Jump to content
BC Boards

Another October Morning

Recommended Posts

Dear Doggers,


Sent Fly this dawn to gather the 180 rental sheep and pick up the guard dog who accompanies them. No guard dog. No Fly.


So I walk out there, quarter mile or so, where Fly is fixed on a sheep laggard. Great. Lambs. I call Fly off and resend so she’s back far enough to give the ewe and lambs space to rejoin the flock. I recall Fly who won’t because she’s fixed on a second ewe halfway up the rocky hillside. I am too Goddamned old for this but there ain’t nobody else so I clamber up the hill where Fly and I nudge the ewe and her twins down to flatter ground. Sheep isn’t keen to join the flock “I’M A WILD RIPSNORTIN’ SHEEP. I HIDE! BAAA!” so Fly brings the flock to her.


I note that the kid who works for us has left a gate open and our sixteen ancient sentimental sheep have joined the rentals. ARRGH. Fly brings the comboflock in and sheds off the two new sheep families . We pop them in the barn and email the rental owner. WHADDAYAWWANNADO?”


Owner calls at noon, he’ll come out. So Fly and I go back out to sort the sentimentals from the rentals and by a miracle, the two flocks have self-segregated, about 100 feet apart, four hundred yards away. One of the sentimentals has bad feet and the others are Run-for-the-Hills types so if we do an International shed I’ll have escaping sheep up front and a laggard in the very back. Ugh.


I’m tired of walking the fields so I send Fly to the left of the uphill (sentimental) flock, then blow a hard “Away” toward the downhill rentals. Fly intends to conjoin and gather both but I down her betwixt, give her a walk up and she starts toward the uphill flock. Between “away’s”, “Come bys” and “walk ups”, Fly understands that I want the sentimentals but not the rentals. The sentimentals are of course, desperate to rejoin the rentals and its a Dogleg fetch, Figures.


Fly balances, slips, blocks, drives and ultimately brings the sentimentals out of the field. Easy then to pop them in a lot and give Fly a look back to collect the rentals which I put where there’ll be easier to get to if we have more lambs.


Not that it matters where they are so long as I've a good dog.



Donald McCaig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a moment like this recently, but with two rams. My young ram left his ewes, jumped two fences, and joined my old, dominant ram and his ewes. Rams were off harassing each other; ewes ignored them grazing. Sent the dog, rams brought to gate. Was going to pen them, but why not practice singling? Singled the black ram, pushed him through the gate (for once, Nick, your freight-train like working style is a blessing). Sent the dog on a look-back to pick up the black ram's ewes, he rejoins them, and I go make sure my fences are good and hot.


Amazing what you can do with a good dog, eh?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...