Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Sheepish Post

I've been trying to write this post for several days. First I started late at night, and realized I was too tired to concentrate. The other times I've been interrupted or my mind has been occupied with other things. The end result is that I've written so many words for this post that I'm afraid I don't feel like I can construct a decent sentence for it now.

I wanted to write about how much I love these beautiful, unique creatures. How I've formed my own opinion on their intelligence levels. Sheep are not stupid, as almost everyone proclaims. They are, in my view, very curious little animals with an ability to learn very quickly, but also an ability to panic quickly too, which I think may be why they have the reputation of being stupid. They also have vastly different behavioral patterns than those of cattle, and seem to have set routines on where they graze at what time of day, and they stick to it. I've also watched them use their nose to sniff out a plant they wish to eat, so they are in my view more of a forager than a grazer.

Then I wanted to write about Rilla and the sheep. She's changed in her work so much since having sheep to work daily. It's her job to round them up and put them in the shed at night, and she loves it. I've also used her to 'free-graze' them in our lane ways and establishing shelter-belts, where there is no sheep proof fencing, so Rilla is required to not only get them to the location but to keep them their and let them graze. It's harder for a dog than it sounds, as her instinct is telling her those sheep must be near me, they shouldn't be spread out eating. But she's the best at swapping between the two jobs, and grasped the concept very quickly. I love how gentle she is. She doesn't mind pausing when the two lambs want to feed, but she has no trouble in telling one of the sheep off if they decide to give her a hard time. Working with her to get a job done is just the best feeling in the world.


I've been so busy with work and daily life that I've been struggling to keep writing here lately. We've been blessed with the arrival of more calves and baby chicks!
It's not a chore as writing this blog is actually something I love doing, and it gives me a place to voice my thoughts, share my photos and document a little bit of my life. Tonight it seems I finally have the time and head space to sit down and just write. So written I have, and whether or not this post ends up making sense is up to the reader I suppose.

I hope life is as good and full and busy and satisfying as it is here at the moment. Every day comes with challenges, and although sometimes it can be hard to plow on through them, often we do and come out the other side feeling happier and more satisfyed as we've achieved something and solved a problem. And on the days when you just can't plow any more it's ok to step back, take a deep breath and take a break from it all.

Take care until next time!

Sarah xx


  1. Wonderful post Writing is never a chore, but sometimes it just doesn't flow for me. How clever is Rilla! What a wonderful dog. Our border collie is great at chasing away the wild ducks and turkeys on command. Clever pooch. Yes, I agree, sheep aren't as silly as people think!

    1. Rilla used to chase away our domestic ducks, when we had them, on command. She loved it :-) Border collies are just the best dogs aren't they?

  2. Your sheep are gorgeous friend! WOW! I had no idea that you all had them already! What wonderful insight you shared with us all about your new crew! And I can only imagine how full and busy your days are. Keep up the hard work...I so admire what you all are doing!!! Take care Sarah! Nicole xo

  3. Baa Ram Ewe! I always think of the movie "Babe" when I see sheep and collies. Rilla sounds like she's found her niche and knows it! You sound very satisfied with your venture of both training her and now having the sheep. I don't know about sheep except to pat their woolly heads at fairs. I used to have a couple of goats and thought they were very clever animals too, and such characters. fun days :) Wendy x

    1. Babe was one of my favourites as a child :-) It is very satisfying, even when she was a bit naughty last night with them, we still go the job done :-) I love goats! They're on the one day list ;-)


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Maira Gall