Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Life update and a working dog

Well, the blazing migraine decided to pack her bags and go bother someone else. It was horrid for the 36 hrs that I had the migraine but now I feel human again. No human enough to write my updates from this weekend as that will be tomorrow's  post but human enough to update you on the last couple of days.

When I got home, I went to sleep on the couch. Maid jumped up next to me and was my snuggler for the rest of the day. Tess, Nan and Rainey slept next to the couch so everything I had to get up, I had to wade through a sea of black and white fur. I felt really bad and every time I would toss about, Maid would sit up and hover over me with her cross-eyes full of worry. Once she figured out that I would be ok, she would relax and snuggle next to me. Again, I want to thank Scott Glen for his fine training on Maid as a nurse-dog. She did her job well.

The dogs were very careful around me and not the usual boisterous gang that they normally are. They would follow me all over the house, Tess first, then the others in a row, like a mother duck and her duckling. We soon discovered that four dogs can not fit into the guest bathroom, instead three is the proper number and I must teach them to close the bathroom door when they enter!

As for the heart procedure, it was a failure. My heart stayed in normal rhythm then after two minutes, went back into atrial flutter. That's a real bummer. My heart doc will consult with another heart doc on the next course of treatment. It looks like maybe an ablation. At least we gave this procedure a try.

Janet Thorpe came by on Monday night to cheer me up and brought me tons of Chinese food, wonton soup as well as cupcakes and Klondike Ice Cream bars. She knows my weakness.  When I had my two open heart surgeries, someone stuffed my freezer full of Klondike bars and I thought that I had died and gone to heaven. I was sure it was Janet but she denies it. So if it wasn't her, then I bow down to whomever did that deed! Not only did I manage to eat the Chinese food (honey walnut prawns, beef fat noodles and green bean beef) I also ate two cupcakes and one Klondike bar. Then I felt really good as I really hadn't eaten anything for a day. Janet rocks in my book!

I didn't get much sleep during the night as my migraine decided to kick in in a major way so I got up several times and fussed about. Finally about late midday today, it vacated the premises to find another new victim.

I decided that I should go outside and get some fresh air. Of course, I had to wear my new heated vest and it works great. The sheep were all fine and the Border Collies raced around like banshees, a far cry from the sedate dogs that were in the house earlier.

I fed everyone and wandered about. I saw one of my Katadhins was about ready to drop a lamb. She was in the back lawn pasture and I needed to move her to the lambing corral. I immediately got four volunteers. I grabbed Rainey who danced with glee as she entered the pasture. She dropped her head and brought the flock to me. I lined the flock up and she shed the last three which the chosen ewe was in with two yearlings. She marched them to the gate. I sorted the two yearlings and she held the ewe. This ewe is known as a runner with no respect for a dog. She tried to leap over Rainey and Rainey went up in the air, with her teeth flashing. The ewe turned at the last minute and tried to cut around her. Rainey met her step for step, a quick jig and then the ewe came back to me, head high, nostrils flaring and a general bad attitude. She didn't want to go in the gate so I stood back, held my side and told Rainey to put her in. She turned into the ewe, one tiny step, held a paw in the air, the ewe stamped, then Rainey turned her head ever so slightly to the side and the ewe calmly walked in. Rainey stood and waited to see if she would turn back and once the ewe had joined the sheep in the lambing corral, she relaxed and looked at me for further instructions.

Since I was warm and cosy in my heated vest, I decided to do some shedding work with her. She lined the flock up and came in clean to hold the back five. I let two more go and practiced an international shed and had her hold the last three.  The last three wanted back and two broke to one side and one to another. I sshhhh her to see what she could do. She ran and tucked the two that were closer to the flock and they turned back and she bolted to cover the single. She turned her and then tucked them back in as a group and brought them to me. I told her look back and then sent to get the rest of the flock. She brought them quietly and held them to the fence and I grabbed one. I had her push the flock away and then turned the yearling loose. She held the yearling quite nicely to me and she is getting quite thoughtful in her work. She stood nose to nose to the yearling and then backed her down about 10 steps to me.

I called her off and she let her go. It was a nice feeling to see that she had grown up and became a useful dog. She gives me her all and tries to do what I ask of her, no matter how hard it is. One day, she will put on her Open dog shoes and hopefully prove she is as good as her mom, Tess. In the meantime, she is learning to do practical work that makes her a stronger dog.

The sun faded quickly and the coyotes began to sing in the distant. As we wandered up to the house, it was good to be home. Home is where the heart is, even though the heart  maybe broken, it still is home.   As I type this, I am surrounded by a blanket of black and white dogs, eyes looked onto my face and tails wagging slowly. I think they want their evening treat.

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