Saturday, November 1, 2008


Our neighborhood doesn't get a lot of trick-o-treat traffic even though I bet all of my neighbors, and myself included, have full-size candy bars just waiting for the kids. This year, we had NO trick-or-treaters. That just means more Kit Kats for Jerill and I. That doesn't mean that we didn't celebrate the occasion.
What better thing to do on Halloween than dress up your animals? The cats were no where to be found last night, so I ended up just dressing up the dogs. Mattie was a Yellow Jacket and Lucky was a gangsta-pirate. It appears that Mattie actually is enjoying her costume but she really hated being dressed up. She typically only wears a bandana every once in a while. I was surprised that she was being such a good sport about the whole thing, including keeping her antennae on.
Lucky is used to wearing clothes, so he loved wearing his skull and crossbones hoodie and pirate bandana.

Today I was a farmgirl. I am helping out my herding instructor while she is undergoing a significant health setback. So, in leiu of me getting to run one of her best dogs in trials and doing self herding on her sheep and getting free lessons from her, I babysit her dog Kuro sometimes and I help out with farm chores. My first hour today at the farm consisted of working Scott in the Big Field. I am running Scott in a trial in a couple weeks and so I have to practice with him a lot. He and I did great today - he was listening to me the whole time and we were successful in getting the sheep to go where I wanted them to go. Here are some pics...

The Woolies - sheep hate dogs.

Scott on the way to the Woolies (he looks like a Panda Bear to me)

Scott is driving the Woolies away from me (I asked him to do this)

Scott is fetching the Woolies back to me. He's such a pro.
After working Scott, I cleaned kennels, - even used a pitchfork! I fed the six dogs, a cow, a horse, 30+ sheep, ducks and chickens. Then, I worked Mattie in the round pen after using Scott to sort her sheep. Mattie's herding is improving each and every time we go out there. She is getting easier and easier to call off the sheep - yes, we do say "that'll do" just like in the movie Babe. And, she is figuring out how to read sheep and how much distance to give them. Herding is all about pressure and balance and keeping your cool.

Before herding, I had always wanted a working farm with horses and cows and sheep and alpaca. However, after helping out with Diane's farm this past summer, I have learned that farming is A LOT of work, 24/7. I may just be happy with a few chickens and ducks of my own! I do have a lot of new skills to add on the ol' resume though, including things like sheep flippin', hoove trimming (sheep and horse), sheep ear piercing and throwin' hay bales.

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