|Sprite as a puppy- I haven't taken any new pictures lately|
In the interest of expanding the dogs' horizons, yesterday I took Sprite over to the neighbors' to see if she could get their lambs in the pen. She had already done a couple outruns to gather our lambs, and a drive up the fence. I sent her around the lambs and she did the most beautiful outrun I could have hoped for. She was wide and kept checking her sheep all the way around. They saw her, but did not feel alarmed until she came to the lift and started slowly stalking in on them. It was much better than she did on our sheep- I could really tell she was feeling them out to get a good start to things. I didn't say anything to her at first and the sheep turned and moved off her. Then she looked like she wanted to rush so I stopped her and then flanked her to turn them back toward me- they had turned away from me. They are wary of people. Well, that was the best part right there. We started trying to drive them to the pen, but they bolted back and got past Sprite, she tried to head them but they got to the other gate first, which leads to another pasture and was open, and we had to start over. Well after the second time of almost getting them to the pen and having them bolt away Sprite was very tired and the lambs were hot so I decided to quit.
Later in the day I took Hank over and tried again with the lambs next door so they would get a little more tamed. His outrun is not as nice, but he does well enough to get them turned toward me at the lift instead of running a different way. With his experience and steadiness he gets them headed the right way, but again right at the pen they bolt for the hills (so to speak, there really are no hills) and Hank is not one to let a sheep get away even though he is not quite wide enough to stop them properly so he crashes into the leader and they both go down, but pop up again unhurt. I make him stop and reapproach them slowly, then we carefully drive them up to the pen and this time they go in. Meanwhile my neighbor has been watching from her garden and she says "very impressive". I didn't think it was all that great, but they did get in the pen eventually.
|Hank working calves, from a couple years ago|
|One of my favorite Hank pictures|