Monday, January 12, 2009

Missing Their Work

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.

11 comments:

Deborah said...

The poor sad pups! Those eyes...my collie sends hugs to them.

Turtle said...

Ah, poor Nessie. Kicked to the curb by the mama's when she just wanted to help. She looks completely ditched!

ellen said...

They live to work, don't they?

Nanci said...

I remember a friend of mine had border collies and when the dogs didn't get enough exercise, they would start to round up the kids, and her at times.
she was very fit from exercising the dogs during the lambing times too.

Francie O said...

I too love your photos - especially of the new lambs. Thank you for sharing!

Francie in Tennessee

Thistledew Farm said...

I feel for the collies I know they are lonely and sad. They like so much of the country have been layed off! But the pictures of the gray sky were lovely. I love that kind of day....especially when it clears to reveal the beauty beyond.

jordiw said...

Did I miss something? Why is Phoebe hobbling? Love the lamb pictures and it is fun to see the faces on the older sheep too. They have such character once you can really look at individuals as opposed to seeing "the flock"

Jill said...

I love when you post about your lambing season. What is the frequency of lamb twins? As the mother of twins, I'm curious how it goes in your piece of the animal kingdom.

Amy in KC said...

What a joy your pictures are, thank you for brightening our days. My little ones do love your little ones.

Moorecat said...

I used to have a border collie/kelpie, and when we moved from the farm into town, I enrolled her (and me!) in obedience lessons.

Teaching her new skills gave her something to think about and gave us both a focus to our daily walks.

Often these types of dog also can be very keen on ball-based or frisbee-based games. Any leanings in this area, either of them?

JANET said...

Just wanted to tell you that I knit your Sunny Fez Hat for a friend, and that it was a great dose of sunshine in the middle of a Chicago winter. Great design and pattern - thank you.