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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Nothing to do with the sheep, only the Shepherd

Yesterday this Shepherd took time to smell the roses. Around here in Alaska, we don't get to grow roses in the ground except a few varieties in select micro-climates. Most of us grow them in pots on the deck and some winter them over in a cool dark place in the garage. I got to enjoy my first rose blooming, the flower opening up yesterday with a very heavy old fashioned fragrance. I thought I would share it with you - from Jackson Perkins, it's called "Outrageous". I think it is outrageous in a wonderful way. So, stop and smell the roses along the way, even if that way is to the sheep shed.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My back still hurts


My back still hurts, but not as bad. Last week, I had a ewe give birth to a lamb she refused to acknowledge. No, she was sure it wasn't hers. Funny thing tho, everyone else already had their lambs and were taking good care of them. The little boy needed food, so I grabbed the nearest ewe and flipped her down for the little one to nurse... I didn't feel like holding the ewe between my legs while I bent over to grab a rear leg to prevent kicking. I was tired. So, one ewe down, little lamb still need a bit more, so grabbed another ewe. Somewhere in there something got pinched, and by the next morning I could barely move.

It's been 13 years since I've felt this kind of pinched pain. I gave up. Yesterday I went to the chiropractor. I am VERY happy I went. I went in again today. My, I could sit and stand and walk and do my chores once again without being in horrible pain. I visited with my sheep today. It was a very good thing!

I had company today too. They came to see the sheep and all the lambs. They also wanted to see the new arrivals that flew in last week, and they were impressed. One gal had lived in Wyoming and bottle fed many many lambs... hundreds. She could appreciate lambs. She apprecited these lambs. They are dog friends and nice people, so they were invited to come visit when they were out this way and they did. It's nice to be with dog people and sheep people. You speak the same language. Structure and movement, toplines, it's all the same once you appreciate each species within it's judged standard. I didn't feel out of place talking about hidden recessive potentials, nor about Vikings and Norn and good Shetlands vs bad Shetlands. They didn't feel out of place either. It was a very nice visit and a break during a very busy time of year here on our 120 acre farm. My back still hurts a bit, but it was indeed a good day.

Oh, the photo. We have Juvenile Sandhill Cranes that like our place every summer, and they like the sheep. So they come up from the field below to check things out, then turn around and walk back. The sheep like them too. They watch each other. The photo was taken last month.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Welcome to the web

Well here I am. Seems I've been waiting for something like this to happen. It's the sheep that did it. New sheep. New lambs. 8 actually. They started as 2. Then 4 sounded better. 6 certainly was reasonable. Then there were the other 2, they kept saying why can't we come too? Murphy's Law you know... if you only buy 2 surely something will happen to the 2nd one, so better buy 3. I wanted several good rams of new bloodlines, something interesting. I love genetics. I like to think I have a decent eye for structure and movement. I take time to step outside the box and think a little differently too if I have time. What if my solid colored Shetland ewes didn't carry spots? Then spotted rams wouldn't do much good unless I did tight linebreedings, and I don't really want to do that yet, not now, later yes. For myself. To know. But not yet. Now I needed some ewes that I knew carried spots. If I'm flying in new genetics, then I should get a couple of ewe lambs too. Since I decided on 3 ram lambs, then it was only right to get 3 ewe lambs. Then the time got closer to fly them here. I kept looking at that one face... she had to come up. Should I eliminate one of the others or should I get her and another, since I was flying 2 to a crate. Did the breeder feel there was another complimentary choice? Yes, there were several. Could the breeder find another crate at the last minute? Her husband kindly did. It was a done deal. 8 would come up. I'd hoped when they arrived that they would have a gold airlines pin placed somewhere on them, like the little children sometimes get, but no, they only had tags on their crates saying the pilot knew they were on board. Darn. I could have hung the pins over their shed door. I am happy with them. I already see their differences, no, not their colors or patterns. I see their individual brains working. Who my alert run away girl will be, who my confident ram will be that I will make sure I don't turn my back on as he starts to grow up. Who will be a confidant when I'm out just sitting with sheep. I like their brains. They are sheep, but they are individuals. That's what's very nice about Shetlands, they are very much individuals. Not just a flock of sheep. I am glad Flutter is here too.