Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Great Escape - or Always Bring a Dog

Ewes and lambs returning from their morning escapade!

My friend and fellow sheep rancher Lana Rowley once posted on facebook that she was never sorry when she took a dog or a gun with her when she left the house.  While I'm not as much as a gun guy, I share Lana's sentiment about dogs.  I was thinking of her quote this morning as I left the house, as a matter of fact - I didn't think I'd have any work for the dogs, and I needed to go to the office after my sheep chores, so I left the border collies at home.

Almost home, thanks to Mo and Taff!
Ironically, I discovered that the sheep had escaped from their paddock as I drove up Mt. Vernon Road towards Shanley Road - the result of a dead battery.  Without a dog, it would have taken me all morning (and perhaps longer) to put 190 ewes with lambs back into their electric fencing.  I made a u-turn and rushed home to pick up Mo and Taff.  By the time I returned (less than 10 minutes later), the guard dogs were exploring Mt. Vernon Road (and stopping traffic) and the sheep were spread over 20 acres.  I caught one of the guard dogs (Reno slipped back under the fence to be with his sheep) and parked at the now-empty paddock.  I sent Mo and Taff around the sheep, and what would have been a 2-3 hour job for a human was a 5-minute jaunt for the dogs.  I've learned my lesson!  My next border collie will be named American Express - I'll never leave home without him!

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