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It’s A Start

Do you have something you have wanted to do for days? For weeks? For months? For years?

Stop and think about what it is you want to do, to achieve, to possess, to embody.

Now ask yourself Why haven’t you done it yet?

Did you silently list why you don’t have enough money to do it? Not enough time? Not enough energy? Or maybe it was a million other reasons I tell myself Why I can’t achieve something.

But you see these things we tell ourselves are lies, are excuses. We build ourselves nice walls and barriers between our dreams and reality. We defeat ourselves before we even start!

So today I am telling myself it’s time to start! It’s time to find a way. It’s time to cast aside doubt and negativity. It’s time to do the best I can with what I have! The time is now!

That’s what I am  telling myself. What are you telling yourself?

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Blitz

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Bo

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Precious

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Bullet

The thing I dream about? Being healthy. Running again. I’m not running yet, but today I took my first steps to those dreams. And four of the five HK Bar stable dogs were right there by my side to cheer me on!

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Bullet and Blitz, School Days

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Bullet and Blitz continue with thier training. Bullet is Beginning to be very reliable, and only sneaks up on the horses about once a week. The rest of the time she has been behaving herself. She is a great little girl, and her body is really starting to mature. She is a slab of muscle, and she continues to seek out my attention frequently. She will dash off and then I find her right back at my heels. Bullet is supposed to be my husband’s dog, but I think it’s safe to say she is one of my pack now.

Blitz still drags the leash everywhere. He likes to chase cars, thank heavens he hasn’t caught one yet. The goofball has not attempted to chase the cows or horses again. I think the hiding he took the last time has stuck with him.  He is a sweet boy. Quite a bit more independent than Bullet. He will run far and wide with no worry to seeking out my attention. He is getting better with his recall, and he stands nicely to be pet. Such a lively boy!

Until next time!

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When Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Steals Your Best Friend

Over the past few months my family and I have noticed marked changes in one of our canine kids, Tucker. Tucker is my 10.5 year old Australian cattle dog. He has been my right hand man for over a decade. He has always been reliable, happy, social, and outgoing. Over the past few months he has become a much different dog.

As most heelers, he has always stuck very close to home…..until recently. He has wandered off to the neighbors house twice……I caught him a mile from home just walking down the center of the road aimlessly…. And he will stand in the middle of the road, or sit, like he has no idea where he is. And I don’t think he does know where he is anymore.

We have also noted that he is sleeping much more than usual. He also requests to go outside multiple times, when he has just been let out. Then he just stands there and then wants back in. He has always been very social with both people and animals. He nipped at a barn cat buddy of his that rubbed up against him…. And this morning he snapped and growled at Flash.

After having him examined by our veterinarian, she suggested he may have Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. Or in layman’s terms, Doggy Alzheimers. Many of the symptoms associated with this are, sleep disturbances, wandering off, staring into space, incontinence, not answering or following commands, trouble negotiating stairs, or new situations, among others…….

So now he only goes outside if I am with him. I can’t leave him to wander off and get lost to starve….or stand in the road and cause a car accident, or get hit ….. Not that he has much interest in doing much these days.

So now comes the struggle…. Am I making the right choice by keeping him on this earth…. Is his quality of life good enough? Is my own selfishness keeping him here in a world that is now cloudy and confusing for him?

At this time I just really don’t know. I am struggling with what decision, if any, to make. All I know is, my best friend has changed. But just because he has changed doesn’t mean I don’t love him like I always have. He has always been here for me…. Now I just have to be here for him, and make the right decisions for him.

Please pray for guidance, for emotional strength, and the courage it will take for this journey in our lives.

From the HK Bar to the world, hug your pets, enjoy them, love them as they are.

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Bullet and Blitz; First successful Dual Stay

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Blitz and Bullet both were eyeballing the same thing…..or should I say things? They were both struggling to be good dogs when I told them to stay! What were they looking at you ask?

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The seven Butcher roosters that were helping themselves to my grain bucket of horse feed. Silly buggers! But I was so proud of Bullet and Blitz, they wanted to eat them but heeded my warning to stay.  And the training continues!

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Bullet and Blitz, Snow Adventures

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Bullet (left) and Blitz running after completing thier morning chores.

I tell you what my two pups are so comical together. This was a picture of them during our after work run. It is currently 25°F and as you can see we have a dusting of snow.  And oh the wind! Enough to freeze your face in a short few minutes. Bullet and Blitz did not even seem to notice the cold.

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They were both saints during our chores this morning. I was so pleased with both of them. I didn’t have to call Bullet off even once. She did her job quietly and respected the horses. She is getting so reliable, and I am so very proud of her!

Blitz continues to be on the lead when we are around the livestock. And he still drags it during thier free run time. This way I can get ahold of him easier if need be. His recall needs work, but he is improving already. He doesn’t seem to miss much and is always watching what is going on around him. He has almost perfected sit. Wahoo!

Until next time!

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Bullet and Blitz

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Blitz (left) and Bullet watching me scoop grain

I realized now, after morning chores,  how ambitious my thinking was by training not one but two cattle dogs at the same time! Definitely some young dog antics going on! I have been working with Bullet for about six weeks now consistently. She has graduated off the leash to heeling. She stays pretty close and is really starting to know her job. She does a better job handling the cows than she does the horses. She wants to treat them the same, and I am teaching her that’s just not how we do it here. We must be quiet and courteous around the horses. She does pretty good for the most part, but still hunts heels when I’m not watching her all the time. She obeys with a stern call off when I catch her though. Otherwise I am very pleased with her. She tries so hard, and is always seeking my affection. She would work purely for the love scratches!

Blitz is definitely more pup than adult! He is on lead training. Which to me means learning basic commands sit, stay, down, come to, come by, etc. He will not graduate to off lead like Bullet until he has mastered these skills. So basically he is tethered to me, learning. I am confident within six months he will move on to off leash training. Bullet is a year older than Blitz and seemed to move along much quicker than he is so far. But I chalk that up to age difference and, quite frankly I don’t think much was expected of Blitz in his earlier life. Blitz is very interested in the horses, but has so far respected them. I guess he hasn’t had much of a choice being on lead though!

We start out by having a good run. I can’t expect a dog to pay attention well when they have been sleeping in the kennel all night and have energy to burn off!

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Blitz (left) and Bullet running off some steam before work.

They are fun to watch. They chase, run, tumble, and then coming running at break neck speeds back to me. They just want a few pats and then they are off again on swift legs.

Then we gather grain and feed the cows. The dogs are supposed to keep the cows back away from the feed bunks while I pour grain. Bullet is doing a great job with this! Blitz just watches, but he is learning from her.

Then we go gather  the grain for the horses and feed and water them. With the horses I want the dogs to be much quieter and more watchful. I don’t want them holding stock off like they do the cows. I put Bullet by the gate in a down stay and only call her out if the horses get to squabbling  nearby about grain. Then She gets thier attention and moves the situation so it isn’t by me. All it would take to kill a person would be a flying hoof making contact in the right spot. So with the horses I want a calmer attitude from the dogs. Bullet is starting to get this, but I know its hard for her to switch gears from being dominant with the cows, to a softer dominance with the horses. But she’s getting it!  Blitz goes in with me and watches. I can tell he is taking notes and he really watches the horses.

After horse chores I let them have another good run followed up by lots of pets and love scratches. Training two young dogs at once is a challenge, but I feel confident about them both. I love them both like family, and can’t imagine the HK Bar without them.

Until next time!