The weather is incredibly nasty today. It’s been raining pretty much nonstop since around 4 this morning. There are puddles everywhere. I’ve taken the dogs out twice for a run off the ATV and to check on livestock. They are spending the rest of the time in crates because they are soaked to the bone. By the time they dry off, it’s time to go back out again. I’d be soaked to the bone if it were not for my rain suit. It’s a cold rain too. I’ve got the kerosene heater going.
The cats are lying around being slugs and we need to have a sit-down talk about this laziness. This morning when I opened the grain bin to get goat grain out, a tiny mouse ran up my arm scaring the crap out of me. The cats need to get their act in gear and start catching those mice. To their credit, the milk room (where the grain is stored) was closed up last night so it wouldn’t have been part of their normal rounds. Last night, Boo Boo brought in one of those cute, little field mice and I tried to rescue it, but it bit me. I think I might just let nature take its course from now on. This morning I saw Simon trying to catch a chipmunk. He’s become a professional chipmunk assassin. I believe this chipmunk was able to live another day as it ran into the fenced-in area and Simon couldn’t get through that section of the fence to follow. Then again, Rose may have done away with it.
I finished the turkey soup and I think that hot soup, along with a loaf of beer bread, will make a perfect supper. I’ve become quite enamoured with beer bread. We had some last night with chili. I added a few spoonfuls of salsa and some jack cheese and it was a perfect addition to chili. I took out some Petunia sausage and thought about making either goat cheese Lasagna or layered polenta, but I think I’m going to stick with soup. During my second round out today, I brought a half gallon jar of soup up to my neighbor, Red. I know he appreciates home cooked meals.
The dogs didn’t get any real work yesterday. I went up to get the sheep, but got roped into helping Red split wood. It took nearly two hours, but it was satisfying labor and the dogs had fun playing while we were working. Red has been very good to me and I don’t mind helping out such good neighbors.
I hope that the weather is good on Saturday because a local man is going to come up with a pizza oven and make and sell homemade pizza. Normally, I don’t do demos on the weekdays, but on Monday, a couple of groups of school children are going to come up to the Farm so I’ll go up so that they can feed the sheep.
There has been a rather interesting discussion on Sheepdog-L about whether demonstrations of agility or other sports-related Border Collie activities should be allowed at the National Finals to be held in 2010 in Northern Virginia. Of course, the purists think that it would be appalling to have such activities at such a prestigious Border Collie event and that they should have more rural type activities like sheep shearing and spinning demos. I think these purists need to face the fact that the use of Border Collies (and other breeds of dogs as well) as working dogs is becoming less and less common. I have to wonder where all of these Border Collie puppies, started and trained working dogs are going. I expect that more of them are going to trial homes than true working homes. Agility is a fun thing to do with a dog and it’s fun to watch too. Why would it be such a bad thing to have examples of all of the things that these brilliant dogs can do. Not every Border Collie is going to have what it takes to run at the National Finals, why not showcase what else they can do? I’d be willing to bet that most of the spectators going to this event do not and will not have working farms and would never have the need for such a dog. Training and instruction in agility (or other dog sport) and to a lesser extent, stock dog trialing, is assessable to most people. Buying and maintaining a working farm is not.
Until later …