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.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bound Border Collie; in blizzard!!

Well let's see....the rams are doing great. The beginning tusseling was about it. They've been very well behaved since...let's hope that continues! Then along came the massive storm that has affected so much of the midwest. Deep drifts are everywhere! The wind howled, the snow was heavy with mixed sleet and freezing rain coming down at times in between the heavy snows. We canceled all our plans, like everyone else, and stayed home. The house has been very cozy and the food good...warm apple cider after chores and scrumptious soups made from our garden produce. First I made chili with tomatoes that tasted fresh picked, then a kettle of potato vegetable chowder from those remarkable home-grown potatoes! And let's not forget the Chex Mix! House smells soooo good while that is baking!

Now Swifty (that's our seven month old Border Collie puppy) has been another story! You see, last Tuesday, he had his surgery. The big surgery. You know. So anyhoo, the vet sent me home with STRICT instructions to keep him....shall we say....that word that doesn't exist in a Border Collie's vocabulary....QUIET!! Ha!.....Ha!!!! Right! We'll keep him quiet! HaHa! OK! How many sticks can I find in a blizzard?!? Our strict instructions said no jumping. HOW am I gonna do that??

So that means Swifty was not allowed to leap, or tear up stairs, or drift-dive, or sail off drift crests, or tear around the barn, or chase stickshoolahoopsducksfootballssheeptennisballschickenstugtoysicecubessnowflakes or children on sleds! Oh no! How on earth was I going to entertain him?? He's stuck on the leash, cannot jump up, cannot go on the furniture, or up stairs, or chase anything because of his natural exhuberance! Terrible! So we slid his kennel into the living room; right under the christmas tree. Then, we tried to console him. We brought in sticks for him to chew up. They each lasted only about ten extremely delighted minutes. We gave him a ball to chase around inside the kennel. We threw tiny treats in through the gate so he'd have to sniff around and find them. Anything we could think of to keep him "quiet" and thinking. Sometimes he'd bark or bite on the kennel, or put his paws on the door with pleading glances to pleeeaaassseeee let him out! I started wondering if he needed a trip to the psychologist's couch. I think he was actually starting to think I didn't love him. Usually however, he rolled himself over with paws stuck straight up in the air, and went to sleep. How sad!! Not fair!! I was sooooo looking forward to drift-diving happy days! I guess we'll have to wait. :( Meanwhile, he's only been leash walked....which of course meant a trip to the store for a chain collar! Nothin' like being yanked off your feet by a bored, psychotic Border Collie!!! So while the wind and snow was raging outside, I was inside, feeling mournful that I wasn't outside watching Swifty surf the drifts! (Maybe I'm the one that needs to be on the psychologist's couch!)

Swifty; on the psychologist's couch...just happy to BE ON the couch!

So in our lonely treks out to the barn...without Swifty Pal, we managed to get all the animals snug as bugs in rugs. We fared well during this blizzard, and hope our sheepy friends have all done so as well! Our snow tally was 12.3 inches, but to the west, the tally was much higher. Hope everyone came through ok!

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