I thought today would be a good day for a Nick and sheep post. My thanks to www.dogbarkcollar.com for making this possible.
This morning I loaded up a couple of dogs and headed down the road to pick up some sheep to take to the processor. No trailer? No truck? No problem! Why not just load them into your minivan?
Famous last words, spoken by me...
"Oh, don't worry. We'll just pop em right on up in there. I don't think we'll even need to touch them."
Most of the time sheep I've loaded up into trailers seem to prefer to just hop in (as opposed to using a ramp). Well, let me just enlighten you, world. They don't prefer to hop right up into minivans. Minivans with Ex-Pens are instruments of sheepy death.Clearly.
There was screeching halting at the hatch. There was much shoving and cajoling. I even gave them a bucket of corn in the pen. Corn was not the secret weapon I'd expected.
So I had Nick hold the sheep while I (one by one) with the help of the friend who owns the sheep, hoisted them up in there like sacks of very heavy potatoes. I guess the best way to describe it would be one foot at a time. They weren't terribly inclined to help, but we worked it out. The very nice newspaper and shavings bedding got all mushed around, but it actually wound up serving it's purpose well (see photo).
That photo, by the way, was what I could see in my rear view mirror. Sheep staring at me through the holes in the crate. That particular wether was the sniffiest thing.
Go figure that once we got down to the processor they were not having ANY of the whole getting out of the van thing. Oh but no. "No, thank you," said the sheep. The little unloader dude, who incidentally weighed less than the sheep, hopped up in there to shove them out. Then he and I and Nick pushed them along the walk of doom, up the ramp, and into their holding cell.
They were Not. Impressed. They did NOT want to go up that ramp.
Nick on the other hand had a ball. He got to do some work on a single - as once I had two in there, the single tried to break and run away. We cured him of that notion, but it took some time and some really good work from my dog and I. It didn't take all that long to get the sheep loaded, or unloaded once we were there. But it certainly wasn't the idyllic lovely pop em in pop em out sort of walk through the flowery meadow that I'd pictured in my mind.
When I got to the processor and starting unloading, this (really hot) guy pulled up behind me to unload two steers. He got out and came over to see my set up. With big eyes he looked at me and said, "How did you get them IN there?" Not missing a beat I answered, "Oh, my dog brought them up and popped them right up in there."
What can I say. He was cute and I saw no need to mention belly-flopping on the back of a sheep hanging off of the back of my minivan. By that point my cool hairdo had flopped like a wilty flower, and I am pretty sure I was covered in all kinds of things. I had to save SOME face.
I've had two showers today. My hands still smell like sheep. I am happy.
Nick is happy (photo by Dan King).
Linc is less happy since I didn't get him out, but he'll get his chance over the weekend (photo by Robin French).