Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Breaking Bread

I let my trained Border Collies tend the sheep on the farm. I'll turn the sheep loose, grab a chair and a book and a drink and hang out and watch the sheep graze. I make sure they don't wander down the driveway or in my garden. Sometimes I will have them graze in a certain area.

It's good work for the dog who is learning how to tend. The first time, they get all keyed up then they realize they just have to chill and relax. Soon, they figure out the *boundary* and if the sheep wander over the boundary, they look at me and I send them to put the sheep back into the set area.

With Tess, she has quickly figures out the area. I put the sheep out, have her do a circle around them and then bring her back to my feet. I could even doze off and she keeps an eye on them. If they wander over the boundary line, she will get up and put them back and either hang out at the boundary line or come back to my chair.

Usually she comes back to my chair as I tend to have food. She has been doing the tending for years so is an old hand at it. She knows when she is at my chair, she is not in herding mode but relaxing mode.
Sometimes she relaxes a wee bit too much!

Last time I had extra bread so I was feeding the sheep at my feet when Tess woke up and decided she wanted some. As you can tell, she was on a break from her *herding* mode!

OK, let's all just eat at the Communal Dinner Table.

Tess said "I'll eat this piece and you can have those pieces, OK?"

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