Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ann wants to know.....

Ann posed very good questions. I'm kinda slow getting to this, but found the questions very thought provoking!!! Had to think a day or two about each one - you know evaluate how I really thought about what kind of dog I like. So here goes!!!

- Do you like a dog that is really on the muscle?  I really like my dog to adapt to the stock he is working. If he needs to muscle up then he should, but generally no.

- Do you like a dog that needs a steady stream of whistles? No, for two reasons: 1) I really want my dog to feel the situation and work as natural as possible. With my Tate dog right now, when I set him on a drive line, he can usually hold the line with minimal correction - he naturally flanks back and forth when he drives so it works for him and 2) I'm just not that good with whistles yet.

- Are you a minimal or maximal whistler? minimal

- Do you like a natural dog that feels the sheep and just needs a little direction here and there? Yep, especially doing ranch work. I know that I will have to direct more on the trial field, but I want my dog to read sheep/stock not depend on me for everything.

- Do you like a dog that wants to partner up and be a really good team player? That would always be my goal. Even as I am starting my young dogs, I want them to know that I depend on them too - let them make a decision or two. 

- Do you like a dog that really know what s/he wants and that you really have to manage? Border line - I want a dog to know what his job is, but not fight me on getting it done. We've got a dog, Liesl, that is turned very much this way. She is a really strong, strong dog and has a tremendous amount of stock sense, plus is tough and can handle working on the ranch, but she wants to do the job all by herself. She and I have had many "nose to nose" discussions. Mike (my husband who sold his ranch dog a couple of years ago) has taken over her training, and they seem to be doing well. She is still at the "can't turn your back on her stage" , but she is getting the idea that she needs to be a team player. 

- Do you want push? I want my dog to be able to move sheep, even tough sheep in a manner that won't make them drop an "ounce" of weight i.e. with controlled speed. When working on the ranch, I want my dog to be able to go into the brush and get that stubborn nanny or ewe out and get her back in the herd and sometimes that takes a lot of push.

- Do you want a good listener? Absolutely necessary

- Do you want try? Absolutely necessary and I've been blessed with dogs that have a lot of try and heart!

- Do you want a dog that gets the job done, no matter the sheep, but it's a big job to get the dog listening? I don't mind giving a dog a chance, but if that dog is going to continue to not listen, then we need to part ways. I think sometimes there are personality quirks in people and dogs that keep them from connecting. And that's okay - that dog will probably work for someone else and that will make everybody happy!!

- Do you want it all? Of course!!! But I'm pretty realistic - you may not get it all in one dog, and each dog will be gifted and more talented in some areas. So, basically if the dog tries, listens, and wants to please, plus has a natural ability to handle stock with out me making his every move - then we can be a team. 

A little story about Tate. The week before our State Finals (Nov 18 and 19) Tate and I gathered the sheep in our pasture - about 640 acres and it looks like this:

Brush covered with a mile of 300 foot escarpment bisecting the pasture i.e. you have to got up and down the mountain to get from the house to the pasture. I was riding Sugie our four year old mare and Tate and I struck the sheep at the back side - about a mile from the house. Sent Tate around and he had a nice outrun stopped on top and the sheep started toward me, but something spooked them and they shot past me. Sent Tate around and then I went into the brush. The sheep split and I stopped the big bunch and made count - one short and no Tate. I knew Tate would try to bring her back, but if she brushed up, he would stay with her. So took the flock back to where we picked them up, calling Tate. He didn't come, so I decided to take the flock on home calling Tate the whole time. When I got to the house, got Mike and our son to drive up in the pickup and I rode back up on top and we looked for Tate until it was almost chore time. We had looked about 2 and 1/2 hours. I knew that the ewe had brushed up and Tate would stay with her until I came or until he gave up. But long story short I had to leave him in the pasture. Just the night before our son had seen the biggest dog coyote he had ever seen on our place, so I was a little nervous about Tate being out all night. We did up chores, ate supper and way after dark, Mike had gone to the pens to turn the horses out in the trap for the night and he heard Tate bark (Tate is not a barker). So we got in the pickup and drove toward where Mike had heard Tate. I called and listened and then Tate barked again, so we went closer. Then when I called him he came to me. We didn't find the ewe until the next morning (about 100 yards where we picked up Tate the night before), but Tate didn't quit and he brought her home. It took him about four hours, but he brought her almost a mile all by himself. She had a few bite marks on her nose where he nipped her to turn her, but after a couple of days and a shot of penicillin, she was fine and we turned her back in with the flock.

So, though Tate has faults (what dog doesn't) he's got heart, try, partners up, listens, and will do anything I ask him. Plus, he knows his job and never quits! On the trial field, I'd like him to slow down a little on his fetch and flank a little wider around the post, but I think we will work all those things out!

Merry Christmas !!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

TMT with Laura!!!

Another fun installment of TMT with Laura over at Crooks and Crazies !! How fun!

1. What are your plans for the holiday season?

Enjoy time with the family. One of our favorite family things to do is attend the Anson Christmas Cowboys Ball. It's a blast and we girls all find new outfits just for the ball. We dance and visit with old and new friends and have a great time. I actually think all the kids - Mikkie & Tyler, Mandie & Bobby, Rygh & Lyn and Mollie & possibly Tyger, will all be there this year, plus Mike's cousin Jay and Sharon.  Then we will gather as a family on the 24th and exchange gifts and eat a feast - turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, corn casserole, green beans (not casserole), wild rice and mushrooms, cranberry orange relish, cornbread dressing, hot rolls, cherry pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie and chocolate pie. (yep, I spoil my family and make every one's favorite pie!) We usually play games, watch football or movies and just enjoy being together. I'm very blessed!

2.  Do you decorate? If so what have you done so far? 

I love Christmas decorations - especially lights and candles. I also like to cut cedar boughs and disperse in various places, but it was so dry this year that the cedar are very dry. We've had some rain this past week, so it should freshen them up some. We will cut a tree a few days before Christmas and decorate it then, but I do have everything else up. If you would like to see pictures go to my house blog and you can see a sampling of my decor.

3.  a. Favorite recent dog photo.
 Would have to be Tate when we had our win.

 The cone was our set out, and Tate lifted well and then took his left flank quickly and efficiently and put the sheep on line for the fetch! I was proud.

Or my second choice would be Pete at State Finals watching the Open Double Lift Finals. He was very interested!!

He had just met Nellie and still he was more interested in the field than her!!

b. Photo that shows your mood right now, (or one word).

4. There's a discussion on BC Boards about "don't train for the novice classes, just train for open and it will all fall in place". What's your thoughts on this?

In my mind I'm working my dogs to make it to the Meeker Sheepdog Classic. Do I think it will happen in one day, one week, one month or even one year? No way, but my goal is to bring each dog along at the rate to achieve that goal. I also want each of my dogs, whether they trial or not, to be able to do the work on the ranch that needs to be done. All in all, they need to be obedient, willing and and able to adapt to every situation that occurs on the ranch or on the trial field. I'm trialing in the lower classes because I'm new at this and need the practice and exposure, as does my dog that I am trialing right now. But, I talk to every Open Handler I can and ask their advice and get their critique on my runs - and they always help me. I try to go to one of their practice fields once  month and practice with them. I need the small stepping stones of lower classes, but someday (my goal is within 5 years) I'm going to go to the post at the Meeker Classic and make a run!

5. What are your five cannot-do-without-them dog items?

1. Collars

2. Drag lines

3. Kennels

4. Hay filled dog houses for winter

5. Their companionship and devotion to me and their job.

Merry Christmas Ya'll  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pete Update

Pete watching the double lift open finals at the Texas State Sheep Dog Finals

Pete's grandaddy, Spot, was this years state champion! Pete and I will be there someday!
Blessed Holiday Season Ya'll

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tate Won the Triple Crown

Our sheep dog association has an award called the Triple Crown. The board picks three trials during the year, one at the first, one in the middle and one at the end of the year that are the "Triple Crown" Trials. To be eligible, a dog must compete in all three trials and then the scores from each trial and totaled to determine the winner for each class. Well, Tate and I won that award for the Novice Class!!

I was pretty proud of him!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday Update

Kelly over at Timber View Farm has a great idea. We will all miss TMT with Laura, but that doesn't keep us from making weekly updates and keeping each other abreast of our lives with our dogs! So until after the holidays here's my weekly update.

My main dog activity has been getting Tate ready for Texas State Finals! It is next weekend (18th and 19th). After my mistake on our last run, I've really been working on release command, and we have had some good works. A friend of mine is coming this weekend so we can work our dogs together. It should be a lot of  fun.

I've been working Bess 3 or 4 days a week on our old goats. She turns 7 months old this month, so I'm not asking a lot, just giving her the opportunity to work. She has been working everything that moves since she was 3 months old. Her dry works commands are awesome! She downs instantly, even at reasonable distances. Her call back is at about 98%, which is amazing to me. She's learning her "with me" command, which is essentially a "heal" command, and is doing very well. On stock, she goes both directions and shows amazing natural balance and rate. I'm very excited to work with her. I'm going slow and sure and keeping her interested and correct.

Pete is 3 months old. He loves doing chores with me and playing with Sonya. He is a joy, and so very smart about the horses, and listens very well.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and wonderful week til next time!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tell Me Thursday #15

Glad to have Laura back - missed her nosiness!! LOL Of course she (with the help of several friends) is asking questions again!

1. What are you thankful for this week?

That's easy - I AM SO GLAD THAT IT IS NOT 108 DEGREES OUTSIDE!!! I've actually worn a sweater for several days!!! We also have had some rain for which I am equally thankful. We have a chance for rain the first of next week.

2. How do you deal with a squeaker/shrieker/noisy dog?

We don't really have a problem with that, but Liesl has a very sharp, high pitched Yap, that is annoying. We teach all our dogs that "hush" means to make no noise. Most of the time, our dogs only bark if there is something "out of place/sorts" so we usually check it out. Sonya has a response howl/bark when the coyotes and foxes are carrying on, and we like her to do that to keep them away.

3. Barbara wants to know: what would you say is ONE skill or attribute that is necessary for success.


4. Pippin wants to know: what are your favorite games?

Sonya: I don't play games - I am much too dignified! humph

Pete: My absolute favorite game is grab Sonya by the scruff and hang on. She can't get me there!!! tee hee

Bess: While doing chores with the boss lady, I LOVE to beat the cats to the barn, get in front of them and  see them SCREEEEEEEECH to a halt. Then I trot off, and help feed horses.

Liesl: When play time comes, I love to upend Bess and see how many times she flips!! She is hilarious!!!

Tate: I love to chase Liesl and Bess around during play time, and I cheer (bark) them on while they are wrestling!

Mike: I like to play card games both with the family and on the computer - even though the computer players are really 'stupid' sometime.

Doniene: I like playing cards/games with the family and my favorite computer game is Word Yacht.

5. What are some of your strategies for dealing with winter?

We generally don't have "real winter" for very long periods. But during those cold spells, we stock pile the fire wood stack (we heat our house with two wood burning stoves). I put extra bedding in all the dog houses, and we feed extra hay/cubes to all the horses and cows. If it stays real cold for a week or more, I put a heat lamp in the chicken house.

Happy Fall Ya'll

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Overcoming Obstacles

Laura must have had a busy week last week, as we missed TMT. I missed hearing from the dog blog world! As we all know, we all like our dog story fix!! Anyway, last time Laura asked us to address an obstacle that we faced and how we overcame it! I had posted about my trial troubles, but I am pleased to say that the next weekend we had two more runs and we faired much better. We won the first go, and even though my miscue on sending him on the second go caused Tate to cross over, we pulled it together and finished the course and had a perfect score on the pen portion! So, though, we still have much work, we did have progress over the obstacle!

These are pictures of our winning run.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pete Update

Pete is now almost 11 weeks old! 
Look how big he is!
He was enjoying a snooze by the door, that way he could tell when I went outside! He always wants to be in on the action!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tell me Thursday #14

Wow, Thursday already, and Laura, digging deep! How did you know last Friday was a GREAT BIG KICK MY HINEY OBSTACLE!!!

So, here goes! I've been having some really, really, really nice practices at home with Tate. We've really begun to "partner" at the pen, driving is consistent and steady, flanks are 99% square and smooth, outruns he's stopping himself at the head of the sheep and fairly good lifts, rushes just a little, but fetches well, and takes flank commands quickly and efficiently, driving around the post and holding the pressure side well. So, maybe I was over confident, but felt good when I went to the post Friday afternoon. Sent him to the left, nice big outrun, stopped about 11:00 at the head of the sheep. Had to encourage him to walk up and lift, but doing okay, and then..... well it all went south - literally. One old ewe through up her head and Tate "helped" her go south - toward the set out. The outrun was about 150-175 yards, but the set out pen was 400+ yards away - you know that 1/4 of a mile!! Well, I left the post at a good clip, (and some joker in the spectators said "she'll NEVER run that far"!) but thanks for good friends, Jo said "oh yeah she will, just watch her!!" Anyway, got a good correction and had another chance since I had two runs. We "gotter done" but it wasn't pretty. Slow on the lift, some off-line on the fetch, nice control at the post and going to the pen, and Tate did good at the pen, but one old ewe got her head over the line and then just sat there - I was leaning over her (not touching!!) and whispering "sweet nothings" in her ear. Caused Tate to come around and one of the other sheep shot out of the pen, but Tate stopped her and I finally "convinced" the ole ewe to cross the line. We ended up 4th out of 11, so I'm okay with that.

So, been working on lifts all week. He is better, but we will see how it goes tomorrow - two more runs at the last trial before the state finals.

I was pretty bummed over the weekend, but got it all back in perspective and found the good things we had done, and went to work on the things that we didn't do well.

That's life - always obstacles - but we can choose to be victorious in our own minds!

Happy Fall Ya'll

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tell Me Thursday #13

Wow, time does fly, and thanks Laura, I kinda needed a "no brainer" week!!! My first fall trial is tomorrow, so my brain can't handle any thing too strenuous!

#1. What is your favorite Little Debbie snack? 

 and in this order.

#2. What do you use for laundry detergent? 

 Clean Burst scent. But I'm wanting to try Laura's deal sometime.

#3. Tighty Whities or Boxers? 

I don't really care - but I was going to upload a picture of Abercrombie and Fitch models wearing them, but....

#4. Dogs: On the bed? In the house? On the furniture? Never. What are your rules? 

NO! NO! NO! Never. Outside dogs only. I had four kids and a husband in the house - I didn't need dog cleaning to add to it.

#5. Favorite dog related web-site? Favorite NON dog related website? 

Alta_Pete Trials for the dog related, and it's a toss up for the NON dog site I follow quite a few quilter's blogs and I enjoy them all. Right now the one I'm enjoying reading the most is Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts because she has included some very interesting historical excerpts with each block she introduces each week. I started late on making the blocks, and am working to get caught up.

Note: check out my previous post. I know a lot of you are coffee drinkers and may want a chance at my giveawy!!

Happy Fall Ya'll

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

House Warming Giveaway!

Okay, I've taken the plunge and committed to posting on my house blog - Doniene's 365 Days: Line Shack to Rustic Mansion. Yes, it will be a daily picture of the journey and results from our house building venture. I really would like feedback and would love to answer questions. I have posted some of the history and background in the sidebar of the blog, but if you would like clarification, I will be delighted to respond to all comments. One note that I did not include, is that when I say "we built our house" I mean we did 99% of the work. In other words, we were the general contractor, the framers, the rock layers, the finishers, the plumbers, etc.

Additionally, I'm having a giveaway relating to the house blog - hence the House Warming Giveaway. The prize is a vintage Fire King cup & saucer, one half pound of Gevalia ground coffee, a devotional book Coffee Breaks with God, and a mini quilt (which will be finished by the end of the giveaway).

Here's how to enter the giveaway:

One chance - leave a comment on my house blog and say you want to be in the drawing

Second chance - become a follower on my house blog

Third chance - become a follower on this blog

Fourth chance - blog about my house blog on your blog

The giveaway will end on November 1, 2011.

Most of all, I hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Happy Fall Ya'll

Friday, October 7, 2011


I forgot to mention yesterday that I received my lanyard from Laura this week!!! I am not a photographer, and the photos do not really show how beautiful it is, but wanted to share. She did an absolutely amazing job!!! The colors are perfect. Now just gotta learn to whistle consistently!!! (Need a pretty one, too!)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tell Me Thursday #12

Laura wants to know:

#1.  If you won the lottery (a big one...I'm talking stupid muchos cash) what would you do with the money?

Get out of debt, give my kids a bunch of it, buy a new aluminum horse trailer that will haul at least 4 horses and my dogs, tack compartment and small living quarters, and move around the world in accordance with sheep dog trials.

#2. After winning the lottery would you work a day job? If so what would you do?

I asked my dad a question like that many years ago, and he told me that he wouldn't want to do anything else than what he was doing - he was a rancher. I think he would have like to be out of debt, but he loved his lifestyle. I have been so very blessed to live a similar life, that I guess my day job would be what I do now. It's hard work, but a good life.

#3. Do you have any auxiliary dogs? Auxiliary dogs are dogs that are not essential to your main purpose (usually tiny, but not always). If you don't have an auxiliary dog, what would you choose?

No auxiliary dogs here. But let's see, what would I choose......

Maybe one of these!!!

or one of these:

or the summer version!

But what ever I get, I definitely have to one of these to walk the dog!!!!!

#4. Do you have a favorite crock pot recipe (or other recipe) you can share? 

Beef Stroganoff

2 lb beef tips
1 large onion chopped
1 can cream of onion soup
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 8 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 8oz sour cream
1 16 oz pkg egg noodles

In crock pot, combine beef tips, onions, soups mushrooms and pepper. Cover and cook on high (depending on your crock pot) for about 8 hours or until beef is tender. Stir in cream cheese and sour cream. Cook noodles according to package directions. Serve meat over noodles.

I haven't made this yet, but I had it at a friend's house and it was scrumptious!!! She cooked the noodles and then stirred them in with the meat before serving. Great with tossed salad and rolls, and of course anything CHOCOLATE FOR DESSERT!!!!!

Happy Fall Ya'll

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tell Me Thursday #11

Well, my favorite day of the week - another episode of Laura's TMT - thankfully this week's questions are not quite so brain taxing - thank you Laura!

#1. What movie do you love and are too embarrassed to admit you love it?  

My Date With the President's Daughter - Oh yeah!!!! I know all the punch lines, the song, everything. It used to be the movie I put on when I ironed clothes!! My kids would just roll their eyes and disappear. I'm not sure I'm too embarrassed, but I know they were too embarrassed to let their friends know that their mom watched that movie!!

#2.  Ann wants to know how far do you drive/travel to attend trials, clinics, lessons? How far is too far?

Right now my travel limit for trials is 4 hours. The reasons are: funds, novice status, only trialing one dog and time. I've not attended any clinics, but I only travel about 2 hours to practice at Emil's, and I usually only do that about twice a month due to reasons listed above. But, when I have more than one dog to trial and move up a class or two, it is in my plans to travel more frequently and farther. I know I will have to haul a lot to get my dogs seasoned - and my goal (not a six month one, so not listed last week) is to 1. Show at Meeker and 2. make the USBCHA finals.

#3. What is your theme song (circa Ally McBeal)?  

Wow, girl, you are stretching me. Number one, I had to Google Ally McBeal to even know what you were talking about! Number two, I didn't watch the show. And Number three, I"m struggling to get enough different tones on my whistles for the dogs, and You think this brain thinks about music!!!! But when I iron I listen to Beethoven and in particular like the 5th symphony (I've upgraded from the above mentioned movie!)
Does that count!!!

#4. Laura S wants to know: if you had to choose a new dog activity, one that you had never done before, what would you choose? 

I have the "Google bug" today, because I had now idea what I would do. But there is a Wikipedia list of dog sports and I got some great ideas from there!!!!

Dog Scootering


These looked like a lot of fun and I absolutely refused to imagine me loosing my balance at any time what so ever!!!

#5. What would your dog choose?  

I went outside and took a poll from each dog and this is their responses.

Sonya: I'm really, really tired of taking care of these little rugrats that appear every few months or so -

So, my new dream is total retirement, preferable on a beach somewhere -

Tate:  Well I tried a new occupation - the one that yelled at me for two hours the other day said I was "sky bugging", but I had a great time chasing that lamb into the brush!!! But it got me solitary confinement, so I think I best be getting back to herding and obeying commands.

Bess: I want to be a mud wrestler!!!!
 Liesl: Anything Bess wants I want!!

Pete: When I'm not bugging the big white dog (man is it fun!!) I'd rather just sleep!

Note: I polled each dog to see if they thought scootering or skijoring was in their future and they just looked at me!!

That's all for this week!

Happy Fall Ya'll!! 
P.S. Laura, here's your chocolate!!


Do you really want me to send it?