Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Pip and Phoebe! (A day late)

Okay, so I'm late with my birthday wishes. Their present (sheep bones to chew) is late too--they'll get to gnaw on them out in the yard this afternoon. It's hard to believe that they turned two yesterday (Bastille Day). I remember the day they were born, and the thunderstorm that rolled through, and my house phone going out (a regular thing there) with a cell phone that wouldn't work at my house, and needing to call the vet because of a last puppy we could palpate even though Twist said she was quite done, thank you very much. Thank goodness for my friend Jen, and experienced puppy whelper, who also had a cell phone that worked, and my vet, who told me to call her no matter what, and who advised us even as she was out to dinner with her husband.

That last pup was called Pudge, and later became Pipit, shortened to Pip for everyday use. I hadn't planned to keep him--Phoebe was my pick--but he decided from the start that he was mine, like it or not. So here we are two years later. Both are turning out to be good workers, though only time will tell whether they make excellent trial dogs (and given the cost of gas, we may not get to do a lot of that anyway).

Of course, I also need to give birthday wishes to littermates Nick, Raven, Caleb, Blue, Vic, and JJ. Raven gets to celebrate her birthday here. She may have had a better birthday in Alaska, but this year she just has to celebrate Dixie style!

And special birthday wishes to Laura (Nick's mom) too! Sorry to put you after the dogs, but it's how I'm able to better remember your birthday than anyone else's (except maybe my own!). Back when I didn't know Laura as well as I know her now, she approached me about getting a Twist pup. At the time I had planned to breed Kat and told her that I could put her on that list. But that breeding didn't take, and the following spring, I bred Twist to Sonny. I was delighted to be able to call her on her birthday to tell her that the pups had arrived--a great birthday present for her! She fell in love with Nick early, but the sire's owner had the pick before her, so she tried not to get her hopes up. I, of course, was doing the same with Pip, my unplanned keeper, but lucky for both of us, Roy took First and Blaze, now Vic and JJ, and Laura and I got to keep our chosen pups.

I'll go back and dig through old photos and post some puppy pictures later.

In my last entry I related my encounter with Lacey, the ewe who didn't want to go onto the trailer and so tried to run me down instead. Sunday when I went to Mary and Tony's for dinner, I finally got a good look at my foot (and so did everyone else) and was rather alarmed by the amount of swelling. It was still quite painful too, so on Monday morning I took myself off the the urgent care place in Randleman. The good news is that it's likely only sprained. There's a possibility of a small chip off the ankle bone at the point of impact (I'm not sure what I hit, but I suspect it was the ramp/gate itself). Because the pain in my ankle doesn't extend behind the ankle bone, the doctor said that if there was a chip, it was likely a small one and so no need to X-ray. Instead, she wrapped my ankle and told me to put it up as often as I could (and propped up while working on the computer doesn't count because I can't really prop it higher than heart level--and if I did, I would surely look like some sort of contortionist and find it difficult to write!). Someone asked me why I didn't just let go of the sheep, but I think the damage was done when she hit me and knocked me off the ramp, so the act of grabbing her and not letting go didn't do further damage and in fact kept me from having to sort her back out from the rest of the flock had she managed to rejoin them.

Anyway, I can get around pretty well. By the end of the day, it's throbbing pretty badly, but as long as I can get the chores done, I'll be fine.

Raven also has an ouch to report. After working the other morning, in which she actually was quite calm and sensible (so no apparent reason for her to have hurt herself), she came up lame. I couldn't find obvious injury on her feet or toes, so I'm thinking it's a soft tissue pull-type of injury. I'm letting her go out in the yard with the other dogs, but she's on rest from work and walks on the "back 40." If she's not improved in a few days, a trip to the vet will have to be placed on the agenda.... (I worked Raven on the hair sheep and Lark and Phoebe on the main flock, since it was an excuse to go ahead and push them through the chute and foot bath again. That sort of practical work is good for both youngsters. Raven will also probably be able to do that soon enough; well, once I get her outrun to where she can reliably gather the big field.)

And speaking of vets, Willow and Twist go in for their prolo therapy in the morning. Boy is due for a rabies vaccine, and as much as I'd prefer not to vaccinate at his age, I also don't want to be on the wrong side of the law, and with the large number of rabies cases that have been reported in the next county over, I'm going to bite the bullet and have it done. As he's 13 now, this will likely be the last vaccine he'll ever get.

The Rhode Island Red chicks are growing like mad. At something like three weeks old they are already bigger than the two-month-old OEG bantam chicks. They also eat a heck of a lot more and make a bigger mess, but I'll still be glad when I can go out to the coop and gather nice brown eggs from my free-range hens. Yesterday afternoon I looked out the kitchen window to see Jill marching them down the side yard. Too bad I didn't have a camera on me--it was quite the color coordinated scene with the red border collie marching the little red hens down the yard. Jill is retired now, but she will occasionally help Jimmy if I'm gone and he's got to feed the sheep or go in the ram paddock, and apparently she finds a little chicken freelance work just the thing on a sunny afternoon!

Mary came by this morning and picked out the tunis sheep she wanted. It looks like she'll be taking Kate, Molly, and one of this year's lambs. We marked them and she'll come back this afternoon to help load them on the trailer and take them home. Since I'm over there often anyway, I'll still get to see my girls on a regular basis.

While we had the sheep up, I went ahead and pulled the last two karakul ewe lambs that were born in the first round of lambing. I had thought to just let their mom wean them, and it looks like she's in the process of doing just that, but she's thinner than I'd like, and since I pulled all the lambs from the second round of lambing earlier this week, I figured I'd just go ahead and add those two to the mix. The first set had already resigned themselves to being separated from their moms, though, and these last two are very LOUD in their complaining. I'm hoping they'll get over it soon.

Once I get the sheep moved out that are sold or to be sold, I need to go through and do all the registration paperwork on my remaining ewes (those that I bought as unregistered but registerable) and the lambs. It will be an all-day job because you can't just record sire and dam on the karakuls--you have to fill out an extensive list of physical characterstics, including specifics about the fur of the lambs, and take a photo of each one to go in with the registration. It's a lot of work, and I've put it off way too long. I need to go ahead and get it done, and while I'm doing that I can go ahead and pick what lambs I want to show this fall at SAFF. I might have just one tunis ewe lamb left for showing, but that's okay. If Mary goes, I might be able to talk her into showing the ewe lamb she bought. And I'll have plenty of karakuls to pick from. In fact, I need to contact Letty Klein, who will be judging, to see if she has any ram lambs that she might be able to bring with her. She saw my short-eared yearling Peppercorn at the MD Sheep and Wool Festival and talked to me about preserving the short-eared variety, which is rather rare, being a recessive trait. If she has any short-eared rams, then she'd be the person to get another ram from....

And I guess that's all the news for now.


~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Ours are finally sorted, this is the biggest lamb crop we have ever had so it is taking me longer to get my head around the possibilites :)
Sorry to hear about your foot, hope it feels better soon. It seems like every time we try sorting adult sheep I end up finding a boo-boo later, I feel your pain!

Samantha said...

Belated Happy Birthday wishes to Pip and Phoebe. Also to Raven and i hope she is feeling better soon. That is such a sweet story of how you and Laura got to keep the one you really wanted.

Your foot sounds really painful, i hope that mends real soon too.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I like the new format and pictures!

Julie said...

Hey Becky,
Thanks for the compliments on my new look. I finally decided to try and make it a little more interesting, especially since I don't seem to find the time to post photos within the blog entries very often anymore.

I've got an offer for help on getting the registrations in order on all the lambs, thank goodness!

The (not really) pups (though I still call them that) thank you. I have to say I lobbied hard to keep the Pipster, but I think the sire's owner knew I had set my heart on him and so deliberately didn't choose him. Lucky me!

carson-crazies said...

Thank you from Nick and I for the birthday wishes! Birthday wishes right back to Pip, Phoebe, and Raven! How're you feeling today? Hopefully some better. Ouch! I too like the new look.