Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I've gone and done it!  Diva is registered in a Basic Tracking course.  I decided not to enter Ryder in the early July trials (too much pressure) and am instead using that money to pay for a tracking course with Diva.  I'm hoping she just may find her niche...

Stay tuned for the newest adventure.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bad Boyz!

The men (er, animal men) in my life have been giving me grief.  Ryder for some reason (best guess is he's feeling unhappy with me) has started to mark in the garage.  He's peed a number of times on the "dog" couch and peed a few times on the tires of the lawn mower tractor (the previous owners had a male so that doesn't surprise me).  I was less than thrilled to be cleaning up pee in my previously unpeed in garage.

Guinness, well he's just pushed me over my frustration threshold.  How can such a nice boy turn into the devil?  The last few times he's been hard to catch.  It really irks me to see my horse who's been handled from birth give me the bug eyes when I go to pet him and then do the "Peppy L'Peu" canter across the field.  It took me an hour and half to catch him last night.  He is now at my place in "halter" jail.  He is in a smaller pen, with a halter and lead attached.  (Yes, I know the risks...)  This morning I felt bad for him and was going to unclip the lead, however when I went to scratch him he went flying backwards.  This ticked me off so the lead stayed on.  He'd walk up to the fence and act all snorty like he'd never seen a human before.  Little rotter.  My brain knows this is just a phase but the rest of my body was not impressed.

Darn critters, will get ya every time!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Awesome Weekend

Here in Canada we have a holiday called Victoria Day.  Today.  My wonderful employer tacked on Friday as a day off turning my weekend into a four day weekend.  *sigh of contentment*  I needed it.  I should have worked on school work.  I should have spent a day at work catching up on stuff.  But I didn't!

Friday brought a new haircut, a trip to town with my brother, a trip home with a new push lawnmower, dinner with my family, and a walk in the grazing reserve with the dogs.  Saturday brought a run, a Kijiji buying expedition - a "new to me" riding lawnmower, a trip to town to buy a little mesh wagon that was on sale, BBQ with the family, a stock dog work, and an evening curled up with a trashy novel (something I haven't done in ages).  Sunday brought a run, a stock dog work (naughty Diva - sigh), a flat tire on my new mower, putting together the wagon, beginning the process of moving a gate, a long drawn out try to catch Guinness (apparently he's at that testing age), and more time well spent with family.  Monday brought hours of grass cutting, dinner at the country service (it's actually very good), a run in the park with the dogs, gopher control in the field, weed control in the yard, cleaning up the garden to prep it for planting, and lot's of laundry.  Let's not forget, baking of cookies - as a thank you for my brother who will move my gate tomorrow while I'm at work and before he flies north to the oil sands where he'll actually work.  (TeeHee - he worked all weekend for me.)

I spent the weekend outside doing things I enjoy with my dogs either ripping around with me or riding shot gun in the truck.  It was an awesome weekend.  So awesome, I had to do some dancing while mixing up my cookies.  (I like to call it dancing, some may call it a seizure...)

I sincerely hope everyone's weekend was as fabulous as mine!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sun Through Clouds

Just when I get disheartened.  Just when I think about throwing in the towel, the sun shines through the clouds and shows me things aren't really that bad.  After our leash fiasco I was thinking I was doomed towards failure with the dogs.  Why wasn't I able to achieve good manners?  The hours of work I've put into the dogs seemed to be pointless.

On Friday mom and I went for a walk in the grazing reserve.  We were walking though a grassy trail between two chunks of forest.  I noticed an Elk.  Recalling the dogs I saw it see us and trot off into the forest.  Feeling confident it had moved on to safer passages we continued on our way.  Ryder saw something in the forest and took off with Diva in hot pursuit.  Calling, only Ryder returned.  We continued on up to the top of a hill for better calling and visibility.  No Diva.  Walking around the edge of the forest, calling.  No Diva.  Backtracking we worked our way back the way we came.  Then in a dip I saw black movement.  Calling I see these flopping perk ears bounce.  You could see her jumping for a better visual.  Then she came running.  After that she stuck close to us.  I think she got disorientated and couldn't find us.  There's lots of knolls and trees.  (And I didn't have my dog whistle with me.)  As a result I think she scared herself (and me!).

Lately at home she's been shockingly well behaved.  She sticks close to me.  Comes into the house without a leash.  Wants to sit near me and get pets.  The absolute icing on the cake happened yesterday.  At the farm I worked Ryder on sheep (he was a superstar as always).  Knowing I had little time to work on training with Diva I decided to put her on stock so she'd at least get some mental stimulation and exercise.  She was good!  I could lie her down.  I could walk up to her and catch her.  I could take her off the sheep (with the end of the cord in one hand as insurance).  She still worked fast and furious.  She still sliced her flanks and tried to dive bomb the sheep.  But she showed a willingness to listen I haven't seen from her on stock.

Now after our run, she is laying at my feet catching a nap.

Could things be looking up?  Or is she lulling me in complacency only to turn into Diablo Diva once again??

Monday, May 14, 2012

#@^$# Dogs!

Bloody dogs.  It seems they never let up.  Just when I think we're headed towards progress they show me how wrong I am.  On Sunday, I went for a run.  It was busy.  I was later than I normally am.  This meant a variety of people.  And of course, people with dogs.  I've got to admit I am sincerely tired of dealing with dog behavior all the time.  It exhausts me.  I'm getting sick which doesn't help.

The dogs are back to being reactive naughty brats.  This means I need to do solo and public training with them.  The plan is each dog gets individual time away from the other in public.  This means I can really focus and deal with their behavior.  Hard for me to do with both at one time.  And Ryder, who's been very good - has decided to get into the naughty action.

Sorry about the stubble - but it bloody hurts and I was only getting so close with a razor.
Sunday at the park, we met a dog.  A snarky dog t'boot.  Diva locked eyes.  I immediately put her into lie down, sat Ryder down and began waiting for the dog to pass.  Diva pulled out of my hold, wrapped the leash around my leg and charged at the dog.  Ryder meanwhile pulled me off balance.  The end result is one mother of a rope burn across my shin and thorns in my palm that need to fester in order for me to get them out.  I was LESS than thrilled.  No more nonsense!  Grrrrrrr.

Liz, my first aid person - any advice?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Working Sheep Horse?

After working Ryder on the sheep, I untied Guinness and followed him out into the field.  I was hoping to get some pictures of my growing boy.  He went from being adorable like this:

To highlighting his beautiful stride like this:

To playing scatter and chase the sheep like this:

To full on working - er - sheep?  horse like this:

Poor sheep - they had thought the "work" part of the day was over.

Guinness on the other hand meant business.  

I'll have to ask Jason if Guinness needs to move into an isolation pen.  It appears I just may *if the stars align* have a cutting prospect.  At the very least he'll make a handy reined cow horse!
Contentment is...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Diablo Diva

The sun was shining, a wind was gusting, so I did what any sane girl would do.  I loaded up the dogs, headed to the farm to pick up my mom and Tessa to go for a run on the treed paths in the grazing reserve. My mom (who has Macular - and has vision issues) didn't notice Diva sitting on the passenger seat.  Mom opened the door, and began hoisting Tessa in.  Meanwhile, Diva sees opportunity and speeds out.  Cursing under my breath I open my door to begin the process of trying to catch the little bugger who will surely be headed out to help herself to the sheep.

It was at that moment that Diva's comeuppance came around the corner.  My parents have been dog sitting Colby my brothers dog.  Colby has abysmal manners and tried to attack my dogs last time we tried to do a group walk.  (I know the irony of me commenting on another dog's manners...)  Colby pounced.  Squashed Diva flat.  Diva begin to scream as though her tail were on fire.  Scooting she head behind the garbage cans where I attempt to remove the deaf and dumb Colby who is still intensely interested in starting something with her.  With both my mom and I working at it, Colby's collar is snagged and he is dragged off and around the corner.

Free from her jailer, Diva makes a show of bravery and runs towards them.  I call her name.  She stops and thinks.  Patting my leg I call again.  Hesitating, she turns, and runs towards me.  You could see she realized the safety of the truck and myself.  Grabbing her and giving her some pets I open the door and she launches herself into the truck.

I fully understand I shouldn't think this was funny.  My dog was attacked by a much larger dog.  But I have to giggle and wonder if she'll think twice now before making an escape attempt.

(No dogs were harmed in the making of this story.)

And yes, both the dogs and myself thoroughly enjoyed our run today.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Making It Worth While

We had our first sun in a long time today.  I spent the bulk of the day cleaning up my flower beds.  Because I took possession of my place in November, the beds were snowed on before I could do any of the normal fall things.  Here were my two little helpers posing by my pile of dead plants.

Taking a play break.

Watching for anything and everything.

My surprising discovery under all the dead growth.

And blooms!!!  In the beginning of May!!!

My dogs racing in the field.  You can see no green on the trees yet.  Soon.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

New Blog

I've started a new blog to chronicle some of my stories from my new adventures away from the farm.  You can find it here:

Friday, May 4, 2012

You've Got To Be Kidding Me

My day was fabulous.  It was fabulous until Blaine (Reba's owner) sent me a text asking me if I was at work.  I was, as I am the majority of week days.  At the end of the day I asked him what was going on.  He told me Reba had been run over today.  He rushed her to the vet but she died before he could get her there.  This sucks.  He was pretty upset by the whole situation.  She had gone under a trailer (his brother's ex-girlfriend did the deed which makes it worse), and that was the end of the story.

We text chatted quite a bit and I'm consigned with the task of finding him another dog that's perfect for him.  Not the easiest job in the world...  but one I take on willingly.  I won't let him dog shop without me. (As much as a person would like to be sentimental - he needs a dog to help him do the work.  And finding this dog may take some time.)

How do you replace the irreplaceable?