Thursday, December 22, 2011

CV Cap 7/16/1999 - 12/21/2011
An extraordinary dog, and the man that understood him well. 
Don Helsley has lost his great dog Cap. Oh how we dread these days, to witness such deep love ripped apart. You do not cry alone Sir, for we all mourn with you. Your loss is great, as he was a noble dog, that we all respected. I am told as a young dog he was a handful, but you formed a bond and you understood him well. It was a pleasure to watch the two of you together. He loved you, and you loved him, and it was wonderful, and enough. What more can a man achieve with an animal, but the trophy of love. Take Care, Don and Jeanie we feel your pain. Good bye CV Cap, you will be missed. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Featured Artist 
I am pleased to tell you, I am the featured artist in the Spokane Coeur d Alene living magazine. Here is the article.
A match made in heaven
Midge is now partnered up with Laurie Kruger of Newman Lake Washington.
They are smitten with each other already. People often ask how we can sell our dogs, the truth is it can be hard, but it is also very, very rewarding, when you see Laurie and Midge together you will see why.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Congratulations to Bob Otterson, of Washington State. He is the new owner of Serge. I am pleased to say we didn't have to say good bye, Serge will be staying with us for the time being to continue his training program. Look for him next summer on the trial field!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dogs for Sale 
This is a wonderful business. We love what we do, but the honest truth is that filming dogs is the worst job we have. We both would rather pick up a yard full of poop than do a dog video. Our marriage is always in serious trouble on video day and we know it. I want to do something cool, and he doesn't want to do it at all. We swear to each other that we are not going to fight, no, not this time, but rarely do we keep our oath. You see, when you point a camera at Norman, he transforms into an instant grouch. It is the same reaction you would get if you were, say, holding a gun on him. Not only is he camera shy, he actually would like to strangle you because he is busy. "He has dogs to train," and he resents this little interruption, like a dog can sometimes resent a down. Oh, he will do it, because he has to, but don't expect him to be happy about it. No sir, not happy!  I kindly say to him, "Carry on, don't mind me. I will just shoot a little, while you train your dogs. Can we just go over there, where it's better light? Do that again  No, I missed it. Can you do it just one more time? If you wouldn't mind hurrying up, I have my own work to do. No, I said I missed it. Well since I am already standing here, why don't you send her the other way? Well, that's boring, that's why. Forget it, just forget it!"The good news is, we're still in love and still married, and the sale dog videos are up on the sale page. Here is the link
Now get to watching them!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Brand New
Check out our new website. Our old web address will work, but we have also shortened it to or has a new email Now how easy is that? 
We hope you find the new site easier to navigate, and easier to view. The sale dog page is updated. The news page will open in a separate page, so getting back to the site is easier than ever. 
We have added some of my art and gifts, they are easy to view and the shopping cart is simple to use. 
The most exciting news is we have a new product coming out called Crate N Safe. We're dying to hear your thoughts on Crate N Safe. Have you ever had a wire crate accident?    We                                                                                                                                  We would love to get your feedback!
Fire Ridge
Norm was on Fire at Fire Ridge. It started very badly for him. His Meg hit her head, and she had a concussion right before the trial. Her balance was off and she clearly couldn't run. Norm was one dog short in the Open. I had planned to stay home for the weekend to finish a commercial job, and all the training dogs had arrived, so rather than take them on the road, I stayed behind and watched the place. That left my Open dog, Gale, hanging out doing nothing. I bought Gale from Norm years ago, he hadn't worked her since, but we thought she might run for him. It was a chance, but a far better chance than not running at all. He gave her a spin in the yard before he left and away they went. Run for him she did. On the second day they won the Open with a 95 and also made it into the Double Lift. I think they ended up seventh. In addition, he won the Pro-novice with Cody, a dog he sold to, and runs for, Brian Ricards. It was only Cody's second trial. So the old joke stands, "Norm Close has a pretty good discard pile."
 It was a great weekend, and quite a thrill to have my guy and girl do so well, not quite as good as being there and doing it myself, but a close second, and being able to take a hot bath every night sure made up the difference.

Thank you Dawn Pucci for the pictures

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Twinkle, twinkle, little Star. 
Do you know how special you are? 
Up on a pedestal so very high,
that's where you belong, in my eyes.  

Many a trial, you were number one, 
winning everything under the sun. 
Now sadly, it seems your time is done, 
oh, how we will miss seeing you run.

Twinkle, twinkle, little Star.
Do you know how talented you are? 
You raised the bar so very high,
made us reach up for the sky. 
Great dogs to follow? 
I hope, I pray,
I have one as good as you some day! 

Happy retirement Star, the pleasure was mine.......  

Becca - World Sheep Dog Champion 2011 -

Thursday, September 22, 2011

After 4 weeks on the road, 2,328 miles, 18 dogs, 4 trials, 1 judge, and couple of art booths, here is what I learned:

You can lose, but you needn't be a loser;
You can ride your bike through sage brush;
The weather in Colorado is dramatic, the people aren't;
Winners always share wisdom with you;
Some people make excuses, some people need to be excused, and for some, there is just no excuse;
Boots, hats, and kids go good together;
Red sheep collars look better than orange;
Some people are grumpy even if they win, and some aren't, even when they lose;
Nothing fixes a bad open run like a great nursery run; 
Range sheep don't like dogs with too much eye;
Hats make great decorations;
Its bad, very, very, bad, when humans throw up by your dog trailer;
Always pack Lysol wipes;
If you put a fake snake in someone's bed, eventually 3 will show up in yours;
Bring lots of metronidazole when you go to Meeker;
Shaving your legs in a trailer shower is harder than doing a marked shed;
Two shedding rings are not better than one;
For the most part, people can enjoy your art, but they have to live the life depicted in it to want to own it;
Life is short, don't be afraid to wear your best clothes to the post, you may not get another chance;
Sheep have really cute buns;
If your dog over flanks, your drive looks drunk;
It is possible to watch a rodeo and a sheep dog trial simultaneously;
It is better to step off a horse than to fly off, you can always pretend you were just checking your cinch;
If you hit the ground, lay there for a moment, people don't laugh as hard when they are worried;
Give the sheep a moment to look through the panel;
Some pen gates can't be shut until the sheep are well inside;
The bigger the crowd, the drier your mouth; 
It is flattering to see your name on a jacket, even if you are pretending it's not;
The farther south you drive, the more your wrinkles show;
People from Texas are slow talkers, but not slow thinkers;
Jack Knox is a funny talker and a deep thinker;
If you form an opinion on a dog based on one run, get used to being wrong;
Hub looks exceptional in pink;
No one entered should go first, that's a variable we can fix;
Watch the old dogs run, it may be your last chance; and
Dorothy was right, "There is no place like home!"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tuff N Up 
We have a new product, it is called Handhills Tuff N Up. It is a pad healer that really works! It toughens and protects your dog's feet. It also helps heal injured pads. Since it has been out, we have been receiving testimonials from people that are using it. The pictures below were sent to us by Jan Mayr from Pennsylvania. Her dog, Seeker, does agility and ripped his pad on rubber matting. She started using the product on day one of the injury. In only four days Seeker is back in action, and with a smile on his face! Thank you Jan for the photos and feedback. 
Click here for the Tuff N Up website
Day 1

Day 3
Day 4
Seeker, a very happy Tuff N Up customer

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Unfortunately, Christine Koval has lost her dog Rook to cancer.  We were at the Blue Grass when they made the Double Lift. It was a pleasure to see them work together. They had that bond that everyone hopes to have with their dog. He will be sorely missed, she has a gash in her heart, tears for you..........

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Health Care in Canada
Well now I know for sure why Canadians have free health care, they need it!! If the mosquitoes don't pack you off, or give you malaria, then huge ice balls will fall from the sky and knock you upside the head and leave you in a coma. If that isn't bad enough, a tornado may come and rip you away from your home, and throw you in a farmer's field, or at least blow the skirting off your house. They called it the Wild Rose Trial, and they got it half right, it was wild.
 Our kids, bless their hearts, met us for a visit at the dog trial in Olds, Alberta. It was a beautiful site to camp alongside the river. Other than the pesky mosquitoes, all was well. It was a pretty morning, and I was working on a painting, when a pickup pulled up and a lady told Norm that a storm was coming with big hail. It took it several hours to get to us, long enough for you to think they were wrong, but when it arrived it was ugly. Tornado warnings blasted the radio and hail started to fall. At first it was harmless, and then it quit. It looked like it was passing. Had it gone around us? No, it came back with a vengeance. Lightning would flash and thunder would answer immediately. The hail grew to the size of golf balls. Not satisfied with the damage it was doing, it sent in reinforcements and threw baseball sized hail down at us. It smashed the vents in our trailer to a million and one pieces, broke a light or two, and knocked pretty patterns in the hoods of our vehicles. It gave you a sick feeling that got worse, the trial field sky had weird clouds, like I had never seen before, swirling around and heading right at us. Fortunately, the tornado never did touch down at the trial field, it had mercy on us. Instead it touched down at Randy Dye's house, just five little miles away, and yes, ripped the skirting off his house, and blew trees onto his father's house next door. It lifted huge grain bins up and tossed them over and moved farm equipment across the field 300 yards. Randy Dye was the gentleman putting on the trial. Can you imagine? The worry and stress of a normal trial is enough to leave most in tears, never mind a tornado. He and his family soldiered on and put on a fabulous trial. If you didn't know them, you wouldn't know a tornado had just touched down at their house. It was business as usual. The trial went pretty well for us. Norm won the Pro Novice the first day, and was third on the second day with his young Meg. (show off) My Gale ended up tied for  4th/5th with Scott Glen's Don in the Open on the second day. (Speaking of pesky things, who invited him anyway!) Blaze ran really good, the luck however, was not with him in the draw, which is sometimes just how it goes. My nursery dog, Jess, once again won my heart. She is such a little smarty pants. Congratulations to all the winners, it was nice to see all the dogs have a go at it.
The big treat was to see our family, and find out Norman will be a Grandpa again, as there is a grandchild on the way!
After the trial, the co-producer Don Grant, was kind enough to pull us all out of his lovely field with his big green tractor for which we are forever grateful. If they have the trial next year we will be there. The trial was a great one, very well run with great prizes, but next year are going to bring a trailer with a basement. 

Norm and Meg
P.S. I realized at this trial I am not a journalistic type of photographer, one that just stands out there and gets the shot. I was way too worried for that, but here is a very short video of the storm, it is above the trial field. 
Storm Video 
Video link Norman's Meg, at the Wild Rose Trial 
Video link Vickie's Gale, at the Wild Rose Trial 
Broken Vents
Me and Gale 
Checking out the damage with Ryan 
Trees Down at Randy's

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Congratulations to Brian Ricards, for his purchase of Cody. Cody will be staying with us for now and Norman will be running him for Brian. We look forward to his bright future!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nursery Dog for sale!
Have you ever dreamed of owning a nursery dog that has power, and bidabillity? Nows your chance. Normans Cody has both and is for sale 208-215-4630. Here is a New Video 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Big Willow

Big Willow 
I have learned two things in this sport: you need a good dog and you need help. 
I bought Gale from Norm. It was before we were married. I had mentioned I was interested in her. You can't just mention you're interested in a dog to Norm. He requires action. He sold her to someone else.  Fortunately, that man brought her back, and I was joined with my little love of my life. It was a tough beginning, she loved Norm, and didn't want to be with me. We used to joke that she was hoping someone would poision me, so she could return to her man. I didn't blame her.  I was told that it would take a year to bond with her, and almost to the day, it took a year. Now we are solid. She is in my heart and I am in hers. I love her so much, it is annoying to innocent bystanders. Gale is smart, biddable and has a wonderful way with sheep. That takes care of the good dog part. 
Now for the help. Poor Norman, he has been locked in a vehicle for hours with me while I have tried to whistle. When I met him, I didn't understand what a proper outrun really looked like, let alone how to achieve one. I consistently stood in the mouth of the pen, trying desperately to get the sheep in. I thought there should be a different set of commands for the drive. Half flanks, why would I ever need that? He has been patient with me, explaining and re-explaining, showing and showing and showing again. Yes, I have done my part and worked hard, but hard work is not enough. If you think it is, watch a fly in the window buzzing its little heart out. All it needed was a little help to find the door. And that is what Norman has done for me, given me help to find the open door.
Last weekend at Big Willow, I won the double lift, with a lot of help from my friends....
Thank you, Jeannie Helsley for the pictures.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Video
Here is a new video of Cody.We let some of the lambs out of the barn today, this is the first time they were worked.
For more information about Cody, check out the sales page on the website.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Norman's Cody 

Norm is offering his Cody for sale. You can view his information on the website under sale dogs. Cody is a nursery dog.  Here is a video we did of cody in March.   Cody video 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Operation Sheep Dog Herding 
Stephanie Summers, from Paso Robles, California, has a really nice web store for all your herding needs. She will be carrying my Art. I am looking forward to working with her and her clients. You can check her site out here

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Puppies, Puppies, Puppies
Congratulations to;
Wendy LeGare
Kate Kravits
Stacy Spens
Jan Mayr
Sam Hunt
Don & Jeanie Helsley 
Crystal Parrish
Kenni Ann Schauer
We hate to tempt you but there are two left!
Hanna's Pups 

Gale's Pups 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Congratulations to Dan, Cherri, and the entire Wilson family, for your purchase of Jobe. They are a perfect match. Jobe will spend his days with Dan working as a cowboy, and his nights will be spent with his new little girl. 
Dogs seem to find their people, people seem to find their dogs........