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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kennel Run

No more excuses.  My back is better.  Spring is here.  I need to get stuff done ... especially a place for the dogs.  I took my dog run down last year with the intention of re-doing it, and never got around to it.  Winter added to the mess and now I am getting it back together.  The ducks are safely tucked away in their run, the dogs need their space, too.

Here is the enclosure ... 32' x 21' ...

I've still got branches to trim, dog houses to add, and put in a better water bucket than the one in the photos, but the main part is done.

Add dogs and a few raw bones ... and voila!

Eventually, I am going to put another 32' dog run to the left of this one ... where the old one was.  That way I can separate dogs if need be. 

I'm not nearly finished.  In fact, this is just the start of the clean up.  Egads there's a lot to do.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Quacked Up!

So much has happened today!

Went with Jaenne and saw The Hunger Games.  Loved it!  Wish it was twice as long so they could fit it all in.

Exchanged some emails with the local duck rescue.  Yes.  You heard that correctly.  There is a place here that "rescues" ducks.  She told me she has a few ducks available, and asked me what I'd be feeding and what kind of place I have to keep them.  I wrote her back and told her that I had just adopted three ducks from a gal in Caldwell (sent photos of them), and told her I'd be feeding the Purina Flock Raiser from D&B (about $18 per 50 lb. bag), oyster shell as necessary, the occasional corn, etc., and asked her what she recommended.  She wrote me back and asked me if the ducks I adopted were from (she named a name) and told me she recommends Mazuri feed (about $40 for a 50 lb. bag).  I told her I couldn't justify the cost of Mazuri, although I'm sure it's fabulous.  She wrote me back ... get this ... and asked me if I paid for the ducks I got, and if so, how much (because apparently the person I got them from adopted them from the rescue a couple of weeks ago).  I could not believe this woman was asking something so inappropriate.  So I wrote her back and said:  "Wow.  Really?  Are you afraid she's making a killing selling ducks?"  And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where it all came to light.  Here is her response:

"It would be very nice if the simplistic view of, whether (name) is “making a killing selling ducks” was our only issue. 

We have dedicated our lives to our non-profit and these birds and continue to witness great suffering and pain, as people continue to neglect, abuse, and abandon these innocent birds by the hundreds.  As stated clearly on our website; “Many of these birds, prior to their rescue, have lived in extremely brutal circumstances.  It is our sincerest wish that they live out the remainder of their lives in peace, comfort, and happiness.”
We adopt birds out under the premises that adopters understand this and agree to give these birds a safe and happy home.  When (name) expressed interest in adopting the five ducks a couple of weeks ago she stated clearly that she wanted all five as to not split them up.  In addition, if money did exchange hands it is unfortunate as it is our policy NOT to charge for adopting birds.  Our website clearly states, “Our birds are to be adopted only as family pets.  We DO NOT adopt birds out for the purpose of breeding, selling, human consumption, or training hunting dogs.”
As with any animal we own we can and always justify spending the extra money to feed them properly."
By the time I got done reading this, I had to remember, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT DUCKS!!!!

First off, I don't pay that much for a 50 lb. bag of DOG food, there's NO way I'm spending that kind of money on DUCK food.  My shuck ate table scraps and alfalfa all winter and he's fine.  I wanted to write her back and tell her that I use ducks as coyote bait during lambing season, that the ducks will quack to alert the sheep to run, and when I hear them quack, I go out with my .22, and if I'm fast enough, the coyote dies and the ducks live, but if not, it's the other way around ............. but I was afraid she'd believe me.

Rather than tell her the truth of what I thought, I decided to drop it.

I had an interesting exchange with the idiots that sit in front of my house taking photos of hawks day in and day out.  It's a long story, and my stomach hurts from laughing about it, so I'll have to write about this another day.

I've been using Echo to dog-break my older lambs, and she's doing a great job.  For now, it's just one ewe and her two lambs.  Mom's not real happy, but the lambs are sticking with her and moving off the dogs real nice.  I'll separate mom off in the next few days and work just the two lambs and see how they do on their own.  

Worked Reese in the round pen tonight for the hell of it, and quickly realized the core of an issue I'm having with her in the field.  It's SO nice to have that round pen to work in, and correct those issues close at hand.  She did some really nice stuff tonight, steadied herself real well, read the sheep better than I've ever seen, and it was a real confidence boost for her.  Afterwards, used her to put the non-dog-broke ducks away in the pen while I was on the phone.  She was awesome!  Again, read the stock real well, and rated everything accordingly.  Suddenly, "walk up" meant shift your body forward just a half step instead of blasting in at 90 mph, like I was anticipating.  It was awesome to see her! 

Well, I've been up since the crack of dawn and I'm headed to bed.  More later this weekend, I'm sure.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shuck's Quack House

Shuck's got a new house.  And some new friends.  And a new area to call his own. 

The meeting went well.  He wasted no time.

"Hello ladies ... "

"I've got myself a nice, comfy place where we could get to know eachother a little better ..."

And the little hussies ...

... fell for it!

Here's the gate ...

Echo can't believe her eyes ...

Here's their space.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Dump Day!

I finally got sick of looking at the pile of crap (aka the "crap pile") behind my storage building, so I sorted it ... and took most of it to the dump.  Boy, that felt good!  (The pile was right in front of that electric box, and extended out about 5 feet ... or more.)

 Here is one of the endless burn piles.  This one, though, has a racetrack around it!

This is the area next to the pig pen.  You can see where I've raked, and where I haven't.

Here's a close-up of the "where I haven't" part.  My soil seems to still be producing its own bailing twine, and lots of it.  None of this is mine.  When I undo a bail, the twine gets wrapped around a piece of fencing by the hay stack.  Today, I went nuts getting rid of everything orange in the backyard.  This is actually all cleaned up now, I just didn't photograph it when I was done.

Here's the truckload of crap.  It doesn't look like much, but it was actually close to 900 lbs. of crap.

And my Monster protection.

Headed to D&B to pick up some panels I bought over the weekend when they were having their sale.  Took me a couple of trips, but I got five panels.  I put my round pen back up, and will have enough stuff leftover to make a holding pen.  I know this looks like an odd shape, but if you stand in the middle of the pen, it's actually pretty darned close to round.

This is the first spring here where I finally feel like I'm not starting out with one foot in the hole.  With a little bit of work, it's right back to where it was at the end of last year.  Not a big mess like it was when I moved in.  I'll have to post those old photos some time.  But I walked around and picked up some dead branches that fell in the wind, picked up some trash that was no doubt thrown in by people driving down the road, pulled a little bit of old fencing out (need to pull out a few more T-posts), but for the most part, it's pretty clean and I can just continue with whatever I'd like to do. 

I would love to some day be able to afford to take out that concrete foundation that held the mobile home.  Some day.

There was some nasty old fencing around this lilac bush.  It took me a while to undo the puzzle of fencing that was there, but I finally got it done.  I need to pull the T-posts, and then I'll trim this bush up.  The sheep like to lay under it in the summer.

Speaking of sheep, Shuck wants to know who turned the lights out.

My favorite ewe (even if she is only one of two this year).

Shuck.  Up close and personal.

Shuck watches over the baby lambs all the time. 

There will be water in the canal in another month or so.  (This is my neighbor's house.  Hi Diana!)

Hopefully the weather holds out and I can get some more work done tomorrow.  Oh, and Bingo is back.  I'll have more on her soon. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Heart of Gold

I never missed someone so bad in my life.  There is definitely a giant void in my life where there once was ... my brother.  How do you put into words who someone is?  He was everything.  The million and one things we talked about, the many things we shared, the way he would just listen when I am off on one of my many tangents.  Every step of the way.  I could count on him.  A safe place to be.  I didn't have to pretend to be someone I wasn't.  He loved me for who I am, however screwed up that may be.  He understood me, and accepted me.  I've loved him all my life.

And now he's gone.

And I feel so alone.

I just never could have imagined how much life would suck without him.

And now I don't have to imagine anymore.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kahlua's for Sale

I've made the decision to sell Kahlua.  I'd like to find an older horse ... a gelding ... more of a "doop de doop" horse ... and find a home for Kahlua where someone will use her the way she needs to be used.  She's got a lot of go to her, she takes advantage of any weakness, and keeps you on your toes.  She needs someone who knows what the hell they're doing.  That's not me.

If you're interested, give me a call.  208-412-6107.  I'm not looking to make any money on her, just asking what I paid for her in October.  She's 12 years old, great feet, she's recently wormed, well broke, neck reins nicely, has a good fast walk, likes to go.  Stands about 15.1 hh.

Willing to trade for an older "doop de doop" gelding.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Drawbacks of a Shuck

For those of you climbing the walls looking for your very own Shuck ... you might want to think twice.

I took Echo out to the pasture with me a few minutes ago to worm the few sheep I have, and dock a couple of lamb tails.  Simple enough, right?


Chuck the Shuck was hanging out with his sheep.  Well, he doesn't quite move just right with the sheep, and it turns out, he was the only thing my dog was focused on!  Rrrrgh.

I would get myself into perfect position, and all I'd need for her to do is push a bit on the mom so I could grab a lamb, and I give her a nice, quiet "walk up" ... and instead of the momma moving ... the shuck joins us.  Come to find out, Echo is not even looking at the sheep!  I gave her a couple of sharp corrections, got her focus back on the job at hand, but the minute I was busy docking or worming, her head would wander back to handsome old Chuck.  I ended up chasing Chuck to the other end of the pasture so I could finish what I was doing, but it was clear ... she missed him ... and kept looking longingly over her shoulder. 

Little witch.

I got it done, but I think the next time, I might just use Reese.  She's a Shuck-free dog.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Male Border Collie for Adoption

I have decided to put Cedar up for adoption.  He's 5 years old, crate trained, house trained, up to date on shots, neutered, mellow in the house, loves to play ball, is good with kids (not recommended for anyone with cats), and just really enjoys being with people.  He's very good natured, has an excellent temperament and will make someone an awesome buddy.  Feel free to call me with any questions.  208-412-6107.

Cedar is the last rescue dog I will have for a while.  Spring is coming and I will be focusing on my own dogs, getting my place in shape, working with Kahlua and hopefully finding a job. 


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Shuck ... Party of 7!

Since Bingo and Cedar decided they know how to get into my sheep enclosure in the backyard, and the twin lambs were now old enough, I moved the two ewes and the twins to the front pasture. 

This morning I woke up to a bit of a surprise.  

Umm ... there's too many legs there.

Oh no!  It's one of those headless lambs!

Bummer.  They both have heads.  I could have made some real cash off that.

And they are perfectly snuggly.  Two ewe lambs.  (Don't tell them, but we just picked up their dad and put him in Jaenne's freezer.)

Shuck is very happy that I put his sheep back where they belong.

Shuck ... Party of 7.

The wind is awful tonight.  The two new little ones were all snuggled up against their mom behind the straw bales, so hopefully, they'll be fine through the night.  I'll know in the morning.

Awww, shoot.

Had a fun weekend! Saturday, a gal from one of the local horse groups came over and helped me with Kahlua and getting her into the trailer. Two things came to light.

One: She obviously had a bad experience being tied in a trailer before, as she will not do it. She broke my trailer tie-down this time. However, when you just load her, she will stand there until you ask her to back out.

Two: She has my number. I am intimidated by her, and I need to step up to the plate, or she is going to continue to run over me. She is not convinced she needs to get in the trailer when I am at the helm, but when Cindy did it, she hopped right in. I really enjoyed watching how calm and statuesque Cindy was in dealing with her. Kahlua would constantly suck me into moving around, and the more I moved, the more she did. Cindy stool still, held her ground, and Kahlua respected it.

I have a lot of work to do.

Sunday, Mark and I went shooting in the Owyhees. We went up to Reynolds Creek, all the way up past the watershed and the little town of Reynolds, and found a cool spot to park and hang out. What a gorgeous day! Took Echo with us to see if she could adjust to the noise.

I love this ranch.

This is probably the nicest flying bird shot I have ever taken.  I think this is a light juvenile red-tailed hawk.

An old, abandoned homestead.  Loved it.

A different view:

We shot at least a couple hundred rounds, hit quite a few of the targets we aimed at, and I tried with everything I had to get a shot (like that really cool shot Shari Hart took ... if anyone is friends with her on Facebook) of the bullet leaving the gun, but instead, I have about 60 photos that all look like this:

This is the road we were going to take, but I wasn't really sure I wanted to attempt it since I wasn't familiar with it, and the ground was a bit soft.  (Hey Mark, talked to Dean.  He told me that at the top of this hill, there is a small section of this road that is "by permission only" of one of the cattle companies up there.  So we couldn't have gotten through anyway.)

Echo handled it all very nicely.  She didn't want to be right near us, but instead found her bubble, which was about 20 or 30 feet from where we were sitting, and even once or twice walked right up to me while Mark was shooting right next to me.  Not bad for her first time.  She wasn't stressing or anything, would just go find a shady spot to hang out in within her comfort zone and watch from a bit of a distance.  And here is the creepiest photo I have ever taken of her.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

TMT ... #8

It's been a while since I've done one of these! I love reading everyone else's, but haven't felt much like writing lately. So here goes ...

1. What blogging tip would you give other dog-bloggers?

Do not put music on your blog. It takes forever to download, and more than likely, it's not something your readers are interested in listening to anyway.

2. If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island and could take five things with you (aside from the clothes on your back), what would they be?

1) My dogs
2) A lifetime supply of dog food.
3) A lifetime supply of whiskey.
4) Trace Adkins.
5) I won't need anything else. Neither will he. Ever.

3. How much pain are you willing to endure in the name of physical appearance? Do you have painful things done to enhance beauty?

I can't stand hair on my face, and I have a lot of it, so I pluck it.

4. Speed limits... how fast do you drive? Do you drive Miss Daisy? Do you do the Indy 500 to work?

I get 10 miles to the gallon. I see dollar signs flash across my windshield when I put my foot on the gas.

5. What trial (that you go to) is your favorite, and why?

I don't trial much, if at all, anymore, but one of my favorites was a large flock ranch trial I went to. It was fun working with that many sheep doing stuff that needs doing, with people who were really fun to hang out with. There wasn't any of the usual cliquey, nasty, high school bullshit going on, and I think everyone laughed as much as I did.

Snow dogs!

We got a bit of snow this morning (which is basically all gone now), but I took the dogs for a romp while I had the chance.

This picture is nowhere near in focus, but wouldja look at that pompom tail???  Geez, Echo.

Echo's nose is all bent out of shape with Bingo here.  She'll have to get over it.  Reminds me of high school.

Zip and Echo...

The whole pack.  Looks like Bingo (far right) has all 4 feet off the ground.

Echo being ... herself ... again.

And then she poses so dainty-like, you'd never know she was a Monster.


I was mad at myself that I didn't get any good photos of Reese ...

... so I took Bingo and Reese out on the deck for a more formal photo shoot.  And, of course, had to shoot a few of Kahlua (who was none to happy that I did) on the way.

Here's cute little Bingo.

And here's her chunky "brother," Cedar.  I'm trying to take some weight off him before putting him up for adoption.

To give you an idea of his size, here he is next to Echo.  Echo is just under 40 lbs.

But ... he's awful cute and will make someone a great buddy.

 Here's Kahlua again.  She thought this time, for sure, I'd have a treat for her, and walked away right after I snapped this shot.

And here's my Pieces.  Have I told you lately how much I love this little dog?