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, July 15, 2010

The Other Bucket

List...The other bucket list. Not the one that holds the things I want to do before I die. The one that holds the things I avoid (or in some cases flatly refuse) doing the closer I get to it.

I hate wire gates. More to the point, I hate opening and closing them. I once had a friend who said that no one who loved ranching would ever use wire gates. That seems right, but in this case, the farmers who lease this field for haying, don't own it. They simply want to deter the criminal element from stealing their livihood. Meanwhile, I have permission to train dogs on this field, but must first negotiate this barded-wire gate, and the barbed-wire cheater bar that is holding it in place guessed it...barbed-wire. Into the other bucket.

I will never again break colts. Because, I no longer rebound well from the inevitable wreck. I was helping a friend break colts for the very last time when a small, devious, cat-like filly thought better of it, and threw herself over backwards squarely on top of moi. So, I was laying on a gurney in the emergency room when the doctor came to tell me he had good news, and he had bad. With a chuckle (really...a chuckle?) he notified me that while my nose was broken, my ankle was just badly sprained, and I would recover completely from the concussion. Straight into the other bucket.

I used to pride myself on my heavy-lifting. In fact there was about a 1 year span there where I worked out regularly with free weights and a trainer. In my 20's, I was esteemed by my food-service peers for being able to carry a large serving tray with as many as 7 full dinners on it. "Nice carry" they would say, and it was! I move differently, though, since I hurt my back. I use my knees more whenever I propel my body downward to pick up feed sacks, my Honda generator, and lint. Bucking hay, moving boxes, digging holes in sun-baked earth, all jettisoned directly into the other bucket.

So, what's a girl to do? The wrong bucket is filling up. How can I complete the customary bucket list, if it hurts too much? Why, work smarter of course, and be more willing to ask. for. help. Not only do I now use hay hooks, but I use two of them. After more than a year, I finally got the flat tire on my wheelbarrow fixed, and now, instead of schlepping stuff...I roll it. I'm OK with the gate too, but I move slowly, oh-so-deliberately, and I always hear my doctor's warning; "I've seen a resurgence of tetanus lately." And the colts? Well, you gotta know your limits, that's what I always say, and more and more lately, "let's have a beer."


  1. I lease a field. It had the barb wire gate. I figured since I was leasing the field, I wanted not to struggle with the gate so I put up a nice gate. God willing, I will have use of this feild for many years. By then the gate will have paid itself off.