I took the dogs for a run on the ATV this AM.  It was wonderfully cool — and dark!  They had a ball.  I stopped in the far-back field that had been hayed recently to scope it out to see if I could bring my panels down and do some training.  Nope.  The grass is at least knee deep and it isn’t just grass.  That field has briers and cactus, not fun to walk through.  The grass in the other fields is, once again, well over the dogs’ heads.  Oh well, I suppose I should be happy that there is grass this year.  I really need to construct some sort of catch/retaining/sorting pen.  Maybe I could buy a short roll of ElectroNet and use that, either that or when it’s time to retire an existing roll, cut it shorter.  At least one of my rolls is going to need to be retired soon.

So, since I took the time to mow my agility field, I suppose I should do some agility training.  After I finished mowing, I fooled around with Fern a bit.  She’s such a delightful dog to work.  She’s incredibly enthusiastic and quick as can be.  She’ll make an awesome agility dog, if I’d just get my butt in gear and train her.  It is cooler today than it has been so hopefully I’ll get out and do a bit of training.  The humidity is lower.  I expect with Hanna on her way to the Carolinas, yes, she is expected to hit the South and North Carolina coasts by Friday or Saturday, the humidity is going to go back up.  We’ll see how it goes.

I don’t know why I haven’t been terribly interested in training lately.  I know the heat has something to do with it, but my energy has been pretty low lately.  I e-mailed my homeopath this morning letting her know how I was feeling.  My allergies have been bad and that may be contributing to low energy.

I contributed to a discussion on the Border Collie Boards recently.  I haven’t done that in quite a while.  A woman wrote asking about working goats vs. sheep and about dairy goats.  Since I have extensive experience working goats and have done a lot of research on dairy goats, I decided to reply.  I see that Diane Pagel who is an open handler responded over the weekend saying that with working goats, the dogs had to learn to stand up to the goats, do head or heel grips and try to work several goats who would then run off in various directions.  She also said that it made a dogs a heck of a lot better dogs.  I agree.  I like that my dogs can work sheep, ducks, chickens, goats and cattle.  It makes them more rounded as stockdogs.  I suppose if I wanted to compete successfully in sheep trials I’d need to do nothing but work sheep, but that isn’t my goal.  My goal is to work towards a self-sustaining lifestyle which means I’m going to be keeping numerous different types of critters that I’ll need my dogs’ help managing.

In reading one of my favorite Blogs, Slowly she Turned, I came across an interesting Blog called Throwback at Trapper Creek  which I have bookmarked and will refer back to it.  The Blog author had a very detailed post  on how to butcher chickens, which I know I’ll benefit from when the time comes.  The detailed breakdown  of how much it cost her to raise 75 chicks to butchering age is a bit daunting though.  Then again, the chicken that you buy in the grocery store is really crap in saran wrap so it may well be worth it.  I don’t know though if I can manage to eat something I butchered myself.  I haven’t quite got there.  Maybe I’ll become a vegetarian and give my dogs and cats all the meat I raise.  They don’t seem to mind eating it and in fact think helping me cut it up is great fun.  While I was cutting up the sheep on my kitchen floor last week, the kittens and cats were having the best time.  So heck, butchering animals has two purposes: it feeds my dogs and cats and gives them entertainment as well.

(Shaking head) I’m one sick person!

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