How To Tell It's Spring
I told him it would be okay and turned towards the glass doors of the farmhouse. I watched a cloud fly by the large windows. A cloud of wool and horns and hooves and chicken feed thievery. Ah yes, the sights of spring... sheep escapes. I let out a sigh and headed outdoors.
It didn't take long to bribe them with some grain. I missed Gibson's assistance for sure. Gibson is no stellar trial dog but when sheep are on the move he is as useful as shoes. I was able to get them back in the fence, check the wiring, check the charger and all seemed well so I went about chores and then headed inside to work on a logo for a client. An few hours later I decided I needed to move so I suited up for a two-mile jog. So I checked on the sheep and saw them all laying down in their deep bedded hay at the base of their hill, happily behind the three strands of electric wire and decidedly not escapees. The weather was nice, if overcast, and I liked getting all worked up as I puffed up the mountain like the draft pony I am. Only when I returned to my driveway I noticed little sheep turds heading up the road in the opposite direction that I headed on my jog. Oh boy.
I grabbed another bucket and walked up the road. I found them all in my neighbor's driveway: lambs, rams, ewes and yearling. They came bounding down the mountain and walked behind me in a way that made me wish it was in slow motion, Reservoir-Dogs Style. This Time I decided it was time to up the ante with a better charger. I went into town and got a more powerful one at the hardware store and made sure it was working with a fence tester. It was! And I headed inside to get back to office work, delayed but eager to work on the second design job of the day.
It only took a few hours for Brick, my brawest ewe, to realize with her head down and good running start she could bust through the wire and barely feel a shock with her thick coat. So, I gathered them up again, said a prayer for Gibson's speedy recovery, and turned the fence from a three strand into a tighter five-strand affair. My fingers are crossed but until I see them smote by the new banjo-strung fence I am not planning on wandering too far from the property.
So, warm enough weather for sheep to clear fences? Yup. It's spring. I emailed Jim McRae (my Shearer since my first three sheep in Vermont) and asked for an appointment soon as he could fit me in!
P.S. Thank you all for the kind words, messages, emails, vlog and blog comments about Gibson. He is able to walk but he can't run without pain and of course, isn't. He's been spending a lot of time in his crate with the door open while I write or design. He is on these pain meds that I think bother his stomach a little so he sleeps much of the day. By the end of this week I will know if he needs X-rays or blood tests. We (the vet and I) think it is a sprain but if it is related to his anaplasmosis then it may require more bloodwork or meds. I am hoping this is all a matter of time, rest, and healing.