Running off the tractor.
Dad's tractor, a 1958 Massey Ferguson 65, was a monument to his optimism. He kept it
parked up the "Strips", a steep track above the farm. This was because it had no
working starter motor, or battery, or in fact any electrical systems at all.
It had to be "run off", and then kept running until the day's work was done.
"Whatever you do, Don't stall the tractor!" was the mantra
The new pup, Gwen, has arrived. The house is a tip and has a slightly unpleasent fragrance, we are tired due to the howling in the night. However, I think it is important that she lives in the house for a week or two so she knows she belongs.
I can just about get the sheep jobs done with Meg but she'll only ever be a stop gap and then a yard dog - I just can't trust her - she sets off to round up some sheep and I can't be sure she'll come back -or stop when she needs to. She won't
Things have settled down with Meg, Mainly because I have resigned myself to the long haul, abandoning all her previous training and starting afresh - as though she is new to sheep doggery. We're getting along fine and we are completing tasks together. I am working on the principle that REAL work is the best training, so I take her out on her own and we round some sheep up, it often goes a bit wrong, and usually takes longer than it should, but I don't bring Nelly along so we HAVE to manage, and
Meg's training is now on phase three. Phase one was fairly disasterous, where I tried her with sheep straight away and she kept running off in ever increasing circles. Phase two was to take off all the pressure and have nothing to do with sheep for a bit, so that the "come to me" command now means come here and have a cuddle, and "lie down" means roll over and have your tummy scratched. This has worked as far as it goes, she has become alot more relaxed.
My son has been in California for a week or two (working) so his body clock is all to pot. Yesterday he got up at 2 am and took the dogs for a walk (he didn't know about Meg's behavior). Anyway, she ran off at the first sight of sheep and would not return to him, and eventually disappeared. This is fairly serious in sheep country, when it comes to loose dogs, farmers tend to shoot first and ask questions later .
When I got up I noticed there were alot of sheep in front of the