All sheep and dog activity is now solely at Georg's barn.
I am enjoying this part of the shepherd's life immensely, although poor Bear is not. He has no part in it. He is left home in the mornings while I go off to shovel silage, hay and straw.
The hay and the straw are a breeze but the silage is a heavy pain in the butt and I cannot seem to develop a consistent technique. Sometimes I lift a good amount, other times its a pretty lean fork.
But of course it is not the routine of looking after the sheep that attracts me. It is the activities of the eight (8) wonderful GSDs and their interactions with us, with the sheep and between themselves that intrigues me and keeps me fascinated the whole time I am there.
This a whole new world for me. A pack of working dogs running loose in a confined space with their stock and behaving in such a reliably work/Georg oriented but free way. They are not unsupervised but they are very free. Like kids in the playground.
This is an unexpected highlight. All the time I am in the barn Georg and the dogs are teaching me, opening my eyes, showing me and amusing me highly. If there were chips and beer I would think I was at a vaudeville show!
I know I will never replicate it and it distresses me that not many will in the future. The dogs are kenneled at night so this is a special period for them too.
Like all working dogs they are hyper active so there is movement the whole time. Occasionally they will take themselves off for a little break but at the first sign of action they move.
The sheep are currently in two groups. The group without lambs go out to an extra large pen all day. So the lambs and their mothers are shifted about so we can clean and feed. George will usually use Dana to help him move the sheep around the barn. (Actually it is the lambs that are the problem. The ewes move fast as they know where the new food is.) The other dogs hang around as the second line of defense. Ready to take over if Dana should falter.
**Look at Georg's page for a list of the dogs
Georg was bringing the tractor into the barn.
Of course dogs are not the only action in the barn...or are they...
Even setting up outside they are in the picture!! I think our photographer is a little biased!!
And Bear. What has been happening to Bear you ask. Well, he just has to be patient. But we have had some special walks together.
Bear will be the star of my next blog.