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Some Mikatura History

  

March 2004, near Leslieville Alberta

Mikatura means moonshadow which we had originally planned to use as our kennel name, but when we applied to ASCA we found that the name was already a registered kennel owned by a very nice lady from California! Nancy Amor had registered "Moonshadow" over 20 years ago...she has wonderful taste in names and has become a friend! Still wanting to keep the moonshadow idea we had a friend, Les Mathieson in Australia, do some research for us & Les found that in Australia "mika" means "moon" & "tura" means "shadow", hence the name.

Way back in 1982 we were given our first Aussie, a gorgeous black tri boy who was named Willie (Willhebeadogorwonthe), named by the 6 year old son of his breeder about 5 minutes after he was born. Willie was a birthday gift to my husband Foss & he hit a year old being everything a person could want in a working Aussie, smart, fit the breed standard to a T & a great companion. For Christmas I bought Foss another female Aussie since we both wanted to breed working dogs…..well as it turned out neither Sheesa (Sheesa Dawg Too) nor Willie could be registered with the ASCA, only with the NSDR…..BUT for the next  9 years Sheesa was an absolutely wonderful girl, she’d work any kind of stock & very very rarely ever needed any correction. Now remember we weren’t interested in showing, just good sound working dogs hence the non-registered dogs at that point. Sheesa & Willie had both been trained by their Sire & Dam, & we all lived on the same farm. Unfortunately just before his second birthday Willie was killed in a farm accident when he was snoozing under the wheels of a friends truck...lesson learned, ALWAYS check under the truck!

When Sheesa was two we bred her & were eagerly awaiting a litter. Sheesa had a wonderful litter of 10 pups & all were placed before they were even born, with friends who were looking for a working dog. All the pups went merrily off to their new homes & we settled down & started looking for another Aussie, preferably a registered pup this time, a male. As luck would have it the next year Foss saw & bought another bitch pup, a little black tri he named Modette because she put him in "mo-debt" than he’d been in in a long time! She was, at 2 months old, going out to the field with Sheesa to bring in the horses & cows every day & doing exactly what Sheesa used to do, run as far as she could then have a nap till Sheesa bought back the cows etc. When Modette (the pup) was 3 months old our son backed over her & she died in Foss’ arms. When Sheesa was 4 & 6 years old respectively we bred her again & again had litters (11 & then 10) of pups who all went to wonderful homes all over Alberta.

Meanwhile along came Joey (Tide Creek’s Joey)...Jeni bought him from Kim & Susan Hudec at a herding trial in Olds Alberta, Joey was 5 months old & had lots of Las Rocosa breeding which is what we wanted; he herded our chickens the day we took him home & went daily with Sheesa to get the cows & horses in from pasture. When we were at work one day Joey got hit by a grain truck…..yes he’d got out & was on the road. Foss found him & took him to the vet who did x-rays & operated to repair his badly fractured leg. Six weeks later the leg healed stiff at the joint, a pin had slipped & stopped all movement of the joint while it was healing & it calcified the whole joint, this despite Jeni taking the pup back 3 times & being assured that all was well, the vet said they re-xrayed & the pin had come right out & not to worry...we should have worried. Not only did Joe now have a stiff leg, he’d suffered internal injuries that rendered him incapable of breeding. So we were back to square one, 2 good working dogs & still no ASCA registered breeding Aussies. We decided maybe we should just sit tight & look & wait till we could get a little bitch who was exactly what we wanted. The "look" took us nearly 7 years, partly due to a move to the pacific coast for a few years & partly due to our losing our Sheesa when she was 9 to bowel obstruction caused from eating rawhide chews. Please folks, get rid of the rawhide!!! Anyhow we moved back to Alberta in early 1996 & in October I found a gorgeous red merle pup who we bought & took home.

Mullen (Nicket’s Mullen Kintyre) was a little love & got along with Joey & all the cats. One night she escaped from our yard & was run over on the highway in front of our acreage…after having spent so much time finding a dog & having had her with us for 3 months we were devastated & Foss & I decided we were giving up…No more dogs, Joey would be it till his final day & then we didn’t want to do this anymore….we were convinced we were jinxed & having our Aussie kennel was a dream that would never come true.

After a bit Foss convinced Jeni to try one more time & after more months of searching we got Dani (Las Rocosa’s Moonshadow Dancer) from Joe Hartnagle, she was beautiful! After a 13 hour day in a crate flying up to us from Colorado she had a dry crate & was all wiggles & kisses when she arrived (mind you I thought she’d never stop peeing when I put her on the grass). When Dani was about 16 weeks old Jeni noticed her squinting in the sunlight & took her to a veternarian ophthalmologist only to learn that she has an eye defect (or so he said), an Iris Hypoplasia. They do not know (or so I’m told) if it is a hereditary defect or caused due to trauma so we had her spayed. (Note: I have since been told that the vet who checked Dani's eyes is not a certified opthomologist...I've learned NEVER SETTLE FOR ONE OPINION with something this important!!! Make sure your opthomologist is board certified! It could be that Dani's problem really was trauma caused & may have healed itself given time. We should have waited & had her checked again six months later!) That said, by this time we were really fed up with the whole thing but Joe Hartnagle being the wonderful man that he is told us he’d stick by his 100% guarantee on Dani & would send us another pup when we felt ready & when he had one available but he also made us promise to train Dani to herd. By December we were ready & Joe & several other friends had convinced me that I should try my hand at showing as well so now Joe & I were looking at the pups not only as a working dog but a working dog that was going to have show potential. Joe thought he had a black-tri girl for us & arrangements were made to send her right after the new year but by the time the new year arrived Joe wasn’t as happy with her & didn’t want to send her because he didn’t think she was quite good enough to show (the man is a judge so who am I to argue with him!!!).

So we waited & watched the four little girls in the litter that were born the beginning of February. By the beginning of April a choice was made on the pup which showed the best potential to be my showdog prospect, Foss’s herding dog prospect & our breeding prospect…..that’s a lot to ask of a pup who would only weigh about 8 or 9 pounds when we got her BUT the point was, Joey is nearly 9, has a stiff leg & had never ever been able to give us any pups with his wonderful temperament & drive to work...yes, stiff leg & all he works his little heart out when given the chance. Dani had just turned a year old & is a typical teenager, full of beans & mischief, she can’t be bred but she could (and would) be trained to herd & she’ll be really good at it (or at least I think she will)...the new baby, well only time will tell what would happen.

So here we are nearly 20 years later still trying & not giving up. Am I sad? Yes, but only because I miss our friends who had to leave us way to early in their lives, & yes because we’ve had some wonderful dogs that I believe would have made great studs & bitches. But then I’d have to say no I’m not sad because I have Joey & Dani who are, after Foss, my best friends & companions & even though both of them have "imperfections" I wouldn’t trade them for anything that anyone could possibly imagine would be "worth more"...they are our friends & will remain with us until their final day on this earth & I will love them every single day between now & then & I will cry my heart out when they have to go.

May 5, 1998: Molly, who eventually has been registered with ASCA, CKC & AKC as LasRocosa GudGolyMissMolly, has been with us now for nearly a month...she’s everything Joe Hartnagle told us she was, beautiful, full of mischief, showing lots of herding instinct (ask Alfalfa the cat whom she loves) & very very easy to work with. She stands well to be bathed in the kitchen sink (seems to be a daily occurrence), stands beautifully stacked to be brushed, she comes when called most of the time, she’s pretty much house broken (not bad for 13 weeks old) & has a wonderful time with Dani & Joey. She loves to be cuddled & give kisses & her favorite treat is Rollover, although Marrowbones & Milk Bone biscuits come a close second & third! Molly, Dani & Joey have the full run of the house & the backyard when we’re gone to work (normally about 10 hours a day by themselves) & so far so good….I personally think Dani & Molly play hard & sleep hard & don’t have time to get into any other mischief!

October 17, 1998: The herding trial that Dani & I went to in May is a whole ‘nuther story that still needs to be written down....she was terrified of the sheep but little 10 week old Molly loved them!! Joey & Dani are both happy & healthy & Molly is wonderful...so far everything we hoped she be...she’s beautiful (go see for yourself!), she’s smart & we’re heading off to the conformation ring in the very near future.

April 1999: Molly got 6 sheep for her first birthday & we've now got 7 sheep & 3 lambs who've been born in the last week. Molly & Dani love the sheep & spend countless happy hours keeping them herded together...they also love to kiss the babies & make sure they don't get too far from the mama's when they play (dogs & lambs!). Both the girls have a lot of herding instinct & Molly will even go out in the field & herd the gophers if the lambs & sheep are having a nap in the spring sunshine. Please see the individual dog pages for up-to-date info on what our "furkids" have been up to!

July 13, 1999: This was a very very sad day here at Mikatura….today our lovely boy Joey went over the rainbow bridge. Though Joey's passing has left a huge hole in our hearts we try & remember that he is now with all our other wonderful furbabies in a place of sunshine & warm & is waiting for us to join them.

September 16, 1999: From a sad day in July to a happy day in September, we have a new boy here at Mikatura! LasRocosa Rust'N'Spurs has come to join our happy crew…see Spur's own page for more information!

October 18, 1999: This hasn't been the best summer for poor old Dani, she broke her hind leg at the end of June and lost all of the skin & flesh right from her toes up to her "elbow"…to cut a long story short she nearly lost the leg last week but after many months of careful work she still has four legs. The one is missing about two inches of the two middle bones but it's almost healed now. Dani will have a leather brace to wear on her leg but since the two bone pieces have been removed she's back to her normal, happy self, running & playing with Molly & Spur & making sure those pesky sheep stay where she thinks they should be!

November 1999: I'll be glad when this year is over...Spur went to his first show and took BOBP his first time in the ring...then one week later he was gone...you can read the story on his webpage. My sweet ghost eyes now rests in a small bunch of trees on our property.

November 26, 2000: It's been a busy year, new job, lots of web sites to design and not one but TWO new boys...Las Rocosa Lord of the Dance "Ceilidh" came home to us in March, click here to see Ceilidh's own page and Ruff Stock Power Stroke "Dually"  came to join the clan during the summer...click here to see Dually's own page!  Another little tidbit, we're expecting "Mollypops"!  The "pops" are due on December 21st, 2000, please e-mail me for more information!

December 18, 2000: The 'Mollypops" arrived! Please click here to go to Molly's page for more information!

March 29, 2002:  Well I've been too busy to even write much on this page...we've new pups, nicknamed the "Mollypops II"...click here to go see them!

July 31, 2002:  We're just back from our annual WASCA trials...Ceilidh now has one leg toward his ASCA started cattle title and Molly...well she not only has one leg toward each of her ASCA started sheep and cattle titles but she won a beautiful Koolah oilskin jacket that Foss and I are happily fighting over...he trialed her but she's my girl! :-)

We work with all of our dogs on the farm, we started with six sheep to give us something to work & train the dogs with.  Somehow, over the past few years, the original 6 have grown to a flock of  50+ cross-bred sheep with a few purebred Suffolk ewes in the mix.  We raise a good "crop" of lambs each year, some are sold & some are kept to keep our little flock growing. 

To look after all of them we have two beautiful Great Pyrenees dogs named "Muffy" and a young fella named "Johnny Reb" (aka Rebel) who are our gentle giants.  These two wonderful dogs resemble small polar bears & have an awesome temperament & we're never sure whether we'll find them out in the fields having a game with the Aussies or lying in the barnyard with a bunch of lambs gathered 'round them for a sleep in the sunshine.


 

Foss has been the main man trialing the dogs up until 2004 when Jeni tried her luck in the trial arena....it is FUN!!! Jeni occasionally shows some of the dogs in conformation & was the President of the Working Australian Shepherd Club of Alberta for several years.  Foss also helps out at many local rodeos by providing the sheep for the Mutton Bustin' and is on the Board of the local Gimlet Rodeo as well as the Gimlet Mules & Music Days.  Both of us firmly believe that an Aussie should have beauty, brains & lots of herding savvy!  They definitely aren't the right breed of dog for everyone, but oh they suit us so well!  Our dogs work regularly on the farm and we trial as often as we can!

There are some very special people who have become involved in our lives that we would like to thank....first, we never could have accomplished anything without the help & guidance of Joseph Hartnagle of Las Rocosa Australian Shepherds in Kiowa, Colorado.  Thank you Joe for having enough faith in us to entrust us with two of your beautiful girls & our boy & for being there despite all the hardships we've been through with our dogs.  Rest in peace my friend...I miss you but know you're over-seeing all the Aussie Angels and I think of you every day.  Second, Carol Ann Hartnagle-Madsen, thank you Carol for letting Ceilidh come to brighten our lives...we hope to be able to live up to the wonderful history behind this young fella!  And last, but never least, our friend Tanya Wheeler of Tucker Creek Aussies...we are so thankful that Joe & Carol Ann introduced us & we got to tell you about the wonderful red pup we'd seen & tried to buy a few years ago.  As it turned out that pup was Tanya's girl Panda & now we have a little part of her in our home, our beautiful SallyRose.   We can never thank all of you enough & you will always be in our hearts...

 

Although this is long, I hope you’ve enjoyed our story and I hope you'll continue your tour through the rest of our site!

Available Aussies  Our Guys    Our Gals   Pups   Aussie Info   FAQ's   Herding Information   Site Directory   Miscellaneous   Links
Home
   Contact Us   Mikatura Web Design

Mikatura Stockdogs®
Foss & Jeni Gallichan
Box 9 - Site 2 - RR #1
Eckville, Alberta, Canada TOM OXO
Jeni Cell ~ 403 - 877 - 4629
Foss Cell ~ 403 - 896 - 0724
Email ~ mikaturaaussies@gmail.com

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