Tag Archives: herding dog

A Few Misconceptions

img_1844Gus here, I just wanted to clear some things up.  First of all Olive should not be aloud to use the computer no telling what she might say!  Second its very hard to be farm boss and we can’t all be perfect.  I know that Mom thinks that she is farm boss but really my Dad is farm boss but since he has to be at his other job I have to do the job here.  We like to let Mom think that she is farm boss but really someone has to keep an eye on her!  It should be understandable for the tired, hard working Border Collie to have a few accidents in the house.  While I have your attention I would like to address a few other things.  I think that everyone gives that darn Llama to much credit, for all I can tell she just gets in my way bringing the sheep to Mom.  Purdy tells me all the time when we are in the sheep pasture how hard her job is.  She says she has sleepless nights watching the stupid sheep and that the sheep just won’t cooperate with her by sleeping in the shelters where she can guard them easier.  The only thing I agree with Purdy is that sheep are stupid and stubborn.  Overall I am just a hard working tired Border Collie trying to keep this farm together and no one gives me enough credit, they don’t even let me sleep on the bed!

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

Dreams Really Do Come True

Yesterday we finished the first fence meaning ewestace and company could come home.  I went to pick up the three ewes about five with Jeff’s truck.  Amanda kindly caught all three ewes and got them into the back of the truck (ewestace started screaming her protests immediately upon being place in the truck).  It was now time to drive home I made it out of the farms drive before I became overcome with fear ewestace would pop open the hatch and lead a daring escape (which thankfully didn’t happen despite my worry the whole way home).  Once home Jeff got all three ewes from the truck to the pasture without incident.  We walked the fence one more time for peace of mind then left the girls to settle in. When dusk came it was time to put the girls in their house for the night, well Eeestace led the rebellion not going in the house.  This meant we needed the Border Collie after all, to put the sheep away.  I had not yet told Gus we brought his sheep home and he was really confused why I kept making him lay down and stay the whole way to the pasture (I thought we could at least start out with him listening). When we rounded the corner of the lane he spotted his very own sheep and immediately realized it was serious time.  Gus listened so well and did what I asked him and we got all three sheep in their house (even the unruly Ewestace). I had forgotten Gus’s habit of getting in the water trough after herding as a reward until I turned around and saw my very happy Border Collie cooling off after his job well done!

Ducks in a Row

Things are finally coming together here, fencing is going up and sheep will be coming home very soon!  Jeff has been installing the fence for our sheep to live in this week digging post holes and pounding in t-posts.  The end of this week we will be bringing home the meat sheep, Ewestace and two other ewe lambs to keep her company.  Then this weekend Jeff and I will be going on a road trip to pick up Purdy the llama to live with our ewes and protect them from hungry coyotes.  We are both very excited to get our llama Purdy neither one of us has had a llama before and it’s very exciting.  We will have a week then for the girls to get comfortable and the following Sunday our big wooly sheep will be arriving as well.  That weekend we will also bring home both the rams who will be living in the bachelor pad with the horses.  We were also lucky to find a very nice little two stall horse barn that is used and we are having moved here for the horses to have.  Ace and Badger will love that they have the freedom to come and go as they please and I will love that I can lock them in their stall in winter if I need to.  We are so excited that everything is coming together and the animals will soon all be home.  Gus will think its christmas when he goes down for an evening walk with me to find sheep of his very own!

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.

Slippery Slopes

Last night I made a vat of Chicken Chile Verde, which made enough for dinner as well as to can 8 pints.  I love having canned dinners in the fridge for nights that I don’t want to cook.  This is a recipe I have never canned before so I won’t post the recipe to can just yet (I want to make sure it does’t kill anyone first ;).  Today I went to a knitting class that was delightful.  I decided after many many years of quilting that If I was going to have sheep I better learn to knit, it turned out to be much more fun than I had anticipated.  As I am typing this I realized we have embarked on quite a slippery slope.  We got a border collie who needed sheep, now we have a farm and sheep.  We bought a farm so clearly we would bring Ace our horse home and he needed friends so we have bought 3 Nubian goats.  I wonder what we will get next…

Downtime

It was a beautiful day outside Saturday and Jeff took Gus and Olive to work with him.  Sheba spent some time outside laying in the sun, while I finished cleaning the house and opening the windows to air out the house.   I planned a  wonderful day getting some quilting done and when Jeff got home we had a dinner date night.  Spring is almost here I can feel it and I haven’t finished my spring wall hanging!  That is what I planned to get done this weekend.  Sunday we went out to move our rabbits of of the duck enclosure and into another part of the barn.  After the bunnies were moved we got to work Gus on the sheep.  Gus and I worked great as a team even after months of being off.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!IMG_3132

The greatest place on earth…

The first dog I seriously trained was my labrador Sheba who makes a pretty high standard.  Olive however is quickly rising to the occasion by being excellent at everything (I may have a small case of my dog is amazing and does no wrong).  Next to sheep camp Olive is pretty sure puppy class is the greatest place on earth.  Today was our first puppy class together and she did great!  Olive was impressed with me hand feeding her treats and I was impressed with how well Olive did.  We decided to try someplace new this time for puppy class.  We chose See Spot Think in pittsord to go to and loved it.  Olive is in a small class of all female (just by chance) dogs of varying sizes.  I was a little worried about Olive with the little dogs but she was great and treated them carefully just like her rabbits.  The trainer Cindy Harrison was wonderful she explained everything to everyone as we were doing it as well as explaining why we were doing some things.  I look forward to my next class with Olive and would defiantly recommend See Spot Think to anyone in the rochester area.

See Spot Think WebsiteIMG_3227

The sun will come out!

I got to visit my bunnies this weekend at the farm.  The babies are getting very big and annabelle loves all the hay she is getting.  Sly is super happy all the time as long as he can see the other buns.  I think Sly has also made friends with the ducks as well.  Pete however is completely unimpressed with the farm, the ducks and living outside.  I will probably bring dixie and her growing babies out to the farm and bring my Pete home, as I don’t think he is enjoying his stay at the farm.  I also got to see the new lambs at the farm.  They are adorable and there moms were extremely angry at us for snatching them to snuggle.  I love the sheep and very much enjoy seeing them move.  Since we had left all the dogs at home when we left (we went to an open house at a farm on a farm on the way), when we let the rest of the sheep out we didn’t notice that one of the ewes had twine wrapped around its body.  We walked all the way out to the farthest corner of the field to bring the sheep back in to remove it.  I kept joking with Amanda that I would make an excellent herding dog.  I am very excited to get to move to the farm (once we finally find one).  It will be wonderful to have Ace at home, my bunnies at home, and some sheep for Gus to herd and me to snuggle.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!IMG_3339