Please extend a warm welcome to the latest member of the LittleFfarm Dairy workforce…..
….he’s a seven-and-a-half week old Border Collie pup, who found his way into our hearts & home, today. With a litter of eight grgous puppies to choose from I thought the decision would be difficult – but in the end it wasn’t as he chose us, really; kept on coming over to us rather than staying & playing with his littermates. This endearing little chap already walks faithfully to heel, comes whenever called & automatically sits at your feet – what a little star! If only Nanuk would take a leaf out of his book…
He doesn’t yet have a name as we want to choose something worthy of this gorgeous little lad. As he’ll hopefully be a working sheepdog it needs to be of a single syllable only.
And after this morning’s chaos we certainly need a working dog. Lloyd came bouncing down the drive in his robust truck as the day started to show promise of unseasonable warmth, with the frustrating news that some of our sheep appeared to have escaped onto the pasture of a neighbour’s smallholding. This was a puzzle for us as all our fields are extremely well-fenced; however if sheep can find a hole, the grass will inevitably prove greener…..
Sure enough, a thorough search revealed that they’d infiltrated the sturdy blackthorn hedge next to an old water tank in the corner of the field concerned, after which they’d pushed their way through onto our neighbour’s land which is generally used for cattle & is therefore only bordered with a couple of strands of barbed wire. Poor Tony, he forced his way through the Hobbit-sized hole, getting a bramble snagged in his crotch for good measure as well as stung by nettles & spiked by vicious thorns – after all, he doesn’t have the same protective woolly jacket as sported by our sheep!
Meanwhile the rest of the flock, plus the ponies & horses, were moved onto another lower pasture. Then I ran up & down the hedgerow, calling our errant ovines whilst Tony vigorously shook a bucket of feed from the corner. Thankfully our girls are trained to respond to the rattle of a bucket, & soon came hurrying from their newly-adopted home. Tony crawled back through the hole & they happily followed him, then ran over to me as soon as we’d got them safely back onto our own land. I strode down the field, calling encouragement, & they trotted happily behind me. Needless to say we both breathed a huge sigh of relief, as we closed the gate behind them….& added a spot of refencing to our ever-growing ‘To Do’ list (it never seems to get shorter, no matter what we do…!).
Unfortunately though it wasn’t an entirely happy ending: we discovered that one of the lambs had become inextricably caught up in the hedge during the night & had died as a result, as he’d literally hung himself. It’s one of the more unpalatable parts of farming; that you successfully raise good, healthy animals….& then something like this happens, a greedy break for pastures new & a life is needlessly lost.
Hopefully our latest arrival will one day patrol his own ‘pastures new’, & help keep our errant flock where they’re supposed to be – as well as safe from such harm in future. But for now there’s a lot of growing up to be done for this tiny chap….!