Monday, 17 September 2012

Sometimes we need hindsight to clarify a situation...

Fena and Lucy keeping watch.
Our sheep have been grazing in a very wooded area on our ranch.
We have Fena and Lucy out with the ewes during the day.
At night we night corral the sheep,
 this  means gathering up the ewes from  the bush and taking them to the night corral every evening.

Lucy waiting with the flock to go back to the night corral.
Sometimes the sheep are waiting to come home and other times we need to go out and gather them up.
When we go to gather them, the sarplaninac dogs always come along for the walk,
while the border collies do the work.
They love the walk and the company,
and so do I!

A few days ago, I noticed that both Fena and Lucy were interested in a certain spot in a brush pile on a  sand embankment.
I made a mental note of this, but did not pay further attention to them.
We gathered the ewes and headed home.

The next morning Roy joined me on the walk to take the ewes back out to graze in the bush.
As we opened the gate both Fena and Lucy raced in and went back to the same spot they were interested in the day before.
They were pretty excited so,
Roy decided to go and look at what  the dogs were looking at.

He called to me to tell me that the dogs had found a hole and a fairly long tunnel into the embankment.
He was also pretty enthusiastic about this "find"
So, Roy, being a curious young lad, peeked into this den..
" Mom" he called, "there is a sheep in this hole"
" is it alive?" I asked,
as thoughts of a predator dragging  this poor sheep down that hole crossed my mind.
"Yes, it is alive" he called back.
Fena and Lucy were now bouncing around like two pups.
So, I crawled down the hole and grabbed the hind leg of this ewe and pulled her out of this hole.
She was all dirty, hungry and thirsty but was otherwise ok.

As, I released the ewe, both dogs run up to her, gave her a good sniff and seemed very happy with themselves.

In hindsight, the dogs had indicated to me the day before that something was not right.
I, had just not paid enough attention to the details and subtle body language.
Had, the dogs not shown us, we would never had known that this ewe had crawled down this tunnel and was unable to back out of the tunnel.

Good dogs, you can get a ride home tonight...

Fena laying down and Lucy standing, they love to hitch a ride home.


  1. Wow! That is crazy that that ewe got in there but good dogs for finding her! The people that do tracking/SAR, or scout work in the army or bomb/drug detection say it's a learning experience reading your dog and to always trust them.

    1. You are right about that. The bad thing is I DID notice initially, but just decided not to bother and look...The dogs where being very clear, I was being vague.


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