Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tell Me Thursday 2012 #7 (Guest Blog)

Rafe here.

Miss Pippin told me I better do this "Tell Me Thursday" chore. Said her scribe runs out of Typing by the time Pip wants to bark. Don't know what she rightly means, think this is her answer to Question 4.

1. Jorgen would like to know what skill would you like to have that you don't currently have?

Well, now, I think it'd be right handy if I could carry flakes of hay and distribute them for the Sheep. My handler does that now, while I just lie down and tell the sheep to Stay Right There. Gets kinda boring at times, like to switch jobs with her. Not sure she likes to lie down in the pasture though.

2. If someone were going to play you in a movie, who do you think it would be?

Heck, guess it'd be one of those fellows in Brokeback Mountain. Not sure how good-looking they were, barely saw them. That's okay, so long as he's not a rough-coat black-and-white.

Here's a out-take from a Professional Photo Shoot. Said I might be a dog food model. Yep, lost out to the prick-eared black-and-white rough coat. All good, I got paid and didn't have to sell bad kibble.

3. Kelsey wants to know what is a quality that you admire in a dog but would never fit with you?

Hmm. Met a mini-Aussie once, a little Mosquito she was, fun to play with. But lord, could not live with that energy buzzing around.

4. If you had just enough money to pay someone to do one chore for you, what would it be?

Lie down at the top. A dog just gets going, moving those sheep, and then gets told to lie down? Sheesh.

5. Are you a procrastinator, a doitnower (I made that word up), or something in between?

Drink when I'm thirsty, sleep when I'm tired, eat when I see something on the counter.


Thursday, February 09, 2012

Tell Me Thursday--Scribe remembers her job

My scribe has been full of her usual excuses for why we haven't blogged even though I've nudged and poked and prodded (I don't plead--there are limits).  Anyway, my particularly cute face and a RSS reading break at the right moment moved her to action.

Here's my cute face for those wondering

This week's questions:
1. Robin wants to know what your ideal number of dogs is? 

My ideal number of dogs is the number that is easiest to boss around.  I have six dogs right now and that seems pretty easy.  I'm sure I could handle a couple more.  Cats, now that's a very different story.  They are wily creatures with unpredictable habits. I think zero cats would be quite sufficient; however the people seem to just keep adding more of them.

2. Lora wants to know if you find that your dogs are better or worse after time off from training?

I don't ever let my dogs off from training.  If you do that, they end up thinking they don't have to do what you say and then you're forced to put them on their backs. The people don't much like that, so to keep them from bothering me with their rules,  I've learned it's better to keep a constant training regimen going with my dogs.

3. What is your favorite power tool? What power tool do you wish you had?

I have a very powerful bark.  And also a powerful kiss.  Those serve me just dandy.

4. What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wished to be the dog of a Queen.  (Hahahaha, got my wish.)

5. How many of your friends are not "dog people"?

What's that?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

TMT: Thankfulness edition #1

1. What are you thankful for this week? 

I'm thankful for my people, who give me food at Breakfast time and at Dinner time, since I wouldn't be very good at getting it for myself.  I'm thankful that we could move to a new house and my people gave me and the other dogs our fields.  I'm thankful for the people my people bring to our house so I can practice my kissing skills.   I'm thankful our house is warm; our sheep are happy and fat; and our dog beds are fluffy and clean.  

2. How do you deal with a squeaker/shrieker/noisy dog? 

Put him on his back and tell him to shut up.   As the boss of the house, I find that works pretty well.  I don't do it except in the most egregious cases, though.  Works on cats, too--or at least *that* cat.

3. Barbara wants to know: what would you say is ONE skill or attribute needed to be successful? 

Delicate, deliberate, well aimed kissing.

4. Pippin (that me!!) wants to know: what are your favorite games? 

I like the game where my scribe and I walk down the driveway and then I stop (since she thinks I'm too dumb to stay out of the road--but that's part of the pretend I play with her) and she walks on to get the mail.  Then, when she comes back, I run, run, run back to the house.  I also like the game in the early morning where I slither onto the bed like a snake and give tiny, tiny kisses right on the scribe's mouth.  She likes it too.  No, really.

5. What are some of your favorite strategies for dealing with winter?

I grow more fur and that helps a lot (but then it has to get brushed out in the spring).  In the winter, I'm glad I'm not a slickie, smoothie like Rafe, Kyzer and Lad.  (But for their part, they don't have to deal with ice balls sticking to the fur on their feet since they don't have any fur there)

Here are some pics of how our little farm gets ready for winter (all taken by Tansy's scribe, who has an expert eye for a good photograph):

Thursday, October 06, 2011

TMT #12: Lottery!

It's TMT day again, friends, and thanks to Laura over at Crooks and Crazies for another week of thought-provoking prompts.

1. If you won the lottery (a big one... I'm talking stupid muchos cash) what would you do with the money?

I would buy another house--we could call it a dog house--that had many rooms to house lots of people.  I would go visit them every day and give them food and kisses--even if they didn't want the kisses, I would give kisses to them because they would be my people who I bought to give kisses to.  I would also buy 107 dog beds with lots of cushiness and thick bolsters--nicer even than the ones the scribes look at on the computer window. I would buy Rafe, Hamish, Kyzer and Lad some more pasture land so they could have some more sheep, and I would buy Tansy 13 soft toys that would be in a special room in the dog house that only she could go in so that only she could play with them and they wouldn't get destuffed by some other dog (Rafe, we aren't looking at you. Nope).  I would buy Renzo some videos so he could have lots of video nights with our scribes. 

I would donate the rest to the place we got Tansy, cause they could sure use it.  And some to RDM at That'll Do Border Collie Rescue, too, because she helps other dogs like us.

2. After winning the lottery would you work a day job? If so, what would you do?

Definitely not.  I don't work a day job now.

3. Do you have any auxiliary dogs? Auxiliary dogs are dogs that are not essential to your main purpose (usually tiny, but not always). If you don't have an auxiliary dog what might you choose?

We have Renzo.  He's not tiny, but he has got some terrier in him and those are often auxiliary dogs.  He is first dog, so really, we Border Collies are kind of his auxiliaries.  

4. Do you have a favorite crock pot recipe (or other recipe) you can share?

We don't make this in a crockpot, but it's pretty good:

Quick Canine Hash
1 cup millet (or you can use bulghur or couscous if your scribes can safely handle wheat products.  One of our scribes has celiac disease, so we don't have wheat at our house)
1 cup ground meat (any meat will do; we like hamburger)
1 1/2 tsp bonemeal
1 tblsp nutritional yeast

Cook the grain, add the meat to the hot grain, stir in the other stuff.  You can add some cooked vegetables and fruit, esp. melon or banana.   Kyzer would like to mention that he's not really a fan of banana.

Serve with a nice Pinot Grigio (for scribes only)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

TMT: About me

Friends, we missed last week because there was an accident at the farm where Lad was born and my scribe got kind of caught up in it - one person broke a leg being thrown from a horse, but everyone is recovering now, Thank DoG.  Anyway, I couldn't really blame my scribe for being preoccupied and then of course she had to catch up on the work she hadn't done that day....Here we are today, though.

1. What movie do you love but are too embarrassed to admit you love it?

I know the truth is that pigs can't do that--but I still get all teary eyed watching that little pig work so hard.  "That'll do, Pig."

2. Ann wants to know: How far do you drive/travel to attend trials, clinics, lessons? How far is too far?

We travel lots of distances.  I don't travel with the scribes and trial dogs much because of my important work keeping Renzo company and kissing the nice lady who comes to let us out.  The people travel about an hour to go to lessons a couple of times a week.  They've traveled about 8 hours for clinics, trials, etc. 

Once one of the trial dogs convinces them to move into Open, they might travel a little further.  We don't have a rolling house yet so it's kind of a hubbub getting us all into a hotel room.  

My scribe, Hamish and Kyzer traveled 3600 miles to visit the Mean Man from Alberta last fall.  They stayed there for a while and had lots of adventures. They learned some things, too.  Including about mountain snowstorms.  And praire snowstorms.  And snowstorms caused by lake effect snow.  (It might have been just a tad late in the year for that kind of travel.  But, the scribe didn't consult me)

3. What is your theme song (circa Ally McBeal)?

"You've got to get up every morning with a smile on your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You're gonna find, yes, you will
That you're beautiful as you feel"

--Carol King

"I'm a Bitch; I'm a Lover
I'm a child; I'm a Mother
I'm a sinner; I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell; I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
you know you wouldn't want it any other way"

--Meredith Brooks  (But, I'm most certainly not a "Mother")

4. Laura S wants to know: If you had to choose a new dog activity, one that you had never done before, what would you choose? 

I think I would look smashing at a Canine Freestyle Dance competition

5. What would your dog choose (or scribe, if you're Pippin--hey, that's me!!)?

My scribe thinks it would be kind of neat to learn to send a terrier to ground (we don't know how to tell her that Renzo is the only terrier who will ever live at our house) 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back to TMT and it's week #9

We missed last week despite my every attempt to get the scribe going.  The terrible time of work has come for my scribe, but she has promised to try better to remember what's actually important, like being my scribe and throwing me a ball.  She'll need much reinforcement and occasional correction I think.  

1.    If you're not at the 2011 Sheepdog finals this weekend what are you planning to do?
 I'll be spending the week-end snuffling around in the tall grass, helping my scribe pick up the mail and do gardening chores, nap.  I'll have my breakfast at the Breakfast Time and my dinner at the Dinner Time.  I think my scribe rather than Tansy's scribe will be in charge of meals this week-end since I heard that Tansy's scribe might be going visiting.  My scribe isn't as skilled, but we don't starve.

My scribe will be working and watching the finals (If I were a betting kind of dog [and I most certainly am not] then I'd say that she'll keep telling herself to work but that she'll mostly be watching the finals)

2. One item you NEVER walk onto the trial field (any trial field, or training class will suffice) without?

Hmm, since I don't trial or train for things much anymore, not sure, but I guess the one thing would be my collar.

When the scribes and the trial dogs go to trials, my important job is to stay home and keep Renzo company and give the nice lady who comes to let us out kisses (see below).  Kyzer and Hamish tell me that the scribe takes her stick and the running order, which she checks obsessively and still brings them out way too early because she's got this weird time thing.  But, really, it's best not to go there so early in the morning.  I'll just say the time disease is a real challenge for all of us and leave it at that. 

3. Katy wants to know if you have a pre-run ritual that you observe?

I like a good nap and a cookie.

4. How old were you when you had your first real kiss?

Oh, probably when I was a a few days old or so.  I've been kissing for a long time.  It's kind of my specialty and I'm very good at it.

5. Bonnie wants to know what you do for yard mud control during the winter?

In the winter, our yard is frozen solid so we don't have to worry about mud.  We used to have mud at other times of year at our old house where the soil was clay and the grass was none.  Then, the scribes would spread large quantities of wood chips and when those broke down, they would spread pine shavings from the TSC store.  I think all that roughage probably really improved the soil, but we don't know that for certain since we left it behind. At our new house, the soil is sand and the grass is plentiful, so we don't really worry about mud.  Wet feet, yes, but mud, no.  We enjoy bringing the sand into the house and onto the scribes' bed so that they can enjoy it, too.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Tell me, please

Here we are again, coming in late and just under the wire.  And I totally had to beg the scribe.

1. What five things can't you live without?  (I think asking what five things I could live without would be much more appropriate and overall easier, but I'll do my best)

1.  People who appreciate gentle kisses
2.  The occasional kitty food snack
3.  Balls
4.  My goofy little brother Hamish
5.  Evening cookies (peanut butter 'n' blueberryz Zukes)

2. How do you transport your dogs? This question suggested by several peeps, including Mara
Well, the dogs in our household are transported in the Rolling Living Room.  It looks like this

The RLR can house five dogs and three kitty carriers.  If more of us need to go, then we use the auxiliary commuter car, a small Honda Fit that can hold up to three of us, but only one crate, so it's DANGER, DANGER, DANGER.  We ride in wire crates from Kennel-Aire that our people picked because the wire is close together.  It's strapped in with straps from the hardware store called ACE and also these stretchy things with hooks on the end.  One of the crates also usually has our water carrier strapped to it so it doesn't tip over and spill.

3. What role does obedience play in your training or running of your dog(s)? 
I insist that my dogs be very obedient to me.  My scribe was taught that you don't have to be in control all the time but you have to be able to get it (and give it up) and that's the principle she tries to work with.  I think that's silly. 

4. At what point do you start putting commands on your dogs? 
I put commands on my dogs immediately (and see above in terms of expectiations for compliance).  Rafe received his first command to back off on the first day he arrived.  Fox, the evil cat, also has a "Scram" command that he mostly obeys, but in a haughty, feline sort of way.  I have several different "play" commands that I use for Hamish, Lad, Kyzer and Rafe.  Tansy needs no commands from me and I none from her.  I also put commands on the people like "Food", "Let me Out", "Let me In", "Throw this", "Throw this Again", "Throw this Higher", "Move over, You're Hogging the Bed" (but only Tansy's scribe listens to this one), and "Keep that Brush Away from ME."  They haven't really learned that last one very well--I don't think I had them on the right reinforcement schedule, so, my bad.

5. Do you talk to stra
ngers in elevators? Question posted by Laura #1 
Talk, not so much.  Kiss, definitely (but I've only been in an elevator a handful of times).  Hamish and Kyzer rode in several when they took a long trip last fall.  They talked loudly to everyone in the elevator, which meant the person mostly decided to take the stairs.

Oh and who knew this was up, but these appeared in our pasture last week-end.