April 4, 2013: Lambing et al
Spring has still not stretched her tentacles as far as Wales yet. The water to our kennels has frozen every month so far in 2013. This usually occurs once or twice in Winter and only when we forget to leave hoses and taps trickling. We have left hoses running at night, only to find the water frozen the next morning. It's cold here!
We are almost finished lambing now. Just 8 or 9 stragglers left. After a terrible start with the first two ewes, the rest have given us a bumper crop of twins, triplets and the odd single. We had one lamb born with a bony lump on the side of his face and his mouth/nose area was not properly formed. I called him Joseph...after Joseph Merrick, the 'Elephant Man'. Unfortunately we lost Joseph yesterday.
We also have Harlequin...
Not sure where that black gene came from! And that's as far as we have gone in naming our lambs. Kelvin got a little exhurberant with the marking spray.
And the ram was just a little exhuberant too, as we discovered yesterday, when one of our training sheep on the hill gave birth to a ewe lamb. She was an absolute pig to bring down off the hill. Penny, who has done an exceptional lambing job for me, was called in to assist and we managed to get ewe and her lamb safely in the shed for some R&R. Poor Penny has taken a pounding from some ewes, mainly the new mothers, but she's never backed down or given up. She hasn't always been perfect, but she's got the job done and that's what matters...especially when it's just been her and I here. Now to tune her up for some fun on the trial field.
At Easter I left Kelvin in charge of lambing, poor fella, and jetted off to sunny Sweden. The thought never crossed my mind to pack sunscreen and lip balm. Both were needed, as were sunglasses. No, it wasn't bikini weather....but the glare of sunshine off the snow was blinding, but at least I've got an early start on my suntan...or maybe just more freckles. While I was swanning around playing with sheepdogs, Kelvin was innundated with lambs. Yes, I felt guilty!
My luggage once again was left in Amsterdam on the way to Sweden and arrived a day later than me. Damn, this happens every time I go to the Continent via KLM and Schiphol Airport!!! I was very well dressed for the first morning of the clinic! Thankfully my bag arrived by lunchtime and I could look like a real farmer, instead of a tourist.
I thoroughly enjoyed Sweden. The people were fantastic, the hospitality superb, the dogs were good and mostly behaved...well, perhaps the naughtiest was a lovely little bitch off my Jamie and I really liked her!...and the food, oh my goodness...semla, Swedish meatballs, salmon, chilli, ham, sill, and candies galore. OMG, I am taking an empty bag next time to bring home some candy loot! They had candies like New Zealand candies...I could not stop eating them! I think I came back a kilo heavier...not that you'd notice. My Finnish friends gave me some licorice to die for, and some Belgian chocolates. I enjoyed seeing some Kinlochies, dogs I knew from Wales, and even sons and daughters of dogs I know. It's interesting to see different family lines. The best part of doing clinics is seeing how the dogs and handlers progress so quickly! I never cease to be grateful for living in Wales...with wide open spaces to train and green grass almost 365 days/year (even if it is more brown this year!). I cannot imagine training on snow and ice for months and months on end...well, I can...and that's why we left Canada for ...greener pastures. We are very lucky indeed!
Well, my hands are freezing and starting to go numb as I type so I'm off outside to do something more vigorous. My ankle has healed enough for me to start running again this morning. It wasn't pretty, fast or very far...but I was out there! :-)