Sunday, September 7, 2008

An Open Gate, Scattered Sheep,Scattered Dogs and a Runaway LGD

Well here's a little LOL for ya'll.
Being as hurricane Hanna,that was at the last minuet down graded to a tropical storm was headed for us here in Central NC. I got home Friday evening, and proceeded to pick up and batten down anything in the yard that could blow away, as we were said to be getting 50 to 70 mph winds that evening. Including, bringing Bruin inside for the brunt of the storm. I felt he would be safer inside especially since his last storm was such a bad experience for him and he has been doing so well, I didn't want to open up opportunity for set backs. Well, we weathered the storm pretty well, the winds wernt half as bad as had been predicted, though we did get over 5 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. Here it is Sunday, and we are still in standing water in some places.
Enter Saturday morning. I had taken Bruin back outside and put him back in the pasture with the sheep. It was still raining and pretty windy, but I was in a hurry and getting soaked and he wasn't finished piddling around and so I went to work and left him out there. About 2 miles down the road, it was beginning to rain even worse,(if that was possible) and I thought about Bru out there and called the house and asked Bobby to have Kyle go out and get Bru and bring him back inside, as I didn't know how long the rain was going to last, and didn't know how much worse it might get. So, outside of struggling to see the road and navigating the flooding across hwy 421, I felt much better while driving on to work. Needless to say, because of the weather, my 5 dog grooming day tuned into a 2 dog grooming day.Jeez! The chicken sh*t so and so's who couldn't be bothered to get up and drive out there....OK so what if I had 4 wheel drive, if its any consolation, I did even lock in my hubs, and I made it!
Anyway, I did my 2 whole grooms ( I shouldn't have drove into work for such a piss poor money day, but such is the life of a groomer) and by the time I was through, the day had turned bright, clear and sunny. I get home and as soon as I drive into the yard, I see the gate to the sheep pasture standing wide open. Huh? Whats up with this?? OMG!! Wheres the sheep! I jump out of the truck in a state of panic, only to find them standing down in the bottom of the pasture. Phew, good sheep. As I'm sure the gate had been standing open since that morning when Kyle had gone out to get Bruin. The child has been raised around live stock,and lock the gate has been en grained into his tiny brain since he was a toddler, so as far as I'm concerned, there is absolutely no excuse for this, rain or no rain. I understand the wind was bad, I was the one standing out there in it earlier that morning trying to run 6 dogs, feeling like Mary Poppins every time the wind gusted and either flattened my umbrella or threatened to pull me up into the black abyss that was the sky if I held on to it! At any rate, I went and closed and locked the gate, and went inside for awhile. Later, several hours later, Hank needed to go outside to potty. I took him and Cain out and that's when I realized that even though it "looked" like all the sheep were in the pasture, as it turned out, they were in fact NOT all in the pasture. Some were on one side of the fence and some only looked like they were and were actually on the opposite side of the fence. Well,it didn't take but a second for me to realize this, but at the same time I came to this realization, Cain and Hank did as well. Cain has always liked working the sheep,but has just never quite be able to get the sheep to trust him, and when 110lbs of GSD comes running full on at a handful of already scared sheep, I'm afraid the out come isn't very pretty. But Cain saw that the sheep were not where they were suppose to be, and aimed to correct the situation, and off he went like a freight train.
Cain however has been trained to a level of OB that I can be 500 yards away, yell a command and he will happily and even in full prey drive flight, take it. I love that dog! Never has he ever failed me, and I'm happy to report that he didn't pick this time to prove my trust was misplaced, and promptly downed, then returned to me.
Little turned on and nothing but sheep in his eyes Hank however, who hasn't even begun any formal training, is not, nor was he then even remotely reliable, much less concerned with my yelling pitifully for
him to return to me, going to miss this opportunity to get to those sheep. Luckily for me, he was taking the long way around to get to the sheep, so I grabbed Cain, and hollered for Kyle to come out, put Cain in a kennel, and I went in to get Lex while Kyle ran down to rescue Hank. Kyle got Hank, and brought him back up and put him in the kennel with Cain, and I sent Lex to go pick up the sheep. I asked Kyle to open the gate, and hold it open for the sheep to go in, while I went over to flush out two of them out of the lower pasture for Lex, (as she wont go under the electric wire) and holy shit!! What the....!!! Here comes Hank and Cain again running straight at the sheep Lex is bringing up so nicely and calmly to the pasture gate. Kyle, again hadn't taken the time to close and lock yet another gate, the one on the kennel this time, and guess who figured that out real quick. Needless to say, Lex is trying very hard to keep her sheep together while Hank and Cain are trying to "help her" and things are going to hell in a hand basket real quick. Again, I call off Cain, and again he shows me that he is a good dog, and does what he is told, I'm down in the bottom pasture, and I look over at kyle and see that Bruin has now noticed the wide open gate to freedom and is making his way fast up the pasture and and out. I holler at Kyle repeatedly, "DON'T LET BRUIN OUT! DON'T LET BRUIN OUT!! Kyle, is so enthralled with watching the fiasco with Hank and Lex, that he thinks I'm hollering at the dogs, and away goes Bruin to scout out the neighborhood right under his nose! I left the sheep, ran up the field, and asked him "Why the Heck??!! Why did you let the dog get out??!!" His reply?? You really are going to make me relive this moment aren't you? His reply was...."I didn't see him" Uh?? How the heck does 100lb great white hairy dog just slip by under your nose and you don't see him??!! So, I don't have time to read the boy the riot act, so I tell him to just go get Bruin, who, in mere seconds had become part of the landscape and was no where in sight. I prop the gate open and am off to rescue poor Lex who is just about beside her self trying to keep the sheep together while Hank is trying to... um,, I'm not really sure what Hank was trying to do, I'm not even sure Hank was sure about what he was trying to do, but what ever it was I can assure you, he was giving it one hell of a shot! Enter the act of trying to catch a young keen pup who's out of his gourd with excitement, and doesn't really want to be caught and knows Im after him, and well, I hope you get the picture, cause to be truthful, he's lucky to alive right now after the game of catch me if you can ensued for about 5 minuets. Which doesn't seem that long, unless you were me at that very moment in time. So finally, I catch Hank, by a slight screw up on his part, he zigged when he should have zagged, and I tackled him and away back to the kennel he goes, and this time I am locking the gate. I almost think he was grateful that I stopped him, as he was pretty tired. Lex, by this time, has regrouped her sheep, and has put them back in the pasture and is standing at the gate, not allowing any escapees by her. I thought Id give her a moment to cool off and jump in the stock tank, but she had other ideas. There were still two sheep out down in the lower pasture and she wasn't going to rest until they were put away too. So I dropped the wires at the top of the horse pasture so she could go in and get the other 2 sheep from the lower pasture, and away she goes. Ah, how nice is this. Just me and the dog, and a couple of way ward sheep. Pleasant after what we had just both been through. She promptly picks up the last two, and brings them up to where I'm waiting to re-open the gate. About this time, I see Kyle coming up the drive way with his shirt wrapped around Bru's neck, as the dog has no collar on and he didn't think to grab a leash before he went off after him, and I had to laugh. Bruin had this big ole happy faced panting grin on his face, and Kyle was red faced and panting too, although he didn't even look very happy. Perhaps this was just the chase he needed to remember to close a gate the next time he opens one. If not, the next time he is so careless, I think I'll just have him go get the sheep and put them back in the pasture all by himself.


Anonymous said...

Oh My! What a day. Bless all your little hearts. Gah! Well, one must learn to close gates, hunh? Glad everything turned out OK though!

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