Today it almost reached 40 degrees! A 70 degree improvement over the other morning. Gotta love Wyoming. Since the weather was nice, we decided we’d better kick more calves up to the feed ground before the weather dropped off or snowed more. Off to the fields went Brandon, Vernon, and I.
My partner for the day was Dally. This was gonna be too much for Lucas and I just thought I’d see how she’d do without Elsa, her mom. This is an unusual position for Dally to be in… she has always been by some other dog’s side… being backup. Today was all hers. Boomer was even in the pickup with Daniel miles away!
Now yesterday I said I’d give you more OOPE photos
… and I am. But these are OOPEs from today, and trust me, they are better than yesterday’s!
First Brandon and I took the four wheeler to the bottom field about a mile and a half trip… bottom meaning the one farthest downstream… they aren’t stacked like pancakes or Nepalese rice fields! I dropped Brandon off to cross the ice and walk those calves back up the other side of the creek. I am sore from yesterday, so I took the four wheeler and dog and turned around and went back upstream. Now realize this… Dally had just run a good mile and a half in snow. She was smart enough to stay in our ruts for the most part! I’d like to do that every time I worked her! It takes some of her edge off!
See the tongue hanging out? That’s good for this pup, she usually has WAY too much energy to work cattle quietly!
Doesn’t she look pitiful? Well, actually she’s just resting and eating snow… as you can see the creek is frozen… tough to get a drink there today. Plus I’m waiting for some of the calves to go through a gate, so we wait here instead of pressuring them close to the gate.
Watch her work! That’s her in the bottom left corner… she’s up too far, she should be farther to the left. She’s learning though!
I actually managed to send her. Without guidance from other dogs and a little exhaustion thrown into the mix, I was having troubles getting her to go any distance away… I think she’s regaining some energy here though because she gets easier and easier to send… IF she can see cattle. She hasn’t learned to trust me if I can see something!
We hit the steep edge of a draw here… hoping some might go on down… Nope, they wouldn’t! Our goal is about a half mile to the left of this shot… but we had to take them up about another 3/4 of a mile and then over the bridge and back down… Stupid calves!
Dally is pushing them well at this point… but she sees some down in the field below us and is watching them… they are too far away for us to mess with now!
Stupid calves don’t know which way to go, so they are wandering everywhere! I prefer horses over four wheelers… at least I could cut them off or turn them easier, but in this hilly country, I am overly cautious.
Tired girl and boy!!! Brandon has hiked miles… good thing he is young and in shape… I would have died by now if I’d tried that!!
The following are the best shots of the day…
Shhhhhshhhhshhhhshhhh! or is it more like swswwswwswswswswsw! or just ssssssss!
Whatever it is, it’s the sound you make to send your dog up to get ’em. It worked!
She was putting on the brakes… I think she was surprised they went every direction!
MY FAVORITE. Look at her face. Tell me she doesn’t have the instinct and drive to do this. Tell me she wasn’t born to do this. Tell me this breed doesn’t have the grit to move cattle. Tell me that she’s not gonna make a COWDOG! Go ahead, just try to tell me!!! By the end of the day, I could hear her teeth clacking together… she is a split second from actually getting hold, but it’ll come… it’ll come!