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Wednesday, January 03 2018

Update on Jury:  After continued intensive therapy to elevate cats to God-like status on the farm, Jury now has resumed his normal nightshift duties. Thus far, no cats have been killed. I still don't trust him 100% but he is exhibiting avoidance behavior (i.e. looking away) when he sees a barn cat stroll past so I can only hope that he will continue this behavior when I'm not watching him.

Now, on to dayshift:

Judge is the Dayshift Dog. Although very much like his brother in appearance, Judge is longer, leaner, and not given to being as maternal with the livestock as Jury. Judge is all about the business of guarding the property. He is good with the stock, but not chummy.

Each day I try to take the sheep out to pasture. They are split into two separate flocks now which makes it easier to note the individual temperaments of the flocks. The Dorper/Jacob flock is more calm and all about the groceries. The Navajo Churro flock is very flighty and all about not getting eaten by coyotes. Thus far, they have been very successful in this endeavor. The reason for this is that at the first hint of danger, they gather like a flock of birds and fly back to the barn.  This makes it hard to keep them in the forest on a windy day.

The hard freezes here have knocked off all signs of grass and so any good grazing must be done in the forest where the frost didn't hit the undergrowth as hard. Read my lips: churro don't like the forest. The Boogey Beast lives in the forest.

Even with two rather large white bodyguards the churro don't feel safe so sometimes the best I can do is let them graze on the edge of the woods. I stand out there with them, freezing my ass off. The sheep finally get settled. The dogs finally get settled. And then he sees something.  Oh my. I know that look.

Out of the skies over the forest it comes. He trots forward to meet the threat.

That speck. Yes, that speck over the flock.

A vulture.  He races underneath it to move it on its way.

And the churro panic.

Like a well-oiled machine, gathering the dairy goats too, they form a tight ball, and race back toward the barn.

Used to this behavior, Briar just watches them thunder past.

Judge stands his ground. Sector 12 is now clear.

Then he ambles behind the flock to catch up. They have made it to the driveway near the barn and stopped to browse. He spots another intruder.

The neighbor's cows are too close to the sheep.

Miffed, she gathers her calf and huffs away. All is well in Judge's world. He settles down in the edge of the woods to watch the sheep. Here he finds a thing - a precious, wonderful, curious thing. Wonder of wonders!

Somehow, someone has lost a water bottle - the ultimate dog toy! Judge settles down to chew on this new and wonderful bottle. The crunching of plastic is the final straw for the churro. They break the sound barrier. A sonic boom is heard as they gallop back into the barnyard. Judge picks up his water bottle and follows them.

I give up and go back to the fire. Hey, don't judge me.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 08:11 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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