Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Idaho AHBA Trial & Miss Bea

We are home from our journey across the mountains to Idaho where we spent Thanksgiving with Dianne & friends.

I am beyond exhausted.

While in Idaho we participated in the Gem State Herding AHBA trial that Dianne judged on Saturday. This was a new experience for me, completely different from a USBCHA border collie trial - but fun none the less. I am proud to say that both of my girls (Beth & Brynn) earned titles this weekend (2 qualifying scores on different courses/different judges). On Saturday Beth placed first, Brynn third. Sunday Brynn placed first and Beth placed second.

They both titled in HRD (Ranch dog) Level II.

This is the best venue for Beth.  She prefers to be close to me.  I believe Bonnie could even do this type of trial, at least the JRD (junior ranch dog) or even Level I later.   All in all, the trial was a good experience. Most significantly, it showed the HUGE arse gaps in my handling skills & where we need work.

I am proud of my girls.

Brynn was not proud of me, she thinks I need to learn how to handle a gate correctly & trust her - then she could actually do her job.

Brynn doesnt care about any of that anymore.  She has a new love.

My little pup Brynn has grown into a doting auntie.  She has appointed herself as the puppy nanny and is taking her job seriously, indeed.  

Say hello to her new charge,  Orchard Run Bea.  (Bett x Riggs)

Bea came home with us from Dianne's place.

She is a happy, confident, well adjusted & socialized puppy.

The entire litter was special.  They litter spent their first month in the x-pen set up in Dianne's kitchen/dining area.  Dianne's kids, Paxton & Kelton loved on the puppies daily.  They were all exposed to kitchen & household noises & many different people.

Bea already comes when called.

Dianne started calling her Ba-Bea - so she knows her name...a little.  If I want her to run to me immediately I just say "pup, pup, pup" like Dianne did and she zips right back.

She has the cutest little sit.

She is definately related to her daddy, Riggs.  As you can tell from the tongue...

Bea wonders what the white stuff is...

I am wondering when I will have a full night of sleep again.

Someday soon she will sleep through the whole night.  Till then I will be a zombie in love with puppy breath.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bonnie's Fashion Show

Just in time for the Holidays and those long cold winter nights, we present Bonnie, modeling her selection for Thanksgiving and beyond.  

This lovely ensemble enhances Bonnie's striking black and white freckles.  She wears it so well. 

This casual sweater set works well with anything.  Perfect for those walks along the river, catching snow flakes on your tongue or roasting chestnuts on an open fire.  

Bonnie said she felt right at home in this outfit - featuring a traditional knit of her ancestors from the British Isles, hand made by Grandma many years ago.  Bonnie says she will take better care of this sweater than the new baby who will just barf on it.  

"Seriously, doesn't this outfit just make my freckles pop?"

We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Say a prayer or two for me as I am heading across the mountains to Idaho for the holiday, where we will be spending it with Dianne Deal and friends.  I am picking up teh puppeh and bringing her home!!!  

If I plummet off an icy mountain tomorrow and the dogs survive - I want Ranger & Beth to stay with John.  Bonnie wants to live with my parents where my mom can knit her all the sweaters she desires.  Brynn will go to Cindy.  My camera gear to Jodi.  My husband will be up for grabs.  He is a nice guy, good job, lifts heavy things, fixes stuff, vacuums, does dishes, a good dad...but snores like a Grizzly bear and is a terrible cook.  

Take good care of them all. I will wave to you from the other side.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Daze

Winter is here before Fall ended.

The dogs are none to pleased.

Ranger wants to know, "Where are the Reindeer?"

Bonnie says "Bring it on!  I LOVE SNOW!"

"Snow, Snow, Snow!  Wait...why it is stuck to my Jolly Squirrel?"

Brynn, serious as always says, "Unless there are sheep out here, I see no other purpose to freeze my ass off."

"Forget this...I am going in the house."

 Uhhhh, Brynn.  Hang in there.  We are going to go work sheep right now.  Judy is having a training trial today and it isn't snowing in Roy like it is here - lets go!

Hi Judy! 

"You LIED!  You said it wasn't snowing in Roy.  Why are we here?"

We are here to work sheep!

"I don't see no stinkin' sheep"

They are out there!  I promise!  You will just have to trust me and I will get you to your sheep!

"I think you are smoking Ranger's pot". 

And trust me they did...they found their sheep.  Brynn has been stretching her outrun.  Last week at Ronnie's during Dianne's lessons Brynn was perfectly nailing 500 - 600 yard blind outruns.  Dianne always told me that Brynn is a hill dog - now I believe her.  Sunday at Judy's training trial Brynn ran gorgeous wide & deep  outruns, she went a little wide on her away side and got lost in the brush, but came back and checked in for a direction & finally spotted her sheep and brought them to me perfectly on line. 

Beth did equally as well.  I feel like I should knock on wood while I type this, but she is finally starting to listen to me.  I have cut her back drastically in working/training.  She only gets to work when she listens.  The minute she stops listening, she is put away.  If I work her too much she turns into Gumby and it goes down hill fast.  On Sunday she ran a gorgeous outrun, lifted beautifully, gave plenty of space on the fetch, which was dead perfect online - circled around me nicely and even continuted to listen to me on the drive. 

No more novice for either dog - we are movin' on up.  Ranch for Beth and Ranch & eventually Nursery for Brynn. 

We stopped working when we couldn't see the sheep anymore. 

Bob called it on account of blizzard.

Jeanne's Moses was sad

"No more woolies?"

Sorry dude, the sheep are being put away before the white out hits. 

The sheep were relived.

They must think we are all nuts

Wait, do sheep think?  I mean really think, like we do?  

Or it is more like "See Dog, RUN!", "See Food, EAT!", "See Stupid Human, smash them up against the fence, step on feet, kick in head",   "Run across field, giggle and laugh, then do it again."

Okay, Ladies...time to go home.  

Say Goodbye to Judy and Cindy.  Thank you for a wonderful day working sheep!  

Stay warm and dry! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Meeting Baby

Last night my daughter wanted her Mom to help give baby Alyssa her first bath - and she wanted to do it at home in our kitchen.   So they brought the baby over to the house for the first time.   

I was worried about how the dogs would handle the baby and wanted to introduce them slowly and with control.

Ranger did not concern me, as a puppy he lived with a foster home that had twin newborn sons.  He was gentle, sweet and appropriate with the babies.  Bonnie was wonderful with the babies she had met previously.  She especially enjoyed cleaning them up after they barfed.  

Beth and Brynn were an unknown & needed the most attention during the introduction.  I had nothing to be worried about.

When they arrived Amy sat down to nurse Alyssa.  Once Brynn figured there was a baby she and Ranger plopped down next to her chair and wouldnt move.  Brynn even tried to keep the other dogs from getting near to the baby & Amy.  Little miss protective.

Ranger is very concerned about the Baby. 

Uncle Ranger smells Alyssa's head while Daddy watches. Daddy has a dog so he understands what is happening here. 

Brynn smells Alyssa and the bond is formed.  Alyssa now has a new Auntie Brynn. 

"What are you doing with my baby"  Ranger wants to know. 

Its okay Ranger, Daddy is just shifting Alyssa a wee bit because she started to fuss...she is okay.

See, just fine.

Once Ranger was content the baby was safe, he plopped down at Christopher's feet with Brynn. 

Now it was Bonnie's turn to smell the baby.  Bonnie is hoping Alyssa will puke and she can lick it up.  Sorry Bonnie, not today. 

When Alyssa started to cry, Beth was VERY worried about her.  She started to lick her head - which we discouraged.

Its okay Beth, we are not worried...all is fine.

Besides Uncle Ranger is on duty.

I have a funny feeling nothing is ever going to happen to this baby with Uncle Ranger around.

This is another excellent time to use a 'get back' command.  If any of the dogs got too close we just said "get back" and they would back up and give space.

Now it was time for Alyssa's first bath.  Mommy brought over a baby bathtub - but old fashioned Grandma (me) showed Mommy what kinds of things can happen with baby bathtubs.  The babies can tip over, slide down or slide over and bang their heads etc.  So Grandma showed Mommy the easiest and safest way to bath a newborn...in a freshly scrubbed and disinfected kitchen sink.  The whole time Grandma told Mommy stories about bathing all the kids in the kitchen sink for years.

Alyssa enjoyed herself.  We folded a full size bath towel in the bottom for cushion, extra folds near the head to keep her elevated above the water.  Keeping her umbilical cord dry she got her first bath, where she coo'ed and gurgled happily. 

She was dried off,  powdered and Desitin slathered on her tush...all under the watchful eyes of Uncle Ranger. 

Bonnie checked in frequently.

Auntie Brynn was the most concerned about her new Baby.

"What are you doing to her?"

"I need to smell her and make sure she is still okay."

She is just fine Brynn, just fine.  Nice and clean now.  No worries.

After the bath and some visiting Brynn positioned herself as the guardian of the baby in the car seat.


Okay, Brynn.....Papa John is on the job, he will find her binky.

"Thank you Papa, thank you for taking care of my baby".  

"I will watch her while she sleeps, so she stays safe."

Night Night Alyssa.

NOTE:  Border collies are typically not good with children.  Please read "The Kid Myth" written by Sheena of That'll Do Border Collie Rescue aka Three Woofs & a Woo.    While this post is cute and adorable with photos of the dogs meeting the baby for the first time, this was a VERY controlled and careful introduction.  At the first sign of anything inappropriate the dog will be removed.  Safety first.  Good relationships between new children and dogs is ultimately the responsibility of the owners - and they depend on us to keep them out of situations where anyone can be hurt.  None of the dogs will EVER be left alone with the baby.  Nope, nada...no way.