Robert Denlinger - June 22, 1999 |
Kuv Pups dog a stray Hunting Dog?
Hello? Busy? Hummm ... why not? We, around here can't figger if we's comin' or goin' . What with the drought and all, moving the sheep every couple of days, haulin' the water from the creek so the thirsty ones can drink, and other sundry chores cause us to pray for winter again. Honestly. Up at five and back in around now. That'd be eight-thirty if you own a watch, which I don't. Things need to run smoothly, which they don't, it would seem. Just found a dead 250 pound ewe. She was apparently trying to sneak out of the Lamb-Barn "nets", last night and hung up. Egads! I can't lift her, so I'll have to have Aurora drag her to some appropriate place to bury her and hope Callisto isn't watching cuz she'll sure as daybreak dig the darned thing up for chow like she did the other two a long while back. The noses on these things is pretty darned accurate.
So let me get back to the reason I called you. Well, I thought about telling y'all earlier. I was looking for "any" reasonable excuse to get out of making fences during the hot part of the day. I did have help. The usual help, that is. And it was plenty hot. At least the flies weren't around. A while back I started using biological fly-control rather than rely on pesticides that would harm the "good" critters in the soil. Little non-stinging wasps, if you want to know.
Anyway, where was I? Fencing? The horses, bored during the hot part, decided, again, to help me. Ariel stole the fence tensioner. I had to look for it in the pasture. While I was away, Phoebe turned over the wheel-barrow containing the myriad tools and gadgets I use to make hi-tensile fencing. Rosie and her daughter, Cassiopeia, were playing "Scratch Chest" on the front of the truck. With a combined 4000 pounds of push-power, the truck was slowly moving backwards, irrespective of the brake or engagement of gears. Aurora, still a colt at heart, was placing her six-foot high rump, in my face, to ask me to "scratch it". And Corey was just Corey, following me everywhere and picking anything from my pockets as I bent over to work. Truant teenagers with nothing to do in the summer, I guess.
Well, this early morning, I'd set out to mow with Aurora and Rosie. You know, prune up the pastures to insure growth. Well, I looked, blindly, out "there" and "What Ho!", a gray and white hunting dog near the nets! Got my attention right quick. I looked to see what Bear and Capella were doing. They were the two in the nets this period. Well, they were irate, to say the least.
Callisto was the "roaming LGD". She was staying right with him. She sniffed him a little, cut him off if he headed for the nets, but otherwise did nothing untoward. "Well, this won't do!", I muttered. I mean, aren't these LGD's supposed to run off dogs? This ought to impress the owners seeking to guard against their LGD eating the neighbors stray jerk. Haven't you seen the "threads" alluding to that topic? I couldn't take it.
I ran out and saddled Corey, my "PT Boat" attack-horse. "C'Mon Corey, Fun Time!!!". So, reins on the neck and sprint we did. Right out to the target area. Do you know what I am referring to? Reins on the neck? Can you picture us at a dead run? I don't need to inhibit his run, so I don't use the reins for any control. Get it? Callisto say us coming. She's already familiar with the profile of Pirates flying the Skull-and-Crossbones because we used to chase her back to her sheep when she was younger. She gracefully stepped over to the edge of the river-bank.
The Hound-Dog remained watching us bear down on him. Hound caught on as we closed to about 50 feet. He moved, at first, towards the main barn area. WRONG! Cut him off by having Corey throw front feet at him. Hound decided to head for the net. WRONG! Callisto darted from my right and Bear let loose a deep roar. Hound headed down range. CORRECT! So it began. Hound would try to circle back, a seasoned Corey would offer flying front feet as a deterrent. Corey even got a bite at one slick spin-about. And Callisto brought up the rear, so to speak.
Eventually, we got him a mile away and seemingly headed off the farm. Seemingly. Callisto made a pass at the hound, sniffing. He stood still. Corey and I headed back. I called Callsito to follow and she did. When I got back to the Sheep-Nets, I spun around. Geeze, the hound was more than half-way back here. Plan-B !! Not as polite. Requires a good seat too.
I let Corey try and take the hound out. This time the hound got the idea his life was in jeopardy and big-time. He made a few attempts to circle us around. But failed after being struck a few times. Then he did, in fact, high-tail it off the farm. Once again, I turned to home, called Callisto, and headed off. He didn't return.
So, working LGD people, can we "Like" Callisto's performance? Remember, the hound did not show any signs of aggression, rather more like "exploring" for scents that didn't include sheep. Heck, when I was saddling Corey, that darned Callisto zoomed into the barn and laid down watching us. I really don't want stray dogs on the farm for a bunch of reasons. Maybe Callisto has gotten sour since being away for a month? Maybe she realized the dog wasn't hurting anything? Maybe too many "Other Peoples" LGD's and BC's have come here in two years and Callisto has decided all dogs are OK? Maybe she was tired from patrolling all night and wanted to let Corey beat the daylights out of the hound? Well, I DID take three pictures, from the saddle. (You'll see Corey's ears).
Robert Denlinger - June 22 1999
Kuv Pup follows the scent
Hi Again, it's just me. I mentioned that I had the rather distasteful task of burying a dead Ewe? Yes. Armed with a shovel and my trusty bandana, I set out to bury the smelly thing about a half mile away in some recently plowed ground. Makes digging a "deep" hole easier.
Being mid-day, I knew Callisto was fast asleep somewhere around here. She's pretty big on zoning out for the "Off Watch" portion of her trick. So I knew I was safe enough to get out and back before she could discover what I was up to.
It was unearthly hot, but I stuck with it and finished a deep chasm. Placed the Ewe in same and returned her to the earth from whence she came. Wiped my face off with the bandana that previously covered my nose, and headed back with my shovel.
The area is "Middle-Field" and the location of the tobacco crop as well as a horse pasture of Timothy and Orchard grass. There's a bundle of four large tree's, laying over, that came down after high winds. Those are destined for shoring up the river-bank, up by the house, IF I can ever find someone that will show up with a dozer when they say they will. On my left, as I head towards the barns, is Tygarts. Well, it's where Tygarts is "supposed" to be when there's enough water. Right now, with the drought, it's a pleasant little stream, non-flowing. Along the side and running about thirty feet wide is a nice bench, covered from above by arched trees.
I believe that this was the "Old Road" along about the turn of the century. Now it is "Riparian" and rather native. I leave it that way for two reasons. First, the wildlife have refuge, thus they frequent the farm and carry on Nature's duties. And secondly, sometimes I desperately need a shaded grazing area for the sheep. Anyway, it couldn't have been thirty seconds from finishing the burial, when I hear a rustling in the "Alley". I see brush moving, then a large white Kuvasz slides through it at exactly the point where the burial is located. Callisto gives me a perfunctory glance then begins sniffing the ground. Next she starts the "Back-Hoe" digging routine she's now famous for. "Dig-Dig-Dig-Dig ---- SNIFF ---Dig-Dig-Dig-Dig --- SNIFF ---Dig-Sniff-Dig-Sniff ---Sniff-Sniff --DigDigDigDigDigDigDigDig ------ Flustered, I called her to follow me. Being the faithful gal she is, Callisto followed me.
However, I noted the fact that she recorded the exact location on her on-board GPS unit, marked for later retrieval. So, as I passed the nets and Bear/Capella, I cut Callisto's rotation short and returned her to the net. Let Bear out. He was pleased with himself and followed me readily. I figured a week in the net, non-stop, should cause Callisto to forget the treasure she thought she had discovered. Walking away, I noticed Capella and Callisto in a heavy conference mode. Hummmm .......
Robert Denlinger - June 23 1999
Kuv Pup follows the trail
At 6/23/99 10:10 Wednesday, Carol A. Sharpe Scribbled: Hi Robert, Let me guess. Bet you have sheep parts adorning the barn lot this morning.
We moved all the sheep back to the barn for tomorrow's shearing event. That in itself was a goat-rope. Four distinct groups that occasionally got overlapped and/or mixed with the "helpers", called Equines. Corey was superb as he enjoys herding anything. He especially liked it when a handful of the leaders tried to make a break for the open pasture. Patches, the BC pup-in-training did splendidly for his first go at herding side-by-side with a horse being ridden.
We had to turn Capella and Callisto, AKA "The Daemon Sisters", free, out at the nets, and hope for the best. They stuck around to torment Patches until Corey got in the act. Then Shaanav ran them off. I was worried that the Sisters might leave the farm on an exploratory mission, seeking armed Kosovo Liberation Army members. After the ewes were herded into the barns, I un-saddled Corey and split for the Lamb Barn area. I couldn't see any Lambs! Went into the barn. There I saw all the new lambs, circa two to three months old, in one pen! There are many large roundbales stacked atop one another in the breezeway of the barn. And perched like vultures on the topmost roundbale, were the two Daemons, skulking down at their Lambs. The sisters were enjoying the cool breeze and the soft bedding made affordable by the hay bales. They had it made as there were very few flies and it definitely was better than the 90 degree heat they had been in outside in the nets with the older ewes.
Locked Capella up in an X-Pen as she "might" be coming into heat. The Bear, previously staking out some cool limestone during the heat of the day, returned to same after inspecting the lot. And I was left with the lovely chore of "trying" to lead Sambo, one of our very big Hampshire, all black, RAMS, to the barn where the shearing will take place. He's a real love. Trouble is that he likes to get your attention to scratch him by suddenly dropping his head, aiming the four inch skull plate at you, and charging. Well, he's probably 300 pounds and that does not feel too good when he hits you. Bear is the only one that torments Sambo. ANY food that we toss to Sambo is automatically Bear's food.. Bear snaps, Sambo butts, Bear dodges thinking it's a game, then snaps at Sambo. And so on.