Tess has been making a remarkable recovery. It is hard to believe that three weeks ago, that she was on the brink of death for close to four days. She is acting like her old self, aside from a few issues. She still cannot jump up and can be stiff when getting up. Nevertheless, her appetite is back in full force and she still hogs my side of the bed at night. We removed 35 staples from her belly and all you can see now is a thin scar. She still is a bit sore on her side, with all the internal bruising. She is really enjoying all this extra attention and treats but we do not mind.
She used to be my back up lesson dog and chore dog. She is the best dog to move ewes and lambs or even the llama. She enjoys putting away the poultry away at night. If I walk to a gate, she is the first on there, snarling at the other dogs to keep their distance. They all back up several feet. Each night I take the dogs out for playtime and they swim and play with a ball. Tess brings the ball back with all of the other dogs in tow. I toss the ball into the ponds so the dogs get a good workout swimming. Tess will still swim but recently she will have the other dogs swim and get the ball and take it from them when they reach the shore. Then she proudly carries the last few yards to my feet.
Since Tess has injured for the last few weeks and somewhat prior to that, I have been using Rainey to do the sheep chores. Tess has not been amused but I need to get a replacement for her. Of course, Rainey is so happy to be the chosen one. Sometimes I use Nan or Roo. In September, Sava will be also shouldering more work. Rainey is quite good in the tight stalls, holding sheep off the feeders, finding sheep scattered in the pasture and holding a single. She has gotten more confident and feels like she is my right hand now.
Finally, Tess was able to have the privilege of going down to the barn with me to help her exercise. She is stiff when she gets up but after some walking, she is more limber. She loves to go to the barn in case any stray kitty food can be obtained or she can steal some bread from the chicken area. When I would get home, I would feed the livestock and she did the chores. This week, I let Tess, Nan and Rainey out and went down to the barn to do the chores. I opened the lambing corral door, put Rainey on a stay, then went inside and closed the door. I was moving feeders about and then was going to put the lambs away. I was also teaching Rainey that she had to wait and could not come into the stall all the time. She lay down, tucked her little muzzle on top of her crossed paws and waited.
Suddenly I heard a huge ruckus, banging and snarling. I raced back to the stall door to see Rainey bolting up to the house. I called out to her but she ran faster. I opened the stall door to see what happened. I was spun around by a speeding bullet, a bolt of lightning hit my right shin, and I fell against the wall and wondered what had happened.
I looked down to see what had taken me out and saw Tess walking forcefully towards the pasture gate. Her head was close to the ground and she saw the lambs and was ready to get them. She had decided that Rainey was not going to do her chores, jumped her and made it plain to Rainey that running back to the house was in her best interest and next time, I just better be quicker to get out of her way as she dashes into the stall.
And that is how my friends, how I got the huge bruise on my right shin.