Sunday, September 30, 2012


My mom had had this brilliant idea to develop another flower bed along side my house.  My dad has a huge pile of sand.  Sand my mom wanted at my place.  The way the farm yard is landscaped she was able to back the truck up to the front lawn and push a wheelbarrow full of sand onto the box of the truck.  My place is flat.  Pancake flat.  Her idea?  Use a ramp to unload the full wheelbarrow so it could then be moved and dumped where the beds were to be made.  Sounds good in theory...

What really happened?

Well, standing in the box I turned the wheelbarrow and began to ease it down the ramp.  Mom, being mom, decide to "help".  Standing below the wheelbarrow she began pushing on it "to slow it down".  There I am.  Trying to keep the full wheelbarrow from flattening my mother.

Can you see where this is going?

Yes, mom jumps out of the way.  And I Superman off the edge of the truck.  Landing with my outstretched arm in the now stopped wheelbarrow.  The rest of my body piles up tangled with the arms of the barrow.  Wincing I untangle myself.

Yep, like a cartoon character I superman'd off the truck into a wheelbarrow of sand.

A couple of days later I went to the chiropractor.  Let's just say I'd been sore...  It turns out I have whiplash (who knew I flew that hard!)  and the connective tissue in my ribs is torn.  (I also have a lovely bruise across my chest.)  No running for 5 days!

The things I do...

Doggy Decisions

I had six hours of drive time this weekend to reflect on my animals.  After weighing everything I've decided to leave things as status quo.  It's not that I think no one else can do justice to my dogs, it's that I'm not ready to let one of them go.  I've decide to really focus on stock work and obedience with them for the next little while - or until snow flies and it gets to hard to herd.  Diva was a very good girl for Sarge.  She had one "episode" while with him.  Otherwise she was happy and well behaved.

Ryder is clearly very, very attached to me.  This discovery when we tried to leave him at Sarge's house Saturday morning.  He lost his stink.  Even crated he freaked out.  We drove off and circled around - giving him a 10 minute window to calm down.  He didn't.  So he ended up in the truck with us.  The next time we left him outside in the yard with Diva and he was better.  But he was Mr. Clingy.  Where I went he followed, even shoving his body in the tiny bathroom.  The first night he even had an "accident" in the house.  Very unlike him.  He's quite the nervy little fellow.

Today I worked them both.  Ryder is really starting to understand his flanks and has gained a lot of confidence while driving.  I had been toying with the idea of entering him in the Northlands trial in November but it turns out this year it falls while I'm still working so he'll wait for spring to compete.  Divan and I began the attempt at driving.  She's so headstrong it's a bit challenging to redirect her.  I'll take her to Ken's and get some help with that.  It was a fun way to end the weekend.

Monday, September 24, 2012

An Experiment

I am undergoing an experiment, if you will.  Diva has gone off to live with Sarge for the week.  This leaves me Ryder here at home.  The mission?  To see how the dogs behave separately.  Ryder has never lived alone so this is a bit of a rude shift for him.  I want to see how he behaves out in public without his sister backing him up.  We were also curious to see how Diva behaved without her pack.  Diva, it seems, has been a rock star.  She walked through his downtown community passed dogs and people and didn't bat an eyelash.  Absolutely appropriate.  I was also curious if she'd play away from me and she's been a fetching fool.

What does this mean?  Well, for one thing it means my dogs read me and my stress.  For another, they're much better behaved separately.

Decisions to be made.  Keep them both?  Sell/rehome one?  I must admit it's been freakishly easy only having one dog...  sigh...

Each dog has pros and cons.

Diva - will she be trustworthy around children?  She is becoming an eager player and wanting to spend more time with me - but she'll be work still at being able to leave her loose in the yard.  She has lots of talent on stock and will be bold and confident to travel to competitions.  She's harder to train on stock.  Very, very athletic and smart little dog.

Ryder - is showing that he'd most likely be trustworthy around kids.  He has a sick and twisted amount of play drive and is very bonded.  He's soft and sensitive.  This could be a con in the competition world as he'll have to adapt to many different fields and handle strange sheep.  He's easy to train on stock and easy going around the house.  Trustworthy in the yard.  He's very athletic but takes longer to learn new commands.  Would be relatively easy to find him a high quality agility home with his traits.

Ah, hard to say.  We'll keep plugging through our week and eventually I know the answer will come to me.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Diva, or Deebs as I've been calling her is growing into quite the little character.  I've been babysitting Sarge's dog Braden and she's been flirting with him.  So funny to watch my little Border bounce around with this gangly Lab.  One of the things that makes me so happy is her play drive.  She's been fetching enthusiastically and consistently in the house.  Now, she's fetching outside as well.  She goes after the toy like her tail is on fire.  Comes back a bit tentative but is still "fetching"!  Woot!  Ryder has also been doing awesome with his "stay" while I play with her.

This past week I had been toying with the idea of trying to find her an agility home.  Simply because she's crazy athletic and I think her abilities are a bit wasted hanging with me.  Plus I wonder sometimes if it wouldn't be better for her to live in a single dog home where she'd get more time and attention.  She's really beginning to bloom.  It makes me wonder if I've done her a disservice.  I also wonder if her and Ryder would be better off separated.  The issues I have with them are very rarely evident when I do things separate.  The pack mentality if you will.

Then we have nights like tonight where she's adorable and fun.  Where she's so keen to engage with me.  It would break my heart to let her go.

So I wonder - do I keep her for my sake?  For Ryder's sake?  For her sake?  And I wonder what is the right thing to do?

Monday, September 3, 2012


Life has been busy.  I've been going into work getting ready for the upcoming year.  I realize I haven't posted much lately so I thought I'd update on the animals today.

Guinness:  Is awesome.  He's growing like mad, very bum high right now.  He's been having a few freak outs while tied.  This is a stage.  I keep telling myself that over and over again.  Looking at his conformation I don't think he'll make it as a cutter.  (No whither, high hocks, not as wide stance on hind as ideal for cutting.  I've begun to contemplate other activities for him.  He'll need to be started in the spring at the latest.  I'm not worrying about it overly.  It'll be what it'll be.

Ryder:  What a lovely little man.  He came through his neuter with flying colors.  He's been doing fabulous on stock.  Really gaining confidence.  He's becoming more comfortable greeting unfamiliar people - particularly men.  He still needs some help when meeting new dog friends but he's coming along nicely. (He does far better with no Diva around.)  No worries there.

Diva:  Is Diva.  She continues to be work.  On stock she may eventually outshine Ryder.  She's very confident and smart.  She picks up things soooooo quickly.  She's become more affectionate with me.  (As in she wants to be near me and is less independent.)  She remains sassy when meeting any one or thing that is unfamiliar.  I don't know if I'll ever trust her but I'll certainly keep working with her.  She definitely isn't as extreme as she once was.

Tessa: Is living the good life with my parents.  She's much happier there.  I miss her every day.  She isn't having as many issues with "crazy" but her body is letting her down.  Her feet look all gnarly now.  I'm sure she has arthritis.  She occasionally gets to work the sheep.  Too much exercise makes her hurt and lame so that needs to be done so very carefully.