Friday, June 12, 2009

Kate's first field trip

There are cows in the usual field that Hope and I go to right now, but Don had mentioned that there were some other fields on the other side of his property that I could use. Up until today I've always just taken Hope, but the problem with that is with only one dog to work I generally spend more time hooking up the trailer, loading everything up, getting there, getting back and putting everything away than I do actually working. This morning I was feeling particularly brave...and decided to take Kate too.
I've never actually been to these fields before so we drove around till I found the least hilly of the bunch. Then I let the sheep out.

The usual suspects in a deceptively flat looking field.

The sheep were their usual ridiculously light selves and left. It's what they do. No problem, I had already thought of that possibility and planned to work Hope first so that they were tired when I got around to trying Kate.

Hope doing his thing. I'd love to say that the reason why he's so far off the sheep (if you look closely at that little smudge in the field he is moving at a really nice pace) is that he's incredibly "powerful", but really it's what I said before - the sheep are REALLY light.

Any way, at some point I decided that the sheep were "tired enough" to give Kate a try. I brought the sheep back near the trailer, put Hope away, and grabbed Kate - and by then the sheep had taken off. So... I put Kate away, got Hope out, and brought the sheep back again. Then I started over. I did that three times. That should have been my first clue. However, I had no intentions of letting those sheep wreck my plans for Kate. The fourth time I grabbed her, moved faster and tried to catch up to the sheep. A little voice in my head told me that this probably wasn't the best "set up", but why listen to reason? I told her to lie down, walked between her and the quickly leaving sheep, and sent her. At first things looked good. Kate was casting out, and then she got past me, took off straight down the field after the ewes and they all disappeared over the crest of the first little hill. Then they disappeared over the crest of the next not as little hill. They didn't come back. At that point I decided that maybe I should start running... when I got to the top of the second hill this is what I saw.

I took these pictures later on. I'd love to say that I was so cool under pressure that I took time document my stupidity, but no I was too busy running and thinking " I believe I just lost a dog and three sheep...maybe some of them for good".

That's right. I saw nothing. No sheep. No dog. No noise except for the sweet sound of bird song. Bird song's not so sweet when you're having a mental heart attack...

I also took a picture looking back at the truck where we all started out to give a bit of perspective. As you can see, sheep weren't the only ones who had a good run.

So there I was, standing at the top of the hill, catching my breath, and looking at the empty field in front of me, thinking - and then I saw sheep heads bouncing around in the poplar trees. Kate was running around them in circles. I gave her a quick shout to let her know where I was and incredibly she brought them back to me.

Good girl Katie!

Crisis averted, Kate and I had a good time working out in the field and I took more pictures of her cuteness.

That's my tale. We all made it home safe and sound so I'd say it was a successful morning!


Emma Rose said...

Oh my, what a day you had! And way to go, Katie! Really enjoyed your story.

Tammy said...

maybe your best story EVER - so far!! still laughing... in a respectful - holy crap - i can totally imagine that - kind of way!
good girl Kate.

prairiesoul said...

Sounds like you all had a great day, nice to have 2 working dogs just in the way very nice shear job on the sheep, did it yourself?