For the love of a good dog …

I’ve been riding around on the ATV and in the truck all morning looking for the sheep.  I called Animal Control, local farmers, processing plants, etc. letting them know they were missing.  My landlords and other neighbors were looking and calling as well.  How could eight sheep just disappear like that?

There’s one field way far back, as far back as you can go.  It’s virtually impassable for all the grown up brush, small trees, grass, etc.  I had gone part way in it numerous times, but did not see any movement and turned around.  It is really a long way from where I last saw the sheep and I honestly didn’t think they would have run that far.  Plus, they would have had to go down a long, dark access road to get there.  Finally, I decided I’d go ahead and make my way in there slowly.  There’s a wooded portion off the back side of the field that had some good greenery growing in it.  I figured, if nothing else, I might find something to harvest for the rabbits.  Did I mention I drove in there slowly?  Really slow and had to stop numerous times to pick thorny bushes off me.  As I approached the wooded area, I saw the sheep.  They saw me too.  I thought to myself, shoot, how in the world was I going to get Gel in there and around the sheep without them going deeper into the woods or down to the river.

I simply trusted Gel.  He went around them and they bolted towards the river.  I couldn’t see them or Gel, but I continued to encourage them so he’d know where I was.  I drove the ATV back out and kept stopping to listen to where the sheep were.  Finally they came out of the woods and barreled out the access road with Gel hot on their heels.  Finally he headed them and turned them back.  I got off the ATV and stopped them and let everyone calm down.  I counted the sheep, they were all there and they looked fine.

We got them back towards the house at a pretty good clip.  These damn sheep are runners.  I said before that both Gel and I were rusty, but he was well off them and there was no need for them to be running like they were.  As long as they were running in the right direction, I didn’t care.

Then the ram decided he’d rather stop and fight Gel.  I stayed with the ewes and got them back into the pasture.  I went back to help Gel with the ram,  He bolted into a brushy area and got himself tangled up.  I got him untangled and he took off and ran into the fence and got his head stuck.  I got him out and then we managed to get him through the gate.

I let Gel rest for a while and then we went back up to pick up the last three sheep that were still at the Christmas Tree Farm.  They came down the hill quietly and I put them in with the rest of the sheep.

Then we went back up and got the calves and put them down below.  T Rex cow started bellowing right away, but I’m not afraid of her any more and I need to make peace with her because we need a milk cow that isn’t lame.  The other two are on their last legs and I’m nursing them along as best I can until I can find a replacement cow.  Yet another thing wearing on me.

I am so glad we found those sheep and got them back safely.  Now we will sell them and be done with sheep for the time being.  There was a time that Wally and I would try to figure out a way to get the fencing done.  We’ve done it before: fencing in 90 to 100 degree heat or during ice storms, but no more.  We have learned to pick and choose our battles.

Now, I’m going to take it easy the rest of the day and hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to work towards the leaf turning operation that I spoke of on Facebook.

Until later …

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