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Denice Rackley

A bit about me - 

My life has always been connected to animals it seems.  Growing up we didn't have many pets but i spent weekends with my mom and sisters at her family farm where she kept a couple horses.  My aunt had everything from rabbits, to bottle calves to horses.  My youth was spent outside on horseback.  I was the girl who brought every stray home only to be told "NO, can't keep it."  I often wonder if that is part of the reason I now have 100 plus ewes and more Border Collies than I need. 

As I have shared the dogs came out of my need for assistance with the stock.  They save me thousands of steps a day.  More than that they give me piece of mind - I know no matter what greets me in the barn or pastures my dogs will help me take care of things.  I use them to do way more than gather and move sheep.  They help sort, feed, check fence, vaccinate, medicate, watch gates....Rarely do I walk toward a pasture without them much less go through the gate.  They have saved lambs stuck in fences or asleep by hay feeders, at times completed tasked that I would have thought impossible.  My dogs have but themselves in harms way for me more than once.

I owe what I have learned to those who have helped me on my journey - both people and dogs and actually the stock.  If it were not for the sheep I would not be walking this path.  They came first.  I am mindful that our - mine and my dogs - first responsibility is to the stock; doing our best to care for them.  With that in mind I strive to use low stress stockmanship techniques and I teach my dogs that the stock must be respected just as I am.  

I share what I have learned through lessons, clinics and freelance writing.

I owe a great deal to those I have learned from over the years.

Jack and Kathy Knox, Kevin Evans, Derek Scrimgeour, Laura Hicks - I try to learn from the best and these are some of the best.  

I have had lots of help getting here and try to pay it forward by helping others.  I have made many great friendships through the clinics, if it wasn't for the stock and dogs none of it would have happened.

 
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Life is a journey.....

                my journey happens to have many sheep and                                   dogs wondering the path with me.

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Zeva, Meg, Scott