Saturday, June 27, 2009

A New Face in the Pack

Folks, meet Tucker!

Tucker is a 7 week old Black and silver schnauzer puppy that Darci just couldn't resist.

As many of you that know me, know, Ive been wanting a lap dog for some time now. Some thing to snuggle with that doesn't take up half the couch or bed, or in Bruins case the whole bed!
I kept purposely not actually actively looking, but hoping that when the right one came along, that's exactly what would happen, it would just come along.
Tucker did just that.

A few weeks ago a client brought his sire and dam to me to be groomed. I noticed that the female appeared to have had pups, and asked the owner.
Both dam and sire are wonderful dogs, and so Un schnauzer like in all the good ways, that I truly enjoyed the time I was able to spend grooming them. It doesn't hurt, that I really enjoy grooming most of the terrier breeds, and those like Tucker's parents, with such un characteristic terrier temperaments, make it all the more enjoyable to do.
The owner brought the pups in with her to the shop when she came to pick up the parents and showed me the pups. What cuties! But alas, I couldn't afford to buy a pup,and thanked her for bringing them by and letting me get my puppy fix for the day. That was a couple of weeks ago.
Today while I was having a break and sitting outside enjoying the cool day, a lady walked up to me with a schnauzer pup in her hands. Id all but forgotten about her and her dogs, and didn't recognize her. I asked her could I help her, and she informed me that they were going on vacation today and this was the last pup.
I then remembered who she was, and again, reiterated that I couldn't afford to buy a pup at the moment. She told me they really needed to find Tuck a home before they left, and one thing led to another, and for 4 grooms, 2 each on the dam and sire, Tucker is now a member of the family.
He fit right in, and all the dogs took him in like he'd been here always. Bruin is a bit over curious, but is very careful about the strange little bundle. I think Bear is a bit put off, but is being a good sport, albeit a bit clingy at the moment. Lex, well she is a natural born mother at heart, and cant quit trying to clean him.
Tucker is charming and love able, cuddly, and just absofreakinlutly adorable.
Ive already caught myself talking puppy baby talk to him numerous times, (some thing I don't normally practice with any of my dogs) and I have a sneaking feeling that Sir Tuck is gonna be a wee bit spoiled if I don't watch myself.
Its been a long time since I had a little dog in the house.
I struggled for a name for him, for Oh, about 10 minuets, and he just struck me as a Tucker, (Tuck for short) and that was that. It stuck. He is already very responsive to his name, which I hope translates to him liking the sound.
Wonder what folks will be thinking when I call my Mini Schnauzer to the tune of That'll Do Tuck! LOL
So please join me in welcoming our newest pack member, and cutest puppy ever (at least until Chris/Zac pups arrive) and wishing me good luck that me and my home and furniture survive the puppy stage.
Ive always said, I admire the breed, and really enjoy grooming them, but Id never own one. Guess there goes that never say never out the window. Ive always said it takes a special kind of person to live with schnauzers, guess Tuck will be putting me to the test to see just how special I really am!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

About Hank

So I reckon I wasn't elaborate enough about Hanks new digs, and how he ended up there, so I guess I should splain myself since Ive had so many inquiries.
Hank was in my mind, never destined to stay with me. If you all remember Rose, Hanks sister and litter mate, she was the "Chosen One" from the day she hit the ground. Sadly, I lost my Rose, who was the little apple of my eye to parvo. Hank also came down with parvo, but unlike his sister, he survived.
He then became the last Lex pup for me, as at 9 yrs I had her spayed a year ago.
Hank is a strange dog, full of quirks and nervous tendencies. He was never a favorite of mine, and truth be told, he was a difficult dog to manage.
On sheep, Hank became a different dog. Gone are the nervous habits, the uncertainty, and weirdness that made him who he is. He became focused and user friendly. He loves to work, and learn and is very intelligent, (though you'd never know it to see him off sheep)
After loosing Rose, I briefly thought to keep Hank, but he was always just to weird for me. A biddable dog, friendly to any and all, goofy, happy, but strange too.
We got along fine, but he was always a bit of a thorn in my side for several personal reasons, so when I saw that he was going to be keen and trainable, I started letting folks know, that he would be available when I thought he was ready for a new home.
Originally, the plan was to bring Hank to Utah and give him to my friend Taylor who was interested in learning to train and work stock dogs, but that plan didn't pan out. I didn't trust my friends situation at the moment, or that he would be able to care for Hank the way I felt he deserved. So, I didn't push the issue, and Taylor, a close friend of 17yrs, and knowing me like he does, didn't press the issue when I didn't bring up the subject. He knew if I still wanted him to have the dog, Id have asked him to come get him. Seeing as I hadn't mentioned it, he didn't ask. Its great when you can have friends that know you so well, that they don't have to ask or question, they just know. It saves a lot of hurt feelings and the possibility of having to say things you might regret later. That's why he and I have managed to stay such good friends for so long. He has taken the time to know me, and Ive always appreciated him for that.
Anyway, so Tracey (a good friend of almost 10 years)has a Lex pup from a litter she had about 4 years ago. Lyric is her name, and Leery (for short) has never seen a sheep except for the ones on the Serta matress commercial on TV. She has been an outstanding pet and companion for Tracey, and a good first collie to get her feet wet in the breed.
Tracey has accompanied me numerous times to trials and work days, and was always hanging on the fence line watching me work my dogs prior to my move to NC.
When she met Bear, and then after watching him work, she became hooked, and was very interested in getting a dog that was ready to start. I took her with me to Kelly Creek, and she got to see and start to understand what good dog work verses bad dog work is. She was able to witness and tell the difference between working and dogs harassing sheep, and commented about the differences she saw.
I could see she was getting it.
She offered to work Hank in a round pen, and I think that pretty well sealed the deal. It was a bit yeehaw, but we all had fun, and she wanted more.
Rather than to try to start Leery, (who just in case your wondering, yes I did take her to sheep, and she proved to be her mothers daughter which was exciting to see) Tracey was concerned that starting to train Leery might change the dog she knew and loved, and was reluctant to go there with her companion, and I respected her decision and didn't press the issue. (though Ive got a feeling had she opted to try to start Leery, Tracey may have been pleasantly surprised) But Hank being Leery's brother on their dams side, she felt as if she knew Hank already. Both are similar though Leery being older is not so uncertain and nervous. She reportedly went through a stage like that about the same age as Hank, and out drew it within a year.
Hank thinks Tracey is pretty cool, and is always hanging out with her, avoiding my hand for hers, so it wasn't hard to me to see that the two would get along just fine. Hanks gets along great with her other two dogs, and even Tracey's moms poodles and terrier, so I offered her Hank, and she didn't hesitate. My only stipulation, was that she have him neutered.
So Hank has been with Tracey for a total of like 3 days.
This evening when I stopped by there to visit on my way home from town, (and steal some of her moms delicious goulash,) there was Hank, ignoring me, like I was a stranger, and he had all eyes on his new master, owner, handler.
Oh, he eventually came over and said hi to me, but it was clear they had bonded that quickly, and I was very happy and pleased to see it, though a bit sad too, that he would forsake me so soon. But he and I really never had the bond that Bear or Chris or Lex and I have shared, so I think Tracey is just what Hank needed.
Tracey will be joining the Utah Stock Dog assoc and will be going to work days, trials, training sessions, the works, and it just so happens that her dear friend Darci, just happens to have sheep!
So, yes, I gave Hank away, and I don't think I will ever be sorry for him landing on her couch. They both seem very happy with one another, and Tracey cant wait to get going with him and learn all there is to learn. She is very excited about Hanks potential, and is looking forward to all the bumps, lumps and bruises Ive warned her about.
The sheep are doing a good job already of getting her broke in, as one stepped (stomped) on her foot the other day, and she is sporting a nice purple bruise on the top of her foot, (silly gal was wearing flip flops!) But she takes great pride in telling folks that a sheep stepped on her foot while she was trying to work her new prospective stock dog.
I work with Tracey, taught her to groom about 6 years ago, and she brings Hank with her to work everyday, so its not like I wont ever see him again.
I will keep you all up on his/their progress as time goes on, but whether he makes it to being a full fledged working dog, or a couch potato, I know he will have a home for life with Tracey, and that's really what I wanted most for him.

New To Me House Yea! We got moved in!

Lots been happening round here, and I fear Ive been to busy to catch everyone up because of it.
Yep! That's right, I'm blaming my lack of recent updating to the fact that Ive been so busy. Cant think of a better reason, can you?
Well, it could be, because Ive recently made a move, to my new (well, new to me) house!

My view from the front porch

view from the back porch at the sheep and horse pasture

looking at the back of the house from the pasture

My neighbors house across the street

side porch

I'm loving being here. This evening after work, I went over and picked up the sheep and horses and put them in their pastures. They got their heads down and went to clearing out all the greens they could handle, and then settled in for the night. Happy to be home.
The house is a 4 bedroom, so plenty of room for guests, (hint hint) and the yard is going to be a lot of fun messing round in and planting flowers and such. I love the trees, and I really enjoy sitting on the porches in the evening when I get a moment, and just relaxing and enjoying the views. The mountains are so close we can ride the horses right into them in about 20 minuets.
Bear did a bang up job tonight loading and unloading the sheep. Now he under stands why I put a grip command on him, and he doesn't mind using it.
They were reluctant to come out of the trailer when we arrived, so I sent him into the trailer to get them out. He slid right on around them, and got them out, and then drove them through the back yard and into the pasture through a small gate. He has never done anything like that, but it only took him a second to understand what I needed, and he was Johnny on the spot, and didn't put a foot wrong. He really is a tremendous dog.
I should have taken pics, but we just pulled in and started unloading, ands so I didn't go in the house to get the camera, but there will be plenty of opportunities to get more pics soon, now that they are here.
I know you all are anxiously awaiting to hear news of the mock trial.
To say the least, it was a disappointment. Bear worked well, aside from trying to fetch the sheep to the set out person a few times, and showing me that I really do need to get his outrun stretched out more. But we hit the panels and then he did a nice cross drive, but it started to rain, so instead of doing a pen, I just had him exhaust the sheep. They had to cross a ditch, and he was a bit confused at first, as to how to handle that, but common sense prevailed and he got the picture pretty quick, and put the sheep in the exhaust pen. He sure needs to build up his stamina, I can see that. He was pretty tired after his run, and we only worked about half and hour. Course it was a danged BIG field!
We got there late, and I have to say I was disappointed about that, but it was further than I had calculated, and most of the folks that were there earlier had already gone home, and all that were left were about 6 of the most unfriendly folks I think Ive ever met! They were what Id consider a type of weekend warrior. Agility folks out to let their dogs chase sheep for the day. It was almost laughable to watch had I not felt so sorry for the sheep.
Since it had started raining, I thought it best to get the hell off the top of that mountain. Kelly Creek Farm is a beautiful place, and the drive out to it it phenomenal, but she is up there to say the least.
It poured buckets a good amount of the way home, but as we got out towards Heber, it started to get really nice again, so I told my friend Tracey who was with me, "I know where we can get some good dog work in, Ive got a friend in Heber that Id love to stop in and visit." So we took a side trip to see my old pal Noel.
We worked Hank and Bear and Noel was beaming by the time we were through. Noel likes to see him some good dog work, so Bear and Hank were happy to comply.
I felt better after getting them worked, and I got to visit with my old friend, and Chris's mom too! Noel has Chris's sires brother and Noel worked him a bit for us. Damn I want that dog!
I'm going back down to Noels in a few weeks to work dogs again, so I will get some pics of him and Chris's dam.
Tracey another old friend from Vernal, is wanting to learn to work stock dogs, so she is the proud new owner of a stock dog, in the form of Hank. He is an easy dog to handle, and is learning fast and will be/is a good dog for a beginner. Not to mention, they adore each other.
I have a few pics from the Kelly Creek work day, but I haven't been able to get them from my email to my Picasa, so I will try to post them tomorrow (its late tonight and I need to get to sleep) so you all can see them. Not very many though. Like most newbies, Tracey was so enthralled with watching, that she forgot that she had a camera around her neck! Anyway, more to follow. Now that I don't have to get off work and run out to where the horses and sheep were being held at, I'll have more time at home, so Should be able to start getting caught up and keep everyone posted on the happenings round here. Its been quite the adventure so far!
PS. Stupid black scantch of a horse stopmed my foot last night (dont ask) and Im a gimp right now. Dog gone that smarts!

Friday, June 12, 2009

We're just moving right along!

Well, this week has been a good one. Busy, busy, busy at work, and!!!
I got the house!
I'm so excited about it! So many plans, so much I want to do and get done.
And then tomorrow, we head out to Kelly Creek farm for a mock trial, where Bear and I will finally get the opportunity to actually work sheep over a USBCHA style course! I'm so confident that we will do well, I just have so much faith in Bear. I know he will do his best, and not let me down. He always has.
Now I hope I can do the same for him.

The runs are 15.00 dollars each, so Id like to run him three times.
Hank is coming too, there will be smaller areas for young dogs to work appropriate sheep, so it will be a good experience for him. At 14 months, its no pressure, just fun and the opportunity to work different sheep in a different setting. He is gonna love it!

I really wish Chris were here, Id love to see how she would do. I'll just bet she would have a blast. Alas, she has other duties right now, so I'm very grateful to have Bear and Hank to work.

Lex has been doing so well out here. The cool, clean mountain air has made her act and feel like a pup again! She almost never plays, much less plays with the other dogs or toys, and recently, she has been doing both on a daily basis! She is so cute, chasing Hank around and tossing a ball for herself. Ive honestly never seen her behave in such a carefree manner. Its very satisfying to see her so happy and light hearted.

I had the horses out again this evening, and Jewel is looking better. Not back to her original weight, but much better. She looks fit, like a race horse, no real fat to speak of, but no bones either. That alfalfa is sure working its magic.
Cocoa, is looking better every day, but she didn't look as bad a Jewel, so I may have to start cutting her back soon.
The sheep, well, its slow for them, but they are coming along. Theres about three that are still bony looking, but they are eating good, and I'm sure they will be back fat and sassy here soon.
When they left NC they were shedding their wool, but the temps are down in the low
40's at night here, so they seem to have decided to hang onto it a bit longer. The days are still not over 75 so it doesn't hurt to have a little wool still.
So, all in all, itsa been a really great week. Everyone is starting to look better, the dogs are doing well, I got my house, ( and for you British comedy fans, I'll add, a house, with room for a pony!) LOL
Work is really busy, I'm loving that! I have to say, its taken me a bit to get back use to doing this much work, but I ain't complaining!
Vernal is getting back to its old self again, the oil fields are drying up, and all the oil patch people from all over the world that descended on this little town about 7 years ago, are now leaving out by the truck loads. Prices are getting back to normal, and Vernalites are getting their town back. As nice as the boom was, (it brought a lot of people and a lot of money into the town) I'm not sad to see it go, and I'm glad I was away in NC and missed the worst of it. Its beginning to feel more and more like home.
I meet with the management company on Monday to go over the paper work for the house, and of course, so they can drain me of every cent I own, but It'll be worth it to get moved in and have a real house with a fenced yard for the dogs, and a place for the horses and sheep. I'll get pics of the place then, and post them. Its a bit grown up around it, its been vacant for awhile, but I have a 14 yr old boy here that really wants a new X Box so I suspect I'll have a little slave labor to do some weeding and lawn mowing. Oh, that reminds me, now that I have a lawn, I'll need a lawn mower. That'll have to come later, for now, Ive got sheep! LOL

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A First For Bear and I

I'm very excited. This Saturday, Bear, Hank, me and a friend are heading out to the Kelly Creek Farm for a mock trial work day with some folks from the Utah Stock dog Assoc.
I feel sure Bear is ready for this, he and I have been accomplishing much this winter and spring. He is a great dog for me, and handles easily and is a great listener. He has power, style, and a nice amount of eye, and reads his stock well. Sheep really like Bear, and his easy way around them. I am very proud of Bear, he is all I could have ever asked for in a dog, and his bond with me is astounding. Bear is a dog anyone would be proud to walk out on a field with, I'm still just so grateful that he landed with me, he has taught me so much.

Hank is going to get to do a little work too, and maybe even learn a thing or two. He is keen to get to work, and is proving to be a good listener and is really starting to read his sheep nicely. Still a goofy puppy at 13 months, but put him on stock, and he is a whole different dog. Its amazing to watch the transformation. He is bold and fearless, and will walk right into the face of a sheep and doesn't back down. He is starting to develop a little more eye, which is nice to see, as Id thought he was going to be a bit of a loose eyed dog. It'll be interesting to see how both Bear and Hank handle this new situation.

As for me? Well, I'm pretty darned confident in Bear's aptitude and abilities, and so, for the moment, I think I will be able to remain cool headed and calm. But, we aren't standing at the post yet.

Chris, is hopefully bred now to Robin's Zac, and we are all eagerly awaiting the results of the ultra sound on the 23rd. Then by the 1st I should be able to get her back home, where she has been very much missed. Its just not the same without her joyous little self bounding around trying to get some one to just throw the ball.

Still waiting to hear about the house I'm hoping to get. I hate waiting. Its not one of my strong points. But as of today, all the leg work and paper work is in, and now all that's left to do is wait till I get the call. I have a strong feeling I'll get it, but I don't want to get to confident, lest I don't and then my feelings will really be hurt. Then, it will be back to the drawing board, and I'm not looking forward to that. This place is perfect for Kyle and I and the critters. Cross your fingers for us.

The sheep and horses are starting to look a little better. Jewel, the Morgan mare is still thin, and it smarts for me to see my girl looking so poorly. I had her out today for some loves and a good brushing. She looks better from further away, but up close, it just sickens me to see her bones where there once was ample flesh.
Cocoa, the buckskin mare, is doing much better, but she is a bit younger and appears to be bouncing back quicker. She got to come out of the paddock this evening too for a little well deserved TLC and to knock the mud off her butt. Both are in good spirits, so that is a plus in getting them back on the right track and healthy.
The sheep? Well, we're working on it. Still skinny necks and hip bones, but they are eating well, and starting to look a little better. Ive just never seen them so poor, and every time I look at them I just get angry.

Work is really busy, and I'm grateful for that, even if I am dog tired by the end of the day. I get a lot accomplished in a day, but it leaves me hunting the pillow a little earlier than I use to. I have been sleeping better than ever. I think it has a lot to do with the cool, clean mountain air too. Ive been leaving the window open in my bedroom, and its been getting down in the 40's at night. The cool air feels so nice.

So that's it for now, look for pics soon of Da Bear and Hank after the weekend, I'm bringing a camera crew for this one!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Need a change

Ive been looking around at folks blogs, and there are some very pretty templates, and I cant figure out where everyone is getting them. Id like to change my blog to make it a little prettier, compared to some, its rather plain. Willows Rest, I love Julies new page. Hay Ewe, Jodie's is really nice, with the blue sky and mountains.
So you guys with the pretty pages please let me know where I can find some thing different and more personalized. Its raining today, which totally blew my plans all to hell, so I have some extra time to dink around on the computer, and I thought it would be fun to do a little improvments to the blog. Hope some one can help. Thaks in advance.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What a great day!
Its Saturday, my day off. I slept in, and that was nice. Took the dogs for a nice long run, and then sat down on the computer and helped put together a new flyer to place around town to let folks know I'm back and grooming.
Its been fun reconnecting with folks, though Ive been surprised that a lot of folks that knew me well back when, hardly recognise me. Must be that added 50 lbs and the long hair, not to mention I dyed my normally blond hair brown, but hey, I met my ex husband in the grocery store last night, and he didn't even recognise me! I stopped and talked to him for a few minuets before I realized he was just being polite, and didn't have a clue! I left it at that, he'll feel real stupid when some one finally does ask him if he knew I was back in town, put two and two together, and really feel like an ass. Wish I was a fly on the wall when that happens! LOL
I really hadn't thought Id changed that much, but several folks have looked at me when Ive spoke to them with that Ive seen you before look, but don't remember till I tell them.

Ive been feeding the horses and sheep a grass, alfalfa mix since they got here, but I haven't seen their condition change much, so went out and bought some first cut alfalfa for them today. I also got them a no bloat block, and so I feed them this evening the alfalfa, then went back several hours later to check on them, and they seemed to be just fine.
So fine in fact that I took the opportunity to work Bear and Hank in the sheep pen. It was a rodeo with Hank for the first few minuets, he was rearing to go, and keener than ever. He hasn't been on sheep in close to a month, so when we pulled up and he saw the sheep, I thought he was gonna try to jump through the closed truck window! Silly pup.
After a few minuets he settled down and got to work, and did nicely. Time to get him out of the round pen, he needs to be on the big field. Tomorrow I'm going to have Bear drive them out to the big field, and let Hank work out there. He wont loose his sheep, he's all about keeping them together, so we should be just fine.

Bear, per his usual, was spot on. I had him take the sheep out of their holding area into a large outdoor arena, and had him work a set up trial like sequence. He is doing very well, even with things he has never done, and next weekend I'm taking him out to SLC to work with some friends from the Utah Stockdog Assoc. We will be working Churros, and some heavy dorpers so I'm excited to see how he handles them. For that day, I will definitely be bringing the camera, especially because I am still sore at myself for forgetting to bring it today.

Chris is still in NC. Robin has her, and she has been bred through doing AI's twice now, so we are all crossing our fingers and toes that it takes and we have Zac and Chris pups in a couple of months. I sure do miss her, and cant wait till she is back home with me. She is such a joyous dog, and her absence is felt through out the pack. Lex has felt it the worst I think, her and Chris were/are close and she has been left with all the boys to contend with.

We went over to Colorado today and I bought a lottery ticket. Well, actually I bought five. Cross your fingers for me, I hear its a big one.

Tomorrow we are going horse back riding. The black isn't quite in good enough weight from the trip to be up on in my estimation yet, but the buckskin, Kyle's QH is looking good, so I'm going to ride her. She isn't half the horse my black mare is to ride, but its not like we are going to run any races, so I reckon she will suffice. After riding we are taking the dogs and hitting Red Fleet
for some more fishing, and hiking. That extra 50lbs wont be hanging around for long, to much to do around here. Matter of fact, I haven't slowed down since I got here, and its been refreshing. If I remember to bring the camera, and I'm really gonna try to do that, I hope to have some fantastic pics of the lake and surrounding area, and maybe, if I'm lucky, a pic of me with my catch of the day!

Friday, June 5, 2009

A few pics to tide ya over

I have been a bad blogger!
Excuses?? I have many, but none that can erase my guilt, for not showing up to update and blog. I am, suffice to say, ashamed of myself.
I figured Id not bore anyone with the details of 1400 miles of pavement and fast food, it was a decent trip, but I really was just driving, and trying to get from A to B. Nothing spectacular happened, though I will will share some neat pics I took along the way. The real adventure started once I landed at my destination.
I have been really busy, first with work, and trying to reacquaint myself with the town, and old friends.
The sheep and horses made it finally, though I'm not very happy about their condition. The horses, as I suspected they would, dropped some weight, but I was very upset to hear that my horses were loaded on the trailer on a Friday afternoon, and didn't step foot off the trailer until they were delivered to me on the following Tuesday! That's 5 days and nights standing asshole to elbow, (that's how they were loaded) together in a trailer they couldn't hardly move in. These mares are 22 and 26 years old! Not healthy for any animal, much less such aged horses. And besides, I'm pretty sure keeping stock in a trailer that long without off loading them, is not only inhumane, but quite possibly even illegal!
And thats not the end of my little rant. My sheep, are in a horrible state. Thier bones are sticking out! They were fat and healthy when they were loaded on that trailer. It is going to take me the better part of a month to get the flesh back on them! Bobby gave the the hauler 6 bales of hay to feed the horses and sheep, (15 sheep, and 2 horses) for the trip. The hauler gave me back 2 full bales of that hay when he got here. 4 bales of hay for 2 horses and 15 head of sheep for 5 flippin days!!! WTF!!!
Yep, Im a it peeved. The worst part is that this person came well reccomended. Guess ya cant believe everything ya hear these days, and I will never take a chance with my animals like that again to save a few bucks.

OK. End of rant.
Heres a few pictures I took. Most of them are from New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

Hopefully, now that I am starting tomsettle into a routine around here, I can get back to being once again fairly consistant about updating, and fill everyone in on life here on the west side.