Setting fence and working dogs

I don’t think I got a lick of sleep last night.  I don’t know what got into me.  I worked yesterday from 8:30 to 5:30, but that shouldn’t have had anything to do with it.  Weird.

As a result, I slept in until 8:30.  Something almost unheard of for me.  I got out, fed the chickens and ducks, milked the goats and then let the sheep out to drift down into the back field.  I got the wagon hooked up to the ATV, filled the water barrel and headed down.  The sheep had drifted up to Red’s so I unhooked the wagon and headed up to get them then started to set the fence.  Off and on, the sheep would attempt to drift out of sight so I switched out which dog I was going to use to bring them back.

I was very pleased to note that for the most part, both Kessie and Fern were well behaved loose in the field with sheep.  A month ago, Kessie wouldn’t have been able to do that.

The paths are marked for moving the fence in two days so I need to go down later to mow them, but I needed to come up and get something to eat and drink.  When I do go back down, I’ll take the dogs and work them.  The plan is to let only a few sheep out of the ElectroNet at a time, work that group with one dog, let those sheep drift off into the next field and take out a new group.  We’ll see how that pans out.

Last week I took in a dog to finish named Sarah.  She’s well started and has run and placed in a couple of Novice/Novice classes.  I had kept her for a few weeks a couple of years back and would have bought her then, but her caregiver wanted more money than I thought she was worth.  She’s an older bitch, but from what I’ve observed, she’s sound.  She’s moving a bit slow now, but I think that’s because she’s spent most of her life in a kennel.  She’s taken to eating meat like a champ and every day she moves quicker and freer.  She knows her flanks, doesn’t quite think stopping is a good idea and has a good amount of push to her.  She works cattle as well as sheep.  She’s very well bred.  She’s a granddaughter to Julie Simpson’s ##Moss with the bottom half being all the late George Conboy’s dogs.  The nice thing about her is that she’s very easy to live with.  She leaves the cats and poultry alone and is quite keen to work.  That keenness has increased daily.  I had a hard time keeping her off the sheep this morning so I ended up tying her to the ATV.  What is particularly satisfying to me is seeing her physical transformation.  It hasn’t even been a week yet, but she already looks better.  When she first came here, her coat was dull with clumps of dead, matted hair throughout.  Her teeth were horrendous.  Today, her teeth are already whiter and her coat is sleeker and shinier and I haven’t brushed her yet.  I wish I had taken the time to take before and after pictures, but when she came, it was raining.  The funny thing is, she was given to me.  Her caregiver is moving to Arizona next week and had to find homes for his dogs ASAP.  The unfortunate thing is, she’s sat around for the past years doing essentially nothing.

We’ll see how it goes.  Ideally, I’d like to get her into a farm home.  Even though she’s pushy, she’s pretty easy to handle right now because her pace is pretty slow.  I’m going to let Wally take her down to get the sheep tonight to see how that goes.  I think in time she’s going to get faster so she may turn out to be more dog than he can handle.

Until later …