put them on the blog. Here is Tess running in Open at Metchosin in 2003....that was 5 yrs ago and she was a 5 yr old. Hard to believe that she will be 10 years old in a few months but times sure flies. In her mind, she thinks she is still a younging!!

"Where are the sheep....up yonder on the hill next to the tree"

See the big tree and the people underneath it? That is where the sheep's up a very steep hill. And as usual, Tess is doing the fast fetch....get those ewes moving.

We are turning the post. Notice how far she has to be off the sheep?

See the break in the white fence in the background?

The sheep are running to escape there. Needless to say, Tess caught up to them and did the drive well. The first drive panel are almost at the top of the hill. The draw is to the treeline and the sheep will run into the forest and if they did that, you were DQ.

Tess is a doll at the pen. You jsut stand there and she will put them in. Here she is telling me to shut the "dang gate". The ewes are facing her and she backed them in.

OK, I finally closed the gate. Now off to the shedding ring.

Putting the sheep into the shedding ring. I got them settled and she got the shed. Tess can read my mind and make me look good on the trial field

Then we went to the beach to play in the surf.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Tending sheep"

3 lambs right outside our fromt porch

Tess holding the invisible line

View from our front porch

This last weekend the weather was got into the 70s and was hot and just enjoyable. Having such a nice day, I turned the sheep loose on the farm. Then I set Tess to do the *tending duties*....she has been doing it for almsot 8 yrs and knows the program.

1. Sheep must be on front lawn near front porch and house pond
2. Sheep are not allowed in the driveway or barn.
3. If the sheep crosses the *invisible line* it will be put back
4. Diane sits on the porch and has her glass of wine and reads a book
5. Tess does the tending by herself.

The ewes know the program--well at least some of them do- not the new ewes and certainly not the lambs. So Tess is constantly in motion until they have it all figured out.

Some of the ewes like to try to sneak away.....there are 4 avenues of to the north of the house, one down the second driveway to the road, one to the barn and the last avenue is to the main driveway. A couple of ewes wait until Tess is preoccupied then will sneak away. She has 35 ewes and 45 lambs to watch.

I sit and read. I also drink my wine very slowly.

Tess will be tending and then her head will flip up and she will dart off to get the sneaky ewes and when she is doing that then a couple of more will sneak off. She returns with the first set and then she will flip her head up again and peer in the distance and then race off to get the second sneak away set.....soon, she has them all staying in the area and then her head will slowly droop and then droop more and then she is asleep.

Ah ha, says some ewes...we can sneak away and then they try but Tess will leap up and then rush back into the flock. Soon she will take a cat nap and the ewes will be finished grazing and then they all will lie down and sleep. Then the lambs follow suit and next thing you now, I have a huge slumber party in the front lawn.

Then I get sleepy so then it is time to put the sheep away and then Tess and I will go in for a nap.

Tess loves to tend and I love to sit on my front porch and's a fine way to spend a Saturday afternoon

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Mother Hen"

Last year, we had an Old Mother Hen. She had NO interest in going into the chicken coop at night but decided that sharing stalls with ewes and lambs was much more to her liking.

Why compete with a bunch of chickens when all you have to do is fluff up your feathers, the ewes will back down and you can eat all the grain you want with no one bugging you?

The Old Mother Hen was very tame and was a pet at one point in her life.....she was quite old by the time she came to us and we let her do as she pleased. Her egg laying days were over so she just hung out with the sheep.

Spring came and the other hens were laying on eggs and so she took up the Lamb duty. She was very serious in her duties and would cluck to the lambs and pick up grain for them and soon the lambs would eat out of the grain bucket with her. The ewes were not allowed to share.

She soon began to think of each new lamb as her baby and at night would sleep next to them and cover them with her wing. As the lambs got older and all went outside to the pasture she would wander out with them.

Woe to any Border Collie that came near her lambs, they were driven off by an angry hen. She loved her lambs and the lambs would all sleep next to a tree with Old Mother Hen standing guard while the ewes went off to graze, She took great pride in raising the lambs and they still would run to her at 90 days of age when she clucked to them.

She would go into the stalls at might with the lambs and sleep with them and it was one morning when she did not leave the stall. She had died during the night surrounded by her lambs. We miss her as she was a chicken with a personality.

Old Mother Hen with a week old lamb

Sleeping next to her *lamb*

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Old News on Tess was a hero.....

Tess made it in the newspaper two years ago ...we had the 100 yr flood and most of our farm was under water. Some sheep did not make it back to the barn so Tess had to swim out to the island that they were stranded on and get them off . I recently found these links and thought you might to read about our flood.

Tess was one tired and one very wet dog and got extra treats that night.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Clun Forest Sheep

Yearling.... with Callie (older ewe) to the right. Callie is my special pet who loves to be petted and hand fed and follows me around. She is retired and a nanny to the lambs. She is a great mom and loves to show off her babies.

Yearling ewes

Granny's daughter....what a typical head of a Clun should look like

People ask what breed of sheep I raise. I mainly raise Clun Forest sheep. They are very hardy and easy keepers, great mothers and great to work dogs on. They usually have twins and within minutes the lambs are up and nursing. They are very personable sheep and some have become pets over the years. One ewe, Granny, had 5 generations on the farm.

Here is the Clun Breeders site:

They Clun Associations does not show their sheep as they are preserving the sheep for what it was orginally intended for....I am impressed with my Cluns!!

Some of the lambs....

just born.....

one week old...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Anson, Kael and Rainey update

It's been a while since I wrote about Anson, Kael and Rainey. Today they got weighed, Anson and Kael at 25 lbs and Rainey at 22 lbs. Rainey was one of the runts in the litter and she is still smaller than her brothers but she is quite stocky. All the pups take after Scotty in build and large square heads. I would have thought Rainey would have had a dainty dish face like Tess but she has her father's square head...not too feminine at all.

Anson is the clown...he is the happy-go lucky puppy that wants to please. His nose still is quite long and with his white head it even looks longer. His cold blue eye rimmed with black is quite stunning on his broad white head. He still has a cast of gray to his coat.

Kael looks like Tess but in a masculine version. Thin, narrow white stripe, matching white legs and toes and eyes that melt your soul. His eyes are amberish and look down into your soul. He is far more serious than Anson and he is looking about to see what he can rummage up and steal. He loves to throw himself in your lap so be prepared and remove hot liquids from your hands when he does that. Can you tell that *maybe* I spilled my coffee when he threw himself on my lap?

Now the runt is Rainey. She is one of the two runts in the litter but is now catching up to her brothers. Her height maybe smaller but she is built like a linebacker now. Just three pounds lighter than her brothers, she makes up for it with her *Princess attitude*. She is Jeff's dog and sleeps in his lap, get his food and helps him critique American Idol as well as cheering for any LSU games.

Rainey has decided she is *mommy's little helper"....I turn the pups and dogs loose in the pond pasture and they play while I feed the sheep in the stalls. I use Tess to push the ewes off the feeders and sometimes I will grab a lamb to check it out, band it or hold it. Tess will lay in the stall or move the ewes as needed. Rainey has taken upon herself to help me in these chores. She will lay next to Tess and mimic each move that Tess does.....she will not rush the sheep but lie next to Tess. If I flank Tess to move an ewe, then Rainey is next to her. Rainey has learned to be calm and quiet in the stall. She will even walk with me as I go around the stall. She is not afraid and will listen to me as I recall her or tell her to sit. I see her brain clicking, figuring out what to do. She is very workman like in her attitude.

Each puppy in the same in some ways but wildly different in will be very fun to start each one and see the progression. Having people handle them several times a week for the last five months has made them bold, outgoing and people friendly. They see people and it's all about "me, me, me...pick me up so I can kiss your face!!"

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Rest in Peace, Libbi


Libbi and pups and one orphan lamb

A few yrs later with one pup and another orphan lamb

Libbi working ducks in an arean trial...she usuaslly won!!

Libbi taught me a lot. I got her as a 2 yr old, many, many yr ago. She was raised in a kennel and really only got to see sheep a couple of times but was loved and then I got her. She was a fine dog, very trusty, thoughtful and had a huge heart. She loved all babies, whether it be her own puppies, someone else's puppies, kittens and orphans lambs. Each year she raised orphan lambs (I would bottle fed and she would do the other duties) and when she had pups she would rasie the lambs in the same box with her pups. Sheloved being a housedog and cuddling next to you at night.

We grew up through the ranks, from Novice to Open and she won her fair share of trials. She had a gentle way with the sheep and they would move nice for her and if she was sent on a blind outrun, you just could hang out at the post and she would bring the sheep with no fuss or muss.

She went to work on the cut blocks in Canada one yr....moving 1600 sheep on the mountains and then drove them to market at the end of the season. She never quit and did a great job, thus showing her true testimony to her heritage.

After I retired Libbi, she then helped a 13 yr old hander the ropes on the trial field and won a trial or two for them and then she retired to a person who got her own sheep flock and was well loved, Through Libbi, she had helped us on our path to become better handlers and people in life....her kindness towards babies was wonderful and her gentle nature with anyone brought a smile to your face.

Libbi, we will all miss you and you live through your sons and daughters and who is Lucy, a red and white image of you in spirit and love.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Happy Birthday Ray, Jackie and Dan"

Today is the birthday of Ray, Jackie and Dan. Ray and Jackie live here and Dan is a visitor with his mom, Audrey. They all turned 3 yrs old today and we can remember when they were just fat butterballs.

Here they are as pups....can you find which one is Ray, Jackie and Dan?



Tess and the pups on the front deck

Here they are as adults