Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Sheep

Sadly, this is not a video of Riff working sheep.  It does show part of the new flock out at the sheep ranch.  Aren't they pretty?  (for sheep?)

These are the lambs from last year, newly moved to the big pasture.  They are not "dogged" - not used to dogs, so ML wasn't sure we should let Riff give them a try.  She is generous and kind, and really wanted to give him a chance....if she were handling him.  Which was fine by me!  (The older ewes had been moved back to ML's place for lambing.) 

If you watched the video, you could hear Riff panting in the background.  He wouldn't leave the fence near where I was standing.  Even after I put the video camera in my pocket, told him to go play, and turned my back on him.  (Which feels sort of like turning your back on a crying child...awful!)

So, after a couple of minutes, ML brought me into the pen, and told me to hang onto her hand and move around with her.  Sounds easy, yes?  Not!  Especially considering the fact that, once Riff got the green light, he started chasing the sheep right away.  He lasted less than 30 seconds on the poor sweet things.  The pen turned into a staging ground for "sheep fireworks."  Sheep were bouncing off the walls of the pen and exploding into the air!   We sure didn't want to see any good, fresh sheep get hurt while trying to jump out of the pen, so we told Riff to 'lie down' (which he did, right away...good dog) and called it a day.   

Which means, pretty much, no more sheep at ML's least for a while. 

But she gave me the name and number of a local lady who might be willing to work with us (not everyone will work with beginners).  She thought it would be good for Riff to go somewhere else for a few sessions with good "dogged" sheep.  Maybe, after that, we can get back to her place....or....?? 

I'm not sure where this adventure will take us next....but it sure is FUN. 

Ever onward!


corgi2bc said...

Sounds like Riff is finding his sheepdog-self though! :-) Hopefully you can find another place to work for a while, now that he is getting interested.

Celeste said...

It does seem like Riff's really interested now. We have an appointment at a new place next Wednesday (if it isn't too wet from the rain). Cross your fingers it'll work out...

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