Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.


Friday, August 2, 2013

"Let Her Win!"

Is everyone getting tired? Yep. Me too. About this time of year the fast pace from early summer just doesn't slow down.

My Good Shepherd, lightens my work load. 

Harvest, canning, fall planting, trying to get everything lined up for the fall....  right about now  you're starting to think a day job that involves sitting in air conditioning may not be that bad. But keep on keepin' on, folks! The hard truth is that you'll never get everything done - so just keep working on what you can get done.

Which leads us to our story today... So yesterday I had some branches and stuff for the goats. But when I got to the goat yard... not enough goats. It was just Debbie and the babies standing there.

"Nibbles!" I yelled. Nothing. "NIBBLES!"  Still nothing.

The only downside of the new goat yard is that I can't see them which makes me a little nervous - especially if they don't show up when I call them.

"Sir!" I ordered. My Good Shepherd snapped to attention and trotted over to me as I as opening the gate to the goat yard.

"Where's the nannies?" I asked Dog#1.

About now the "real" goat aficionados are cringing at my use of "nanny" but you know, we needed to have a specific, easily recognizable name as part of my dog commands. "Those stupid girls" is too much to say so we use "nannies" to indicated to the dogs which barnyard creature I'm talking about.

Immediately Dog#1 looked up at Debbie and the babies, Darla and Daisy as if to say "They are right there." He looked puzzled.

"No, the other nannies" I said and Dog#1 turned and trotted away down the hill.

I was way to tired to walk all the way down the hill and across the yard into the bramble so My Good Shepherd was the right man for the job. I called the commands to him from where I stood. "Find them! Find the nannies." He moved ahead in his lovely, low slung, working dog trot. He's a vision when he hits that stride.

A minute later I heard crashing and hoof beats and Nibbles streaked out of the brambles as fast as her little legs could carry her. Dog#1 was hot on her heels and closing fast..

"No!" I called to him "Let her win!"

Immediately My Good Shepherd slowed his pace, grinning wolfishly at me, and Nibbles pulled ahead. I could practically hear her yell "Ha! Take THAT, Dog!" as she ran by me. I think she actually believes she is winning - it's good for her self esteem.

But me and My Good Shepherd - we know he's the real winner. Good dog, Sir, that's the way. 

For her part Dahli, as always, was just ridiculous. She was running too but ended up running behind Dog#1! So I made a clicking sound to get his attention and told Dog#1 to "go around and get her too." He peeled off , made a short loop to allow her to pass by, and got behind Dahli to scoot her along. "That's it!" I called when she was mostly up the hill. Dog#1 ended his pursuit and trotted to me. I couldn't ask for a better helper.

Happy Friday everyone!  I use my hard workin' farm dogs to help ease the burden of all this labor, friends. How are you lightening your load? 


6 comments:

Autumn said...

I have my sisters to help out! ;) I've been trying to convince Bill Goat to pull a cart, but that's a long way off.

Goatman Joseph said...

Ahhhh...That's a beautiful thing. Nothing quite like the satisfaction of a working animal!

I hope I can get the time to groom a working dog one day!

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Good going! Your training really pays off :)

David said...

it must be so cool to watch!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Autumn, it would be great to see Bill pulling his weight! ha!

Hi Goatman Joseph! glad to see you! and yep i love my hard working farm dogs.

thanks LHinB! they are such a big help - all of them.

yep Dave, the dog always amazes me. he's my right hand man!

The Paisley Butterfly said...

I love this post! My husband and I have picked out a couple of dogs that would be great for when we have a homestead. I think it is wonderful how your dogs work with you as a part of the family and team...that is what we want! Was there any special training? Or did they just 'catch on'?
Thanks for posting your experiences. For someone who hopes to have her own homestead some day, this is exactly the kind of research I am looking for: real life experience!

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