Sunday, April 20, 2008
Working weekend, new pics and video
Whew, what a long weekend. I took off friday since my brother was in town. It's been ages since i took a day off without spending it driving to a trial or some such, so that was pretty nice. I got lots of dog working in, lots of sheep moving and sorting, lots of catching up on farm chores, even managed to get my yard mowed. I love those sun up to sun down busy kind of days. Now back to work monday so i can rest up, whew.
Moss was really good this weekend. Peggy and i got together all 3 mornings to work dogs and hold sheep for each other, and he seems fine with that picture. I think he's easily ready for ProNovice now, even on a little more difficult sheep. We'll see in a couple of weeks at the Shaker Village trial. He's still awfully young but i think he'll do fine, and i'll be making sure it's a good experience for him. Denise uploaded the video she took of him last weekend at the farm and you can see it here --
I gave Bart a little go at the yearlings yesterday and he was pretty amazing. He's not even 4 months old yet but he was heading breaking sheep hard and turning them back. I backed up with the sheep to the fence to see what he thought of holding the sheep there and he looked like an old hand at it, whipping out to catch the ones trying to break off. Wish i had video of that, it was just pure instinct in this little fuzzy black body.
And i have a new lambing dog this year. Gael was wonderful last year with some really nasty ewes but she's just too hard to hold back, so i tried Jet and she really is doing a terrific job. A big black ewe nailed her yesterday, or rather tried to. She went at Jet and Jet just calmly opened that big mouth and met her head on, and she's been staying in line since. After seeing that, i decided to just go ahead and use her for my main lambing dog since it didn't seem to hurt her feelings or make her lose confidence. She was hit hard and unexpectedly once when she was quite young and it put her off pretty badly so i've always been a bit protective of her but she's up to the job and is enjoying it. Her balance is so good that she's really spectacular holding a ewe and her lambs off by themselves.
Spottie was her usual good old self in training this weekend. She just keeps going and going. Someone called her a "machine" one day last summer when we were out training, doing long outrun after long outrun after long outrun, and i think that was a perfect way to describe her and a very nice compliment to her.
Zac did an interesting thing today in training. I sent him on a long outrun where the fetch would be out of sight for me. When he got back to me, i noticed he was wet. I thought maybe he'd grabbed a dunk in the pond, which he'll do every once in a while, like on his outrun, if it's on the way out. It turns out though, that one of the sheep had gotten way down on the bank of the pond and the only way to do a proper flank and bring it out on line was to swim the flank! Peggy said he'd done it perfectly, never lapped at the water once, and rose gently out of the water for a nice lift. Pretty cool.
Anyway, it was a good weekend with plenty of time with the dogs, time to visit with friends and family, lots of things checked off the to-do lists, even some fishing yesterday and few new pictures of the new lambs. I'll upload them to the Pbase site (link to the right).