Sunday, June 18, 2006

And Little Lambs Eat Ivy.....

There's one in every crowd, or family. You know whom I mean...the kid that is the explorer, the daydreamer, or when the family is doing one thing, chooses to do another. I found out I have one of those today.
I caught one of the lambs who usually follows me around off by himself today, trying to eat the leaves off an upright honeysuckle tree. Now that in itself didn't astound me, but what I caught sight of was this little boy's bum with a couple of "dags" on it. (Dags are an accumulation of manure for those not quite farm-wize) Now this could be very normal, or a sign of somthing not quite right with the little guy and warrants at the least a closer look. Well, upon inspection the little guy showed signs of "scours", shepherdspeak for diarrhea. I had an idea that we might run into something like this from the stress of being shipped from Washington to Arizona and adjusting to new surroundings, so I really wasn't all that surprised...
I had been letting the sheep out into the pasture for a short while each day, increasing the length of each visit that they may slowly become accustomed to Arizona grasses and weeds. Yesterday, while my DH and I were cleaning out the aformentioned other half of the barn, the sheep were very merrily making their way across the pasture with looks of glee on their sheepy faces. And this little guy way tasting anything and everything he could find. More so than the others, who stuck close to their moms. This guy (who hasn't received a name yet) was in "Hog Heaven" and was totally enjoying his tastings. A bit of apple leaves here, a Siberian Elm there, some grasses down by the creek, and oh, Look! some dutch clover, and then there's this tasty weed! He was enthusiastic to say the least. Then today, the dreaded "scours". I can't say that I'm surprised that his exuberance resulted in an upset digestive system. In fact, I have a certain amount of empathy for his plight.
A quick look through my sheep library and input from some really nice and sharing shepherds in my Shetland Sheep Group and the little guy received doses of probiotics and Pepto Bismol. While most sheep would view the dosing of these treatments with indignity this little black ram had a strange look on his face after I dosed him. Almost as if to say, "Hey! Thanks for the sauce and the After-Dinner-Mint!"
Yup. Every family has one. And I believe I know who the one is in our family!

And to Fathers everywhere - those who are with us and those who look over our shoulders from somewhere beyond - A VERY HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!

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