Monday, July 26, 2010

Porky Princess

6 days and counting! She could go longer, but because we're pretty sure we AI'd her just about the last day of her standing heat, probably not much longer. And there is at least one pup in there that has trouble written all over him (you KNOW it's going to be a boy) already, on the left side. He's a tumbler, kicker and poker. It's always so weird to watch and see her pink skin bulging and moving from within, like something out of 'Alien' or 'The Thing'. The other pups are also pretty active, but not like this guy.

She's started letting down a little milk now in the back teats, and her appetite is more in tune with 'wow LOOK, a dead bat! Gourmet!' than 'oh, that nasty puppy chow mixed with olive oil, organic chicken broth and ranch-raised hamburger again? Puh-LEEZ!'. And, she's gettin' mighty clingy, as did her grandma Catera, great-grandma Jazzee, and great-great grandma Morgan towards their whelp date. The funny part is watching her move. Her nearly perfect rear movement has morphed into a sort of spraddle-legged waddle, complete with teat-slapping sound effects. Every morning, her job is to run the chickens out of their pen and out of the barn, and lately, the Gangsta Girls, who will even stand up to the cows, have fled in terror from this noisy apparation instead of their usual leisurely strut just ahead of the portly princess.

For those who are interested, there is a chance there will be a few pups available after all. Many of the original list have opted to pass or have gotten a pup already from elsewhere. True, ranch working Aussies, scary-smart, loyal and of moderate size and coat, with correct temperament and structure, all health guarantees and tested/cleared for hips, elbows, eyes, MDR-1 drug sensitivity, thyroid and DNA'd for parentage. Contact me for more info if you're interested, or to set up an interview (yes, you WILL be interviewed). These pups will NOT make good backyard ornaments! They will excel at tracking, working stock (especially cattle), obedience, agility and any other performance event. They will be correct enough to show in ASCA conformation shows under judges who understand the breed standard, but probably won't be thrilled about the conformation ring (boring).

The Pudgy Princess in her whelping pool awaits

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cricket Update

Oh, to be pregnant in the summer. Sorry 'bout that, Cricket, but the other option would be during the rainy/snowy season. Easier to cool off than to warm up when it's near the negative numbers. Plus, the idea of tiny total mudballs rampaging thru the run isn't so very appealing, at least not to me.

About 2 weeks to go, and the mom to be has gone from 'no, I'd rather go throw up in the bushes than eat a single thing' to 'get out of the way, that might be edible and I must consume it RIGHT NOW'. I'm having to make sure anything and everything remotely edible is out of the range of those snapping jaws, or it'll disappear forever. She's banned from being out in the garden, because when she snarfs strawberries, she tends to tromp all over the not yet ripe ones she hasn't seen in her quest to fill those growing little bellies. And I'm pretty sure unripe strawberries aren't exactly the best for expectant moms. Cricket is also eyeing the ripening blackberries with an evil glint in her eyes. She does get her fresh boiled egg daily along with extra virgin olive oil sprayed on her puppy chow. As soon as she cleans her bowl, she's looking at poor Gem's half eaten bowl. Gem, being a BC and below the bottom of the pecking order, would meekly give up her food in an instant if Cricket looked sideways at her, so I have to make sure that Gem eats and Cricket pouts.

Have a good thought for Cricket. At least it's not in the triple digits, temperature-wise!

After banishment from the garden, a mighty pout from the porky princess

Shameless, that's what she is

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Just Another Cattle Drive

Yup, just another day at the office for Sharon and Frank. Gotta admit - it's quite an office they have. Sharon pulled her cow/calf pairs off Wendy's place that adjoins our place to the south of us (at one time, Wendy's place and ours was one complete parcel) this morning and took them about 2 miles up the road to their place, and from there, they'll be hauled or maybe driven again to the refuge to graze for the rest of the summer. Other than Pablo, it was just Sharon on her horse and Frank in the lead truck and a fine, cool, summer's morn.

Don't forget to click the pix. Here, Sharon is hazing the cows down to the gate at the east side of Wendy's place, down our far south fenceline of our south pasture

Really hard to see, but just to the left of the pole you can see Sharon on her horse. And to the right, you can see our baby boy Roar, who just pounded down the hill to see where 'his' girls were going without him. He was quite offended that they didn't even say goodbye. Women can be so cruel, especially these first time young moms

Approaching the turn on our east fenceline to the north pasture. They will turn east on Dawson Road and head for Bellfountain Road, about where the big hill there is

Making the turn nice and smooth

You can see Roar helping things along - NOT!

He turns away so them young girls don't see him cry

Friday, July 9, 2010

Yes, She Is

It's been quite a wait, but I think the waiting is almost over. 9 years since the last litter, of which Cricket's mom was one of. Now, finally, it appears that our planned litter out of Cricket by Hoke is confirmed.

First possible due date is 31 July. Me and many other folks have been looking forward to this litter for a long, long time. If it weren't so hot already, I'd go start hauling whelping supplies out of the old red barn and washing up bedding and such.

Keep up with the blog by signing up for updates when they are posted. You can do that somewhere on the homepage, I think it's just a simple click.

Sorry to all who might be interested, but all the pups are spoken for. Best I can do is add your name to the list, just in case. They will be outstanding stock dogs, especially on cattle, and will have incredible noses as well for tracking and SAR. They also will not be for the faint of heart, nor will they be backyard dogs. They will be scary-smart and while not hyper (hyper does NOT make a good working stockdog at all), they will be in need of training, a job and exercise, not really any different from any other breed.

Starting the countdown!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cricket, the Ride Along Queen

Cricket in the putt-putt (Polaris Ranger UTV, for those new to the blog). Everyone else is content to sit on the seat, but not Her Majesty. She's much happier up front, paws on the dash, making sure the driver is aware of where they are going at all times. Plus, it's much easier to spot small critters that need to be chased down from up there.

She's also a good supervisor. Here, she keeps a weather eye on Ed running the beastly baler on the first round

I know she hates that I posted this pix of her, but can ya blame me?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ho Dog in Repose

Couldn't resist this shot of the old man, all squashed up on the couch asleep. Who woulda thought a big dog like him could make himself so small?