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Archive for the ‘Banner’ Category

Kudos are in order: our friend Shari and her superstar Australian Kelpie Ozzie won “High scoring started dog” and “High Scoring Combined Other Breed” at the Australian Shepherd Club herding trial in Arlington, Washington last weekend! Shari tells us, “Ozzie was a Champion this weekend in Herding and handled & penned the most skittish sheep I’ve ever seen!” The great Ozzie is already an agility champion, and herding is just her latest challenge—“We’re hooked!” Shari adds.

Shari & her husband William also owned the unforgettable Australian Kelpie Nick Nick, one of our all-time favorite canines, and a champion both in the arena and in our hearts.

Here’s a photo of Ozzie when she was just starting her herding career — nothing quite like that Kelpie intensity!

Congrats, Ozzie & Shari!!!!!!!     xoxoxoxo  Cooper & Swirl

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In our household, having a good vet is a necessity like, well, “… like having a frisbee break on a sunny afternoon!” Cooper says…

or, Swirl adds, “… having dandelion chain woven by woodland fairies, magically appear around your neck!”

But having an extraordinary vet, now that is something really special! And Dr. Don Berdan of Cascade Vet Clinic in Wenatchee, Washington, is extraordinary. We feel so fortunate to know him…

This week, the good vet is retiring after 37 years, to head down some new trails with his family and friends–both 2-legged and 4! Even though we’ve been gone from beautiful Central Washington for a couple of years, we’ve still considered Dr. Don our vet, and know how much everyone will miss his kind, kind heart and amazing healing powers.

He kept our Mr Fox healthy and hale throughout his senior years–and going strong and smiling until he was nearly 18!

And he helped Banner stay happy and on the job (working horses, of courses!).

We thank Dr. Don for helping our 4-legged family members live longer, healthier lives! And we wish him joy in his new journey—exciting adventures–and

Happy Trails, ’til we meet again!

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Cooper is fascinated by the legendary Denini, the horse-herding cat. You see, the fluffy marmalade feline rules his barn and all the creatures therein with his velvet paw. It is one peaceable kingdom.

Cooper: Honored to meet you, Mr Denini! What’s your secret to creating sucha bit o’ heaven?

Denini: Respect, my little black-eyed Sweet Pea. I give respect to all creatures great & small, and it just comes right back in return. Try it sometime!

Cooper: Even those massive big horses? Wow! How’d you keep them in line?

Denini: Those buxom babes are really marshmallow-soft inside, and sensitive. You know, they feel a tiny fly on their sides, and swish it away with their tail. Brute force is for brutes—I just make what I want them to do (the right thing!) easy, and everything else (the wrong thing!) hard; and those big ol’ mares make the right choice every time! Use your mind, Little Grasshopper, and you’ll never have to use your claws.

Cooper: Hmmmm…. I noticed you didn’t run when I offered to chase you. What’s up with that?

Denini: I’ve evolved beyond the fright-flight response, silly—it’s so ancient history! When I flop down and smile, it’s pretty much impossible for you to maintain that big, bad attitude. Now, isn’t it? Meow.

Cooper: When you put it that way, I can’t disagree! Is it true, that you taught the great herding Kelpie, Banner, everything she knows?
Denini: Let’s just say, we shared notes. Many days, we herded horses, then rested in the tall cool grass together. Remember little Coopster, never claim all the credit, ’cause you’re always standing on the tall shoulders of those who went before!
Cooper: Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Nini Beani! I’ll remember our time together forever.

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While she tolerated Cooper from an aloof distance, Banner was never certain that they were of the same species. He was, to her, a puff of fluff. She approached life with a white hot intensity and endless energy. Banner was a warrior working dog.

Once, she was invited to visit a noted trainer of herding dogs, a towering old gentleman who squinted his eyes as he looked her over, hand on his chin. Wordlessly, he sent her off across his fields, where she passed pens of increasingly larger animals to herd: ducks, small goats, larger (& beautiful) Nubian goats, sheep…

The Australian Kelpie went quickly, silently, stealthily, as if drawn by an invisible string between her and a huge, stately ram with curling horns. Then she dropped to the ground to ‘hold’ him. The old man shook his head, “Strong!” was all he said.

Banner’s life was herding her horses, rain or shine, and she  did it very very well. When horses worked in the round pen, it was always under her watchful eye.

Banner loved her job, her horses, her people & on occasion, even Cooper. Life was a sun dazzled field of sweet grass filled with horses. Her natural instincts amazed us. Her energy and stamina humbled us. She taught us the meaning of ‘work ethic.’ She shared her joy. For Ban, every day was a great day to be alive!

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