Thursday, April 10, 2014

Just DAMN (chip).

R.I.P "Leo"

I write because I am sad. I write because this is reality. I write because I am not perfect. I write because I fucked up.

Living on the farm isn't always unicorns and rainbows..frankly it's really never unicorns and rainbows; it's just plain hard.

We  raise predators and we raise prey.

When you live on a farm you cannot make mistakes; because when you do something dies.

Obviously we try not to screw things up, but sometimes being in a hurry things just don't work out. I am always in a hurry, it's just my nature. I do things on schedule and typically the same everyday.

This particular day, I changed my routine which cost a life.

The daily routine includes feeding, exercising dogs, grazing the sheep, and making sure everyone is secure. There cannot be any breach of security, because the predator will find it.

On this particular day I had my 3 rams grazing in the barnyard behind 2 locked gates. I had to close the barn door otherwise they will get the hay, which means my rooster and my turkey are locked out of their little safe haven for the day. (no big deal) The 2 plucky boys cruise around out there all day every day. Behind 2 LOCKED gates.

I needed to put the rams up before letting dogs out, so I went in the main gate, locked up the boys and opened the barn for the turkey and the rooster. I exited the barn yard into the dog yard, not realizing the gate didn't "click" in fact the gate had hung up on some weeds, and just didn't fucking latch.

Guarding his yard
I went about business as usual. Letting dogs into their appropriate places (the same places every day) for exercise.

Mistake #2: I went into the house to answer a text. I heard nothing. Ron and I chatted about his day and talked about dinner arrangements. my last words were "I am headed to feed the barn area" I'll catch up with you out there.

I enter through locked gate #1..I see that the locked gate number 2 is wide open and there are no dogs in the yard. FUCK is right..

Chip has been longing to kill the turkey, Chip has a fetish with the turkey and cannot handle the "rush". The turkey has a fetish with Chip and cannot stop teasing him through the fence..behind that locked gate. That locked gate that is now wide open..SHIT. It took Chip less than 2 seconds I bet to figure out that gate was not latched tight. CHIP MISSES NOTHING.

I don't even want to walk in there..I already have that gut feeling.
I call the dogs, I put them away, now noticing why the gate didn't latch.

I peel the turkey off the ground...he is so stressed he cannot breathe. His wounds are basically from feather pulling and one gutted him, or broke his throat or ripped his legs off...however he is gasping for air. We get him on a blanket..

I check him in the night, he still is gasping. I know the end is coming..

We never set out to have a turkey, because of this reason. We raise predator dogs that's what makes them good at what they do WORK. The turkey was a rescue from a parking wasn't until we got the turkey that we knew Chip had a fetish to kill the turkey. For 3 years we have stressed about keeping this guy safe. He was locked in the barn every night and Chip was NEVER allowed behind those gates, until he was on his own merit.

The turkey was a complete asshole at times, but a complete comedian at times. He fed the sheep with us every night, making sure he sampled each type of grain being put out there. He helped at the jug pens, when ewes would get out he would herd them back in. He knew when people were scared of him and he terrorized them to the fullest. He often tried to terrorize us as well, however a swift swat and he would stop. We actually became fond of this guy.. I am so sad, more that I am sad that I was the one who fucked up and caused it to happen. I will bury this guy today with his pound cake that he never got to eat. He loved his snacks..RIP big guy I am so sorry I fucked up.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ewers Circle..Do Ewe know yours?

 A friend sent me a link that got me thinking. Yes the door is closed on the incident..and yes it still bothers me. If I said it didn't I'd be lying.

I am sure people are NOT wondering why I was banned from the USBCHA Finals this year..

Why are they NOT wondering you ask? With the rumors people  have fabricated, they are confident they already know.

Does it bother me that they have sensationalized rumors that are no where near the truth?

In reality NO it does not...Why doesn't it? The answer lies beneath in the video I have posted..I KNOW MY CIRCLE.

I am not here to defend myself, just here to set the record straight. Will I detail every little thing? No I won't who has time for that shit...

Here is a timeline.. (very simple in a nutshell) as to the happening that got me banned..

1. Ran dog
2. Scored extremely low
3. Told by my fellow handlers to ask them to recalculate score sheet
         (There had been mistakes made on the math in previous days runs)
4. Asked course director to please check the math; she sent me to the "technical tent" Asked those ladies to double check math.
5. Took sponsor picture.
6. Stood around chatting amongst handlers while dog cooled down.
7. Notice judge out of tent (figuring a bathroom break) handler waiting to send standing at post.
8. Judge hunts me down
9. Judge very firmly (not yelling, but very angry) speaks in my face for 20 minutes about why he thought my run sucked and continued to tell me about better runs he had seen previously in the day)
10. Handler still waiting at the post..spectators and handlers witness the tongue lashing but no one comes to my aid. No one tells the judge to get back to work.
11. Judge goes back to his duty.
12. I post on Facebook Status "That's the type of shit that makes you wanna Quit"
13. 200 comments about dog trialing.. In the comment (that got me Banned) "I say Lane got through, Soot is out fucking asshole" (Exact quote)
14. Sometime in the thread one of my "old circle" members copies and pastes that comment..not the 199 prior comments names, no accusations, not even a mention what trial I am at..although most people knew what trial was going at the time. The whole thread was like a  chat around a campfire that everyone has had at one time or another.
15. Next morning I am counseled by the Trial Manager (whom is a very nice person) I had no idea what she was even talking about. She wanted an apology..for the comment I had made the day prior.
16. Apology made..(I was thanked for that) She wanted me to apologize to the judge..I couldn't do that at the exact time because the trial was going. But did that upon arrival home.
17.We head home..along the road Ron and I talk about filing a grievance on the judge because of the coming out of the tent and lashing out..we decide "oh well that's dog trialing"
18. 3 weeks later I receive a letter..stating "although you have not violated any rules, we are going to call it unsportsmanlike conduct". I respond to the HA about the incident with the judge. That I did not approach  him that he approached me..I was sitting in the grand stands when the incident took place. No one cared..At this point I am still thinking I was being punished for the incident with the judge..even though  I said nothing during the time of the ass chewing.
19. They respond that this is going to the committee and they will decide what the punishment is. (I still have no clue it is about a FB post) After pulling teeth I get a copy of the complaint, signed by the director that filed it (no he wasn't at the trial) and I get a copy of the copy and pasted FB post...(Surprisingly enough it wasn't about the incident with the judge) It was because I said ^^ THE ABOVE^^ (refer to bullet point 13).
20. I am told to respond with a letter, and there will be a conference call. Well obviously I am not waiting I respond with a letter..sent certified mail to the person that sent me the letter certified and also responded by certified letter to the secretary..The first certified letter was never picked up..In other words I responded to the person whom sent me the letter, but my letter was never picked up at the post office. (Thank god the other letter was picked up.)
21. Receive a call that I get a letter OR a conference call, that I cannot have both..(but since I already sent the letter I basically forfeit my call...I didn't choose to "not show" for the conference call...I forfeited it with the letter..(another mistake I suppose).
22. I just want this to go away
23. Another month goes by. Receive a letter laying out my punishment (Which is I cannot attend the Finals this year and I need to send another letter of apology to the HA for publication on their website.) (There is no appeal process)
24. I send a very short note, apologizing for above incident. I no longer have strength to fight the allegations.. nearly hospitalized for illness and panic attacks I can no longer fight.
25. November 27 receive another letter stating my apology was not "good enough" that I show no remorse, and that they will pull the sanction for my trial. I have like 3 days to respond by US Mail with another letter that they can publish (after approval) or my trial  will be canceled..and they will ban me  for a year.
26. Another letter written sent overnight mail, LOST by post office, another letter sent overnight mail..finally gets there.
27. APPROVED..PUBLISHED on the HA website..The trial can happen.
 (ps if you need copies of letters or correspondences that can be arranged on a case by case basis)

So the funny thing is the rumors I hear.."I STORMED THE JUDGE'S TRAILER AND CALLED HIM AN ASSHOLE" - no folks not even close. 

In speaking to the folks that actually asked me about it at our trial it was so interesting to hear the responses. Responses such as "SO AND SO has never liked you guys" really? Such news to us...Like why? What have we ever done? Like I am a loose canon running around dog trials harassing people? I guess our hospitality to those who never liked us was their gain..and we were the fools.

So really in the light of the recent happenings..we are still trialing, we are still smiling. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. For the folks who thought this had no impact on have it all wrong. To the folks who thought I didn't care, you don't know me, so please don't claim to. For those of you who have never liked us please don't come to dinner at my camper during big dog trials, We now know who you are.

Please enjoy the video below.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What's up with EwE'rs

I know it's been since January since I have blabbed ( I mean blogged).. so I thought I would mention what's been going on around Canines N Ewe. (Not that anyone gives a shit) but I do..

Hmmm..shall we go back to September?

Let's see we spent the summer traveling the west..Soldier hollow and Meeker.

In a was a bad move; dog trials were network was a dis service.

The lynch mobs had fun with my expense..however skin thick as leather..we move forward..there is no shame in this kennel.

January.. The closing of snowbirds..trial was amazing, many attempts to derail no avail it went without a hitch

The blowing of Ron's truck engine...$14,000.00 later back on the road and sexy as ever..

February..Lambing...with minimal loss (everyone that has ever lambed knows every minute is critical) Mother Nature was kind to us this time..she slaughtered us last year.

My grandma died..that pretty much sucks..but the gold at the end of the rainbow is this guy .Meet NACHO

After the funeral we returned a cooler to a friend of the family..There was this mini draft horse...(Stormy at the time) Nacho now. I fell in love with this guy.. and damn it he needed a home!

Nacho is now being trained to pull a cart...we love the new addition to the ranch..this little man is a fire cracker...never a dull moment when playing wit Nacho! Stay tuned for Nacho and his border collie hauling buckboard...

March..Starts out like a lion...Ron tears a muscle in his back...flat out for 2 to a dog trial come hell or high water.

Purchase of the New guy.."Cord" ..don't let him fool you he is evil..

Off to Arizona for a new dog trial....WONDERFUL time..Soot won the Open..Chip and Plaid acted like they had never been trained..sigh..Nursery dogs.Ron and Sly had a decent finish

The screening of the "show"...what show you ask...SHEAR MADNESS..Nat Geo wild has done a show..a REAL SHOW about a friend of ours. Natalie owns Lacey..(Sweep x Jesse) and lacey helps her with her long wool fiber flock of 200 sheep. I filmed an episode helping with...yes of course the dogs..anyhow critics in this business think there is drama, there is hollywood...the reality is there is nothing but reality. Yes she wears dresses when shearing who cares? Have you ever sheared a sheep? my clothes are the least of my worries...they say there is drama..well have you ever had a sheep disease on $2000.00 ewe's you just purchased? (well no we don't purchase $2000 ewes)..anyhow...the show is all real, Natalie Redding of Namaste Farms is nothing but real. Jealous woman watch and criticize as this 50 + bombshell shows people the ropes on her sheep farm. She has 5 children and a delightful husband Sean..who keeps the home fires burning when Natalie is too involved in the sheep. Border Collies are new to Nat and she has taken to them as a natural. Please watch the show it's amazing...Nat Geo Wild on Saturday nights at 10:00 with Encore screenings on Wednedays! This show will make you smile, frown, cringe and laugh..just think you will see me too real soon!

I guess that's it in a nutshell on the happenings of Canines N Ewe..

Happy Herding.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Snowbirds..a wrap up for ewe!

This year was the 9th. annual Snowbirds On The Border Sheepdog trial. Entries this year were at an all time high. We had 84 open dogs to the post for each round..running the trial over 5 days.

Mornings started for us at 4:00 am. The ewe's had been put in separate running groups for day 1 and 2. Fresh sheep would be had by all for round 1.

The behind the scenes.."dark secret" of putting on a trial..goes forgotten.

We brought in 450 sheep for the trial. They are not easy or fun to move around..

The wind was HOWLING on day 1..this didn't make the task of putting the girls in the pen any easier!!

Round 1 the ewe's were pushy and not easy for the teams to fact they were just plain hard to work! It was a "fun hard" though! The sheep were 100% even for every run. They were hard to lift..(Yes we set on spread hay) it's better to have sheep calm for the lift rather than being pressured by a set out dog. Anna Guthrie did a perfect job for 5 days setting the sheep!

Once you got the lift, you had to deal with the rest of it..a pull on the fetch..obstacles of trees and the pool house kept the handlers and sheep on their toes. The sheep tried their best to outwit and outsmart the pesky canine. The lambs were 7 months old..yep you guessed it NO LEADER!

The sheep were not forgiving..if the dog made a wrong move, they were severely punished by the sheep; if the dog harassed the sheep ran, if the dog picked a fight..The sheep fought a good fight..usually winning the battle.

The weather was PICTURE PERFECT!

The average temperature for the trial was 68 degrees..light wind..AMAZING!

The players well..let's just say they are cute..

Charlie Torre was marking the Open and nursery runs, Jeff Blackstone and Kathy Murphy made the call on the pro-novice.

Standouts for run number 1 were .. 84 Open dogs went to the post

Don Helsley The Wizard 73

Noelle Williams Lad 71

Llona Brandenburg Tarr 70

Mike Burks Sport 68

Erin Swanson Coop 65+

Points were awarded to 16.8

Run 2 we bumped up the tempo a tad, asking for a shed, pen, single in the finish work. We shortened the horrendously difficult cross drive a bit. The lambs had settled in really well for round 2. The competition was fierce.

Standouts for run 2 were..82 Open dogs went to the post

Bryan White Scoop 93

Don Helsley Jesse 88

Michael Burks Sport 87

Stephanie Summers Tam 86

Jennifer Ewers Soot 85

The nursery dogs had a difficult time as most of them never knew sheep like this existed. They were innocently struggling on the lift as the lambs gave them hell. It was a short course..but that didn't matter

Standouts for Nursery 1 were ..12 dogs to the post

Bridget Strang Rain

Jennifer Ewers Plaid

Nursery 2..12 dogs to the post

Terri Pelkey T-Bird

Jennifer Ewers Plaid

Pro-Novice ran 2 rounds on Tues. 23 dogs in each go. the lambs were great. Trickey enough but not so hard there was a struggle.

Round 1

Noelle Williams Zac

Dan Williams Nap

Beth Benz Hula

Jennifer Ewers Poncho

Terri Pelkey Lonnie

Round 2

Marcy Roberts Sis

Terri Pelkey Lonnie

Jennifer Ewers Poncho

Beth Benz Hula

Noelle Williams Zac

The trial was a huge success. Thanks to all that supported us during our pre-trial drama. The restaurant onsite seemed to be a big hit "Popo Annies"..Fresh hot breakfast, lunch and dinner available to all.

Thanks Anna Guthrie for a great setout

Tricia Guidry for course directing and cleaning up rodeos.

Don Helsley for being everything

Charlie Torre for the great judging

Barbara Stewart as a great scribe.

Ron and I were pleased with how things turned out. Thanks everyone for believing in us.

Ewers Truly...

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- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Thank EwE Soldier Hollow

As we meander over to Meeker its a great time to reflect. The reflection brings fond memories of good times, good friend, good sheep, good camping, and great weather!

The trial course is not easy, but a fair challenge for all that are running. The sheep were extremely even but more settled early in the morning. The set out crew was flawless!
A quick recap of the runs...
Lane.. First run..
Outrun was tight.. Sheep were forgiving. He settled them good on the fetch. I overworked the sheep at the fetch panel causing them to lose trust in lane. Around the post the sheep were no longer settled.
The drive.. (Ummm I mean the catch) the robust fit ewes bolted up the drive the more we flanked the more they ran. Lane was clearly not sure how to handle the catch and release program. He had barely any brakes. We made it through the ragged drive ( lines ? Huh?) back to the shed which was fine .. We held the rope at the gate! Score .. No good! Could have been a decent run with drive points..we left the judge no option!
Lane 2..
Better.. There's my dog! He knew what he was up against and opened his mind for help!
We had a nice go around no running, good stopping, and all ears! 65 no pen.. Ok we weren't too far off! Pleased!
Soot 1.. Runs previous to us were struggling. Most dying out at the post. All the sudden the sheep had become pigs. Heat was soaring at high noon and the sheep didn't want to play.
We had a great start, good first drive, turned the corner and the sheep decided they weren't leaving the shade.. Damn bitches.
200 yard cross drive backward shoving, shifting, shading, they just sucked!
Shed ring 45 seconds call in on head for a cracker of a shed.. To not be called.. Sigh oh well.. It was one of those "fuck it" moments!
Soot 2.. Another solid go.. A leader with the will to escape.. Oh joy!
Soot tucked her and caught and tucked her and tucked her.
The final straw.. 5 ft from shedding ring she bolts for the exhaust.. Soot covers but jumps up to teach her a lesson... Yep.. Dq. I wanted to cry..likely the run good enough to advance.. But the dream ended quickly!
That's dog trialing.. Sigh
The trial was an overall great time except the grip that wasn't good!
The energy of trialers was high and competitive. The thousands of spectators are so friendly!
The "fair" portion of the trial was busy! We witnessed out first real "dog and pony" show.. Umm probably our last but I had to see the basketball playing pony!
Mark Peterson has gone above and beyond to put on a first class event, from the air conditioned hospitality room for trialers filled with cold water, beer, soda, snacks and tables and chairs! To a private bathroom for us ( no porta potty) ! Handlers chatting amongst each other on the balcony overlooking the field while sitting under umbrellas! Awesome!

The banquet .. Oh my gawd the banquet.. Prime rib, salad, garlic mashed.. Need I say more.. We over ate.. It was divine! We were all awarded jackets and run orders drawn for the big day! It was fun to share in the elites excitement!
It's all just so damn fun! Ron and I hope to be invited back again.
Thank you Mark Peterson, Deena Peterson, Howard Peterson, set out, judge, and all the rest of the folks that made us feel so special!!

Congrats to Allen Mills and Sis! The winner of the double lift finals! We were so proud to see that American flag raised!!!

Now onto Meeker.. Where I will once again start slaying butterflies!
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Confidence in EwE!

In preparation for Soldier Hollow and Meeker..(2 extremely difficult dog trials.)
I have been trying to throw as many scenarios at Lane (some to Soot but she's seasoned) as possible!

Just a little prelude on Lane, he was bred by us..sold as a pup and returned at a year old. I couldn't give the dog away, no one believed me he was gonna be great..I finally (after many false attempts by purchasers) said screw it..he's mine! I am so glad I did!!!! Qualified for the open finals this year and nursery finals..I'd say not to shabby for this kid!!

I have hauled sheep, I have worked hills, I have turned back, ( just in case) I have worked lambs, ewes, good sheep, and bad.
Today was no exception to the was it..the ultimate test..
#1. Did I make a tactical error entering Lane instead of seasoned Sly?
#2. Have I prepared this young dog as best I can?
#3. Do we have confidence in each other as a team?
This is the field I used to test my (fate) mate!

I drove the sheep by trailer and dropped them on the set with hay out at the brush line. (Fortunately I have great sheep that will just stand and wait) (don't mind the orange snow fence there are trees planted there!)
I drove to the other end..popped Lane out of the truck and sent him.
I was ready for a battle, there is everything to look at here, brush, boulders, arenas, trees, pens, picnic tables...all of that disappeared as Lane sailed perfectly ( maybe 450 yards) behind the sheep. A magical response to every command..I was stunned.
The lesson I learned here is..have CONFIDENCE in him.
Whether we win or loose, whether he's great or so so..I am going to have confidence in him as I know he can do it! He's been a grand dog to train with a grand challenge ahead of him, I need to make sure my attitude about him matches his love for me!
Go Lane Go!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ewe Suck

Yep, that's how we roll! We put countless hours into putting on dog trials to make them suck.

From countless hours of mowing the field to dirt, buying supplies, picking up food supplies, porta potties, hand sanitizer, soap, cold jugs of water, lemonade, banana bread for handlers breakfast, homemade chocolate cake for dessert, preparing the sheep, allowing my lambs to be chased all over and run into fences by heinous dogs, opening our pool to everyone, having a big handlers dinner Saturday night..furnishing tables and seats at said dinner..yeah..we pretty much suck.

Hired judged, hired set out..course director..yeah we suck.
Shaded parking..flat rv parking..yep it all sucks.

What I think sucks? People complaining..

Just a few examples..

As Sharon Roman put it.."we all know you are not nice" ok..
(The above comment stems from a handler saying "you are so nice to let us ruin your lambs")(insert above)

As Suzanne Anaya put it..
"my dogs had 300 foxtails"..
"The outrun is trickery if you don't work on that field"
"I have no idea why the judge did this or that"
"It was too hot"
"My sheep broke forward on the outrun"- but my dog didn't cause it..
"There were red ants everywhere"

The funny bi-polar ism is "thank you for such a great trial"

Ok so here's the scoop..

We have been putting on dog trials for over 10 years..on this field..this field is not exclusive to me and my students. An outrun is an outrun, your dog either does it or not. This trial is run from my back pasture (opposite of the big New Years trial) last year my dog crossed over at my feet, that tells you how often I practice it.

Ron spent countless hours mowing the field to dirt..there are no fox tails, unless perhaps you turn your dogs loose in the evening to run like idiots into the places the mower can't that case that's your problem.

The foxtails...

The judge..everyone has their day..sometimes we are wearing rose colored glasses..for every point lost, you will unfairly gain one at the next trial.

These were Rambouillet sheep..if they broke forward on the outrun ( I can only recall 1 time) perhaps your glasses are dusty..and maybe the dog was dirty..

The outrun..

There are a few ants..but saying everywhere is sensationalized..I went out to take a photo I could only find a red ant.

The ant is here somewhere..


Shade canopies

The sheep

So..folks..keep in mind at the next trial when you go to grab that glass of ice water or lemonade it might not be there. We do things that go the extra mile..but there might come a time when we just say "this sucks".

The end