a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Friday, December 7, 2012


I had forgotten how EXCITING it is to work a young pup that is "full" of it.   I was careful not to start Champ too young.  I think I started Yoko too early (before she was really ready)  I started Champ at 10 1/2 mos.  He will be a year old December 19th.
Lots of people asked me why I didn't start him earlier.  I wanted to be sure he could take pressure.  Plus, I didn't want to break his enthusiasm.  No doubt, good decision.  He can take pressure and nothing is going to squelch his enthusiasm.  Just the same, I can call him off easily and he can lie around in the desert off leash and just watch my sheep graze.  When I see "See Sheep," he does his 'karate' stance READY to work and when I say "That'll do," slapping my leg, he comes right off.

Jet was pretty stiff this morning. 
I was only going to have him load my sheep and then put him in the kennel with the other old dogs.  But, he talked me into taking him.  He rode first class in the front seat.  Glad he only weighs 38 lbs.  I couldn't lift anymore than that!

Sometimes I forget how young Champ is.....like the last time I went to the desert.  I put him up by the truck with his mother OFF lead.  My intentions were to let the sheep out of the stock trailer to graze a bit.  I didn't put Champ on a cable, because I didn't want him to snap another one, or break his neck.  Sheep came out of the trailer quietly and then there was a black whirling dervish...bing, badda, bing.  Champ zipped in, split off one barb and ran her for quite a long distance until he thought better of it.  The joke was on me.  Come on Suzanne.  He is 11 mos. :0)

Champ working his sheep

The sheep were really light.  Champ looked, maybe, too wide at the Scott Glen clinic.  In fact, Scott asked me if I was worried that he would be too wide.  My answer, "No."  I hear that lots of the Buzz pups are wide.  But, I know the dam real well.  And, I am still kicking out Kilt at the age of 8 yrs. :0)
Actually, Champ appears wide in the arena, but in the field, he is right where I'd like to see him.  But, this day in the desert I had to kick him out at the top.  He couldn't get around my flighty sheep.  I threw a GALLON water jug at him (one he couldn't pick up) and my stock stick a few times at him.  He finally started to give some ground at the top.  If he is too close at the top, I can hear and see his teeth "click."  LOL

Champ on a small outrun.

It was a beautiful day and my friend, Jean brought her dogs out to work with me.  She also brought, roast beef sandwiches and Saporro beer.  That's a friend, indeed.  I never charge anyone for coming to the desert with me.  All I ask is for a sandwich and a good beer.  No Coor lite or Bud lite.  Yuck.  I have standards!

My girls haven't done any long outruns since last year except for  maybe, Porterville.  Jean held the sheep up in the low hills for me with Tug.  Both Kilt and Yoko did fine.  Yoko is scopier than her mother thanks to Jet.  Kilt is a bit narrower runner and sometimes a bit too close on the top, but I continue to work with her.  Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks.  At least Kilt is slowing down enough for me to think...maybe, even handle her :0)  It was a fabulous day and I love having good company and good dogs join me.

Jean's beautiful Tug.
Yoko AKA spirit dog.
Jean is setting and holding sheep for me way up there in the low hills.  Yoko is waiting to be sent.  AGAIN, there is Yoko's orb next to her.  Only photo all day that showed the orb, Yoko's spiritual friend. :0)
The next day, I took the dogs over to Terry's ranch.  I put more suitable sheep in the field for Champ.  I had Champ off lead when I spotted a roadrunner in the field about 100 yds away.  That was first roadrunner I have ever seen in his field.  I told Champ to stay and zoomed in on the roadrunner to take a photo.  All I could see in my view finder was SHEEP coming right at me.  Chaaaaamp!  He decided this would be a fine time to gather his sheep while I was busy not watching.  I can't get mad at that.  Good puppy.  Suzanne, are you ever going to learn?  I have learned I can't take photos and work Champ.  He is too full of it.  I wish there was a pro or semi pro photographer close by who could take some photos of him for me in the field.  I don't think there are any, but it doesn't hurt to get on some lists and ask.

He is looking so good on suitable sheep.  Scott helped me stop his flanking.  He is coming in straight on his sheep.  I let him come in at his own pace.  I stop him and l let him back up at his pace (which is intense).  I'm loving his look.  He is now starting to remind of his dad working.  We are doing small gathers. He is balancing very nicely and covers when I am wrong trying to stop him.  He, on occasion, is doing some small drives. I am allowing him to do that.  Then I call him off and have him do a small gather.  On occasion, my timing isn't just right and he sneaks in there for a bite. He gets a verbal reprimand, but I'm not too worried about it given his age.  If he didn't want to bite, I would be more concerned.
The ever changing sky in the desert. 
Time stands still for me when I am out here with my dogs and sheep.  I am in LOVE with the high desert.

All in all, I'm very excited about Champ.  I wish I could look into a crystal ball to see what the future is going to bring.  But, that would ruin all the fun. eh?

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