Rover Roll Over…What Now?

Freya - April 21, 2012

I came home yesterday, the first day for my bummer lambs to be outside without my being here all day, to find they had squeezed through the night pen fencing, and were cavorting around the property with the LGD and llamas. The sheep were locked in the night pen for a few days due to the Shetlands being horrid mothers. The bummers, or “lamb-munchkins” practiced being outside with jug access to the milk bar all day Saturday and Sunday.

So that was Monday, their first solo day.

Today is Tuesday. I come home and see only the 3 woolies and their lambs outside. No dogs. No llamas. This is bad. But the five lambs are there. As I come around to the barn, I see the Blackbellies resting, and looking tired. All present. No apparent injuries.

I put my Belgians out in the yard. Some barking alerts me to activity out the back of the property, and on inspection, I see Joseph is outside the perimeter. I figure he got out, he’ll figure out how to get back in. I’ve never seen him go outside the fence. Some time later, I still do not see him or Mary. I do see the llamas. But now I’m getting concerned something has happened to Mary and perhaps Joe is staying with her. So I hoof it over to the area last seen, and call him. Finally he approaches, out of breath. He got too heavy over the Winter, a horrid error on my part, in my concern over their warmth during the Winter. I figure he can’t jump back in, and has forgotten he probably escaped where there is a tree down on the fence, or under the space where the swamp passes through the perimeter. It’s clear he’s exhausted and not so interested in roaming around for an inlet. He tries to climb the fence, half heartedly. I suspect his haunches are not so great, and he’s been on Inflapotion, MSM and Vitamin C.

Well I decide maybe he can go under the fence. There is a place where the bears have damaged the fence. Only one side of the fence is field fencing, the other three sides are hog panels. Sure I could have just opened up a panel, but this did not cross my mind in this location. So I lifted up the wire from the bottom and invited Joseph to crawl under. He brought his head and front legs under, but fairly stopped there, without much gumption to continue the journey. So I took his paws and pulled him to his withers. He still wasn’t convinced he could crawl through, so I rolled him to his side by turning his front legs. Then I pulled him most of the way through by his front legs, and finished up with his hind legs. The silly goober just laid there and let me do this. He’s an old soul this one. I tell you he was grateful. He was panting quite a bit in a stressed way.

Still I was concerned for Mary. But as we started to walk back to the house, she appeared, in her usual faerie way, with her usual smile and a wink. I asked her why she didn’t show Joseph how to return. I wonder what they were doing, and hope they didn’t venture too far, so as to get shot at. I wondered if the Blackbellies had ventured over the fence where the tree was down, and possibly the dogs held them close, or forced them back. No evidence showed up on my trail cams. I’ve installed two of them. But I did note that the hay camera didn’t show any grazing, so who knows where they were.

Perhaps tomorrow, the sheep will be locked up again for the day. Supposed to rain anyway. They can have a couple hours in the morning and a few in the evening to graze, and I’ll throw them a bale of hay. This will give me an opportunity to walk the fence and see if anything is amiss.

I’m just glad of a few things here…. “Rover rolled over” for rescuing, the woolies stayed home with their babies, the bummers stayed home with the woolies, and nobody appears to be hurt.

Joseph sleeping after a long night working (the sheep are nearby)

Meanwhile, Joseph is working outside my window and the night pen. Nights have been busy again, with a Grizzly around, fox, Mountain Lion and who knows about the coyotes and wolves. But he is exhausted and is not leaving my window. I thi. I swear if I lived in the barn, he’d be at my feet requesting a tummy rub.


About Intention Hill

Intention Hill is the name of my collective hobbies of raising Blackbelley Sheep, Belgian Shepherds, and art. The name stems from time spent with Gurumayi Chivilasananda, and the power of intention, and the many sacred events on Topovan in Ganeshpuri, India.
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