Thursday 29 September 2011

A Big Day For Tramplings....

As the Tramplings are now approaching 7 months of age, it is time that NEO get his own 'Man Cave' away from his sisters.

Because I didn't want him to be too lonely, the girls have moved from the puppy pen down to a pen next to their brother.

The girls think it is fine - new scenery, new smells, new dirt.....

But despite my assurances that a Bachelor Pad is a cool thing for a 'happening' young Siberian, NEO is unconvinced....
I fear it may be a noisy night....

Bet says it better not interfer with her beauty sleep...

Or ELSE.....

The Musher Rebuts Bets Story...

Since I made Bet take a bath tonight that didn't involve candles and/or wine, she is no longer speaking to me. I therefore figured it was a good time to rebut her story about the encounter that we had on a training run last week.
(In case you haven't read it, Bet's version can be found here )

It really happened this way....

Richard and I were out on a training run each with a 16 dog team. Richard had 2 pretty good leaders up front - Bang and Bingo, but I had rookie leader Turtle and the very distractable Wifi.
During the summer a herd of about 40 cows and calves graze on the land next to us. I occasionally train in that area - with something like 640 acres to graze on I rarely run into them.
Of course this morning we choose to train on those trails and low and behold ran into the herd. I figured they would all scatter when they saw us coming, but one young cow opted to stand his ground. Richard snapped this picture as I was yelling insults at the stubborn hunk of walking steak suggesting he move on...

 He stalled for a bit, walked backwards a bit, and then fled for the trees. Incident over - or so I thought.

A minute later Richard called my name and pointed out one SERIOUSLY pissed off cow storming through the trees towards his team. In tow was the younger cow - I think he was pointing us out to his mom.
We called up both teams and BOOKED it outta there!!!

I picked a trail that I thought afforded us the least incident of running into the herd again, but low and behold, about a 1/2 mile later there they were again. We kicked the teams into high gear, but the cows were on a collision course for us. At this moment Wifi and Turtle's brains blew up, I ran up front to piece things back together, but that blocked the trail on Richard leaving him stranded with several thousands of pounds of unground hamburger headed towards him.

At that point he called upon his British '00' training and sprang into action. His first thought, of course, was of his dog team so he activated the electric fence force field feature on his Aston Martin ATV (well, you didn't think he drove a basic Honda ATV like I do, did you? Also remember that our 'Q' is named for the very clever 'Q' from the James Bond movies - the two of them spent all their spare time plotting and tinkering with that ATV last year).
With the team safe, Richard executed a few effective paralyzing martial arts moves on first approaching cow. The rest of the herd saw that and headed for the hills with tails tucked and eyes wide. 
Richard adjusted his bow tie, wiped a bit of cow sh&t off his Converse Jack Purcell ankle boots, took a sip of his 'shaken, not stirred' martini and we proceeded with the run.

I notice that the cows left for home last weekend. I don't think they got the message that Richard had gone home yet.

Well Bet?????

It is just as believable as your version......

Wednesday 28 September 2011

The Leaves Are Growing Old...

...and the 'Season of the Sled Dog' is beginning...

Charge - who is in beautiful coat and looking rather stunning right now!!

Our new handler, Brittany with the team this morning.

Tess enjoying a blanket of leaves!

TopDog and Fletch

Kelly and Casey
Snert and Pop


Monday 26 September 2011

Saskatchewan or Bust - Nearly Bust

As I mentioned in my last blog, the plan for the weekend was to be in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan speaking at the Gateway Sled Dog Club seminar.
However, when I got home from dropping Richard, Sherwood and Bolt off at the Calgary Airport late Thursday night I realized that I was going to have to take a detour to the hospital Friday morning before beginning my drive. See, I'd had a seriously swollen left leg for the last few days. Thursday night my left calf was a full 2 inches bigger then my right one.

So, Friday morning I packed my bags for the weekend, but stopped in Westlock to get my leg looked at before beginning the 7 hour drive.
I fully expected to be waiting an hour or more before being seen, however I was promptly moved to the head of the line. My own doctor (who does emergency room coverage) was the one to see me and one look at my leg - with the added information that I had fairly recently had a long plane ride - had things jumping into high gear.
"Did you drive yourself here?", she asked as they drew vial after vial of blood and loaded me up with blood thinner (fearing a blood clot). When I replied positively (without telling her I had driven much further the previous day and intended to drive even further later that day) she told me to call Mark or get ready for an ambulance ride to St. Albert. I called Mark.

In St. Albert an ultrasound showed that my issue was a ruptured Baker's cyst not any of the more serious issues my doctor feared but still when I broached the subject of immediately doing a 7 hour drive he blanched a bit. "Go talk to your own doctor", was his final comment.
Back in Westlock, 4 hours after my original planned departure, my doctor gave me the 'go ahead' to travel. Okay, there was a bit of 'negotiating' to get that 'go ahead' but I got it.

The drive out was pretty uneventful. I must say that Saskatchewan may not be the more exciting province in Canada, but they sure know how to 'do' sunsets. The sunset on Friday night was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. (Sorry no pictures, I was running very late and didn't bring a camera along).

The seminar itself was great. Although I was there primarily to be a speaker, I learned a lot, especially on sports injury massage,  from Canadian Challenge head vet Dr Ruth Sims.

As an added bonus for the weekend my very dear friend Colleen drove up from Regina to visit. After groaning about how gross and disgusting (I believe she said it looked like a 'dead persons' leg) my leg looked, she kicked into 'Mom mode' and made sure I followed my doctor's instructions all weekend.

The drive home turned out to be surprising lovely as well. Saskatchewan was breaking all sorts records for high temperatures over the weekend, so not only were the fall colors spectacular - the weather was gorgeous. I so wish I had had time to poke around Prince Albert, La Ronge and the other areas I spent so much time in this past winter!!

So, I'm back at home now. I still have to be 'good' to my leg for a few more days to prevent any serious complications with it. Luckily my new handler, Brittany, arrives this afternoon!!!


Friday 23 September 2011

Happy Birthday Richard - Bet

Howdy Ho everyone!  Its your non-crampy toe roving Border Collie, Bet here!

Yesterday (22 September) was Richard's birthday! 

I was planning a really hugey huge surprise for him and told the Musher to get him out of the house so I could prepare.  When she said they were leaving and would be back, I really thought that was my signal to get with the preparing for the really biggie big surprise party I had planned so the moment they left, I started baking!

Yep, I made him a life sized cupcake in the shape of the planter!
Its really huge and has buttercream frosting and some candles and it has some waffles in it and its just yummalicious and everything.... except that I lost track of the days and when the Musher said they were leaving, she actually meant that Richard was going back to the UK place!

sigh... I had to eat the whole thing by myself.

Happy Birthday Richard!


Thursday 22 September 2011

I'm Sorry...

(Special apologies to Keith)

I've been a very bad blogger the last few weeks. As always at this time of year, that means things are busy!!!

First off, as Bet has mentioned Richard has been visiting and he has been dragging me around on all kind of adventures with him.

It's been very rough....

So very rough...

But I'm tough and have been hanging in there well.

We have also been running a lot of dogs ...

,,,,with a few good adventures in there too...

(I honestly will tell this story sometime soon!!)

And we have had some company from California...

...Rancy Reyes and Joyce and Bruce Stegmaier from California (owners of Alpine Outfitters). We have been having a great time with them. And have even put them to work some...

Good times....busy unfortunately not alot of time for blogging!

I'm off to Calgary this morning to drop Richard off at the airport, then off to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan to present at a seminar. Back home on Monday with only a quick trip into the city to pick up our short term fall handler and then things should be more back to 'normal'.

Stay tuned!!!!

Saturday 17 September 2011

Where's The Beef??? (A Post Hijacked by Bet)

So, howdy ho everyone, its your roving border collie reporter, Bet, here! The Musher promised to tell the story behind this picture, and she started it... then had to go run off with Richard to do some "thing" in Calgary, so I figured I'd hijack her blog post and tell you what happened here

Yeah, so there we were, just out playing with the curly tails like we normally do.  Nice day, pretty flowers and the leaves are starting to turn colors and it made me think about that wonderful Gucci collar I was admiring on e-bay the other day, when all of a sudden, this clearly rabid and feral cow thing comes stomping out of the woods!

Of course I can't be too sure that it was actually rabid, but what mignon on hooves tries to stomp all over packs of Pretty Curly Tails?  The Musher didn't have to tell me what to do, I just leapt into action, even though the vicious walking steak could have been packing a gun or knife.

Using the skills I learned from the Interwebs, I distracted the moorauder with slight of paw, then placed it into a submissive position by using the double shooting star press by jumping forward performing a backflip into the midair, and landing into the bovine's chest first in a press style, thus rendering it unable to harm the Curly Tails.

Both the Musher and Richard were able to continue along with their training run with the Curly Tails, and then we all had roast for dinner.

- Bet

(No moo-cows were actually injured in the writing of this blog post)

Thursday 15 September 2011

Crampy Toes - Bet

Howdy Ho, its your very happy non-crampy toe roving border collie reporter, Bet, here!

I must say, since Richard arrived back at North Wapiti my toes have felt magical.  He's been giving me some extra special crampy toe massages to iron out some issues and I am in HEAVEN!

Yes, right there... that toe has been especially crampy, as its my laptop touch screen toe.

Oh yeah, I can feel the stress and strain oozing right out of my foot with that Shiatsu ankle press, excellent!

Work that toe, work it, the Musher always misses that spot... says my toes smell like Fritos corn chips... whatever those are.

Your technique has improved quite a bit, I bet Mrs. Richard really appreciates your talents and has some lovely feet to prove it.

Don't ever leave me Richard... we'll just send Cricket back, your wife will never be able to tell the difference anyway.

So, as you can clearly see, its been wonderful having him back, and this morning when I woke up, I trotted out for my next crampy toe appointment, only to find THIS:

- Bet

Monday 12 September 2011

My Surprise - Bet

Howdy Ho everyone, its your VERY happy roving non-crampy toe Border Collie reporter, Bet, here, and I have to say that I was VERY surprised and also VERY happy with my surprise today!

That's right, my very own, personal crampy toe masseuse is visiting ME at North Wapiti!  I was so happy to see Richard that I may have piddled just a tiny bit with excitement.  His magic crampy toe fingers made my feets feel wonderful and rejuvenated once again.  I really must find a way to move him and his darling wife out to North Wapiti permanently, or at the very least have him teach new Sarah Handler the technique.

After my much needed toe massage, Richard went out and played with the Curly Tails

Then, since its such a long flight for him to come visit, he bedded down in his usual guest quarters.

Its the most wonderful present a pup could ask for... thank you Musher!

- Bet