Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Annabelle's Promotion

A couple of days ago, we had a little adventure around here. It was the middle of the afternoon and I was busy working...away from the living room windows. Suddenly I heard Annabelle bark, bark again, then howl and bark drawn out. "NOOOO BARK" is what I used to say, back when she was in school. I've since learned that her barking is valuable and always means I need to pay attention. So I looked out a front window. Huh. A car was slowed down on the road. Not recognizing it, I kept watching for a few moments as it paused, then moved on. Huh. Meanwhile, Annabelle was barking with greater intensity...howling with nose straight up in between barks. Huh.

So I decided to go look out the window SHE was looking out. Bright idea!!! Boing, boing,...therrreee go the sheep, right past the living room window!!!!!! Oh no!!!!!

I raced to the door, half threw on my boots, tripping as I crashed on the door nob, coat in hand and snared on the doornob!!!! As I got myself out the door, I hollered out "GIRLS!!!!!!!!!!" All my ewes were nearly out of sight!!! I hollered again as I ran to the shed where they loaf, coat half over my head (it's a pullover) as I tore down the steps of the hill, half in my boots, praying I wouldn't trip and fall...or run into the tree...or that the neighbors couldn't see me just now!! Despite my entanglement, I could hear them baaing back. How did we go from peacefully working to dog barking, to.....chaos like this.... in one minute flat???

As I galloped into the shed with my coat sort of on and my heels finally to the soles of my boots, I saw immediately that the fence had broke...and one by one, the girls must have leaped out. Quickly, I opened the gate and raced for the grain trough. It's metal, so I picked it up over my head and rattled it (it's flimsy..think Tarzan). Of course, that is a sound they would hear from Africa! I heard them baaing, all of them!!! Whew!! The baa's were getting closer! So I dove over the far side of the fence, snaring my coat and nearly losing a boot, tripping over the cupcakes and flustered ducks...and tore into the barn, scaring the daylights out of the hens milling about in the aisle! With feathers drifting everywhere and alarm clucks drowning out the baas, I yanked open the door to the feed area, snared as much grain as I could in such a panic...half a pail, and tore my way back through the barn, tripping over cupcakes, snaring my coat on the door (eraughhhhthhhhhhh!!!), leaping over flustered and quacking ducks, diving over the fence, and galloping over to the trough.....NO EWES!! "GIRLLLLSSSSSSS" I hollered, but just then, they tore around the corner of the door in a cloud of dust and all but two gleefully boinged into their loafing area. The last two are my two newest ewes, but they figured it out quickly and were soon plowing over me to get to the trough themselves. WHEW!!!! With heart pounding, I closed up the fence, fixed the hole, and sat down. The girls all looked at me as they finished the grain...all peaceful and doe-eyed and acting as if nothing happened! Oh boy! THAT was a close call!

So we at Wheely Wooly Farm would like to officially announce the promotion of one attentive, persistent, hard worker the honor and status of Sheep Dog. She may not be black and white. She may only weigh 10 pounds. She may not ever be out guarding the sheep in their pen, but she is still paying attention and guarding them as best she can...from the window. Thanks for the heads up Annabelly!! You are now a titled dog: Annabelle, the Sheep Dog!


  1. Go ahead and give her a badge! The rest of the story sounds waaay too familiar ;-).

  2. Great story! Way to go Annabelle. Now those sheep will plot and scheme and work on ways to break that fence so they can get more to eat.