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We finally have weather nice enough where we can get some serious dog training done, but realized that before we know it we will be faced with winter, we are now shifting to winterizing the farm... bummer.


Anyway, just thought maybe others (regardless of your discipline) would be willing to share their goals, dreams and aspirations for the next few years or even longer.


We just had a big shift or rather acceleration, looks like the National Cattledog Finals is going to be in our backyard in May (3 hours south of here). Originally the plan was to enter Jake next year if he qualified and if the timing and money worked out more to get our feet wet at that level of competition.


The focus now is going to be a hard push to get Jake more seasoning and qualified for Open and Ricky qualified for Nursery. I'm really hoping that we can get Ricky qualified sooner then later via some of the upcoming shorter distance trials this fall so that we can spend the next 9 months just letting him develop and gain distance at his own pace. Boy, 9 months seems like such a long time, but I know that it is going to go fast.


We are also strongly considering sending Ricky south for a couple/few months mid winter when training up here is near impossible due to snow/ice and cold. I'm thinking that some open field sheep work with a trainer would do the youngster some good, never know, we might get lucky and end up with an open field sheep dog, how's that for dreaming?

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Meg was a herding flunkie in her last home, though I don't know the specifics as to why so we may try an instinct test next year just to see how she does. If she shows any promise, we'll try to get together with a local herding group once a week next summer. I doubt we'll ever trial in herding, but it would be a good learning experience.


For now, we just started a Foundation Agility class. This is new for both of us. Meg loves it so far! In October, I think we'll sign up for Agility I as well as her second obedience class just to keep her (and me) busy and socialized. I'm hoping by next spring we'll be ready to enter a few agility trials.


We've also been working on not reacting to other dogs on our walks. We've been working with a head collar for the past few weeks and she's come along way. She's started correcting herself a good percentage of the time (you can just see it in her body language that she's thinking "don't look at the dog, don't look at the dog..."). She did fantastic in her agility class with no reaction at all to barking puppies or a growling nervous dog not to mention the other animals that live on the property...upset horses (the farrier was there), turkeys, roosters, and chickens. I'm very proud of her. We'll continue to work on it.

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Since I moved to the farm in 2004, I have wanted a flock of sheep to work with....hasn't happened yet since we've spend all our time and $$ on improving the living quarters. Then Jazz died this year and my heart went out of me.

So my dream for the next few years - no more renovation projects, get my small flock of sheep and hopefully my heart will be ready for a new border collie - maybe one that's partially trained AND MAYBE, just maybe, I'll get to try my hand at a trial or two :rolleyes:

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I hear you on the nice weather! Last night was the first time I bothered to set up an actual (agility) course for the dogs in heaven knows how long -- Probably over a month! We've been in a trial lull for a bit and don't really have anything big on the horizon, so I've been kind of lazy. The main form of exercise for my dogs the past month has been swimming, because it's too hot for anything else!


I have lots to do with Secret this fall. She will turn "of age" (18 months) in February -- Once the snow flies, that brings an end to my at-home training abilities. That means I need to finish installing all of her fundamental skills and start to get her running some courses at home by late November or so. I'm crossing my fingers that some sort of indoor training opportunity will fall into my lap, because I honestly can't see taking a baby dog to a trial in the dead of winter after having not been on equipment for several months.


It is also my goal to try her again on sheep before the snow flies. Her first experience wasn't the most stellar and I figure we should try again before we give up.

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My hope: to get a job or at least plenty of steady freelance work (income I can count on). I wasn't able to trial much at all this past year because of my financial situation and I would like to try to get to a few more trials this season and try to qualify my open dogs and perhaps Ranger in nursery for the 2011 sheep finals in CO. On the home front, I'd like to get my situation settled enough to where I can concentrate on breeding market lambs and marketing them, along with eggs and perhaps chickens locally. But if money isn't there for trialing, then I will try to concentrate on the sheep flock and getting them to make as much money as practical for me.



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I turn retirement age this year. Financially, retirement will be tight; but I am simply tired of working after 4 years of military service and 44 years of working. So my plans are simple. I will retire at year-end, and then do something (paid or unpaid) that involves something I love: DOGS! The woman who runs Annie's doggie day care has remarked several times on how every dog with which I come in contact seems to love me, even those that are unapproachable by other people (or, at least, other men). Maybe I'll work for a doggie day care center, or volunteer for a shelter or rescue operation. But I want to devote whatever years I have left to the 3 things I love: my wife, my family, and dogs.

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Goals in no particular order:

Finish repairing the walls and painting the rooms

Add 1-2 new bathrooms to the house

Gut the current bathroom

Replace the old wiring and copper pipes


Finish reconfiguring the lower level of the bank barn (set-up for cows) to feed sheep

Build a chicken coup in the barn for Renee

Replace the fencing on the farm and add fence on property lines where there isn't any

Set-up the dairy barn as our dog kennel

Increase our flock to 80-100 breeding ewes and find additional lucrative markets for our lambs

Start hosting trials


Make the semi-finals at the VA finals with Peg

Work on Nell so she's ready for open

Allow Eve to develop at her own pace



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I'll just list dog-related goals...



To re-start regular stockwork training with Odin (preferably more than once a week).

To walk to the post with Odin at a USBCHA trial sometime in the next 2 years.

To continue to learn more about sheep and how to read them and care for them.

To keep getting back in shape and lose the baby weight, so I am better equipped to train (or at least keep up with) an excitable, loose-eyed youngster! :rolleyes:



To move to an area in CA or OR where I can buy land and a farm, which involves continuing to do well and grow in my career!

To get a small flock of sheep, and enjoy a lifelong dream of having my own farm.

To get Odin and myself to pro-novice before the end of his working career.

To someday get another dog and continue to learn stockwork and dog training with a new canine "teacher".

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Goals: Finish the house - frame and complete the second floor, finish drywall and paint on first floor.

Adjust to the concept of becoming a *gasp* mother-in-law next year

help our oldest son get married

continue working with block headed egg sucking hound Dozer and teach him some manners; spending more time with Bo

take better care of myself, because I really am worth it!


Dreams: turn my mud room (with real mud floor) into a 4 season room with fireplace and lot of windows *sigh*

getting chickens

getting as much off the grid as possible by adding a wind turbine and/or solar

putting in skylights

building a pole barn

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Mine are fairly simple:

I want to die when I am 87, lying on a private beach in St. Maartin, with a beer margarita in one hand, a cigarette in the other, and I want my boyfriend to be so overcome with grief, he has to quit college. :rolleyes:


Barring that, I will settle for getting that damn chicken coop built so my bathroom quits smelling like a barn!

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- Complete my Masters Degree :D

- Not go insane from all the work and stress of FT school and FT teaching.

- Give Moss the opportunity to work sheep more consistently... i.e. hopefully be able to swing sending him for a few more months of training this fall/winter.

- Become confident and experienced enough to move out of N/N. My dog is ready, I am not :rolleyes:

- Compete w/ Cedar for the first time in agility and obedience and kick ass... er, I mean have a positive experience. Or both. :D

- Get my blog looking how I want it to.

- Finish my thesis well in advance and totally rock my defense :-P

- Qualify Moss for the Nursery Finals.

- Finish the novel I'm working on :-P

- Buy some acreage to start the process of building our own (sheep-friendly, heh) property! It looks like this could actually become a reality. Yay! (Those of you who have sheep and work dogs, what do you think is the minimum amount of land you need to be able to keep sheep and work your dogs? What would be the ideal amount of acreage?)




Be happy. :D

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With the change of season, it's a great time to ask this question!


I actually did something the other day I haven't done in 15 years (because of my old bum knee)-- I took my old tennis racket, my new mechanical knee, and Robin up to the high school tennis court, and popped off a serve -- I can't say it was a great one, but it did land in the box...and Robin brought it right back! So seldom does a plan work so well. We worked a bit more...teaching him some impulse control...him waiting until I gave him the signal to go, It's not something a dog can spend a great deal of time at, even on a cool day -- think of high school wind sprints -- but we had fun and he learned something. The next day, I took Brodie for the same game. There happened to be a woman there practicing her serves while waiting for her partner to arrive. She had a HUGE basket of balls. Brodie was the picture of delight...he couldn't have dreamed there were that many tennis balls in the world...but he was a good boy, he only brought mine back :rolleyes:


So my first goal is to continue to look for things I haven't done in a long time, and DO THEM!


My second is to live up to my dogs expectations. Brodie gets herding lessons this fall. We'll have a pretty short window of good weather up here as well after the Nationals, but we'll get some in. I'll wait to start Robin in the spring. I can find enough to Robin occupied and Brodie needs his chance to get out into the world and do what he was bred to do.


I want to learn to spin. (Thanks Tea for all of your advice!)


No "want to's" about this one -- just do it! Get my author website up and running again, solve the contretemps with my publisher and crank out another book.


Renew my goal of obtaining a PhD -- so I'm smarter than my dog :D -- maybe



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Providing the govt doesn't raise the retirement age to something like 85 in the next 401 days.(But,who's counting) I'm going to retire from driving. If I don't want to go somewhere,then by golly I'll stay home.

In the mean time I have to replace a lot of fence that seems to have fallen down. I'll get some sheep and hopefully some cattle. I'm going to work with dogs, MY dogs. I hope to have a place where others can come and work with their dogs.

I'll also try to do more herding event photography, and expand on the leather work.

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Julie P, I edited your post for my quote. I do, want to know, that is. And I really, really, really, want that boyfriend . . . DH won't mind, he'd want me to be happy!



Thanks Ruth, I was talking on the phone and typing at the same time--never a good thing. I am a big fan of margaritas, just can't fathom what a beer margarits is, so also looking forward to having it explained....



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Hmm, with the dogs this next year I'd like to get Kenzi certified in wilderness SAR

get Kipp's SAR work to a higher level


For myself, keep plugging away on my degree in Communications. I'm doing the adult student thing while working so it's not full time. It's getting stretched out more than I would like, but I'm keeping at it.


Help my brother get his bakery business well established so I won't need to find another job when I'm finally done with school :rolleyes:


smile more :D look for the everyday blessings in life - big and small - and enjoy them!!

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Beer margaritas: 1 can frozen limeade, dump in pitcher, DO NOT ADD WATER! Fill half of the limeade can with gold or dark tequilla, dump in pitcher. Two bottles of Corona beer, dump in pitcher. Stir until limeade is melted and mixed. Salt rims of glasses, add cubed ice, pour in mixture. Throw some more salt on top if you want. Garnish with a lime. It is amazing.


Ruth, I figure my DH would feel the same! :rolleyes:

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It would be great to win the lottery - a big one ! - and build a dream dog facility. One which offers opportunities for year-round obedience training, agility training and trialing and run-throughs, tracking lessons and herding lessons (obviously need a decent amount of land). Also have excellent staff and instructors and offer workshops with well-known out-of-area trainers. And have a dog supply shop - quality food, leashes, collars, etc.) And maybe add in a rehab facility with a swimming tank. Even though I don't think that my area could support such an elaborate facility.


Anything else that needs to be included?


Although not realistic, I was inspired to dream after reading about lying on the beach with a college-age boy toy.



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Thanks Ruth, I was talking on the phone and typing at the same time--never a good thing. I am a big fan of margaritas, just can't fathom what a beer margarits is, so also looking forward to having it explained....




The best thing to come out of my marriage was the Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker I got as a bridal shower gift.

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1. I would like to find a reliable stock dog trainer who can get us in regularly and not just squeeze DH, myself and the dogs in here and there. (Very hard to find out here in the desert it seems)


2. Get our business up and running so that my passion can eventually pay bills, allow me to work from home, and make that home a home that also has sheep. :rolleyes:

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Play agility more. Enough so I can feel more confident in my handling ability.


Kick butt at nationals with Cressa. (I will be happy with any placement for the weekend!)


Get Troy better at agility and possible get him to national level.


Get faster at agility and agile.


Try out herding and start obedience.


And... get another border collie puppy.


Not gain the weight I lost and to keep loosing it.


Get into nursing and graduate as in RN.


and GET MY 1ST CAR! :rolleyes:

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Scorch and I have one leg left for our CD. I've waited a long time for a dog who was healthy enough to compete in obedience and rally with (Jack passed from a brain tumor at age 4, Wolfie was retired before we even started for his hips)... even though our goal is to make it through Utility, right now I will be ecstatic if we get our CD and our RN titles.


We have two shows in October, so fingers crossed.

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My overall goals are to continue to enjoy my dogs, continue to learn more about training, grow with each of my dogs as a team, and continue to help others learn to enjoy their dogs, learn more about training, and grow with their dogs as a team.


Some short term things:


I am hoping to finish Speedy's Intermediate Freestyle title.


I am planning do more with Speedy and Maddie and Sammie in the way of fitness and conditioning.


Most of my training goals are with Dean. I am planning to train the Level 3 Rally exercises with him this winter. There are a bunch of Freestyle skills that I'd like to work on with him. Our main focus at this point is on duration. And there are a few Agility skills that I want to solidify with him - rear crosses, discriminations, and some "polish" on his weaving. We are also, slowly, adding the bang into his teeter.


Dean is going to become my main Agility dog and I am planning to start him in NADAC. My main goal with that is to get him to a few trials this winter and start getting experience in that venue. We've done a few trials, so it's not completely new, but we haven't done very much.


On a personal level, I mean to lose 30 pounds, do a deep clean on my house, and do some outdoor fix-up this fall. Last year someone gave me a sewing machine and I managed to figure out how to use it well enough to get some costumes made for my Freestyle competitions this year. I would like to take some lessons so I can learn to sew well enough to make clothes of a quality that I can wear in real life.


My husband and I have been talking forever about doing some hiking so we are hoping to start getting into that with some easy hikes this fall.


Lots of good stuff! :rolleyes:

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