Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Best Half-Gift...

A good friend sent me half-a-gift the other day.  Only half, as I am supposed to share this with another friend.  As my gramps would say, "that's all right" because this gift is one of those really special ones that only gets bigger and better when shared. 

This friend was touched by a movie.....a pebble in a pond movie, with the rings going out creating a journey of longing for understanding.  One interesting note is, this movie is a horse when I finally got a tiny bit of life order that would allow me to savor the experience of the husband had control of the remote!  Now he is NOT a horse fan.  One of our first family exposure adventures had him riding my older mare, Sunday.  Reliable as the day was long, firm footed and well, wise as a serpent.  She smelled the fear long before she felt it slither down the reigns and took full advantage of not really wanting to go on a long "fun" ride on BLM property.  I ended up walking both Sunday and the green-broke gelding home while my husband cursed falling in love with a country bumpkin.  Back to 2012, how could I talk him into letting me watch this gift.  It did not take much ...he loves a good movie and this one had received Sundance honors.....we settled down, hit play......and thus began that moment that would change my personal journey with dogs.

"A lot of the time, rather than helping people with horse problems, I'm helping horses with people problems"

"All your horses are a mirror to your soul and sometimes you might not like what you see in the mirror"

"Maybe there are some things for you to learn about you. Maybe the horse is the only damn way you are going to learn it."

"If you find the way to fit this thing right here, it will make you better.  It will make you better in areas that you didn't think related to horses."

~Buck Brannaman

This movie triggers so many memories tucked away of runs I have watched where the dog and handler had that "relationship of understanding", the one I am longing for.  Conversations with friends, "the dog might not have been the most powerful dog, but it had heart."  Any of those Buck Brannaman quotes, I just substitute the word horse with dog, and then realize what my jouney has become.  "If I find the way to fit this dog right here, it will make me areas I didn't think related to dogs." The quest continues....thank you Marilyn for believing and investing in my planting the seed to change me!

Seize the Day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I posted a nasty Facebook entry about chicken pot pie and hens that don't lay eggs.  Seems the girls must be reading my status.....

Either that or they love their freeze dried worms. 

Seize the Day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Big Butt Day

When I got to the ranch today and checked in on the nursery, I had a lame lamb.  He was packing his back right leg and laying down in the most inopportune places.  Since my Laura Lawson books arrived yesterday, I decided to leave poor Shannon alone and instead looked up lamb lameness...following the yes/no diagram and decided that I had a case of "butted lamb syndrome."  I do have a really cranky ewe that thinks any baby but her own is darn right ugly....and I think this poor lamb got the butt of her attitude.  I jugged him, his brother and his ma....gave him some multi B and a tiny bit of banamine and the family will stay in the jug until he is feeling better.

Remember my story from last year.....the one about Coyote Girl: she who was given to me as a young lamb, still nursing her mom, savagely attacked by coyotes and not only lived to tell the story but crawled back to civilization, given to me to live in the plush, green, garden of Eden without much of a betting odds at life.  Well, she lambed today...a HUGE single boy.  I always worry about her and her ability to push from all the damage done to her as a youngster but we got her lamb out and he (YES HE) is big and beautiful and solid black.  While she was cleaning him up, the last of my coopworth/blue face leicester ewes started in on her task at hand.  I let her push for about 15 minutes and well, being impatient and very curious and never minding to help...I gloved up, went in and found the longest ear I have ever felt....until it dawned on me I had a tail!  And those bony projections were not jaws nor a head...I had a butt!  No time to grab Laura Lawson, nor place a call...I was in and again, had to get 'er done.  In my past experiences, I have never had to make  right this breach only breaches have come back legs first.  It was tight, interesting and I did worry I might break a leg...but the lamb was small and I wiggled her legs up and out and gave a good pull and it was A GIRL!!!!!  I handed her to her mom, roughed her up a bit and went back in for GIRL NUMBER TWO!!!!!  Who was covered in meconium...which is what happens when lambs are stressed during birthing...they poo their first in eutero.  I knew there was another babe as I had to sort out three front back in I went and pulled out the poopiest lamb I have ever seen, GIRL NUMBER THREE!!!  As me and the mom were cleaning and sorting these beautiful ewe lambs, my precious', as they are the first of the girls this year, I kept thinking of how I'm not a real fan of triplets....seems if you don't pull one to bottle feed, they all end up smaller and not as healthy.  So as Ms. Coyote Girl was watching worried, and talking to us, over the jug wall.  I picked up the thriftiest of the girls, showed it to CG and asked if she wanted her.  I do believe she winked at me as I laid the babe at her feet and watched in total amazement as Coyote Girl began to clean the adopted lamb and mutter her imprinting mutters.  I whisked the triplet mom and her two keeper lambs to a jug across the barn in hopes this part-donor mom would forget about her smell in the neighboring jug.  As I left the barn this afternoon, tired from the huge pull-job and not just a little sore, I smiled at my Coyote Girl with her big black boy and her tiny white girl, and thankful to my coop/bf ewe for making two sets of twins for me. 

It was one of those days where I lifted my eyes to find the beauty of the climb!

Seize the Day!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


We interrupt the regularly scheduled TMT program to bring you this very important announcement.  Another hen at Rocking Dog Ranch has decided to start laying eggs!  Yes folks, she has sold her soul to the sweatshop owner and is now producing eggs...small eggs but eggs none the less! 4 free loaders continue to walk the thin line between SPA and crock pot!

Two Egg Thursday

The hens are finally beginning to more riding at the back of the bus fancy girls! (ps that is NOT their hen is the smoking shed where they take their breaks)

In other news......

some times when I am out at the ranch, minding my own business just doing my chores, I get this really creepy feeling that someone is watching me. I don't understand......

This lamb is #2 only because I could not write on his black brother who is now #1.  Sounds silly but it works for me...I don't forget who should be sporting which ear tag....because somehow I forgot to order ear tags this year which has left me writing numbers on my lambs!  So I did....order ear tags from Pemier One and Ginko from the chiropractor.  Now if I can just remember to take the darn Ginko.  That said, I changed ear tag styles this year...last year I lost over half of my ear tags from stinky lambs sticking their heads through the fence...little mischief makers.  I am trying the bending snap tags for better luck...however, it might be a silly year to make the switch as ALL my lambs are boys so far. Boys = not staying.  Needless to say, I picked blue for my 2012 seems like a good year to try blue. This weekend I will put their ear tags in.....the neighbors all want me to keep with the big, painted, side numbers so they can have lamb race bets.

Seize the Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

I Get By With a Little Help......

Absolutely!  I get by with a little help from my friends.  Last night, my big ewe was due (due by the adjusted coop/blueface due date and not that Premier wheel that is four days short for the RDR club).  She had all the signs she was food, grinding teeth, big..oh never mind you get the blah blah.  I hooked up the baby monitor I took out to the ranch and went for a cat nap in the truck.  About 11:30, she was pushing and I was glad to be there.

Then the unthinkable happened.  I'm always amazed at the "out-of-body" feeling I get when I just need to woman-up and get 'er done.  No time to wonder what I could have done different, no time to feel sorry for myself (though I wanted to and I really wanted to call my vet to come do the dirty work!) I did indeed get the lamb out and went right back in for number two...hoping and a praying that I could give this mom a live soul.  And so I did....prayers answered in the wee hours of morning, in a jug, in my barn at Rocking Dog Ranch, I got to experience a miracle.

This morning I called a friend...she who must be Laura Lawson's little sister because she has more sheep knowledge in her front lobe than I have in my entire brain.  She gave me a phone hug and told me things like "these things happen", "that baby was dead long before you began your pulling", "sheep do this sometimes", "no, no it was not because you sheared so late".  Stress + sheep = the unknown.  Funny, the second lamb that was pulled had a head back....certainly does make me wonder.  I feel better after my chat....thanks, Shannon!  Although I still feel like I have been hit by a truck and I know for certain that ewes does too.  As I left the ranch, mama ewe was up and working on her mothering. A live lamb needing attention plus the big dose of Banamine should help her.....too bad Banamine is not labeled for human use!

So what is up with lambs and heads back for delivery.  You work so dang hard to get the head forward...then grab the legs and start to pull...and that stinking head is right back where you started!  All this with slippery gloves, too big of hands, and a contracting uterus.  I had to get very creative.....and I need to slip a small rope into my birthing supplies so next time I can rope those feel and pull while I get the head forward.  Legs back don't ever seem to want to find their origin once put is those stinking heads.

My son's girlfriend came out for a visit.  I wish the tax man, who thinks RDR is me just having fun with a hobby while eating bonbons and watching Jersey Shore, could have been there last night to clean up my mess.  He might have felt a little different about life on a small farm.  Wonder if I can get his number.....

Seize the Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Newest Arrivals

You probably thought I was going to go on and on about all the cute, little lambs I have at Rocking Dog Ranch...and indeed I will!  However, I got three new hens yesterday and I just love them!

I might be the only one who does right about now.....

Yesterday, I saw, in action, where the term "pecking order" came from.  Also, "hen pecked"....I've seen a bit of that as well.  The two original youngsters are doing all right but their mom is fit to be tied.  She liked it when it was just her family here (even though I get one egg a day and that won't feed my growing boys when they get home from college).  I tried some chicken whispering to the new girls telling them to "just go ahead and let her be boss...k?"

They whispered back, "not just yet...we are having way too much fun."

The girls had apparently worked it all out for bed time as my late night check revealed all of them tucked into the hen house getting rested for the next day's adventures.  Wish I could teach them to lamb......

Seize the day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Meet the Fakers!

In the town that I live in, there is this man that walks down main street in a dress with a basketball tucked in front of his stomach.  He has been pregnant for years.  It looks much like this:

I think these girls are fakin' me out.  And I might be missing a few basketballs if I were to really look!

And then there are these:

Perchance my vet has started a new "enhancement" would be just like him to talk my girls into thinking they needed bigger and better at my expense. Just like him.....

Still waiting...patiently...really I am!

Seize the Day!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pick-n-Choose Saturday

1. Julie would like to know one frugal tip this week.

Go sign up for the FREE Scott Glen penning course at  Can't get any more frugal than that my friends!!!

2. What are you reading this week?

I'm reading "Fearless Living" by Rhonda Britten and " and "The Faraway Horses" by Buck Brannaman.  A good friend introduced me to Buck.....and I am now over-thinking about all his methods and how dogs fit into the paradigm.  I think Jack Knox's "Get vs Make" is making more sense to how to get it darn it anyway!

3. Barbara wants to know: do you hit the snooze button on the alarm clock, and if so how many times?

Dogs have no snooze nor can a person set their time.  As the sun makes it debut earlier and earlier....seems the clock time is moving earlier by its own will!  I'm looking into ordering stronger coffee to get me through Standard Time.

4. If you had to travel in a sedan (or if you already drive a sedan type car) and you had five or six dogs, how would you handle it? 

As many of you know, I drive a truck with a "little different" canopy.  I can fit up to 8 dogs in that baybay!  I handle it with my foot on the gas pedal (or would that be diesel pedal?) and the music loud!  I can even take a friend.....but they have to be willing to share the front seat with a dog!  Oh and btw, Snook always asks to drive!

5. How much do you filter what you put on your own blog?

Every single word.....multiple times! 

Today is a beautiful day here in the valley.  The sunrise was a spectacular morning gift unwrapping into a day I am filled with anticipation to live.  I've got some ewes that are thinking about heading into the labor and delivery room at RDR.....and I've got some dogs hankering for some work!

Sieze the Day!

PS I do have a question for a TMT you find, when you take time off from training dogs, that your dogs are better for it or worse for it?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Scott Glen at Your Home!

Well....on your computer in your home.......

Be sure to visit Sheepdog Training Courses and sign up for the free course offer! 

It has been so much fun working with Scott and Jenny.  Their commitment to the dogs and heart for wanting to see students learn and become better trainers and handlers is amazing.  Here's to adventure....

Seize the Day!!!!!