Sunday, July 31, 2011

Diana Gauthier and Skor - Final Round Calgary Stampede 2011

Diana has won the event before. She  is a top contender. She had two dogs in the Final round. Suzanne Anaya and Jeanne Boudrieau have dogs from her lines. Suzanne has Kilt and Yoko and Jeanne has Moses.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Louanne Twa and Isla - Final round Calgary Stampede 2011

Getting the rest of the videos done from Calgary...a couple more then I am done. Here is Louanne and Isla in the Final round at Calgary. She is witty and a real hoot.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Update on Tess's recovery

Tess has been home since Monday and each day she gets better and better.  She was very hurt and in much pain on Monday but was getting better on Tuesday. Her tail was tucked between her legs and her eyes looked miserable.  She had a tiny bit of appetite so I tempted her with all sort of treats plus canned dog food. She ate some but not lots.

Walking was painful for her and her back legs were stiff. Her back was hunched and she was hesitant. One of her back legs was full of fluid and we massage it frequently. I put her on the couch next to me, would talk to her,  pet her head and often her head would be on my lap and she would sleep for hours.

It was on Thursday when I saw a real change in her. She gave me some tentative wags and her eyes were more focused.  She would track my movement and occasionally I would her smile at me. Her back leg was almost normal now and she went to the bathroom with no issues. A couple of times, she started to trot after me but then would slow down after a few steps.

Janet and Kendall came over and we worked dog. Janet bought pizza and we retreated to the house to eat it. Tess woke up,  sniffed the air and looked at me. She loves pizza and I only give her a small piece of the crust. This time I tore my crust in piece and she ate it. Janet fed her some pepperoni and salami and she ate more crust. I also made her a cup of canned dog food, raw dried dog food and probiotics. She ate it all. Her tail was wagging more but when was done, she tucked it between her legs.

She slept off and on during the night, restless and panting due to the heat. She would put her head next to me and I would caress her head and talk of the wonderful times we had together. We both drifted off to sleep together.

Friday rolled around and Tess was left to her own devices with a cone on her head. She was not amused and gave me a look of contempt when I put it on. Getty scurried away before he got this task.

She managed to survive her embarrassment to greet me with a furious wagging of her tail She tail was out in full force and not tucked between her legs. She was feeling much better and even forgave me for the cone head incident. I gave her a piece of my roast chicken and she inhaled it. Then I made her her dinner, canned dog food with her kibble, smothered in the roast chicken drippings. She ate slowly but ate it all.

we went out for a walk and she did her business and sniffed about. She looked to see what was happening down at the barn and was aware of her surrounding. I put her back in and fed her some more. I put her on the couch and paid attention to her and then decided to work Rainey. I took the whistle off the keyring and put it on my neck. Her ears perked up and she started to come off the couch, as it was the signal that someone was going to work...I told her to stay and winced inside at the hurt in her eyes.

I took her daughter to sort the lambs. When I came in, her eyes accused me of betrayal.

I guess I did.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Parade of the top fifteen handers at Calgary Stockdog Stampede 2011

The  parade of the top 15 handlers at the Calgary Stockdog Stampede Finals

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


it has taken me a few days to write this has been very difficult and words can not say how I feel.

Five Days ago, a horrific accident befell our dear Tess. I had just gone done putting the chickens away with Tess and she merrily ran up towards the house. She paused then sat down near the house pond. Getty drove from work around 8:30 p.m. and up the driveway and then slowly up to the carport. Suddenly, Tess bolted in front of the SUV before I could say anything to her or Getty. The two wheels on the driver’s side ran over her. It was an accident and no one is to blame.

She never cried but bit my hand in pain when I tried to see what injuries she had and saw her eyes had rolled back. She was trying to get up but we held her down. I then had to run into to the house to get a towel to stop the blood from my hands, where a puncture hit a vein. She got up and clambered a few feet before we grabbed her and wrapped her into a towel. Getty, Kendall and I jumped into the car and raced to the ER vet with Tess in my lap in the back seat. Her gums were white, breathing was shallow and her legs were cold and listless. I begged her to hold on and she bravely lifted her head, opened her eyes and looked at me. She held on.

We rushed to the clinic, the staff rushed out and carried her in the doors. Her breathing was getting worse and I could see the severe pain in her eyes. We waited while they worked on her and soon they came out with the bad news. They were trying to stabilize her but were having problems. Her diaphragm had ruptured and her organs were in the chest area, her lungs were collapsed and the blood oxygen level were dropping to 89/90%. The ER vet told us that she could not do the surgery to save her life and our only hope was Seattle Veterinary Specialists (SVS), which was 15-20 minutes away. The ER vet tried to get the SVS ambulance to come and pick her up but they could not get a crew. Meanwhile Tess was going downhill.

We made the decision to transport her in our car and the ER vet loaned us their oxygen bottle so Tess would get the much need oxygen. Without it, she would die. The ER vet told us that she could die any minute and to be ready for that. She was getting worse by the minute.

We raced out of the parking lot, this time Kendall drove while Getty rode in the back with Tess. Her breathing was labored but she held on. She knew she had to hang on and the game little dog fought tooth and nail to stay.

Tess was rushed into SVS and they worked to stabilize her. They got her oxygen level at 89/90% and her vitals to stay steady, weak at best. They did not want to do surgery until her oxygen level went up and she was more stable. We hoped that she would pull through. The vet came out and told us to go home as they had done all they can. If she stabilized, then surgery would be in the morning. They had done the best they could and we went and gave Tess some kisses and told her to hang on. She was in the oxygen chamber and non-responsive.

It was a long ride home and we cried as we never cried before. Our hearts were torn in half and we prayed she would make it. Tess is the world to us and is our four legged child. We don’t have children and asked for a child, so God sent us Tess. She has brought joy, happiness and enrichment to our lives.

We didn’t sleep at all during the night but I had a feeling she was going to make it. I saw the fire in her eyes, the will to live and the courage to fight. The vet called us in the morning with the good news that her oxygen levels were up and she had stabilized. They were assembling a team together to perform the surgery and wanted to give her more time to stabilize. Finally, at 2:15 that afternoon, she went into surgery. At that time, I was at my doctor to have my fingers examined. My fingers were bitten and the right ring finger was the worse. There might be some damage but we won’t know until the swelling down. During this entire time, we would jump every time the phone would ring. If it rang and it was from SVS, and during the two hour surgery, it would mean bad news.

A little after five we talked to SVS and she had made it through the surgery. The diaphragm had completely ripped and her organs, live etc were thrust forward. If the diaphragm had had a partial tear, she would have died, as it would have ruptured the organs. As it was, they all moved forward without tearing. Her lungs were collapsed and they did not know if they were any damage. Sometimes when a lung collapse and it is re-inflated, part of it will die. This can cause complications.

After the surgery, they said her breathing was much better since the negative pressure in her chest had returned and she didn’t need to be in the oxygen tent anymore. They did an exploratory on her abdomen but didn’t find any other lacerations. They told us the next 24 hours and then the 48 hours were critical and she wasn’t out of the wood yet.

Later that night we visited her. She was on IV pain meds and antibiotics as well as fluids. She gave a feeble nod to Getty then passed out. Her eyes were not there and she was not herself. There was a lot of fluids in her belly and she looked awful we talked to her and caressed her and told her to hang on. The vet tech was very kind and we talked about her. It would be up to Tess at this point as they had done all they could. Tess is a fighter, a very stoic dog and one who never gives up.

We left and again, the night was fitful in sleep. We prayed for her as well as the of the world. It was amazing the emails that poured in from all over the world for Tess. With everyone pulling for her, she would pull through.

Saturday was long and difficult and we kept busy. That evening we went to see Tess again and she was better. Not much but at least she was somewhat responsive. She did recognize us and asked for pets by nudging us. She still was on IV pain and antibiotics and that slowed her down. She finally went to sleep and I put her pink piggy toy next to her head so she would see it when she woke up. She loved her pink piggy and it was her security blanket. She had passed the 24 hr mark and was slowly getting better. It was hard to leave but she was asleep.

On Sunday, I kept busy with lessons and Getty helped finished putting up the disc gold course in town. I called my mom to let her know and she was in shock. I had talked to my brother the day before and asked him not to tell our mother. My mom adores Tess and Tess worships the ground she walks on.

Later that night we went to see Tess again. Audrey joined us and we waited in the examining room. Audrey is Tess’s God-mom and we leaned heavily on her and Monique during the last few days. They walked us through the last few days and helped us in the progress and any questions.

The vet tech told us the Tess was able to walk and urinate. Then she would fall asleep. They had taken the IV and chest tube out, we expected her to be as bad as she was the night before. However, she walked unsteadily into the room and her eyes were clear. She wagged her tail and shuffled to us. Tears came to our eyes and we slipped to the floor to be with her. She put her head next to Audrey and gave heavy sighs. Audrey felt her over and talked to the vet about her progress. Tess was healing, slower than they wanted but she was 13 years old and not a spry two year old. There was a large amount of fluid in her back legs and it was not going away. She wasn’t eating as much as they wanted. We brought her some canned kitty food and she licked the gravy part but didn’t eat any. She was happy to see us and we sat with her for a long time.

It was good to see that she was getting better and better. We hope by this time she would be out of the woods and barring any unforeseen circumstances, she would be going home soon. Getty walked her back to her kennel area and she refused to go in. Obviously, she was feeling well enough to protest. She finally went in but you could tell that she did not want to stay.

If she continued on the rate of improvement, the plan was to take her home on Monday. The night was long and we both went to work on Monday. I don’t remember much about work as it was a daze for me. They called and she was getting better but she had thrown up after she drank They were hoping that she threw up because she drank too fast and too much water. If she would continue to throw up, then that would be an issue. I kept my fingers crossed and later that afternoon, they called and said she had not thrown up again. She was ready to come home that day. Getty got off work and picked her up. She was able to walk to the car and then from the car to the house.

She looked far better but was unsteady on her feet. She was not interested in food so I cooked up some bacon for her. She ate pieces of it so that made us feel better. We had flank steak that night and she ate several small pieces. She dozed off and we all went to sleep. Tess slept in her dog bed next to my side of the bed. Getty got up at 3:00 a.m. to give her pain pill and she fell asleep. When I woke up, she crawled to my side of the bed and was underneath where my hand had hung over. I stroked her head, saw the look of love in her eyes and felt that she was getting better.

Tuesday, I worked from home and she lay on the couch next to me. I took her out to go to the bathroom and give her pills. He eyes were brighter and the swelling in her belly had gone down. She would nudge me here and there and I would caress her. She was a lot more responsive and her eyes would track me as I worked. She managed to eat some canned dog food and part of my lamb burger. She drank water and was a lot more responsive. Her eyes would follow me and she wanted pets. The swelling in her back leg went down just a little.

Today, she is much better. She ate about one cup of Ultimate raw dog food, canned dog food, piece of bacon and some lamb burger grease, all mixed in to tempt her. She also ate some dog treats and part of my lamb burger. She has been on the couch all day next to me while I work. She has been sleeping off and on and then wakes up and wants to be petted. We took breaks and a walk and her hind legs water retention is going down. She even tried to trot. She has managed to navigate the stairs.

It’s going to be a long road before she is well and racing about again but for now, we are happy that she pulled through.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Final round of Cowboy Challenge at Calgary Stampede 2011

This is one talented woman rider in the Final round. I don't remember her name and if you recognize her let me know, so I can put her name in this posting.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jimmy Walker and Angie - Calgary Stampede- Second Round

Jimmy Walker and Angie. This is the second round at the 2011 Calgary Stampede.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jenn and Lad at Calgary Stampede- second round

Jennifier Glen and Lad. This is the second round at the Calgary Stampede 2011.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kristi and Rex - first run at the Calgary Stampede 2011

Kristo Oikawa and Rex on their first run at the Calgary Stampede.

I will get more video processed and put them up in the next few days. It takes a bit so be patient!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Jimmy Walker - Calgary Stampede- First runs

We meet the nicest couple at the Stampede. Janet and Jimmy Walker. Janet took videos of our runs using out camcorder so we took videos of Jimmy's runs for her. This is the first run that Jimmy had......he is one tough guy to beat!

Jimmy and Angie

Jimmy and Mitch

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cowboy Challenge at Calgary Stampede 2011- Final round

We saw the Cowboy Challenge at the Calgary Stampede. We took videos of the Final round. I can't remember who this first rider is but the second person is James Anderson. His wife is Andrea that I have known for about ten years.

Final round

Jim Anderson

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Homeward bound

All good things must end and so it was, on Tuesday, that Janet and I pointed the car south and thus began our journey home. We bid adieu to our Canadian brethrens and other friends and slowly made out way out of town. We took a different route since our destination was Nine Mile Falls, WA. We would be staying at Ron and Vic Green’s place for the night. We passed the lush rolling fields and soon our remarks were about “How long of any outrun would it be to the top of the hill? Wow, wouldn’t that gully be a tricky draw?” I am sure many of you have had the same conversation.

Janet spied a Tim Horton’s and we just had to stop. She is getting quite good at spotting them, well before me, and I am quite impressed. We took a breakfast break and were trying to figure out how much longer it was to the border. Then a couple of bikers sat next to us. One got up and left so then I asked the solo biker how far it was to the border. He replied about 15 minutes and we thanked him. Janet leaned over to me and whispered, “I think he thought you meant the BC border”

I asked him again about the US and his reply was about 1 hr and half. Then I noticed how cute he was. Kinda like a younger Marlboro man in biker’s gear. Too bad I couldn’t think of anymore questions to ask him. Of course, there was serious eye candy Cowboys at the Calgary Stampede! So, I wandered outside to take the dogs out and ran into the other biker that was in earlier. She had a beautiful Harley with a picture of her son on the side. Her friend joined us (another woman biker)  and soon Roo and Scoot were schmoozing with them. The dogs had them under their spell. She had an Aussie named Rocket and we talked dogs for a bit. It was enjoyable talking to them and hearing about their journeys.

We hit the road again and passed Sparwood, the home of the “Largest Truck in the world.” Apparently, it is not the largest truck anymore since we were informed at the Stampede (and I can’t remember who told me) that another truck was bigger but it was not on display. If you were the person, drop me a line and tell me where this other truck is located, and so forth.

I have no idea why we decided to stop at the infamous Starbuck in Bonners ferry. You remember it was the Starbucks that didn’t know what a decaf frap was and couldn’t make our two drinks correctly? Across from the Bate’s Motel? In the area of the weirdness bubble? I think I will blame this on Janet!

So, we ordered drinks and thankfully, they got them right. The dogs needed to be walked so we wandered about when this strange person approached us. He saw Janet’s University Of Washington Alumni license plate cover on her car and followed us. He just had to chat us up about it and other stuff. The weird radar was going full force now and even red-lined a few times. We finally got him to leave and then raced to our car and burned rubber getting out of town.

We made it to Nine Mile Falls and relaxed at some friends.  It was good to put our feet up and just relax. That is when we learned that  Roo was taught to bark when he was told to “sit”. We also learned he was taught to “speak” as well. Roo was happy to be back at his old stomping ground and played ball for hours. Scott was happy to chase Roo and soon the dogs we exhausted but happy!

We had  grilled tuna that had caught from a fishing trip to the coast. We got to catch up on life and tell tale stories. The evening was a good way to end a long day. We had made plans for the next morning to work cattle and sheep.
Our friend took us to work cattle and sheep. It has been a while since Roo has worked cattle and he remembered it just fine. The last cowdog trial, I ran Roo in was over 3.5 years ago and he tied for second in Open on Sat and Sunday. I have worked him at home on my cattle but I haven’t had any cattle since last fall. Roo ran out tight and he was scolded so he decided to smarten up and work the cattle right. He really enjoyed it, especially the low heeling part. The cattle thought they were going to run to the barn but he convinced them it was not in their best interest. We worked for a bit then my friend worked Kiki. She is an upcoming cattle and sheepdog and great-granddaughter of Tess. She is going to be a nice dog when she grows up.

 Photos: Janet Thorpe (it was windy and raining so the camera had a hard time focusing)

Then it was off to work sheep. It decided to rain. Isn’t eastern Washington supposed to be hot and dry? Instead it was wet and soggy! We arrived at Hope’s place and sorted out some nice Dorpers for us. The field we were working in has a huge gully in the middle where you lose sight of your dog for about 7-10 seconds. The grass was wet so it deadened the whistles and the sheep were light. We set for each other and it was about 450-500 yards or more. Roo was tight at the top, maybe since I just got done working him on cattle but we resolved that issue. Roo saw that it would be in his best interest to go wide and be a good boy. I had fun working him and by the end, he was more than happy to listen, as he was tired. Kiki ran well but then cut in when she saw the setout person (me). She was nervous about picking the sheep off me but crossed over and slowly got them. This was new to her and that was his homework. He did work on it and fixed it the next day. Janet, being the smart one, stayed in the truck where it was dry.

After we got done, we sent shopping at the Big R. I managed to find a cute purple sweater and jacket. So not western but cute. I was surprised that I didn’t get anything at the Stampede and equally surprised that I found these items in a feed store. I also got nice hoof trimmers which I desperately needed. The hoof trimmers are for the sheep and not me, by the way!

Soon, we had to head back to the house so away we went. Our friend did show us a scenic way back and we saw craggy hills, numerous deer and chipmunks. The chipmunks tried to play “chicken” with the cars on the road but luckily decided at the last minute to leap out of the way. It was a nice drive, filled with laughter and enjoyment.

Early afternoon, we headed over the mountains to home. It was a nice ride and not much traffic and we got to Janet’s place at a decent hour. I got home about an hour later and was greeted, or I should rather say was about knocked down, by Tess, Nan and Rainey. Rainey apparently really missed me as she kept wrapping her front paws around my leg and wouldn’t let go and kept doing deep sighs. It was the end of a long journey that was filled with good times, good friends, good runs and good memories. I hope to do it again next year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Six Horse Hitch at Calgary Stampede 2011

We saw the six draft horse team hitch. it was fascinating. They had fourteen team in the area and they all went around with precise work. such fancy harnesses, wagon and horse. You could tell some of the horses really enjoyed this.

Nothing fancy with the camera but here is what Janet took!

Check out the line up!

We had a blast and it was an enjoyable event to watch. Imagine the feed bill, though!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Calgary Second Run with Roo

I am so not a morning person so waking up before the sun is even thinking about peeking over the horizon is not in my cards but I had to get up anyways. The second go round was at 7:00 a.m. and we dragged our dogs and ourselves to the Stampede. of course, we were not up until mid pack but I wanted to see the runs so Janet humored me.

Janet ran before me and she laid down and awesome run only to time out at the pen. She had the sheep all lined up and calm but was short on time. She will post her runs on her blog in the next few days. It was a bittersweet ending as that was Scott's last run. He ran well, for an old dog and showed that he still had what it takes.

Roo and I felt like we were clicking and we were. The first obstacle was against the draw then you had to do several tight turns,  then around the post, chute and pen. I set him out and then stopped him short to make the first barrel. He ran well and took my flanks and was on the money until I made a huge handler error. I thought that that I had cleared a barrel but was short so I had to do it again. To my surprise, I did it again but recovered and kept going. This cost me over 30-45 seconds but Roo did the rest of the run like a champ. We got to the pen but didn't have time to get it and thus we knocked ourselves out of the Finals.  Regardless, Roo ran his heart out for me and I was the weakest link.

Taped by Janet Walker

Since I manage to lose my score sheet, I don't remember how people placed but there were some great runs with time just a shade over 2 minutes.  They ran all the runs in the morning and the 15 Finalists at 7:00 p.m. We took some videos and in the next day or two, I will post them.

After the runs, we went and saw some fair sights. Then our tour guide Milt, took us to the vendor's area and we shopped but didn't find anything that struck our fancy. Lunch was at the Wonton restaurant and then to the Superdogs. Our tour guide abandoned us at this point and after watching a few seconds of the Superdog, (it was not to our style!) we left to go and watch the rest of the Cowboy Challenge.

We lollygagged about then made our way to watch the Final Round of the Stockdog Championships. We took some videos and rooted for everyone. It was nice to see some great stock work. In the end, Dale won it and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. We really enjoyed it and plan to come back next year.

The final standings are below.

After it was all said and done, we made out way back to the hotel. We manage to sneak and get a table just before the restaurant closed and ate our last meal in Calgary. It was a good meal and soon sweet dreams filled our brains as we relived the wonderful time we had in Calgary.

Thanks to all who made it a wonderful journey. The Canadian Kindness strikes again.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Calgary First Run with Roo

Well, Janet and I attended the Handler's meeting at 7:00 am after we got our dogs all squared away. we had coffee and  doughnut and got to see old friends and meet new ones. We are truly bummed to find that Chris Hanson was not able to make it. we wanted him to see the last run by Scott, since he was the first owner and who I got Scott from. So Janet ran Scott in his honor.

I saw Chris Jobe and remembered the time she got her Yorkie as a puppy. Time sure flies as that Yorkie is now ten years old. Jamie was a bubbly and fun as ever and I really miss seeing her. She is one of my favorite people in the whole wide world.  Every time I hang out with her, my sides hurts from laughing so much.

Jenn, Lisa and Louanne were there and they provide some entertainment. where ever they are at, you can guarantee that some laughter and good times are around. Wendy, who seems like a quiet person, is really a kick in the pants. Between all of them, you can be assured that fun will be provided. It was a good way to start the trial!

There were over 60 dogs running and it was split up between two times. The first set was at 8:00 a.m and then the second set was at 7 at  night. We drew up in the second set. So that gave us all day to watch the morning rounds, watch other events and tour the fair.

We got some great seats and began to watch the first runs. The sheep were high headed and if your dog was weak, you were doomed. If you dog was too pushy, they ran. Penning was not in their vocabulary. The  course had 18 points and you needed all of them to get into the top 15 in the Finals.

I got to meet some new people, Jimmy and Janet Walker. Being a Texan, I naturally rooted for them. Also since they are one of the nicest couples, ever!! We sat behind them and also met other new people.  Dave Clayborn, the winner from last year was very nice and filled us in on some details.  We also got our own tour guide, in the form of Milton Scott.  If I was a betting woman, he would have been the LAST person that I would have figure to be our tour guide. He took off his "player hat" and put on his "tour guide hat". I am sure that was a first! But he was a good sport.

Wendy came out with a bang to put down a nice run, with full points and a fast run. Chris Jobe, not to be out done, also laid down a screaming run for full points. Then she went and did it twice. Dale Montgomery, a true classy man, ran his dogs and made it look like it was easy. (It wasn't!)  Jenny got full points with her Hemp. Valerie Kerik with Win had a smooth run with a nice dog. Diane Gauthier went out and proved she still run like a champion. I had the list with the scores and run but managed to lose it. They ran 45 dogs then quit until the evening.

So now was tour time, chow time and watching the event time.  With our new tour guide, Milt, we explored the fair grounds. we got tons of non-healthy fair food. Then off to the the six horse team hitch. The draft horses are simply stunning and the wagons were polished to a high gleam.

Taped by Janet Thorpe

We all voted on the winning hitch and Janet got the closest. I failed and picked fifth place. So much for my career as a Hitch Judge. I think Milt picked fourth place.

Then the cowboy challenge was the next event.  That is really fun to watch. They have a free ride, sliding stops and rollbacks, going over and through obstacles and lots of noise. It like horse agility but was more fun. we were rooting for Jimmy Anderson, who is married to Andrea. I know Andrea from way back when when I first got into trialing. I bought Tait (Teddy) from her.

Then off to more touring and then Handler's Dinner. I wasn't in the mood to eat a bunch since I would be running so I mainly nibbled. We saw with Jeff and Perry who were the sheep setter and grip judge.  Jimmy and Janet joined us and soon the table was filled with tons of fun people.  Lots of food and more than enough to go around.  They had a door prize of a beautiful buckle and general good humor was the entertainment for the night.

Soon, it was out turn to be running in the evening session. Janet was up, then followed by me. The course was set that you had to pass one sheep by each obstacle or you didn't get any points. Scott ran out clean and she handled him well but a handler error of a too wide turn at the handler's post cost her dearly. She didn't get her points after that but still handled the sheep well and had them lined up at the pen. Janet can handle a dog well and it showed in her run.

Roo was on the muscle as we went in and it showed in our run. He blew through his stops and took a couple of flanks the way he wanted to go so that also cost us. We did make it through the course and time ran out on us at the pen. I knew where I made my errors and thought about how to run a better game the next day. I would have to run fast, clean and get all of my points and that might give me a chance for the Finals.

Taped by Janet Walker

Our tour guide ran right after us and smoked us. At least one of us did well. He got the pen and had a fast chute time so if Milt was able to have a good run the next day, he would get in. Louanne ran Meg and had a stellar run. I think I need to steal Meg and bring her back to the States? Besides, Meg has the cutest freckle face!

The last of runs ended late and as we were trying to get our gear to head back to the hotel, the skies opened up and a rain deluge attacked us. We got drenched but made it back to the hotel, only to have to repeat it all the next morning.

Note: I added who taped the runs

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fat Canadian Cows

I love cattle. It's as simple as that. As we were driving we spied this herd. So we pulled over. These cattle were nice and square and rich in color. One calf was very interested in us. The calf was the smallest and soon that calf wandered up close to check us out. I really liked the structure and size of these cattle.

We named the little calf, "Two brown eyes". The calf's mama had two brown circles around her eyes too. She was not friendly and gave me that all too familiar, "Stink Eye"

This other calf was just as curious. They kept trying to get closer but ole Mama would acted concerned and like true small children, they ignored her.

 I couldn't figure out the brand on these cattle but it was huge and on their side.

Old Mama Cow let us know we should be hitting the road rather quickly and the photo session was clearly over.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Photo Journey on the road

As we pulled away from Bonner's Ferry, I took some valley shots. There was a huge fence in the way so a lot of photos that could have been good, were not able to be taken due to the fence. Climbing over a eight foot fence was not an option so I took what I could. The scenery was breath taking.

 The Sign that I read before I had my coffee. I was still in a coma.

 Cross stitching of color.

 The view of the valley after we left Bonner's Ferry.

 Cool Mountain formation. This was a ski town we stopped to have coffee and doughnuts at a Tim Horton's. The sign said to watch for "Mountain Sheep" and we looked for them but never saw any. We saw lots of tourists though.

 Snow in July.

 More mountains.

 Place near and dear to my heart. Soon, Janet was as good as me in locating them!

 We found the largest truck in the world. It was used in the coal operation in Sparwood, B.C.

See how tiny Janet is next to the truck wheel. 

 Pieces of coal.

The view near our hotel You can buy booze and a bong. This is as close as we got!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Journey continues....

After our entertaining experience with the Starbucks, we quickly fled Bonner’s ferry but only got as far at the edge of town. From the side of the road, you could see a broad sweeping view of the valley, with stunning yellow fields, bright green pastures and velvety lazy rivers and ponds. I quickly jumped out of the car to take this panoramic scene only to find a huge field blocking the view. I angled my camera to get some of the pictures but it was not as nice as what we really saw. We kept on driving and thanks to “Nancy the GPS” wandered to the border crossing. It was under construction and had one booth open. The guard was very nice and wished us to have fun time and that was one of the many firsts of the “Canadian Kindness” that we encountered.

Photos from the Kootenal Wildlife Refuge.
 I loved the yellow and green contrast.

 More contrast. We didn't know what the crops were but if you do, let me know.

We came across this doe and her twins. One of the twins just had a jolly time running up and down. It was in the shadows so I couldn't get the best photos but the entertainment was sheer delight. The fawn ran up and down the strip for about five minutes.

 Mama is concerned about us but the fawn was having so much fun.

 She finally gave up and gave herself a good ole scratch and watched her fawn run some more.

Mama and the others twin who did not run about.

 Look at the tail on the fawn.

 OK, the fun is over and time to head out.

 Wind whipped marshes.

 Mama Goose hurried her brood away from us.

 This dead tree begged to have it's picture taken.

An Island of trees in the middle of the cropland.

We hit Hiway 3 and had rolling hills that were dotted with cattle ranches. We saw some very nice cattle and took some pictures. One cow in particular was very serious about letting us know we should stay on that side of the fence while her calf took great delight in trying to approach us. We did stay on our side of the fence, in case you were wondering. The cattle were square and looked bigger than the cattle in my area. We saw herds of horses, bright bays, glossy sorrels, flashy paints and sun burst palominos. We did see the occasional sheep flock but nary a Border Collie. Lunch time found us in the town of Nanton were we spied a restaurant called “Kens” and we expected it to be a local home-style food but to our surprise it was a Chinese restaurant. Maybe they meant to call it "Chens”.   Anyways we did order a non-Chinese lunch on it and it was quite good and soon we were on our way.

We arrived in Calgary in late afternoon, went to the admin office and got our packages. We also did a dry run over to the fairgrounds so we would know we would have to put our dogs at early the next morning, figure out the shuttle system and figure out were the handler’s meeting and event would be. Since Janet was 6.5 months pregnant, we didn’t want to be doing any extra running around in the early morning.

Our hotel was the Raddison and it was a very nice hotel. It was next to the Liquor store and we forgot to stop and get my bottle of Crown Royal Reserve. How awful is that?

Tomorrow: The Calgary Stampede

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Northern Journey

Janet Thorpe and I went on a northern journey to the Calgary Stampede. Janet entered Scott  and I entered Roo. This would be Scott's last trial and as a tribute to him, Janet signed him up to go out in glory at the Stampede. he had run at the Stampeded a few years earlier with his former owner, Chris Hanson. we were hoping to see Chris at the Stampede but he had to cancel. So we did take videos of our runs and I will post them this weekend.

Janet did all the planning and it was top notch. I just had to part of my share of the driving and fiddling with the AC, which I failed miserably at and won't be hired back on that job.

The first day we left Janet's house around 10 in the house and meandered our way to Bonner's Ferry. It is just across the border from Canada and it was a good halfway point. we pulled into the hotel and checked in.

Did you ever see the movie, Psycho? Remember the "Bates Motel?" Well, we found it since we stayed in it. The hotel was not really named the Bates Motel but sure was weird. As we were checking in, I spied a bunch of wall mounted trophies. One was of a very nice large Bison head. I was impressed and asked the clerk about it.

This is what he said about it. "Well, it was alive and it was shot by the owner of the hotel as he owned a male and female and he didn't think the male bred the female so he shot them and then it turned out the female was five months pregnant so that was a waste but then the owner was drunk and an asshole and he was drunk when he shot it but they kept getting out of the fence and he was a mean owner and his wife came into work one day with a broken foot and she claimed she fell down but i think he hit her so i told him if he ever did it again it would hit him but i did hit him once and that is how i got this job as i used to be his foal raiser at the ranch and raise the baby foals and did you know when the foals are babies and if you handle them they imprint on you but the one foal that was born was killed by dogs and i went to shoot it but the owner did not let me so i hit him, well that was after he rammed into my shoulder but the foal died anyways so the owner wanted to fire me but the wife made him not fire me but put me here to run this hotel and i get $1200 a month and free rent and my 17 yr old son lives here with me but he and I don't get along"

This was all in one breath and my eyes glazed over and I fell into a deep coma  only to be awoken by the severe shaking of my temporal lobe brain matter by a very concerned Janet. My  parietal lobe overloaded with processing the tactile sensory information and determined it was painful and exploded. Janet gave me the "Stink eye" and therefore I did not ask any more questions about the magnificent elk trophy that loomed above my exploded head.

We got our room key and them left to explore the Kootenal Wildlife Refuge. We saw a doe with twins (Blog tomorrow) and a whole lot of grass. A few Canadian Geese and not much more.

Of course, we had to pose with our dogs since they both got groomed and we have photographic evidence that green goose poop is not permanent on their white collars. Both dogs got bathed, groomed and trimmed. This lasted for all of 24 hours but look below to see clean dogs.

Janet with Roo and Scott.

Roo and Scott. Notice that Scott does not want his photo taken? I was trying to turn his head to the camera but to no avail.

After our jaunt to the Refuge (appropriately named since we bolted to there after the hotel clerk encounter), we then found a local restaurant named Mario's Mexican Restaurant. And it was owned by Mario. He made us a beef, onion and cilantro taco that was tasty and we ordered dinner. It was good but the best part was his special taco he made for us. By this time, we had recovered from our trauma with the hotel clerk and made out way back.

Roo and Scott were the guard dogs all night and when we walked the dogs at night, I felt weird vibes around us.  The hotel allowed dogs, which was really a smoking room that really smelled badly, and by the morning we were all stuffed up.  We left rather early and went to the Starbucks across the street.

Now, one would think that Starbucks would hire people who can take a order and maybe, possibly get it right? Since I firmly believe that this Starbucks was in the range of the Bates Motel, the weirdness just spilled across the street.

Again, I made the mistake of asking a simple question. I know that Janet now arms herself with a crook and will bash me at my knees if I ever ask a hotel or coffee clerk another question. I asked if they made a decaf frap. That was for Janet's sake as she wanted one the day before. The clerk got all flustered and she could not understand what I was asking. I repeated it slower but that didn't seem to work. I gave up. Apparently this Starbucks and the one in Ellensburg do not make the decaf frap. I assumed that sign language would be too much for her to understand.

So, we ordered a decaff for Janet and a Vanilla Breve for me. We sat down and began to eat our banana bread. Sound simple enough, right? The coffee person called me to pick up Janet's order and I give it to her. She called me to bring back her drink as she can't remember if she made it a decaff or not so has to remake it. She give me my order and I thank her for my Breve. I sit down and she called me back. She remembered that she didn't make it a Breve. So, I bravely hand her my drink back.  Finally we got the two drinks made properly and we raced out of town before the weirdness bubble struck again.

Tomorrow: pixs from the Refuge and day two of the drive.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Headed Home

We spent a long day on the road headed home. We are spending the night at Ron and Vic Green's place in Nine Mile. It's good to get our feet up and let the dogs run loose in the yard. Tomorrow we will go riding, work cows or sheep or whatever strikes our fancy then do the last leg home. Then I guess I have to go back to work for a couple of days which is a bummer as I could get used to traveling, trialing and enjoying life.

Since I am visiting with my friends, the blog today is going to be a bit thin. I will post about our adventures and runs in a couple of days. I did get some videos of our runs as well as some of the other folk's run. I plan to have them up this weekend.

We had a blast this weekend, met some new friends, hung out with some old friends, got a tour guide at the fair, ate well, enjoyed the runs, saw lots of horse events and generally enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

For this of you folks we hung out at Calgary, thanks for the good times and we look forward to going back next year.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Calgary Quick wrap-up

It's late and I am tired and headed to bed. We didn't make the top fifteen but we certainly had a grand time.  Janet ran Scott and his last trial he went out in a blaze of glory. They finished aside from the pen and it was some nice handling.  Roo ran great but I misjudged one barrel and since I have to had a super fast time with a pen, that cost me. I had to go back a redo that barrel and then we timed out at the pen but aside from that, I was happy with how Roo ran. I learned a lot about handling my dog differently and how to run better at this trial. We hope to come back next year.

Dale Montgomery won the 2011 Calgary Stampede with Ben. Dave Clayborn got second with Glen. Diane G got third with Skor. I got some videos of some of the run, but not all of them as my battery was dying. I will post them in a week.

We are headed out early to hit Spokane to stay at Ron Green's place. Then we will go riding and working cows. Then, I guess I have to go to work on Thursday!

More later when I get home and be able to write this at a decent hour.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Quick Calgary Update

We just got from running our dogs. We were in the night group and in the middle of the runs. Janet was first and didin't get the pen. She ran well. Roo ran well but did a couple of wrong flanks and we didn't get the pen. You had to get the pen to get enough points to make the combined. We got 15 points instead of the 18 needed so chances are very high that we did not make the top 15.

I will write tomorrow as we are exhausted. We did have a fun filled day.  I took video of our runs and will post them.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Arrival in Calgary

Janet and I got up early and were on the way to Calgary by the crack of dawn. Janet is a morning person and I am not. She is not chatty and I am super happy and chatty in the morning. We found ourselves at the Bonners Ferry Starbucks (in the Safeway). I can truly say this Starbucks has a -3 rating out of a 1-10 rating. They got both of our coffee order wrongs and I pointed out mine was wrong. Then they noticed after they gave Janet her coffee that hers was wrong. They had a hard time even comprehending what we were saying. It was over their heads. Oh well, in the end, after much ado from them, our coffees were right. However, they did not mess up the slices of banana bread they got from the racks.

The trip up to Calgary was scenic and stunning. We had allotted buffer time for breaks and lunch. Rolling, grassy hills dotted with fat cattle surrounded us as we meandered up the highways. Deer with fawns bounded over the swaying fine grass and it reminded me of a a delicate ballet. Herds of horses, stood next to each other, tails swishing in the wind and their coats gleamed.

Of course, we had to stop at Tim Horton's. Janet had no say as I was driving and the car *suddenly* veered off and *parked* itself in the parking lot. Apparently 10:30 a.m. is the doughnut rush hour as the line snaked out the door. Unfortunately we were at the end of the line but fortunately the line moved quickly.  We ate our second breakfast and soon were on our way.

Then as I was still driving, we saw a sign for the "Largest Truck in the World".  We had to see it and it was the hugest truck that I have ever seen. I took some pixs and will post them in the next few days. It was in a mining town and had some rich history.

Janet took the wheel so I got to soak up the sights of the rich country side. we passed miles and miles of Cattle ranches, each with their name on the gate post. We saw many more herds of fat, content cattle and gain, I took some pixs. As we were taking the pixs, the cows eyed us suspiciously while the calves wandered up to us in curiosity.

We had lunch in a quaint town called Nanton. we spied a restaurant named "Ken" so we thought it would be home style food. Much to our surprise, it was a Chinese Restaurant. However, we order sandwiched which were served opened-faced and were quite good.

We arrived in Calgary in mid afternoon and found the admin office where we picked up our packages.  We decided to scout out the area where our dogs would be kept and the handler's meeting would be. That way we would not be rushing around in the morning, trying to figure this all out. We got it all squared away and finally made our way to our hotel.

Janet booked the Raddison Hotel which is a nice hotel. We have free Internet access so I can blog. We were tired so went to the hotel restaurant. I never had Yorkshire Pudding. I always never had this but Janet twisted my arm to try it. It was delicious. I had a steak and Janet had lobster mac and cheese. Soon, we waddled back to our room and prepared ourselves for our runs tomorrow by reviewing the past runs of the Stampede.

Wish us luck in the first go-round of the Stockdog Challenge!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Calgary Stampede Bound

Janet Thorpe and I are headed out to the Calgary Stampede. We have entered in the World Stockdog Championship.  We left early this morning and picked to stop at Bonner's Ferry. It was a nice drive and we even had time to tour the Wildlife refuge. Of course, there was not much wildlife to see in the late evening as it was too early for the night grazing.

But I took some pictures and will post them. We did see a doe with twins. The lighting was bad so the photos didn't turn out. It was in the shadows but I will try to edit them tomorrow and post them. As it is, we are pretty tired and plan to hit the road before 7:00.

Janet is running Scott in his last trial and then he will be retired. He has been a good dog for her and taught her lots. Additionally, he has taught me tons. He is a honest dog that has won many hearts with his tremendous work ethics.

I am running Roo. He has been working well with me and I hope he shines as well as he should. He is a great dog with a heart of gold but people cannot get past the fact that he is red. he is fearless but has wonderful stock sense.

Both of these dogs are older, Scott being 12 years  and Roo is 8.5 years old. But they have done well by us and they are the best dogs we have to take to the Stampede.

I will be posting nightly from Canada so stayed tuned.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Weekend working dogs

I love seeing dogs develop in their training; from being a raw piece to a finished product. Each dog’s journey is different and some take longer while others can be quicker. I never know how long each dog’s journey will be as there are many factors that come into play. Tess’s journey started with me close to thirteen years ago and we still are on the journey together.
So on Sunday, Audrey, Kathleen and I went on a journey with our dogs. Namely to the far field on undogged ewes and lambs. The flock is a mixture of North Country/Coop, Clun forest, Katahdins and a few Suffolks. The lambs are three to six months old and maybe worked a couple of times prior. The field has several hard draws, one is where we put the sheep to be held until we need them as well as an exhaust area. The sheep that were being worked can see both sets and want to join their companions in a big way.

Kathleen brought Josh, Emma and Gael. Josh is her fourteen month old Kelpie which is starting to mature and getting a good solid foundation on him. He is keen and quick and handled the ewes with ease. The Suffolks gave him the evil eye but when he walked up on them like he owned the world, they turned and marched onward. Kathleen is getting miles on him so he will be well seasoned on all type of sheep as well as terrain. Nothing seems to fazes him that I could see.

Emma, the seasoned dog at 4.5 years old, is her main dog. Kathleen put a Thundershirt on her to settle her down since she was spooked at the fireworks. It did help and she was not edgy. The sheep really tried to sneak past her to the draw and it was an effort to keep them out in the field. It was the same for all dogs. By the end, she was driving about 250 yards and holding the draw pressure. Emma has no issue moving sheep or cattle as she will stand up and if needed, do an appropriate nose grip. She has set sheep for trial, works a large mob over 1000 sheep, worked cattle and done farm chores. Kathleen has taken the time to round her out and it showed. Kathleen is working on her whistles and soon, she will be running her in PN. She has run her in PN but not on whistles.
Gael is the newest of her pack and just over two years old. She just had a winter of training with Scott and now is learning to team up with Kathleen. There are a couple of rusty spots but they are getting on the same page. Gael is a different sort of dog than Emma, so that is an adjustment for Kathleen.

Audrey work Dan( Pleat x Tess) and he finally has come into his own. He is pacing well and had a great feel for the stock. Hits the edge of the bubble and the sheep know he means business. It was a struggle for this team in the early years as Dan always wanted to take the reins but now, he is letting Audrey run the show. Dan is very nice dog and reminds me of a younger version of Roo.

Kael was the other dog that Audrey worked. He too, finally matured and is handling the sheep well. He is still green but now is able to handle the pressure. He is casting out well and walking firmly into the bubble and holding the pressure. This litter was slow to mature and his sister, Rainey finally was able to take pressure and do well.
I used Roo to put the sheep away and then sort out the lesson sheep. he did quite well and did as I asked. we have come so far in a year. A year ago, we would fight each other and butt heads. Now, he really tries to please and we get along better and our work shows smoothness.

Several times a single would break away and Roo would back the single off the exhaust and back to the lesson sheep. it was like poetry in motion, one step at a time, nice and slow and good work on Roo's part.  Roo was the backup lesson dog and we worked well on that. I was very pleased on how we clicked as a team. I was very excited to see him take my lookback and then flank whistles when the big flock was in front of him. She spun around and then took my flank to get the second flock that was out of sight and under a shed. He had to flank an away, then through a gate and then flank a come bye, down a hill, and to a shed which was out of sight. He took every command and had no hesitation. I am feeling good about our relationship now and how well we trust each other. He is the replacement for Tess and has filled her shoes quite nicely. I am happy that he is my partner now.

We all got several rounds of work in and called it a day. The dogs had improved and we were happy at the progress. Kathleen and I went out to a late lunch and then hung out for a bit. The dogs got to play in the pond pasture and we could see the happy wags of the tails as they swam about. It was a good way to end the day with good dogs, good friend and good food. Oh yea, we had some sun and that was a real bonus.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rest In Peace, Wally Green

Wally Green, husband of Dodie Green passed away yesterday at their home near  Sonoita, AZ.

Services to be announced.

Dodie Green
P.O. Box 250
Sonoita, AZ 85637

Stainless Steel Flat-Sided Pails - on sale

Jeffer's Equine has these flatsided pails on sale for half off. I use these pails for my kennels as well as in the dog crates. In case you are interested, here is the link. This special will only be good for today.

Stainless Steel Flat-Sided Pails - ENDED

The special price has ended.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Third in the Clinic series.

I love three day weekends. That give me three days to train dogs, do farm chores and other odds and ends that need to get done. This Saturday, I went up north and did a third in a series of one day clinic. Most of the people have been coming since the first clinic and it was great to see the progress. We worked out in the outside arena and a few people ran a course and did it quite well. Most of them went up a notch in training and they are doing their homework. We had Border Collies, Kelpies, Aussies and Cattledogs. All worked great and we shifted the training to suit each of the breed's needs.

Shari and her Kelpie, Ozzie amazed me by how much she did her homework. She got a great stop and beautiful square flanks as well as an out. My jaw dropped on how great this team worked on that. Her next homework is the away keep (the other side of out) and inside flanks. I expect by the next clinic, she will have that nailed down too. By the way, this Kelpie is ten years old and is learning new concepts and doing them well.

Janet ran a hard, twisty course with Scott. I made it difficult as we are going to Calgary next week and it will be tough. The first time she did it, she struggled but the second time, she nailed it. She is one determined person! She and Scott have come a long way and he works brilliantly for her.

Linda came with Parker and it was her first time. We got him do do nice square lifts and he is one nice working ACD. He is solid, square red and a real powerful dog. I like what I saw in him. Parker was a quick study and got the concepts very quickly and when they had to get more lesson sheep, they put their new found knowledge to work. This is a nice team.

Michella and Sally (Aussie) have come quite far in their training. By the end of the day, they were doing nice soft, walkabouts. I see that Sally is trusting Michella and yielding the reins to her. They bot came off with a smile. Sally wants to please and once she figure out what you want, she bends over backwards to do it right.

Marney worked her Poppy and Riley. Both dogs are polar opposites of each other. Poppy started out soft at the first clinic but now, she is all gang busters. We added more pressure on her and will continue to do so since she is ready for it now.  Her other dog, Riley, is one tough, pushy dog and we convinced him that a steady walkup would allow him to get the sheep while a fast, jump up would be followed by a down and wait. He soon got the idea and they were walking about the arena and he was feeling the bubble and holding steady. I love seeing the huge smile on Marney's face when she works her dogs.

Kathleen worked her Josh, a 14 month old Kelpie. He is getting more confident and doing outruns. He is a nice working Kelpie and I think he suits her well. Kathleen also worked Clover (formerly known as Maya),  a full littermate to Josh, but from an earlier litter. I think she is about two years old. I was told she was soft but I saw no evidence of that. She did wonderful outruns, had a authoritative lift and pushy fetch. I kept telling Kathleen that I was going to steal her and make her my dog but she wouldn't hand over her leash to me. Darn! That is one darn good working Kelpie with the guts to back her work. Great stock sense and just nice! I can see what Josh can grow into as he matures. Be warned of these two dogs as they are quite nice.

Shirley worked Tully and he was getting more push and tidy inside flanks. each time, he gets stronger and stronger and I think soon, he will be one pushy boy. He has a heart of gold and tried hard and I like his work ethics. He will give you and then more. He is a Kelpie and related (I believe) to the other two.He has good stock sense and is thinker.

Dave and his darling red Border Collie, Smootch are one of the crowd favorites. Smootch adores Dave and they are one dangerous team. I would explain pressure and draw and how to handle your dog through that and by God, Dave would nail it. I made him run a course, tough ones, and he nailed it. If he ever decides to compete, be ready to take second place.

Kendall and Charm were also first timers. Kendall got a sweet tri Border Collie that is at a ranch level. She and Charm have been working hard as a team and they only have been together just over a month. We hope to have her running in Novice in Sept so we had her do a mini Novice course. The sheep are lighter than mine and the draw was to one corner so she had to learn how to handle that but she did it. She and Charm will be a team to look out for in the future. They are putting the pieces of the puzzle together and it is going well for them. I like their dynamics and how well they work together.

I ran Roo through the same tough course that Janet did. he sliced once and we missed the panels so we redid it. Then he listened and we nailed the course. I have to stay on top of roo as he is quite pushy and leans on the sheep. Since we are going to Calgary and running in a arena, we need to be precise and very controlled.

My friend Audrey took some pic of Roo and me this weekend. I love them.

 Roo and me!! He is such a good dog.

 Looking serious.

And of course, I had to put this Picture of Kate (aka Bessie).

photos: Audrey Baldessari