Sunday, February 20, 2011

You want to come early!!!!! We could have been quicker but I came looking for you!!!!!

Evan rang last night saying they would like to come and start shearing the sheep on Monday.  Monday!!!!Not a hope of getting ready for Monday. 3 gathers, 3 lots of drafting, 1 drive and 2 lots of lambs to take away.  No can't be done.  We had everything planned so that we would be ready to pick the shearers up Tuesday evening.  Even so we are going to try and getting ready so they can come earlier on Tuesday.  We may then get the last two spells of the day in.
We both left on the gather at the same time today.  We were away from the house by 7am, me in the Strada with the dogs and Christopher on his motorbike.  The first gather started from the house and we gathered down.  The sheep in this camp have been shorn but we wanted to draft off any odds and roughies that had been missed in the first gather.  Fantastic gather, all the sheep were in the pen at 8am, this is a very large camp but the sheep all live at the far end on the greens.  It is badly in need of fencing so that we can make them use some of the less appealing pieces.  Apparently we could have been there earlier if I had been in the right place on the gather.  I was thinking it was so rough in the vehicle that I would just head for the places where I would get the best run.  It worked for me.
Meg having her ECG
Excellent drafting, 600 plus ewes drafted in 45 minutes.  Only a couple of odds and roughies.  Started the second gather in Phillips Point at 9am, another excellent gather.  Slower because these ewes are roughies and still have their lambs.  Still back at the pen by 10am.  Pushed them into the pen to pick up the odds then started the drive back to the settlement.  This is the only camp that we have to do a drive from and it is the furthest away.  Christopher was a bit apprehensive about the drive because we are a bit thin on the ground for dogs.  We have Elle the mother of the pups, luckily she is fit as a fiddle again,  Meg who we discovered earlier in the year has a problem with her heart which causes her to have blackouts.  At the beginning of the season she had an ECG at the vets because she kept collapsing.   The vet thought she was having fits and she was treated for them for a few months.  Christopher wasn't convinced it was fits because she would come round, jump straight up and carry on like nothing had happened.  Hence the ECG which showed that her heart on some occasions only beats 17 times a minute instead of 90plus.  We were then given the option of, putting her down, trying some treatment or letting her continue as she is.  The answer to her problem is a pacemaker, apparently she was born with the problem and it is getting worse with age.  She is a super dog, loves work, loves life so we have left her for nature to take its course unless she gets to a point where it would be kinder to put her down.  The likelihood is that one day she will black out and not come round. She has had an excellent season however with very few blackouts compared to the amount she was having at the start of the season.  She loves work, so what can you do? Then there is Sue, just under a year old, who at one point decided she didn't even like sheep and kept coming home.  Over the last two months however she has discovered she is a sheepdog and that theres nothing she likes better then chasing sheep.  Sue is a hunterway/kelpie cross.  She is hard, hard, hard.  We also have her sister who at this moment in time will work in the pens but doesn't bark which isn't very helpful. She will not work on the gathers because she doesn't like Christopher shouting at the other dogs.  When your best dogs are two heading dogs who think they know everything it takes a lot of shouting and whistling to keep them where you want them and not where they think is best.  No matter, the drive started of well and I stayed with them until we were through the first camp.  Everything was under control so I came on home ahead to start cooking meals for shearing.  I was home by half eleven and Christopher was home by half one.
At 3 o'clock Christopher was back out again on his third gather of the day.  Leaving me at home to carry on cooking, making beds etc.  Its now 5 o'clock, Christopher is still gathering and I am still cooking.

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