Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shedding, Silkies and a Sow's ear

We brought Tess along to be back up for Jude when we took him to the big field. As it turns out, Tess was not needed so she took a nap on my soft camera bag. She gave me some pitiful eyes so I worked her. First I had her put the ewes with lambs away, then split the flock into a small number so Jude could work them. After we worked Jude and Sleat, then I had Tess do some shedding.
Waiting for the call. She was not a stellar shedding dog early in her career but Scott taught her well. She ended up being a great shedding dog and loves to shed. I can call her in without any opening and she will do the shed. Woe to any ewe that will try to jump over her, as she will snag the ewe in mid-air.

Check out all the white on her's hard to believe that she is almost 13 years old. Her hearing still is good and she can move fast when she wants to and really slow when she has no desire to move. She still can clear a four foot feet and leap across a large ditch.  And she is the biggest pillow thief (somehow in the night, she manages to end up on my pillow and I don't!)

I set up the shed and then all the sheep turned and ran towards me. Not a good move. It makes it hard to shed on the butts and as they are rushing to me. I messed up on my part by allowing this to happen.  
But I stood still and Tess came in like a rocket and made the hole. (Since I was flailing in that part) I turned towards the set that  wanted her to take.

More sheep tried to break back but to no avail. Miss Quick Feet (Tess) sped up to stop that break away while Miss Lead Legs (me) stood and watched.

The Suffolk tried to turn back but Tess leaped up in the air and the ewe spun and ran back to the chosen set.  We did several more sheds and I will post them at a later date. Tess loves to shed and had a blast.

A close up of the shedding dance.

Tess had a fun day and was quite pleased that she got to work. To end the day on a good note, she put the Silke Chickens away. They have never been worked by a dog, so she had to lift some of them with her nose under their butts to get them to move. She did some air snaps by some to make them move, She put all of them away in the lambing creep area. I told her she was a good girl and she danced and barked with delight. 

For her hard work, she got a huge pig ear and the last I saw of her, she ran up to the house with her prize in her mouth and tail up in the air.  Today was a good day for the old dog.

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