The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Patience of My Saint

It's lambing time here at BorderSmith Kennels, and the lambs shown here were some of the first born. Out of my registered Dorper ewes by a White Dorper/Cheviot cross ram, they were born one day apart all within the last 3 days. I jug mama and baby for their first 24 hours to insure a strong bond, and afterward move them each day to the big pasture where the grass is coming on fast now.

With the patience of a saint, it is always Price who gets the call. Star man has sufficient tolerance as well, but lacks experience, and Mirk is a bit too brash for lambs so tender. Price intuitively knows where and just how much pressure to apply to get things moving quietly and keep the sheep flowing smoothly.

The tiny babies are clueless, and the dog means nothing to them. Their only care is that mama is near. Oblivious, they will stand, or nurse stubbornly when you want them to move. It is mother that must show them the way. With babes so new, the ewes will turn and fight the dog instead of moving away from him as they would do without lambs by their side, and Price must be resolute, but kind to complete the job.

My very soon to be 11 year old dog is a marvel to watch at this task. He will oh-so-slowly work the small band from side to side gently nudging a lamb here, bumping a ewe there. Even as my patience is waning, Price continues his non-threatening approach, pausing when the lambs stop for a slurp, or the ewes turn to check on them, before pressing on.

My Dorpers are proving to be very good mothers. Very attentive, happy to stand and nurse, instinctively and immediately knowing who belongs to who. I have been lucky so far with these ewes. There has been no intervention necessary, and I will keep all of them for another season.  I have always been lucky with Price. He is a once-in-a-lifetime dog who continues to find new ways to amaze me after retirement and into old age. What an amazing partner he is.

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