Saturday, May 16, 2009

Weekly Roundup

Well, the week just flew by at warp speed. Zippy do-dah and it was gone. I took Monday off for the Double Lift and pulled in late evening, tossed everything upstairs then hit the bed. Had to get up at 6:00 a.m. for a 7:30 a.m. and I had to be there. All week in fact! We worked hard all day and quit at 5ish and then I raced home and took a nap, then got up and worked dogs. I was worn out. The meeting was very draining and tiring and I had to be there and be alert. Was I ever tired by the end of the day?

Pearse stopped by on Wednesday and had a day lay over before he went to Scio. I pulled out of Scio as that would have been too much for me to do so quickly after surgery. Pearse worked his dogs and then sorted some ewes that needed to be move to the far pasture. He did so and walked them down the ½ mile down to the other field. He worked him dogs at both field and they had to really push to power the sheep through the marshy fields. Normally, my fields are much drier but it has been a wet, wet summer and they are waterlogged.

Of course on Wednesday, it was pouring cats and dogs so when I got home, I was not in the mood to work dogs. Pearse had just quit and his dogs were soaked. I was thinking instead of working my dogs, perhaps building an ark?

I whipped together a spaghetti dinner for Getty, Pears and I and we hung out and watched TV and chatted. I was tired and went to bed. 6:00 a.m. was going to be pretty darn early for me so I set my cell phone to be my alarm clock. I set it for 6:00 a.m. and went to bed.

In theory that was a good plan, however, since I had been in meetings all week, I turned my cell phone to “Silence” and I forgot to put it on Un-Silence”. I woke up at 7:30 and realized “Holy -put bad word here" that I have exactly 15 minutes to get to my meeting which was over an hour away. I called Steve, my counterpart and told him I would be late. He covered for me and figured I was feeling not so well from the heart surgery. He is a good person that I work with and got my bases covered for me.

We actually were done at a decent hour on Thursday and I went home and beat the traffic. I worked on my report at home and got most of it done. Then I took a long nap.

Friday, I worked from home, which was good as I was still beat. I had a follow-up appointment with Dr Heywood on my Ablation surgery. I told him that I was tired; it was due that, I had been pushing myself so hard, and fast sine the surgery and I need to slow down. The EKG came back good except that I have extra heartbeats tossed in but nothing else needs to be done. My Blood pressure was 119/78 and heart rate was 70. All sign are normal and I need to ease myself back into life and not jump in at 500 miles per hour. This was what I have been doing all this week.

Therefore, this was good news and I can go back to having a normal life. Not that the four heart surgeries really stopped me, they just slowed me way down. You know, people have told me over and over again, that that they admire how tough I was during this and how I had a good attitude and how I never gave up. It’s because it is better than the alternative and life is well worth living. So what if I have a huge fricking scar down my front. You don’t like it; then don’t look. I am not a quitter. Life is what you make of it. You fight the small battles to win the war. Each day was a small battle for me; some days I really struggled and almost lost the battle but I kept a tough mind and wouldn’t quit. Each day the battles were easier and easier. Soon I won the war. I would pick an item that I would really want to do and set it as a goal. Put it in your mind that you will win and you can win. Winners are losers who never gave up and then became winners. Therefore, that is how I kept slugging through all of this. Gonna climb the mountain? The way to do that is take the first step up the mountain. Don’t give up and be a winner in your mind; that is half the battle.

Friday night I worked Sava. She picked up the flock of ewes and lambs and was quite good behind them. I sorted about 12 out and then she drove them all over the pasture, I really didn’t try to do any course work but just drove then from one area to another. She is really bonding back to me and a very willing worker. She has matured quite a bit and I am very happy with what I see. She will get lots of chore time and practical work also so when she goes back to Scott for the winter, she will have a good foundation. Lastly, for the day, I had her put the flock away in the lambing corral. I have been taking the young dogs each night and making them do chores such as getting the sheep from the marsh, sorting and putting them away. I also have them do some outruns gathering the large flock off a leaf of alfalfa that I have put down for the flock to eat. That way the young dogs have to learn to move sheep off feed and make sure no stragglers are left behind. Each night, the young dogs dance in anticipation of who gets to do the nightly duty. The choices have been Sava or Rainey and sometimes I use Nan. She is older but has learned not to run at breakneck speed to gather the flock but put more thinking behind it. She used to be afraid of lambs but now can move them. She has turned out to be an excellent stall dog also. She loves to walk into the heads of the ewes in the stall and have them back down as I fill up the feeders. When we get down with the stall work and we walk out, she jumps up and down and barks with joy, quite pleased with herself. She is very transparent in her feelings. She wears her feeling on her sleeve.

Today we worked most of the dogs: Tess, Nan, Rainey, Lucy, Kira, Belle and Janet with Scott and Mattie and Ben with Anson. Anson and Ben are teaming up quite well and by the end, Anson was taking sheep out of the corners and doing 100 yd outruns. He is quite strong on the sheep but very biddable and has a bit of an eye. I set up a cone course for Janet, which involved tight turns and quick flanks. By the end, she was getting better and hitting those tight turns. Belle worked fine in the round pen and is getting better at taking pressure. Tess had fun doing odd and ends of work. Kira was a working fool in the round pen, is very stylish, and has a bit of eye. Nan was her usual happy go lucky self. We had three late ewes that had singles this week so we tagged, vaccinated and banding them. They all look fat and healthy. A buyer came by today and bought the best-bred ram lamb for her flock and she will pick him up tomorrow. It was a busy morning.

Mom and Kimiko arrived and Tess and Nan quickly abandoned me and joined them. Worthless mutts!! Lunch was homemade gyoza, summer noodles with veggies, cantaloupe, fresh veggies spring rolls, and numerous other items. We stuffed ourselves until we hurt and then ate key lime pie cupcakes. When this feasting was going on, we watched The Preakness. It was a glorious days for the girls. Mom and Kimiko feed the sheep the bread, I am sure that Nan, Tess, and Rainey got their fair share too. Janet and I were mucking out the feeders and I got the lecture from my mother on not doing that hard work.

We hung out at the house for a bit and then they left. Janet and I waddled down to the barn, loaded up Rainey, Lucy and Scott, and went to the far field. The far field still is a bit wet and I managed to step in the only deep mud hole and splash mud into my shin high boots. Then to round it off as I was closing a gate, I moved the horse bucket that was on the gate and it was full of water. By that time, it was no longer full of water as part of the water was on my head and shirt. So much for keeping dry?

Rainey worked very well at the far field. We got her to go out about 150 yards and go nice, wide, and deep. A couple of times the sheep bolted and there was a mess but she fixed it. Once the sheep bolted back to the gate, she had to peel them off, and push them back. That was very hard as they wanted to whip around her and go to the gate but she is a tough pup and marched them back. We did quite a few outruns for her as next weekend Janet will run her in Novice. We also worked her on taking sheep off people.

Janet worked Scott and he had to work to move the sheep up the field. They didn’t want to walk through the water but in the end, they did. We were getting short on time so I used Lucy to move the sheep up the field to set them for Rainey. She did great on the whistles and had a strong walkup face into the sheep.

Later that evening, I took Rainey to my upper pasture. It has a couple of deep ditches and two ponds so it is not an easy field to work sheep. It also has Tom and Jenny Turkey and three nasty, protective geese (one is brooding on eggs). I have the ram that will face down a dog and three ewes. I sent Rainey and she went out wide and walked up behind the sheep….when, horrors of al horrors, a goose came flying out of the corner and latched onto her side. She skidded sideways and then a second goose came after her and her lift was a bit off and fast. Fast because two angry geese were on her tail for starters and the Turkeys were fluffing their feather next to her.

We worked more in the upper pasture and finally she would ignore the geese and turkey and bring me the sheep. Her eyes will sometimes catch her and draw her in so I try to flank her. She will take a correction and a reflank so that helps. Soon, I had her jumping ditches or going around the pond to get the sheep. The ram stood up to her, she latched onto his nose, and that was the end of that discussion.

Then we went to the lower pasture and I had her gather the flock and put some of them away in the lambing corral. The rest I had her set near the pond and sent her from the round pen and she had nice and deep gathers. A couple of times she would run by, slow down and think about the sheep in the lambing corral and a soft correction and flank got her going to the proper sheep. She quickly figured out what group was workable. The draw was quite heavy for the flock she was working and she had to cover so they would not hang at the gate. She is getting her verbal flanks down a lot better and being freer flowing. She has no issues of goosing a sheep to make it move. She is a thoughtful worker and very keen. I will really enjoy in seeing her blossom.

Rainey in her bed.....

I had her put everyone away in the lambing corral and praised her for her hard work. She did quite well and a lot of work and held up to it. She is passed out in the dog bed, her legs twitching; perhaps thinking of another outrun. Lucy is keeping my feet warm and Tess and Nan are hogging the couch. It’s been a busy week but a good week. Tomorrow is full of lessons in the morning and in the afternoon, I will work my dogs. I have a trial next weekend and need to get the girls in shape. Tess, Nan and Lucy will be the Open dogs. Tess won’t be running in very many trials but she will run in the trials that allow three dogs. I’ll be trying to get more points on Lucy so she can run at the Finals. Nan has close to 20 or so points so she is in. I look forward to running two dogs in the Open Division at the Finals. Tess and Getty can be the support staff on the sidelines. After all, Tess will see her son, daughter, and granddaughter run in the Finals. It can’t get any better than that!!


gvmama said...

"Life is what you make of it."

See you at Whidbey. Suzanne

Monique said...

You have been a trooper through all of this. Sorry I couldn't come out and work today. How was Lucy?