Everyone fell in love with Gracie, the wildlife shepherd of Glacier National Park, and her working partner, Mark Biel. Their relationship of trust and training were evident from the videos and presentation that Mark gave us. Over and over, Dunrovin is reminded of what wonderful things can happen when animals and people form relationships founded in mutual respect. Oggy’s rapid progress in learning to pull a stone-boat is yet another example. He accepts new challenges because of his relationship with his handler, Ashley.
Gracie from Glacier Park
pREVIOUS WEEKS BROADCASTS
Bark Ranger Gracie
Mark Biel's Family Dog Gets a Job with the National Park Service
Mark Biel is the Natural Resources Program Manager for Glacier National Park. When the Biels decided to get a dog, they chose an adorable little border collie and named her Gracie. Border collies are noted for their ability to shepherd sheep. Well, Glacier National Park has sheep - not the wooly kind that provide us with the wonderful yarn for sweaters, but the high mountain Big-Horned kind that tourists in Glacier Park love to see and photograph. Getting tourists to maintain a safe distance from wildlife in national parks can be a challenge. Equally challenging can be keeping the wildlife from seeking refuge or food from people. This is a big part of the work that goes into national park management - keeping people and wildlife close enough for enjoyment, but far enough apart to not pose a danger to either.
Gracie’s herding instincts gave Mark an idea. And Mark is not the kind of guy who sits on an idea for long. He took action. Watch the video to see how Mark’s and Gracie’s story plays out.
The Stone-Boat Sage Continues
Oggy and the Stone-boat Come Together for the First Time
After attaching plastic runners, the only item remaining to be created to complete the project is the shafts. Shafts of the right length and correct shape must be a “one-shot” deal: get it done right the first time or start over! Oggy must be free to move and turn while pulling. James certainly does not want to leave such a critical part to chance, so he hauled the shaftless stone- boat out to the arena to work with Ashley and Oggy to take some measurements. Oggy’s reluctance to back up became the focus of his training session for the day.
Lest you think that beautiful boy Oggy is always in training and never gets his beauty rest, take a look at him recently relaxing in the riparian pasture while soaking up the bright afternoon sun. Ah, you would have thought he was living the life of one of those Donkey DIVAS!
News from the Hashknife Ranch
It’s one of the busiest and most stressful times of year at the Hashknife Ranch. While ranchers do all they can to create the best of circumstances for their cows to give birth, lots of variables including weather, breech births, the presence of predators, can turn this natural process into a long and painful ordeal. Welcoming calves in the spring is the ranch’s lifeblood---and both a joyous and anxious time of year.
No one tells the story better than a young man who has lived it every spring during his childhood. Be sure to read the latest story in Calen’s Ranching World: Spring Calves by Calen Carpenter.
Ins and Outs of the DaysAtDunrovin Website
Join our tech guru James Wasem as he works on zoom to help a couple of new members get acquainted with the DaysAtDunrovin website. Watch for a guide to features you didn’t know existed!!
Ranch Chores with Ashley
Preparing Feeders for the Summer Season
BIG SHOUT-OUT TO ASHLEY CHAPIN!! She is not only a hard and dedicated worker, but she is often thinking about ways to improve things for both the animals and people of Dunrovin. The horses were having digestive issues because they were eating sand with their hay at the tire feeders. Ashley thought up a way to improve the tire feeder by keeping the hay off of the ground. Take a look at her idea.
Clicking with Mackenzie
It's All About RECALL!
Last episode there was some great fun with RECALL. Special guest Bunna (canine) brought James (human) to add some canine energy to the mix! Since it was a bit too muddy for a great session of horse and donkey recalls, the crew did more practice with building enthusiasm for recall until the footing is more stable.
During the next episode of clicker training with Mackenzie (& Michal & The DIVAS & any one else they can rope in) they’ll ask the question: “Can equines smile?” And if so, can they do it on command? If you have a horse, donkey, or other animal at home, tune in to get some tips and see if you can train along with the crew at Dunrovin!
Remember next episode will be at a new time - Monday at 6:30 PM ranch time!
RANCH NOTES AND VIDEOS
A Snippet of Snow Geese
Spring is a certainty when you see the snow geese flying overhead. We luckily caught just a momentary glimpse of them over the Bitterroot River. They were gone before a camera operator could get to the controls!
A Dynamic Dance of Deer and Turkeys
In this fast motion recording of over an hour of encounter between deer and a large rafter of turkeys, you can clearly see that the deer are the ones in charge of all the cool dance moves!
Don't Forget to Join Us for the Monday Socials!
- 7:30AM - Sunrise Webcam Tour with James
- 8:00AM - Morning Chores
- 9:00AM - News from the Hashknife Ranch with Brandon Carpenter
- 9:30AM - Training Oggy with Ashley and Brandon Carpenter
- 12:00PM - Finding Freddis with James Wasem
- 1:00PM - Mystery Ranch Chore with Ashley
- 2:00PM - Skijoring with Guest Judy Kreith and Paula Goldberg
- 3:00PM - Hawk with Chelsea Klocke
- 4:00PM - Feeding the Herd
- 6:30 PM - Clicking with Mackenzie
The Canine Sport of Skijoring with Judy Kreith
Living in Alaska Develops a Love of Skijoring
Judy Kreith is a woman who likes to move her body. Her love of movement drove her to earn a Master of Arts in Dance Education from Stanford University. She is also a dog lover.
In 1996 she moved to Fairbanks, Alaska where she taught dance at the University of Alaska, and shared her love of dance with communities around the state. Anyone who has ever lived in Alaska knows that there is only one way to survive their long and dark winters. You must embrace it wholeheartedly and find a winter activity that sings to your soul and puts you outside to enjoy the short, but incredibly beautiful Alaska winter days.
Judy found her Alaska winter antidote in skijoring which combines her love of movement with her love of Alaskan huskies.
After fifteen wonderful years living in Alaska, Judy returned to her hometown of Boulder, Colorado where she continues to teach dance. Luckily (for us), she is a good friend of our own Paula Goldberg who asked her to share some Alaska skijoring stories with us.
Join Judy, Paula, and SuzAnne as they swap winter Alaska Stories with dogs!
Raptor Talk with Chelsea
During the winter months when Chelsea Klocke is not working with Marbled Murrelets off the coast of Oregon, she often returns to Lolo to live with family who just happen to reside immediately west of Dunrovin. This year she used those winter months to work part time for us. If you first learned about Chelsea in our December 6, 2020 blog, you will understand why we were so excited to have her take a role at Dunrovin. Not only are she and her family wonderful neighbors, but Chelsea is a trained wildlife biologist and ornithologist. Before she departs for her summer work, she is going to treat us to a series of presentations on the raptors of Dunrovin. This week kicks off her series of broadcasts with a focus on the hawks that we have seen on the webcams. Join us this Monday for an hour of raptor talk with Chelsea!
Afterwards, Mackenzie will discuss Canner's recall and how it has been weakened from poisoning by bad interactions with people. He will also discuss how and why recall can be a super helpful behavior to teach horses. Then they'll do some work together and try to build some enthusiasm into Canner's recall!
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