May 29, 2013:
Sorry I've been a negligent blogger! No excuses other than apathy.
A couple of weeks ago an exhuberant lamb decided to test the concept of flight. With a dog in behind it, the lamb jumped off a steep banking and came flying at me so fast I had no time to duck. It caught me squarely on the cheek bone and left quite the gaping hole in my cheek. I saw stars and when I recovered my senses, I realized blood was streaming down my face. I wasn't too happy when I caught the lamb! The gash is healing...slowly!
My injury pales in comparison to that of one of our yearlings. She got her head stuck in a tree and had her tail chewed off by a fox (or possibly a badger). It was a bloody mess when I found her out on my morning run...and I mean blood everywhere and the ewe knee deep in mud. Thankfully I was out running with Penny and Bee so we managed to get the ewe down to the yard for some TLC. It looked a lot worse than it turned out to be, but still, the ewe lost her entire tail. Poor thing. She has recovered fully now.
The weather has been gross!!! What can I say? However, this weekend...superb (OK, I don't even want to think about the forecast). We spent the entire day on Saturday attacking thistles...but this time we had some heavy artillery! Starting at 5am, for 12 hours we attacked thistles and gorse, one of us on the borrowed quad bike and one with the backpack sprayer. Massive progress and many hours saved. Damn it was good to see those thistles hanging their heads on Sunday morning. Many millions to go... :-( Of course then it poured with rain all day Monday...but not before we had a fab afternoon on Sunday putting the young dogs, Levi, Mia and Chloe, through their paces. They just turned 9 months old and the wait is over...they are all ready to start their training! Yippee!
We've been off trialling over the last week or so. Kelvin went to North Wales and had a nice run there with Bee, while I stuck closer to home and braved testy sheep at NSA Welsh sheep. Penny managed to eek out a 6th placing there, no thanks to missing the outgoing drive gate. I wasn't sure if she was up to the task of handling these sheep, but am thrilled at how she performed so early in the season (we haven't been out trialling for over a month!). The next day we went up to Penybont and finished 2nd. Penny was fab...the handling, well, be nice if I could actually get all the sheep through the gates but we live to fight another day. Monday we went to Cwmdu to be humbled by the sheep and some weird sound issues with the field. Penny managed to again eek out a couple of placings - 5th in the morning and 2nd in the afternoon. I was pleased with her afternoon run and the way she handled the sheep at the pen. The weather was atrocious! Windy and pouring rain. Frigid, and I had to stand outside all afternoon. Needless to say, as soon as we could, we headed home...only to find that our 4 youngsters had spent the day outside playing in the play area. Kelvin had forgotten to put them in their kennels before we left. Thankfully there were people at our place keeping an eye of the little urchins, and there is plenty of shelter in the play area. Not one peep was heard from the kennel overnight! Sleep must have come easy to them.
I am so totally stoked to tell you that my fabulous little Sioux had two pups ten days ago. It is her first litter, and likely her only one. I tried breeding Sioux as a two year old but the mating resulted in no pups. Almost 2 years ago I had another chance to breed her but last minute I changed my mind and opted to put her through required toe surgery instead. That was a very hard decision and I thought then it might be my only chance to have bred her! Well, with her injured shoulder over the winter, I decided to forgo a large part of this trial season and try breeding her one last time. And here we are with two pups, delivered by emergency c-section :-( That in itself is a long story, and I was totally shocked when the pups were delivered alive (I was convinced they were dead). So it is that I have one dog and one bitch pup. Now the long wait starts...my fingers and toes are crossed that they turn out well. Sioux is a good mom and the pups look more liked beached whales at the moment. Funnily enough, Meg and Penny go in to check the pups every morning. Bee, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with them! Hopefully I can start working on Sioux's fitness again soon and we can make an appearance on the trial fields at some point this year.
That's all, folks!