Once On a Hill….

For all of you who voted for the name ‘Brynn’ for our new Border Collie pup –

"Where'd I leave my Mousie-toy...?!"

"Where'd I leave my Mousie-toy...?!"

I thought you might like to catch up a little, on his progress.  He’s certainly coming on in leaps & bounds (quite literally, most of the time being full of enthusiastic energy) & is turning from a plump, naïve puppy into a wonderful young dog: intelligent, perceptive & eager to please. 

He now comprehends – & (mostly) obeys – sit; stay; lie down; roll over; leave; fetch; drop etc etc.  No mean feat, considering his tender age!  But what is impressive, is that when given the ‘stay’ command he will obey even when I move a fair distance away from him.  He also knows the name of each of his toys, which has surpised me; fetching whichever one I specify on request.

We had a visit from his breeder today.  He was absolutely delighted with the puppy’s progress; & particularly, with what a healthy, robust & solid little dog he is growing up to be (thanks no doubt, to the goats’ milk with which we supplement Brynn’s diet, wonderful food for a growing pup).   Our only regret is that Nanuk’s new owners haven’t been able to take her home, yet; but at least her wolverine vocalisations have been keeping the foxes at bay for the time being….!

Not so much "His Master's Voice", as "His Master's Wellies"...!

Not so much "His Master's Voice", as "His Master's Wellies"...!

Meanwhile you can see from the photos that Brynn is no longer the roly-poly puppy he was; although he certainly takes after his father in sturdiness & courage; & his mother, in colouring, markings & intelligence.  His grandfather was a champion sheepdog – so let’s hope Brynn has inherited that trait, too; thankfully, he’s certainly lost his earlier fear of the sheep; although he respects & obeys my ‘leave’ command, whenever curiosity gets the better of him.  

I nevertheless worry that our fearsomely tough little black Shetland ewe – who’s not been dubbed “Headcase” for nothing (she gives a mean ‘Glasgow kiss’!) – would butt him from here to kingdom come if he dared cross her threshold!  Thank goodness that the ewes are all bucket trained; it’s just a shame the lambs don’t share their mothers’ enthusiasm – even though they too, were trained to respond to the rattle of a feed bucket (but don’t). 

Ah well – time will doubtless tell, whether we’ll make a great team – or cause total chaos!  My money’s on the, err…former….?  Or latter…..?  Hmmmm……!!  Regardless, one thing’s for sure: this ‘Lonely Goatherd’ has her sturdy little chap “From the Hill” to help her with the chores – even if – alas – for a short time at least, Nanuk will still be yodelling to the foxes in the valley whilst whizzing around after her new pal.


About LittleFfarm Dairy

The LittleFfarm Dairy Team: Jo - Goat farmer & Gelatiere Artigianale, plus General Dogsbody; Tony - Airline Pilot & part-time Herd Manager, Product Taster, Accounts Secretary, Handyman etc!
This entry was posted in Animals, Diary, Life, November 2008, Sheep, Smallholding. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Once On a Hill….

  1. dingbat says:

    You mentioned Nanuk, where is he/she (sorry) going? very far away, you must be sad about that.

  2. Oh he’s growing! I was just going to write and ask for more photos of him and here you’ve done it…can we credit ‘great minds’?

  3. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Well I hope it certainly isn’t the ‘alternative option’, Kristeva!

    Meanwhile Dingbat – yes we’re very sorry Nanuk is on her way to ‘pastures new’. However she’ll have a wonderful new home doing just what she was bred to do – working in a team as a sled dog; which is surely better for her than not socialising with a pack of similar dogs.

    Also, owing to local fears over our keeping a Spitz-breed dog here (there have been historical problems with Malamutes worrying sheep in the area) Nanuk has unfortunately been ‘tarred with the same brush’ although I’m personally confident there is nothing to worry about on that score. Unfortunately her size & (apparently) wolverine looks & voice have not won her any fans hereabout.

    Therefore, as we do not want to be the cause of any concern or bad feeling in the neighbourhood, when we were offered the opportunity to give Nanuk a proper, working home we decided it was the best option all round.

    So yes, she will be very sorely missed; however we have to do what’s best for her – as we unfailingly do for all our charges, here.

  4. Jo says:

    Wow, that boy is growing fast! He’s looking great, and well done on all the work training him – has it taken you long or is he a typical sheepdog with a wonderful desire to do what ever Master / Mistress says?

  5. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Generally, a typical sheepdog, to be honest:

    he’s quick & eager to learn although his intelligence does mean his agile mind demands constant attention!

    He’s now very good with pretty much all the essential commands & I’m finding I can even tell him to ‘stay’ & then move completely out of sight – he won’t flinch a muscle until he’s called, which isn’t bad for such a young chap (just about 12 weeks’ old & has now been with us for around 5 weeks).

    In fact even Nanuk wouldn’t do that; I’d have to be in sight for her to comply – but to be fair on her she’d received absolutely no training whatsoever, until she came to us at the age of two.

    He did have a bit of a “why should I?” moment a couple of days ago when he refused to ‘sit’ on request; however he quickly learned that he was rewarded with a biscuit when he complied but ignored when he didn’t (I wish Tony would realise the same ‘training’ techniques apply to him!! 😉 )

    So far Brynn’s only major misdemeanour has been to bite the head off one of the miniature bronze palm trees which grace the pots at each side of the front door; I wasn’t amused as I’ve nurtured the damn things for years & can’t afford to replace it. Oh well, that’ll teach me for turning my back on such an active & curious wee laddie for a split second…!

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