Sunday, January 23, 2011

Off Visiting

Yesterday was a busy day. Leeloo and I started off the morning visiting a dog trainer at a park in town. The PetSmart lessons we took her to just didn't really do a whole lot. She can sit. But only when she wants to. She'll come but only when I'm in the kitchen where she knows the treats are. She's a smart dog but still young. Pair that with our inexperience having canines and it's pretty much a disaster.

But we love her, so we'll keep working with her. Her lessons start later this week.

Then I took Max and headed to the city for almond milk, plastic corrugated panels, coffee, collars for the goats, soap, dog food, 1 1/4" screws and toothpaste. I find my grocery list amusing. I find the traffic of the city on the weekends more than annoying.

On my way home I gave a call to Laurie, a shepherdess the next town over that had emailed me earlier. She had lambs being born and wanted to see if I was interested in coming out to talk and see the sheep. I jumped at the opportunity. She has a herd of Gulf Coast Sheep, an endangered species I've talked about here before. These are the sheep we were planning to get for our own flock. They're adapted to Florida's grueling summers which means less worry about heat stroke and parasites.

I immediately fell in love with their Maremma puppy that comes up to my hip and has a thick wide head that looks like a teddy bear. With the coyotes and strays in the area we're going to need one soon. At least that's the excuse I'm using with the hubby.

 Here he is, stealing my heart.

Then we processed a newly born lamb. I watched (and helped in whatever little ways I could) as she weighed the baby, tagged it, docked it's tail and sent it back to it's mama who eyed us warily from the back of the jug. 

Some of the girls are so heavy with babies they look like lemons from head on. By that stage in my own pregnancies I was cranky, bloated and miserable. I can't imagine doing it in the bitter cold with only spindly thin legs to stand on. They too kept their distance while I helped out with some chores.

The crack of the rams horns split the air. They were friendlier than the ewes, the thick curve of horn demanding my respect of them. I happily stayed on my side of the fence.

Visiting the sheep and seeing another farmer's way to doing things has set my heart back on the path towards shepherding.

(since starting this post I got word a set of triplets were born!)

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