Friday, April 28, 2017

Family Photos

Just kicking around with the kelpies.  The old guy, Fynn (Border Collie) still manages to get into the game a bit too.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Zen Sheep Move

Moving the flock to a different pasture.  There is hay feed awaiting them just over the hill.  As it turned out they hardly touched it.  The desire to move and nibble their way around a new space was too strong to be swayed by hay feed or deterred by a light skiff of snow.  They found their way to a native prairie hillside and have been grazing there for the last two days.

BJ is the kelpie moving the flock with me on this morning.  In the first photo there is a guardian pup on the upper left side.  Two more dogs are over the hill.  Oakley is in the rear.  I'm not sure where the other two are at the moment of the photo.  This is the finish of the morning chores and it was sooo peaceful; one of those times of feeling connected to dogs and sheep and time and place.  

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Walk With Kelpies

The Kelpies help with keeping the mood light as we deal with naked sheep, wet snow and colder temperatures, all the while worrying about Lily.  She is indoors with us and has adjusted well enough that she now sleeps rather than stress and cry.  We visit the veterinarian tomorrow to see how the wound is healing and if we can begin to salvage what is left of the muscle and tissue in that leg.

Friday, April 21, 2017

An Injury Forces Lily Off Duty

All the sheep on the place are still being held adjacent to the yard on account of some cold weather after shearing.  We’ll send them out to pasture tomorrow, meanwhile we have been feeding hay to them here. 

Yesterday morning I drove through the main gate, parked adjacent to the first paddock and hopped off the tractor, lifting four of the seven bowls of dog food from their holding place.  Usually four white dogs meet me here.  This morning only Tex, Wren and Birdie, the new pup, came up for breakfast.  I fed them and climbed back on the tractor to head over and feed the main flock.  I’d come back to this paddock afterward and feed Zeus who seldom approached when the other dogs were around and whom I was sure was sound asleep on the far, south side of the hill.  Lily was the missing white dog but maybe she was in the next paddock this morning.

Oakley and Whiskey approached while I fed hay.  They were looking for breakfast but still no sign of Lily yet.  Hay feeding finished I returned to the starting paddock and left the tractor.  I headed over on foot to check where Zeus was.  As I crested the hill he raised his front end and took a long and deep stretch, looking to be in no rush to rise from his slumber. I dropped a dish near him and saw that Lily was further down, resting in the piled hay.  Lily always investigates our approach even if she doesn’t want our affections.  I made my way to her, wondering what was up. Still she did not rise.

When injuries occur to guardian dogs one is often making best guesses as to what the hell happened. Most often you didn’t see a thing; you go out to check your dogs and discover one is injured.  That’s as much as you know.  A quick investigation of Lily showed that one hind leg was badly injured.

It only took a moment to conclude that we needed the help of a veterinarian and as it turned out that’s where we spent the rest of the day.  Lily tangled with something that ripped a significant mass of muscle, two layers deep, from the back side of her hind leg.  As a result from the rip, the remaining muscle is pulled apart from the skin all the way from the top of her leg to her toes.  Nerves behind the muscle are exposed but not torn, however they aren’t responding either.  She may or may not regain full use of her leg.  The major vein in her leg was not touched. It is too risky to close the wound at this stage.  It’s packed with gel and gauze which is held in place with shoe laces and stitch loops (picture a ladies corset).   Our best summation is that Lily met up with a beaver which we’re seeing more of this year.

So Lily is definitely off duty for awhile, although each time she gets outside the house she leans toward the pasture where she thinks she should be.  She doesn’t have much energy at this point but if I drop the lead she begins a slow three legged hop to the gate.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Unshorn and Shorn

Two different photos, obviously taken on different days but kinda cool to see them side by side.