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Adventures on the Ranch
Antelope Hunting and Papillons Females !
Here it is the beginning of April, NADAC Agility Championships were 7 months ago already! I just finished up making a video of Rhett's runs at Championships and it brought back so many great memories! So much has happened in the last 7 months it's unreal! So I will quickly catch you up on the fall/winter.
Not long after returning home from Championships I found out I was pregnant – not a “surprise” really – but very happy news! However, it did change my plans of hitting all the fall and winter trials as I decided to take it easy. I went to 2 trials in October – both went very well of course but those were my last trials of the year. I have been working with Rhett and Zeus over the winter when I can and still going to practices with the kennel club – but not really “running”. Just practicing the parts we need work on and need to keep reinforcing good performance – like hitting the dog walk contact!
My fiance and I went to Antelope hunting the beginning of October . He drew his tag for a different area and had already got a nice buck of his own – so now it was just up to me. My tag was drawn for an area about 7 hours from here so we planned on spending up to a week there. However, the FIRST night there we saw a HUGE buck – it would have probably made state books but even if not I would have kicked Andys butt because it WAS bigger than his. But unfortunately, it was my first time hunting with that gun so I wasn't real confident (not a good deal at all)...... I only got one shot and missed ! This buck was not stupid and heard that shot and was GONE! Man, what a bummer. But it was only the first night – though I knew I probably wouldn't get a chance at another buck like that, this year anyway. We walked back to the truck and drove around learning the area till way past dark. We still had to set up camp which we finally did and got a few zzzz's.
The next morning was a cool crisp beautiful morning. I fired up the Buddy heater and warmed the tent up, ate chili for breakfast (NOW THAT'S HEALTHY!) and off we headed for my antelope buck! We drove up and down dirt roads for several hours – stopped and asked several hunters if they had seen anything and they all said no. Hum..... well we decided to drive up the last road in that area and check it out for ourselves. Not to far up that road we spotted a huge herd – but they were a long ways away. There were a bunch of bucks – some looked really nice but one was another awesome one like I missed the night before. We headed out after them ........ we cut part of the herd off, there was only a small buck with them. I seriously thought about taking him – because I was not feeling well (due to the pregnancy) and told Andy I was done! I had to shoot one of these bucks because I couldn't go on another long hike like that again (for now). This is NOT something I have ever said – I will usually go forever! Physically I was done – but I still couldn't quite bring myself to shoot a buck that small – especially so far from the road. And I knew somewhere over that next hill was another monster buck. After watching the small buck for a good 15 minutes I decided I didn't want him. We slowly started to back down the hill and turn around when there was a much bigger buck walking across a small field behind us! He was only 125 yards away and had no clue we were there! He wasn't the monster we saw before – in fact not even close – but for my first buck and how I was feeling he was good enough and 1 shot took him down. I took my old trusty rifle this time though – one I felt confident shooting. I felt good about him – he was a nice average buck and I couldn't complain at all.
We hadn't had a “real” meal in over a day – just chili and snacks – so we headed into town for dinner. We also got ice for the cooler to keep both the meat and cape cool. On our way back to camp 2 antelope bucks charged across the road – but luckily neither one was bigger than mine! Back at camp the sand hill cranes were flying over us. They are extremely noisy birds! There were hundreds of them, and they flew over us half the night.
The next day we packed up and headed home. It was a fun trip – but I was anxious to come home again too. It was the first time in my life I went somewhere without a dog. I felt – lost! Upon returning home everyone was happy to see me. The most interesting thing happened though with Rhett. He was extremely exuberant and happy to see me of course – then stopped, sat right in front of me with his back to me, a position he takes often because he loves his neck scratched. But this time he sat there and was extremely interested in my belly – I think he may have sensed the babies heartbeat – which should have started to beat right around that time. Perhaps it started while I was away and so that was the first time he noticed it. Rhett is an extremely sensitive dog anyway - especially when it comes to me. If I am feeling even just a little “off” he acts different and stays close to me. One time last summer at an agility trial I was very sick with the flu. It hit me during the trial so I still “ran”. The trial didn't go so well though because Rhett didn't act normal. He didn't want to get out away from me and was running slow compared to what is normal for him. He knew I didn't feel good and just wanted to stay close.
Onto other news! The beginning of January we bought 2 Papillion females. Kissie is a beautiful adult female colored much like Stetson. She is now due to have Stetson babies any day and we are so anxious to see them! Shelby was only 8 weeks old when we got her and so tiny. She is now about 41/2 months old and only weighs 3 pounds. She is mighty in heart and is definitely the boss of Stetson. Her toys are hers and his toys are hers. Period. Stetson is sooo good natured and in his eyes she can't do anything wrong! She also has a flip side though that is very sweet and she loves to cuddle and will sit in your lap for hours. But, if she is sleeping and you go to get up and groans and moans and lets you know she is unhappy with you for waking her. Such a personality!
Well, this is getting pretty long so I better bring this to a close. Watch for the next article coming very soon on my outstanding experience at Championships as well as the video from there.
Till Next Time,
Leah and Everyone at Omega Shepherds

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