Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine, and other animals

On Valentine's Day, we drove out to Pete's ranch and picked up our new herding dog pup, Valentine. Rena the Akbash and Roo the burro were very anxious to meet the new baby, a bearded/border collie mix.

Jim and his new girl Val had to have an afternoon nap:

Lest anyone think that the puppy is sweet, let's demonstrate what she's like when she's awake:

The big dogs with the herd are blissfully unaware of anything outside their world:

Someone hit a jackrabbit at the end of our driveway, so I retrieved it for Rena, who was very sweet to me for the rest of the day.

This is the handsome jack we saw Sunday morning, on the way to the ranch.

This last one is for Prairie Mary. The red sheep were headed out to the range, so I snapped a few shots before they were loaded.


prairie mary said...

Thanks, Cat! I love 'em! Maybe I can find a sweater that color.

The guy in town who makes mountain man stuff is producing bear fur yarn. It's from the undercoat, the downy stuff from by the skin. Taxidermists comb the hides before they put a lining on them, so they're the source of supply.

But they ain't red.

Prairie Mary

Anonymous said...

Red sheep are amazing. What are the dog's reaction to them? aren't they surprised by this change of color?


Cat Urbigkit said...

The dogs are curious, but as soon as they see their faces, the dogs recognize the sheep. Sometimes the dogs lay outside the corral and watch the sheep getting sprayed, so they see what's happening.

It's funny, but add a new sheep to a herd, even one of the same color, and the dogs will single it out. They know their sheep.

The dogs always inspect their sheep again after shearing too. The sheep inspect each other after shearing as well, to identify each other again.

Anonymous said...

How do the guardian annimals respond to the hearding dogs when they are working? Can they tell the difference between the working dogs and the predatory canids?


Cat Urbigkit said...

The guard dogs have to be introduced to the herding dogs - no strange dog can come in or it will be killed by the guardians or stomped by the burros. Our guardians know our herding dog Abe, and will even play with him, but when he tries to move the sheep, they knock him down and harass him so much he can't do his job. We usually have to lock the big dogs in the stock trailer until Abe gets the sheep where they need to be.

Some guardian dogs are much nicer to their herding dogs, but ours are pretty stubborn.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for answering. I had a feeling that even if the LGDs were familiar with the hearding dogs in non hearding situations the herding would be a problem. Thanks again.