The dogs miss having the sheep close to our house. Our winter greenhouse barn is 5 miles from our farmhouse – on the farm The Farmer grew up on. It would be a lot easier to be able to walk out the door in the middle of night to check the sheep and any new arrivals. Instead, when lambing is in full gear, like it has been this week, The Farmer hops in his truck in the middle of the night, drives 10 minutes and hopes that his flashlight holds out while he checks for problems.
I feel a bit guilty being snug under the covers while he does his 2 a.m. crawl but I’m not about to get up and do it! After lambing slows down a bit, he won’t have to get up in the middle of the night.
The dogs have been missing the sheep terribly. Border collies are incredibly intense dogs – always needing a job of some kind. Walks are important for the dogs this time of year since their main form of exercise – the sheep herding – is in hiatus during the non-grazing months. I took them up the road in a snow squall the other day. It was beautifully gray.
In five minutes, the snow cleared and the hills looked so lovely.
The lambing barn is no place for the dogs. But today, The Farmer tried to take Nessie down there anyway – seeing that she is starting to go nutty with not much to do except run circles around the chicken pen. He thought it might work now that she is a bit older and more mature. He was back in twenty minutes. The mamas went nuts – stamping their feet and generally expressing their hatred of that Border Collie hanging around their babies. Guess I had better get she and hobbling Phoebe out for another walk before our next snow storm.