Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sad News

December 2000 - July 27, 2011

I'm going to miss her!! I'm thankful she didn't suffer. She was fine yesterday morning, watching Tate and me working sheep, but found her gone when I went to feed last night. 

I've included some pictures of some of her pups:

Noni, Andy and Tucker

Darby, Elsa and Annie

Tell Me Thursday!

#1. My most embarrassing trial moment.
I don't have a picture (thankfully), but my most embarrassing moment was last October. It was my very first field trial. I had gone to the post three other times in arena trials, so I was a little nervous to send Tate for the first time "in the open air". I sent him to the right (his best outrun direction) and he did fine until he saw the setout person!! Then he stopped and looked back at me like "what do you want me to do now?" So I sent him again, and he went on around and brought the sheep on. He brought them a little fast and sent them past me at the pen (remember I'm still showing Novice, so my post was the pen). I sent him around and he was doing pretty good until one ewe decided she was going to leave the bunch and go to the exhaust. Tate got the idea that he was suppose to "help" her get there!! So I had to go get him off the sheep, but when I turned and left the post I fell flat on my face!!!! Two weeks before I had injured my hamstring and when I put weight on it to push off and run toward Tate, there was NOTHING there, and I went down!! I got to my knees and yelled at Mike (my husband) to jump in and get Tate cause I couldn't get there in time. Everyone else thought I had hurt myself. The judge and the scribe came running to see if I was okay. When they found out that I was fine, just couldn't run, they said they could laugh now cause I sure looked funny!!!! 
#2. What whistle do I like to use.

Well this is confession time for me. I'm just learning to whistle!!! This is an area where I am just not very confident and I've drug my feet getting whistles down.  I have finger whistles for my stop and walk up, and am using one like this:
I can make lots of sounds, in fact I can whistle Christmas Carols, but am still lacking in confidence. Our fall trials start in October and I've vowed that I will have flanking whistles down the next time I go to the post!! So you guys keep me honest and ask how my whistling is going!!!!

Till next time! Happy trials to you!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bess and Liesl

This is Bess!!

This is Liesl!

They are 3/4 sisters and are proving to be very good dogs. They are so much fun and have a tremendous amount of personality!! They even have a great time together.

Notice Liesl's britches and her eyes (they look like she has makeup on!). I always say "she's ready to go anywhere - she has her britches and eyeliner on!!"  lol

This is Bess after playing with Liesl!!! Notice she has her makeup on, too!! lol


Sonya is our "guardian" dog. Sonya means the "wise one" and she is - very wise. I've never been around Pyrenees before, and having her has been a treat. She was five months old when we got her, and not have been raised with sheep and goats she became our "compound" dog. She patrols around the headquarters and has more than earned her keep. This year alone she has killed 7 possums and kept several skunks out of the chicken house. I've seen her test the breezes early in the morning, crook her tail over her back and take off in the brush letting any predator know that "this is her place". We have a multitude of coyotes, foxes and bobcats and we have never lost any stock around the headquarters. The sheep I use to train dogs with stay in the traps (about 40 acres) around the house. She is a great companion for any pups that we have, but when the pups start working she "puts" them in their place. Note that she is chained - that's what I have to do whenever we have the other BCs out working! But when they are in their pens, she is free to do her job!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tell Me Thursday

If I were a sheep I'd be a Rambouillet, just because that is the kind that I am most familiar with!! They are my favorite sheep to use to train dogs. They stay fresh and alert a long time. When I was a kid, my dad always said I would make a good sheepherder because I could think like a sheep. We always had mostly Fine Wools, so I guess it also reminds me of my dad. He passed away 19 years ago and sometimes I still miss him, but have such great memories!!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tate Update!

We've been on vacation and I left the BCs home!! Had a good friend check them every day. They have big pens to run around in and lots of shade, so wasn't too worried about them. But I was glad to come home and see them. I was a little under the weather for a couple of days, so didn't work any dogs. But last night I took Tate and got the sheep in. I sent him on a short outrun (about 125 yards) and he went really well. Stopped a little short on top, so sent him on around. He stopped great!! Flanked him both directions on the fetch and they were awesome!! He was square and very correct going both ways. I was so pleased to see that all my close work paid off, even after time off!! It was a good start back.!!

Monday, July 18, 2011


My border collie addiction began with Skeeter 10 years ago. My second daughter got her when she was four months old. She came from a friend who used dogs to be turn back dogs for her as she trained her cutting horses, but Skeeter was attached to a litter mate and never made a connection with her.

One day not too long after we got her, Skeeter was lying outside a low window of the cabin and my son was sitting on his bed practicing casting his fishing pole (yes - he was inside the house!! only a boy!) Anyway, Skeeter began working the end of the pole through the window!! So, I got a video and proceeded to learn how to train a Border Collie. I never trialed her, but she taught me oh so much!!! She was a natural, and could read stock better than I. She and I could go out in the pasture (one that was very rough and brushy - we live in Central Texas) and gather 300+ goats by ourselves. She dog broke every milk cow calf we had and I could send her to get them in at night. She also became the exercise dog for our kid's 4-H projects. She also loved to play catch -frisbee or softball, and would do it until she dropped!!

She's had 4 litters of puppies, most of which went to ranches to be ranch dogs, and everyone she had wanted to work. Tate was from a litter of 8, of which 7 died. I raised him on a bottle and he became my first trial prospect.

She got tick fever really bad once, and then had a couple of episodes with it later. She's got kicked, stomped and tussled, but always got back up and kept working for me.

Skeeter is retired now, lives in a nice big pen where she can watch the happenings around the ranch, but not work too hard, which she would still do, if I let her out! What a great heart and inspiration for me!

Monday, July 4, 2011


One year ago, Tate and I did our first trial. It was a "Locals" class at Rock Springs, Texas. We got 2nd and I knew I wanted to go on and keep trialing and getting better. I met Allen Mills, Ron Burkey, Susan Carpenter and several other Open Handlers, and they were all encouraging, even though Tate and I were really, really green.

One week later, I met Emil Luedecke at a clinic at his place, and well I'm still trialing.  I'm still a Novice Handler, but my goal is to get good enough to make a run at the Meeker Classic.

People ask me "what's the breeding on your dog" and I say "He's just a dog". He's the dog that God gave for this season. He's kinda weak, he's kinda high loper, some times he slices his flanks, but I started him by myself and with the help of Emil, Allen, Cookie Mooreland, Dal Lamphere and several others, we're getting better and stronger. Tate's only three, so I feel pretty good about where we've been and where we're going.