The blog has been picture heavy recently so now it is time for a wordy blog. Kuro is off next week to his new (hopefully) home and it seems like a good fit. Once it is all finalized, I will post info. He will be a Open dog with a super nice handler and placing him in a loving home is what I want for my dogs. I have been working him and he has one of the top work ethics that I have ever seen in a Border Collie. He just wants to please and Scott put wonderful training on him. After I work him, we play fetch and he loves that and that deepens the bond.
Taff has been good but a couple of times he has pushed the envelope with me. With him, I need to work him each day, even for ten minutes. He is that type of dog. He lives to work. He has gotten good at his cleaning up his flanks and stopping. He does get so eager that sometimes he forget to stay down. With a slight arrr, he downs and then waits. I am working on trying to get him to get up S-L-O-W-L-Y than leaping up. That is going to be a long process. His is doing well on his whistles now and I changed them, not realizing it. His whistles are backwards to Roo and sometimes I will reverse it and then realize I screwed up when he does the flank. A duh moment for me! His breeding is impeccable, Nan is his dam and Ralph Pulfer’s Tweed is his sire. I have heard some of his pups are fantastic workers. He was bred by the prior owner and she kept a pup. Off stock, when I am sitting in the barn having my pop, he likes to snuggle up to me and be fussed over. He especially loves to be brushed and told he is a handsome boy. I swear he puffs up with pride. Sometime, I will take him and we will play fetch. He has no interest in playing fetch when the other dogs are around but wants one on one time. So I toss for him and he gladly brings back the stick or ball. That is when I see a really goofy side of him.
Nan was x-rayed and has four pups. Roo is the sire and she should have the pups in early January. I plan on keeping a female. They should be really nice working dogs. Both parents are DNA CEA Normal, good hips and CERF- Normal. Both parents are top Open dogs with tremendous breeding behind them as well as great temperaments. I am so excited to have pups again hers since the last set was over three years ago. Rainey was the pup we kept from that litter and she was Getty Christmas present. He spoils her a lot and she knows she is a princess!
Nan is enjoying the time off from working and being coddled. She is round but not huge. Nan has been eating over 8 cups a day. She is not fat but the right weight. She loves to have her belly rubbed. She has several choices of beds but seems to prefer the square bed. Or next to me on our bed.
Tess enjoys her role as the poultry dog. Each night she gets to put away the ducks, chickens, turkeys and guineas. If she is not available, then the job falls to Roo. I put an igloo out in the run and some of the hens decide they want to sleep in it but we have to get them out as the owl will get them. So Tess has to squeeze into the igloo and nudge them out. Once there was about ten hens and one angry rooster in the igloo. She would shove one out and then go back in, and put her nose under another hen and then lift her and shove her out. Then she has to herd them all back into the coop. The ducks, turkey and guineas all go into the coop so that is easier. As a reward for her efforts, I give her a piece of kibble.
Last Sunday we had a new dog in for a lesson. It was a Schnauzer and was very cute. Tess got to sort the sheep and then do back up in the round pen. She loves doing back up as that is mainly her keeping the sheep moving and doing it on her own with only a few commands from me. We got Oscar to work a little bit and Dawn, the owner was laughing quite hard. Oscar is small and the sheep were amazed at his sheep and were quite curious. They did move, although not very fast but it was fun.
Janet has been working Rainey and has gotten her to drive a PN level. She has been diligent about working her and she will be running her for the next couple of years. I still do training on Rainey but Janet will be trialing her. Janet won Novice and ranch at the last trial and will be moving her up to PN. They mesh quite well and are doing well.
Roo has been enjoyable to work. I use him for chores and some training on him. I am taking it easy on him so we can do fun stuff together. When I don’t use Tess to put away the chickens, I use Roo. The first time I sent him into the igloo, he barked and the chickens never moved. He barked louder and they squatted closer to the floor. I about died laughing. He finally used the shovel technique but it was hysterical. Now he has the hang of it and it is an enjoyable chore for him. I want him to relax during chores as it helps him relax during the trial. He is learning not to rush and not get excited. He just turned eight years old and finally is settling down. I am really enjoying working him too. He gets a lot more freedom now and is the main male dog. He really has a playful side to him and after his work, loves to play in the pond pasture.
Sleat has settled down and has been softer to work. Before she would bully through her down and race to get to the sheep. Now she is more thoughtful and trying to team up. I hope that by spring, I will be running her in PN. It’s a lack of me working her that is holding her back, than her talent. She has some nice push to her but can be a bit stubborn sometimes. Sleat is quite affectionate and loves to have her head massaged. Often after the dogs have had their evening playtime, she will stand next to me and be peaceful and want to be loved on. She will gaze into my eyes with her ice blue eyes, I will talk softly to her, and she smiles. She is a real sweet dog that finally matured and has stolen a place into my heart.
Tam and Sava are at Scott for the winter training. Wynn and Kiwi also started their basic training there too. By all reports, all are doing well and Scott is pleased. Save will be coming back to me in the spring so I can run her in PN. If Tam continues to do well, he will be the Nursery dog. He is a willing dog and I hope his progress keeps going well. Wynn and Kiwi will be coming back and going through summer sheep camp with me.
Kate, one of the newest member of the team is being puppy raised by Deborah and Ben. Her dam is Ellie who is the full sister to Faye. Nan is her dam and Imp Drift is her sire. Imp Drift was owned by Joni Swanke and then by Jo Woodbury. Ellie was bred to Nap (George MacDonald) and he is a son of Alasdair’s Nap. When Kate and Epic are visiting over the holidays, she has managed to slip through the fence when I am working other dogs and she is quite keen. I look forward to starting her. Deborah and Ben are doing an excellent job in raising her. She is learning manners and is going to be a pistol.
The barn cats have adjusted well. Sara is my pal and often in my lap. Vicki did a great job in taming the wild kitten, “Sarah” and “Simon”. Her brother, Simon is still reserved and will only allow me to pet him when he is eating. Sarah is quite vocal if her canned dinner is late. She loves to be carried about, fussed over and told she is a darling. Cleo, the black fuzz ball has warmed up to Getty as well. She is the queen in the barn and ruler of all. She maybe the tiniest of the cats but her paw is the most deadly! She is not a lap cat but loves to be carried about. She loves to have her head scratched and will purr to the heavens when you fuss over her. Sarah is quite the huntress and the moles, rats and mice population has decreased. She even snagged a wild duck and proudly displayed it to me. Sarah takes great joy in bouncing in the middle of the hens to see them scatter. She won’t attack them but thinks it is great fun to see them squawk! When I put the chickens away at night, she often will help. She will follow Tess into the igloo, then follow the chickens to the gate. When I shut the gate, she will dart to the barn with Tess for her treat. That is usually when I will give her the canned food. She likes to see what is happening on the farm.
Christmas was a quiet and relaxing time. Mom and Kimiko came over and the dogs went crazy for them. As usual, the girls ran rampant and we let them. They got their full of treats and extra dinner. We had prime rib, beef wrapped asparagus, gyoza, veggie and shrimp rolls, corn and other goodies. Getty cooked the prime rib to perfection. Nelson and Jim went to CA on a road trip to Yosemite Park. We had a good time and laughed quite a bit. The dogs got the leftover prime rib and soon they were passed out. That was until we started to unwrap the present. The girls for new beds, a bunch of new toys and bones. Tess has fun running through the house with the toys and general mayhem soon followed. We were cat sitting Nelson’s cat, Henry and he came up. He used to belong to us but Nelson took him home after the barn fire. He never returned and soon lead a life of luxury. Nelson called and one (if not the first question) was “How is Henry”. Oh, he is just fine and so am I!
Henry wadded about and lifted his paw the at the Border Collies and they are ran for their lives. He enjoyed his stay here and hopefully had lost a few ounces. He loves to eat and is quite plump. He was plumper when we had him. Nelson has him on a diet but he still is large. He has a sweet friendly nature and was a pleasure to have.
After dinner, Mom, Kimiko and I wandered down to the barn. The sheep and horse got double rations and grain and were quite happy. Every time they seem Mom and Kimiko, they know they are in for a treat. It is good to see Mom and Kimiko have a good time at the farm. Mom feed the chickens and I saw her slip Tess a slice of bread or two. I pretended not to notice that. Tess knows how to work Mom and Kimiko. They managed to get Kimiko to play ball for a bit. Finally they wore out Kimiko.
I really enjoyed my mom’s and Kimiko’s company at Christmas. It’s all about being family, life, appreciating life and enjoying what you have. I have a happy life, a great husband, a great brother, good caring friends, a lifestyle that I love, dogs that I adore…..life is what you make out of it. Don’t be negative, feel sorry for yourself or try to make other people’s lives miserable. Look deeply at yourself and see that your time is limited on earth. Sure, we all have bad stuff happen to use but you have to go on. I lost my Korean sister, Jean and it still hurts deeply to this day. Sometimes I dream of her. I still miss Shiro, who was my first Border Collie. I miss Kuro Kuma, the black Manx who brought joy to my life. Their life was short but they made my life complete. I appreciate the people in my life who are my family and good friends. I am looking forward to the New Year and all the joy it will bring.
Have a Wonderful New Year.