Friday, April 8, 2011

We Need a New Sheepdog

Pompon in action in the sheep yards
 We lost our sheep dog Bobby during shearing. I think he was overworked during the hot weather, but honestly I wasn't sad to see him go, and Hugh still has the scar to remind me. Since then there hasn't been much call for a sheepdog. Until this week. This week Roger has been taking the merino rams out of the mobs of ewes. They have been in since the third week in February ready for lambing five months later. (14 February is the day we plan to put the rams in for joining - Roger always jokes that it is a Valentines Day treat for the sheep!)
I have been the sheepdog helping to bring the mobs in and run them through the drafting race. On Monday morning I had to help bring a couple of mobs in where the fence has been taken down for realigning a laneway. Without a fence the sheep could run off in to the paddock or the creek, so two of us on motorbikes made it easier. It was very very dusty. The paddocks are dry and bare, and the sheep stirred up the dust so that you couldn't see from one side of the mob to the other. When I got home afterwards I was very dark-looking, with circles where my sunglasses had been.
Today when I helped bring a mob of sheep in from a paddock with lots of bush, there was hardly any dust. That's because it rained yesterday. We had 6mm of rain, and the weather has turned dramatically cooler, which is nice after a long hot summer.

There always has to be ONE going the wrong way!

Roger ready to count out the ewes.

Dog's eye view...

Stop that ram!

Roger in the thick of things.

Spot the ram.

Without a dog it is difficult bringing a mob of sheep through the bush. With a little fluffy dog called Pompon it can be much harder. Pompon went with us this morning, and it was not very helpful when he jumped off the motorbike and started chasing sheep in all directions. When a few sheep split off from the mob I tried to get them back, but ended up with the whole mob breaking for freedom. And then I got stuck.
I am not really a very good motorbike rider. I take it pretty steady, and Roger lets me ride the ag bike which is geared lower, and has a nice wide seat. (He rides his  trail bike when we go together.) This morning in the bush I tried to dodge between some trees, but I came upon a log which was too big for me to ride over. There were rocks as well, so I couldn't turn out of it, and it was down an incline so I wasn't strong enough to push the bike back out. I just had to stay there until a big strong man came and rescued me! Which is pretty pathetic...

I think Roger would be much better off with a sheepdog to help him muster sheep!

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