The sheep had to get sheared. And I was at my wit’s end trying to figure out how. Rayado hadn’t gotten sheared yet; Sherrie would have to make two trips over to do that.
Then I had an idea. I did a web search and made a few phone calls, and within a couple of days I had the biggest secret weapons of all lined up to come over.
The following Saturday, two people came over. Barbara and Mike. And with them, they brought the secret weapons: two Border Collies!
The sheep have finally met their match. No more being nice. These Border Collies knew their job and went right to it, nose to nose with the recalcitrant sheep.
Watching these two dogs work the sheep was like watching a fine ballet. It was poetry in motion.
The sheep were not happy and being told what to do.
The dogs had their work cut out for them. I wish now that I’d penned up the llamas; it would have been a lot easier without them in the fray.
The llamas weren’t scared of the dogs, and tried to lead the sheep away from the Border Collies.
One of the sheep, a ewe named Ku‘uipo, finally just gave up and laid herself down. Mike grabbed her, got her up, and led her into the barn. One down! This is not the usual way of doing things, but we had to resort to unorthodox methods when she lay down.
A couple of the sheep had almost gotten into the barn, but then Como Se and Rayado decided that they were going to create more havoc.
And the dogs had to start all over again, dang it. Mike and Barbara used whistles to direct the dogs what to do.
The wonderful dogs managed to get the sheep in a circle. I loved watching them; it brought tears to my eyes seeing the way the dogs worked with Mike and Barbara, instantly obeying their commands to go left, right, or lie down.
The sheep are herded back down toward the barn again.
It was another hot day, and at one point, Mike put his dog into the watering trough to cool him down!
The teamwork between the dogs was incredible to watch.
I must admit that because it was taking a lot longer than any of us thought it would, I began to feel a bit discouraged that getting the sheep into the barn was really going to happen. The dogs were so hot, and so were the sheep. And Mike and Barbara were walking, and climbing up and down in our very steep pasture. Here, the sheep make another run for freedom.
But the dogs circle them once again.
… and take off after the stragglers.
Over and over the dogs had to try again; and finally Barbara told me this was going to be their last try; it was too hard on the dogs to keep going like this. They didn’t want to have the dogs be defeated by the sheep, but they didn’t want to run the dogs ragged, either. So this was it. If it didn’t work this time, they’d have to give up. I began praying.
It looks like it’s going to work! They’re almost at the barn!
But the confunnit llamas make another break for it, taking the sheep along with them!
The dogs have a major face-off with one of the Scottish Blackfaces.
And something happens! Everyone begins calmly walking towards the barn.
Nope. The llamas break away again. But those amazing, wonderful dogs get them turned.
And before I knew it, the sheep were in the barn and Mike was
ordering encouraging Rayado to get his ‘okole in there too.
And suddenly, it was over. The sheep were in the barn. The dogs were wagging their tails and gettting rewarded for doing a fine job. It took over two hours, but they did it!
It cost us $350 to “rent” the dogs for the morning, but it was well worth it. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and thanked Mike and Barbara over and over for helping us.
The sheep weren’t in the meadow. And neither were the pesky llamas. They were safely in the barn. And they would finally get sheared.
I went back up to the house and called the shearer!
Stay tuned for the final chapter and watch the sheep get sheared!