Recently, I went on a small working vacation and while I was away, good friends were watching the ranch. In an effort to get my young hens laying, I had put a few teaser eggs in the nesting boxes. When I left, all the girls were laying but I forgot about the fake eggs...they seemed to be non-events. But then it happened...one of the hens decided her biological clock was ticking....she gathered up the eggs that no one wanted and were always left behind, and went to the business of starting a family. By the time I got home, she had a bad case of the 'broodies'! I gathered up the cursed fakers, darn broody carriers, and shooed the hen off her nest, getting pecked while doing the deed. Note to self, hens have quite a 360 range and hen pecks really hurt!
Every day, I would go to the ranch, gather eggs, and shoo miss broody pants off her nest of air, all to no avail! I consulted expert hen friends to design a plan....I learned broody hens stop laying...and won't lay until their babies have grown a bit. I contemplated borrowing a rooster, but really want the hen to get back to the sweatshop work of laying in June. I have boys to feed for the summer.
My friend Shannon suggested I go to the feed store and buy some babies to give the mom. That should give her a job, I know somebody who wants a few young hens, and the broody girl should be back at laying sooner than sitting on eggs or air. So that is just what I did.
I bought five of the cutest, best laying, baby girl chicks and brought them to the ranch. I had been advised to do the deed at dusk...when the hen was sleepy and not really aware of what was happening. After chores, egg gathering and hen shooing, the girl was right back onto the nest of air...so I went for it. Dodging the hen pecks, I lifted her hinny off her nesting box and stuffed 5 chicks under her body. Quickly I shut the nesting box lid and went to finish my tasks for the day. A few minutes later, I went back to check and see how the bonding was coming along. The very first step into the hen house revealed a hen puffing up like a marshmallow in a microwave and actually hen growling at me......all ready to kick my butt.....she had babies to defend! And not a peep from the babies who were finally all-over warm for the first time in their lives.
The theory of manifestation is one of...what you think on, you become. I can't wait to read the book by my hen......how she hatched five chicks out of air! Little does she know, sometimes our dreams come true with a little behind the scene help from friends!
For the first time.....Sheepdog Training Courses brings to the world Scott Glen and his course: The Young Dog Four weeks of instruction filled to the brim with tips and training, questions and answers with Scott, plus homework designed by Scott himself! First class starts April 9th. Sign up today and you will get the fourth penning session with Scott as a thank you!
I met up with Scott Glen last week for a personal lesson with my two open dogs. I had just run both at Heppner on the Saturday before. That is one of the really positive benefits of training with mentors regularly and then having them watch your runs at a trial....I get the cold hard facts instead of the sugar sweet fabrication that I can most always devise after a run! For example, Nell.....had the BEST exhaust of the trial! After her tiny grip and very short shoulder ride, sigh, I got a hold of her and well, indeed, I won the best exhaust award hands down! Not that the exhaust is where the lambs wanted to go...but hey! Back to reality...it was fun sorting that out with Scott, who had seen most of the whole thing. I had strategically sent a friend over to distract him as I was a bit nervous walking to the post with not one, but two of my consistent trainers watching. Mia Bella made it to the pen on her first ever Heppner experience.....I had a moment when my "come out" sounded vaguely familiar, almost like a person who I have been watching film of...over and over and over. Made me toss in a Kathy Knox "there, now" for good measure!
I am looking forward to The Young Dog with Scott Glen. As I continue forward with Gyp, I know there is fundamental training that could use looking at. Now if Mother Nature could get on board with the training program....
I've had the privledge and honor of previewing The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte and all I can say is...WOW! From a 5 star business that reaches the whole world to a little nest of comfort in a small demographic....this book is all about being true to oneself and making business dreams happen. It is a little "how-to", and lot of dig deep, with a dash of the hard stuff, and a heaping of humor. All that and it is also a fun, easy read!
Just in the nick of time....this book becomes available April 17. Check it out at Danielle LaPorte! Look around and you can read the first chapter free! Check out Amazon to purchase the book. Then sit back, read, dig deep, be true to yourself and above all....
2012 lambing season has come and gone......thank goodness. Every year, I learn more, realize just how much I don't know, and am thankful for all the friends who offer up good, sound advice. I finally, after 6 years of doing this, bought the Laura Lawson Ewe and Lamb books, both of which are easy to read. Funny how every diagnosis starts or ends with Vitamin B!
Miss Coyote Girl is a very good mama. Her little ewe lamb, stolen from the triplet mom, was a little confused directly after freedom from the jug...but the trips have it figured out...sisters from another mother!
Red was an afterthought in my breeding program....last year she did not fair so well with complicated triplets that left a single. This year, beautiful twins and my only hair babies.
Lamb races are hard to catch with the crazy weather we are having. Rain/snow/hail that leaves the babies sunbathing when it finally decides to shine. Then often enough I find myself doing "something" sans camera and I just stand and watch and laugh...enjoying the moment that outgrows itself too soon.
Here they are: Lambs of 2012...minus a few that would not cooperate for the photo shoot. Funny how the two other black lambs are missing in this shot.....living up to the reputation of being the black sheep of the family! Silly lambs.....
I enjoy reading Danielle LaPorte....her site used to be called White Hot Truth...that title always spoke to me. She has made some cool changes to her web site and marketing plan and has shared the ins/outs/and whys of some of the decisions she has made along the way. She has also written a couple of books, I'm about to start The Fire Starter Sessions which I have the honor of previewing before its launch date of April 15th. I'll let you know....
That said, I received a brain teasing email yesterday that asked "what would you like to stop doing?" As I thought about that one question, absolutely fabulous fodder for an over-thinker....a list beginning to form. And as that list developed.... I stopped and thought "what the heck!" I don't want to make a list of what I want to "stop doing". Hello.....I want to focus on what I need to do! All that sport's psychology 101/PMA/Manifestation I've been marinading in and I am starting to think about what I want to "stop doing?" So I am changing this hard, dig deep question into...."What do I want to Start Doing?" and that takes me to the trial on Saturday.
*I want to continue seeing the panels well....this was the first trial I used my new contacts and I was pretty pleased with what I could see. Now that I can see them....I need to continue working on hitting them!
*I want to read my dogs....see tension coming.....see what they are seeing with the sheep and field.
*I want to remember that my dogs are working very hard for me.
*I want to be a little more "fair" with my dogs; in other words wishy washy 'stops' are not really all that fair. Nor are super clean flanks when they are not needed. I want to say what I mean! At my last clinic experience...the clinician pointed out I don't need to use my "come outs" just because I am penning or shedding. So, assessing what I need and using it appropriately....definite want.
Heppner is this weekend. I'm looking forward to it. Now if March could find a little lamb to offer up as this lion crap is getting a little old.
It's Tell Me Thursday.....I have given up trying to actually get my post done on Thursdays. I need time to think for goodness sakes.
Rocking Dog Ramblings:
-during the winter months, there is no question which sweatshirts are mine....the front pockets always have hay in them. Drives the hubby nuts when I accidentally (smile) wear one of his.....for some reason he does not appreciate the hay! Might also be one of the reasons the kids could not wait to leave home......
-during the winter months, my purse ends up with all sorts of, well, potentially embarrassing items in it. Last week alone I pulled out a syringe, a couple of bands, a bum eartag, a small bottle of lube (not sure how that ended up in there) and of course hay!
-last week, after having a bad day...a day in which I helped my vet keep crispy clean while I ended up wearing the bad....I "ran" into Trader Joe's just for a second to grab dinner for the night. Joe was cooking at our house. Not only did I run into every person I know in my city...as I checked out, the teller asked about my day. I looked down at my (husband's) sweatshirt and well, the day was collected across the front of me: hay and all. I think I will stick to grocery shopping in the small country town on days like those.
- lambing season is weird. You check and check and check...and worry a bit and then one day....good or bad....it is over. Life is as if lambing never happened except for the lamb races in the pasture. All the "spare" time comes rolling back into the day and then disappears out the other end. Go figure.
-as much as I love the sunshine in the evenings......I HATE moving my clocks ahead.
Over at Whistle Pig Place, a border collie mistress muses about nursery dogs. I have been thinking...such a fabulous past time, about her thoughts and then something happened today that forces my hand and I must tell my story. It is a long story....and is shared more for me than for any fair, honest follower.
My two sons are 18 months apart.....and yes my husband lived to tell the story! Being 18 months apart, and also genetically inclined, they have been competitive from their first inhale of oxygen.....I'll bet each thinks theirs was the biggest O2 hit ever from a new born! To maintain sanity and well, yes, to add deep profound joy to our lives, we started our children into the world of athletics at the age of 5. Each played baseball and basketball until the magic age where they were allowed to don flags for their initiation into football.
Now our boys were pretty physically coordinated and highly competitive from the get go (I know, go figure). At this tender early age it was weird but it happened: the comparison of skills or lack there of between kids on teams....and what parents did/did not/handled all this craziness. Some parents were proud and sure their child was the best thing since sliced bread all the while deserving all the best including all-star team spots. Others had very talented kids...yet these parents felt the need to push and push the kid as hard as can be to be better and better......NBA, MLB, NFL was calling, babay! Some parents had less talented kids and blamed everything..the coach, the lack of playing time, the refs (who obviously could not see what a little genius was budding). While other parents saw that this endeavour of cut throat competitive youth sports was not exactly what their child was best at and found other ways to help their child bloom where planted. Still again, some parents had healthy processes in place for teaching work ethic, nurturing self-esteem, pushing and supporting. And then some parents probably did a little of all the above!
We lived in the same area of town as our boys grew up, allowing us parents the privilege and fun honor of seeing groups of kids grow up and "become" as well. My youngest son, all his growing up years, dreamed of going to Duke and playing basketball for coach K. He was tall and aggressive and a good basketball player but over the years the talent sort of spread out amongst his teammates so he became a team player versus an individual player. He also found he loved football and was more suited for football and now he plays basketball for fun. Some kids, who were shining stars, peaked in junior high, others high school....a few of the amazing athletes have gone on to play college ball, though not as many in basketball and baseball from those original teams. Interesting...some of the kids who showed little talent at six, actually blossomed and played a little high school ball...mostly because of dedication and hard work but some genetic talent also peaked through with age and growth. Some really talented kids never amounted to anything because of bad drug choices, or grades not being important. Other kids were crushed and never given the nod on because of bad-sport parents coming to practices and games and being just that: bad sports (other names come to mind but I don't want this to loose its essence). While other really top notch talented kids, sometimes never saw their dreams come true due to lack of hard work or the feeling they are owed for their God given talent. Funny how if we could go back to those early years.....would each child's "then" destiny have been pegged correct based on what they showed at that early age? How much did parenting play in their development? How about coaching? I do know there were those special few that have gone on to the next level: college sports, and we just all knew they would. But more did not that we thought should!
For me, I always wanted my kids to know....dreams are meant to be lived! 'All-the-way lived' until dreamed out...and then new dreams come to the front. Dreams are the spice of life....yet we need to put legs to those dreams for them to be all the magic they can be. So what the heck does this have to do with anything? The whole process, from start to finish, of a young dog can be related to the development of an athlete. And our job is to find the balance of push, support, discipline, encouragement, desire, practice, rest, all based on what the dogs needs. Sure we will make mistakes, heck we all do....the beauty comes as we identify the journey and sort out what is what each moment along the way. Funny how training dogs is so much like the life skills of raising children.....except we can't put the kids in a dog crate for a time out!
These are just my thoughts. I have raised two boys.....not much to hang my hat on as an authority. I trained a few more dogs and I do say, "I'd rather have a nice open dog than a good nursery dog". My Gyp is nursery this year but I am not "feeling it" to push her to run. She is changing right now and I am sorting some big flock work with her. It is what I know is right between the two of us. But no judgement on those who see their young dog different.....that is the really cool thing about this journey we are on....we can come along side each other and be good with the different paths.
In closure, I got word today of a young girl who crossed paths with me, what feels like so long ago in a different life, in competitive sports. She took her life yesterday. I can not imagine the grief her parents must feel, we are not meant to outlive our children. As I look at my two beautiful boys, I want them to know they are loved beyond measure.....I hope all the hard lines I drew, all the pep talks I gave, all the hugs and bandaids I applied, all the lessons, practices and games I sat through, all the cheering I did that left me voiceless, and the paths I wore pacing, the times I embarrassed them by coaching from the stand, all that mixed and stirred, helped them to live their dreams then and become all they are to be as they live their dreams today. Same too with my dogs....may I be open to what they need so at the end of their run with me....they will have wanted to run for me.