I stand corrected. The Farmer informs me it was not a 1,300 pound steer. It was not quite market ready so more like 1,000 or 1,100 pounds. Silly me.
He buried the head and hide. The guts went out in a field for enjoyment by the local coyotes.
The knife thing puzzled me, too, since we have a number of fairly decent sized kitchen knives that surely would have been more useful. All he had to do was come back in the house to get one. However, they ARE kitchen knives with thin blades and not really meant for dealing with food "on the hoof," so to speak. Having dealt with the Farmer's pocket knife before — nearly running it through the washer when he forgets to take it out of his jeans — he was probably better off using it as it's a pretty sturdy item.
We frequently have beef custom butchered for people who want to buy a half or quarter of a steer to stock their freezers. On our end, this means loading the steer into a trailer and driving it to the locker, where it is humanely killed and then processed into roasts, steaks, hamburger, etc. according to the buyers wants and wishes.
In this case, given the untimely demise of the steer and the slightly questionable hygienic practices under which it was dressed, we'll be keeping the meat for ourselves. Although it only hung outdoors for a couple of hours, if the quality has been reduced, like the Farmer told Phoenix, "You might get a lot of hamburger for supper." This would be the ultimate break for a raw-feeder!
Okay, the weekend's matches and the state fair report.
Overall, things were improved. Not perfect. Not totally brilliant. But better. And that's what I wanted - to do our runs with no food and no toys and see that he understood his job better than he did last May and June. Both Saturday and Sunday's matches brought better attention and, to my great delight, he was trying to work his fronts, didn't give me any walk-ins and did lovely go-outs in spite of people hanging over the railing above the Utility ring at the state fair.
I noticed a couple of things - the sound of silence is a problem. I have worked (obviously not hard enough) to help Phoenix understand that me being quiet is GOOD thing and it means he's right. We need more work on that and I need to shut up already.
The eternal quest for balance between formal and informal training continues. I do not want to drill my dog through exercise after exercise day after day, complete with formal set ups, fronts and finishes on every exercise. This may produce qualifying results but it will not produce a happy attitude. IT'S BORING.
On the other paw, Phoenix occasionally NEEDS to see these exercises from start to finish in training as I expect him to do them in the ring. Informal training is fun and good and you won't ruin your dog by using treats and toys. That keeps obedience work from disentegrating into a pit of boredom and monotony . . . but . . . at least now and then, I feel I need to put everything together and ask for it several times in a row so he understands he has to perform ALL the behaviors, not just bits and pieces of them here and there. Train like you show, show like you train. Some trainers claim they never do formal run-throughs except at trials. Wow. Okay. Glad that works for you. Know your dog.
When the match was over Sunday, I walked around the state fair for a little bit. Went to the Varied Industries Building and got a 2011 Iowa State Cyclones football poster to annoy my co-workers. We are located just 30 minutes from the University of Iowa so right in the heart of Hawkeye country where Iowa State's cardinal and gold are not the predominant colors. It looks wonderful on my cubicle wall.
Then I checked out the new Jacobsen exhibit center, which is a fabulous indoor horse show arena where the Des Moines club will be holding its agility trials beginning this fall. It's amazingly fabulous. Did I mention that? Can't wait to show there.
I wandered through the 4-H exhibits building and relived my glory days as a Louisa County 4-H'er, did some people watching (always hysterical - you truly see EVERYTHING at a state fair). Would liked to have spent more time wandering around, there is SO MUCH to see, but I'd been up since 4 a.m., not to mention loosing several hours of sleep before that.
So I ate a deep fried Twinkie and headed home. Now before you start rolling your eyes and wretching in disgust, remember, the Iowa State Fair is ALL ABOUT food on a stick. I could have got deep fried butter on a stick! A Twinkie was practically health food by comparison! My cardiologist would be so proud.
It was actually pretty good, providing you like Twinkies to start with. I do. They're a guilty pleasure. My grandma used to have them at her house and we'd eat them together when I was a little girl. The fried version is dipped in a sweet batter, kind of like pancake batter, and fried, then served with powdered sugar. It ends up tasting like a extra doughy version of the original spongecake.