No, that’s not an instruction – meet Chase the Sheepdog!
When I was in Devon a few weeks ago, we had an incident with escaped sheep and it was an uncertain time for the four of us. We have since had a number of incidents where we have needed to control the flock – and boy, sheep are contrary creatures!
Mum’s comment of ‘we are getting a sheep dog’ rang true, and for the last month I have been searching out suitable puppies. We wanted to get a puppy rather than a ‘rescue’ sheepdog because we need to be trained ourselves, as well as the dog, and it builds a better working relationship that way. Meanwhile, sometime earlier in the year a local farmer suddenly found out his working sheepdog was accidentally pregnant…
Chase is a little guy, only nine weeks old, full of energy, joyful about everything, and absolutely adorable! He has similar markings to Tonks – all he would need is a white tip to his tail and it would be difficult to tell them apart… His mum, Mist, is cross between a kelpie and a border collie, while dad Murk is full border collie – making Chase a quarter kelpie and three quarters BC. Phew! His birthday is the 22nd of September.
As for training and working, we are going to let him be a puppy for the first few months, with lots of play and obedience training, then start the hard work. By the time the flock is larger (have I mentioned that four of them are likely pregnant?) we will have a fully fledged sheepdog. Exciting!
I know that any ‘real’ sheep farmers who read this are probably rolling their eyes, as we have taken on farming as a bit of a hobby it would seem…but you have to start somewhere! I have always wanted to be more involved with animals, and I can’t think of a more perfect way than this. I come from a long line of Zimbabwean farmers, and I’m glad to be getting back to the roots of the thing.
I’m sure you’re all going to get sick of puppy photos soon, but that is not going to put me off posting them! Obedience training is going really well – he sits for his dinner, is moderately house-trained (ick) and has finally stopped biting our feet. Sometimes.
I do have some actual knitting to talk about (remember when this blog was only about knitting…oh, how things have changed!) and will get back to it soon. I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging and am debating taking December off like I did last year. I’ll let you all know when I do!