Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Buddy And The "Porcupine"

Buddy stuck his nose through the gate as I was feeding Del Boca Vista this morning - begging for a wee nibble "just one pleeeeaaase?" from the old sheep's food ;-).  As the sun (what the heck is that?) hit the side of his face, I saw bright shining straw seed heads sticking out everywhere. Like porcupine quills!

I grabbed the camera and tried to get a good picture, but once he figured out he was the center of my attention, he ran over too close for any more pictures and I've learned that when Buddy wants a back scratch, you'd better give him one because he'll take his front foot and stop you in your tracks if you don't ;-).



You can sort of see most of them in this cropped close up, but really, it doesn't do him justice.  They are all around his face.  Luckily one of the other sheep will probably eat them off his cheeks unlike if this was a real sheep ranch with real porcupines.  We've got it pretty easy here.


And Hank can rest easy :-).

I had a question about Hank and the coyotes and if they were still around, and yes, they are always here.  We aren't wild like ranches out west, but wild enough that there is plenty of room for predators. Hank works hard every night.  

The sheep sleep in the barn and barn lot at night.  Hank stays nearby, usually "resting" on the other side of the short fence between the barn and the arena.  This gives him a good vantage point to monitor the back of the farm but also allows him access to Del Boca Vista and the side field through gaps cut in the wire fence.  We also leave the gate to the front field propped open just enough that he can zip through there if need be.  

I believe Hank works by establishing his territory and then maintaining that territory.  "I'm here. This is MY farm.  You coyotes (and stupid horses! ;-) stay BACK!"  And for us, in this situation with not very many sheep, no lambs and the sheep coming up to the barn at night, it's a job manageable by himself. Bigger farms use multiple dogs and it's fascinating how they work together.

One of my favorite books is Shepherds of Coyote Rocks by Cat Urbigkit.   If you love Hank and are looking for something interesting to read, I highly recommend it.  


14 comments:

Terry and Linda said...

Gosh! Right at first I thought you had real quills to deal with! WHEW! Thankfully NOT!

Linda ❤⊱彡
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
https://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/sherlock-boomer

Far Side of Fifty said...

That fleece is a catch all! Good job Hank! He deserves a nap in the sun:)

Jane B. said...

I love the close-up of Buddy's nose/lips/muzzle -- it looks so soft!

Lori Skoog said...

Such a sweet and hard working boy! Hank is so appreciated. Great shots as usual.

Bonnie K said...

You take such amazing photos. Thanks for the heads up on the book. I'm always looking for something different and I find Hank's job extremely interesting.

LannieK said...

OMG! You had me ~ I thought how do you get those out. Other sheep eat them off!?! Put Buddy in back of car, drive fast...
Straw. :-o Are you... sur...
I need coffee! It's 4:30 AM!
I love Hank ×o×

Andee said...

I am so jealous of Hank sun bathing. What a good dog!

karen said...

pretty good photo of a sheep not want photoing. Frodo runs when I grab the camera and focus on him. Silly boy. Love the photo of Hank

Shirley said...

I think Hank should have a pay raise..... after all he does two jobs- keeps the sheep safe and makes a lovely model for your photos!

sophy0075 said...

Poor Hank looks so tired! And Buddy looks so silly!

Arlette Seib said...

This post gave me a good chuckle. Thanks for that.
There is something very softly attractive about white faced sheep with black lips and nostrils.
As you know, what Hank does is why coexistence can happen, and I think you might be spot on about how he's going about it.
Thank you for the link - greatly appreciate it.
I agree, Cat's book is a great read and one to have on the bookshelf for sure.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Yes he should! :-D

Mary Ann said...

No wonder Hank is so tired during the day! I think you did a great job with the photos!

Lisa Smith said...

I am so glad you didn't have porcupine quills to deal with! What a cooperative solution to cleaning up Buddy's face - - having a "buddy" nibble it off! Thank you for the lovely close up shots; Buddy is so very photogenic!

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