Sunday, July 27, 2008

What do you see?

How lovely, something new to talk about. I am thrilled about breeders actually thinking of a solution for this little spot problem.
We do have a special yahoo group for this discussion. However, no one was willing to start a discussion about how or why a certain sheep was or was not flecket.
In fact, breeders are a solitary group....and unwilling to let anyone else tell them their sheep is or is not flecket.
Sorry to burst the poster bubble....but the same woman who did the spotted cencus had her pictures made for the poster. Although the poster is beautiful....it does not come close to answering questions. I foget how many photos of spotted shetlands were sent in for the cencus. A few hundred perhaps. However, I was told by the author....that if a photo came in showing a sheep with spots....the breeder usually mentioned what the spot-name was for those spots. If there was no photo sent in for sponget....it was because no one breeder thought they had a sponget. And in a world of commercially viable wool......spotted shetlands are not in demand.
How unfortunate that the spotting names for shetland spots were defined by a professor and not an artist. If a flecket sheep is described by the term "looks like a jacob spot" Then cetrtainly the sheep in my picture does not resemble a jacob sheep....so could not be a flecket sheep.
We originally thought north american breeders could shed some light on the world os shetland spots....since we actually try to breed for them. Sadly, our original efforts were thought to be threatening to the world wide experts. And threatening to the egos of established breeders.
So as wildly spotted 6th generation sheep fade from the world view.....we must cling to the only words we know yuglet....flecket....sokket. Heaven forbid we use some other terms like fronet.
Breeders as I repeat, are solitary people....not given to heated conversations.
It's been a week of tension here in the state of "misery" as my older client likes to call it.
Our two great pyrs disappeared on Thursday. A pack of running dogs were chasing a coyote thru the woods. Apparently, our dogs jumped our fence and went to help. then must have turned the wrong way out in the woods. Since they have never been gone for more than a couple of hours, I waited until feeding time to worry. We drove all the roads near by....we called and called. We announced their disappearance to the running dog folks. No dogs. The next day, we posted signs at the feed store. Called the police and the post office. The only people who drive some of these roads. Then we went into the woods on the looging trails....calling, and calling, for hours into the woods. Finally we traveled the only other road that surrounds our miles of woods. It took over an hour, and sure enough...as we had the two other times we tried to drive this trail in the woods...we got lost. We almost didn't make it down the mountain because the road was washed out. We couldn't turn around as we had planned. But we did get to the high power lines...we had planned to call there, in case the dogs went the wrong way from our side of those lines. Another feeding time came, and I punctuated my feeding the sheep with loud admonitions to the dogs to come home now...a storm was approaching. Finally, I turned, and saw the young dog come in with the sheep. She was panting like an engine, and thirsty. We doubled our efforts to scream for the old dog. The one who doesn't walk well. The storm came and went...no old dog. We called all evening then went to bed, with the young dog tied on the porch. By morning, I took a bottle of water to our last bottle baby, and there on the floor of the barn was old dog. She looked dead...no noticable breathing...and didn't move as I called her. I finally woke her up. She was wet from her trip in in the fog and brush. But she was alive....if not willing to move. I dragged her to the porch and we rejoiced. Since our trip around the woods, we had realized how impossible it was for anyone lost there to find their way out. But the dogs did. They are still two days later, laying on the porch. But today, old dog does raise her head when we walk by.
Yaay for dogs.

6 Comments:

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

Your wildly spotted sheep will not fade from the world at all! We're gonna keep at it from this end, and I know others down there will be too. :-) Besides, beautifully spotted fleece makes for some interesting yarn - who coul resist that!

Glad the puppers are home safe and recovering.....

 
At 5:05 AM, Blogger Kara said...

DITTO!

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger Nancy K. said...

I'm so glad that your dogs returned safely, Mary Ellen!

Oh, if only we could hear the stories they could tell...

 
At 7:16 AM, Blogger Kara said...

To clarify, the ditto was to Suzanne's comment. A few new pictures posted this morning of a couple of the girls. Check it out. Hope all is well.

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

What a wonderful story of survival about your dogs! SO glad they both made it home; "An Incredible Journey," indeed.

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger Tammy W. said...

Mary Ellen - I am so glad you found your dogs. What a frightening experience for you.
And you needn't worry about the spots - they will never fade away :-)

 

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