04/05/2020 Dancing in the Rain

You would think this forced quarantine would give me more time to write and more to write about. Turns out, when I have a lot of free time I also have a lot to fill it with. There's a long list of chores on the side of the fridge waiting for decent weather and time, things like fixing fences, rehanging gates, cleaning the barn, spreading manure

03/14/2020 A Dog’s Eye View

When I ran agility (which, for those wondering, was eons ago), one of the things we did while walking the course was to squat down to our dog's eye level and survey our intended path. It no doubt appeared strange to onlookers. Heck, it felt strange the first time I did it. It also made it instantly clear that what I was thinking and what my dog was going to be seeing were two vastly different things. That, in turn, usually altered how I originally planned to handle that particular sequence. Honestly, I haven't given this much thought since those long-ago agility days. What brought it to mind now were some images I shot last weekend when Jig and I had some work to do. It's tough getting pics of my dogs working when I'm by myself. My phone is getting old and the camera in it isn't what it used to be. So

01/23/2020 The Healing of a Heart

It's been a bit over three months since we let Cian go. The Sad still lingers. It likes to raise its head when I'm tired, stressed, feeling overwhelmed, or driving somewhere alone. Too much time in my own head. I keep his picture at the base of my monitor because I need that little bit of him with me, though it's gotten to where most days I can think of him with smiles and not tears. On others, I'm not as successful. It's been a bit over a month since Finn claimed me. He snatched his piece of my heart with both paws and I'm afraid I love him too much already. I'm not sure I was truly ready for this because I've become extremely paranoid something will happen to him, which is very unlike me. It's to the point where, the morning after Dave told me Finn took off in

12/30/2019 Winter Interlude

There's generally not a whole lot to write about this time of year but winter has been unusually and suspiciously mild around here so far. That, combined with some time off, has given me the opportunity to get in a bit of training. And, of course, there's this

11/26/2019 Teamwork & Communication

More teamwork. Due to circumstances we were forced to keep the cattle longer than we wanted (BTW, we still have beef quarters or halves available for any of you local folks who might be interested – message me for info). Anyhow, keeping the cattle over winter meant dividing the barn so they could be fed inside. Not something that thrilled me since four large beef cattle make a mess in a hurry. Thankfully, they prefer to spend the majority of their time outside, even in inclement weather, and only come in to eat. They're a pretty mellow group but still… large and pushy. The silver lining? Moving them off the feed bunker has become one of Jig's regular jobs now. It's one she thoroughly enjoys and I'm seeing vast improvement on how she handles them. No rodeoing, very matter of fact. She'll walk in on noses, hit if necessary, release pressure

11/18/2019 Two-by-two

Last Friday the weather was finally conducive to getting the ewes out with the ram so the afternoon became all about getting them sorted and moved. Knowing there would be a few challengers in the group I fully intended to give Jig the nod. Dillon needs more experience learning how to handle belligerent stock and though I've been working on it with him, we're having a few problems. It's well known; Dillon and I have communication issues. Then, in the way it often happens, the wise words of a friend popped into my head. Why not work Jig and Dillon together? How better to learn than side-by-side with an experienced dog? The team, ready to go to work. Jig's ear set says she may looking forward to it a bit too much. Right off the bat, someone has to cause an issue. Dillon isn't in the picture, but he's right behind Jig in

11/08/2019

I'll be honest, I've been struggling with this post for a few weeks. First it was going to be about training; where I'm at with the dogs, what I'm working on now that the clinic & trialing year is done, plans for next year, the usual. Then I thought I should really give Rebel Kitten his own post because… well… Truth of the matter is though, I'm finding it difficult to write anything other than a post more fully answering the question some of my friends have been asking. How am I doing since losing Cian? I have that post written. When I finished, I couldn't decide whether I would hit delete or publish. I did neither. The writing of it was, in itself, truly cathartic. There are reasons psychiatrists suggest people keep journals. Just getting your thoughts and feelings out can really aid in healing. Or at least

10/22/2019

The past couple of weeks have been tough. No doubt about it. Cian isn't the first dog we've lost and he won't be the last but, in many regards, he was the hardest. I want to take a moment to publicly thank all of you for the kind words, the private messages, the cards, the hugs, the support and the understanding. I've been riding the roller coaster of grief as best I can, trying not to think too much, bouncing erratically from tears to anger, most times settling somewhere in-between as I remind myself to live in the moment. In any case, healing is coming, though it's taking its own sweet time. I read somewhere that if you can tell your story without crying, you're well on your way. Guess I'm not too close to that point yet, but I've been attempting to help it along by doing those things that

08/21/2019

It's been a long time since I left a trial feeling anything other than disheartened, slightly beaten down, and wondering why I keep throwing uncooked spaghetti at the wall. That's not whining or a plea for sympathy, just the facts. My attitude was based solely on my mindset which, admittedly, was far from good. I was so focused on all the wrong things, I could no longer see all the good things that were happening. If you're a regular reader, you might remember my mentioning a good arse kicking I received from several of my friends and mentors a couple months back. Obviously I carry my brain in my arse, because that tough love served to reset my attitude and that caused a chain reaction. This past weekend was Outback ASC's fall trial. Along with two days of arena trials, they held a cattle farm trial. No secret Jig and I love