A day in the life of a sheepdog


A day in the life of, Max, a sheepdog, during lambing season.


(*The following is based on true events and names have been changed.)

A day in the life of, Max, a sheepdog; told by Max

0900 hours: the best part of my day; I’m greeted and generously presented breakfast by my closest confidant and leader, Farmer Gary–and it’s Lambing season; my favourite time of year. I’m Farmer Gary’ s right paw dog and with 11 lambing seasons of experience under my collar. I’m essential to the season’s daily runnings.

1000 hours: I finish my morning alleviations and mandatory marking of the vicinity.

 “Max! Come on, Max!…Where’s that blasted dog…” I’m paged to duty at Farmer Gary’s side as we check on our tenants; one new calf, a new set of twin lambs, and the rest chewing cud. All is in order. Farmer Gary places the wooden troughs out for feeding the pregnant sheep. I assume my position between Farmer Gary and the sheep as He fills the troughs with sheep nuts. Without my protection Farmer Gary would be trampled by the ravenous pregnant ewes in their mad rush to–ooof!

 “Outa the way now, Max, come on!” Being rammed in the —ooof! –ribs is all part of the daily sacrifices I make for my Great Leader.

1100 hours: Still catching my breath from nearly being stampeded to dea–

  “Max, what are ye at? Come on now, into the car!” With expert precision and integrity I follow orders, bounding into my base of operations; the boot. We bump over the one lane road to the fields where the sheep scheduled for later lambing are located. Here I catapalt into action using my collie instincts–finding and herding all our tenants to breakfast.

“Now, Max…where’s that old biddy with the long tail…?” But what is this? Sheep tenant number 102 is missing!? I immediately turn to my now graying but trusty snout to root out the AWOL ovine, darting in and out of brambles, muzzle down, ears pricked– “Found her, Max! Come on, back into the boot!” Whoo, Crisis averted!

1200 hours: Farmer Gary takes His tea in the house while I stand sentry at the front door.

Woof! Woof! Woof!” I raise the alert as the mailman drives into the yard. After my daily mailman remonstrances I patrol the yard for more interlopers.
A rustling near the round bales catches my eye. I covertly pad over–a flash of whiskers and a long grey tail dart upwards into the bale stacks–rats! the vilest of farm yard vermin. Luckily my rat tracking skills are unrivalled. I leap up and up again, to the very top of the stacked bales in hot pursuit of the whiskered intruder. With the agility of some large handsome feline, (but definitely less smug and stuck up), I hug the bale edge at top speed–Wha-wha-whoa! –Oof!

Canine down. I must have gotten a toe caught in something and tumbled into the middle of the bales. I stand and shake; no bones broken. However there appears to be no way out…hmmm, well I’m sure Farmer Gary will soon be needing my services and come find me. An afternoon rest period is deserved.

1700 hours: (or sometime after Farmer Gary feeds the sheep their dinner and I’ve had a power nap), my presence is sorely missed.

 “Max, Max!? Where are ya? Blasted dog….” I sit upright, wagging and grinning, waiting for Him to finally seek me within the bales. An hour or so later His round face peers down at me from above. “How the hell did ya manage that…and not a peep outta ya! You can bark for Ireland if the mailman arrives but not to save your own hide to let me know where you’ve been….” After He uses the lift to shift the bales, I’m free, and it’s time for some delectable table scraps before bed time in the shed. All in all, a productive day on the farm.




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