Sunday, August 3, 2008
What a fun day I had on Saturday. As I get to know more folks here in NC I am beginning to be not as home sick as Ive been in the past couple of years. Its not easy to find folks with commonalities to make lasting friendships with. Especially given the fact that I have chosen to spend my life with multiple dogs, and lots of folks just cant see how/why Id want to do that! I knew the day my friend Julie asked me how many dogs I had, and I ashamedly and looking down at the floor admitted my dog total was at 9 dogs at the moment, (though at times its been few and far between that theres been less, and certainly times there have been more) And she laughed and said to me: "Why do you say that like its a bad thing!" that she and I had that wonderful commonality. Laura was standing there then too,( a proud owner of 5 dogs herself)and thought it strange that I thought that folks would find that odd about me. Some folks just aren't what they seem around here, then there are those, ( and you ALL know who you are!) that are gratefully so much more than what they seem. So, I happily set out yesterday morning to go over to my friend Julie's to work dogs, which is becoming a regular affair that me and the dogs so look forward to. We especially like it too when Laura comes and we get to visit with her and her crew as well. So I was running late per as my usual, so had to hurry and run dogs and feed pups, and get everyone situated for my day away from home. So everything was a bit rushed. I hadn't gotten through town yet, when I hear some thing coming from the back seat that doesn't jive with the sounds that should be coming from back seat where, given that there are 4 dogs, two adults and 2 pups back there. I hear paper tearing sounds. I take a quick look in the back to see Hank and Rose standing on a 50 lb sack of chicken feed (crumbles no less) that I was delivering to Julie, and they are trying their little darnedest to get that bag torn open! Enter 1st unscheduled stop in the already rushed morning. I have to pull over and cover the sack up, so those crazy hyped up pups cant tear it open and strew chicken crumbles all over the back seat of my truck! Should have just thrown it in the truck bed, but covering it up with the blanket that was back there was good enough for the time being. I get back on the road, and finally get through town, and am again, happily driving down the highway listening to some good R/B tunes, and then I smell some thing.....Again I look back, to see that Miss Rose has decided to blow chunks of her breakfast all over the back seat. Great. I'm not pulling over. So, I open a window to suck out the smell of half digested kibble mixed with half a can of Chicken Soup puppy food, and a few grasshoppers that Rose had consumed before we left the house. Yuck. Ive never known Rose to be car sick, but theres always a first time, and it was a hot and rushed morning with lots of things going on and so I understood it was probably a bit to overwhelming for her. Course, Rose never does anything half assed, and within 20 minuets, deposits the other half of her breakfast on top of Julie's feed. (luckily I had covered it with the blanket) but I still have another easy 45 minuets before I get to Julie's place. All I can do is bank on the fact that Rose is such a prissy ass and wouldn't dream of touching it, much less stepping in it and smearing it all over the place. Hank on the other hand is all about getting messy and playing in stuff that's just gross, and I feared that once he discovered both the messes on opposite ends of the back seat that Rose had left, not only would it be all over him, but everywhere he touched till we got there. Enter 2nd unscheduled stop. Gotta get Hank up front away from the spew. Putting dogs in crates for short travel from now on is looking like a better and better idea. So I get Hank up front, and he's not arguing. He has 2 full air conditioning vents blowing hard and cold right on him. Rose has taken back up her resident seat on the console next to me and Chris and Lex are in the back floor board per as their usual. Now, maybe we can get somewhere.
We finally get to Julie's albeit an hour late and she and Laura have already worked their dogs,so I let my crew out to say hi and mingle (while I clean up Rose's mess's in the back seat) and shortly there after we get to work. Chris was first, and Julie had the idea that she would present a few new challenges (more pressure)to Chris to give her more opportunity to fall back on her default activities of gripping since she is proving that she can work in tight spots. I have to say at this juncture, that gripping really isn't a proper way of describing exactly what Chris does. A mere grip, is a dog that may pull a bit of wool. Chis likes to tear chunks of flesh. It was a good idea on Julie's part, and I could see almost immediately, that upping the ante was exactly what Chris needed at this point, and though she did start to try to fall back into sheep eating mode because of the added pressure, she didn't draw any blood and had a pretty decent work. She has a ways to go, but I plan on entering her in a novice trial in September, so now its time to get her going right and start expecting more from her in the way of appropriate behavior. I hope she is ready to be relatively competitive by then and doesn't get DQ"d. Better yet, I hope by then, that I can trust her in a trial situation and run her at all. She tends to get pretty amped up when sheep are in the picture. We'll just have to wait and see. Then, after Chris, we put the pups in with the sheep. Oh how fun! They finally turned on, and in a big way compared to what they have done, (or not done) in past introductions with sheep. To hear about that, just go over to the puppy blog and read all about it.
Laura and Julie and I had a grand time watching them, and we were all just soooo pleased to see them so interested and gung ho. Later I learned that we had been invited over to Mary and Tony Lupers for lunch. I had met Mary a couple of times, and will always remember her wonderful Lamb she prepared for everyone at the Jack Knox clinic I attended back in January. It was soooo good and turned me on to eating lamb so much that I have already picked out one of my spring lamb whethers that I plan on putting in the freezer as soon as he puts on a few more pounds. Mary was making BLT"S for lunch on toast. And aside from the tomatoes, ( I don't care for them) it was a great meal, with a wonderful hostess in her lovely home, complete with, and this was what made it really so great, complete with begging Border Collies! I felt so much at home having little inquisitive noses and big begging eyes politely waiting for a handout. Alas, they did not want my tomatoes though, but Laura helped me out and ate them right on up for me. Mary has a beautiful home, one that she just makes ya feel welcome in as soon as ya walk in the door. She was a lot of fun to visit with and we had some pretty good laughs while we were there. After lunch Laura and Julie and I had planned on going over to a local dairy that has a quaint little store that sells milk, cheeses, butter, and best of all, home made ice cream! Julie and I had stopped over there once before and so I already knew what I was in for and my mouth was watering all the way there. Their double dutch chocolate ice cream is to die for! But,.....what this?? A closed sign!! Did they not realize "I" had come all the way from Mamers to to have a bowl of their wonderful taste sensation!!! Oh the disappointment. So with heads hung low, Laura decided she would just go on home, (she is on some meds from a staph infection she has in her ankle and they were making her tired) and Julie and I decided to go back to her place and drown our sorrows and take a walk with the dogs to the creek. All I can say about the walk was it was hot! The dogs loved it and had a great time, but darn I sure am looking forward to some cooler weather. When we got back, I think the heat of the day had taken its toll on all of us, and Julie and I had been having a yawning contest for a couple of hours already, so she decided she needed a nap, and I decided I did too. I loaded up, or tried to load up dogs to leave, but everyone was being resistant about loading. They wanted to stay. Which didn't surprise me, they always have a good time there. Before I left, Julie and I were talking about the pups, and how they looked and how they went about handling the sheep so differently. I mentioned that even though I was not very familiar with their paternal grandmother Kim, I had seen pics of her and heard through the grapevine that she was a really nice dog before she had met with an untimely accident and passed over the bridge. Rose is the spitting image of her paternal grandmother, and I hope/suspect, that she will be much like her in her abilities. Julie just happen to have a few key chains with pics of Kim on them, that she had won at a trial, and gave me one. How cool is that! I showed it to Rose on the way home and she approved and thought it was pretty cool too, and wanted to know if that's what she'd look like when she grew up. Yep! I told her, I'm sure you will.
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