Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dog Gone!

Not a bad thing, though.

Those who have been in my house probably remember the vast expanse of white vinyl on my kitchen and "mud room" floors. Nearly everyone who visits remarks on this odd choice of color for a farm kitchen, whether they express their doubts to me or not. WHITE, with all that mud and dirt?

The light flooring is essential to keep the house from being claustrophobic, since the ceilings are only 7' high. The house expanded to twice its apparent size when we redecorated it in the lightest colors possible before we even moved in.

Yes, it's impossible to keep the floor clean for very long. But anyone who's ever cleaned a floor KNOWS that just by looking at it, and doesn't expect me to. So I'm automatically forgiven for a few spots. Then, it SHOWS the dirt so I know that it needs cleaned. And when it is clean, it is spectacular! So I'm encouraged to clean it, and rewarded for doing so by its obvious improvement. I knew all this when I chose it.

An unforseen benefit has been that the first few reddish traces of Toss's heat cycles are immediately apparent. And two weeks ago I was surprised (at her age of 12) to see them. Last Wed. she went to Pam's for breeding. She may not settle, she may not carry a litter, but we decided to leave it to the powers that be. She past her geriatric blood tests with flying colors in the spring, and is sprightly and in good condition. And she LOVES being a mom! Be assured that if we have Toss puppies in about 2 months, you will see pictures of them here!

When I arrived at Pam's, she was nowhere in sight. While I waited, I let Luna loose from her kennel there. O pure delight! O rapture! O wagging of every bone and fiber! There is no greeting like that of a Border Collie reunited with its beloved puppyhood people!

Luna is doing well, much more trim and muscled than when I took her to Pam's in July. Unfortunately, Pam's investigation of her odd gait (crossing her hind feet when running) turned up a structural problem likely originating in too much unconditioned leaping (balls and frisbees) and low quality feed during her teen years with the former tenants: cruciate ligaments that barely hold her knees together. This is improving with rest and careful exercise, but her full potential as a trial dog will likely never be realized.

So we are all extra hopeful for a last litter from from Toss (registered as "Metwo") and Eldemar Blake (a favorite of Pam's and the sire of Toss's previous 2 litters).

Life on the farm with no Border Collies is oddly quiet, though the presence of extra people helps. Sheep chores are do-able, but take longer and require much more patience and walking. The people unfamiliar to the sheep serve fairly well but are slower (in speed) and require much more verbal guidance--they simply lack the instinctive skill and physical prowess of the collies. Fortunately there are not many chores this time of year, anyhow.

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