Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sheep, dip

That's our sheep, Bambi, the dip.

Can you see the attitude in her eyes? She's a former "bummer lamb," a bottle baby, which makes her way too comfortable with humans, and gives her a sense of entitlement. A sense of entitlement is never a good thing, in people or sheep. At least she's a small sheep, a Shetland. C. used to have 300-pound sheep.

We were startled by banging on the door today – it was our neighbor, Bob, and he said one of our sheep was out, headed down the road to the river. We didn't have to ask which sheep it was. It's always Bambi.

I'd just fixed the fence on the south side of the barn to keep her in.

So we loaded the sheep halter and a bucket of oats into the Subaru, and went cruising for bad sheep. Our dirt road isn't so bad, but it meets up with the paved road down by the VFW and the post office, in "downtown" Elk. Logging trucks cruise through there. I imagined Bambi on the front grill of a semi, still looking entitled, but kind of flat. OK, so I was freaking out a little.

No Bambi on the road, at the post office, at the VFW, at the river. We whipped a u-ie and came back up the hill, and there she was, grazing in somebody's field. Not flat.

We pulled in, and Bambi looked up and ambled casually over to see if we had anything good. C. shook the grain bucket, and the wooly butthead was hooked. I grabbed the halter and tried to fit the loop over her head. She was having none of that. Eventually I held her by her fat belly and wool, and C. pulled the halter over her head.

OK, it's the cheesy adjustable halter, and it's hard for me to figure out which way is up, and what goes where. And it keeps getting snarled in her wool. Feh. 

This is how it goes. Big loop around the neck, little one over the nose.

But we finally get it, and C. takes takes the lead and starts the half-mile walk home. I follow in the car. 

Bambi is pissed. Every step she takes is a lunge, and a hop. She comes down on all four feet. C. pulls, Bambi bucks and lunges one step. C. pulls...

Sure, it's cute when a lamb does it.

Not so much when a grown sheep does it. Photo by Owen Humphreys, from The Telegraph.

I'm driving along, laughing. This is going to take a long time. Finally I stop, clear out the back seat, and we lift Bambi inside. We take her home and put her in the dog kennel/rabbit yard, a place she cannot escape. Take that, you dip.

And I go get my fencing kit (that's fancy talk for a bucket with pliers and fencing clips in it), and Earl and I drive over to the barn to fix any new hole(s) in the fence. We spend a few hours reattaching the wire where the goats have been scratching themselves and popped the clips off. Then the fence slumps, and they jump right over, the little bastards.

Yes, I put the fence up myself, and I did a mediocre job. It should be tighter. And probably have more clips. And I should definitely walk it more often and keep it tuned up. 

It looks pretty good now. So I'm heading out to move Bambi back into the pasture with the other big animals. We'll see how it goes.

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