I have been learning to live here and to work with Georg. Although there have been hiccups (like getting lost on my way home) I am glad to say that things look good...from my side!!!
But first of all, the WEATHER. I came ready for the cold but not the Antartic. It is wet and by late afternoon absolutely freezing. It is just like the mountains. A cold chill comes as the day falls. I do not want to focus on the mundane and bore you all but when you are out in the fields these things really matter to we soft city slickers.☁☁⛈⛈☃☃☂☂☁☁☔☔⛈⛈
This is SNOW. Wet snow yes, but snow nonetheless. I rest my case.
The big celebration for the arrival of Spring was Sunday night. Huge bonfires, made up of mostly old Christmas trees, were lit and all around you could see them brightly burning across the way. Our local one was great, or would have been if the rain and wind had stayed away. However, we are all a hardy bunch and turned up for a hot wine and bratwurst in a roll. I was fascinated by the importance of the celebration and the fact that they still had the burning of a winter spirit. You can see her tied to the long pole in the photos.
I admire Georg because he does not shirk his responsibility to the sheep. He stays out till close to dark. I would be nicking off and leaving the sheep to have an early night with just a light dinner!!
Unfortunately I have no pictures of the fields yet. I had my hands getting warm in my pocket (!) and it was too wet most of the time. But don't worry there will be plenty of photos to come of us out in the fields.
Bear has started a little training. He has to learn to listen and and to respond to instruction immediately. The good thing is that the few times he has been on the sheep he has responded well to Georg and has shown the ability to learn. All we ask for at this stage. He has had so little consistent work in his life. I look forward to months of work with/for him.
The great thing for me is to be HERE and to actually witness the true nature of the work and the dogs. I was thrilled to see Georg put his staff in the ground at the gate corner of the pen and quietly call his dog up to it as the sheep walked in at the end of the day. I saw in real life an exercise that I have seen as part of competition. The dog stood with his shoulder to the staff and protected the corner as the sheep walked in at the end of the day. I could not believe it. I am in Germany with my dog in a real German Shepherd Dog environment. Bliss. If it weren't so cold.
This morning I worked in the Barn. That reminded me exactly of horses in the stables. Cleaning, new straw, food and water! Except the noise level was pretty high. Cannot tell you who was worse mothers or children🐑🐑🐑
There is no work for me in the fields today but Georg and the sheep are out there. I feel guilty but I am no constructive help.
I will be back in the barn tomorrow and then Saturday we start the shearing. After they are shorn all the sheep will be in the barn, out of the cold. Not the worst idea.