Saturday, February 27, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons......

Sally came up sore in a front leg...after doing some more complicated sheep work...and I am really wanting to run her at Heppner and hopefully Sonoma, pending my getting in. After much thought, I decided to take her to my good friend and dog hour + south of me but well worth the drive. Hoping to add some fun to the trip, I was able to take a lesson at Palm Cottage with Bella and Nell. I love the big field, new sheep and a good brain picking session! Then, to finish off the day.....I was able to stop by another good friend's at Kenleigh Acres Farm...and see what Miss Gyp thought of ducks!

First, my friend's 5 year old son gave Gyp a brief pep talk....

And then it was game on......Gyp did not know what to think at first......

Then she started to bust some moves.....

I laughed 'till I cried......

Gyp's whole MO was to put them in the corner and hold them there.......

Oh Sweet Gypsy....I think you are a keeper!I do have to say...I don't think a person can tell a whole lot of anything about an 11 week old pup on ducks! She is keen, and she has prey drive...for SURE! But I did enjoy watching her flame back to waiting!

Seize the day!

Pictures compliments of Shannon Pfifer, That'll Do Photography and Kenleigh Acres Farm! Check out her blog on my blog list....Stories From the Farm.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Just Like Dad!

Another late evening arrival...I got to the ranch for my goodnight tuck-in check...and a ewe had her water bag hanging. I gave her some push time....and when things did not start moving along....I thought I would go and have a lookie lou. Yes...a lamb was trying to be born....but I found one leg and a mouth....not exactly the proper position for birthing. No problem....just a little push back, readjustment to get two legs and a head...and out came a beautiful stark white little ewe lamb! Then....thank goodness because the mom was HUGE.....I had two black feet coming....and out popped little Imur Junior. No wondering who his daddy is!
I will NEVER get over the miracle of birth, the wonderful excitement and beauty in little lambs, nor the fascination of genetics and the marks the parents leave on their offspring! Breathtaking! What a great mama......Gyp's sister Jill came for a visit this morning...while Jill's pack mate got to work sheep....Jill and Gyp got to play. At first, it was all rough housing....body slams, throat bites, and growls!
Then, I broke out the "special" toy....and the girls went to town...chasing, and tugging to the point of shear bliss and finally exhaustion!

Two tired puppies....priceless!

Seize the day!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Way back, when Bella's puppies were 5 weeks old, a very nice couple contacted me about testing their rescue border collie on sheep....and helping them make a game plan for training her. They own a sheep ranch and needed a dog to help them get their chores done. Well....long story short.....they ended up buying a Bella pup! I called her The Black One...and then Soot.....but she found a new name....Serendipity....aka Sera!
Now, just two months after Sera left for her life on a sheep ranch, her owners invited me out to work dogs! Of twist my arm!!!! So off I went to see Sera and her big sister Mandi.....and work a few dogs.
Isn't she beautiful?? She looks so much like Bella it amazed me. And when Bella came out to work sheep....Sera was so glad to see her mama! Sera got to watch Bella work.....and I do believe her natural sheep drive is coming out.....Sera's owners are doing such a fabulous job raising her up. She has a great temperament and nice manners. I did a poor job with the camera in my excitement to work new time I will take pictures of her with her mom....and also her playing with Gyp....because they were glad to meet each other and were fast friends.

These ewes are getting ready to lamb next month....... a cool adaptation of a green house for a ewe pen!

What a great was sunny. Great fun to take advantage of this one last day of a teaser spring....I hear rain is on its way.

Seize the day!!!

PS Mole:2 Me:0

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Going On A Mole Hunt......

Apparently, spring is ,well...springing here in the Willamette valley and we are just wrapping up February! I know we need some "weather" if we are going to have water this summer! That said....I am loving this sunshine.....and this warm weather is bringing out other species that seem to love the warm temps and growing grass as well. These telltale mounds of dirt are made by one of my hole producing enemies! And now....the hunt is on!
I went to Coastal, a local farmy store....looking for the 100% guaranteed product to kill moles without using poison. None of the brands made that 100% success claim so I closed my eyes and picked.....I brought home two chemical-free traps.......this might be too graphic for some....but hey....welcome to ranch life! I dug a hole and put the trap in it.....just like the diagram......"here little moley"

A couple hours later, I could not I walked down into the bottom pasture...where my trap was set and see what I could see.....and this was it:
That stinkin' mole actually had the gall to burrow under the trap and put a bunch of dirt on top of it....making it very dangerous to dig out for fear of my fingers! Mole 1....Me 0! The trap is set again......and I mean business......I will let you know how it goes! And my partner in crime, Miss Bella, is wondering why we are wasting this beautiful sunshine when there are sheep to work! I agree Bella....Seize the day!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

It Starts.....

For my nightly tuck-in check Thursday, I was greeted by this cute little princes!
YEA!!!! Yahooooo!!!! The 2010 lambing season FINALLY starts!!!

Two years ago, I bought a katahdin ram from a friend. You can imagine my surprise when I found a number of "barbado" looking lambs! I was assured by a well known and respected katahdin breeder that the "barb" markings can be found in katahdins. So, this year, I put this katahdin ram
to my favorite "katahdin dressed in barb clothes" ewe.....and got this shiny white lamb! Genetics are so fascinating! Besides the fact that you don't have to dock tails....or shear them....and they are FANTASTIC mothers.....I like all the different color and marking combinations of the kathadin.I say to the ewes left to lamb.....BRING IT ON, SISTAS!!!!!!! Bring it on!
Seize the day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I get emails and requests from people to "instinct" test their...insert herding breed. Because their herding breed dog rocks at "herding" their cat....they are sure it will rock at "herding" livestock. I don't mind talking to these is all about education......there IS a difference between "herding" and "prey drive". I recently read a blog post that really sums up prey drive vs "herding"....check it out

Another fine example of beautiful "moves" but NOT herding can be found here: If you view this will see the Ethiopian wolf busting some serious moves, with style and eye....gasp......hunting! Yes, using prey drive to bring home dinner! Mind you, I have seen some nice border collies and kelpies use some similar moves on sheep!

I have watched a few youtube videos...that say "corgie puppies herding cat" or the likes. Sorry folks, but those corgie puppies are actually practicing their prey drive....on the family cat. Might be cute to some....but not to be sold as "herding".

Recently, I have sold a few border collie pups and kept one for myself. As much as I wish with all my heart that my best plans of coupling two really nice working sheepdogs will produce a World Champion......when my little Gyp busts her moves, I know she is not "herding". I also know, I won't know what she has until we get there....on stock....seeing what she has in the way of natural "herding" talent. And only time will tell what she has and if she will make it as a good working sheepdog and open trial dog.

This is my pondering as I wait, impatiently, for my ewes to give up their tiny bundles of lamby races and fun. Off to check..........

Seize the day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We Are Doing Alllllright!

Miss Gyp is 9 weeks old. And you know, we are doing and her.....her and me! Nell loves her so when I feel overwhelmed with "things to do" and need some "me" time....I put Nell in her ex-pen in the kitchen and they have mother/daughter bonding! Soon they will be wanting to get their nails done and go shopping after a lunch date.......Gyp is getting used to being hauled around with me everywhere I go in the car. Her crate is becoming her is the means to getting to more fun and exciting places! She loves the ranch!After a brief hiccup...her recall is getting very good. Nothing like a rousing tug session to make her want to come to me!Most of the dogs like her just fine.....except Snook and Spark. They find her to be a huge annoyance and tell her every chance they get!But seriously, who could resist this face..... ....
......and what, exactly, are those ears going to do???

Lambs should be arriving is the first day they could is going to be a small lambing year and I am rethinking my efforts......trying to simplify for the next year. But for now, 3 times a day checks.....

Seize the day!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Okay, I miss Nell's pups! Bella and Nell miss them too. It is a little quiet around here....and I have no more clever excuses on why the house is a mess, the laundry is not done, and my taxes aren't ready to go! Best get to work....

Seize the day!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Play Date

Jill has been gone less than 48 hours......but my goodness....was Gyp glad to see Jill today! I think they both have missed having somebody relatively the same size and with the same sense of humor to hang out with.

I wish Adele and I lived closer.....this visit was worth the very tired pup that was the end result! Jill is beautiful.....both her and Gyp were busting some border collie moves in the back yard. I did not appreciate puppy play dates....until now! How fast they seem to be growing up......

Seize the day!