Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas blizzard

Well, our Christmas plans were derailed by mother nature this year. Thankfully we got a bit of a repreive on Christmas Eve so we were able to make it to church and then supper with my family. I'm really thankful for that now!

We got some snow on the 23rd but then it quieted down again until Christmas morning. Wow, she cut loose then. All day Friday and Saturday we got hammered with snow and wind. Visibility was horrid. We had fed everything really good the day before and moved the cows and sheep into better protection. Still it was a long two days of not being able to find them on Friday and Saturday. Sunday morning the wind let up and Mike was able to see good enough to find all the sheep and the cows we were short. They had blown into a deep draw and weren't much worse for the wear. I was so relieved!

Thought I'd share this cartoon with you from one of my all time favorite strips. It's pretty fitting of how I felt Sunday morning. :-)
You can see more of "The Barn" at It's one of my daily reads anymore.
We ended up with close to a foot of snow but the drifts are what are horrible. They range from 4 feet up to 14 feet. The roads are getting opened today though. Really tough feeding right now as the snow is getting a hard crust on it now. I'm fairly certain we'll have a good portion of these drifts until spring now.
Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and enjoys the New Year!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I'm the worst about taking puppy pictures so haven't shared yet about the puppies at my place. Sorry! Nell blessed us with one more litter of puppies by Don Helsley's Cap. I can't say enough good things about my grand old gal. She has been a true gem as a working dog as well as a producer. We are very fortunate to have her in our lives. She has basically moved into the house and is convinced she is the queen of the couch. She still helps out around the place but is basically enjoying retirement.

(Gage is the tri and Don's pup is the B/W)

The 3 puppies were born on October 4th. 2 females and 1 male. One of the girls (Soot) and the male (Gage) is staying with us and the other female is going to Don. I'm pretty excited to see how they mature and work but for right now we're just enjoying the antics of puppyhood.


We also got our stud fee pup from Jamie a week ago. She is off of Reece and Jag. This is a repeat cross and I have Rock from the first litter. I got a female this time and her name is Jess. She's a ball of fire and has a hard time slowing down right now but we sure enjoy the heck out of her. This of course means we're going to be raising way to many puppies right now but I just couldn't turn down one from this cross again seeing how much I love Rock. I had planned on only keeping one pup from Nell but with it being her last litter I want to give myself time to see them grow up before I decide. So... the boys and I are going to have our hands full this winter. It's a good time for us to raise pups though as we're not terribly busy until after the first of the year again. It also means I'm going to have to have a young dog or two for sale in the next year.

(Jess our Jag x Reece pup at 7 weeks old)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Domestic Goddess...NOT!

Okay, anyone that knows me, knows that I'm not a domestic goddess. Heck, I'm not a domestic anything to be honest. I have tried over the years to learn to enjoy (or maybe even tolerate better) the finer points of housework, cooking, baking, canning and maybe even sewing. I just have never acheived it. I've just about given up honestly but hope with age some of it will come to me.

Recently I had to apologize to my mom as she has really tried over the years to teach me how to cook, can, bake and attempt to sew. The only thing I've managed to sew up so far are critters. I did sew up the couch once, does that count? I love eating all the stuff my mom cans as well! :-) I wonder if that counts for anything. The one thing that has improved (if even just slightly) is my cooking. The first time I attempted to really cook anything was Rice a Roni when Mike and I were first together. The only thing I managed to do was catch my shirt on fire. I figure you can only go up from there, right?

Most of the time all I can think about are ways to escape to the outside world. Isn't there a horse that needs rode, a well that needs checked, a dog that needs worked or even a fence to be fixed? I'll admit I have to be a bit desperate for that last one to be real appealing. I suppose that's why I thrive on calving and lambing season. It's acceptable to not worry about anything real domestic then. :-) Works for me anyway!

Okay, I suppose I've stalled long enough. The vaccuum would like to remove some of the outside world I insist on dragging in with me.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Thought I'd share a few pictures I've taken recently. All but one were taken the same day. It was beautiful out! Plenty of sunshine along with some clouds for shade. I love fall weather. If it could just be spring and fall all year I'd sure be happy.
I really don't have much burdock around here but the day before we shipped lambs about 30 head of ewes found a hole in the fence and went exploring in a draw that's full of them. I wasn't overly happy with the girls!


I like the above picture because of the way the sun is shining on the hill with the trees and yet it's shady where we're working.

If you look towards the top right hand of the picture you can see where the sun is shining on a hill. Jag had just brought this bunch from over there. One of his best qualities is his gather. Anywhere, anyhow is his motto. :-)

The picture above was the morning we shipped lambs. There's a long lane down to the corral and that's where Rock is pushing them right now. He's getting more confident driving all the time. He loves to work a bigger bunch.

Just thought I'd share one of him up close. He reminds me a lot of his mother (Jamie's Reece).

We're working on driving here again and he's really starting to figure out how to hold a line on a smaller bunch on his own now. Yay! BTW, if you can't tell, I REALLY like this dog.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Update and general chaos

Sorry, about how lax I've been on updating the blog. Life has been busy but it's no excuse, just reality.

I went to the Kaycee trial and bombed so nothing real exciting to report there. Wait, Dennis Edwards (one of the nicest person's your ever going to meet) won it with his good dog, Ben. His young dog, Craig (Nell x Lew), also made it into the double lift in his first open run. Yay for Dennis and his dogs!!!!

The boys are back in public school. What an adjustment for mom! I think the first week was much harder on me than it was on either of them. They are both really enjoying the different classes and getting to hang out with friends more. Both of them are also playing football and that keeps us VERY busy right now with 2 -3 games per week.
(Dustin is in the middle of the pack in purple)
Just getting started with the fall cattle work and am enjoying being able to go with Mike more now that I'm not teaching the boys this time of year. We preconditioned our calves last week and we do the cash cattle bunch this week. Loading out yearling steers tomorrow. Preg testing cows with a cousin on Friday. Lots of riding.
We sold lambs last week and did better than expected so that's always really nice!! Used Jag, Cash, Rock and Bet to gather, sort and load lambs. It's fun to watch the young dogs (Rock and Bet) get their first chance at this kind of work. They both stepped right up. I forgot how much I enjoy Cash for this kind of work as well. He is so good in tight spaces! Zac supervised as I just can't bring myself to leave him at the house when we work. I'm not sure if that's harder on him than just staying at the house but he seems happier even if he's just covering a "hole". His favorite job now is setting sheep for the other dogs.
Looking forward to "watching" the finals over the internet this week. Wish I was there but just couldn't swing it this year for one dog.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

L & M SDT Results

July 16 - 17, 2009 - Allen, SD - Judge: Dan Keeton
(all tie's broke on gather)

Thursday's Open (23 dogs)
1. Larry Adams - Raid - 84
2. Gerald Bunney - Lou - 69
3. Wendy Schmaltz - Gin - 66
4. Gerald Bunney - Lucky - 66
5. Bud Boudreau - Jay - 65
6. Wendy Shmaltz - Fly - 65
7. Bud Boudrea - Sam - 64
8. Laura Hicks - Jag - 64
9. Kelly Bradley - Jim - 62
10. Rene LaBree - Glen - 60
11. Bud Boudreau - Delta - 60
12. Gerald Bunney - Ladd - 57
13. Dennis Edwards - Nap - 54
14. Gene Weringa - Wills - 54
15. Tim Naasz - Ryn - 50
16. Dennis Edwards -Ben - 33
17. Sue Noll - Kirk - 20
18. Laura Hicks - Zac - RT
19. Sue Noll - Britton - RT
20. Bud Boudreau - Swael - RT
21. Herb Aronson - Bobbie - RT
22. Rene LaBree - Jazz - RT
23. Larry Adams - Mirk - RT

Thursday's Nursery - (11 dogs)
1. Kelly Bradley - Jim - 60
2. Wendy Schmaltz - Ann - 49
3. Herb Aronson - Jake Jr - 40
4. Bud Boudreau - Val - 39
5. Gene Weringa - Jebediah - 28
6. Gerald Bunney - Lyle - 28
7. Laura Hicks - Cash - RT
8. Bud Boudreau - Tine - RT
9. Wendy Schmaltz - Dot - RT
10. Dennis Edwards - Craig - RT
11. Wacey Kornemann - Whip - RT

Thursday's Open Ranch - (10 dogs)
1. Dennis Edwards - Craig - 76
2. Dustin Hicks - Kat - 44
3. Gene Weringa - Abby - 37
4. Gerald Bunney - Lyle - 31
5. Bud Boudreau - Annie - 31
6. Wacey Kornemann - Whip - RT
7. Rene LaBree - Jace - RT
8. John Kellner - Nate - RT
9. Shari Lindquist - Paige - RT
10. Gene Weringa - Rob Roy - DQ

Thursday's Novice (3 dogs)
1. Jamie Spring - Hope - 7
2. Charles Lindquist - Callie - DQ
3. Shari Lindquist - DQ

Friday's Open (23 dogs)
1. Kelly Bradley - Jim - 87
2. Bud Boudreau - Delta - 77
3. Bud Boudreau - Swael - 77
4. Gerald Bunney - Ladd - 76
5. Rene LaBree - Jazz - 76
6. Larry Adams - Mirk - 74
7. Rene LaBree - Glen - 73
8. Wendy Schmaltz - Gin - 73
9. Bud Boudreau - Sam - 72
10. Herb Aronson - Bobbie - 68
11. Dennis Edwards - Ben - 67
12. Sue Noll - Britton - 66
13.. Laura Hicks - Jag - 65
14. Dennis Edwards - Nap - 63
15. Larry Adams - Raid - 62
16. Gerald Bunney - Lou - 60
17. Gerald Bunney - Lucky - 60
18. Wendy Schmaltz - Fly - RT
19. Laura Hicks - Zac - RT
20. Gene Weringa - Wills - RT
21. Tim Naasz - Ryn - RT
22. Sue Noll - Kirk - RT
23. Bud Boudreau - Jay - RT

Friday's Nursery (13 dogs)
1. Kelly Bradley - Jim - 45
2. Bud Boudreau - Val - 39
3. Wendy Schmaltz - Dot - 28
4. Wendy Schmaltz - Ann - 19
5. Herb Aronson - Jake Jr - RT
6. Gerald Bunney - Lyle - RT
7. Bud Boudreau - Tine - RT
8. Dennis Edwards - Craig - RT
9. Wacey Kornemann - Whip - RT
10. Joni Swanke - Will - RT
11. Laura Hicks - Cash - RT
12. Rene LaBree - Jace - DQ
13. Gene Weringa - Jebediah - DQ

Friday's Open Ranch (13 dogs)
1. Gerald Bunney - Lyle - 55
2. Joni Swanke - Sweep - 50
3. Joni Swanke - Lucy - 50
4. Gene Weringa - Abby - 41
5. Dennis Edwards - Craig - 37
6. Bud Boudreau - Annie - 36
7. Dustin Hicks - Kat - 32
8. Joni Swanke - Griz - 31
9. Rene LaBree - Jace - RT
10. Gene Weringa - Rob Roy - RT
11. Wacey Kornemann - Whip - DQ
12. Shari Lindquist - Paige - DQ
13. John Kellnery - Nate - DQ

Friday's Novice (5 dogs)
1. Jamie Spring - Hope - 39
2. Amanda Klaboe - Nat - RT
3. Shari Lindquist - Wren - RT
4. Charles Lindquist - Callie - DQ
5. Jan Stebbins - Jake - DQ

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kelley Creek SDT - UT trip

The 4th of July around our place can be pretty exciting so it was hard to pack up and leave knowing the party my little town likes to throw. We were well rewarded for our efforts though!

Jamie Spring (she lives north of me about 2 hours) and I took off on Thursday the 2nd and it was a LONG drive to Huntsville, UT! I think somehow when she and I travel together time must get lost somewhere. :-) Probably because we're gabbing so much we don't know where we are half the time.

The country is very green all the way from here through WY and into UT. There is so much grass and lots of hay being put up now. Huntsville is tucked into a little valley at the base of a ski resort. It's SO beautiful!!

Kelley Creek farm is a haven for dog people. It's literally built just for this kind of event. There are ponds that Brent designed and built that the dogs are free to play in. There is plenty of room to take them for good walks as well as loads of shade to park under or tie dogs under. It's just great! They also do a bang up job at hospitality. Patsy, Shauna and Carol keep everything running very smoothly.

So, for how our dogs ran. Jag was up 6th on Friday. He was listening good but after watching several runs where the sheep were really hard to move I thought I'd let him have them at the top a bit more. Mistake! I had a heck of a time keeping them slowed down enough to be manageable after that. They were just terrified of him. So, we ended up getting through the course but it wasn't real pretty. I think we were somewhere around 12th. Then Zac ran in the 25th spot. He was his usual steady, reliable self and ended up in 6th place. We had a big bobble on the crossdrive that cost us being up there higher. You couldn't see the dog and just barely see the sheep on the last half of the crossdrive. I gave a little flank at the wrong time and he took it so we missed the panel. Such is life.

Then Cash was up in the nursery. He ran like a champ all weekend and ended up winning both go's of the nursery. He still needs a little polish to be real competitive at the finals but I was pleased with him as this was only his 3rd field trial and 5th trial all together.

Jamie's more experienced dog is injured right now so she broke her pup (16 months) out for her first trial. Hope (Jag x Reece) did really well for her first trial. She ended up 2nd in the novice in the first go and 4th in the next go. She wasn't 100% sure about the set out crew but handled her sheep SO well. Jamie was thrilled with her and I'm loving to watch this whole litter of pups come on!

The second go of Open wasn't good for Jag. Just wasn't wanting to listen so I ran out and had a little meeting with him. Zac was really good in the heat. He was out of the money but had a really good run. There were just a LOT of really good runs that day.

Anyway, our trip was a success on many fronts and we love getting to travel together so you can't beat that! Our trials are next weekend so busy getting geared up for that.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Young dog pictures

Here are the pictures of the young dogs we have right now. More information about them is in the post prior to this one.
(Dustin working Speck)

(Dose - his name came because he was the second pup we kept off of Kat, Uno was first)

(Rock - doesn't he have a HUGE tongue!)

(Bet - little miss thing!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Young dogs

I love starting dogs. Well, I like the finesse part of training to. I guess I'm really fond of real work and just using dogs as well. Okay, I'll admit it I just like working dogs in general. But, one of the best aspects is to see young dogs come on with their training. That year to two year old range is so much fun because they just seem to soak things up. It can be a bit repetitive in the beginning but the amount of change in a dog in that time frame is really cool.

I'm not a real fast trainer. Probalby because I HATE drilling even more than a lot of dogs do. It bores me to tears. Most of my young dogs start doing real jobs before they really even know their flanks. As long as I have a good stop, recall and they're working off body language well I'll just start using them. I guess you could say it's a bit of baptism by fire. It doesn't work for every dog and sure wouldn't suit a lot of people but for the most part it works for me.

We have a couple of young dogs right now we're just getting started. Dose and Speck are off of Kat and Jag. So, linebred on my Nell. Speck is Dustin's pup and Dose is mine. It started out the other way around but as we're getting them started we realized Speck is going to fit Dustin best. It's his first pup to start and I want to set him up for as much success as possible. Speck is a very natural, talented, level headed pup. Dose is also very natural and talented but not as level headed just yet. It could change but for right now Speck reminds me a lot of his mother. Dustin thinks the sun rises and sets over Kat so he's pretty excited about Speck!

I also have two yearlings right now. Rock (almost 16 months old) and Bet (almost 15 months old). Rock is by Jag and off of Jamie Spring's Reece. He is the class clown around here. Rock is just flat fun to be around! He has more try and heart than a lot of dogs his age already though. He is a bit of an adrenaline junkie. He's not grippy and has plenty of come forward. He's a thinker and tries really hard to figure out what I want. If things get a bit wild he likes to jump right into it but he'll settle with age. I'm not worried. I love the fire in his belly.

Bet is by Don Helsley's Cap and out of Tim Naasz's Ryn (Nell x Spot). She's the kind of dog that everything comes easy for her. She didn't necessarily want to take any training until recently though. In the last few weeks she has just come on gangbusters though. I started using her to gather the pairs (a pretty good sized bunch) in the evenings and her confidence went through the roof! She has decided she's "The Dog" now and whatever I want to do she's sure she can handle. It's really fun to watch.

I have a few pictures of them and if my computer will ever let me get them uploaded I'll put them on here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Another lambing season in the books!

Another lambing season has come and gone. It's always pretty intense here for about 3 weeksand right in the middle of it I sometimes wonder what I'm thinking. I really do enjoy it though and love to see the lambs racing all over. It's just so much fun to watch them enjoy jumping off of little embankments.

(A couple of day old lambs)

Dustin and Brady are really growing up and were a tremendous help this year. Dustin and his dog Kat can get any job I could do done by himself now. So, I can send him one way while I go another. Cuts the time in half now. Brady is really good at running the bander and paints most of the numbers on fairly straight anyway. :-)

(Dustin and Kat moving a pair out)

(Dustin and Brady painting and banding)

The dogs love lambing season and it was fun to watch Cash figure things out this year. Jag is my main dog for all ranch work now but it's nice to have another one coming up that understand the job so well. Zac and Nell are always great help but are getting enough age on them now that I don't use them very hard. Just enough that they enjoy it but don't get sore.

(Kat and her mothering skills with a chilled lamb)

So, as one season passes another starts and we're getting ready to move on to haying. I still spend most evenings checking on the water for the pairs. It's SO much fun to watch the "lambie races" and very rewarding to see them grow every day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quick catchup

Spring (which has finally arrived here) is probably the busiest time of year for us around here. So, it's made it a bit difficult to update the blog. I have taken a number of pictures and hope to get them uploaded soon.

Shearing was at the end of April and was very successful. I used Mist and Cash for their first time in the shearing pens. They both did extremely well and I was very happy with them. They have both also helped with lambing and have really stepped up to the plate.

Lambing is going well. A lot of singles this year but after the winter our livestock have had I'm just grateful that they all bred up so well. We've had 150 ewes lambs in 2 1/2 weeks so I'm pleased.

It's also branding season and it's the biggest social time of the year for us around here. It's hard work, no doubt, but the joy of it totally trumps the amount of work. Watching Dustin and Brady mature into such great help is also a benefit!

I hope to get a more detailed post up soon!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

L & M Sheepdog Trial

We're hosting another sheepdog trial on July 16th and 17th at the ranch here in Allen, SD. Dan Keeton has agreed to judge for us and we're excited to have him. We'll be running on ewes with May lambs. We have done this before and it has proved to be challenging.

If you'd like more information about it or an entry form you can go to .

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oh spring, come out, come out wherever you are!

Well, since winter won't let go of it's grip on us I figured I might as well get even more snowy pictures. We have all decided 3 blizzards in 3 weeks has passed the level of discomfort for all of us. Calving during all of this has made it even more disheartening. We figure spring (or summer eventually) has to come so we just keeping praying for warmer weather.

The picture above was taken by my youngest son, Brady, earlier today. He and his brother Dustin cake the steers every morning before they start school. The wild turkey have figured out that there are good leftovers for them in and around where the calves eat. The boys both really like wild life and the turkeys are really strutting about right now.

This picture was taken the day after our 3rd blizzard. We had brought the sheep closer to the house before it hit. Trying to get them back out to their pasture took several days as the snow had blocked all of the gates other than on to the main gravel road.

It's hard to tell in this picture (taken the same day as the one above) but we got a foot and a half of snow out this storm. The previous 14 inches had melted quite a bit so there is a LOT of water under all that snow.
Here are the ewes enjoying some hay that had just come out of the processor. There starting to bag up quite a bit. We were supposed to shear next Tuesday but there is no way we'll be able to get them through the corral and to the barn by then. So we've moved it back a week. We had one ewe lamb in a snow storm last night and now we're just hoping the rest will hold off a little while longer. The new lamb is doing great! Tough little buggers.

This picture was actually taken right before the second blizzard. We got about 10 inches or so out of the first and that's what is still in this picture.

Here are my guard dogs looking like they're really ready for spring as well! Nala (standing) is an Akbash from Julie Hansmire of CO and is about 2 years old. She is absolutely fantastic! Simba (laying down) comes from Ellen Beach of MT and is an Akbash/Pyr. Simba is about 5 years old. He's the fiercer of the two with predators but the more easily caught as well. It's been a long winter for my boy! Nala is helping out by giving him some love.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring is in the air...

and another blizzard is around the corner! We think winter has been long enough. Doesn't that mean we should be able to skate through spring without all the normal spring snow storms? That would be my vote anyway. Unfortunately the weather man is predicting otherwise for the beginning of next week.

It's supposed to get up to almost 70 degrees today. The wind is blowing a bit but when the sun is shining this much it's hard to even complain about the wind. This is normal for our spring weather. Up and down a lot. We have to get the high mag mineral put out because the grass is starting to green up but in a couple of days the grass could all be covered up again.

The neighbor's bulls have helped calving get started a little early for us this year. Jag, Cash and I went and moved a few pairs (slowly) yesterday. It was Cash's first time helping with pairs. He was a bit to pushy but learned quickly. It was fun to see.

Well, I'm off to enjoy one more beautiful spring day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Thought I'd share a little about one of my up and coming dogs. This is Cash and he just turned 2 years old. I got him from my friend Shannon Fritz. He's a grandson of my Nell through Shannon's Kate (Spot x Nell). His sire is Shannon's Jim who came from Bobby Henderson.

Cash is such a fun dog to work. He has loads of try and wants to be a partner more than anything. He has a few quirky behaviors. For some reason he has a pretty big fear of the guard dogs. No explainable reason either. They've never attacked him or even bothered him really. He's getting over it and seems to just ignore them for the most part now. I was making a pretty big issue of it in the beginning and just continued to make it worse. When I backed off and just let him sort it out himself that's pretty much what he did.

Cash will be my nursery dog this year. He has one leg on him now and hopefully he'll run well at the spring trials. He's a line dog like his grandma, Nell. He's very similiar in working style to Nell actually.

This will be Cash's first year helping with lambing and I think he'll be a great addition to the team. He's been helping dog break the calves that come in during the winter and he's been a great at that. I really appreciate that he's good at working in a multiple dog situation already as well. We're all pretty attached to the "Cash-ew Nut" at my house and I'm hopeful he'll be my next open dog.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Where the buffalo roam!

The tribe's buffalo pasture borders our west pasture. It's always fun to be out riding and see them in the next pasture. What is not so much fun is that they're getting out on a regular basis now. The snow storm back in November buried a lot of fence in our country. Most of us actually had to put fence over snow drifts in some spots because it was to hard by the time we could get to it to even dig it out right away. The buffalo fence hasn't been fixed yet unfortunately.

We put it up the best we can in the spots that we've found but there's 6000 acres of buffalo pasture and it gets pretty rough in spots. We talked to the tribal parks department and there supposed to be sending a crew out to get it up again. We're hopeful.

When Mike and I were first married he would go help the tribe gather and ship buffalo fairly often. It was always exciting but I hate to admit I'm pretty darn intimidated by them. They're SO much faster than cattle and don't take being pressured well at all. One year, a teenage girl decided to help. She had been told that with buffalo you just kind of hang back and try not to put to much pressure on them. Make the right way real easy and the wrong direction a little less inviting. She rode way to close to one bull and he turned on her and had her horse down before she even know what hit her. Thankfully there was someone close enough to distract the buffalo long enough she could crawl up a tree. I tend to remember that story every time we need to move them anywhere!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Processing calves


We take in calves for another cattleman to feed for the winter. They go to our cousin for summer grass in May. As the order buyer gets the steers bought they're shipped to our house. We process (brand, vaccinate and pour) them as they come in. Usually 50 - 100+ at a time. We work around the boys' school work so that the four of us can take care of it without any extra help. We introduce the dogs to the calves as we're moving them in the corral and up into the tub and alley. We don't use the dogs once they're in the alley as it's solid. We've been doing this long enough now that my family runs calves through pretty quickly. I do think there's some sort of murphy's law that says when we get the bigger loads in it has to be cold, snowy or windy. Sometimes all of the above!
(Jag watching a bunch that's been worked already.)

Anyway, the dogs will bring a bunch of about 14-15 up the return alley and into the tub. We are there to open and close gates for them. I like to spread the work out between all of my dogs from time to time but I do have a few favorites when it comes to this work. Jag and Zac know the job so well that it would be easy to just take them all the time but Zac is retired and I don't want to shorten Jag's career by over using him. Dustin takes Kat and she really excels at this work. Well, as long as Dustin is there. It doesn't even do me any good to take Kat out if he's not there as she wants nothing to do with working for me anymore.

(Kat bringing another bunch to the tub.)

Cash has just started helping with it this year. He turned 2 in January. He can be a bit gung ho at times and wants to go after every steer that comes of of the chute but he's taking less reminders to lay still until needed now. He's also dealing with working with several different dogs at the same time and getting better about only taking his commands. He's proving to be a very useful dog. He's also figured out that he likes be next to the chute just in case one of the calves hasn't been castrated yet!

(Cash working with Jag as backup)

It can take several hours to get it all done and move the calves to pasture but we all really enjoy the time spent together. Even the boys really seem to enjoy it. They both would like to brand every calf but we make them trade off between that and bringing calves up the alleyway. When it's cold the fight is ON because both of them would like to be close to the branding stove! :-)

(Jag turning one back)

We need to get our own fall calves run through tomorrow. We'll have to gather and move them to the corrals first. Should be enough work to spread it out to a few dogs anyway. Nell and Jag will probably do the pasture work and we'll let Kat and Cash work the pens. It's supposed to be nice tomorrow. Not sure if we'll really know how to handle that.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Black Hills Stock Show

The winter is pretty slow for us on the trial front. We're so thankful to have the opportunity to run at the Black Hills Stock Show. It's a great chance to get together with other dog people and catch up. It's also a really good venue to get working dogs in front of the public. There are a lot of spectators there who become genuinely interested in working dogs and how they can help their operations. It's a nice thing to see.

It's not a sanctioned trial and there is one class. It's a figure 8 pattern around two barrels, Y chute and then a pen. It's a timed trial and as such is very easy for the crowd to understand. I'm not a huge fan of timed trials but have to admit they are an adrenaline rush.

This was Dustin's first year to compete there. He and Kat have come so far together it's really great to see. I ran Kat until she was 3 years old and fully trained. Dustin helped with everything dog related for 6 months to prove to us he was serious about owning a dog. When he had done that, Kat became his dog. He still helps with anything related to the dogs.

It's really fun for me to see the bond and the partnership these two have together. It reminds me quite a bit of the team Zac and I have always been. She always did well for me but she never really gave her heart over to me. She has more than done that with Dustin. She will do anything for him.

So, back to the Stock Show. Dustin and Kat didn't advance past the preliminary round but their run was something to be proud of. When Dustin started running her he would pretty much "default" to her judgement on everything. He wasn't truly running her but letting her run it all. In the last year that has completely changed and he is now a partner with her but has stepped up to be the handler. It took her awhile to trust that he really knew what he was doing and give the "reins" back to him but she has now. His timing, judgement, stock sense and attitude have really come a LONG ways as well. I'm SO proud of him!!

I had a good time getting together with friends as well as running my dogs. Jag is fighting a really nasty infection right now and it was clearly obvious to me that he wasn't himself out there. I really shouldn't have run him. Zac had wisdom and experience on his side and did a great job. He's so much fun to run at these kind of events. He LOVES crowds and it really gets him pumped up. He's very level headed though and handles whatever is thrown at him. He made it through the first two rounds to end up 4th in the finals. Good job Zac!

Looking forward to next year.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I'd like to wax philosophical about family and all the different kinds and meanings that go along with the word but honestly I'm not feeling real great today so will be brief.
Anyway, the above picture is a partial "family" shot of the Jag and Reece (outside edges) with 3 of their half grown pups. Rock is the one I'm holding and he's mostly his mother's son in personality. I love that goofball! The two Jamie has are Rye (sitting up more) and Hope (mostly black). Hope is very much like Jag's side of the family and Rye seems to be a bit of both right now. The pups are all starting out really well and both Jamie and I are excited about them.
Now, for those of you who don't know Jamie. She has become one of my best friends in the last few years and to me feels more and more like a sister. We celebrate family highs and lows together. We talk dogs but more often than not, we discuss husbands, kids and ranching. So, this picture doesn't include all of my family (or even close to it actually) but it does have some important members of it!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and a great start to the New Year. I have enjoyed the last two weeks immensely! We had family visit and spent a good deal of time hanging out together. I'm very fortunate to be able to get together with quite a few of my extended family members for all of the holidays.

My dad is the pastor of our church, Living Word Community Church. We meet in the old Movie Theater in our nearby town (well 30 miles but it's our closest town). We're a non demoninational, ranching kind of church who live by the word of the Bible. We had quite a few special performances (singing, cowboy poetry, narrations, etc) by people in our area at our church this month. I'm always amazed by how much talent out little community has. Pretty exciting!

We start school again tomorrow. The boys aren't overly thrilled with it but I'm ready to get cracking on it again. We're taking down the Christmas decorations tonight. I'm not ready! It's pretty amazing when you think about the whole Christmas story. Maybe if we can all remember it more throughout the year we'll be better people for it.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!