Humble Old Bear

Today’s story:

Ewes and lambs needed to move to a fresh paddock. Same story as every week of the year. The difference today was that they needed to move to a whole new field in a whole new quadrant of the farm.

Bear. He’s our Great Pyrenees Guard Dog. He lives with the ewes. He brings me to tears with his awesomeness. He is equal parts bouncy, smiley, shy around strangers, and superior in every way.

Typically when the ewes are out (of a contained space, which they spend 99.99999999% of their life in) he stays with them. Then when he feels they are safe enough to leave, he will timidly run to the house and advise any stray humans. His demeanor at this point is stressed. Tired. Weary. Upset.

Today, we planned the Big Move.

The ewes were released from their hold at about 10:30 am. The fences were gradually moved. The ewes ran uphill to green grass, but also to old layer chicken fencing (because a caged animal feels less stress in a cage).

Bear arrived at the house around 1pm. He was covered in burrs and had a finicky briar caught in his tail.

He seemed thirsty so I offered him a bucket of clear well water on this nearly 80 degree spry April day. I systematically worked out the burrs. In order to get the briar out I had to go inside the house to acquire my grooming scissors. He followed me through the house. We went back out and he patiently awaited the conclusion to my briar surgery.

The children were missing. Correction. The children were away in a secret hideout. A hideout, apparently, outside my yelling radius. They had been previously informed of the Necessary Task of Moving the Ewes Across the Farm.

After many yells produced zero results, I proceeded to physically go and gather the children. Their direction was opposite the ewes. Bear did not want to follow. He was tired of our tomfoolery. The ewes are out! Hello!?! But after a minute, and a tiny slight cat distraction, he followed along. Nosed out the secret bunker of the wee homo-sapiens. Solid fellow, that Bear.

Now, with children in tow to hold up the rear and an empty bucket with which to encourage the ewes, we all proceeded to the top of the North Field. We gathered the sheep from the half put together chicken paddock and marched through the old fence tree line (no fencing left in it) toward the New Paddock.

At first Bear didn’t follow. What gives?



A goat.

Of course.

She was still in the brush of the old fence line. Kids nudged her out. Bear rounded her up. Then he galloped ahead of me. This was abnormal. Typically, on these big moves he holds up the rear, keeping eye on everybody. But now he was in front of me. I was now midflock (instead of front) as they happily followed their Bear Man. He seemed to be going in the right direction, but I impatiently wondered, like I do with my children when they try to lead the group, “Um… Hello? Do you know where we (I) am going?”

Turns out he did.

Turns out he had already scoped out the new paddock across the farm. Whilst the fencing was being erected, he scouted the area. Then came to get me at the house. That Dear Old Bear. He just needed me to grab a bucket so that the ewes would pay attention and then follow him.

He led them straight into the new paddock, halfway across the farm.

Then he promptly flopped down in the forest shade, exhausted.

Dear Old Bear.

P.S. I may have been reading a Fair Amount of Winnie the Pooh lately. Don’t judge me for capitalizing Important Words. It’s most Relevant.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights