Boy have i turned into a slacker about this blog. It's been almost a whole month since i posted, hard to believe. I did start on a new training article but haven't quite found the motivation to finish it. Maybe soon.
Winter is turning to spring around here. Temps are up, the grass is turning green and starting to grow, and the early flowering trees and bushes are coloring up. I'm still waiting on the red buds but the Bradford pears and forsythias are doing their showy stuff right now. It's nice at the farm right now as we're mostly past the mud season and haven't started the battle against the summer weeds. The sheep are fat and happy and look to be about ready to burst with lambs. Pre-lambing vaccinations have been done, we sheared the wool ewes this past weekend, and will do a last minute worming in the next week or so, and then lambing should begin around April 1st. I'm eager to get started with it after hearing of lambs all over from so many friends around the country on Facebook. I've also made arrangements to buy in a small flock of katahdins, so the ovine population at Shoofly is getting ready to really explode. They look to be nice sheep and i'm looking forward to working them while everyone else is off on maternity leave.
The Shoofly dogs are doing pretty well. It's been a very laid back winter for them mostly. Zac and Bill have both been on extended rest to recover from injuries. Both are just now coming back to work, and we have a job ahead of us getting ready for trial season. It's coming on fast, with our first trial being the Shaker Village trial, May 1st & 2nd in KY. They'll bounce right back to working okay, but we're under the gun on conditioning. Jet has been doing the lion's share of work this winter at the farm but it's not enough to keep a dog fit, and at almost 9 years old that's a pretty big consideration for running her. Right now, if everyone is sound and fit, i plan to run Bill and Zac at Shaker Village and Chinquapinwood, and Jet at the Bluegrass.
The puppies are doing well, growing up and mostly looking like dogs instead of puppies. Well, little fluffy Tug still looks puppyish sometimes, but Moon looks all grown up. Moon came home with me for awhile, but it became obvious that she and Tug really needed to be separated. They play too rough and are way into each other, and oblivious to people, when they're together. So this past weekend Moon went to her new permanent home with Laura C. According to Moon, that's where she belonged anyway. She just loves Laura and her pack, making that obvious when she squeezed through the fence wire to run and jump in Laura's van the last time she was around. It looks to me like a match meant to be.
In other Shoofly dog news, i've added a new dog. Dot is a 4 year old, fully trained dog who was having some trouble meshing with her owner at sheep work. Sometimes it just goes that way, and it's really quite nice that Dot's owner recognized this and let Dot go to a place where she might fit her handler better. I know it was hard to see a dog she'd raised from a baby puppy leave, and i respect her for doing what she thought was best for the dog. Hard to do! So far, Dot is fitting in very well and she seems to like working for me. She's a real love personality-wise and i hope to run her some at the spring trials. I'm looking forward to spending time working her and getting together with her on the field.
That leaves the Shoofly pack at 5 dogs, a nice number to be taking along to the trials in KY this spring. Right now i'm planning to go to the Shaker Village trial and stay straight through to the end of the Bluegrass. It'll be quite an adventure living in the camper for that long!