Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Columbus Day

Monday was crazy!

I love having a day off due to government holiday, but man! It's harder work than being at work.

Steven and I had planned on working on goat fencing all day, because they got out on Sunday while we were at church (Mom got them back in).

However, he got called by a family friend who asked for help fixing a car, (needed an extra pair of hands) and I told him to go ahead -- friends are important. I would work on the fence. That began a nightmare morning.

First, I loaded up all my tools in the wheelbarrow and grabbed a roll of wire and headed to the pen. I went over to the area of the woven wire where I knew they had been getting out, and prepared to work on it. Of course, they followed me, and so while I was getting my wire out and ready...... pop! through the fence they went, and out onto the road! grrrr. Rather than go out and around to herd them, I went to the barn and grabbed a grain bucket and called them. The first doe came right back in the same way she went out.

The buck (and I would NOT have believed this if I hadn't see it with my own eyes), couldn't figure out that he could get back in the same way, so suddenly he dropped to his knees and belly, and pushed his head UNDER the fencing, and pushed up on it with his horns and CRAWLED back under the fence. I was amazed. The last doe got confused and just ran all the way around the pen until she got back to the gate, and we put her back in.

So this wasn't going to work. When I attempted to begin mending again, the buck would just come over and constantly "rub" his head against me. Not really a butt, but strong enough to knock me over, even though it was kind on an affectionate rub, or scratching, of his head (and horns) on my hip. And he stinks really bad with that musky male goat smell.

I looked for solutions. Decided to bring my big Pyr into the pen with me, on a long leash, and that would make the goats stay away from the area I was working. Now, at our house, only one dog roams free currently, and that is a very very old German shepherd who has arthritis so bad he can hardly walk. The collie, aussie shepherd pup and Pyr all stay in the fenced front yard (very large yard).

When I went to get my Pyr, as I was leading him out of the yard, the other two dogs suddenly bolted out as well (I didn't have enough hands). So they take off after the chickens, and mom is screaming at them as she tries to catch them, and I'm trying to hold the Pyr from all the commotion, and in the meantime, the Shepherd goes INTO the front yard, and chaos reigns. We finally get the two other dogs back into the yard (didn't get the shepherd out) and have the Pyr safely in hand.

That idea worked really well for the fence repair though. Put the long leash on the fence and my Pyr just laid there in the shade, and the goats just stayed on the other side of the corral watching the Pyr. All was well. The fencing itself was a mess -- was trying to put a new strip of 24" old woven wire we had salvaged from somewhere ABOVE the woven wire that was already there (to make it about 48" high) and it is really hard to string woven wire high, especially when it isn't new wire. I had to fight with it alot and cut back tree limbs in the way, and make repairs to what I was putting up, as well as tie it to the existing wire.

Then, when we went to put Rodman (the Pyr) back into the yard, chaos reigned again. As we approached the gate, the German shepherd had decided by this time he wanted back out - but when we tried to do that, suddenly our collie viciously attacked the shepherd (they have never been good friends - both male), and our poor shepherd, who is close to death's door already, had no defense. Mom was screaming (which adds to the frenzy of it, I keep trying to tell her that just makes a bad situation worse), and Rodman was going nuts trying to get out of my hands and join the fight frenzy. I had to release Rodman outside of the gate, get inside myself and pull the collie off the shepherd, but I couldn't put the shepherd back outside the gate, so I just opened the front door of the house and shoved him inside and shut the door. Then chased the collie away enough to get the Pyr back in. *exhausted*

So I had a wounded shepherd in my house and I was scratched up from breaking up the fight.

Today Mickey (the shepherd) doesn't seem any worse for the wear, surprisingly. I finally got him out of the house about an hour later.

I felt like I deserved a trip to town for a cheeseburger and fries. So I did :)

No more working on goat stuff without Steven there, for me!

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