JLM Border Collies 



 Welcome to our Blog page!
   This page will be dedicated to posting the latest information including daily events,  trial results, and of course, pictures of our dogs!


September 10th, 2017:
 Ok, so I didn't take 6 months to write again, but it has been awhile.  Sorry!  I knew that facebook would put a dent in the time spent on my website.  I have to admit, it is soooo much easier and quicker to post an update on Facebook, than on my website.  This can take hours, where I can quickly add a photo and type a short update in like 2 minutes on Facebook.  But, I do like to write so here I go :)

So what is new...or new-ish I should say.  Going back to June, Harold and I ran in the Coldstream Classic trial.  Harold is the only dog that was entered as both Emma and Abby were very pregnant, and there was no Open class for Boomer..  Harold was entered in the Pro-Novice class, and I have to admit, we smoked it!  Harold was back running like "Harold", Perfect!  And I didn't make mistakes as his handler.  The result...Harold won his class both days and easily won the overall Pro-Novice Championship.  I was very proud of him!  It was also extremely rewarding to see Harold's daughter Hanna, run in her first trial with her handler Jordan Manning. They ran in the Novice class and laid down an excellent run, landing them 2nd!  I was super happy and proud.  Harold's young offspring are doing so well in both herding and Agility.  Hanna's sister Mari is excelling in agility and at the young age of 18 months, has already competed for fun at the Nationals this year!  She has traveled all over Canada with her handler and has become a very well rounded young dog.  I foresee a great competitive future for those too! 

July brought puppies!!  Emma had her 4 beautiful pups July 11th and Abby had her pups July the 20th.  Emma had no problems, where Abby was a bit of a disaster.  She needed an emergency c-section and lost a lot of blood during the operation.  Her and her 9 pups are doing excellent now, but it was quite scary for Abby.  Luckily she was in the hands of a great surgeon who did an excellent job saving her and her 9 puppies!  Because of this, it is risky to breed Abby again.  So we decided to keep a daughter of hers.  We named her little Eeva.   She was special the moment I seen her at the hospital and she is very dear to me already. 

We also did the IPE stock dog demonstration in Armstrong again this year.  Myself and Chris Hanson put on an educational showing of how dogs are started and trained for working livestock.  It went very well, although this year it was way too hot.  It was about 35 degrees on the Friday afternoon and with the humidity in the barn, it felt close to 40!  Way too hot for the dogs and the sheep.  Boomer, Harold and Emma helped out with the demonstration and all 3 worked very well. I think the crowd really enjoyed it!   Well I guess that rounds out the summer.  I will get some good photos of Eeva and post them soon.  Chow for now :)   

June 1st 2017:
Ok, so only 6 months later!!  It took a rainy day on June the first that finally gave me the time and to be in the right mood to sit down with a glass of wine and update my blog.  My life always seems to be so chaotic and I really do need to be in a peaceful state to write.  Otherwise I just feel stressed that I should be doing something else that is pressing.  So, first things first.  I finally crossed over to the dark side and recently joined the craziness of Facebook. I swore up and down I would never do such a thing, and now here I am.  So, if you want to check out another place that might shed some light on what the dogs are up to, go check out JLMBorderCollies on Facebook.  Now, back to the last 6 months that have flown by.  This will be the "Coles Notes" on life that went by so lets see....Well we can basically skip January and February as not much happened, other than it being freezing cold!  March had a hiccup that was notably upsetting.  Diesel became very sick and for a period of time we thought we may lose him.  It started with an infection in his prostate that came out of nowhere.  I rushed him to emergency in excruciating pain.  An emergency ultrasound discovered not only an angry and enlarged prostate, but also a pocket of bloody fluid that had accumulated between his belly skin and his abdominal cavity wall.  He was placed on heavy antibiotics and it was touch and go with him for the next 24 hours as his body had gone septic.  He began to bounce back and look well about a week later and seemed to be making a recovery when suddenly 10 days later he fell gravely ill again.  Back to emergency we went and it was found that he had developed a faulty valve in his heart.  We could only conclude that the infection had spread to his heart and permanently damaged his heart.  More antibiotics and heart medications were prescribed and again, the next 48 hours it was border-line whether he was going to pull through.  The tough, stubborn bugger that Diesel is proved to be his victor and as of now, he has made an incredible recovery.  It took a month for him to slowly gain strength, and his heart will never recover from the damage done, but Diesel is back ruling the roost around here and although his ordeal aged him severely, he is still the patriarch and puts on nearly the same miles as the youthful dogs. 

     Diesel in his prime :)

That takes us to the end of March and the beginning of April.  This time of year consumes me as it is lambing season.  All went relatively smoothly, although I was expecting lambs to arrive around the 15th of March and apparently the ram was 2 weeks later getting the job done than I thought, so I lost 2 weeks of sleep for nothing!  March 28th the lambs began to arrive in numbers and we were all finished up by April 6th.  7 ewes produced 16 lambs.  Not too shabby.  The lambs were big and healthy and are doing well. 
Following lambing season, the end of April brought the years first big trial of the year.  Stirling Acres Field Trial where competitors from all over western Canada and the US come to compete as it is always a well run, excellent trial.  All 4 of my competitive dogs were entered.  Boomer and Harold in the Open, Abby in Pro-Novice, and Emma in her very first trial competing in Nursery.  In a nutshell the trial went well.  All 4 dogs did well, although I have to admit, Harold could have run better.  He is capable of winning the trial, like he did last year, and he just wasn't on the ball.  He seemed distracted and just not focused.  Turns out Emma was coming into heat and I didn't realize it.  I think he had other things on his mind!  Boomer ran very well and placed very well, coming 4th on the 2nd day and 6th overall out of 41 dogs.  Harold came 12th overall in the Open.  Abby was excellent, and if it wasn't my handling error that made her miss our fetch panel on her first run, I think she would have won the Pro-Novice class.  She came 3rd overall out of 33 dogs.  Emma did very well for her first trial, even though her scores don't really reflect how she did.  She had a tough set of sheep for her first run and ended up gripping at the pen and was disqualified, but had a very descent 2nd run with a stunner of a drive, so all in all, I was really happy with her work ethic.  It was a good trial and the weather was pretty much perfect. 
That  now brings us to recent time.  Anyone who has been watching the news knows that Kelowna has been dealing with the worst flooding in over 60 years, and for Mill Creek, I think over a 100.  This year was like nothing that anyone had ever seen before.  It was actually terrifying.  The result of a perfect storm...a huge snowpack that had not yet started to melt as the temperatures up until May had been very cool. Then suddenly the temperature hit 28 degrees followed by a string of huge thunderstorms that not only dropped torrential rain, but literally liquefied feets of snow that came barreling off the mountain like a tsunami.  Thankfully I decided at the last minute with the crazy hot temperature and forecasted storm that I best get the sheep out.  I took my working flock to Lee Lumb's place who graciously offered her pasture to help out.  I then dogged my ewes and lambs to my parents where we made a temporary corral.  It was so lucky I did this  as the storms that hit that evening were beyond anything we expected and by morning the water had come up over 3 feet.  Everything was covered in up to 2 feet of rushing water in places with the only thing remaining was our house.  All of our lambs would have surely drowned.  It was awful and terrifying.  It swamped everything and when the waters reseeded, the mess and destruction it left was mind boggling.  Needless to say it will take us all summer to fix and rebuild our place.  I will post some pictures once I get them off my camera. 
So, that takes us to now.  Things are sort of getting back to normal.  The turf is crazy and I am working like crazy.  I still don't have anywhere to practice herding as everything is still too wet or muddy, but the sheep are now home and the dogs have their kennel back.  Just in time as if you have seen on my puppies page, we have puppies on the way!!  So excited!  Nothing like puppies to brighten my day.
    Well, that's it for now!  I will try not to take another 6 months to check in :)


December 31st, 2016:
    The year is coming to a close and I figured I better take the time to update my blog and finish off the year.  To be honest, this is the second attempt at this blog entry as I had it all typed and then the web designer program crashed and wiped everything that I had spent an hour writing.  Needless to say it was a bit frustrating.  I apologise for the lack of entries this fall.  Having 11 pups running around, plus taking the time to update my puppy page seemed to consume all of my time.  It takes at least a couple of hours to copy, cut, and paste 11 new puppy pictures, and anyone who knows me well, that is about the limit I have for being indoors :)  By that time, usually Boomer and Harold are staring at me through the window wondering why I am sitting at my office, cursing at this weird "box thing" on my desk.

Lets start way back in October.  October 1st I was invited to help out my friends Chris and Terri Hanson with a small herding demo at the annual Armstrong plowing match. It turned out to be a beautiful late fall day with the sun shining, making the beautiful field that hosted the event a shimmering gold of harvested corn and barley.  I had never been to the event before and I am so glad I brought my camera!  The event was a mix of classes that included antique tractors, and single and team horse hitches.  I attached a couple photos for all to see.  

Of course, I didn't get any pictures of the demo as I was participating in it, but It went very well.  Only Harold came with me on this day as both my girls were pregnant, and Boomer was a bit lame.  So Harold and I had a very fun day together and he was pretty happy that he was the only dog :) 

Mid October brought puppies.  Emma was the first, with her pups being born October the 11th.  Unfortunately things went wrong from the start with Emma going off food 2 days before she whelped and then not having the energy to have her pups which, the pre-xrays showed, were very large and possibly too large for her to have.  We ended up in the emergency and lost 2 of her 6 pups.  This was quite devastating as in the 10 years that I have been breeding, I have never had a difficult birthing, nor have I ever lost a pup.  This turn of events then made me panicky for Abby who was due 4 days later. Thankfully on October 15th, Abby gave birth to 7 gorgeous pups with no problems at all.  A huge sigh of relief on my part.  I love my pups, and my females who have them, and birthing pups for me is always extremely stressful.  So when things went wrong with Emma, needless to say it was very upsetting.  The 11 pups between Abby and Emma were healthy and fat and were just a joy.  By the end of their 9 weeks here, it was sad to see them go and as stressful as this breeding was, I look forward to next winter and may try having a few more pups again. 

I guess that wraps up 2016.  I wish everyone a very prosperous and wonderful 2017.  I will try to add a few more updates, at least before spring! 


September 17th, 2016:
The summer is starting to wind to a close.  In my world this is both a little sad and a little awesome!  On one side of the coin I love the hot summer days, the late night barbeques, the hard farm work and of course my flowers and garden.  On the other side of the coin, fall and winter bring more time to do what I love the most and that is work my dogs and help others train their own dogs.  Plus, in a month from now I should have 2 bundles of wriggling puppies to care for.  I am very excited for these litters.  The crossing of Emma and Harold now involves 2nd and third generations of my breeding program and I am really looking forward to seeing these pups develop in the future.  Both litters should be very talented stock dogs. 
Aside from pups, the close of summer also brings the Interior Provincial Exhibition (IPE), held in Armstrong, and once again myself and fellow friend and stockman Chris Hanson put together the stock dog demonstrations for the fair.  This year we maintained our theme of educating the public on the border collie breed and their unrivaled usefulness when it comes to helping their human partners manage livestock.  This year the timing was perfect for Chris to have a couple 3 month old pups to show the crowd just how much natural instinct well bred pups have when it comes to wanting to gather and control a group of sheep.  I think the crowd was pretty thrilled!  We then each brought out sequentially older dogs to show the ability and training steps involved in developing a finished working stock dog from that 3 month old pup.  I think it went very well.  Boomer and Harold were my main dogs in the demo since Abby and Emma are both pregnant and I wanted them to stay home and relax.  Good old Diesel got to come along for the first day and show the crowd that even at the age of 12, a well trained dog can be still working well and going strong.  I think Diesel had a lot of fun, although the building was very hot and muggy and the temperature got to him.  He looked pretty tired at the end of the day so I decided to leave him at home on day 2.  He wasn't too happy about that!  Instead, Chloe got to come on day 2 and be the crowd greeter and border collie ambassador at the end of the show.  I think her favorite job!  This year I finally remembered the camera so I actually got a few pictures.
                      Myself, Harold, Boomer and Chloe being introduced to the crowd.

     Harold showing the crowd how we teach a stop and flanks left and right through body language.

  Boomer demonstrating some advanced training by holding and pushing a group of sheep through a tight chute using whistle commands.  

All in all, I think the crowd thoroughly enjoyed the demos and I hope to do it again next year!  I guess that is all my news for now.  Next update should be exciting!  All about puppies!!

July 23rd, 2016:
 Wow, it has been a couple months again since I have posted an update!  To be honest there was a pretty large gap of time where not much was new or exciting.  The flood water receded, my lambs have grown and been weaned, and I have been pretty much working steady on the farm as usual. 

I was entered to run in the Coldstream Classic Field Trial in June, however I made the decision to pull from the trial at the last minute.  Very unfortunately kennel cough was making its way through the valley, popping up in several dog competitions in the area. I decided to not take any chances of my dogs bringing the virus home  as I plan to have pups bounding around here at some point this year, so we sadly stayed home and missed one of my favorite trials.  In addition, Harold and I were scheduled to head off to compete in the Stockdog Championships at the Calgary Stampede 10 days later, and the last thing I wanted was to have to cancel that trip because of Harold getting sick.  It was a good decision as Harold did excellent at the Stampede!!  I was so proud of him.  We were able to put together two compete runs and qualify to run in the finals!!  In the first go-round, we sat around forever waiting for our turn as we ran 53rd out of the 60 dogs competing.  I am sure Harold was wondering what was going on and that it was way past his bedtime as it was about 9:00pm before it was finally time for us to run.  As soon as Harold seen his sheep come out of the gate at the end of the stadium he was instantly in work mode.  He worked perfect and even though we had a hard set of sheep to pen,we were still able to get the course done in a solid time of 2min 45 seconds.  It was a good run that left us in a good position to possibly be in the top 12  overall after the 2nd go.   By the time the trial wrapped up and we got back to our hotel it was nearly 11pm.  I think Harold was as tired as I was and the competition was to start again in the morning first thing.  We ran 25th in the 2nd go round.  Harold was brilliant in his second run and we completed our course and penned the sheep in a time of 2:18!  I was so happy!  It ended up being a good enough time to place us 3rd out of the 60 dogs!  Overall our combined times landed us 8th overall.  I was just so happy with Harold!  That night was the Final and the Stampede sure knows how to put on a show!  There were fiddlers playing an electrifying jig on stage in the middle of the arena and a lightshow worthy of a Stanley Cup hockey game to open the competition.  Wow was I nervous!!!  And by this time Harold was getting pretty frazzeled and exhausted from the stress of the crazy environment.  He had stopped eating and had an upset tummy.  But we pulled ourselves together and did our best in the final. We got very tough sheep for our run.  They repeatedly stopped and challenged Harold and ate up a lot of our time.  I also made a few wrong whistle mistakes and before we knew it we had run out of our 4 minute time before we could get those stubborn sheep in the pen.  Harold worked so hard to push these challenging sheep around the whole course and I think neither one of us had any mental energy left.  I was still thrilled with him and there is always next year.  Harold was just brilliant for being only 3 and having very limited trial experience.  We were up against competitors that travel all over the world competing, on all sorts of different sheep and courses. But my little Harold held his own:)  Not too shabby!  

On the topic of puppies, I guess I should mention that we are waiting for Abby and Emma to come into season.  I had anticipated Abby to come in around the beginning of May, however neither girl has cycled. So the wait continues.  They are both very fit so the time duration between seasons could be a bit longer.  Hopefully we will have some pups bounding around here by fall.  Both are quite talented and have nice temperaments so we are anticipating really nice pups from these two. 

I guess that brings us back up to date for now.  Until next time :)

May 8th, 2016:
For those of you that have been following my blog for awhile, you are probably getting used to the fact that it seems I fall off the planet for awhile.  And, probably just when you are about to give up that I may never return, I finally find time to give an update.  I really do apologise!  So, I see I left off in February.  Lets start with finishing off the results of the winter arena trial series.  Well, the final trial was a tough luck one. I pretty much had bad luck for all 3 dogs entered.  So, after all the points were tallied, Harold finished 3rd overall in Open.  A extremely well placed finish being only 3 years old and up against seasoned veterans.  I was very happy with that.  Abby walked away with a tie for the Overall Pro-Novice Championship so that was pretty awesome as well.  All in all, it was a good series and I look forward to next winter's series.  They are always fun! 
After the trials wrapped up, lambing began.  This season we bred 8 ewes.  Tragically we lost one old ewe and her unborn lambs due to a rupture and septicemia. It was very sad.  The rest of the 7 young ewes produced 16 healthy fat lambs and all are doing well.  Lots of unique colors and markings!  I attached a few photos of some of the little cuties!  

And, this would be Harold....watching his lambs :)  Handsome boy!

After lambing, April brought crazy hot temperatures and with that came the snow melt.  A whole month early!!  The creek raged and flooded a lot of our place.  Thankfully the berm that we had built a couple years ago held and protected our house and dog kennel, but our yard and sheep pastures got the worst of it.  Because of all the water I was unable to train the dogs at all.  Nearly had to begin moving the sheep out if the water came up any further as all the had left was about a 3/4 acre dry spot with their shed!  On top of worrying about the water, the year's first big field trial in BC was taking place April 23-25 and their was no way for me to practice for this huge trial.  I had entered Boomer and Harold in Open.  This would be Harold's first go at Open field and with no way to practice, I was just going to have to wing it!  The trial brought out the best of the best!  Handlers from all over the country and US came to compete. There were 54 dogs in the Open class!  I was so proud of my boys!  Both ran excellent, but Harold was spectacular!!  His first crack at an Open Field course and up against the best dog and handler match-ups in the country, and he beat them all!!  He won the class of 54 dogs with a breath-taking run.  I was on cloud 9 when I saw the score!  I was so proud of him!  Boomer was excellent too.  He had a slightly harder set of sheep that were difficult to drive and keep straight, thus we lost a few points here and there, but even so, he finished 11th out of 54.  A very good placing.  I was incredibly happy with both my boys!! 

Now it is back to work, work, work on the crazy turf farm.  The next trial will be at the end of June and then Harold and I are off to the Calgary Stampede to compete!  It should be a lot of fun!

February 28th, 2016:
 Wow!  Boy did it take me a long time to update this blog.  Good grief!  Well, definitely lots has happened since November.  We had a stunning litter of pups.  Out of our sweet Millie and sired by our wonderful Harold.  This was Harold's first litter and boy did he stamp his pups.  True to Harold's fashion he sired all girls!  I knew he was not a fan of other male dogs, but apparently he didn't even want any sons!  So five gorgeous daughters were born and are some of the best pups that we have had.  They are social, friendly, brave, biddable.  Everything that we would hope for.  I am really looking forward to watching these little girls grow up and become excellent work partners and companions.

In other news, there has been 4 winter trials since I last entered an update!  Yikes that's terrible!  Well, I won't give the usual details for each trial as I am so far behind, but I will say that it has been a good winter series for Harold and Abby.  Boomer has not had much luck this winter.  In the second trial, he had the bad luck of having sheep that took off from the setout team before he was half way out on his outrun and because there are no re-runs in arena trials, he had to take the time to go find his sheep.  By the time he did and got them back on course and heading in the right direction, we had used up so much time that we timed out before we could finish the course.  Then in the 3rd trial I could not for the life of me get our shed, so we timed out. And then the 4th trial I had to scratch him because he was lame from a farm chore accident the week before the trial.  At least finally, at the last trial we were at (5th one in the series) we finally had a good run that represented how talented Boomer really is and he placed 3rd in the Open.  Harold on the other hand has been having a great series.  Especially for his first year competing at the Open level.  He has gathered 2 second place ribbons, a third place, and a fourth place so far in the 5 trials we have had and so far is sitting in top spot overall in the Open!  Amazing for his first year in Open. And Abby, who is really starting to show her talent, is coming off back to back wins in the last two trials in Pro-Novice and is also in top spot overall for the Pro-Novice division.  The young kids are doing just excellent!!  So with one more trial to go, as long as Abby stays in the top 3 placings, and Harold places at least 2nd in Open, both will earn overall Championship awards.  I am pretty happy with that!

I guess the only other thing that is exciting around here is lambing season.  Lambs are due to arrive starting later next week.  So, although I love their arrival, means some long nights ahead checking on sheep.  Oh the life of farming :).  Hopefully it will not take me another nearly 4 months to post another update!  Until then!

November 2nd, 2015:
     Last weekend (October 24th) was the first trial of the Winter Arena Series hosted by two different farms.  Half the trials being held at Stirling Acres farm in Coldstream BC, and the other half at the Schweb's farm in Armstrong.  This first trial was held at the Schweb's and was set in a large downhill sloping field with many rolling hills, gullies, and natural obstacles such as trees and boulders.  To add to the challenge and beauty of the trial course, the sheep for the competitors were set with riders on horseback.  I wish I had taken my camera!  It was an excellent and challenging course, and a great opportunity to give my dogs some experience picking up sheep from a horse/rider team instead of the normal dog and handler.  Boomer, Harold and Abby attended this trial, with Boomer and Harold in the Open class and Abby in Pro-Novice.  This would be Harold's first time running in the Open as I decided to move him up after such a successful Pro-Novice season last year.  For Abby, this was her first time at the Pro-Novice level.  Boomer ran first.  Unfortunately his sheep left early and he didn't notice them run as he was on his outrun and down in a gully.  By the time he seen them they were half way up the field.  I flanked him a few times to try to get him around the rolling hills and in a place where he could see his sheep and drive them back down the field to attempt the first obstacle.  Unfortunately I missed the obstacle several times wasting a huge amount of time. By the time I got the first obstacle and could move ahead up the field to the next we had used up nearly all our time and unfortunately timed out.  It was too bad as Boomer has been running just phenomenal in practice at home.  It was not his fault.  I made a lot of errors as I haven't competed in a trial since July.  He was a good boy and I gave him a big pat for being a star anyway.  We will make a comeback at the next trial :)   The next to run was Harold.  I didn't know what to expect as he had never run Open and the course was very large, plus he had never picked up sheep off a horse team before.  And to add to everything, he had just come away from his first time breeding and, well, lets just say his mind has been elsewhere!  Lol!   Harold's run was amazing!  I missed the first obstacle again in his run as it was a very difficult obstacle.  You had to bring sheep in between an old pump-house and a water well  that was about 150 yards down the steep and rolling hill.  It was optically very tough.  I flanked Harold and made the obstacle, but lost time doing so.  The rest of his run was picture perfect!  So good that he placed 2nd in his first Open class!!  I was so proud of him!  This boy is just so talented. After the Open class was finished, the Pro-Novice class began.  It was a shortened version of the Open class with a few obstacles omitted to make things easier.  I must say the Open course was very difficult.  Abby was great.  She had a beautiful outrun, and other than taking a few nervous glances at the horse and rider teams, she came in between them and picked up her sheep.  She made a few mistakes with her whistles, but other than that she ran very well for a difficult field.  Her run was good enough for 3rd place and I was quite pleased with her.  Abby has been a nice addition to the JLM roster and I look forward to running her in future competitions.  She is quite talented.  All in all, it was a good trial.  The dogs were good, the weather was sunny, and the trial field was beautiful.  The next trial will be held at Stirling Acres on the 21st of November.

In other news, I am getting pretty excited for Millie and Harold's pups.  Millie is already getting a "baby bump" in her tummy and has that happy mommy glow.  These pups are going to be very talented :) I will post another update soon!

                                                     My clever Harold!

October 21st, 2015
 Once again, I have let time get away from me!  So then, what is new...well the turf farm is starting to wind down which means I get to spend more time training dogs.  Which is a nice change.  My kids are fat and fresh and are definitely enjoying being worked more often!  Coming with me to do sprinklers and turf stuff is fun for them, but nothing like working sheep!  Speaking of the sheep, the rams are now out with the girls so I look forward to another spring of lambing.
  I guess I have to go back in time to catch up on past events. Back in September Harold, Abby, and little Emma (aka. Gemma ) joined friend and fellow dog trialer, Chris Hanson, in putting on a stock dog demonstration at the IPE.  It was a lot of fun !  We focused on educating the crowd in the process of training and developing the working stock dog.  I have to say I was so proud of Emma.  I had only just started her training on sheep at that time, and she had never worked anywhere else but at home.  She was a little star!  She ignored the crowds of people, was solid with the sights and sounds of the crazy midway, and worked her sheep very well.  A true testament to how good a mind she has!  Once again I have to say how good a litter of pups this group was.  Talent for working stock set aside, they are all around good tempered dogs. 
  In more current news, we have an exciting litter on the way!  With a lot of thought, we decided to cross Millie to my young star Harold!  These should be very talented pups for working stock!   Our hope is that the pups will have a combination of Harold's amazing natural ability to read sheep with Millie's sound temperament and excellent athleticism.  These will be high drive pups that will excel in any sport.
  And in trial news, the first trial of the year for the Winter Arena Series will be held on October 24th.  Boomer, Harold and Abby will be attending.  I will post a summary of the event next week and hopefully I will have great results to pass on!  Until then :)

August 1st, 2015
 Finally,I have found the time to sit down with a glass of wine and enjoy entering a new blog posting.  I again apologize for letting more than 2 months go by without posting an update. Anyone that knows me by now, knows that my summers are exhausting.  All I do is work, and this summer has been even more of a marathon.  The turf farm has never been this busy and the extraordinary hot and dry summer that we have been having has made growing green healthy turf very difficult, and a job that runs nearly around the clock.  But, I do have news!  Lots of great news!  Lets start with the Coldstream Classic Trial.  It was held back in June.  The weekend of the 26th and 27th if I remember correctly.  It has been a long time!  Harold, Abby and Millie were entered in this trial.  Millie in Pro-Novice and Harold and Abby in Nursery.  All in all, it was a good trial.  Millie ran well, coming 8th overall out of about 26 dogs in Pro-Novice. Not bad for her first trial since coming back under my training.  She was a bit nervous and jittery, but settled on the Sunday and had a nice run.  Harold was his usual brilliant self.  He came 4th overall in the Nursery.  He would have done better if I hadn't missed a drive panel.  One thing about Harold... he never makes a mistake.  If he is losing points on his run, then I have made a mistake in my handling or he got bad luck sheep. Harold is never wrong.  And, I was so pleased with little Miss Abby!  She had a tough go on the Saturday.  Her sheep were running and her nerves got to her , causing her to freeze up and forget her whistles.  That run was a bit of a mess, but she learned and adjusted for Sunday's run and she was brilliant!  So brilliant in fact that she won the class that day!  Even beat mighty Harold!  She is a very talented dog and she sure showed her potential that day!  All in all, the dogs were good and as usual I was very proud of them :) 

After the Coldstream Classic, the following weekend was the World Stock dog Championships at the Calgary Stampede.  A trial that I had Boomer and Diesel entered in.  Now, during the Coldstream Classic, the temperatures hit 39 degrees!  Over 40 when I got back home to Kelowna.  It broke weather temperatures for B.C. all over the map, and at the trial I used Boomer to set sheep for the Pro-Novice class.  During working him in the heat, I could tell he was getting too hot, and I could not get him cooled down fast enough before I had to use him to take out the next set of sheep for the competition.  After the trial and that evening at home, I could tell that Boomer was sick.   I cold hosed him down for a long time, then kept him in the house overnight with fans on him trying to cool his body.  By tuesday I could tell he still was not himself so I took him to my vet and we pulled blood to analyse to see if he was ok.  In order for me to be 100% ok with taking him to a trial as grueling as the Calgary Stampede, I needed to know that he was 100% ok.  Unfortunately, he was not.  His white blood cell count was over twice the normal level, indicating serious internal body damage from over heating.  A result that shocked me as he did not appear that sick.  A lesson to anyone that is working their dogs hard in the hot sun.  They can be internally much sicker than they appear!  With a heavy heart I scratched him from going to compete in Calgary.  Safety first for my buddy!  In his place, and a last minute decision, I replaced his entry with Harold.  Something I thought at first was crazy.  Harold is only 2 and 1/2 years old and has never even been to downtown Kelowna, let alone expecting him to handle the "Greatest outdoor show on earth!"  On top of that, Harold has never even seen or faced the tough range sheep that they use for this trial.  Sheep that definitely and notoriously sort out the men from the boys!  But, I figured what the heck, the experience will be good for him.  So off we went!  I can not describe how well he did and how utterly proud I was of him.  He handled it all!!  The drive, the hotel stay, the craziest, most crowded event you can possibly imagine.  There was over 100,000 people there.  Heavy horses, tractors, the midway, hoards of people touching him and petting him and he handled it all!  I was overwhelmed, I can't imagine what was going on in his brain!  And then, to top it all off, he was incredible at the trial!!  The event was held in a stadium, very similar to a slightly smaller version of Roger's Arena in Vancouver!  Huge to say the least and the stands were packed with people!!  On top of that, there was music and an energy as if you were walking into a hockey game!  I was thinking he could very well take one look into the ring when we walked to the post and turn tail and run!  Something some other young dogs did! He was the youngest dog there and not only did he settle down in the ring, but he managed those extraordinarily tough sheep so well.  He was brilliant and actually was in first place on the Sunday, and the dog to beat for a very long time!  He ended up 4th out of 60 dogs!!  I was just blown away!  I was so proud of him!  Diesel did great too.  Of course!  He came 10th on the Saturday go-round and had a great run on the Sunday, but unfortunately his age caught up to him a bit on his 2nd run and he was just not fast enough to get his sheep penned to beat the 4 minute time limit for the run.  He tried his hardest, and being the oldest dog there, showed everyone at 11 years old he is still awesome.  Unfortunately I think that will be Diesel's last Stampede. The drive to Calgary was hard on him and he was very tired and had an upset stomach.  Next year it will be Boomer and Harold!  Look out, these boys will be tough to beat :)

                                                                 My Mighty Harold!

May 26th, 2015
So, I definitely know that I have taken too long to post another update in my blog when friends and readers start e-mailing me, telling me I haven't posted anything new for too long!  I apologise for my lack of postings.  This year has been the busiest spring ever when it comes to the turf farm, and thus my time spent working is off the chart.  The combination of unseasonably hot, dry weather compounded by a booming demand for turf has us working nearly around the clock.  We also have a newly seeded 12 acre field in turf and it has been hard work trying to keep it continuously irrigated in this hot weather.  We finally received some rain yesterday and today, thus I have had a lighter work day and actually not only have time to write in this blog, but time to train the dogs as well.  So where should I begin...I guess I should go back to March.  After the last Arena trial I gave the dogs a bit of a break as my lambs began to arrive in April.  Oh so cute!  I was very happy with this year's lambs.  All are healthy and happy, and we got some very flashy colours!
Aren't they cute! 
At the end of April, I attended the first big trial of the year.  Stirling Acres Stock dog trial.  This year it was a 4 day trial which included a Double Lift Championship for the Top 7 dog/handler teams in Open.  Boomer and Diesel ran in Open and Harold and Abby ran in Nursery.  This was Abby's very first field trial.  In a nutshell, the dogs were good.  Unfortunately my "lamb" brain kicked in for Boomer's run on the first day.  I was so over tired from being up day and night checking for lambs for 3 weeks before the trial, I felt like a zombie.  I actually ended up turning the post the wrong way!  That was a big mistake!  I made some major errors in Boomer's run, who happened to be the first dog I ran that day, so his score was not great.  He however, didn't do a thing wrong. It was all me!  After that I shook off my fog brain and had an excellent run with Diesel.  He ended up coming 4th in the Open out of over 50 dogs for that day with a score of 91.  A very good score.  That score ended up qualifying us for the Double lift Championship as well! In Nursery, Harold was his usual star self and ended up coming 4th out of 26 Nursery dogs over the weekend.  He could have done even better if I hadn't made the mistake of turning him just a moment too early and missing my crossdrive panel with his sheep.  If I hadn't done that mistake, he would have been even closer to the top of the scoreboard.  Little Abby was way over her head in this trial.  I had only really been sending her out around a 100 yards to get her sheep in training, and I had only had enough time to practice a few times getting her used to picking sheep up off a setout team.  So, when I seen the outrun was over 260 yards, I knew she was in trouble.  She had to retire from both her runs, but I was not too disappointed.  She showed a lot of talent and she will be ready for the next trial.  Overall it was a very good showing.  The next trial we will be attending will be the Coldstream Classic.  I will not be attending the trial in Paxton Valley this year as it falls on my parent's 40th wedding anniversary.  A very special milestone :)  But, I am very happy to announce that Boomer and Diesel will be competing in the World Stock dog Championships at the Calgary Stampede!  It should be a lot of fun!  The dates for that are July 4th and 5th.  If anyone is coming to the Stampede you will have to come find us :) 

In other VERY exciting news,... Millie is back!!  I made the very hard decision to sell Millie in February as we decided to keep Emma and I do not have the room for 7 dogs.  So Millie was bought back by her breeder.  I have missed Millie ever since she left so I got the opportunity to buy her back and I did.  Millie is very happy to be home and we are very happy to have her.  She will be competing with me at the Coldstream Classic and I look forward to it very much.  She hasn't skipped a beat and after working her a few times, we should be ready to do quite well together in the trial.
So, that pretty much brings us to now.  I will try to post updates more frequently, but as soon as the sun comes out...I return to being a farming workaholic :)  Until the next post!


March 14th, 2015
Ok, so I haven't posted as many updates as I had planned.  Time around here seems to pass like a blurr!  The weather has been unseasonably warm and dry which has been wonderful.  It has actually resulted in us opening the turf farm nearly 3 weeks sooner than we have ever started! It has actually been so dry that if we don't get some rain soon, we will actually have to start irrigating!  Never have we had to turn sprinklers on in March! 

The dogs are well and looking great.  Their fitness needs to come up a bit but their talent shone through last Saturday at the last arena trial of the Winter Series.  The last two trials, scheduled for January and February were both cancelled due to heavy snow, but this last trial was sunny and dry, and a gorgeous day to get out with the dogs.  Boomer, Harold and Abby attended this last trial.  It was Abby's debut and she was just a star!  All 3 dogs were fantastic!  The courses set for Open and Pro-Novice were extremely difficult, with several chutes, twists and turns, and even a tarp draped over one of the chutes that the sheep had to be pushed under!  It was extremely challenging! In a nutshell, Boomer came 2nd in the Open class, being beaten by only 1 second on the clock!  Guess I should have closed the pen gate a wee bit faster!  He had a gorgeous run that was smooth and wonderful to watch.  Harold had another spectacular run in the Pro-Novice class and won the class for the 3rd time.  I am so excited for this boy!  In the pre-competition class I entered Abby and she did a wonderful job guiding her sheep through the winding course and won her very first trial!  She was just a star and handled the pressures of the trial very well.  I was really happy with her!  Overall, Boomer tied with Lee Lumb's Gus in points for the Open Championship.  I was so happy with him! Harold blew the Pro-Novice class away with overall points, capturing the Pro-Novice Championship!  My two boys were just awesome this series!  I couldn't be happier!

As for our sweet Emma.... we absolutely love our girl!  She is growing into such a nice dog.  She is thoughtful and brave and has a  " go with the flow" attitude.  She is going to be just a lovely addition and I can't wait to see what she is like on her sheep in a few more months down the road.  I think there is a lot of talent in this little cutie!  Thought I would attach a photo of her with Boomer.  The are pretty cute together :) 


January 26th, 2015
So, when I went to enter an update into my blog this morning, for no apparent reason my entire last year of entries vanished.  Not sure what happened...maybe a higher power is hinting to me that 2015 needs to be started with a clean slate.  A new beginning so to speak, with new goals and new adventures.  To stop reflecting on the past and to let go of my past losses, (Namely Marvin),and to move forward into the future.   Therefore, instead of looking at the loss of an entire year's worth of writing, I have decided not to freak out and to look at it as a new beginning.

So what is new around here with JLM Border Collies. Well, all the pups have now moved on to their new homes and all who got one of these pups are absolutely thrilled with them.  These pups are exactly what I expected.  They have awesome temperaments, are easy to train, willing to please and extremely loveable!  I, along with everyone else, is loving their puppy!  It will be very interesting to see their development as working dogs as well.  Something I am really looking forward to!

Which brings me to introducing Emma.  Our little monster that we kept back from Millie's litter.  She is quite the adventurer and is one of the bravest pups I have had.  Her best friend is our young female Abby and the two of them love to play together.  

Emma is quite the doll and we couldn't be happier with her! 

Other than Emma, not much is new.  Unfortunately with the huge dump of snow we got a few weeks ago the last arena trial was cancelled.  The snow was so deep here that it was impossible to work the dogs.  The sheep were up to their bellies and the dogs had to bound and porpoise through the snow.  Thank goodness it is starting to melt!

Well, that is it for now.  I promise to enter updates more frequently.  2015 here we come!