Doggie expressions can be priceless. Tuesday in herding class we working working on penning and de-penning. The penning was going fairly smoothly but getting the sheep back out was another matter. Tsuki hates going in to where the sheep are closely confined. A wise feeling, and a common one. The pen we were using is really just a gated off section between the small round pen and the front pasture. In other words it isn't even shaped. The main part is roundish but then it has sort of a leg going off to one side. If the dog doesn't come in right the sheep usually pack into that leg. Then the dog has to squeeze in between the fence and the sheep to get them out. Well for the first time Tsuki braved the sheep and started on the side by himself. And suddenly a sheep peels itself off and zoooom out the gate. "Good-boy" Tsuki got some encouragement for not trying to stop it from leaving and for holding his position. He crept in another couple steps - zooom there goes another. We roll our eyes, apparently he's going to de-pen these sheep one at a time. That's not the way its supposed to work. So Tsuki was encouraged to push on in. And the sheep are packed in there when suddenly whoooosh the gate the sheep were leaning on gave way and a minor flood of sheep went scampering out into the large pasture. Tsuki's expression had us cracking up. He just stood there "Wha' happen? I didn't dooo it, really, I din't honest ... they just got away." We picked up the gate and went back to working on the four he managed to de-pen on his own. And he was a very good boy. He is getting more confident in driving (pushing the sheep out away from the handler instead of brining them to) and its a lot of fun watching his concentration when he does it.
And when he isn't playing sheep dog apparently he's been studying to be a terrier. As a terrier he's a failure. He caught his second mouse and like the last time he apparently is just grabbing it by the skin. This time it may have been a young gopher. I couldn't tell because it was dark. But he's sniffing around and suddenly I hear 'eeek eeek eeek' and I look and see something dangling from his mouth. I told him "drop it" and he did. Apparently it ran off as I couldn't find a body.
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Copyright © 2003, Diane Blackman