December 9, 2002

She is doing great! She completely ignores the poultry for which we are much relieved. She has discovered the cows though and is fascinated by them. She wants to go into their pen and move them around. A couple times when she's been off leash to play she has gone over there to check them out. They walk toward her to check her out and she isn't afraid of them, wary but not afraid and then she tries to move them. I think that given a few more months she will be a willing and able cattle dog.

We aren't very familiar with border collies but I think we're seeing some of that side showing up. We have noticed she has a pretty strong ''eye'' when she plays. Often stopping and and walking slowly and eyeing the other dog (who is of course completely oblivious). She also will jump at the head of the other dog when they are chasing around playing. Is that heading?

She knows several commands that she does well, sit, wait, out, enough and speak. And there several more that she knows and we are working on her for following through on them, down, hold and here (have to get her attention then she obeys readily) . We mostly use them in games but we do have working sessions every day too.

We gave her a bath this past weekend too and we got to see what a wonderful coat farmcollies have. The water just ran off - I had to agitate the fur to get it wet enough to add the shampoo. She hardly shed any hair into the water at all and wasn't very dirty at all, especially for a pup. She also seems to groom herself a lot to keep clean.

I have to share one thing she does that is so cute. When we tie her when we are getting hay from the loft we tie her by the cattle stanchion which has a rope to secure the headpiece. She grabs the rope and plays tug - o -war by herself until we get done and come back and get her. It is just precious.

Enough babbling - I know you all have been through this and know how wonderful they are. Thanks for listening.


December 31, 2002

Well Abby is almost 5 months old now and doing well overall. She no longer looks or even acts as much like a puppy but she still has plenty of energy.

Her hearing has gotten better (or maybe our voices have gotten louder ) and we can call her from anywhere in the yard and she will come running. We are working on the egg collecting still. She is really good about bringing them to us but the tossing them into the air and dropping them along the way still poses a few problems. She does know we want her to bring us eggs and gets a nice treat for them but she also knows they taste good so we'll have to see how that plays out.

We had her help us with the cattle for the first time this past week. For the most part we've kept her away from the cows but she is just drawn to them running out to their pen every chance she gets. She did well for her first time. Keep in mind she has never helped us with cows or really been allowed into the pen with them. The cows aren't used to being worked by a dog so they were distracted by her being there and Abby didn't know what we were doing or what we wanted and was very excited. But having her there was another "body" to help with the sorting and she ended up helping us get that last cow into the pen by running into the pen in front of the cow and the cow following her into the pen! I think with more practice both Abby and the cows will get so this might just work.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year.


May 22, 2003

It has been a crazy busy spring here. Wet and cold then warm, then wet again I'll guess the mosquitoes are next. Just an updated on our doggies :-)

Abby - she is doing good! She no longer looks like a pup and is very attentive to us. She LOVES working too. We put her and our Rottie into the goat pen as a playpen when the weather permits and Abby barks and talks to us almost immediately, wanting to be back out to run around the yard and help with chores. We've been keeping there while we do evening chores to give Angus a chance for some one on one time and to get used to the routine with out interference. The other day Abby helped us put the goats back in and did a wonderful job. In fact she kept wanting to run over and get the cows that were nearby and put them into the goat shelter too LOL. What made us especially happy is that even though she wanted to go get the cows Abby would listen to us and let us guide her.

Looking forward to seeing how her working develops over the summer.

With Tala gone we desperately needed Angus to be able to help out on the farm. We talked to him about it (I know sounds silly) and told him what we needed from him. He is a pretty serious dog and had really bonded to us finally and I think this time our directions "took". He did seem to start after birds when he had just gotten off the tie but we quickly and firmly corrected him and he appears to be leaving them alone now. He even is pretty good with cats after we gave him some stern corrections about chasing them and then praising him when he left them alone. He is close to 100% on coming when called he even comes to us when we are calling to the goat kids to come LOL. We have been taking our goslings out for walks and to get grass and Angus adores them. He is very gentle with them and lays down and lets them walk all around them and even lets them "eat" his fur and tail. So far he isn't interested in helping with the goats/cows but he does lay down a little ways away and watch Abby do her thing and seems interested so we are figuring that it may just take more time before he is confident enough to try.

I know we have a lot of work to do with them yet but I thought I'd share their latest news :-) Thanks for listening.


Abby's Uncle Beau


March 29 2004

Its crazy here... we're hand milking 16 goats, feeding 34 bottle babies and are working with our poultry. All that inaddition to working off the farm also makes for interesting days and weekends.

We have 100 week old ducklings in our bathroom right now waiting for us to get their shelter set up in the poultry building. The dogs are all pretty good with baby anything (I think they can tell by the pitch of the sounds they make that they are babies?). This morning I wanted to introduce Justice to the baby ducks since he has not been around our baby poultry before like the other dogs. Keep in mind that Justice is still very bouncy and energetic, even though he is older and has more control he still can't seem to sit still or keep his body under control for too long . He's just a very happy bouncy puppy yet. Well, I called him over and he came bounding over like he usually does and then at the door he halted, and walked carefully into the room and peeked in at the ducklings so he wouldn't scare them. The duckings kept chattering away and didn't even cower when the checked them out. I was so proud of him. He got lots of praise and of course I released him from the room right away so he could go bounding off somewhere else :-)

Just had to share about our boy.



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