05/14/2016 One Thing Leads to Another

It's one of those grey, blustery days that can't make up it's mind whether it wants to rain, snow, sleet, or just continue to be cold and windy. No problem, I've got a very long indoor To Do list that needs some attention. Before I can start on that, however, I really need to get the sheep onto some grass. So, I tug on my chore boots, grab my trusty dog, and head out to swing some gates. Once the sheep are where they need to be, I decide Jig and I will take a walk out to see how the pasture is coming in. It got off to a really slow start this year with all the cold weather we've been having. Out in the pasture, I'm pleased to see it's doing well. I also see there are some thistles doing a bit too well. No problem, I have just the

05/04/2016 Jig’s Journey ~ Who’da Thunk It

Cow Camp finished up last Friday. Then there was the drive home, the catching up on All The Things once I got home, sprinkled with a healthy dose of Life In General and a large dash of the DayJob. So, yeah, I'm a bit behind in my update. Anyhow, Cow Camp was amazing and I can't wait to do it again, which, unfortunately, won't happen until next year. The highlight of the week came on Friday when Larry pushed me and Jig to the point of my head imploding. As one of the other attendees pointed out, however, he wouldn't suggest we try something if he didn't think we were capable. Personally, I think, after a week of putting up with us, he was having a bit of sadistic fun. ;) We had spent a lot of time over the course of the week on Jig's flanks and getting her to roll that

04/26/2016 Jig’s Journey ~ Cow Camp Part I

Saturday, Gail and I headed down to Larry Painter's place in Missouri for a five day cow camp. I had the opportunity to work with Larry last year in Ohio and knew I wanted to do so again. I was super stoked to get in this clinic, as it's likely the only chance I'll get all year to put in any steady cattle work with Jig. The clinic started yesterday. Larry has a great facility and some awesome stock. We finished day two on a high note, which was a good thing because the second half of day one didn't leave me in very good spirits. We started working Jig in the small pen, roughly 16x24, getting her to stay in the pressure, to lie down when told, just reminding her of the basics. Also, because I haven't gotten the chance this spring to do much actually training, I wanted to

03/30/2016 Out Like a Lamb…

I go into lambing each year with a mix of anticipation and dread. Lambs, like puppies, are adorable. I can watch their antics for hours. Once they start to discover their legs and each other, they begin hopping about like popcorn and organizing lamb races while the adults eat. Such displays can pull a smile and laugh out of me even on my most frustrating day. It's tempered by the complications and unknowns that can arise. Some years are worse than others in that department, but a big part of the reason I chose Katahdins was their ability to pasture lamb with little to no interference from me, and without the need for lambing jugs. Yes, I've had to step in from time-to-time and, yes, the occasional ewe will find herself confined for a bit if I think she needs help or her lambs don't appear as thrifty as I like. Overall, however, they

03/24/2016 Daily Dose of Cute

I'd forgotten how much fun, and work, a puppy is. It's been 8 years since we had a young pup in the house. Jig came to us when she was about 6 months old, so the last itty-bitty pup we had was Shaine. It's tough being the only youngster in the house when you have a lot of energy and no playmates. Dillon tries to play with Row, but she's beyond putting up with puppy shenanigans and too polite to explain it to him. Jig is still thinking he'd make a tasty hors-d'oeuvre. Grady would probably play with him, but the size difference between them is too great right now (think, tank vs. smart car). Amazingly enough, Her Royal Highness Princess Fiona The Cat (yes, she does insist I use her full title), will initiate play. She'll even seek Dillon out. Then, of course, Dillon slaps her too hard in the head, she gets all hissy, the

03/10/2016 Jig’s Journey ~ A Good String of Days

All things considered, this week has been pretty good. The weathermen have consistently gotten it wrong (again), so, instead of three days of rain, we got three pretty decent days with mostly sun. That is, in no way, a complaint, because it meant three consistent days of working Jig. She hasn't gotten to do anything beyond chores for the last

03/02/2016 Remembering With a Smile

I won't deny it, this winter has been a bit tough. See, Quinn loved snow, squiggling in it, snorkeling, making snow angels, it didn't matter. Consequently, I've been missing him a lot. Though I normally keep these moments to myself, I came across this short video clip while looking for another file in my Dropbox. It made me cry, I admit it. But it also made me smile, and I hope it does that for you.   [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYs30nfIrhE]

01/12/2016 Jig’s Journey ~ The Start of New Year

Happy 2016. Winter has finally decided to settle in, meaning there isn't a whole lot of training I can do right now. The ground is frozen and the temperatures have plummeted into the single digits with the added benefit of a sub-zero wind chill. However, when the opportunity presents itself to utilize the benefits of an indoor arena and an exceptional trainer, even if it means a lengthy road trip, I snap it up. I was lucky enough to be able to get up to Deb's in November, and again this past weekend. I had a great time in November, and got some good work on Jig. Of course, I went with the plan to work on one particular problem and found out I had much bigger ones. Deb helped us work through them and gave me more tools to address what was going on. On that trip Jig was pretty relaxed, so working on

11/28/2015 My Version of… He Was Just a Dog

It will hit you at the weirdest times, surrounded by friends and family, surrounded by laughter and good times, and you'll catch yourself thinking, gods, what's wrong with me, he was just a dog. And he was. He was just a dog. And he taught you humility, and perseverance. He taught you to live in the moment. He taught you unconditional love. He taught you strength. He taught you how, sometimes, in the face of adversity, it's not all about you. It's about those who mean the most to you. It's about what's ahead, not what we leave behind. He taught you how to be flexible. How to laugh. How not to take things so seriously. How to live life and then let it go because something