Wednesday, March 2, 2011

First blog post, some more history

If you read the about the blogger section, you might notice I left some dangling strings, so I thought I might use the first few blogs to catch up on those threads.   First, how did I jump from Cassie and Jack to Becky and Cinder?  I guess  I skipped over a few important dogs on the way.

In 1992 I was showing Jack and not getting anywhere with that.  We only went to 3-4 shows a year, and never picked up any points.  I went looking for a puppy out of strictly show lines from the local kennels and ended up with finding Badgerland and really liking one girl they were showing.  When she had pups I went to look at them- there was only one girl available and I said I'd take her.  From the second I picked her up I was smitten and I'm sure the reverse was true- the puppy was my shadow.   Gwen was a gung ho, enthusiastic learner in everything she did.  She was basically friendly but could also be protective.   She was a bossy, dominant bitch with other dogs, though.   This is Gwen as a baby.  

Gwen and Jack:

  I bred her to Satchmo, my mom's dog from Windermere lines, and as their puppy Baron was maturing  I started taking herding lessons. 
WTCH Rossy's Louis Armstrong RTDs went to a couple of conformation shows and earned a major with my mom under judge Lori Middleton.  There they are!

My mom had given me a Satchmo x Jazz daughter, Teak, so I took Gwen, Baron and Teak all to learn to herd sheep.    Of the three, I kept on working with Baron and Teak as they seemed to have the most talent and paying for 3 dogs was going to put me in the poorhouse.  Satchmo really put the enthusiasm for working sheep into his puppies.   Gwen liked sheep, but mainly to be close to them and scoop them off fences.  She had no interest in working out away from the sheep or learning to rate. 
Overall, I was not that happy with Gwen's litter, and she and all the puppies were spayed/ neutered.  There were a couple of health problems that came out, plus the coats were far too fuzzy and the temperaments were too excitable, not serious.    But Baron still was looking really good on sheep and was a sweet boy.  It was a devastating blow when he was diagnosed with lymphoma at only 3 years old.  We put him down at 3 1/2 and I still don't feel like I ever recovered from his death.

Baron and I watching the sheep:

Only a few months later we got back his brother,  who was nipping the family kids and they didn't want to deal with him anymore.   That was Farley, who was with us for 7 years until he died, probably of hemangiosarcoma.  Farley needed some training when I got him back, but was basically a good and friendly dog.  He was an excellent kids' dog and was our son David's best buddy.    Farley thought sheep herding might be fun, until I tried to get him to lie down, then he headed for the gate.   His sheep career did not take off, needless to say.
This is Farley and Gwen:

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