There are times …

When I just wonder what the hell I’m doing and why I’m doing it.  I didn’t have to be in work until 11:30 yesterday so I went out to work dogs.  I had set up a Maltese Cross on our property and started Gel on that.  There are too bloody many draws on my property to do much of anything with sheep here.  I wish I could see draws better than I do.  Gel was also in a “yee ha!” mood.  So, I took the sheep out into the front pasture and they were runners out there.  Gel had been doing a lot of running to cover the sheep so I decided to put him up and take Cian out next.

Then the sheep turned into stone sheep.  Cian couldn’t lift them for crap.  He’d flop back and forth, back and forth, back and forth and when I went in closer to help him, my pressure literally pushed the sheep back up over him.  Damn!  Then I decided to gate sort a small group of lambs off for him to work.  He couldn’t push the sheep through the gate.  I decided to end working him and brought out Fern.

Fern did well.  She has no problem moving the sheep.  Her eye holds them together more so than Gel so I didn’t have much trouble with runners.  The problems began when I started to bring the sheep back home and Fern had to go by the fenced-in area where Rose and the goats are.  Fern wouldn’t come closer than 50 yards to the fence.  I was able to get her to keep going to bring the sheep back onto our property and then into the fenced-in area, but she was very, very uncomfortable with it.  She’s now afraid of Rose.

Work went okay.  It was relatively slow which makes the day go by slow.

Got home and found that Gel had got out of his run.  I don’t know how.

Milked Rain, got the ducks up and called it a night.

Woke up to a crate being rattled.  Got up to see what was wrong and found that Fern had passed a lot of diarrhea in her crate.  Lovely.  Got her outside and put the crate outside.  I’ll hose that out when it is warmer.  Put her back up and found she had more diarrhea in her crate this morning.  I had brown dog prints to clean up this morning.

This is the first time that I can recall that Fern has had persistent diarrhea, like her father, she’s more prone to constipation.  I’m attributing it to her coming into heat and likely the fight with Rose didn’t help her stress level.  Midge was very hormonal and I think Fern is going to be the same way.  All the more reason to spay her which I will likely do before her next heat.

I think I am going to re-home Rose and start over again with a LGD that has been raised with sheep.  I do not need a LGD to watch over goats.  Gel can attest that they are more than capable of watching over themselves.  I need a LGD who will stick with the sheep like Rose sticks with the goats.  Because she was born at a goat dairy farm, Rose imprinted early on with goats.  I’m going to try to get my ElectroNet set down back and put her out with the sheep on a daily basis for a week or so, but I don’t think I can break the goat bond.

So, here it is quarter of ten Monday morning.  It’s cold out, but at least the sun is out.  I’m going over in my mind how to structure training to help build Cian’s confidence.  I have been very lazy about doing close work with my dogs (i.e. gate sorting, chute work, penning, etc.) and I think it’s time I get going on that.  This weekend Wally is going to help me set up my pen down in the back pasture.  I’ll bring the Maltese Cross down there as well.  You may recall that one of the reasons why I started doing ASCA trials was to work on Gel’s close work and I think it helped, but I haven’t been practicing close work much.  Like Cian, he’s prone to over-flank in pressure situations.  I’d like to sort off some lambs for Cian to work, but I’m afraid he won’t be able to handle the draw the lambs are going to have to get back to the main flock.

As I write this, President Bush is giving his last public address.  I have been trying to live in the moment and not worry about the future, but the economic state of the United States (well the World actually) is incredibly scary as is the threat of terrorist attack.  What better time for another terrorist attack?  Gas is starting to go up.  Things are just not good, especially when you are trying to make it on your own.

I’d really like to just curl up on the couch and watch TV for the rest of the day, but I might as well go out and try to do something constructive.

One Reply to “There are times …”

  1. “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. Nor do the children of men [sic] as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the longer run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
    –Helen Keller

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