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Debbie Crowder-BaaramuLuke

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  1. There is usually a Jack Knox clinic in Leesburg VA, sometime in April (?), at Fleetwood Farm, hosted by the wonderful Walt Feasel (sp). In May, he visits Debbie and Steve Collison's farm in Davidsonville MD. These clinics are usually filled, but that brings me to my main point: can't get your dog in? Go Anyway! If you are just getting started, auditing a clinic is invaluable and less expensive. I have had to pull back from taking working spots at clinics, but would gladly pay to audit a good clinician's day. I will learn from each and every dog who is worked and not have the anxiety of working my own. Now my trouble is getting the time off to get to the clinics I can attend. I hope to have more clinics soon in the VBCA calendar, if a host is willing to let us post them, the information would alert newbies to opportunities to come watch and maybe make contacts with folks who can help them.
  2. That was sweet. Trust is a two-way. Where I work grooming dogs, I get the ones who have been booted from the facilities for stuff like biting. I may have to muzzle them at first, but it's always my goal to get them out of it, even though they have shown me they will bite. I feel like once they know me, know what'll happen (nothing), I have to give it back to them to show I trust them. No better enjoyment than getting through the whole shebang and no muzzles. Good girl, Fly! Hugs to you, Donald. See you down the road.
  3. October 4, 2012 marks the 36th State Fair Sheepdog Trial. As many Virginians know, our State Fair has fallen into some rough times, culminating in it's bankrupcy and auction of the real estate and property of the Fair. When the Fair announced its fate, it also regretfully announced there would be no fair in 2012. The new property owners (Universal Fairs of TN), and our Virginia Farm Bureau Federation have sprung into action to assure us that we WILL have a fair this year, and a short few weeks ago, they contacted Karen Thompson about hosting the SDT again this year. She called me, and I said YES!, as this is a tradition in agricultural exposition we want to see continued. Sadly, they contacted us past time when we could have any trial sanctioned by USBCHA or VBCA, so the trial we are hosting is not going to be for the points handlers. We explained that to the FAir folks, but they ordered us four sets of six ribbons, and we hired a judge. We have the privilege and obligation to showcase working Border Collies in the big equine arena (same one American Cowgirl Chicks had last year!) from 10am til 4pm. We have entries, but not a whole lot. It is on a Thursday and there is no payout. T What we propose to do is run classes with the entries we have, and in between classes, we will have demonstrations of non-competing dogs, and those who have finished competions. Our Judge, Julie Poudrier of Oxford NC, will be available for critique and an informal judging clinic of the classes was we work through the day. We have even proposed a jackpot Open (as in, anyone can enter) skills class with farm and trial elements. We are open to suggestion, we want the folks at the fair to succeed this year, and have us back next year, all sanctioned and payback if possible. This year could be critical, and we ask you for your support, if you can come, contact Karen (www.thompsonsbordercollies.com) for more information. Thanks for taking the time to read... Debbie Crowder (since 1992, a State Fair participant and volunteer)
  4. I was told about this thread a couple of weeks ago, but stayed away til now. Donald, my heart is with you and Anne (and June's other beloved handler), I hate that you had to lose her. I appreciate what you both did when you found out about her condition, and I have to say I would easily do the same thing. Our dogs are with us until we let them go or God takes them. I think they accept what we decide, trusting that we need them. For me, it's hard to let go, but I feel like I step out of my body and that middle-aged person in it makes the call, while my heart is screaming like an infant. It's the hardest thing I ever do, deciding when my beloved companion will die. My first euthanasia decision came when my lab mix Carly was found to have lung cancer at 9. I found out in May and cried clear til July when I saw the light go out of her eyes and that other woman drove her to the VEC and told them to let her go. I was with her and it was so peaceful. All of the actual procedures went smoothly, and I have had others die before we could decide, but each time I learned more. Having horses is tougher, with them, the logistics of death take far more planning and practicallity, but that same other woman makes the call. I have to say, she is calm, determined and seems at peace when she speaks to the person who she arranges it with. For the animal, be it horse or dog (or kitty), I join up with her and take a calm, loving attitude, begging them to trust me and to know they are the love of my life, and I pray for them to know it. As for a "natural" death, I don't know if it is as peaceful. I have seen far too many to know it might not be. I pray for owners who cannot bring themselves (or that strong person they could call on from within) to chose euthanasia. They suffer so much, and those of us who serve them suffer too, but I have to believe their bond is unique to them, and no God would let anyone suffer but so much, not really. I kept the dog after Carly (Calvin, my first Border Collie) alive for an extra year when he was found to have immune mediated hemolytic anemia, and I think I made a mistake that time, and worried over it immensely afterwards. Regrets. The next dog I lost, Luke, I wholely believe God stepped in and took from me, not as punishment, but just because, maybe because we both might have suffered more than we needed too over what might have come, had he not been killed in that accident. I was able to hold him and tell him he was perfect and wonderful, and I still wonder what I would do now, if Simon meets up with an serious illness. He almost died in October, and I cherish every day I have with him, even if it means taking him out of what he loves to do. Is that fair? I am struggling now with an aged pony who is possibly faced with a terminal condition, and I have struggled with this same thing for the past few weeks. My oldest dog is 15 and a half, my oldest kitty is older. Each euthansia is hard, each situation difficult. Each one I pray I make the decision in time to lessen the chance they leave life hurting and too sick to want to stay. I never regret it when it's done, but it's with me forever. Worst thing my equine vet said recently hit me hard: "I doubt anyone would view you judgementally for deciding to let him go at his age". Does that mean I have to pass muster with them if I pass on further diagnostics for a 38 year old pony with a respiratory rate of 40-60 resting? Pass a tube down to his lungs to see if he has a neoplasia? Really? He won't know there's going to be no tomorrow, but we will sure know he's gone from ours if I put him down. His pain in living gone, mine for a while longer, I have to have the strength, for them, to take that on.
  5. Good to think about the where and when ahead, and my only offering would be to talk about your general leanings concerning euthanasia with your current (and hopefully, trusted) veterinarian well ahead of the time when it becomes more a current issue. I work for a small animal vet, and have friends who are also vets, if this is something I can plan for (not a Luke situation), I'd do it where they are happiest, the last one was Eve, she liked to go to work. Not hard. Calvin was really, really sick, but I took him from work to the truck, just outside, and I like to think he thought he was going home. Him I wish I had done sooner. I am trying desperately to not let them go on a day that they have very few ahead of them naturally, better a day too soon than too late. That's so hard. My point was, your current vet may be perfectly used to making special house calls, taking the body with him for cremation, as is the case here more often than not, and then you might not have to contact someone new.
  6. ...and to Sue Rayburn, another person I hardly ever get to see even though we're always at the same address a LOT of the time! Her cheer and initiative to help is remarkable and her own distinctive trademark! I always get see you leave, Sue, hope you see me waving goodbye and Godspeed! I hope it was all David and Cheryl wanted it to be, I think it was a massive undertaking, and likely not over by a mile for them, still. I was astounded to hear all the voices over channel 1, all looking for help and getting it. Good job, you guys. The trial community (working Border Collie) is not to be outdone in getting the trials to the handlers. Every trial I go to is like a little work from Heaven, all out of love for our dogs and our sheep.
  7. This particular dog lives in a place where they could have livestock, and they intend to get feeder calves anyway, and horses. Peter has been here for a few spells, once while they needed to board him after getting loose and HBC, slight break in a front leg. At home he is very watchful and a good house-guarding dog, doesn't want other dogs around, and for us here, a really good dog to work with when he needed vet care. His skin is just a nightmare and still trying to fgigure out what that is about, food allergy or what, but he invariably chew his haunches into nasty hotspots. I don't think the sheep or goat idea is totally off-base, BUT (big but) if they are just for him, is it worth it to invest in more animals to care for, and better yet, who can she find out more about this, which is why I sent her here. Before she left this evening, I showed her the forums, posted this question, and darn if you guys didn't jump in, thanks. Sue, I was also under the impression he would have needed to be raised up with stock, but I don't really know either. He is a rescue, 4 years, neutered, a good looking dog, and my feeling is he has an idea what he was supposed to be, just gut though. She's had him since he was a juvenile. Thanks for any help!
  8. I have a client who has a GP who is having some issues with with adjusting to life on a rural setting, the owner wants to give him a "job" watching some animals (goats or sheep). PLEASE offer up some opinions, I showed her this forum and she will check in for responses. He is also having some serious skin issues that she feels might settle down if he had something to do other than chew on himself. She's a really nice lady, he's a great dog. Looking for help!!
  9. As a person who has seen more trials from the back side than the post, I have the best seat in the house. I can defend the use of corn on dog-and-trial broke sheep because in the end, the dog with the best outrun and lift will likely win it. It isn't perfect, but if you needed to move sheep off a feed bunk, how the dog handles might be the same. From my vantage point, the dog who has left his handler's feet and comes around quietly and stealthily will present himself to the sheep in such a way, even on corn, that says "I mean for you to move, and if you co-operate, I mean you no harm. If you blow me off, I will move in until you leave that corn, and you will leave me no choice but to get in your face and bite your silly nose." My hope is that only sheep well-dogged and educated about dogdom will have corn to settle them, and not just hungry sheep that will die of a heart attack when they look up from it to see DOG! in the picture. A dog who runs in at anywhere from 9 to 3 and chases sheep off chow hasn't come intending to read his sheep. He just moves them from point A to B. I kind of wish all trials could be held on effectively spotted sheep without using corn, but sometimes it looks like folks want the sheep exactly quiet, in perfect packet-formation, precisely at 12 o'clock before they'll send their dogs. A good judge will size up what he sees happening and evaluate it accordingly. I contend that dogs can't really be trained to be that wonderful dog who has the presence to move sheep effectively, using what power he has judiciously and wisely, waiting when a wait will shore up uneasy sheep, moving just enough to influence the sheep to go steadily in the direction he's being asked to move them. A good sheepdog can shift weight from back to front and laterally and tell the sheep what he intends to do when that sheep turns an eye. That ability is in a dog's heart and mind, and we as handlers can screw around with it in training, but bottom-line, you can't really see what's going on as well as you'd like. This is the one place you have to trust your dog, and it's up to him what he does when he and sheep find themselves at that one place in time where they size each other up and each decides what has to happen next. This is the foundation you have to set your training on, I guess, and I respect the handlers who have those special dogs and teach them how to help us manage sheep.
  10. ^^^What they said, and I would add this, any of us groomers recognize that the skills we have developed in our work begin with really good basic animal handling and savvy. Most of what I do with pets depends on my being able to have a compliant, happy animal work with me. Kids can learn this easily if they have that special instinct, and there is one, to work with animals. Now is the time to get that kid into 4-H, find her a project leader who can teach her how to prepare and handle animals for show, all the husbandry, the prepping of coats, training for conformation handling, obedience, those skills are appropriate for a kid to be exposed to now. I have found that I don't make a great living working for the vet practice I've been at for the past fifteen years, but with my skills, I COULD have opened my own business and probably done better, but this job fits my interests better. I believe I could leave tomorrow and find work again by weeks end. There's always folks who need what I do, rotten economy or not, and seems like more now than ever, with pets taking on more importance than they used to in many households . Find a 4-H program for her. Where I work, we have kids in to observe from time to time, but we can't hire until they're eighteen. She'd have a better chance getting some time with a breeder, enthusiast or shelter, but I wonder what they'd allow an underage person to do.
  11. Sorry if I was being flip...just hit my funny bone. I just hate shaving dogs that just need time and elbow grease. He looks handsome, and some dogs inherit a full, thick coat. Most of mine tend to not be so thick, but they definately have seasonal sheds, and dogs that are neutered seem to get thicker coats than they had before neutering. I kind of doubt climate has much to do with it, but won't swear to it. If you do try a groomer, try to be specific about what you want, but trimming, to me, isn't going to solve "thick". A good bath can help blow out extra coat, and they have equipment that can help blow out more than you can at home. You could even invest in a blower for home, if I didn't have one, I don't know what I would do without it. It is to die for on huskies. The one I have is a forced-air thing, costs around $150 new and lasts forever. You need to give any dog time to get used to it, but mine enjoy it once they do. Just an ordinary slicker brush does it for me, other than that. I prefer the cheap "Franks Universal Brush", I get them from catalogs. I also have a killer Resco combination comb, can't find them anywhere anymore. Your dog looks very well maintained! I'm pretty lucky, mine don't need much brushing, and I do it mainly because they like it and I can check for lumps and bumps.
  12. The last thing a groomer wants to do is shave a husky!
  13. Choices. It's about choices. I refuse to believe I'm going to cause the destruction of the planet if I drive my honking F150 (with 173,000+ miles on it) to Maryland to hang out with Jack Knox, who flew in from Missouri to Maryland just to earn his living educating us. I don't have a fuel efficient vehicle, but I do turn off lights and recycle my trash. I have every dog I ever bred unless someone else still wants it more. I would think NOTHING of driving down to hang out with Julie (south 3+hours?) or Donald (west 3 hours?) and swap lies about all kind of stuff and watch THEM work dogs. This is my life, and I believe in doing what I want with it as long as I can give back to the Lord, and not hurt anyone. If I can earn the money to buy the gas, I will buy the gas and go on more trips. Please, don't stop doing what you love just because you feel like you have to justify the expense, and for heaven's sake, the political correctness of it. No shame in setting limits if you can get what you want closer to home, but now that I have met these people, I intend to keep on trucking up the road to be with them, as often as they'll have me.
  14. When I got my first dog, I traveled 2.5 hours for a three day clinic in MD. I didn't know a soul. When I look back, it was remarkable, given how I'd lived til then, never really traveled much at all, never had stayed in a motel alone, just did horse shows and day trips due to my job(s) and home commitments. That was 1994? The passion to work with dogs and sheep (I really love sheep) changed my life, and I love to drive, thankfully, to places I would never have seen before that time. My job requires that I work 50% of the weekends of the year, and as many of the holidays. To get to train (clinics) or trial (not compete), I have to work with a co-worker who is a SAINT, scheduling to get the days off I need, and save up the money to get there or pay fees (hourly worker making about 28K a year, but owns 14 horses). The fact for me is that I can usually break even on my trips, most of which are about 2-4 hours, being lucky enough to live in an area that's smack in the middle of central VA. I have to keep on good terms with a spouse of 28 (in Nov) years, who keeps the house and barn straight enough so I can go. Breaking even is a big deal to him, and if I don't, he doesn't know about it. To work for a trial, I have gone as far as TN (2002 finals volunteer) and KY (both eight hours drive). I have to consider the days off, so it'll be in the wee hours after work, and yes, I do have to be at work 7:30am Monday. To work dogs or help with sheep with a friend, I'd go 2-3 hours drive one way and think nothing of it. Gas and time are considered, and if I have it, it's well worth it.
  15. Check with Derrick, he's good and in VA. I've used him for our rowdy 4-H sheep. He's a nice young man and knows his stuff. http://lordwillinshearin.com/
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