Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Snow in Them 'thar Hills

Well we have had a good run of fall weather here at Dogpound North, but rumour has it that it may be coming to an end. Earlier this week I was out working around the place in a t-shirt but the last couple of mornings have been a little frosty around here. And as it was time to draw some blood from our ponies for their Coggins tests and Export Health exams crisp mornings made it all the more challenging. Although they get regular vaccinations and the Coggins test is an annual thing, our horses, like a lot of people I know get a little jumpy when someone is waving a needle around them. It usually takes a little horse whispering and a few threats uttered about having to spend a long cold winter at home to get them to stand steady while our vet draws the blood. But without to much trouble that job is done and the test results should be back in a few days and then I will be able to get the governments vets stamp on the paperwork I need to have for them to cross the Medicine Line.

We have been slowly getting things ready around here for our southerly migration and now it is more about execution than planning. Because of the trouble Brenda has been having with her knee, I will be doing a double trip again this fall. She will fly down to Dogpound South and I will take her car down for her, then fly back up and load the horses and pups up and move them south. Sounds a little complicated but Brenda does like to have her own wheels down there and I really don't mind the driving.

Those of you who stuck with us through the summer will remember we had a flood back in June and a lot of work going on to recover from that. Well the crew is here now and replacing the drywall and next week it will be painting and carpet. So that story should be completed before we lock the doors for our trip south.

Well I thought if it works for Retired Rod, it should work for me, so with little fanfare I lit out of Dogpound North early Monday morning and let the old Buick run with the big dogs. That night we stopped for a sandwich and a sleep in a little town called Filmore, just 167 or so miles north of the Arizona line. After a half a dozen hours of sleep we hit the road early enough so that rush hour in Las Vegas wouldn't be an issue, but maybe just a little to early as we hit the tail end of the morning rush in Phoenix.

All that driving called for a siesta at Dogpound South in the mid-afternoon, but I did get some of the stuff ready for todays activities before slipping over to Raceway for a bite to eat, and then an evening watching the Royals shut down the Giants in Game 6 of the World Series. At the time of this writing it is not looking good for the Royals in Game 7 though. (Giants won)

 Today I was up with the sun, thanks to a rooster who has his clock set on Atlantic Standard time, so I had the dust washed off the house and the outside windows cleaned before it got to hot. We have a local fellow who keeps an eye on our place over the summer and he had all the spider webs knocked down and the trees all trimmed up so those jobs didn't need to be done. Once everything dried off I hauled all the patio stuff out and got it set up, I am sure in the wrong places but Brenda will get that corrected once she comes down in ten days or so.

Then it was off to Home Depot to order a new blind to replace one that the sun had ruined and pick up a few breakfast things along the way. Then it was off to the new Copper Sky rec centre for a swim. Beautiful facility and only about 15 minutes from our place. That is sure appreciated as last year it was about 40 minutes to the pool in Chandler and back home it is about 30 minutes into Sundre.

Somewhere along the road we blew past Ivan and Hailey and left them up in the cool temperatures so in a couple of days I will take a flight north and see if I can spot them from the air in one of those out of the way spots they like to camp. Then I will continue back to Dogpound North and start loading up the trailer and the ponies for their trip back down here next week. It's good to be back down here at our southern home but it ain't really home till the whole family, Brenda, Max, Maya, Blue, Wink and Willow make it down also.

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Beautiful Indian Summer Day

Today was a beautiful day here at Dogpound North. The temps were in the high 20's (`70F) so it was a shirt sleeve day. I ran into the city early today to pick up my boots at Alberta Boot. For those of us who live close enough, when you need sole on your boots they take them back to the factory and rebuild them from scratch for you. I was expecting the Whitlow's to come and move their cows back home for the winter so I put the horses in the yard and loaded Max and Maya up for the ride to town and back. They really love to jump in the truck and go for a ride.

Shortly after we arrived back home the Whitlow's showed up. They pasture a bunch of cows in the place just south of ours and because there are no pens down there, each fall they bring their herd up and load them out of our pens. It is a family operation so Grandma Joyce and Grandpa Brian, Jeff and Lori, as well as their kids all take an active part. Consequently the only thing I do is sit on the fence and tell stories. Funny how as I get older, my job gets to look more and more like my fathers. Oh well, good thing he left me with a lot of great stories. And of course in an old family tradition I am more than capable of adding details as required.

Sheridan and Lori are digging the cattle out of a fence corner

Lori riding and Grandma Joyce on foot

The whole family is involved in this operation.

Great Helpers, Sheridan and Gus

Sheridan and her good little cow pony.

Our "Border Collie", Maya, could care less about cows, she is really a princess and that is probably below her, but old Max, the Beagle Cross, took an opportunity to hurry those cows into the trailer. Don't think either of them are going to be cleaning up at the stock dog competitions though.

Once the cows were gone the DPN horses were back down in their winter pasture to enjoy this fine fall day.
Rosie enjoying the twilights last gleaming

And the sunsets on another fine day at Dogpound North