Imagine yourself laying in bed. Cozy. Sleeping. Enjoying the last good dream the morning has to offer. Now imagine yourself being ripped from those dreams by your neighbors doing construction at 5:30am. Bang, bang, bang. Their contractor sounds like he’s right in your basement. Except it’s not your neighbors and there’s no contractor. There’s just a sheep and he is, in fact, in the basement. He doesn’t care about you, or your neighbors. He’s just doing what a sheep does best. Ram the walls. Or fence. Or hot tub. Now you know where the word comes from but that doesn’t answer the age old question: which came first, the noun or the verb?

We had enough of the pounding every morning. I would wake up cranky and Dave, in a desperate attempt to thwart that, would gallantly spring from the bed to feed the sheep in hopes, that food may distract him. It rarely worked. Sheldon was still loud and I was still cranky. Combined with Sheldon’s growing aggression, we decided we could no longer keep Sheldon in the side yard. We could either move him to Redemption or eat him. Since I’m still a vegetarian, we opted for moving him, with an option to eat him if that didn’t work.

About forever and a day ago, I got some portable, electric, goat netting from Premier 1 Supply. I was convinced we were going to move a long time ago so I had prepared early. Rather than open it up when it arrived, and read the instructions, we let it sit on the deck for six months. Then we waited until 10pm the night before we were supposed to move the livestock, to open up the box and read the instructions. Probably not our best plan. Thankfully, Premier 1 has videos online that show how to set up the fencing and the hot shocker. It still took us a while to figure out that I ordered spare parts. Again, this is something I probably would have remembered within the first 30 days of ordering the stuff. Once we realized what was going on, the whole system made sense. We went to bed, at 1am, knowing we were prepared to set up the fence.

Early the next morning (thanks to our sheep alarm clock) we were ready to wrangle. First order of business, get collars and leashes on the sheep and goat.

No sheep were harmed in the making of this post. But I did have to carry a stick for my own protection.

I would like you to note the damage they did to the side yard. Sheep and goats are like furry little tornadoes.

I call that last one “Oh, say can you sheep?”

The weeds in the yard have never looked so beautiful.

Before we loaded Fin and Sheldon into the truck, we put mats down. We thought that would ensure their safety. What we didn’t account for was that Sheldon was going to take his aggression out on Fin. At one point, Dave had to pull over because Sheldon had pinned Fin in the corner of the truck bed and was ramming her as hard as he could. Thankfully, we had left his leash on, so Dave shut his leash in the tailgate with two feet of slack. This gave Fin the run of the truck bed for the rest of the trip. No one likes a bully.

Once we got to the ranch we unloaded the livestock, taking time to pause for a funky family portrait:

Then we tied up the livestock while we tried to remember what we watched, in the instructional video, the night before.

I can never remember which color wire makes it work and which makes it explode.

Eventually, the livestock were released to their new mobile compound. Sheldon went around and touched the fence in a number of places. each time they would leap into the air and run around until they stopped at a new place, at which point he would touch the fence again. This went on for about 20 minutes. Everything they say about sheep being dumb, is true.

I can’t say I’ve ever seen the two of them so content and man can they take down some weeds. Their fence is 164 feet long and we have to move the enclosure at least once a week in order to keep up with their voracious appetites. The best part? They love thistles and poison oak best.

I think we are all enjoying our new-found freedom. Sheldon and Fin get to do what they do best- be sheeps and goats, and we get do what I love best- sleep in, every morning. Even Dave, who is normally an early riser slept until 8am the day after we moved them.

Now I can go back to humming the theme from green Acres and meaning it…at least until the next time Sheldon rams me.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by husband on June 5, 2011 at 23:07

    If I was predicable, I might say something about you getting my goat. I’m not, so I won’t.


  2. Posted by Pam on June 6, 2011 at 07:55

    Oh say can you sheep? hahahahaha Congrats on YOUR new found freedom! What a relief!


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