Change is in the air

Fall is quickly taking hold with the trees shedding their leaves and frost on the ground when I wake up. We put up more permanent fencing on the hill for the sheep to winter on.  The waters in the pastures this morning had a nice layer of ice on top that I broke apart for the animals. I realized that I have been feverishly knitting christmas gifts but don’t have a pair of mittens for myself.
I worked Gus today on the sheep he was good but Purdy wasn’t impressed with either of us.  When I was moving the chicken fence down the hill a bit Purdy had this look on her face that clearly said “that’s my hill your giving the chickens you will regret this choice.”  Shortly after the Purdy snuck up behind Gus and snorted on him which startled him. I was pretty sure I could hear Purdy laughing at us.

 

Princess Paws

This post comes from the desk of Olive, she wanted you all to know Gus’s true colors!

Well fall has arrived here in New York very cold (did I mention I come from Georgia) and now it is also raining.  Any good southern girl can appreciate a good mud pile and I am no different.  Thursday it started raining and man did I love splashing in the puddles, but by midday Friday those puddles have turned muddy.  This is Saturday now and the mud puddles are amazing and there is an actual lake forming outside the bathroom window for me to roll in!  I am in love with the rain, mud, and puddles … the border collie however is another matter.  In the morning our dad always lets us out to play while he gets ready for work but when it is raining the stupid Border Collie won’t go outside.  He stands so close to the house (so he doesn’t get wet) and refuses to get his paws wet.  This behavior is not only stupid but creates a huge problem for Gus… he won’t go potty.  When we come back inside Gus makes it about an hour and half before he can’t hold it anymore.  Let me just tell you my mom can yell!  When she walks into the kitchen to find a pile of dog poo she is none to happy especially when there is a lake of pee next to it.  Well of course me being the angel I am I only snicker a little while chewing on my bone.  This has ended in Gus spending some quality time in his crate since mom hates cleaning up pee and poo from dogs who are to delicate to get there paws wet.  Now you might be thinking poor Gus but really he brought this upon himself and an added bonus is that I get to spend more quality time with mom!img_4437

Looks can be deceiving 

I may look like an adult who is all grown up but in reality I might just be a little girl at heart whose dreams have come true.  Growing up I asked for a horse again and again.  At christmas I always joked when guessing what my presents were that it would be a pony.  I dreamed of having a beautiful farm with a border collie and some sheep.  Well I did get my farm, dog, sheep, and horses and they all live in my backyard.  What I never thought to ask for as a kid was someone to share it all with.  I couldn’t be more thankful for a wonderful husband that loves our farm just as much as I do.

 

Sadly he has no thumbs…

The most useful farm tool that I have is by far our Border Collie Gus, he proves to be helpful more than I can count.  I know that if the sheep we’re to get out that I wouldn’t have to much trouble getting them back with Gus’s help (Purdy is another story) which is a load off my mind.  This morning when I went down to do morning chores I saw that Jenny one of the brown spotted ewes had become tangled in the electric net fence (it wasn’t on which is probably why she was in it).  Jenny has a very naughty habit of eating grass on the other side of the fence… because that’s where it is greenest of course!  This obviously upsets Purdy deeply, she was standing near Jenny making pitiful cooing noises that her sheep was stuck and she also didn’t have thumbs.  As I was freeing the sheep from the fence (which she didn’t appreciated at all) I thought if only Gus had thumbs he could have done this for me.  This is a picture of Jenny a couple weeks ago eating grass through the field fence, it was at that moment I thought this is going to be a problem.IMG_4151

Purdy

Purdy our guard llama has been here about a week now and I couldn’t be more pleased with her!  She bonded very quickly with her sheep especially Ewestace, they all sleep together in the shelter at night even though I no longer shut them in.  Every time I go down to give Purdy her breakfast or dinner she always comes right over to the fence as I am walking down to make sure it isn’t a threat to her sheep.  I often look down from the house to see Purdy rolling around in the grass and just lazing around during the day, she seems to be very happy and comfortable here.  Olive has been down to meet Purdy and I don’t think either one of them plans to be lifelong friends, Gus however quickly learned to give Purdy her space and she will leave him alone.  I was a bit worried about working Gus on the sheep with Purdy loose but they did fine last night as long as Gus doesn’t get to quick everyone did great.  I am also pleased with how friendly our llama is she eats grain from our hands and is very easily approachable.  The rest of Purdy’s sheep will be coming home tomorrow so she will have four new ewes to watch after and both rams will also be coming as well (they however will be staying in a separate pasture).

Settling In

The farm is absolutely wonderfully amazing, Jeff and I are loving it here and couldn’t be happier.  My mom has been incredibly helpful with helping to unpack the house and get us settled in.  My husband has been wonderful getting all the furniture into place for me and helping me build my chickens a coop to live in (which they love and are super happy about).  We have run into a few snags like the lawn mower not working, a giant hole in the pool that needs to be repaired and no gas line for our gas dryer.  My husband is currently pounding away in the dungeon running a new gas line for the dryer so we can do laundry.  My dogs are also relieved they don’t have to live on the farm on tie out leashes since Jeff has put up there fenced in area for them.

Eat Your Wheaties!

Gus and Olive start sheep camp again today at Cherry Hill Training Center.  When Jeff fed Gus his breakfast I heard him pronounce to Gus “Eat up you, got to perform well today!”  Without even thinking I walked into the room and spoke up for Gus “Dad I don’t perform sheep herding, it’s a way of life.”  After Gus and I straightened out Jeff’s line of thought I realized he didn’t say anything to Olive.  I have decided this means one of two things; 1 Jeff has lost all hope that Olive will be useful for anything but a couch dog. 2 Olive is so amazing that she doesn’t need any encouragement or pep talks.  I can’t wait to see Olive and Gus work after all winter off for Gus and Olive’s first real herding lessons.  I will be sure to give you all an update after camp.