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Friday, August 20, 2010

Change is good...

Ok ... I've updated the blog a bit. I'm not sure I like the format, but we'll see.

Woke up this morning to something in my eye, or so I thought. After futzing with it for several hours, I finally went to the doctor. Turns out I scratched my cornea. Wow, did that ever hurt. It's getting a bit better now ... at least I can keep my eye open.

Slept quite a bit today. It felt better to keep my eye closed.

I love having a locking gate at the end of my driveway. The best part is that I can let my sheep loose and just gate them off from where I don't want them, and have them help me mow the front yard and stuff. It's working out just like I imagined it so many months ago.

Little by little, the irrigation is coming along. In a few small parts of the front pasture, I am seeing new growth on bushes, and actual honest-to-goodness green grass! I'm on the right track. It's going to take a while to get it to look like the pastures on "Dallas," but we're headed in the right direction.

I miss Jag. Big time. Still.

He used to cross his paws like that all the time.  He was so soft.  And he was great to cry on.  Great to hold.  Great to curl up with.  Great to talk to.  There will never be another like him.   I wish this would stop being so friggin' raw.  The tears keep coming.

Echo's in season.  She's not a donut-ass yet, but I'm sure she will be by the time the trial rolls around next weekend.  Yikes.  That'll be fun.  She's working pretty nicely for me right now, though.  Worked her at DC's last night on his whole flock again and did some more shedding.  I'm sure my method sucks, and I'll have to start taking some lessons with Dianne to work it out, but at least she's comfortable coming into the pressure like that.  And we're working on walking right into the entire flock and holding them from the draw.  It's taught me a lot, and it's giving her the confidence to work the heads.  At the same time, I've been working with her and actually helping her with her inside flanks.  Now that that little sentence is out of my mouth, I am sure she will make me look like a complete liar next weekend.  That's okay, though.  She's mine, and I get to take her home afterwards.  That's the only prize I need.

On the BC Boreds, there's a conversation about Pet Homes v. Working Homes, and the responses are interesting.  The conversation has morphed into how working breeders should place their pups in order to be able to evaluate the litter later in life, and whether or not they should sell to pet/sport homes or not.  One of the responses was this (justifying why the person would go to a sport breeder):

"I want a pup who has been socialized and well-prepared for the life it's going to lead. It just makes sense when you think about it. For me, that's sports, where the dog will have to tolerate crowds, noise, airports, elevators, etc... If I was a working farmer looking for my next stockhand, I doubt I'd care about that kind of stuff."

Yes, that's because "farmers" (i.e., those that farm crops) do not use working dogs to help plant crops anyway, but that's besides the point.  For the purpose of the conversation, I will assume she meant "ranchers."  I love the notion that ranchers don't care if their dogs can go out in public because those ranch dogs live their entire lives on ranches because the ranchers never leave their ranch -- and especially not with the dog.  And this is all coming from someone who obviously doesn't have a clue what ranch life is in the first place considering she doesn't know the difference between a farmer and a rancher.  And we wonder why these dogs get a bad rap.

I don't know about you, but what I've seen are the dogs that have been raised on ranches where they are out of working parents and the pups bred for the right (i.e. working livestock) reasons, the pups are easy to train, easy to socialize, and keep their heads about them for the most part.  The pups you see from these sport breeders that have been bred for "speed," or "temperament," or "agility," or whatever other stupid reason people breed non-working Border Collies, the pups have issues.  Not all of them, mind you, but I notice a lot of them are extremely soft, noise sensitive, and go through quite a few "fear periods."  But if people want to keep buying Sporter Collies, more power to them.  I hope eventually the breed really splits into Working Border Collies, Barbie Collies, and Sporter Collies.  But it won't.  Because it's not politically correct -- even though it's extremely accurate otherwise.


I'm just glad that there will always be breeders who breed working dogs.  Real working dogs.  And no, agility is not work.  Neither is flyball, or obedience, or any other little doggie sport you're playing.

Ok ... enough of that.

I've got some photos to edit, and maybe I'll do that this weekend.  I'd also like to get some photos of Reese for her page.  I'll probably change the blog a few times before settling on something I can tolerate for a while.  I'd like to come up with a logo, but I suck at that part.  If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.  Just a simple "KPR" design would work, or something ... not sure.

I hope my eye feels better tomorrow so I can get some stuff done around here.  Being that I'm gone all next weekend, it's not leaving me much time before Jennie and Cheryl (friends from L.A.) come up for Labor Day Weekend.  I'd like for them to see my house looking good, but it's not looking like it's going to happen.  Ugh.

More later,


  1. Interesting about Working versus sport versus barbie. The same debate rages in the Siberian Husky world. A "show" Siberian Husky looks very different than one that pulls sleds regularly, though there are some show breeders who insist that their show dogs also pull sleds. One such breeder even has run the Iditarod with champion show dogs on the team.

  2. Give me a working bred Border Collie anyday :)

    I have one dog that is a WONDERFUL agility dog...but he isn't what I liked on stock...he is neutered.

  3. I prefer the working border collies. Even though mine don't get to see stock very much I want the breed to be bred for the reason they were originally created for.

  4. Here's a further comment from the same poster: "If working breeders want to use the sports people as their dumping ground for rejects, don't expect people who know what they want to be thrilled with sloppy seconds. For the most part, sports people don't care about the plight of the working dog. They care about health clearances, rock-solid temperaments and early training/socialization. This lofty goal of trying to combine working and sport dogs from the same pool of dogs just isn't going to happen."

    I wonder if I'd make a fortune if I started the American Sporter Collie Association and registered just sport dogs.

  5. Good grief! I can't believe someone who write that!

  6. WTF?!!?!? Wow...I think that person must have sport bred dogs...I completely disagree with that...

  7. So just for the sake of discussion, how "good" does a working collie need to be before being bred? What about breeding dogs for trialing rather than ranch work? I think we can all agree that there are imminently useful dogs on the ranch which would not hold up in trials, and dogs who are quite successful in trials which would not hold up to ranch work. So how to we set the bar?