Flooding and LGD's

Robert Denlinger May 18, 2001

Hi gang --yup, we're flooding --big time. If you haven't time to read the rest, here's the summary: Series of concentrated thunderstorms this morning, last evening, yesterday morning, evening before --Burns Allen decries the fact he's been here 70 years and never seen anything like this intensity and height of floods in past three years. Water is safely ebbing now, but still deep into all pastures. Three more "systems" forecast for tonight, tomorrow afternoon and early evening. All animals safely across road in holding pens -with access, if I really need it, to the "hill", sans good fencing though (up there) But *if* it ever got that high, the house would be gone anyway.

For the details, read next post about the LGD's and Abbey's (GP) doings. I'll start on that as soon as I run over and check on six Big White Dawgs fending off "Looky Loo's" near *their* half acre holding pens for *their* horses and sheep. "Geeze Bill, I said wait for me to go into the grain room ...how's your arm?"

May 19, 2001

Well, at seven AM, the Weather Service called and forewarned me, as they usually do. I was in the horse barn, not overly thrilled with the weather. But, last night, thinking hell wouldn't break loose until this afternoon, I'd allowed the flock to go back out in the pasture, under partly cloudy skies and warm temps. This morning, as the phone was (w)ringing, we were starting a hail storm. The flock was way out there, semi-ignoring the lightning. Abbey was right in the middle oblivious to the weather. This is something I've noticed about her -- guess it's that really luxurious coat she sports.

I called Patches and told him to go "Waaaaaaaay" Out there. He's oblivious to everything but herding. Ole #27, the aged leader knew the game was afoot and looked to see if I was standing at the gate. Oh, yeah, #27, I was there. So she deemed it a valid "Call" and started in before Patches could get on the apex of the outrun. She's pretty smart, the old gal.

Over the next couple of hours, we moved sheep to the lamb area, over there by Burns Allen's cottage farmhouse, remember? Man, we were soaked through and through! But by then, I had that terrible sinking feeling in my gut that this was a real flash flood and not a "Drill". Water was already halfway up the lambing paddock, you see. And it was still pouring down. So, we had to move the DogLoo's --forty sheep panels --myriad support stuff --did I mention my old truck has been in the shop for a week?

Well, once across the road, we divided the one-acre emergency pen I built this year, into Horse-And-Sheep halves. Pegasus was running about in a tizzy and I feared he'd go over the low sheep panels and disrupt a scene that was already chaos anyway. Callisto and Bear and Tess to the rescue ...

Every time a horse would even "Look" at the DMZ, the three of them would bark and lunge - that stopped that behavior in a few minutes. The rest of the mustangs, and Pegasus, eyed the "Green Line" with the utmost suspicion from then on. I managed to get a leather "Hood" on Sambo, the 350 pound aggressive Ram. And the both of us got him into an eight-by-eight made from the sheep panels. Heaved a sigh of relief on that one because movement in the holding area was dangerous with Sambo on the loose.

Still raining and the water covered every single pasture. It was now threatening to make travel to the horse barn a thing of the past. Now came the time to figure out what to do with 6 LGD's and 3 BC's. Surely couldn't let them all run amok in there. Bear was now back in the grain room of the horse barn. Bill stopped by to help out. Bill has a truck. We went over there to get some grain containers to bring them to a safer spot and make them useful for feeding a hungry bunch. I use those "Rough Tote" bins from Rubber-Maid; cheap and hold about a hundred pounds of whatever - dog, horse, hog, sheep - and they are moveable.

At the outset I "tried" to plan for the "Occasional" flood ---Occasional?? Hell no, regular now, it seems. Well, I was in the grain room, attending two week-old, kittens and their mom. Bill came in. Bear was across the breezeway in the harness room. Bill was behind me. Bill picked up a container - I heard him yelp - at the same time I saw a flash of white go behind me.

Bear had "Gripped" Bill's wrist!! I never saw him coming. Bill's skin was unbroken. Bill said he wasn't alarmed. I was really irked. Bear has been, in the past week, seriously warning Mary and I away from food we'd just given him. Even today, I gave him some kibble, over in the sheep barn. Then I couldn't get back into the area he was in! This is outrageous and I can't figure where this behavior has stemmed from. Perhaps because he's still the bottom of the pack - under Bandit even - perhaps his arthritis is really starting to get him, perhaps the flood situation. Still, I've done all the "Alpha" things, currently and in the past strange.

Well, back to the LGD's. There are a few roundbales left in the corral they are all in - sort of stacked. The next thing I notice is Abbey atop them all; she seemed to be directing from up there. Callisto sprung up too; but soon enough, some idiot "thrill" seekers, I call Looky-Loo's, came to a slow-down stop, right at the gate the sheep came in through. Abbey took up her alert pose, issued some sort of hidden directive I guess, and Callisto charged down the eight foot wall of roundbales, screaming at the intruders.

The rest of the LGD's attacked the fence - the only thin shred of safety between the mini-van and the protectors. They didn't seem to budge until Tess tried eating the woven-wire fence, followed by Badger (GP) baring teeth and hopping - this seemed enough to convince them, I guess, to go home and continue watching those thrill TV shows rather than find out if any of the LGD's really could leap over the fence. I figured they could and might - this emergency situation had them rather keyed up - but I think I've reported this before when it was Cappella and Callisto.

It started to rain and lightning heavily again. Callisto is stupid during lightning and runs to me and whines - I was outside the corrals - she weaseled through a gate, one time, and over it the next, after I'd returned her to her duties. She finally took up the high-point on the roundbale stack. Abbey, OTOH, I noticed, had found a convenient dry place between two bales. She had a torn span of plastic covering to make a roof. Abbey was stretched out, musing her feed bucket. Then came Pyro's little mini-dogs --Bandit jumped over his eight-by-eight (containing DogLoo) and really impressed me with his self confidence as he issued several, very ornery looking, warnings. He'd spotted them from 75 feet away as they went through the brush. At that, the rest of the LGD's came to his area and joined in. Bandit, at about five months old, is now as tall as Bear. In fact, sometimes I have a hard time telling them apart if more than, say, 50 feet away.

G'Night all --gotta check the Internet weather places right now. They say we'll get the exact same things come again Monday evening and Tuesday. If the house is still here, thus the computer, I might write back. In any event, all the Spring crops are gone and first cutting hay is out of the question due to, among other things, silt.