It has been a year since Butcher’s Foothills Elsa has come to live with me on
the ranch. At first glance, she was small but quick, slightly nervous, definitely prone to
barking in situations that make her nervous, lost, looking for love, and willing to please
someone since she had left her Oklahoma home. Within this year we have gone head to
head on a few things…I won the big fight about corrals and calves, Elsa won the fact she
will STILL chase the horses away if they get within 30 feet of the house but now she at
least acts guilty when caught! She loves me and *hugs* me with a lean in and nose and body
touching me as much as possible. She isn’t as nervous finally getting used to
Wyoming, my loud teenagers, and a busy lifestyle. She still barks when pressured by
stock, but it has been cut by 80%, and she will hush on command – well, OK, just for a
bit…but we’re working on that still! We have raised a fine litter of puppies together…
me in awe that her little body could feed 10 puppies handily. I can send her in the direction
I want… not necessarily verbally… but by waiting for her to be aimed in the right
direction and then with verbal commands… we’re working on that too! She is a jealous dog who
needs to be reminded I’m in charge and I can pet whoever I want! She loves the time I spend
grooming her free of grass seed and extra hair and the bits of mud that cling like
cement. She will down and stay with ease, but if I move *too* far away in her book, she will
slink to within range and settle, and I never hear her. She can be in the house and suddenly
appear behind me without notice…Lucas and Dally are too noisy to get away with that!
But I never trip over Lucas and Dally! She waits all day for a “Let’s Go!” and is thrilled
to go do whatever, whenever.
Good girl, Elsa Dear!
The month of July is a busy one here. Everyone is haying and irrigating and moving cows and then company comes and you do all that plus cook and eat and visit and …. sigh. Then suddenly it is the Fourth of July, and iin Ten Sleep that is a BIG DEAL! That means a parade…and heaven forbid if it is an election year and the prospective public servant doesn’t throw candy! EVERYONE throws candy at the parade … it is like Halloween for Ten Sleep kids – you better take a plastic sack to put the goodies in! Sometimes you get cans of pop or ice cream sandwiches or rulers or cheap watches! It is great. Then the rodeo begins. Literally. Ten Sleep has two days of rodeo… and traditionally it is the hottest day of the year. On the Fourth it was 99 degrees. Hardcore locals refuse the covered bleachers, preferring a tarp over their pickup bed or flatbed trailer. Coolers are required. The rodeo is a good one, giving me many opportunities to photograph some action. The crowd favorite is the wild horse race held as the last event. The participants are teams of three young men, crazy enough to halter an unbroke horse, mug it down, saddle it, and try to ride it to the other end of the arena. Usually friends of my sons take part, so it is personal… and I thank God that my boys know their dad would definitely frown on their participation!!! The rodeo ends in time to go home, shower, eat, and return to the street dance. I have taught my boys through the years how to dance…and after a year or two at college, they are coming home, teaching me new dance moves, and dancing their boots off with all the young ladies! Yes, they still dance with me… at 20 and 18 they have never shown embarrassment at dancing with me… yay! But before you know it… it is 2 am… and the dance is over and you go home to rise the next day and do it over again. Then you have to recover and clean house and get ready for the next round of visitors!!!
It is with great pride I announce that Rimrock Lone Firelight… aka Lucas… is now pictured in a national magazine. RFDTV – The Magazine has done an article on “Ol’ Shep” and of course, it is about English Shepherds! Lucas’ mom, Honey, is featured, but good ol’ Lucas has a couple of pictures and a few paragraphs as well! They wanted “working photos” and I had a few, so that’s how he got to be famous… thanks to Mary Peaslee, Lucas’ breeder and owner of Honey. I haven’t actually layed hands on a copy, but I have seen the layout. It looks AWESOME! I will try to find the link and insert it here as well as my website. There are a few mistakes that I’ll straighten out for the record. I quit Ten Sleep Library over a year ago, so describing me as rancher and librarian, is stretching it! Lucas is a registered Therapy Dog with Therapy Dogs, Inc. of Cheyenne, Wyoming… and the two articles written about him so far BOTH got it wrong!!! Ah well, the point is how these dogs are making a comeback and that’s the important part. I’ve been keeping track…and since the article came out last Friday, I have had about 50 hits on my website…and seeing as how they cut my website address from the article, I think people are doing pretty good research to find me! Anyway, Mr. Famous, is busy sleeping nearby…he’s constantly in search of cool places to sleep since it has hit 90 degrees + these past few days. He’s blowing his coat too, so he looks thin *and * hot! Fame has not changed him, though I seem to need a larger hat on occasion…
Here’s the link to Mary’s website and the RFDTV article…http://www.englishshepherds.net/RFD.htm
I had to run to Thermopolis the other day… a town of 4,000 or so situated on the Big Horn River where the World’s Largest Mineral Hot Springs flow. It was a run for baling twine sent from Riverton, another hour away from Thermop. It takes me about 1.5 hours to drive to Thermop and along the way I decided I would take a sidetrip after picking up the 50 bales of twine. You see, one of my other pups from last fall went to a vet and her family who live 15 miles outside of town. Rimrock Morning Skye was happily at play with one of her boys in the yard when I arrived and Dr. Kolder yelled for him to bring her over. Skye jogged alongside her boy and came to the clinic. First I was reminded of Elsa in her head and looks, but then was amazed to realize how tiny she was! She probably weighs 30 pounds at 7 months. She was always petite, but not the runt, and now I’m beginning to wonder how big Jade/Booger, who was the runt, has grown! She has been spayed. She is built for speed, much like D… long in body and leg. Her shading is a perfect match for Elsa and D as well. They have used her on cattle some, but she’s still not gripping, just barking, which I assured them was OK for an insecure pup of this age. Their older Aussie is teaching her, but she needs more confidence. It will come! She was very outgoing, coming right to me, and soon doing the English Shepherd lean right into me. She handles all the activity well, greeting people at the clinic, but quickly going to her corner when told. That’s where I took her picture. She looks like she’s doing well, and she is loved, and what more can a breeder ask for one of their pups?
Elsa at work
Keep ’em moving.
Going in for the bite.
Get around, Elsa! Note my shadow…
I wanted to post a few pictures of Elsa at work. She has learned so much since she arrived on July 2 of last year. Many times those first few weeks, I wondered if she was going to work out for us here. Now it seems like she’s been here for a long time! Elsa enjoyed working the steers on Friday. Rarely will a yearling turn and challenge a dog! She was quiet almost the entire time… barking just a tad more as the day went on and the temperature and miles increased! She does a great little bounce and bite technique. I captured the bounce but all my bite photos were a tad too blurry to share. It is hard to take good photos when your subject is moving, your horse is moving and there is a delay on the digital camera! I’m not ready to take my *good* camera along on horseback yet, so it is just a matter of taking lots of pics and trashing 3/4 of them! So here’s some photos of “Elsa Dear” hard at work.