Questions and Answers – August Edition

I was looking through the blogs you read and I saw Patricia McConnell’s. Do you clicker train your dogs? If so, how do you just do that for certain commands or for when they are herding as well? Alice

Alice, yes, I like clicker training and have done it with my dogs and introduced other people to it.  While I’m not a rabid positive reinforcement person ( there are 3 other reinforcers people tend to forget about)  I have witnessed success with the clicker.  Herding training is a different setup though and it doesn’t lend itself to clicker training.  Their manners and tricks were taught with a clicker though!  Patricia McConnell’s books and blog are great for insight into a dog’s behavior.

Anything happening with the studio you were making? Della

It is SLLLLLLOOOOOWWWWW.  I ask for help, but no one’s volunteering with joy in their heart… so I work on it a smidge at a time.  Lots to do… and slow going!

Question: How is Half-Pint?

Honestly I haven’t seen her.  That’s a good thing… sick and scrawny ones get our attention, so she must be doing well!

Question: How is Sadie coming along?

Sadie has had a wonderful summer helping Matt fix fence.  She can run and investigate things and rest in his shade!  She only spent 5 days here while they were on their honeymoon.  She did learn to sleep outside in the kennel at night while she was here!  She is TINY!  Amazing that she and Dally look so different from each other having the same parents!

Question: When do you think you’ll have time to repair your tipi and feature it in a future entry?  Marilyn

I was thinking of her the other day.  I could still sew her rips and put her up for two months, but I try not to keep her standing past October.  I don’t imagine I’ll get her up this summer… just too much stuff to do already.  Maybe I can sew on her this winter!

I’m a newer reader (although I’ve probably gone back several months to catch up) so I’m not really clear on the whole purpose/routine of the ranch. Do you take the cows out in the morning to a certain place, then bring them back in the afternoon? Where do they spend the nights? How do you have time to do other things like welding and farming? Which cows do you usually sell and which ones do you keep every year? How many cows do you have? How much land do you own and cover daily?  Please tell me if these questions have already been answered. Grace

Grace retracted a couple of those questions almost immediately and apologized.  Honestly, so many people ask them anymore I just smile.  Many ranch people think the “How many cows do you have and how many acres do you own?” to be akin to flat out asking HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU MAKE IN A YEAR? I’ll just play the strong silent type and move on to the next questions!  Grace, the whole purpose of this ranch is to raise nicely built, healthy, good looking beef cattle.  The routine is not so much a daily one as a yearly one.  Look back the same week from the year before and we’re probably doing the same thing.  Since this is an average size ranch for Wyoming, but big by other state’s standards, we just can’t mess with our cattle on a daily basis… We have them in different pastures sometimes miles apart.  They are on their own, just like deer and elk and antelope except that we do haul them salt and mineral and check on them to make sure nothing’s getting sick.  We sell our yearling steers, some of our yearling heifers, and any old and toothless cows.  Look up preg testing or Labor Day activities to clarify this some more.  Welding and farming are just part of the job.

Dumb question: where do “real cowboys” buy their jeans? They look so much thicker and more durable than anything I can find in the stores.  Sue

Vernon and Daniel are big fans of Levi 501s… shrink to fit.  They are heavy and tough.  Brandon started wearing Carhartt double kneed jeans when he grew into size 30×36.  He could have worn 29s but I just couldn’t find them.  I think we got him 30x38s in dress jeans for the wedding.  He’s tall and skinny!  Me?  I used to be a Wrangler only gal… more room in the thighs than Levi’s.  That’s why lots of cowboys wear Wranglers… they’re more comfy in the saddle!  Now I buy just Rustlers jeans… they’re cheap and so am I!

Question. I don’t recall, when you bale your hay is it round or 70+ lbs bales?

We do large square bales… though they are the smaller style… 3x3x8.  Around 900 pounds.  I think.

Question. How does your garden grow?

My garden is producing… tomatoes, squash, onions, peas, potatoes, green beans.  The weeds have won again… assisted by the mosquitoes that run me out after a brief look around!

Question. Have you found a stud for Dally? What qualities are you looking for in her mate?   Ginny

I’m still looking for her a studly stud for springtime…  I want another Lucas!  Temperament is most important to me… watching these pups grow up, you realize how much they do is like one parent or another!  I’d never breed to something I didn’t think was a Nice Sweet Dog.  After temperament, I’d like the desire-to-make-you-happy.  The dog that feels “bad” after he’s done something wrong and tries to fix it!  That’s much better than ignoring you!  Then, working ability, then, good looks (sable preferred)!

I was also asked about my woodburning… yes, I do have a woodburner, (remember my woodburning on my kitchen “arch”?) and probably should have used it for the barbwire part… but the brands turned out looking like brands because I used bent coat hangers!  Holding them in the flames of my gas stove heated them red hot, and they burned evenly, which is sometimes hard to get with a burner.

Some of you have noticed my tweets…  Boomer, our black Aussie, is indeed missing.  He was last seen Thursday.  He’d spent part of the day with the boys… and when Brandon headed off to do some fence repair, he told Boomer to stay at the house… go home, go home! when he attempted to follow.  That was the last he was seen.  I have not found his body.  He knows this ranch inside and out, he could find his way home.  We’ve looked in the buildings he might have gotten into and been locked up by accident.  For a dog that BARKEDALLTHETIME and was SO ANNOYING when he did it… I’d love for him to bark now and let us know where he is!

I’m hoping some nice tourists picked him up along the highway as he was trying to follow Brandon.  Someone who said “Get in!” and he did.  Someone that is retired and has nothing to do all day but throw a stick for a little black obsessive compulsive fetching fool.  Someone that is partially deaf and puts up with his incessant barking in the back of a pickup.  Someone that will scratch his little wiggly tail-less butt and pat him on the head.  Someone that has no other dogs to boss him around.  Someone that loves Boomer.


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