I spent a wonderful weekend in Missouri working dogs with Fate’s breeder Liz. Of course I had to get all the dogs together for a photograph. Left to right: Tweed, Ivy, Holly, Juniper, and my Fate. Tweed is out of Juniper X Aled Owen’s Roy while Ivy, Holly, and Fate are out of Juniper X Bob Salmon’s Cap. Tweed is moving up to USBCHA Open while Holly and Ivy are running in Pro-Novice. Fate and I are taking our time learning together but I hope we will be ready to start trialing a bit next summer.
Fate (1 yr), Rose (10 yrs), and Loki (7 yrs).
Is anything better than a day with your dogs? At the start of a walk my guys kindly posed for me (okay, I had treats) so I could get a photo of them clean. Cleanliness is a rarity among my guys who are usually rolling, jumping, or running through something unpleasant. It’s what dogs do right? Fate is an amazing year old now, Rose is spry at 10 years, and Loki is still getting around at 7 years. Fate is enjoying his herding lessons and working on building a solid foundation. He also loves to learn tricks on our down days.
Life has been very busy and what makes it even busier than a puppy? Fate has turned that magical 7 months and is starting to look like a big boy. He is actually distantly related to both Motion and Loki and has some traits of both. He has Motion’s busy mind, biddability, and quick learning capabilities without the neurosis, mental instability, reactivity, and extreme hyperactivity that Mo was known for. He also has working ability, ability to keep a cool head, and focus– traits Motion lacked. Fate has Loki’s natural ability to read livestock, desire to work, and sense of humor. Fate also has that special something that makes him Fate. He’s a cool drink of water on a hot day. Refreshing, fun to work with, and entirely unique.
Fate has gotten to work sheep twice now- at 12 weeks and 6 months. I plan to give him another go in a few weeks. Fate has tons of eye, likes going to heads, reads his stock well, and is enthusiastic. However he’s not wild and out of control, a trait that Loki has battled for a long time. Fate is thinking and keeps a pretty cool head for such a young guy. But he’s got a lot of growing up to do before he’ll be ready to start real training. And we’ve got a lot of relationship building and fun puppy days ahead of us.
After years of looking for that special dog I finally found him. Introducing Fate, a happy go-lucky, outgoing, confident, and intelligent puppy.
Fate is currently exploring his new world, making new friends, and starting to learn a few things. He’s learning his name, playing 101 things to do with a box, building value on recalls with a tug, and we’re starting to train “lie down” with a clicker. I’m still looking for that special, high value treat that he just can’t live without. Until then he’s getting short lessons right before supper time.
The countdown has begun. . . my new puppy should be born any day now. After a long search my next puppy is soon to be born. She/he will be out of excellent working stockdogs (Elizabeth Phare’s Juniper X Bob Salmon’s Cap) and should be will worth the wait! Pups are due next week and I’m just counting the seconds.
Loki celebrating his 6th Birthday by driving sheep
After a busy year we’ve finally settled into our new home. We added a small garden, a new fence, and ducks! Yes, the ducks were the best part. Now Loki and I can train at home instead of waiting for the occasional trips to Mary’s for herding lessons. We go to Mary’s for instruction and then come home to practice on the little quackers. It’s a great deal of fun for us and I don’t think the ducks object too much.
Spring is coming and soon I will have free range duck eggs and Indian runner ducklings for sale. Plus lots of veggies to start in the garden.
After 6 months of the contractors from hell destroying my mobile home we’re moving (small claims court in the future?). Luckily we found an amazing non-profit that renovates homes and sells them to low to moderate-income families. I’m quite excited and hoping for many positive things in the future. My mobile home has been sold at a huge loss and I’m waiting to close on my home in 25 days. Just 25 days until we will live just 4 miles from work, a short ride to trails, and not too far from herding lessons.
Our new Des Moines home has 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 864 sq. feet of living space, a full basement, 2 car garage, and is on a 0.28 acre lot. I’ll be fencing the yard for the pups in the spring. In the meantime we’re packing and dreaming of a safer home. Hopefully we’ll be home for Christmas.