Friday, May 11, 2012

Maybe Today...

Maybe today I can work my dogs -- "after work" -- of course.

Last night I went to try to work dogs at the pasture that we share with another person who raises a lot of lambs throughout the year. I thought we were kind of done lambing for now, but apparently it was just a short lull. I found three ewes who had just lambed, and four lambs (after looking through the tall grass to find them all). All the ewes were twirling about, trying to steal the other's lamb and none of the ewes (I think they were all young ewes, maybe all first-timers) were standing still for the babies to drink. I could see "dog work" fading from view, really fast. Normally in this pasture-lambing situation we leave the ewe and lamb alone, to bond fully. Their survival depends on it. But this time if I'd left them alone, perhaps none of the babies would have made it. So with Coal's help I got them all into the pens. I was pretty sure I knew which lambs went to which ewes, and finally got them all settled. One twin set didn't look too vigorous and I hoped that penning them up with their right mom would help them.

But it was apparent that one of the ewes with a single still had another lamb inside. She kept getting up and down and straining. She had been doing this for over an hour. I could see little white feet, occasionally. I called the ewe's owner and she came over. We got the ewe down and the owner pulled the lamb, with much ado. I got to hold the ewe down. It was a huge effort but out came a huge lamb, who was alive. He was panting and his sides were heaving from the effort, but he was all right. It is amazing.

Maybe dogs and I are hoping!

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