Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reflections, Closure, Another New Year

2009 is coming to a close....all my adult life I have spent the week after Christmas getting the next year's calendars ready for New Years Day. Ritualistically looking back over the year passed ...reflecting....evaluating......did I achieve my goals.....did I leave more than I took......what will I work towards in the coming year? I spent last evening reading my blog for the past year. I believe with all my heart, I am right where I am supposed to be!

Sally and I moved to open just before 2009. I picked some very challenging trials to run in my first year out....with no regret might I add. I learned that "trained" dogs still need training! Experience is the queen of mastery! To be the best trainer and handler I can be, I need to embrace each dog for what they are. That humble pie should be a daily staple in my diet. And not every person on the face of this planet wants to participate in my dreams or journey...."other people's opinions of me and my dogs are NONE of my business."
Marinating in those revelations has given me the freedom to train my dogs......and enjoy the process presented! Nell ran some nursery and pro novice in 2009.....she gave me some nice "stuff" but we were not able to put it all together for the runs that I visualize! The runs were memorable....but reminding myself that I must embrace each dog for what they are....Nell needs time to mature. Nell and I took some time this year....missing many lessons, clinics and trials because I thought I would be in Missouri getting her bred! Then finally she went to Missouri, which made more time off to have her pups. Again, I think it is right where we need to be!One highlight from 2009, Vicki Close took this picture of Nell at Sue Wessel's Dirt Blowing Trial. It was done up in a beautiful print.........that can be purchased from Vicki at Handhills Border Collies or from Border Collies In Action .
By the way, Nell and I will be working on cleaning up that inside away flank in 2010!

Snook, after refusing to lift time and again when men were setting at trials, has shown me that she does best in arena trials. She gets a lot of courage from me close at hand....so 2009 had us participating in a few AHBA trials and my annual ASCA trial where Snook went High in Trial! She likes to work the ducks as well as the sheep so it is a win for her! I say it again and again, I owe Snook for all she has taught me and for being my first dog. Had I only known then what I know now....
This brings me to Bella.....I am NOT sure what came over me that second where I bought Bella...and it really did happen in just a blink of the eye......thank GOD I have one very understanding husband. Not only did I bring a new dog into the home, I brought a whole litter of pups! 6 for one! Bella has taught me that I really do enjoy training dogs. I love the whole process of thinking out how to help them learn what I am trying to teach them. The balance of insist versus input.....patience...when to push and when to let the moment sit.

2009 was quiet the year for me and my passion for dog work...yet the other side of my life was CRAZY. Being in the car business....chaos reigned with economic times filled with uncertainty. My dogs, my family and my friends brought perspective.....blessings abundant, thankful for the little joys that get me out of bed each day, my cup is so much more than half full...and for that, I can not express enough gratitude!

2010....a clean new book.....pages blank waiting for me to fill them with life.....what will they hold? I have taught a few lessons for the past three years....I am looking at those...evaluating if I should continue or pass the baton. The next days will give me time to chew that cud a few times over......sort through some comprehensive goals for the coming year. It is good......

Seize the day.....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dinner Out

Week three = solid food
I think they liked it!!!!!

Week three = Jail break

This is Jake Junior...crafty little bugger!

Of course, Val won't be outdone by her brother.

These are the other two girls......I continue on my quest of deciding which one would suite me best........

Today, I am working on wrapping up 2009......bills and books and receipts....oh my!

Seize the day!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Nell Believes

Last night, I tucked my tiny smooth coat border collie in with her two and a half week old puppies....I looked into those golden eyes....and I saw, "all I want for Christmas is sheep!" Well MERRY CHRISTMAS, Miss Nellie Bellie!
Man I love this dog!
It was a beautiful day in the Willamette Valley...so Bella had a Christmas day go....she is starting to sort those darn inside flanks.
Then we hurried home to feed those never-ending hungry pups.....check out the crafty little pup that feeds off Nell's left side while all the others are busy fighting on her right!
Once their bellies were full....it was play time....they are beginning to get a little ornery.

From Rocking Dog Ranch.....to all my many friends and training buds......Merry, Merry Christmas! As I count my blessings today.....know I am thankful for you!

Seize the day!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Two weeks old and lookin' good!

What an amazing process.......pups start as tiny little nothings, and in two short weeks they:

Open their eyes
Try to stand:
Begin to interact with people:
And start to play:All Miss Nell can think about is: "When do I get my sheep?!!!"

Sorry Nell, but we have to get ready for Christmas......off to our business celebration with employees...then on to some much needed shopping.

Seize the day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

1 Week Old

Yes...more puppy pictures. I am not sure why...they just look like leeches that are feeding....filling up, getting fat, rounding out. Besides size...not much has changed! I know that in the coming week.....their eyes will start to open and then the fun begins. Nell is a very good mom! Other than she is a bit anorexic and compulsive about food......yesterday she actually ate decent so maybe we are over that issue.
I don't know why I love upside down nursing pictures! But they make me smile.......this is the little girl who looks most like Nell.
Here is a picture of the first born boy and the number two girl. They look very similar.....the girl with less flash or, as my friend Geri says, chrome!
Here is a shot of the little peanut boy....he is so cute! I love his markings!!!! He has the coolest face!!!They look so sweet and innocent. It is hard to imagine that in a few short weeks I will have to protect my feet from them......

Even at a very young age....these pups are showing so much talent! Check out what they can do at 1 week old!


Seize the day!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ahhhhh.....a sheepdog trial!

I have not participated in a sheepdog trial since LaCamas in August! First it was preparation for the finals...then puppies...and more puppies...and Sally has been a little lame after stepping in a gopher hole. Sounds like a bunch of excuses...but really just life. So...today...I bundled up and left in 30 degree freezing rain....and drove to what will be my last sheepdog trial of 2009.....Palm Cottage Skating Trial. Not really the name of the trial but it is what I am calling it after passing at least 8 jack-knifed semis on the way to the trial!

It felt absolutely fantastic to get out of the house and run my dogs. Sally ran...and we worked on some things! And Bella ran...a non competitive Pro Novice run because I was chicken to jump in and throw her under the Pro Novice bus whole-heartedly. She gave me so very much. And for the first time ever since I began blogging...I did not take one picture to post!

I feel like a new woman!

Seize the day.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Let Me Introduce You....

After a night of attending Nell's whelping party, I've caught my second wind....man oh man is it cold here.....maybe mine came in on that Northerly that is blowing.....so I thought I would take a moment to introduce you to Nell's pups. Nell is a daughter of Aled Owen's World Winning Roy...and was put to Kathy Knox's Jake.

In order of arrival:

First Born Boy #1

Second Born Girl #1:

Third Born Girl #2:

Fourth Born Girl #3:
And last but not least....the fifth puppy born...boy #2.....tiny little pip squeak of a fellow....Spot:
Okay now I am exhausted again! Nell is being a very good mom...she loves her babies and is just a little protective!

Good job Miss Nellie Bellie.....

Perhaps we have done enough today......

Seize the Day!

They're Hheeeerrrrrreeee

All creativity is gone...what I originally had, left me somewhere between two and four this morning.

I think Nell felt the same way.......
But the end result was so worth the sleepless night.........

3 girls and 2 boys! All have black masks......you can certainly see Nell's white factor. No cookie-cutter puppies for Nell...in fact, not a whole lot of anything Nell has done resembles Bella's delivery and puppies. Bella spoiled me....Nell brought me back to reality!!!!

I think I am going to go have some face time with my bed.....I'll wait to put these pups on sheep!

Seize the day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Little "Me" Time

As I wait for Nell to decide what day she is going to whelp out her pups.....I decided to take a little field trip.....spend some time with Bella....see where the two of us are on different sheep, in a bigger pasture....and get a much valued second person watching, assessing, and giving input. I appreciate what Laura Vishoot brings to my training......honesty and challenging discussions on my dogs, my training, my timing, where to push a little more and where to give a little less. I guess it is the honesty I seek most right now...hard as it is to hear sometimes!

L&M Belle (aka Bella Rosa to me)

Bella is learning to drive...and with that she is starting to understand that she can control a drive and cover a draw at the same time........She has so much natural "go to head" feel for control...but stopping sheep from escaping while still in the drive mode is starting to come together for her.Our next steps on this journey are those inside flanks! Bella has some interesting ideas on what an inside flank should look like....I'll work on them and get back with a report.

Then...we did some bigger outruns.....Where Bella used to push through the pressure point on the fetch....she is settling in and is feeling her sheep so much better.

Bella is becoming quiet the dog! She is so very different compared to the dogs I have been running. Training her is such a pleasure...though challenging...it is very rewarding! I am hoping to run her in nursery at Palm Cottage Farm Soggy Sheepdog Trial......though she is not on whistles yet...I feel like it might be time to jump in and get our feet wet!

Thanks Laura for a splendid dog working session!

Seize the day!