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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Blanche is here......and other thoughts

Blanche has arrived from Michelle's! She flew lots of miles for lots of hours to make it to Alaska but she acted as if she'd just been put into the crate when we had our first meeting in the back of the truck! She announced her arrival all the way through the baggage claim area since this particular airline doesn't have an airport cargo facility........
so lots of 'tourists' getting off the plane made silly comments about a sheep in the crate and what a strange dog she was. Alaskans of course are much more polite, with kind words of 'how exciting' and 'will you be at the (State) Fair this fall?'.....most Alaskans are considerate and kind people......
so once outside I loaded Blanche into the back of the truck and gave her water and fresh grass to help soothe her tummy and talked to her and pet her. She quieted right down and muttered sweet nothings to me while I talked to her and told her she had another hour's ride home and then she'd have her freedom back. She was very happy to be with the others and eat hay and drink fresh water!

WE know how expensive it is to fly up our precious animals, anywhere from $200 to $400 a crate!! JUST for the airfare. A few dedicated breeders up here, and I will include myself in that bunch, fly up new genetics and continually keep improving our breeding quality, selling at the SAME prices people in the lower-48 sell their animals for even tho it often costs us twice the amount to feed them too. We do it for our love of the breed. We WANT people to buy our lambs and become part of our extended family. We here know best how to care for them in the long dark days and the cold, with what feeds and supplements WE have available to us. Afterall, I wouldn't tell Peeps what she should feed her sheep in Missouri and she certainly can't tell me what to feed mine because we live in two totally different places with totally different needs and resources.....resources being the key word. Our dark winter days, especially further north from here, requires certain supplements if you're going to have a healthy immune system in your sheep. People in the 'lower-48' just don't know that. And that's another reason we started an Alaskan Only sheep discussion list - to provide help and support to other sheep owners and create a healthy network of caring individuals. Alaskans REALLY hate to be taken advantage of...and that seems to happen often enough up here too which is pretty disgusting actually. People in the lower-48 used to ship up their '2nd best' thinking we were uneducated and wouldn't know the difference.....and yet in the dog world we have some of the best in the breeds in the whole US. Same for the goat world, and certainly is the same in the sheep world too I'm sure. Alaska is a small place in it's own way, thankfully, and we eventually find out some interesting things about some folks in the lower-48 that saddens us. That is why we have good email networks now, and good email lists for conversations and education.


I think Blanche is stunning, a beautiful example of the breed, and will be a wonderful contributor to using Awt in my breeding program. She is what Alaska needs. And I'm sure my lambs that will fly up next year if all goes well will be just as spectacular as Blanche and also my beautiful Minwawe sheep that are already here from last year.

Here's to honest people and good shepherds!

3 comments:

Garrett808 said...

Yippee! I'm glad to hear that Blanche made it up OK. I've only shipped two goats from Seattle to Mpls, and then my 2nd dog, Oliver, from Finland via Germany to Chicago and then drove up here to Perham 9 hours away. I'm surprised at how resilient critters are!

I also applaud your efforts to continually improve the stock in Alaska, even if it means sacrificing some of your hard earned money to stay competitive with the rest of the country.

I truly hope to meet you someday soon!

Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

Come on up, Garrett!! Peeps has to come up, some of her friends would love to also........we can have a wooly gathering, pitch tents, have a bonfire, and watch the mosquitoes die in the flames....hehehehehe........or rent a fleet of motorhomes and call it good! I've flown sooooo many animals of all kinds and both ways...which I'm kinda proud of too. I exported a champion Australian Cattle Dog to the UK a few years ago - only the 2nd to ever be exported from the US to the UK. His daughter won Best of Breed at Crufts this year! So flying Blanche up, even tho she went from Portland to Houston THEN to Anchorage, wasn't tooo bad...check out her pics I just posted..hehehehe.......

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Your posts on my beautiful Blanche - YOUR beautiful Blanche now -- warmed my heart! I would have been proud to keep her and show her if I had the room, but since I don't, Silveraurora is the next best option. I love the close-up that shows crimpy little tendrils of wool on her poll....