The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Good Day

Every year around this time I start thinking about home. I've lived in lots of places over the years, but when I think of home, I think of the San Felipe Ranch, which is the only place I've ever felt at home. Since I lived there it's been sold off to different government agencies, The Anza-Borrego National Park and The Nature Conservancy, but at the time, it was about 15,000 acres made up of the home ranch and 2 other big pastures, Kanaka and the Malpansada, that were scattered across the mountains. I went back for a visit recently and found that the place hasn't changed at all.
The big adobe ranch house was built around the turn of the century. The only heat was a wood stove, and we'd go weeks without a phone until we could find the break in the line. I felt warm and safe inside these 2 foot thick adobe walls where the only sound I could hear was a covey of quail, the wind whistle down the valley, and coyotes howling in the night.
This is the corner of the porch where we hung the hammock, and for the better part of 10 years, the view I woke up to every morning.
We built this ropin' pen in one corner of the horse pasture and this is where I learned to rope. The chute was made out of sucker rod and bungi cords and the ground was rough and sometimes overgrown. We roped a lot of cattle in this pen and many of my happiest memories are from days spent right here.
The crowding pen and loading chute are just to the left of the scale in this picture. Big trucks with their pot-belly doubles had plenty of room to turn around and we shipped and received cattle by the hundreds.
We processed a lot of cattle through this squeeze chute over the years and this is where we wrapped the ropin' steers 3 or 4 times a week when we roped.
Our dogs were just as primitive as the kennels we built, but, at the end of the day, they saved us putting out a lot more horse tracks
The horse pasture behind the barn was about 40 acres. Other than 3 small pastures right around the house, there was only 1 cross fence in about 7,500 acres. From here, the ranch ran all the way to the base of Granite Mountain in the background.
One last look back to a good life

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