Friday, January 30, 2009

Montana English Shepherd Rescue

200 English Shepherds Seized in Montana

Officials in Yellowstone County Montana recently seized 200 English Shepherds from a breeder in the town of Ballantine. The dogs were living in horrific conditions and many did not survive. They are currently being cared for by the county and a dedicated group of volunteers. Among the seized dogs are approximately 30 females who are bred or who have recently whelped litters. Although the disposition of the dogs is not final until court proceedings are over, it is certain that many, if not all of these dogs will need loving

National English Shepherd Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non profit group committed to helping English Shepherds in need. They are working closely with MT county officials to evaluate the dogs and will offer assistance in placing them in homes when the time comes.

NESR is currently seeking donations of money and supplies as well as foster and adoptive homes in anticipation of the release of these dogs. If you can help or would like more information please contact NESR.


National English Shepherd Rescue
10602 Brittney La S. E.
Olalla, WA 98359

The NESR website has a dedicated page for information on the Montana rescue effort. There you will find media reports as well as links to blogs from some of the volunteers working with the dogs.

Volunteers are working with these dogs to provide socialization and love. These two have new names that reflect the hope that comes with new beginnings.

Wishful thinking

One of my favorite pictures of Honey and Bubba taken last summer.

It's hard to believe that spring is right around the corner. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that we were at the Sheep and Wool Festival. Hard to believe that it was almost 5 months ago. Between work, school, 4H, family and other activities, it just seems that time has flown!

Still haven't managed to get the loom set up, or the wheel going. Have to pick up some finished fleeces from the Illinois Wool and Fiber Mill. We took a tour of Jane's facility and I dropped of a couple bags of fleeces for processing. Can't wait to get them! Of course, I have more that I need to take down there before spring shearing...

We should start lambing in a few weeks. It's been so blasted cold here that I haven't even wanted to think about it. Checked a couple of the girls and they are starting to bag up, so it won't be long.

Honey is due with her pups in less than 2 weeks. She's getting to that fat and uncomfortable stage; she groans every time she moves now. She is definitely bigger than Yuna was at the same time. Either we're having larger pups or there are more of them... Just what everyone needs is a house FULL of English Shepherds!

Given the pedigree of this litter, we're expecting strong working instincts, even temperaments, and a biddable nature. I can track back the pedigree for several generations, and while that's no guarantee of working ability, it does give some reassurance that the ancestors of these dogs were evaluated worthy of carrying on the breed. The Mohns and Beebe lines of English Shepherds have produced traditional working farm family dogs. Their dogs can be traced back to the 50's and earlier. We can only hope that ours will also fall into that category in future generations.

Next time I post just might be with puppy pictures!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Whirlwind Kentucky Roadtrip

Well, we did it. My daughter and I did a quick road trip to Kentucky to get the "boys". We left Sunday morning and headed to Bowling Green. Spent the night with my niece and her husband. It worked out well, as this was the first chance we've had to visit with them at their new house. Short but sweet visit!

Left their place early Monday morning for Hopkinsville. Picked up the boys and we couldn't have asked for better travel companions. Badger happily hopped in the car and made himself at home. Bear (Cecil) we weren't so sure about, but we never needed the kennel. When we put him in the car, he rode on my daughter's lap until we got to Elizabethtown. After that, he settled down where the seats and the trunk meet- and slept almost the whole trip back! Poor boy has spent almost 1/3 of his life in a shelter so it's probably been a long time since he had quiet. Never heard a sound out of either of them the entire ride!

Managed to get in a quick tour of Western Kentucky University. Nice campus- wouldn't mind if one of the girls went there for school. Plus- their idea of "cold" is about 30F... I'll take that! Loved the drive through Lexington. I haven't been there since our family went back in the 70's. Did a driving tour of Keeneland- what a beautiful facility. Had an interesting "stoplight" experience; as we were stopped at a red light, I realized that Badger was looking out the window, wagging his tail. I looked over and noticed there was a pickup next to me with 2 men in it. After a few moments, the driver pulled up and the passenger motioned for me to roll down my window. The older gentleman driving commented, "Ma'am, that's a beautiful English Shepherd you have there, just a beautiful dog." I definitely agreed with him!

Met the family that was adopting Badger in Mount Sterling. I think they were destined to be together. Badger gave Larry a big hug when he met him- I'm not kidding. It wasn't like he jumped up- he just walked up to Larry, tail wagging, and the next thing we knew he was "standing" there with both paws on Larry; giving him kisses, etc. I've never seen a dog do that to a stranger. It's like they'd known each other for years. And he did the same thing to Larry's wife. Then, when introduced to their son, he snuggled right up to him. They had brought a crate in case they needed it, but when they headed home, Badger was snuggled up in the back seat of the truck with their son. I had already warned DH that if things didn't work out finding/meeting the family in KY, that Badger was headed home with us...

Bear rode home very quietly with us to Wisconsin. He slept through Lexington, Cincinatti, Indianapolis, the snowy white-out in Hammond, Chicago- you get the picture. He did wake up briefly to take a short walk when we stopped and once when we got dinner, but the rest of the trip- he was out! Didn't get home until almost midnight- got delayed with the impropmtu mini-blizzard in Indiana. I'd forgotten how much "fun" lake effect snow can be...

He spent a couple days at our house so we could get him up to date on shots. He could have stayed too! He figured out his place very quickly and was happy to have a quiet place to sleep. Lola loved having someone "lower" than her to boss around! And she loved having another dog her size with whom to play. I took him to the office for a couple days and he slept right under my desk. Made friends with the staff and stole their hearts! Introduced him briefly to the lambs but since it's been so cold at our house (-30's F), we couldn't spend a lot of time outside. He was intrigued with them- a little hesitant, but not afraid. Would have loved to have some warmer days to see how he was the flock.

Bear is now being fostered with another family to learn the basics. He's learning to sit before eating, proper play- all those basic puppy things. It shouldn't take long before he finds a permanent home.

Friday, January 16, 2009

$#^@$% cold...!

'Nuf said???

WeatherSky Cond. Temperature (ºF)PressurePrecipitation (in.)
AirDwpt6 hour altimeter
sea level
1 hr 3 hr6 hr
1619:35S 810.00FairCLR-11-19


1619:15S 710.00FairCLR-10-18


1618:55S 710.00FairCLR-12-20


1618:35S 710.00FairCLR-10-19


1618:15S 810.00FairCLR-11-19


1617:55S 810.00FairCLR-10-19 -1-1030.42NA

1617:35S 710.00FairCLR-8-18


1617:15S 910.00FairCLR-7-18


1616:55S 910.00FairCLR-7-18


1616:35S 910.00FairCLR-5-17


1616:15S 910.00FairCLR-4-16


1615:55S 910.00FairCLR-3-16


1615:35S 910.00FairCLR-2-16


1615:15S 910.00FairCLR-2-15


1614:55S 1010.00FairCLR-1-16


1614:35S 810.00FairCLR-2-15


1614:15S 910.00FairCLR-3-15


1613:55S 910.00FairCLR-3-15


1613:35S 810.00FairCLR-4-15


1613:15S 710.00FairCLR-4-15


1612:55S 610.00FairCLR-5-16


1612:35S 610.00FairCLR-7-16


1612:15S 710.00FairCLR-9-18


1611:55S 710.00FairCLR-10-19 -10-2630.58NA

1611:35S 910.00FairCLR-11-20


1611:15S 710.00FairCLR-12-20


1610:55S 810.00FairCLR-13-21


1610:35S 810.00FairCLR-14-22


1610:15S 610.00FairCLR-14-22


1609:55S 710.00FairCLR-15-22


1609:35S 610.00FairCLR-16-22


1609:15S 610.00FairCLR-17-23


1608:55S 710.00FairCLR-19-25


1608:35S 510.00FairCLR-21-26


1608:15S 710.00FairCLR-21-27


1607:55S 610.00FairCLR-21-26


1607:35S 810.00FairCLR-25-29


1607:15S 710.00FairCLR-25-28


1606:55S 510.00FairCLR-21-26


1606:35S 510.00FairCLR-21-26


1606:15S 610.00FairCLR-21-26


1605:55S 510.00FairCLR-24-28 -11-2430.59NA

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Classic Movies

We've taken to watching old movies in the evening to relax. I used to watch a lot of these when I was in school- my mom and I would stay up folding laundry and watch a good 'ole classic movie. DH really never did - so these are all new to him.

Tonight's movie is "Anchors Aweigh" with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. If any of you remember it, this is the one in which Gene Kelly dances with Jerry during the story sequence. The funny thing is- while the animated story is playing, I noticed 5 dogs watching the screen....

Lola and Honey were the most intrigued. Lola has watched most of the movie. It doesn't hurt that there's some incredible music and singing- she loves music.

Lola loves watching tv. She reminds me of Lucky in 101 Dalmations.

Now if I could just get the damn cat to stop teasing the dogs... It WAS quiet here this evening...


Do you remember the Chambers Brothers song "Time has come today"? It ends with an almost chant-like..."Time"...."Time".....

That's all that keeps going through my head lately. Just never enough time. When I was home with the kids when they were little, we got so-o-o much done! The fun stuff: baking, cooking, walks, playtime, crafts; and the not so fun stuff: laundry, dishes, cleaning. But we got it done. Then, after heading back to work, what do we do- add in MORE stuff to do. Do we take anything away? Not really- just replace it with different stuff. Playtime, walks, & crafts become sports, taxi time, and 4H. Oh- and work time.... Somehow we're supposed to fit that in too!

Any way... this leads into the reason nothings really been updated. I figure (realistically) I'll be lucky to get things updated monthly. By the time I sit down and try to think, I'm out for the night! I "HAVE" become my mother! ;) We used to tease her when we were in high school. We'd sit down for a girls night of Scrabble- and she'd doze off while she was waiting for my sister and I to take our turns. We'd finish up and have to wake her up for her turn. Now I get it....

So what have we been up to? Where to start...

I made a trip in December to see Jim & Ann Beebe. Haven't been down there since January '08 when I picked up Lola, Bramble and Maggie. Jim hadn't been doing so well then and I didn't get a chance to meet him. This time he was much better and we had a nice visit. I also took Lola down so they could see her. However, we had an ulterior motive for the trip- Honey was in heat and I had talked to Ann about breeding her to Sparky. So the deed was done in about 10 minutes....And then all Honey wanted to do was play. That's my girl! So, it's been a month and we're pretty sure she's having puppies. She's a lot like her mom- she hides it well. So a couple more weeks we'll take the xray and see how many pups we can expect.

Lola has really been coming into her own this winter. Her main job is to keep the sheep off the fence- and she takes it to heart! They move for her when they won't move for anyone/anything else. She has the most versatile bark- high yappy pitch when excited or just starting to work, deep lower bark to get the ewes' attention, and a very throaty bark that makes even the most tenacious ewe jump out of the way! We've been working very hard on understanding that she only uses that last bark (and grip) on the big ewes and only when we really NEED to. The babies are a little confusing for her. She really wants to boss them around, and they are oblivious to her demands. They're used to following us around the yard (and into the garage).
So she's had to learn that babies are special. That's Lola and one of her buddies pictured.

Been trying to sort/declutter/destash the house. Needed to go through Roger's mom's things; we had too many stored boxes of clothes the girls have outgrown, too many sewing supplies (no- REALLY- I do), etc. Haven't even had a chance to start going through fleeces from this year yet. But I did manage to clear out 7 boxes of clothes and sell the rest of my aquatic supplies, so that made space in the workroom. Hopefully in another week or so, I can get going on skirting those. I bought back an old medium sized loom from a friend of mine (that's a whole "nother" entry) and was lucky enough to find a large Kessenich loom this fall dirt cheap, so I'd like to get started on those.

And right now, I've been working with NESR on getting a couple of ES boys pulled from a shelter. NESR has their hands full with the Montana situation (another post...) so they really didn't need this too. But I just happened to be doing a search for all things ES and happened upon a Petfinder link. I know I should never look, but.... When I saw the picture for the link- I knew that the dog's face was familiar. Sure enough, it was Melissa Crislip's Badger. For those that don't know, Melissa had some "small" strokes (is there such a thing???) and was hospitalized. We don't know the details, but Badger was surrendered to the shelter right before Christmas. Long story short, I contacted the shelter, Lynda McCall (his breeder), and NESR, and Badger is getting pulled this weekend. We'll be road-tripping this weekend to get him to his new home and also get another ESy pup into foster.

I guess we just have to make the most of what time we have. I think I'm getting good at it...