Questions and Answers – April 2011 Edition

As the snow and rain begin to fall outside my window, I’ll sit here inside and enjoy answering your great questions!


Taylor wrote:
Someone may have already asked this, but how soon will you be able to tell if Dally is pregnant? So excited to see her puppies!

Well, Taylor, if I took her to the vet for a sonogram or just a palpation… the vet could tell in the next couple of weeks, but (surprisesurprise) I’m too stinking cheap!  If he’s out here working on some cattle for us, he’ll do it for free… he did that for Elsa one time, but I’ll just wait!  You’ll know soon after I do, I promise!


Alice wrote:
Do you have anymore welding projects going on?

I have the one I started last fall… and I did weld on it once this winter… but the house really is keeping me occupied plus I’m a sissy when it comes to cold and wind… but, I walked by it the other day… the urge is there to do it… I just need to finish up the last two rooms in this house and finish moving!!!!  I really do try to finish projects, it just might take me a while!



Darrell wrote:
For Thursday’s Question Day.

How do you go about matching each puppy in a litter of 10 puppies with the requests you receive for those puppies? Does a potential owner have any input as to the puppy they might get, as you begin to post pictures of the litter?

Oh, Darrell, the process is a difficult one in some ways, but a joy in others.  I have an application as the first step… I give preference to people with working homes, either livestock or other “jobs”.  A few pups might be appropriate for town homes, so I do keep a few of those applications around too!  Then I talk to the people.  A timid pup can’t go to a loud person.  It won’t work.  A loud, forceful, strict person would intimidate a quiet pup with their body language even if they thought they were keeping themselves under control.  It’s a game of trying to figure out what people are *really* like, what they want, what they *think* they want, and figuring out which pup will best suit them.  I have to mess with the pups and figure them out as well.  I have eight weeks to figure it out the best I can.  Puppy owners might say I like #2, 4 and 6… do you think they’d work for me?  and I’ll tell ’em.  Sometimes it’s hard.  Sometimes, it’s easy!  I’ve been lucky with great owners!


sara wrote:
Where do you guys get your horses from that you use to move your cattle? Do you have a *guy* you call, or is it just word of mouth?
Do all of your family members have there own horse they prefer to ride? Does your father-in-law still ride?

Sara, it’s basically word of mouth or an occasional horse sale.  We’re not a big horse place… no buckaroos here!  We, honestly, don’t have the time to mess with our horses… though, my boys are at that age where colts look appealing to them!  But training horses takes lots of time, and seems like we’re always running short on that.  Yes, we all have *our* horses.  Sometimes more than others.  Brandon’s always had to  shuffle horses, because other people seem to want to ride *his*… don’t know how that works.  I have Panama.  Toria has Cinnamon.  Daniel and Rooster are a team.  Vernon has Winchester, though I thought we were getting Winchester for Brandon.  Brandon rides Kate or Major or Cinnamon if he wants to get mad!  (Sorry, Ta!)  Johnny will occasionally still ride… sometimes it makes his shoulders hurt… but he does still ride!



Beverly wrote:
I would love to hear about the other studs you where considering for Dally and the process of elimination.

Beverly, <bigsigh>, I have a list, but … basically it fell to three things.  Distance.  Gas cost me $3.50 – $3.60/gallon for my Nebraska trip.  My Durango is no Prius.  Lots of good studs out there… most of them not close to Wyoming!  Genetics.  That tiny little puddle called a gene pool… and all that it entails.  Not only figuring the coefficient of inbreeding… but also hips, MDR1, and coloring.  Yes, I admit it.  I wanted to breed her to a sable BIG TIME.   I know!  Breeders are suppose to breed for other traits NOT looks!  But I’m honest and I love my sables!  I love the way they look and the variations they come in.  Do I think Dally is pretty?  Yes!!!  But where every dog around here is basically black and white, I passionately LOVE my sables.  Hustler had 2 for 3.  Working ability/character.  I wanted some stud who’s in the thick of things… do I believe instinct will still be there even in towny dogs??? Sure.  But I want to know how they handle livestock.  Headers/heelers/aggressive/barker/bouncer/eat’emup/quitters.  Those are things you can’t ask about from a towny dog.  In that, I throw character.  I’d talk to Derek.  *Why* is Hustler a good dog?  “He just wants to make me happy.  He’d do anything for me.  He won’t leave my side.”  What does he do with goat/sheep/cattle?  “He loves his goats, eases ’em right along.  Those eared cattle from down south… he won’t back down.”  That tells me a lot.  Watching Elsa and Lucas’ offspring where you can laugh and say… she does that just like her momma… showed me how important character is!  I *liked* Hustler.  Immediately.


Sandy wrote:

if i run away from home, can i come live with you? (i’m 45 by the way, but have always wanted to roast wieners over an open campfire =o)

Sandy… you poor child!  I can’t imagine *anyone* having never roasted a hot dog over a campfire.  Is that a double negative?  Whatever.  Uh, can I ship you some wood and matches?  This *bugs* me!  I *will* help you do this.  This is a goal we can achieve together.  Hey, I have taught many many girls to build campfires, I can teach you!!!!  Where do you live?  I think we should all support you in this, and we’ll work out the details!  Since I’m a “lifer” in Girl Scouting and have (gulp!) years and YEARS of Girl Scouting experience, I honestly believe GSUSA should develop an *older women’s* scouting group… for those in their 30s, 40s, 50s… who now want to experience these things!  What say you, “girls”, wanna join?



Sally Rowe wrote:
Carol, I know you love the wild flowers so could you tell me if might they still be blooming in abundance at the end of June?
I know that it depends on elevation so I am thinking about a bit higher up from you? I particularly love the lupines so am most interested in them.

OHOH, SALLY!!!  When you first asked this question I was like, huh?  But then I received that special little envelope in the mail yesterday!!!  Congrats!  It made us smile for the both of you!  Let’s see… depending on the moisture and how fast it comes off… it might be good for that little area I’m sure you’re thinking of.  There’s a lot of snow, but if it comes off and the wet and cold doesn’t drag on, I think you’ll be good.  Toria had all the lupine blooming on top of the mountain for her late July wedding and you won’t be up so high.  I can keep you updated on how fast things are progressing if you like…


Kris wrote:
did I spy muck boots on Daniel a few weeks ago? I have ’em and love ’em — they are the best pair of work boots I have ever had. His wearing them (if that’s what they are) makes me think they must be indestructable!

Yup.  Muck boots hit out here a few years ago, and now it seems everyone wears them.  I need a pair of Arctic ones, because my feet still freeze in mine… and I have the shorter ones, which I like.  Very easy to slip on compared to pacs, and not nearly as heavy.  I have to admit, barbed wire isn’t very easy on them… but other than snagging them crawling through fences, they have held up well!


Annika wrote:

I have a question this month: I was reading a page on handling cattle. I was curious if you notice a clear hierarchy among yours and how that plays out in your daily work (moving them, feeding, drinking, etc.)?

Oh yes.  You have to watch more closely with cattle than with horses or dogs, who make it obvious who’s the alpha, but cows do it.  Put them in a corral and there’s some ol’ biddy swinging her head and butting someone else out of her way.  She can prance right up to the tank and get a drink and everyone will back out of her way.  There’s the ones that are always in the lead while trailing and there are the ones at the back!  Sometimes you have to remind yourself… oh, maybe I can’t pile all of these into the alley because the Bossy One up front is giving the Meek Ones the LOOK… and it’d help if I’d back off.  I think I notice it because I watch it with my dogs… and because I worked at Girl Scout camp with over 100 head of horses.  You paid attention to it.


Sharon wrote:
Ok Carol, since my brain is working on limited cells can you tell me the name of the song about the yellow house? Now I am obsessing and I can’t find it. Give me some comfort for the day, lol. Thank, and Hugs!

Yellow House by Michael Martin Murphey.  It is on his Flowing Free Forever album, I believe.
Thanks, folks!
April 7, 2010   Willow Creek
April 7, 2009   Motherhood – Pass/Fail
April 7, 2008   Family Resemblance

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