Back from the dead … again

I was sick with yet another head cold over the weekend into Monday. I haven’t been so sick with viral-related illnesses since I’ve moved to North Carolina. The only thing I can attribute it to is that I’m now working in a high rise building in contact with lots of people. I was miserably sick. Not much is worst than a head cold. What I would have done to call in sick on Monday, but I couldn’t.

I am better now.

The dogs and I spent most of the weekend in the house curled up on the couch watching bad movies. They seemed to know I was sick and were quite happy snuggling. I did take them for several runs and I worked both dogs on sheep on Saturday. I took a few photos of Fern who is now six months old. She’s turning into quite the stylish worker. And keen? When she sees stock now, the head and tail come down and she’s “on.” I put my video camera up on a tripod and took two videos, but I wasn’t happy the results. I was using my lambs, who are not really dog-broke so I had to do a lot of repositioning to stay in the picture. There was too much dead-space in the video when I reviewed it. I’ll get videos during my lesson on Saturday.

Yesterday, I caught up with an open (USBCHA) handler that I used to work dogs with. It was nice to hear from him. We’ll be getting together over the next couple of weeks to work cattle. He has some young dogs he needs to work and has access to broke cattle. He’s fun to hang out with so I look forward to it. It’s funny, an individual was spreading rumors that all the handlers in my area were refusing to work with me, and I took that to heart so when I don’t hear from someone, I think it’s because I’m a bad person, but that hasn’t been the case. People are busy and I’m really such a small piece of this universe. I’m playing the game, as best I can.

I don’t recall if I’ve mentioned this before, but Gel is in charge of cat patrol. In general, cats do not do as well as dogs in a “pack” environment. As a species, cats are solitary. If food is sufficient, they will live in groups, but fights are a common occurrence. There is a pecking order in my crew and it is frequently being sorted out. Gel reacts to the sound of cat fights. I think he doesn’t like the disorder and feels he has to fix it. It can be quite irritating to see him “alert” to a cat fight, yet do nothing about it. By “alerting” I mean he starts, looks at me, then goes to where the fight is happening. He’s been known to go outside (when he could fit through the cat door) in the middle of the night to get to a cat fight. Finally, I’ve made him an effective member of the cat patrol. If there’s a fight, I make him walk up in on it and if his presence doesn’t stop the fight, I tell him to “push” at which point, he jumps into the middle of the cats which breaks up the fight. He’s a useful dog.

I measured Fern a few days ago. She’s just 16″ tall at the shoulders. I’m not sure she’s going to grow much taller. She’s a little pocket rocket. Gosh, I love this puppy. As I wrote this, she’s curled up on the ottoman. She’s still a puppy and gets into all sorts of trouble, but all in all, she’s a very easy puppy to live with.

Until later …