a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Friday, April 19, 2013

Invaluable Farm Team and Treasures...

The rain and thunders storms rolled in and out all day.
We had uninvited visitors.
Not ours!
Why do ours stay in but we can't keep these out?
Lizzy and Junior
Squiggs, Junior and Ki
Add Border Collie Diamond Lil 
and you have an unbeatable team to move cattle.
To see stock dogs work is a thing of beauty.  Each dog is trained by the one above them.  Lil is a head dog, the smaller ones are heelers and movers.  

When the strangers arrive Marcy can clap her hands, I yell "Yhaw!" and the team moves like a well-oiled machine.  Itty-bitty Lizzy and Squiggy gets them moving, Ki and Junior separate the strangers from our cattle and Lil takes the head. 

I've never had the herds completely blended until today.  Squiggs (not twelve pounds) cut out our cattle and headed them back to their spot while Junior, Ki and Lizzy curved the strange bunch back out of our pasture.  It was simply amazing. I face an oncoming wave of half grown calves.  For a second, just a second, I doubted the power of my team.  I raised my arm and I pointed.  The dogs take our cattle one way and the strange ones are herded the other. As they hit the divide, Lil picks up the chase and takes them totally into their home pasture.

Pure dance and art when they work.  A motley crew of Border Collies, a tiny Cairn mix, a Jack/ Rat Terrier,  my hot pepper Ki-Anne of unknown origin and her son Junior moved together like a well choreographed Broadway musical.  

I am proud of our little pack.  All were throw aways except for Lil.  They fit perfectly together and make a fantastic irreplaceable farm team. Not only with herding but also on protection and patrol detail.

Between rains I took a short walk and discovered a few treasures the farm had to offer for my pleasure and enjoyment.



27 comments:

Buttons said...

Oh I love to watch working dogs do what they were born to do. We had Border Collies and they are born with that incredible gift.
Don't you hate when the neighbours just drop in when you are not wanting company:)
Treasure yeah. Hug B

kmckendry said...

You have beautiful dogs.

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Gail, gotta love those throwaways, beautiful dogs you have......neat little treasures you find.....Love the face of not your cow, Francine.

Lynne said...

Your "pups" know how to take care of business . . . darn those people that "drop by" without an invite . . .

SaucyKod said...

Great Post Gail - gee, you should capture a video of the dogs at work - now for me, that would be so neat to watch them curve n cut the heard. I've seen men on horses do it, but never dogs. I enjoyed this post. Have a great day.

Arkansas Patti said...

How cool they know yours from theirs. I have seen working dog trials and they are amazing. I use to own an unemployed heeler that desperately wanted to work. They are so happy when they can.

Country Gal said...

I love watching herding dogs . Nice photos . Hope they got the herd back to where they belong ! Nice treasures . Thanks for sharing with us ! The weather here has changed to windy warm and rain on and off but they are predicting cold temps and flurries tomorrow I hope not ! Have a good day !

Sandra said...

i have read about these herding dogs and seen it on TV but never in real life.. if i can find that darn Scotty i will beam over to watch this ballet by your border patrol... great story, loved it and that is one beautiful painted face on the NOT your cow

Irene said...

It must be a wonder to watch your dogs at work. They must have very good instincts and be totally in tune with one another. I am sure Tyke would have loved to join in.

Linda Wildenstein said...

I would love to be able to see your dogs keep order and peace on your place. From your descriptions I'm sure I would be cheering them on which I am sure is wrong....but anyway, Oma Linda

Sandy said...

Gail,

I love it when dogs know when, and how to take care of business on a farm. Without hesitation, they all worked wonderfully together to get the job done. :-)

Rain can help wash away years of dirt allowing unique treasures to be found.

Manzanita said...

That is soooo neat the way your dogs work together, My border/aussie mix would have been so fine with something to herd but nix, no mix. She just has to be content with her frizbee.
Sorry I don't get over much but I can't even keep up with the A-Z.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You've a great pack of dogs there.

Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

How do they know which ones are which? You would think they are all cows to dogs. That black and white one is very pretty.
Lynne x

TexWisGirl said...

i know how well they can herd, but it is just cool that they can separate yours from not yours. :)

the canned quilter said...

Sure wish my mole patrol could do that. Course I don't have any cows either! Wonder if they herd chickens: )

Ella said...

Beautiful photos!
My grandparents had a Border Collie...they are amazing dogs~


You and your hubby are in my thoughts n' prayers!!!
@>--------------

DFW said...

I would have loved to see them work! And my favorite kind of dog & mixed (mutt).

McGuffy Ann said...

Herding dogs are my favourite dogs. There is nothing more fascinating and incredibly moving than seeing dogs work animals like that. You are blessed. I hope one day you will post a video of them working. Very, very cool.

Winona said...

I love this post. I would also love to see a video of your dogs working together. That would be fun to watch. All of our animals were cast aways. People dumped both cats on us when they were kittens. The people who had our little pom were moving and had to get rid of Buddy. When they mentioned having him put down, I couldn't stand that. He is so much a part of our family now, just like another child. :)

Gina Gao said...

You have really amazing dogs! Great pictures.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Susan Kane said...

Your treasures are markers of life, yours and their creators. Enjoying your farm here in California.

LindaG said...

What a fantastic post, Gail.
Would love to have dogs that smart some day.
Hope you all have a blessed weekend, Gail! ♥

izzy said...

Love the dog team working- divide and conquer! Hooray- We have had a few dogs that would have and did help; but not a pack! lucky you.

Mel Chesley said...

Wow, I'd love to see that in person or even on video. I bet it is amazing to watch! I'm just dropping by from the A to Z to say hi and to tell you my thoughts and prayers are with you and your hubby. Have a good one!

Mel at Writings Musings and Other Such Nonsense

Sue said...

Those dogs are so cool. And I love that the experienced ones train the new ones. Dogs are remarkable animals and never more so than on a farm, apparently.

=)

DesertHen said...

Sounds like you have a great working crew! Job well done! Nothing beats a good "cow" dog!

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