New puppies here? But wasn't it Peach's turn? Sadly, Kendy Sawyer, our kennel partner had an accident coming off her horse. So at WoodSong farm, we are raising a third consecutive litter having taken in Kendy's Peach who was bred to our Benji. While Kendy is recovering, we are trying to take care to include her as we can while raising all her new Peach blossoms! Unfortunately one pup (#7) did not make it, but here is a peek at the new pups here.
In the meantime, only Asher is left here from Winter's litter and will be going home tomorrow. All pups are in there new homes from the previous two litters after this. As you can imagine, we are quite busy trying to keep all our duck in a row. (Isn't that the collies' job?) I am so excited to hear how all our babies are doing and always look forward to updates from their new families on our Shepherd's Hearth facebook page. And the blossoms will continue to bloom also! It appears to be a big puppy year for our farm and kennel!
Heroics of yesterday - Tansy walked up to my son and barked and took him down to the chicken gate that had been left open. 7 chickens had already escaped and were wandering the yard. At this point Lorna came to see what was going on and to help. Tansy would corner and hold chickens with her paws for my son to put back in. Interestingly, Lorna brought the chickens to Tansy next to my son to hold down for my son! (I guess the dogs don't have as much confidence in our chicken catching skills! 😆 ) Other chickens had escaped to visit the rams where Lorna took her turn holding chickens and waiting for us to put them over he fence. I love watching the girls team up!
Want calm sheep? Got Finns? Last night, we brought up a lone ram lamb to visit a guest. This sheep stood still being pet with no halter. Happy just to be there! We raise traditional Old Time Scotch Collies here that work the sheep when it's time and relax when it's not. My kids were throwing the frisbee for the dogs who were whipping around all over not far from this lamb. This was late evening during peak sheep spook hours! He never even baa-d. The guest's Cocker-Spaniel was not upsetting either. In fact, after the ram lamb relieved himself, we even took him in to visit our litter of pups. Outside on the driveway, the big collies came and inspected on occasion giving an occasional lick to see that ram lamb was OK and things were as they should be. That is their job. And of course, true to Finn tradition, there was much tail wagging. Our sheep seem to sense when it is time for the dogs to work and when the dogs are just part of the family. Finnsheep are wonderful sheep to work with! They provide for us in many ways. I personally find them incredibly therapeutic also. None of us minded petting our Finn ram lamb and he accepted this as quite sufficient payment for his excursion. Finnsheep are wonderful!
After the Pride and Prejudice pups, Lorna and Tansy have formed an incredible bond. Lorna, I think, was so grateful for Tansy's help in gathering and distracting while she needed space from puppy teeth and nursing. These girls have continued their partnership in many ways. Some pictures of the girls loving on each other and playing in the middle of the Spring litter where they could both enjoy puppies fully.
Kind neighbor sends us her frizzle chickens who are being picked on and four collies meet and supervise. Nice friend with truck and trailer pulls up with new Kerry bull and Lorna alerts and points. Winter watches. All collies lay and watch while our new bull exits trailer and goes to find his herd. All in a moment of a day yesterday in the life of our collies.
Nanny dogs are invaluable! They watch the pups when mom needs a break and can play without worrying about tender parts being molested by teething cuties. Tansy is very much looking upon the "Pride and Prejudice" litter as her serious job and is thoroughly vested in her role as Auntie. I often have my hands full moving the pups from one spot to another, but Tansy will faithfully stay with the pups and babysit until I have moved the very last pup to where we are headed. She plays so gently and will suit her firmness to the pup and energy level involved. Occasionally, I would ask her to be easy at the beginning, but now I realize that she very much seems to have these controls built-in! What a relief! Kitty (now the biggest of the P&P litter) is Tansy's special friend. She seeks Tansy out to play and tease. Tansy seems to especially love her also! If there is a pup that is a bit too rough or confident, Tansy will gently correct and teach in a very cheerful manner. Such a perfect golden playmate and example! Thank you Tansy for so much help raising these pups! What would we do without you!
Once upon a time Kitty found her perfect spot to sleep. True, it was unconventional to sleep in the litter box, but usually this area was untouched, cool, and solitary. All of these things made the perfect sleeping spot.
But then one evening the inevitable happened! Someone had corrupted Kitty's perfect spot. She stood in her corner and stared hard. Nothing happened. She barked loudly. Nothing happened. She began scare tatics and pouncing. Nothing happened. So Kitty pushed clean litter towards the yuck with her nose to push the yuck out of her perfect sleeping spot. All was well and Kitty went to get a drink while Collins promptly came and took that perfect sleeping spot.
Picture is of Kitty back in her spot. All's well that ends well.
Winter and Benji had their "First Day of Spring" litter on 3-20-21! 8 pups. 6 girls, 2 boys, 3 natural bobs, 6 long tails, 3 tri, and 5 merle! Whew! Winter has been a very protective and proactive mom. Apply for this set of pups at out shared kennel Shepherd's Hearth. Pups are growing fast and will have puppy culture, disposition testing, instinct testing, and multiple other head starts! Happy to hear from you and answer any questions. Our house is full of puppies!!!
I say that Tansy has some big shoes to fill, but her feet are already quite large... In fact, at a mere six months old, she rivals all of our other dogs in size. She will be the biggest dog here, no question! But what of her skills? My other dogs set the bar high. These short stories give an example of how confident and watchful Tansy is, and how she has already learned to very intuitively help in big situations for such a young dog!
Tansy has been watching the big dogs for some time now. She knows when it's time to do what and how. The other day, my daughter was getting hay and feed to take out of the barn and move to a different pasture when two cows and a horse came to "investigate." Well, as one might predict, this "investigation" quickly turned into an interrogation and full-out mugging with no room for negotiation! This situation could have even been dangerous without quick moves and thinking. My daughter was quick and let Tansy in through the gate. And Tansy wasted no time! She promptly fanned back and forth between my daughter (Arianna) and the cows and horse navigating more and more space for her charge and the precious commodities while Arianna drug everything out with no further molesting. Then Tansy cheerfully came back up through the gate following her charge back to the other pasture.
Counter this short episode with an even shorter one. Lorna's pups are getting around a bit more these days. Tansy and Lorna and Winter all work together very well in caring for them. Benji watches a little ways off supervising and letting the girls do their thing. One little pup escaped the pen, and Tansy gently and carefully herded the pup in place and back towards the pen by licking. I didn't even notice until I looked at Lorna's (who was in the pen with me) intense face trying to see behind me! There is the versatility of these dogs in skills and ability. Intuition for both toddling pups and large beasts in groups.
Tansy has been tough and a thinker from the beginning. And sweet as pie! Her style is eager, and she very much wants to please. She is undaunted! A golden streak of superdog soaring by to save the day! We have many things to still work on, but so far I am very impressed by her grit and skills, intuition, and gentleness. Time to hug my dog!
This blog chronicles our very full life here on WoodSong Farm. We will share everything from dog to sheep stories, unique wooly works, to animal husbandry tips we pick up along the way. I hope this helps to give you an idea of what our extended farm family and wooly projects are like, and that we may somehow benefit everyone who reads about our journey.