Monday, June 27, 2011

They make me laugh

Took K & K out for the evening jog along side of the bike - it really is an awesome way to exercise them! When we got back I told them to "stay" on the driveway while I put the bike in the barn. They each held their stay very nicely - and each in a way that was uniquely them....

Kipp was standing when I said stay, and he stood in that position the entire time. Kenzi stayed in the spot I left her, but tried out a dozen different positions. after I got back to them I pulled out my cell phone and started taking pictures... The pictures are low quality but hilarious (IMO at least!) so I'm posting them -

Kipp - just stands there because he was told to "stay"

Kenzi - "you're back!! Yay! Please, please, please can I get up now?!?!?"

Kipp - continues to stand there because "stay" means "stay"

Kenzi - "I'm still right where you left me, but can I pleeeeeease have a belly rub?? Pretty, pretty pleeeeeeease???"

Kipp - still standing there (because "stay" still means "stay") but now thinking "What in the world is that crazy dog doing?!?"

Kenzi - Still has her butt in the right spot, but has figured that since the appeals to the person haven't worked, she'd try to check out the surroundings - no big deal if Kipp was in the way, she'd fit underneath and try to get a better whiff of what was in the woodpile over there...

Goofy dogs!!

Switching gears a bit. My Missy girl is still doing okay. She is slowing down and tires easily, but still has her BC spark and trots out to the car and can jump in at the mention of "sheep".

When we got to the barn tonight I saw that one new mom and baby were missing. Of course right away I'm thinking "oh no, what happened??" But it turned out that the ewe had just decided to stay out in the pasture with her baby.

Not her brightest idea and I wasn't coming back later to put her in when she felt like it. So Miss and I trekked up to where the ewe was. But she wasn't budging. Kind of weird because usually the one lone sheep will high tail it to the barn. But she had her baby and still wanted to grab something to eat. I finally grabbed the lamb (who protested greatly) and took him back to the barn so mom would follow - which she did. Miss followed her from behind and seemed quite happy about having a job to do. At least the silly sheep made my dog happy tonight!!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Kipp is a dog that likes order and routine. He wants to know just what is expected and he does it (well, unless there is something very tempting over there and he thinks he can get away with it). He has always gotten along wonderfully with Missy because she is very predictable - a bit grumpy and unforgiving. Try taking her ball and get bit, tug games only went for a minute or two until Miss gave Kipp "the eye" then he'd drop the tug. But it was very black and white and predictable, so that was just fine with Kipp.

Kenzi threw poor Kipp for a loop when she first arrived. His orderly world was turned upside down by a teenage spaz. She was crazy, she wanted to play, she was not all about order and routine, she was “woo-hoo life is great what can I try next”. Missy dealt with it the way she always does - with a glare and slight lip curl if Kenz crossed her line. Very effective. Kipp on the other hand is a bottom of the totem pole dog. He wasn't going to tell her to stay out of his space or to knock it off. Wasn't his place. It took him a few weeks, but he adjusted to it and learned that the crazy kid wasn't here just to wreck havoc on his orderly, predictable life and that she was kinda fun after all.

So life is good for the two of them 95% of the time. They wrestle, they play, they chew on each other's ears. However, there are a few things that still bother Kipp.

His “kennel” command is a good example. After I'm done exercising/training/working the dogs in the morning I say “Kennel” and Kipp runs right in his kennel then waits for me to shut the gate. He always has. It's just what you do when you're done playing – you go to your kennel, get a drink and snooze. Not Kenzi. Her trip to her kennel is something that Billy in the Family Circus would be proud of. Check this out, check that out, look! there's a cat!, stop in Kipp's kennel grab a drink, go to her kennel waiting outside with eyes that say “do I have to?”. I picture Kipp watching thinking, “what is she doing? – that's not right!”. So Kipp has found a new way to deal with it. He runs in his kennel, then stands there and barks at Kenzi until she is in her's. Even though dogs can't exactly speak, it's pretty clear what he's saying – “I'm being good but SHE isn't!!”

It amuses me greatly.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

This little cutie made her appearance yesterday and was out in the pasture with mom and the rest of the sheep today. In my opinion, newborn lambs are one of the cutest creatures out there. After lambing out numerous times in December - March, I'm really loving this June lambing right now. The weather is soooo much more conducive to outdoor babies!

Missy continues to do pretty well and I'm so happy for each good day I get with her right now. She was actually antsy tonight - like she's always gotten when she is bored and needs something to do. I told her we were going to the barn to see the "baby sheeper" and she made a beeline for the car. She is fascinated by lambs. She lays there and stares at them, but then if a curious lamb comes and tries to play with her, she'll awkwardly try to play along.

In other news - two more of my patterns went up on Knit Picks today! Diamond Twist Socks and my new favorite pattern Woof! Socks - Dogs themed socks - the perfect project for a dog loving sock knitter (like me!!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

After chores tonight I walked around with Miss just a bit. As she's aged, our walks change from a purposeful exercise to a leisurely stroll where we both enjoy other's company. When I used to walk over to the barn with Miss, I'd take a ball and throw it for her as we were crossing the field and pasture. We'd get to the barn, she'd drop the ball and we'd do chores. After chores she'd grab her ball and we'd play more ball on the way home. She'd probably run 3 miles chasing that ball on the 1/2 mile walk to the barn.

Now we just walk. Actually we drive over the the barn, then walk around a bit. She sniffs and checks everything out and checking back in with me every so often. The past few months I haven't walked with her a whole lot. She's been sore and the other two dogs are pretty rambunctious. She gets stressed when I yell out to them. I think she's worried that she might have done something wrong. So the past week I've made it a point to get out and just wander around with her.

Tonight she checked out the woodchuck hole under the corn crib. I'm pretty sure there was something there the way she cocked her head. She wandered along the edge of the field nose to the ground, taking in all the smells. She even dropped to the ground to roll in something (I quickly called her off of that!)

Then we just sat. It was a gorgeous evening. Sunny, perfect temperatures. A lovely quite evening to spend with a dear old friend. Missy flopped down beside me and pawed my hand when it wasn't petting her. I wanted to tell her just how wonderful she was and just how much she had blessed my life. She would have listened. But how do you really put it into words?

So I just asked her the usual cooing “are you a good girl?” to which she wagged her tail and pawed my hand again. Her answer was clear - she was indeed my very happy good girl. It made me smile as I blinked back my tears.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My Girl

I had plans for this month. Really get into the blogging thing, start some blog contests, get a couple new patterns knit up/written up, get Kenzi prepped for SAR evals. Yup, it was going to be a busy month.

Then it came to a screeching halt. Last Friday I found out that Missy has Hemangiosarcoma. She had been a bit off for a couple weeks, but I chalked it up to older dog stiffness and construction noises. She had had a check up in March and things were fine. Then I felt the mass in her abdomen. And I knew. The vet confirmed it the next day. It hit me like a ton of bricks. She's only twelve years old, and a young twelve at that. The average person wouldn't guess that she was over nine. We were supposed to have another two or three good years together at least.

My plans for the month seem insignificant. They'll wait.

Missy is my girl. My sidekick and partner for the last nine years. I don't want to think about life
without her. But now she'll be gone far too soon.

If I needed to describe Miss in just one word it would be “good”. Not because she's perfect, but because she is good through and through. All she ever wanted in life was a person to belong to and tell her that she was a good girl. The person I got her from told me she was a quitter. No, far from it. She just wanted so bad to please that it made her nervous when she thought she wasn't doing something right. When she came to live with us a whole new world was thrust on her. But in this world she had a family that told her that she was good. And in exchange she gave us, gave me, everything.

She is one of those dogs that never really needed training. It was kind of pointless. I tell her what to do and she does it. Don't go in the basement. And for nine years she's just laid at the top of the basement steps. Her small repertoire of tricks? Taught in about 3 minutes each. She picks up on words and cues incredibly fast.

We learned basic stock work together in a hit and miss fashion. Quit has never been in her vocabulary. And despite my lack of training ability she became a great chore dog. So the past week, I've taken her out in the barnyard and let her gather the sheep to me. Simple work, but I smile when see the spark in her eyes for the job. For one more time it's me and my dog and life is good.

I've spent a lot of time this past week with Missy doing things she likes, spoiling her. Whatever it takes to let her know that she is my girl and the best dog in the whole world. She's eating it up. She's on pain meds and her attitude is still great. She's loving the cars rides, the extra attention, the chance to do chores, the bits of food slipped to her from my plate. I'm taking lots of pictures, too. It's bittersweet, but she doesn't know that. She just knows that she has a person and a family and that life is good.