Working from home

Working from home is not all it’s cut out to be.  It was nice to not have to deal with traffic in the rain, but given that it did rain all day long and was chilly, all of the cats were pretty much in the house and some squabbles broke out.  Several of the cats ended up in time-outs.  Those that did not go into time-out spent their time alternating between monopolizing my lap (making working hard) or trying to chase the cursor on the computer screen.  My cats usually don’t get into knock down, drag out fights, but they make a lot of noise during their confrontations.

All three dogs were in the house as well.  I did keep Joe crated a good part of the day because he doesn’t yet know the rules of the house.  I took breaks throughout the day to take them for quick runs before coming back to work.

This weekend’s priority is to make adequate shelter for Kitty and Rose and the goats.  Even if you give shelter for sheep, in general, they will not go in.  When it was raining heavily, I put the goats up in one of the dog runs with some hay.  They didn’t seem happy with that arrangement and eventually I just let them out.  I’ve gone back and forth as to what I want to make and I think I might try another hoop house made out of cattle panels.  I’m hoping I can place it in between the fence and the two big pine trees which is where I’ve got the tarp strung up now.  The tarp was completely useless given rain could come in from the sides and front.  Luckily, even though it was raining, it wasn’t terribly cold, but the cold is coming.

Rose killed a duck yesterday.  I gave her hell for it and as instructed, made it into a “necklace.”  Tying a dead animal to a dog seems cruel, but it is a tried and true method to make the point clear: you do not kill poultry.  Their breeder told me to do this should it happen.  Rose is not happy wearing a dead duck, but she needs to learn to think twice prior to killing one.  They had plenty of food to eat that morning so I know she did not kill it due to hunger.  I was told by another LGD breeder that at around six months old they tend to “get into” poultry in a manner that they hadn’t when they were younger.

I got the best call in the world this morning: deer scraps are ready to be picked up.  Yea!  Doing the happy dance!

Joe is settling down more and more.  When he first came to me, his tail was curled up over his back like a Chow’s tail.  For a Border Collie, that is not a good thing.  A lot of the old timers judge a dog’s worthiness based on his tail carriage.  A Border Collie’s tail should be, for the most part, down and relaxed.  Sure, Gel and Fern’s tails will occasionally come up or if they are running and turning, it will fly around like a rudder, but rarely are their tails up over their backs.  The first time I put the goats in the dog kennel, I didn’t shut the door thinking they’d stay in there where it was dry.  The did not and when I came out again, I had Fern, Joe and Gel with me.  I went over to the door to the kennel and gave Gel a flank command to push them back in.  Joe came in to help and he did a pretty good job of helping to get the goats back in the kennel.  He seemed to understand what needed to be done and didn’t make a mess of it.  If he had flank commands on him, I probably could have used him to put the goats up.  When we came back from one ATV ride, the sheep were out in the lower part of my property.  Joe started out after them, but I was able to call them off.

I think that dogs end up in your life for a particular reason.  It is up to me, or anyone else, to be patient and open enough to see why that particular dog is in your life.  Gel was sent to me to teach me about Border Collies, stock work and to learn to be patient with a dog in order for his talents to be allowed to bloom.  Remember, Gel was sold to me as a herding reject.  Fern was sent to me for several reasons: one, she’s extremely talented and it’s way cool to have such a talented dog of your breeding and two, she’s very, very sensitive to my moods.  If Fern is acting weird, it’s because my moods are out of whack.  I think Joe was sent to me so that I could have another chance at his lineage and to make me realize that yelling and throwing temper tantrums around animals is not a good thing.  Last night when I was yelling at Rose for killing the duck, Joe was still outside.  I had just put Gel and Fern in the mud room when I realized what Rose was chewing on.  After I got through with my completely unnecessary tirade, I realize Joe had taken off!  I called and called and he didn’t come back.  I got Gel and Fern out, started the ATV and went down back to look for him.  Gel found him and we went back to the house.

Yesterday, I found out the circumstances surrounding Joe’s purchase by Wally’s wife was not what I was originally told.  Apparently his availability made it to a local fly ball list.  Wally said he’d love to have that dog (this was back when Kessie was doing well in fly ball) and his wife contacted Joe’s breeder and made the arrangements.  I am now wondering whether he was made available as a sports dog was because his breeder decided he wasn’t going to cut it as a stock dog or if she was simply over-dogged.  I’m hoping the reason was the latter.  Only time well tell whether he’s going to cut it as a stock dog or not.

I entered Kessie in Novice/Novice at the upcoming Red Creek trial.  Fern could easily do Novice/Novice, but I’ve decided to hold her off for Pro-Novice.  Wally is gong with me on Saturday and he’ll enjoy watching her compete.  I’m waiting for the weather to clear off a bit then will head over to Wally’s to work all four dogs on the large flock.