Rimrock English Shepherds

I’d like to take you back… the year was 2006, even before I started writing this blog!  This handsome little guy came into my life… and many, many things changed.

LucasbabyFirst of all, I fell deeply in love with my English Shepherd.  I jumped into all things “dog”.  Not that I hadn’t been a dog person forever, but I went to that next level… reading books on training, breeding, more training, listening to new friends and experts, following this guy around and taking picture upon picture.

I wanted to be more, do more, know more, because I had my “heart dog”… and I thought he deserved it.

Seven months in… we ran over him and things changed.  I was very grateful for modern veterinary science.  I learned more about breeding and therapy dogs (thinking his cowdog career wouldn’t be possible).  Luckily, I had a great mentor in the English Shepherd community, and she put me in touch with a classic breeder in Oklahoma, who was willing to sell me her female.  Before I really knew what was happening, or where it would lead me, I owned two wonderful English Shepherds, and my kennel name, Rimrock English Shepherds was registered.

readers(Oh, my goodness, these 3rd graders in the top photo are seniors this year!  The kindergarten class in the bottom photo are sophomores…)

So what do you do when you raise a rare breed of dog and live in one of the least populated states?  Well, you build a website.  Basically, from scratch.  OK, it wasn’t coding, but it wasn’t “drag and drop” back then either!  Frustration, tears (ugh, with me there’s ALWAYS tears), and a few colorful metaphors later… my website was done.  One of the bonuses of the website was a free blog platform, which I nicknamed “Overlook”.

Rimrock English Shepherds has continued through the years, quietly sitting in the background, occasionally shipping people over to this blog.  People still find me, looking for dogs, but, honestly… not that many.  Red Dirt In My Soul has taken over like a Frankenstein full of pieces from here and there… I decided Rimrock’s website was getting old.

Last Friday, I received a call from GoDaddy, telling me Rimrock’s platform is going away, and would I like to update to their new “drag and drop” style?  I use it with the library, and it is extremely easy to use, but, well, I decided to stop the website.  Don’t worry, I’m hanging onto the domain name, so if I change my mind, Rimrock English Shepherds will still be there waiting for me…

Tonight, as I took screen shots of my pretty little website that started me on this journey of blogging, it was like shaking hands with an old friend, one that has to be left behind.  (PS., the black and white photo is the one that earned me a new pair of boots, courtesy of Working Ranch Magazine and Stetson boots.)

frontpage

Cowscowscows

Blue sky.  We actually had Blue Sky!

So, naturally, we worked cows.

cuttinggo lay downdeer crossingcountry

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I guess it’s a new month… any questions out there for another Q&A post in a few days?  Send me your questions… and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability!!!  C’mon, don’t be shy!

Party On

While other areas of Wyoming (and just up the road from here) are dealing with a foot or more of new snow… we, luckily, escaped this storm.  That’s OK.

There’s plenty of moisture around.

waterThe guys moved a few cows this morning… and then, we had the party for little miss Lorelei.

Three.  She’s three!

closeup
Lacee will be there in a month as well!  My, how time flies.

LoreleiAlthough the new pink mud boots were a pretty good hit, she made everyone laugh when she opened her gift from Aunt Tess and Uncle Daniel… A dress, another dress, a pretty headband, and… A GUN!!!! The new cap pistol trumped the dresses!

(I do believe I loved my cap pistol when I was that age as well! Atta, girl!)

The Saga of Josephine

Pecking order.

Have you ever wondered where that phrase came from?  I suggest you watch some chickens, and it will quickly become apparent to you.  There exists a hierarchy among chickens (and just about everything else that lives) and that order is enforced with their beaks.

Enter poor little Josephine.  She was the Bottom Rung, the Outcast, the One… for whatever chicken-ish reason there was, she was at the bottom of the pecking order.  The other hens picked on her.  Pecked her.  Repeatedly.  She’d lose feathers and bleed.  As I seem to be the one to often help the Underdog, I’d grab her, place her in my old chicken tractor… and feed her individually.  She healed up, regrew feathers, and by the end of her first round of solitary confinement, she would “bokbok” at me, run to stand in between my feet, follow me for food, allow me to pick her up and pack her around, frequently becoming the one chicken that the grandkids could pet.  Of all my chickens, Rooster Spot and Josephine are the only ones with names.

Once healed, I tried to re-integrate her with the other 10 chickens.  It was a no-go… and they began to relentlessly pick on her once again.

Over Easter, I was telling the chicken’s story at the table, and tender-hearted Tess started tearing up for Josephine.  “That’s so sad!”  Since getting chicks wasn’t going to work for Tess this year, I offered Josephine to her as a pet.  “You can borrow my chicken tractor for now… and she won’t have to hide from the other hens.”  The problem of Josephine was solved.

Now, please note.  Tess came to the ranch with ornithophobia… which means the fear of birds.  She doesn’t like them.  They freak her out.  Of course, we’ve been respectful of her phobia, never teasing or pulling pranks on her about chickens.

And if you believe that last sentence, I have some tips about the stock market I’d love to sell you…

Tess has come along way… obviously, because she is very empathetic for little Josephine.

So… first order of business, Megan, Tess, and I loaded up the chicken tractor in the pickup and delivered it to her house.  Boy, that sentence makes it sound so easy and fast.  It was neither.  We did it with girl power and four wheelers… but we did it.

chicken tractorThen, I managed to confine Josephine in the dog kennel… where she was retrieved by an excited little girl.

JosephineLacee LOVES animals… all kinds.

chicken tractorJosephine now resides in Tess’ yard… with care and love from Jaxon and Lacee.

So ends the saga of Josephine… with the moral of this story: Just because you’re at the bottom of the pecking order, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of your life will be horrid.  You might just end up with special care and top-notch accommodations!

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Happy 3rd birthday, Little Miss Lorelei!!!!  I love you!

#TBT: Working Team

A hired man drives the team raking hay on the Greet Ranch.  1920’s photo.

hayrake