2010 was definitely a year of some pretty significant trials, tribulations, joys, and most importantly growth.
I learned a lot about cars.... how to change an engine (bad engine we pulled is pictured above), what to look for when purchasing a vehicle, what problems can be solved easily and what problems I will never work on again, what tools are absolutely necessary for me to have available in the new digs, and much more but we'll stop there for the sake of time.
I learned a lot in classes. My favorite classes include a course on genetics, more animal production and management classes and an animal reproduction class. I'm working with the department a lot now a days and will be doing more this spring, as I am working closely with the sheep program as a lambing coordinator/manager. I am doing a sheep and sheepdog seminar/presentation for local students and producers in February. This is my last semester as an undergraduate... next fall I plan to start into the graduate program.
Tika had her final litter (the two puppies shown above). Two gorgeous puppies, sired by the lovely tri boy, Wandren Park Akadia Ovation (Bravo). These babies are quite the hooligans but sound like a lot of fun for their owners. Jasper, the boy in New Mexico is studying to be an agility star, while his sister Trudy is in Idaho getting ready to strut her stuff in the conformation rings. I can't wait to see how these babies grow up this year! From last year's litter, the big boy Polo has made a splash in his first few agility trials while his sister Muppet is getting ready to trial.
Gyp and Tika continue to do well. Although we haven't trialed much this year, they remain invaluable to me. I regularly take at least one of the three girls with me to school, and Gyp helps me with all the sheep chores, not only at the farm but also at school. We have had tons of fun hiking, travelling, and just hanging out this year. Hopefully everyone will stay in good health and spirits throughout the next year. I have decided to jump Tika at 12 inches from now on, meaning she is pretty much retired from AKC agility. She will continue to tear up the USDAA ring in performance. Gyp is doing well in agility, and you never know... I might even enter her in a herding trial at pronovice. We shall see.
And finally I come to the biggest change around here, Tag. I had the pleasure of helping to breed and whelp a litter of border collies, born in January. The parents are dogs I have known since they were puppies and loved all the while... to say this was my dream litter is an understatement. I was able to watch the litter grow from day 1 and try as I might, Tag was mine from the moment I saw her. She made it clear that she would be coming home with me as soon as her eyes opened and only pushed the point as she grew up. Tag has tried her hand at herding and agility already. She is quite the child prodigy at whatever she puts her mind to... she has GORGEOUS running contacts already and has amazing feel on sheep, particularly for such a young dog. Tag has already made me a better handler and trainer and I am thoroughly looking forward to what she has in store for me in the next year. The plans are to enter her in agility trials this summer and we'll see what she does herding wise.
Looking forward to the new year. I have a lot to look forward to, a lot of goals, and many friends and family to count on along the way. On a side note, I am determined to document my life more fully so am following the lead of numerous friends and doing a 365 project. Here is day 1...
The girls love playing with my room mate, Juan!