Friday, July 31, 2009

Move Along, Lil Doggies

I lease a pasture that is about 1/2 mile down the road. I move sheep back and forth to my farm and to the far pasture. This particular day, I was recovering from the flu so didn't want to walk with Tess to move the sheep. Tess believes in making the sheep move at a fast pace and when the sheep get close to the far pasture, they tend to run to it. They haven't figured out how to open the gate yet so they have to wait until I get there.

Here is the view from the car. Notice Tess is moving them at a brisk walk. She has been doing this for over nine years so knows the routine. She knows that visiting the neighbor to the right is not good.

One year, the sheep veered own his driveway and stuck their noses into his back door. It was a glass back door and he was watching TV when suddenly 50 ewes noses were pressed to it. He was surprised. I am sure he was not watching Animal Planet.

Moving them along at a faster pace as she makes sure they don't bolt down the neighbor's driveway. Only about five of these ewes are familiar with the journey and the rest are yearlings.

She has her head down low and her mind is on the job. Nice steady pace and I just follow and give a few commands. She keeps them all tucked in.

Perhaps she remembers when she was younger and was sent to Scott Glen for training. He used to sit on his pickup when he had someone drive the pickup and he used to teach Tess to drive for miles this way. Apparently he did a good job, as she is an excellent driving dog now and is very familiar with people who follow behind her in cars or trucks. Thanks to Scott for all the time he put on her teaching her how to drive.

All done now and the sheep are at the far field. Now it is my turn to put her in the car and drive back home. Then she got to play in the pond and cool off.

I guess I'll have to teach another dog this job. Tess has done it so well for many years. Nay, Tess said she is the only one who can do this. Guess she still be the Chief Wrangler for a bit longer.

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