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Monday, March 14 2016

Spring has arrived. I looked out the kitchen window yesterday and saw this.

The lambs zoomed back and forth, up and down the hill, around the bottle tree and the picnic tables, and from time to time they stopped to check in with the dog.

Why? I have no idea, but that was part of their game. On his end, the dog watched them with mild amusement. He was more interested in the vulture circling overhead. So caught up in the antics of the lambs, I wouldn't even have noticed the bird if not for the dog.

The sun was beginning to climb down out of the sky but the lambs weren't ready to come into the barn yet. The fun had just started. With three Livestock Guardian Dogs on duty, I left the lambs to their play just a little longer. The dogs gave me that luxury.

According to the calendar, I have three goats due to give birth in the next three weeks. Spring is definitely here. That means I can no longer leave the puppies in the stalls at night with the goats. Normally Briar has the run of the barnyard and the boys are locked inside the goat pens, but since they aren't quite ready "birthin' babies" it's time for them to go out on patrol. The rookies are off field training and headed to night shift.

I worried about them. There are a lot of 'things' around here at night. They could tangle with copperheads, rattlesnakes, oppossums, raccoons, skunks, bobcats, coyotes, or heaven forbid, the cougar. They could get off the property and run into feral hogs.

I don't think they slept at all last night. With my window open, I heard their bells jangling off in the distance as they barked and galloped into the night. I didn't get much sleep either. I checked them often. Each time I crept out with my gun and flashlight, they trotted up to me like giant warhorses, puffed with pride. The one person who did sleep last night was Briar. She reminded me of an old seasoned night shift officer who finally had a new crop of rookies on the street. She just curled up in the sand and let them run the 'calls for service.'

Outside my bedroom window the glow of the moon made a grin. The grinning moon smiled down on my rookies as they ran calls for service all night long.

On most mornings I rise to do the changing of the guard and let the Night Shift Border Collies inside, lock Briar up, and let the Day Shift dogs out to play. I brought the Rookies inside for a bit, took off their bells, and let them settle down in the house while I played on the computer. They looked pretty much the same to me, a little tired but otherwise they were the fine. Still, there was something I couldn't quite put my finger on.

And then they spied the cats on the window sill and erupted into barking so savage that it scared me and the cats. They were still hyperalert from their shift. Ahhhh... been there, done that myself. I showed them the cats and reminded them that these cats were the same cats they see every day, both inside and outside. They seemed a bit embarrassed. No worries. Been there myself too.

I turned them back outside and expected they would trot off with Mesa to play, but this morning they were different. There was no play, no symphony of bells as the three friends ran and wrestled with the rising sun. Instead with a self-important, businesslike trot, they patrolled the fence again. Mesa was puzzled. She went a ways with them, but then came back to the house. Cops are no fun.

Last night the boys grew up. They have graduated from the police academy, passed their field training program, and hit the streets.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 09:42 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Good boys! Hopefully, in no time at all, they will prove themselves reliable, and you can go back to getting your sleep.
Posted by Patty on 03/14/2016 - 08:20 PM
They have completed a week of Night Shift and thus far, they are doing a great job!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 03/21/2016 - 04:50 PM

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