Housing the Sheep for Winter
When it gets cold in the year, after the leaves fall off the trees, the sheep come into the sheds. The wind makes the leaves come down and scatter all over the ground. I love to smell the leaves and the earth. Such wonderful smells! But I do not like the wind. The wind blows in my ears and makes it so that I cannot hear when The Boss is giving me instructions. And I must listen well. Because I am a Good Boy.
The sheep eat grass. They love to eat grass... lots of it! Not for me… ugh! It tastes awful unless I have a pain in my tummy. Then it will sort me right out! I like the smell of the grass. And poop. Sometimes the sheep poop in the grass… who am I kidding?! The sheep ALWAYS poop in the grass. Paddocks where the sheep have just finished grazing have lots of dirty grass from the sheep’s poop… it is The Best! Sometimes if I have just had a bath I like to roll in it. That makes me smell AWESOME and also, let me tell you a secret: It makes me invisible… but we’ll talk about that another time.
All through the spring and summer they eat grass and we have to keep them moving from field to field and from paddock to paddock. That is my Number One Job – helping to move the sheep. Moving sheep from place to place is my favourite. Sometimes I think I could even just move sheep around in the paddock that they are in but I am not allowed to do that. That is not my job. If I even think about doing that, I am being a Bad Dog, so I don’t do that. Even though sometimes I want to. Because I am a Good Boy.
When we move sheep from place to place, I run and I bark. That helps The Boss. I bark and I bark and I bark – as loudly as I possibly can. Sometimes when the sheep see me they tell me “No, we will not do as you say!” (They can be sassy like that!) But then I bark – very loud – and that tells them. And it gets them moving at top speed!
So, that is how we get the sheep into the sheds. I help. Of course, I don’t make the plans or do any of the ‘in charge’ bits - I do as I am told. I listen to The Boss and He tells me where to go.
We have our own language, The Boss and I. We have a secret language. I know when He tells me to ‘Come-By!’ that He wants me to go to the left and when He tells me ‘Away!’ He wants me to go right. He tells me ‘Behind’ and I know He wants to lead and I let Him do that. I follow along behind, staying as close to His heels as I can. Because I am a Good Boy.
Getting the sheep down to the farm is the easy part. We go through the fields and usually there are lots of peoples around to help if we need to cross a road. For safety. Cars are dangerous. Very dangerous. So down the fields we go, running and running. I can run so fast when I go downhill! But I must always stay behind the sheep. That is my job. Because I am a Good Boy.
When we get down to the farm we have to get the sheep to go into the handling unit area beside the shed. The shed is warm and cosy. The handling unit is where they get any medicine that they need so they usually don’t like going in there. They do not understand when we are putting them into the shed for the winter. I tell them “We are doing this to keep you warm for the winter!” but usually they just get themselves into a complete tizzy because they do not understand. Silly sheep.
But when the weather really turns, then they will be warm. Warm and dry. With lots of grass to eat (The Boss calls it Silage but really it’s just grass that has been wrapped in plastic). Lovely grass to fill their bellies. What could possibly be better?
And so, I help. And I listen. And I bark. Because I am a Good Boy.