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Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Old Man Still Has It

ImageDoc on a dry day

 

I was worried that Doc would have trouble moving sheep in the big field with his gimpy leg, but he has seemed to thrive on the work.  He is slow, and doesn’t always see the whole flock if they’re spread out, but he knows what “look back” means and we use it a lot.

I was so proud of him tonight. It has been raining all afternoon so that everything is soggy and muddy. the older sheep, who had been up by their night pen all day, decided at this point to go about as far back in the big field as they could get. Doc has been helping me bring them in, but they hadn’t been so far out before. I was hoping he could get them since if he didn’t, it meant I’d have to slog out there and I really didn’t want to.

I did walk with Doc across the small field to the gate and sent him out. He spotted them right away and took off at his slow lope. He made it all the way out and circled around nicely and back they came. In a matter of seconds they were in their night pen and Doc and I headed back inside to get dry. Nothing like a good dog, even an old one.

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A New Light Dawns

I took Moss out to help me move the older sheep out the gate. He turned and ran wide around them. I couldn’t believe it. I thought he might get too excited, but he acted like a pro.

I set up the camera to record his work after almost two weeks of working goats. They don’t run and stay close to me which gives me the chance to get where I need to be.

Here’s a short bit of what we’re up to now.

Down on the Farm

Big LambsWe made it to the farm-sitting job. It was a long haul, but now that we’re here, things are great.  Both boys are getting to work sheep. Doc helps me move the big sheep in at night and out during the day. Then the big lambs go into the bigger pen during the day, and in a smaller pen at night. When I take Moss out for training, the big lambs have to go in with the three calves and the working goats brought out. Then reverse the process when we’re done.

I’m amazed that Doc not only doesn’t seem to have a problem working with his wobbly back leg, he seems to thrive on it. He’s not fast – he just lopes along but the sheep know where they’re supposed to go so all he has to do is start them moving.

The first day Moss got to work, he was wild as usual. He started to calm down over the next couple of days. He still would prefer just to run circles as fast as possible around us. Since the goats don’t run, I can actually get to the other side and stop him. Today he had two mediocre lessons and one GREAT one. Making progress.

I’m really excited to see what two weeks on dog-broke goats will do for him.