As expected, the does were difficult to manage in their new milking parlor. Yesterday was a bit better, but their milk production went down. I panicked at first, then I remembered how sensitive dairy animals are.
Gosh, I hate to think of the lives animals live at factory farms, including commercial dairies. Even some of the commercial goat dairies that I visited were a bit troubling.
I can’t save the World, just my small piece of it …
I haven’t written much on the cats recently. Buba and Boo Boo, the two new black cats, are finally starting to act and look a bit healthier. They both suffered through upper respiratory infections and spent most of their days sleeping on the couch. I was glad to see them resume their manic running through the house as I knew that meant they felt better. It’s funny how Onyx (also a black male cat) bonded with Buba and Boo Boo. We affectionately call them the B Brothers. I also have two black female cats. They are sisters and I cannot tell them apart. One is named Zoe and one Zest. Since I don’t know which one is which, I call them the Z Sisters.
When it rains, it pours. Yesterday morning, Wally’s truck wouldn’t start. Great. We need that truck! We need that truck more than we need my car. He woke me up and asked me to drive him to work. All day long I worried about that truck. Neither one of us has the cash for expensive repairs. I was prepared to put off having my window repaired in order to help pay for whatever needed to be done to fix Wally’s truck. When he got home he cleaned off the battery connections which were a bit corroded, but that didn’t fix the problem. I went up to Red’s and got his jumper cables and we tried to jump it off my car, but that didn’t work either. Great! Because we couldn’t get the battery cables to stay properly connected to my car, I called Red and asked if he’d come down with his truck to try to jump Wally’s. He did, but the jump didn’t work. Wally and Red were under the hood of the truck discussing the issue. That’s always a form of male bonding. The mucked around and discovered the problem: the solenoid!!!! They got the truck started by holding a screw driver on the solenoid (this is a layman’s description as I know very little about cars) and we were able to go and get a round bale of hay which I desperately needed. After we off-loaded the hay, we went to the local Auto Zone and got a new solenoid which cost $10.66 with tax and when we got back, Wally put it in and voila, truck starts!!!!!
There have been some odd electrical things going wrong with the truck lately and I wonder if it wasn’t because the solenoid was going bad. I hope so. To think of how much it would have cost us to have the truck towed to a mechanic and then to have the mechanic install that $10.00 part. Thank goodness for good neighbors and friends. I sent Red home with a big jar of chicken noodle soup and a banana bread. I’ll bring him up some macaroni and cheese later today.
Recently there have been discussions on the Sheepdog-L list about the cost of trialing. One woman calculated that running a Border Collie in Open costs about $315/hour. I’ve thought quite a bit about the cost of trialing, both in sheep and agility trials and I wonder why I’m continuing to train my dogs when it’s quite likely I won’t be able to trial for a good long time. In these difficult economic times, I don’t know how people are justifying going to trials. I know it is the livelihood of a good number of the people who are trialing (at least those who are trialing at the Open level and everyone who is trialing is aspiring [or at least should be aspiring] to be there), which I guess justifies it, but I think the fact that many of the people going to sheepdog trials are doing it because they make money off it is what makes the atmosphere that much more uncomfortable than, for example, an agility trial. I think if I had the money to trial, right now, I’d choose an agility or even an ASCA trial over a USBCHA-sanctioned trial. Granted, there are people at agility (and other) trials who are title hungry and yes, there are some who make some form of livelihood from this type of trialing, but it isn’t as common as it is with the USBCHA-sanctioned trials.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just a cop out on my part, but my mindset is so much different than it was a year or even just six months ago. It’s been exactly six months since I was laid off and when I think of all I’ve accomplished in this six months it’s mind boggling. Even without a full-time job (or health insurance) I am so much better off than I was six months ago.
I am going to agility class today so I need to get out there and get those goats milked, check on the sheep who are up at Red’s (because of the truck issue, we didn’t get the paths mowed last night) and then get on the road. You know why I continue to go to agility class even though I probably won’t be trialing any time soon? Because I enjoy it!!! The same reason why I continue to train my dogs on stock. I guess that’s a good thing.
Until later …