Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hopes Of A Lazy Day.......Turn Into A Sweaty Day

Well, I'm sure glad I was off work today, because I see that the sheep have figured out that there is no electric on the fences at the moment. Not on their pasture, nor on the horses fencing. My ram Jack, (short for Jacked Up Ass) has had a running love affair with my Morgan mare since he was a lamb. He was raised on the same pasture as her, and has always considered her his BF. Bobby has been lame about getting another box to replace the one hit by lightening, so I knew it would only be a matter of time before they figured it out. And, when I stepped out this afternoon to see why the dogs were raising such a fuss out in their kennels, I saw the last remaining lamb jump the fence to join the others in the horse pasture. In this instance, the grass really is greener and theres more of it, on the other side. Oh great. Almost 5 acres of pond and grass land and woods. I'm sure it was Jack's idea to go over, and everyone else, being the sheep that they are, just followed. Bruin was looking pretty perplexed about what to do, standing there at the fence looking at his fleeing flock. I stood on the porch wondering what to do about this. I had thought to put the sheep in with the horses awhile back, theres a lot in their pasture that they wont eat, but that the sheep will, but the horses are only behind 2 strand electric wire, which the sheep could easily go through if they wanted, so opted to leave them in their pasture. Since they have removed that "option" I was stuck trying to decide on what I should do. They certainly weren't hurting anything at the moment and could in fact take care of eating the weeds and stuff that the horses were ignoring, so I opted to leave them there for a bit. It was to hot even if I did want to send Lex off for them at the moment. So, I went out and got Bruin and brought him inside to spend the heat of the day with me. He kept stopping and looking back while I was taking him towards the house, nervous that his sheep weren't where they were suppose to be. How do you tell a Guardian Livestock Dog that his sheep trust the horses as much as they do him to look after them? Once he got into the air conditioned house and onto the cool linoleum floor with his favorite cow hoof, all thoughts of his sheep diminished.
An hour later, my neighbor Joy calls. She was coming from her chicken houses and see's sheep scattered all over the horse pasture and is concerned that they shouldn't be there. I invited her over ( after of course she showered and got all the chicken shit off her) for gossip and tea, and we took a walk back out later to check on the sheep. Which are nowhere to be seen. So we walked down to the wooded part and there were the sheep. Well, at least some of the sheep. After searching the entire pasture, we found that 3 sheep, a ewe and 2 of her lambs, and decided to expand their horizons and wander over to Joys property over by her pond. Hmmmm. Not good. At this point I'm thinking is it best to go get a dog and bring them back home? Hope they will miss the flock and rejoin them? Its still to damned hot to want to do anything. The walking around just to find the sheep had us both soaked and ready to go back inside. I wouldn't trust any of my other dogs to go get them, and I just wasn't willing to sacrifice Lex to the heat of having to go get a ewe and lambs on unfamiliar territory and with that big pond I could just see them running and falling into it. But I wasn't comfortable leaving them there either. Enter bucket O grain. Now I don't care what time of the day it is, sheep have good hearing, and they can hear me open the tack room from a mile away. They know that's where the grain is kept, and they love them some grain. As I emerge from the tack shed, I hear the rest of the sheep coming out of the woods bahahhhhing all the way out, looking for the food lady with the grain. Now folks, you can say all you want about sheep being stupid, but Ive lived with them to many years now to be entirely convinced of this. Joy, Lex and I hopped in the truck, drove over to her place where the ewe and lambs were congregating by her pond and before I could step out of the truck and get the bucket O grain out of the bed, 3 sheep became 12. I left Joy and Lex in the air conditioned truck, and surveyed the situation. Lex must have been driving Joy nuts, as I could hear her "let me at em" barking over the diesel motor. So there I am standing looking at the sheep, and they are standing there looking at me. A Mexican stand off if you will. Now, I have several choices and must decide which would be the safest, quickest, most effective way to get the sheep back home. Send the dog and risk having drowned sheep or a heat stroke dog or both, play the Pied Piper and see if they'll follow me home for the grain (and they really do want it) wait till evening and see if they just come home on their own, or just shoot the lot of them where they stand and be done with it and go get back in the air conditioned truck, cause damn its hot out here! I think this last option just tells me Ive been living in the South just a tad to long and am starting to adapt to the southern ways. If it gives you any problems.....just shoot it! Joy however would never agree to allowing that to happen no matter how much mutton it put in her freezer. I shake the bucket to entice them to me. They start towards me, and I start walking away, only to stop 20 feet ahead and see that we are at a stale mate. They want proof of whats in the bucket. Bring us the grain in essence is what they are saying. OK, I'll give em a taste and they will just follow me home like good little sheep. Uh huh, yea right. Id be out of grain half way home at the rate they were wanting me to prove every 20 feet that I had what it takes to keep them following behind me. Well, at least they were away from the pond, and closer to home field, so sending Lex is becoming more of a less dangerous option. I go over to the truck and ask Joy to drive it home, only to find out Joy cant drive a stick shift. Oh Yea. What kind of farm girl are you!! At this point, I'm soaking in sweat, I'm getting pissed, and now I'm muttering ways I can kill my husband cause you know I blame this on him for being so lame and slow about replacing the box. I could have /would have gotten a box already, but nooooooo. He says let him get it at Lowes and he can use the company card to get one cheaper. So Ive had it. I leave the sheep where they are, pour out the rest of the grain to hold them there while I drive the truck back home. I get out of the truck at home, send Joy to go open the pasture gate and send Lex after the GODDAMMED SHEEP! She knows where they are, she knows where we left them. Some days I loath the fact that Lex has such huge outruns, but today it certainly came in handy. They didn't even know she was there until she was driving them home. Up the dirt road, across the front yard, and neatly and sweetly back in their pasture. Why I didn't do this earlier, is beyond me, live and learn. Joy and I got us another cold glass of tea, Lex got to cool off in the stock tank and come inside and cool off in the air conditioned house feeling triumphant, and Bru got his sheep back in their pasture where they belong. All in a days "Off work" I suppose.
And oh, husband called earlier, at a really bad time, while I was standing in the heat trying to figure out how to dispose of his body once I killed him for being so lame, and guess who is stopping by Lowes on his way home from work to pick up a new electric box!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Alot Less Grasshoppers Now!

Well, Bobby is off from school for the next 3 weeks. I intend to fully utilize him for the duration. There are things that need to be done around here, and they are things I feel that are his responsibility to do, and not mine. After all, there has to be some payoff for washing his dirty laundry. So he got on the mower yesterday and did what I just couldn't bring myself to do, but so desperately needed to be done. He mowed the lawn. Not only did he mow the lawn, (And a fine job of it I must say, complete with weed eating) but too, made mince meat of about a gazillion grasshoppers! I can now walk outside without fear or in trepidation of being covered in them. How nice is that?! Although the dogs and Kyle seemed a bit unamused about it. No more hunting and teasing mom. Bummer. Though I feel sure each in their own way will find other things to amuse them selves with. So, for the moment Bobby is my hero and I actually folded his pants with a crease the way he likes them last night. Wonder what he'd do for a pressed shirt!!

A round pen is in order as well, but I'm not sure I can motivate him into that just yet. He still has his day job, and gun work after that, but at least he has the weekends free now. I'll be working on a motivator to get that done.

We have been getting a good bit of rain recently. I like that. Pastures are staying green, and are barley, but still keeping up with the demands the sheep and horses put on them. I have one little wether lamb that I am seriously looking at putting in the freezer. I talked to Lewis last night, and he and Joy would like to have a little bit, so I'm going to look into butchers here around town. There is one in Sanford that has been there for over 25 years, and I knew the owner back when I lived out here in NC that long ago. Now his children run the shop and though a few things have changed, very little from what Id remembered it from way back when, has. I liked his daughter, and talked to her a few months ago. She remembers when her dad use to sell huge frog legs, (that's why I use to go to the store, he had great fresh huge frog legs) and we had a grand time recounting how her dad use to bring them out and show them off. Claimed they were so fresh that they'd do a jig in the frying pan when ya put them in the hot oil! He was a hoot.

Poor Bruin has had a bad experience. We had a bad thunder and lightening storm last week, and the lightening hit our fencing. It blew my box which supplies the juice to the electric fencing to bits and pieces and either Bruin was sitting leaned up against the fence, or got a shock through the ground. I was in the house when the lightening struck .The boom was enough to scare me too. It was very loud, and the flash / ball of light it created was really scary. Id thought that it had hit either one of the horses or a sheep, but couldn't go out till the storm had passed. Thankfully, everyone and everything seemed fine. I didn't notice the blown up electric box until the next day. Id wondered why Bruin hadn't eaten his food the night before, that in itself, should have given me cause to worry, but he seemed fine albeit a bit restless, but after a storm like that, I figured it was acceptable behavior. It was unsettling for us all. It wasn't until the next day when Bobby went out back to test fire a hand gun that he had been working on the we found out the true impact the storm and possible subsequent shock had had on Bru. Bobby hadn't gotten but one round off and all 110 lbs of great white Bruin came underneath a 6 inch gap under the pasture gate. Now Bru has grown up around gun fire at close range, and has never had a problem with it, so we knew it was because of the storm that he had such a shock when the gun was fired. I'm sure in his mind it reminded him of the of the storm the day before. Poor fella. So I took him into work the next day, cleaned him up and gave him a couple of days off in the house. When I turned him back out with the sheep, he was just fine, until another storm started to rumble in last night. Again, as soon as he heard the thunder, he was looking for a way out of the pasture. I watched him for a bit, but as he became more and more anxious and frantic, I opted to bring him back in so he wouldn't do himself an injury or change the structure of my fencing trying to get out. As it is, at the moment, he is laying on the floor in the house, serving a dual purpose, looking like a new bit of taxidermy, ( a new polar bear rug) and a garbage disposal. He revels in "helping" me do away with unwanted bits of food and scraps, and hasn't forgotten how to look starving when it comes time for the good stuff either. Bobby is back sharing banana Popsicles with him as well, and that for Bru is the bomb. I don't know what will happen now, either he will get over it, and resume his guardian roll, or not. Either way, we all adore Bruin, so he will be a welcome addition to the house dogs. Time will tell.

Chris has re injured her toe, may have to take more drastic steps with it this time around, though the vet the last time seemed to think it would heal fine if we just kept her inactive for a few weeks till it healed. It seemed to have healed just fine, and I'm not sure how she re injured it, she doesn't show it while working, at least not until she comes off the field, so its back to a few weeks crate rest and leash walks until I can see some change, or feel that it will require another vet visit. Again, time will tell.

Stella has been put on pet duty. She is no longer allowed to work Chris, or the sheep for awhile. Having both dogs on leash and line is time consuming, but its whats best for both dogs at the moment. I am hoping with Stella, that when allowed back on sheep, that she goes at the work with a lot more enthusiasm than she had been showing in the past. Again, only time will tell.

So, with all these "only time will tell" dogs at the moment, there is plenty of time for pups. Who are, as pups will be, quickly becoming a job within themselves. Both with their own set of demands on my time, and individual needs. But that, is definitely a labor of love, so far be it from me to begrudge the time. I truly enjoy every bit of time spent with the little......darlings.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Repeat After Me, I DO NOT hate cats. At least not yet

For years, folks have accused me of being a cat hater. Not so. I like cats, as long as they are some one Else's. I personally have no desire to have a cat, but do enjoy the attentions of others cats and the opportunity to spend time with cats, as long as they don't live with me.
The day before yesterday, all the dogs seemed to gravitate out behind Bobby's shop, and became excitedly interested in a spot that was underneath a wooden door frame w/ the door attached. It created about a 7 inch hollow spot under the door. At first the pups were sniffing around it cautiously, so I just watched. Then the big dogs decided it was worth investigating and soon all 7 were sniffing around it. So, I left my place of observation to see what all the excitement was about. Turns out, I couldn't see a thing, but still they knew some thing was under there. Cain, being the strongest, got his nose under a spot, and started to lift the frame up off the ground, and we all heard a noise which I was hard pressed to imitate in order to tell Bobby what we had heard. Needless to say, when what ever it was, made its distaste of its hiding spot being so diligently and thoroughly inspected by 7 dogs and a human known, we all jumped back in horror. I was immediately put into gotta do some thing about this mode, as there have been several cases of rabid coon and fox reported in the state recently. I called all the dogs and put them in their kennels and went and got Bobby. He, as I surmised he would, got the shot gun, and headed out to the spot where we suspected there was a rabid critter hiding.
Just as we here heading back out there, our neighbors Joy and Lewis drove up. Oh great, Joy the tree hugger see's the shot gun, and of course asks, "what cha doin'?" Me,"uh, er, umm."
But Bobby, having the shot gun in hand, was already in hunter mode, and not realizing the delicate situation with Joy standing by, explains that there is some thing under the door frame, and he aims to shoot it. Joy, tenses at this, and quietly stands back to watch the developments. Lewis, gets a pry bar and sticks it under the frame to pry it up so Bobby, with gun shouldered, can shoot whatever comes out.
I had my suspicions of what was under there, but was reluctant to say, until it was actually discovered/determined. Sure enough, as soon as Lewis pryed open a side of the frame, a cat shoots out. Bobby, again, in hunter mode, put a bead on the escaping cat and readys himself to pull the trigger. All the sudden, Joy comes to life and I swear I never heard a person yell/scream so loudly and so shrilly in all my days! "BOBBY DON'T YOU DARE SHOOT THAT CAAAAAAAAAATTTT!!!!! The sheer volume of her shriek shocked us all, and I'm sure shocked Joy herself. Need less to say, the cat ran off. While Lewis still had the space pryed open, I took it upon myself to look into the space to see what exactly she was doing under there. I suspected she had kittens under there. But couldn't see anything, so figured she was planning to have kittens under there and that hopefully the scare we'd just put in her was enough to goad her into changing her mind and to find another safer spot to have them.
Fast forward to yesterday. Again, the dogs were pretty interested in the site underneath the door frame. At first I again just watched, as I figured that they were just going back over the place, as it has caused so much excitement the day before. But again, their interest escalated, to a point where I felt a need to take another look. I had Bobby get back out the pry bar, and took another look. He pryed it up further than Lewis had the day before, and I was able to get a better look under there as it allowed more light in. What I found was a very small kitten. Judging from the looks of it, I couldn't reach it, it "looked" to be dead. As there was only one kitten in there, I figured she (the mother cat) had moved her kittens to a safer spot and left that one. So, Bobby dropped the frame and we left it. If it wasn't dead, she'd probably be back for it, and if it was, it would be fine and out of reach of the dogs left under there.
Hank, had watched the entire proceedings and was as curious as ever now, about what exactly was under there. I called all the dogs back away from there and instigated a game of fetch to take their minds off it. All came and played, except one sneaky pup decided to leave the game early and apparently go back to the frame. The next thing I know, here comes Hank, with some thing in his mouth trotting triumphantly towards me. I met him halfway, only to find that he had dug a hole under the frame and had snatched the remaining kitten. Problem was, it wasn't dead. Looked to be about 1 maybe 2 days old, and was quite weak and cold to the touch. Hank, was not very happy that I had taken his prize that he had obviously worked so hard to retrieve.
About the time I take the kitten from him, my cell phone rings and it is Deb, an old friend in SC.
She is devastated, and telling me about her 12 year old Rottie Magnum, who I have known since he was a pup and became after his mother passed away, Deb's heart dog. Magnum has just been diagnosed with intestinal cancer. I am trying to be the supportive and a sympathetic friend, but I now have 7 dogs that know I have some thing in my hand, and are surrounding me and wanting to "see?" it, as well as Hank climbing my legs with his sharp puppy claws ( and I have shorts on) wanting his treasure back, and of course, Rose wants it now too. I'm trying to hold a sincere conversation, while holding a kitten up in the air over my head, and trying to escape from the dogs and trying to figure out what to do with it, and it was all just to much. Deb, has now been appraised of the situation and is telling me to run to the store for KMR and a bottle, yaddy yada, ( I love her, but she is a prime candidate for PETA ) So, with the promise to call her back later in the evening, I ended the conversation with Deb, and walked into the shop with the kitten to show Bobby what Hank had (thankyouveryNOTmuch) found.
The kitten upon further inspection, had not exactly come out of Hanks mouth unscathed. Not sure of the actual amount of damage done internally to the kitten, we can tell its not going to last long. Bobby, the always humane, decides to take the kitten out back and put it out of its misery. I have learned in my short time in the south, that men from this region have but one way to put some thing out of its misery, and that is to shoot them. Handing him the kitten, I call all the dogs away so that he can do what needs to be done. He was a bit quick to pull the trigger, and I hadn't gotten the dogs as far from him as I wanted to, when bang, the deed was done. It didn't seem to bother any one dog in particular, Bobby is a gunsmith and shooting guns around the house is a regular occurrence, so they are use to it. Except for Stella. She has recently started to show signs of noise sensitivity, and that was a bit more than she could handle. I was shocked at how quickly she grabbed another gear, and shot away like a rocket through the woods towards the neighbors chicken houses. I knew calling her wasn't going to stop her, so I put the other dogs up in their kennels which was where I was heading to when my trigger happy husband shot the ailing kitten, and hopped in my truck and went out to look for her. After alerting the neighbors, (Joy and Lewis) who incidentally heard the shot and were now less concerned about my lost dog and more concerned (Joy was anyway) about the reasons for the gun being fired, I continued my search. After an hour into the search, I became more and more concerned that I wasn't going to find Stella. Bobby stayed at home in case she came back and Kyle and I were scouring the neighborhood and surrounding woods calling and whistling to no avail. Two hours goes by and at this point I am a wreck. Its starting to get dark. So I jump back in the truck, and start down the road again. Low and behold, I finally see Stella, coming down the road looking like she has been through hell and back. She was soaking wet, and covered in sand spurs and briarers. I opened the truck door and she leaped in and home we go. Phew. It took me about an hour to get everything out of her coat, and my fingers suffered from the sand spurs, but she is feeling better and happy to be back home.
Needless to say, at this point I think its time to have a heart to heart talk with my next door neighbor, as he is the reason there was a wild cat having kittens in my yard.
What started out over there as one stray cat, has turned into over the course of the last two years, to be like a gazillion wild cats running around. Of course, they don't stay in Bill's yard, and especially enjoy using my yard as their personal litter box. I have been battling fleas and tape worm from these cats pooping in my yard, as the dogs love to eat the cat shit for neigh on 2 years now and I am quite frankly getting tired of having to spend the money to keep my dogs worm free because he wont do anything about all these cats! He cant catch them, ( nor has he ever tried) so they are unvaccinated, un spayed and neutered, no flea preventative, nothing! I have tried to be nice, and neighbourly in talking to him about the obvious needs of the cats as well as tried to convey my dislike of them using my yard as their personal litter box, and all he had to say about that was "please don't shoot the cats" He obviously knows my husbands southern ways of eradicating problem critters. So, now I have to get tough and firm. Some thing needs to be done, or I am going to unleash the southern mentality husband and his shot gun on the lot of them. Enough is enough. I'm pissed. I damn near lost my dog yesterday, because he wont do anything about his wild cat population, and yes, I do blame it all on him. I have other neighbors who have cats, and I never see their cats in my yard. They are well fed and not getting into the trash and constantly littering my yard with it. They are spayed and neutered and not having kittens in my yard, they are vaccinated and not giving me cause to have to worry about bringing disease around here. And, they have a their own yards to use as their personal litter boxes. Oh, and calling animal control?? That's just a joke. They wont do squat. Been there, done that. So, I reckon me and Old Bill will be coming to a meeting of the minds here real soon, or Id better go pick out a spot out back and start digging a big hole. Its not the cats I dislike, nor do I like the idea of having to dispose of them ( though I do dislike them in my yard, on my truck, in my trash, pooping under my front porch, which incidentally smells of cat urine under there and I don't even own a cat!! ) its the stupid people that allow this kind of over population and lack of care and concern for their animals. If he doesn't care, then that just sets me to feeling as if I can begin to be less and less concerned about their well being myself. Am I a confirmed cat hater? Not as of yet, but this situation could very well put me over the edge.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

How to kill grasshoppers, and get freaked out, and still not get the grass mowed.

I had a great idea last evening. Mow the grass! Then, I can run over the grasshoppers and kill as many as the mower can chop up and run over. So, dressed in shorts and a tank top, I -Pod in place with some great Texas R&B loaded, I crank up the riding mower ( and the tunes) and think I'm going to have fun watching little bits and pieces of grasshopper spew out from the blades. Well, I hadn't even taken one entire swath of the yard, when me and the mower were covered in grasshoppers! Ewwww! Yuck! Shiiiiiiiit!! Its really hard to steer while your swatting off grasshoppers! My first and only line of cut grass, looks as if a drunk was driving! I really don't like them! Need less to say, I abandon the idea quickly, and the lawn mower, and it is still sitting out in the yard where I made my escape, leaving a trail of injured and wounded grasshoppers in my wake. Theres gotta be a better way.

Friday, Bobby's aunt called me, and told me about a stray dog that had taken up on her car port around the 4th of July. She said it was a small black dog that looked so much like her Sweet Pea ( a smallish cocker mix) that had to be put down due to age related issues last fall, that she could almost imagine that they could have been litter mates! Bonnie, Bobby's aunt will NOT take an animal to the shelter, (even though I had told her that if it was there, the folks who lost it may stand a better chance of finding it) had already called rescues in the area and was told they were full, so she has opted to put up flyer's and such around the local stores and hangouts in hopes that some one will see them and claim their dog. Not that either of us think that will happen. This poor dog has been so totally neglected, is/was covered in ticks and fleas, and was a matted pelt. Bonnie, who lives on SS and does what work a 69 year old woman can to try to make ends meet, has a hard enough time keeping food on her table and feeding her own two dogs. So when she called and told me of this poor old dog, which judging by what Ive seen, could be anywhere from 12 to 14 years old, I told her to bring it to the shop and Id get it de-flea;d and de-ticked and see what I could do to help. Well, it wasn't small by any means, but OK. Bonnie, like other clients have a slight difference of opinion as to what small is compared to me. No biggie, I wasn't pressed for time, as I had her bring the dog after I was finished with my last groom dogs for the day. Old, was also not exactly a good description either, as this dog acted and looked ancient. About half blind, and deaf to boot. She'd, by the looks of her, probably never seen the inside of a grooming shop, and I was worried she had probably never seen the inside of a vets office either. The size ( a good medium dog) and long dense black matted coat, ( not to mention her totally black tongue) gave me pause as to whether I really wanted to dive in and help this dog. If I had to guess, I would probably say she was chow and cocker spaniel cross. Neither one being a fav breed of mine to groom, and crossed?? Well, to me, everything I saw in the dog, just added up to trouble. But, the Dundee in me decided to give it a go. Whats the worst that can happen? Nothing that hasn't happened to me before. So, I plunked her up on the grooming table and started to shave her down. At first, she wasn't going to allow it. But Bonnie stepped in and comforted her and she settled down. What I found by the end of the groom, was this sweet old decrepit soul, that had deserved so much better in her life than we could see that she had had in her golden years. What a tragedy. Such a sweet old girl, that tried so hard after her initial shock, to behave and do the right thing. Her legs/hips were so shot, she could hardly stand while I shaved her, so we allowed her to sit and lay down through most of the groom, and held her up through the rest. This kind of thing makes me so angry. Course, Bonnie, the type to always look at the glass half full, decides that it was probably an older person much like herself, that didn't have the means to support the dog, that had lost her. I tried to remind her that "she" didn't either, and that she has found a way to take care of the old gal. But it fell on deaf ears, her saying that she had a groomer in the family that could help her and maybe who ever lost the dog didn't. I find it hard to believe, that any groomer would turn some one away if they brought such a dog in for a groom and explained that they didn't have the money to get the dog groomed. Most groomers take their share of rescue, sad cases and just plain neglected dogs in and groom them and don't charge to help the dog. I know I have been doing this my whole grooming career, and I know many others that do as well. Oh well, whatever excuses Bonnie would like to allow for the former owners of "Sweet Pea #2" is fine by me. I still call it good old fashioned neglect. Sweet Pea#2 as Bonnie is now calling her, will have a loving home with Bonnie until some one claims her. If not, I know Bonnie will not part with this dog, and will find a way to get her vet care and grooming done for free or at a reduced rate. I have already told her I would give my services for free, for as long as she has the old girl. Cant help it, I have a soft spot for sweet old ladies and sweet old dogs. After all, its not always all about what you can get out of life, but what you can give back. Sweet Pea #2 is feeling much better today, and I feel good knowing I could play some small part in that.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Its an infestation/invasion!

Of grasshoppers! They are everywhere! I cant even walk out my door, and they hop all over me! How gross is that! They freak me out. If I pick some thing up in the yard, its covered in grasshoppers. If I walk through the yard, I'm covered in grasshoppers. The dogs are having a grand time making sport of them, chasing them, and eating them. Don't know how good they are for them, but I hear they are great fried and covered in chocolate. They are on my porch, and every time I open the door, they hop on in like they are welcome.

Last night, I was sitting on the couch reading, and one jumped on my arm. Talk about scream like a girl, and jump like my ass was on fire! I can move a lot faster than I thought I could.

Kyle has a soft spot for these bugs. I think because I am determined to stomp everyone that I can, and he gets a kick out of watching the dogs stalk and pounce on them, and really finds it grotesquely fun to watch them eat them. But more over, really in a sadistic way, he enjoys seeing me freak out about them when they jump on me. True to his boyish nature, he enjoys catching one and pretending he is going to throw it on me. he especially enjoys pretending he is going to throw one in my hair, which he has seen what happens when one does land on my head, and it ain't pretty. I should have him call his older brother and let him tell him of the episode when Luke threw a dead snake at me one day while unloading some hay, and then when I jumped/fell off the truck load of hay, proceeded in chasing me around the barn with the dead snake. It was the first and last time the boy did that to his mother. When I find a grasshopper in the house, Kyle has made it his job to humanely catch it and deposit it back out side. ( or better yet, call one of the dogs over and show it to them, so he can watch the hunt) I am sick of these grasshoppers but there are so may of them, I don't know how I could eradicate them. Maybe I could borrow a tribe of meerkats from the zoo. Every time I see them on TV they look as though they are thoroughly enjoying eating some sumptuous bug. They'd get fat real quick if they were here!

So at this point, I'm not safe from these things anywhere. I'm afraid to go outside, its hot and I like to wear shorts and when they jump on my legs, it really creeps me out. Obviously, I'm not even safe in my house, and I walk around like a paranoid prey animal looking for the predators. Not that I have to look far. They seem to be immune to bug spray. I liberally cover myself with the stuff before I go out side, but it doesn't seem to deter them. Matter of fact it may even be/ seems to be, luring them in! I am by no means a girlie girl, that shrieks at the sight of a spider or a mouse, its just that they jump on ya with out asking first, they are impolite, and I don't like that. Personally, if I were them, Id have a better sense of self preservation when it came to jumping on me, cause after my initial shock, of having them jump on me, you can be sure that I will hunt down the offender, and squish it into the ground. Just ask Luke!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Wow, its been a busy couple of weeks! So much going on, and so very little time to catch my breath. Work has been pretty steady, and thats a good thing. I opened the shop exactly 2 yrs ago tomorrow, and though it got off to a slow start, and I had thought a few times about closing it down, I'm happy to say that it is finally paying off, and I have accumulated enough biz to keep me busier than I really wanted to be. Perhaps next yr I will look at adding another groomer, or at least a bather for myself. Maybe sooner if the trend keeps up. Not only do I have enough regular clients to keep me busy, but new ones every day. Ive been keeping track of the card files, and looking to see what percentage of clients are regular return clients, and over all, I have a 90 percent return of all clients. Thats great! I am very pleased that this biz has taken off and through the process has been able to retain most all my clients. Its not easy pleasing everyone all the time, but it sure is rewarding come payday!

All the pups that were slated to go to their new homes, have been placed. Kell went yesterday, and I miss him so much already. Chris is doing pretty well lately, but I haven't done much with Stella, as Ive been concentrating more on getting Chris straightened out. She is learning that even though we are in among sheep, that it isn't a given that she gets to work them, although that little fact still hasn't quelled her desire. The ram, has learned that Chris can and will work him, and he has learned to respect her and not try going over the fence to the horse pasture and take the ewes with him anymore. I have started just not saying much to Chris, and am just letting her work the herd, and because of that, she is more in control/command of her sheep, and not constantly worrying about me and the sheep sense it and are much better behaved because her attitude is more focused on them and less worried about me. She is such a neat little dog to work with, I really do hope that we can trial one day. Since I am learning to trust her more, and not always standing on her worrying that she will mangle her sheep, so many nice things are starting to show, and we are really starting to come together as a team. Learning to trust Chris is hard, she has given me more than one reason not to in the past, but the more I trust her, the more I see her starting to loosen up and enjoy the work instead of being so pent up. We are going over to Julie's tomorrow to work with her magic sheep and I hope that Chis will remain on the even keel that she has been showing here at home lately. Actually, I hope she can work at all. She got through with a work a few days ago, and went to jump in the water trough to cool off, and twisted her leg which had rendered her a bit lame over the past few days. She has been on crate rest and no work for about 4 days now and the limping is almost un noticeable now. We'll see how she goes on Sunday. Lex is headed to the vets on Tuesday to be spayed, I really have mixed feelings about this, but I know that its for the best. It just really makes things so final. No more pups for a very long time now, if ever. But, Ive kept two nice pups off this last litter and I am very happy with them, and like their little personalities. Between Chris, Stella, raising these two pups, and the dog coming in from Germany this fall, I'll have plenty to keep me busy. About the time the started dog comes in from Germany, I will hopefully be starting pups, and the plan is to have Stella and Chris to a point where we can start trialing this fall/winter season. Depending on where this new dog is in her training when she comes in, we may even be able to do some trialing in nursery. Definitely would be worth the traveling to trials if I have 3 dogs to enter.

My dad is coming to visit from Luxembourg in October. I'm so excited. I haven't seen him for 3 years. He is bringing his girl friend with him this trip, I haven't met her yet, but have exchanged e-mails several times and am getting to know her a bit that way. She has Border Collies too, but does agility with hers. She is also a hunter/jumper and equitation? rider. It'll be fun to have her here I think and maybe we can go ride a bit away from the fellas and get to know one another better. I think Sam will be hanging on to this one a bit longer than other gals he has spent time with in the past. The fact that they recently purchased a house together tells me that he feels confident that this is going to last. I am happy for him that he has found some one that he can relax around and be himself, and that he isn't alone and uncertain anymore.

Roy, has found himself a soft place to land. he is living with the post man that brings the mail to the shop. Chris, the postman, has been looking for another BC as a playmate for his 18 month old BC Mulligan for quite awhile now, and even though when Chris came in to deliver the mail last week, neither of us had any intentions or ideas of Roy meeting Mulligan, by the end of our conversation, it was a done deal, and Roy would be going to spend a few days with Chris and his wife to see how Mulligan and Roy got along. As of Thursday, when I last talked to Chris, he was very pleased with Roy and how he and Mulligan are getting along, and has decided to keep Roy. Roy and Mulligan are both slated to go in for neuters on Thursday next week. I miss Roy terribly. He is a very special dog. But again, it goes back to being proud that I can place a well trained and well rounded dog in a wonderful and loving home. I wasn't looking to place Roy, but it was to good an opportunity for Roy to place my own feelings before the needs of the dog. Chris and his wife are an older couple, with no children and all the time in the world to devote to and spoil their dogs. Roy has found a great home without half as much competition for attention, where there are no sheep for him to look at every day and be frustrated over, he has a total in house life, no more kennels for him, and Chris's wife has already fallen head over heels in love with Roy. I can see how she would. Still, I miss his sweet gaze and warm head in my hand. He has held a special place in my heart for so many reasons, above and beyond the other dogs. He is a special guy, and I am happy for him, but sad for me.