Monday, January 26, 2009

Joe's Last Job !
Last spring, our neighbor George, phoned to tell us that his bull Tyrone had escaped and was out terrorizing the community. These things happen in rural settings and rural people are used to dealing with them. It normally  isn't a problem, but besides us, George is so to speak, the last farmer standing. The farms here have been replaced with 2 golf courses and a resort. A big Black Angus bull running amongst sandal-wearing boat captains and barefoot bikini babes, is a bad idea. Needless to say we grabbed Norman's Joe and sped down to the lake to help. George and our "not so rural" neighbors had him surrounded down in the brush. With a bit of work, and a bovine attitude adjustment, Joe put him in the trailer. Joe was of course the hero of Rockford Bay and they thought the Gentleman with the English accent was pretty cool as well. 
A week later we received another call from George. Tyrone was being moved back to his co- owner, Mike's farm, but had decided he liked resort living better and had spent the last several hours refusing to get in the trailer. He had already run through a steel stock fence and catapulted Mike and his pitch fork over his back! So we loaded Joe in the truck and went to the neighbor's to sort out Tyrone. Joe was sympathetic with Tyrone's desire to stay in the nice lake side community, but after a brief conversation involving his nose, Tyrone decided a trailer ride would be fine after all, and jumped in for his ride. Well that was that, and after many thanks we were off. I left once again feeling all puffed up, floating on a big bubble of pure pride. A month later sadly, Joe was gone. Watching him sort out that bull was a gift that I treasure........Now ironically, here I sit with an ice pack on my knee, recovering from knee surgery. Three months ago, one of my dogs ran into me, tearing my MCL, and it just has never gotten better. I haven't been able to bend my knee since it happened. I was lucky and got in with the best orthopedic surgeon in the area, Mike. The conversation in Pre-Op was of a big bull and one brave dog!  The surgery should have cost us a fortune but he is refusing his doctor's fee as he feels he has already been paid, the day Joe loaded his bull.......Thanks Joe!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One of my favorite training videos
I want to share one of my favorite training videos with you. It is very short but it shows just what can happen if your technique is flawed. 
The first error is trying to look good in front of people, instead of handling the situation that is about to unfold.
The second error is being wishy washy in your method and not getting the job done. Yes! We can be too soft. and cause more harm then good. i.e. The lady with the box. 
The third and final error, which will always come back to BITE you, is trying to be/look macho. 
This training article has not been approved by Norman Close and was posted without his consent, so download it quick before he comes in for may not last, after all this section is just for news, real news... 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rob & Betsy Drummond of Hillsboro, New Hampshire, have purchased Cub (Chubb). 
Rob makes the famous Blaster Whistles and Betsy runs the Border Collics Anonymous web site. We are excited to see Rob & Cub run this summer, they are going to be great together!
P.S. Thanks to Carol Campion for this picture

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Spring Clinics & Lessons with Norman
Interested in hosting a clinic or lessons?
Contact us at

Olympia, Washington,  March 14 & 15 
Contact: Dave Imas 360-878-8407

Private Lessons
Hillsboro, New Hampshire,  April 27 & 28
Contact: Rob Drummond  603-478-0846

Private Lessons
Hampton, Connecticut, April, 29 & 30
Contact: Carol Campion 860-455-9416

Quakertown, Pennsylvania May 2 & 3
Contact: Leslie Whitney 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pad Patch
I just finished patching a nasty split on Ice's pad. The winter snow and sharp ice take a toll on her feet. I read about making a patch on a sled dog site a couple of years ago. It really works beautifully, in case you haven't heard about it, I will share it with you. 
What  you need: Scissors, fabric sports tape, Krazy glue, (other types of Super glue do not work as well) & corn starch.
Clean and dry the area thoroughly, cut a round patch, slightly bigger than the wound, make sure that you don't leave any square corners. 
Apply a very thin layer of Krazy glue to the wound, the size of your patch.  Apply the patch. Let it dry. Now apply another thin layer of glue on top of your entire patch, making sure to go outside of the edges. Immediately apply the corn starch (the corn starch is the key). Let it dry. If you would like you can apply another layer of glue and cornstarch but it must be very thin and overlap the previous layer. If any of the layers are too thick the patch will not hold. This will give you a patch that, depending on outside conditions, will stay on up to 5 days. It will fall off on its own as the pad heals. It will also give you a corn starched, glued finger that will annoy you for two days or until you figure out that acetone removes Krazy glue. Good Luck!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lassy Live! 
Yes! She is beautiful

Yes! She has grit but did you know she can sing!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jess & Gale 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Global Warming 
It snows here in Coeur d' Alene, but it never stays. I always have jobs that require snow and I am always waiting, and waiting......... If it does snow, I am up around 4 am to get where I need to be. You have to be ready when the light comes, because the snow doesn't last. By 10 am it's off the trees and you have missed the shot. If it 
lasts two weeks, well that's really something.
It snows often, it just really doesn't accumulate. Well, that is, until you marry a Canadian man that brings a never ending blizzard with him! I have never seen snow like the last two years and the only thing that has changed is his address....
He may be the answer to global warming.
 If your city or state starts to get a little on the dry, warmish side,
 call me I will rent him to you..........

Friday, January 9, 2009

The New Website
We have a new website. While we loved the old version we could not update it our self and found it difficult to keep it current.
 We hope you enjoy the new site, there are 3 options to choose from on the 1st page. The first option is to view the site "High Speed" with all the bells, whistles, & music, so turn on your speakers and enjoy!! The second is the "Dial Up" or the "Slow Speed" version, this is great for our rural friends. If you need to get to a page fast this is a great option. The third option is "The News" that brings you directly here to the news page. You can also get to the news page inside the site. Don't forget when you're viewing the pictures, you can always turn the slide show off using the buttons on the lower right under the thumb-nails. That makes viewing the pedigrees much easier.  We hope you enjoy the new site, feel free to email your thoughts we love to hear from you!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tess & Boone Pups
The pups have grown this is my pick, Jess. I hope those ears mean she will be a good listener! 

Archive News

 Tess And Boone Pup
2 females &  5 males arrived in July.  
All the pups have been sold.
Thank you to Nancy Obernier, Julie Carter,
Bridget Strang, Kathy Hoffer, & Paul Veurink.
Many thanks to Bill Orr and his Handsome Boone.
We are very excited about this cross, how excited  you ask..........we kept two! 

CV Joe (1997-2008
Joe Passed away on Saturday the 24th of May 
The sorrow and loss we feel is  termendous, I find I am at a loss for words......

Gopher Hunting 
Since there is only open at Big Willow, and I am not in the Open yet and Joe has "Been there done that", me and my Snacken Buddy went to find our own big adventure! 
No Gophers were actually harmed in the making of these images! 

Scio was a succsess, hot, hot weather Norman won the second round of the pro-novice with Blade and was 5th in the first round. I found the sheep scary at best, and my young dogs found them very exciting. Kate had a great run going but felt the need to have an up close chat with one at the pen!! Gale was 4th and 7th.
In the 1st day of the open, Norman was 5th and 7th with Cub & Gwen. Gwen ran excellently, and we couldn't be more pleased with her. The sheep she drew ran back to the set out two times before she left Norm's Feet. She handled it beautifully holding them together through the course. It was one of those runs we will always remember. 
Our favorite (not ours) dog of the trial was Elizabeth Baker's Rye. He is a beauty, very cool headed. We enjoyed his quiet power.

Big Willow 
What a neat trial. If you haven't been there we suggest it. The setting itself is worth the trip, and the sheep make it even better. They split off roughly 300 to use for the trial from a flock that numbers somewhere around a qua-trillion (unofficially). You can see the big flock graze the next hill over. The shepherds stay in the area grazing the flock untill the trial is finished, then they collect the trial sheep and move on. It is truly a sight that slows time. The trial is organized and professional. The same people set sheep for the entire trial making it fair and even for all. The Judge was Bud Boudreau. He did a great job and I was pleased to scribe for him and get to know him better. 
Norman ran his 2 new dogs (Gwen and Hanna) for the first time. Gwen ran well, Hanna (the pirate was a bit wild and pushy. She reminds us of our Lass - no quit little and mighty, you just cant help but love her. Cub (last years nursery dog, made it into the double lift. We were really pleased with him, as he is showing well.
Bill Orr's Boone won the trial. He was very impressive, steady and dependable. You know what they say.. If you cant beat them at least breed to them!! So We did. We are hopefully expecting pups form Boone and Tess.  We always pick a favorite dog that is not ours at every trial and at Big Willow it was Lavon Calzacorta's Tess she is an outstanding bitch and a treat to watch. 

Sedro Woolley 
The Sedro Woolley Trial was the first trial of the year for us. It was put on by Dirk & Sonya Vansant. Norman was the judge. It was a treat to run in such a picturesque setting. The trial was held on a dairy farm, it was a long flat field with stunning views and longer than expected grass due to the rain. Dirk's course was a nice challenge. The running was tough because of the sound or lack of it, and the long long outrun. I was lucky to get through it and qualify my nursery dog Kate both Saturday and Sunday for the finals. My Young dog Gale also did a nice job winning the Pronovice Saturday. It was a great trial and we look forward to it next year. 

The linage page is launched 
While I sat in the bleachers at Soldier Hollow 2 yrs ago I was amazed by the people that were watching Joe run, who were saying they had a Joe Pup. It seems every where we went someone was telling us about their "Joe Pup" I thought it would be interesting to see on paper, so to speak, the impact one dog can make. Speaking of impact, I can tell you I have loved lots of dogs....but I have never respected a dog so much in all my life!
So in honor of  Joe (my Snacken-Buddy) who is now officially retired from trailing but is still working hard helping Norman train our "Joe Pups," I have created the cv joe linage page . It features some of  Joe's offspring  and will be updated as new images come in. 
If you have a Joe Pup, be it a son, daughter, grandson, great granddaughter or great great great grandson, send me your pictures and information to Also keep us posted on any news you may have about your "Joe Pups." if its good we will put it up on the fridge and if it is really exciting we will post it right here on the news page. By the way don't forget to check out my Joe Pup JOBE. 

On January 5th, 2008 Norman married his photographer Vickie Atkins in Coeur d' Alene. Norm and Vickie met in Alberta when Vickie purchased a puppy from him. The pup was pick of the litter. Desperate to get his dog back and reduce his photography bills, he married her and the rest. as you would say is history!

Congratulations to Alasddair MacRae and Star 2006 USBCHA National Finals Winners.
Lass places 5th at the USBCHA Nationals, Norman Wins Rookie of the Year!
The United States Finals were held in Klamath Falls, Oregon 150 dogs competed with 40 dogs going to the semi- finals.Both Joe and Lass made it to the semi-finals,with joe's daughter Lass going on to the finals and placing 5th. Norman went on to receive the Rookie of the Year Award, as it was his first visit to the US finals 

Robbie 2006 ADSA Pro-Novice Dog of the Year
Robbie had a beautiful year, starting in Pro-Novice and moving up to Open, he was able to hold his lead and finish strong to win the title of Pro-Novice Dog of the Year in Alberta. 

Lass finishes 3rd
Congratulations to the husband and wife team, Jo Anne and Ian Zoerb
with Gidge and Peg for winning the open.
Lass had her finest open year. She stayed strong throughout the year finishing 3rd  

Joe pups make a great showing at the 2006 Calgary Stampede
Congratulations to Dale Montgomery and Tex, the champions of the world Arena trial in Calgary. Tex is a grandson of Joe, Congratulations also goes to Dave Claypool and Glen, Reserve Champions Glen is a son of Joe. Corey Perry with Ben a son of Joe, made a strong showing at Calgary making it to the finals.

Robbie Wins the Open -2006 PaintEarth Trial 
Robbie wins the Open on June 11th 2006 this was his 2nd open trial
Congratulations to Dale Montgomary and Tex they were the overall Open Champions 

Lass Wins Over-All Open at the 2006 Hill Top Trial 

The Best of the Badlands! Cv Joe  
On May 25th in Watford North Dakota USA Joe was the Open Trial Champion 
With 60 dogs running. Joe scored a 94 for 1st place. There were three days of open and Norm was in the top 6th every day including the 1st day with CV Lass 

2005 Canadian Border Collie Champion: Norman Close & CV Joe 
September 9,10, & 11th, near Cranbrook, British  Colombia the 2005 Canadian Border Collies Association National Championships and Western Canadian Championships were held. 
Norm and CV Joe  Were the 
2005 Canadian Champions 
(photo courtesy of Werner Reitboeck)

CV Joe wins Calgary Cattle Trial 
On March 1st Cv Joe and Norm won the 2006 Calgary Cattle Dog Trial