Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Floss Anyone?

"I don't have many teeth left. What teeth I do have I keep in tip-top shape. Regular flossing is recommended. I prefer to use sheep wool to floss. It is quick and effective. When I forget to floss at home before leaving for work, I can just lean over and take a big bite of sheep wool and viola, beautiful clean chompers & healthy gums. I enjoy letting it hang out of my mouth too, it is fun to suck on. Keeps those wooly bitches out of my grill. Reminds them that I AM QUEEN!"

"Camera face chose to leave the giant sheep turd next to me, instead of editing it out, because it illustrated the rough and tough working dog story. I bite sheep and work in shit. Yes, I am a hard ass Queen."

Saturday, September 8, 2012


The other day someone asked me "What are your goals with the dogs and sheep?"

I have to admit, I didn't have an answer at the ready. 


When I first started this 'journey' it was about trialing and getting better, bigger, faster, pushing myself, pushing my dog,  pushing pushing pushing.  It took some healthy introspection about why I was being competitive and just what I was out to prove. 

I am not a competitive person.  I am a pleaser.  Big difference there.  Both are rooted in ego, although the path is slightly different. 

Who was I trying to please? My trainer? My husband? My friends? Me?

Certainly not my dog.  She could care less if we ever go to a trial again.


Was I trying to please myself?  In a bizzare way, perhaps. More than anything I believe I have been trying to prove something. 

Trials scare the crap out of me.  Yes, it is good for my social phobia to put myself out there in public, but most of the time I feel like I made an idiot out of myself.  Then I go home and over-think every interaction and make myself miserable for a week.   And this is before I ever get to the post. 

At a trial I feel terribly alone.  It is not much fun and putting that kind of pressure on myself and Brynn, just sucks. 

I backed off of the trials.  Started to chose only the trials and situations that will be a good experience for my dog.  My perspective changed from wanting to expose my dog to every trial under the sun, to protecting her and managing those exposures.  In doing so, I am protecting myself too.  The first time I have ever done that.  It is a new experience. 

I am learning how to see a trial as simply a measure of where we are.  Nothing more, nothing less.  In the big scheme of things, no one gives a sh*t.   They really don't.  Heck, I can barely remember a trial run of our own from a year ago, let alone anyone elses.

My focus and desires have changed from being all about my dogs to now being about my sheep AND dogs.  The dogs are happier. I am happier.

What are my goals for my sheep? 

Continue learning about this business.  Ensure my sheep are healthy, cared for and content. 

One thing I have learned about myself is how much I enjoy nurturing and caring for the flock.  To see the sheep growing, gaining weight, shining bright eyes, full beautiful fleeces - just brings a smile to my face. 

It makes me realize how much I have missed my children since they have grown.  Fixing meals, talking over dinner, sharing our days, giving them a bath and tucking them into bed with a story. 

Perhaps I have transferred that need to nurture and care for someone from my kids as they grew up, to the dogs and now the sheep. 

I just know that I am at peace with the flock & my dogs.  

What are my goals? 

To get out of bed tomorrow. 
To care for myself, my family, my dogs and my sheep.  
Anything else will be taken a minute, an hour, a day at a time.  

Be happy in the moment - that's enough
Each moment is all we need - not more.  
~Mother Teresa

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Her future's so bright, she's gotta wear shades...

Or maybe her shepherds tenuous grasp on reality is so frail she simply cannot bear to watch.

Whichever it is, this girl rocks her shades.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summer Break has Ended

As you all have noticed I took a long break from blogging.

I had to. It was necessary to maintain the rather tenuous grasp I have on what is left of my sanity.

Much introspection and over-thinking has followed. Compounding this absence is a profound iPhone addiction to Facebook which eliminated any urge to blog. I could be outside, surf FB on my phone. Even in the middle of the pasture while moving sheep. Absolutely positive the last thing I wanted to do was to be locked to my computer for any length of time. Yuck.

Then my favorite lens of all time Is dying a slow and painful death. Which has put my photography goals out of whack. In addition to just pissing me off to no end.

August has been busier than a cold virus on a toddlers nose. We held a small trial at our farm at the beginning of August. Have worked close to full time at the farm on other projects.

A new llama arrived. Then she and Jim needed to be sheared, trimmed and vaccinated.

Then we have had the cougar attacks. Followed with working with Fish and Wildlife attempting to trap the cougar which has been leaving a trail of dead livestock behind. Unfortunately we didn't catch anything in the trap other than Beth.

New sheep arrived.

Have been working on obtaining a 110 acre hay field for future trials. Had to mow our pastures and the one across the street.

Just normal stuff.

Birthdays, baby time, dog time, friends and a couple parties. I was too tired to blog.

Now I think I have some happiness back. Ready to blog for me. I will need it to look back on when I am to far gone with dementia. Will be nice to have some memories that will make me giggle, wipe the drool away, and remember that once I had the time of my life.

Oh and the cool new Blogger iPhone app. Now I can blog from my phone. Yippee!

It is good to be back. I missed ewe.

Little Shepherd

I have an apprentice shepherd working with me on the farm. 
My grand daughter Alyssa. 

It is important to get to know your animals.  

"Alyssa, what do sheep eat?"

"How do they eat it?"

There are lots of different kinds of grass.  They all look different. 

Alyssa likes to watch the sheep eat. 

"Hey, where are you going?"  Beth is glued to her side.  

"Alyssa, stop!" She turns around and looks at Grandma.  You can almost see the  defiant wheels turning in her little head. 

Grandma says "BETH LIE DOWN!" Alyssa gives Beth a pat....

Then keeps on going...sigh.  "Alyssa, NO!"

All the while Grandma is walking up ever so slowly as to not startle the sheep, Alyssa or Beth - wishing I had one of those baby restraint systems AKA ~ a leash.  You can see the sheep are not all that disturbed - note the lamb laying in the grass 10 feet behind her.

Grandma goes to get her.  Someone is not too happy. 

"Grandma, I want Beth to work for me when I grow up."

Alyssa says "Doggie go go!"

Grandma says "Beth, don't you move."

Grandma and Alyssa say "Good dog."

 "Let's go find Mommy before Grandma has a heart attack."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Can I Eat Them?

"You seriously want me to help you put the stupid chickens away?"

"Okay, if you insist..."

"Here, chickie, chickie."

"Can I eat them?"

"Chicken, it's whats for dinner."

"I prefer my chicken already plucked."

"Can we do that again?"

"What do you mean NO?"

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It started with Jim, his obsession his reflection is of epic proportions.  He is not allowed in the back yard for a while.  At least not until there are blinds on the window.  I am tired of wiping off llama spittle. 

Then the lambs discovered they had reflections and were fascinated.  Silly lambs. 

Today the ewes succumbed to the heady lure of the mirror, like moth's to a flame.  Ewe to a window. 

Wonder what they are thinking?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chicken Bea

One of Bea's daily chores is to help me move the lambs into the back pasture to assist with clearing. 

She has the routine down.

She is gaining more and more confidence in moving these silly lambs.

I love the way she 'feels' the stock bubble.  We do daily chores, keeping it very light and happy.  It is my job to expose her and let her be successful and even naughty at times.  When she goes back to Dianne in the fall, she gets to do the 'training'.  I am just giving her oodles of exposure and letting her have fun. 

When we got the chickens I knew she would be great with them.  She proved me right. 

Once she figured out I wanted her to move them, she was on it. 

Slow and easy, she felt every single step they took.

One would think this is a recipe for disaster with the lambs behind the barn, alas she stayed on task with the chickens.

The chickens scatter all over the large yard.  It is her job to help me gather them up and put them away at the end of each day, with the least amount of stress possible.

She is very happy with herself. 

The next time we are at Fido's I am going to try her on ducks.  I think she would enjoy it. 

Unfortunately, one of the chickens learned Beth is NOT good with poultry.

  Much to the hen's relief she survived the encounter, sans a few feathers.

Beatle Bea is a real farm dog now. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Reflections of Jim

Jim has evolved into a protective lamb guardian.  He goes everywhere with them now.  When they were with the ewes, Jim did not give a whit if they were in another pasture without him.  Lately, if they move to another pasture to graze, Jim wigs out. 

Since he has been behaving himself I let him in the yard to graze with the lambs before I mow. 

Yesterday, Jim discovered the large glass door on the back of the house & his handsome reflection. 

Today, I had to clean the spit off the window. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stun Gun?

I love little babies and little kids.  Terrible twos are my favorite.  Four, five, six year olds are so much fun.  I enjoy most kids, until they hit about 17. 

I believe our country has this wrong.  Military service should be MANDATORY for all kids above 16.  Perhaps they would learn the value of a hard day work, appreciation for what they have and *gasp* some respect for adults and authority.  Strip all their rights away and make them earn it all back like they do in basic training. 

Would they really ignite into spontaneous combustion without their cell phone? Lets see!  I have some gasoline handy. 

The other alternative is to shove them all into a teenage "re-education/adjustment center" until they are 30.  Let them finish school, go to college, treat the guards like they do their parents.  The guards should have unlimited rights to use stun guns. 

Actually, I want a stun gun.  One that will shoot the distance of my living room. 

Parent: "What did you say?"

17 y/o jerk:  "Screw YOU!"

Parent:  Sets stun gun on HIGH, aims and shoots. 

17 y/o jerk wets his pants while writing in agony on the floor. 

Parent says:  "I am sorry, can you repeat that?".

I wonder how many kids would be as disrespectful to adults as they are now if we all had stun guns?

I like sheep. Teenagers are horrible.

Going back to my happy place now.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Horse & Sheep

Last week we weaned our lambs.  To make life easier and quieter we moved the ewes to the farm across the street. 

When I first separated them, I moved the entire group of 36 lambs to the very back pasture at the farm next door.  Without them screaming and calling to the ewes it made moving the 20 ewes to the pasture across the street much easier. 

When we got there I took the ewes out into the field with Jim and Brenda for a walk about along the fence-line. 

Suddenly Willy popped up.  Willy is boarding at the farm.  I had no idea he was out there. 

"What are those white things?" Willy is alert, yet curious

"I am not sure about this." snort, paws ground

"Crap! They are coming closer!" Willy is unsure

"I am bigger than them." Curiosity overcomes fear

"HA HA! I can make them MOVE!" Playful horse, annoyed, somewhat freaked out sheep.

"It's okay smelly white things, I am nice." says the friendly horse

"FOOLED YA!" The Stinker. 

"Bored now.  What is that?" The sheep do not hold his interest long. 

"Oh, look, a dog in the ditch." Sniff, sniff...sneaks up behind her and blows air on her butt. 

Brynn was less than amused.