Friday, July 22, 2011

The Border Collie Effect

When I adopted Katie, many years ago, I had a house in East Tacoma.  Basically the city.  For a 'country girl' it was a bitter pill to swallow.  Coming fresh off living on a military base for so many years, living in that area was a shock.  A shock that was compounded by the bullet holes riddling the front of my house. 

That drive by shooting (directed at our neighbor) sent me over the edge and I began a campaign to get the heck out of Tacoma.  Hence our move to Orting seven years ago. 

Still, every day I would hop on the train to downtown Seattle.  Wasting 2. 5 hours of my life daily in a commute.  Can we say miserable? 

Later when I moved from one engineering firm to another more local office - I was still miserable - even though my commute had been cut 75%.  This was a misery that cheetos, chocolate or even a Chelada could not alleviate. 

The economic downturn came as a blessing for me.  I lost the job I hated.  No more driving to work, crying.  No more sitting in my car trying to work up the gumption to walk up the stairs to my office.  No more sitting on airplanes flying to Albuquerque and Denver once a month.

You all know the rest of the story.  I adopted a few more border collies and succumbed to the lure of sheep.  Many refer to it as the Border Collie Effect.

It is a heady lure.  One that I had been battling for years.  I yearned for sheep. (NOT that way!  Get your mind out of the gutter!) Through my dogs, watching their joy, purpose fulfilled and all that blah blah blah, I was infected. 

We were warned when we first started going to Fido's with Beth. 
"You better watch out, soon you will have more border collies.  Then you will want property, buy sheep and the next thing you know you will move...have more border collies, more sheep, more land, more sheep...all for your border collies."
I shudder to say they were right.

We are signing a lease tomorrow on 10 acres of pasture, where we will be putting our new sheep, along with our existing three...the first sheep I ever bought. 

Why did I decide to do this?  It just made economic sense.  Driving back and forth to Fido's 3-4 times a week, or to Cindy's (90 mile + round trip) was killing us financially just with the gas.  Not to mention the cost of working 2 dogs ($30.00 per day) at Fido's. Then pitching in to pay for hay/feed at Cindy's.  Can't forget the extra's, such as taking Cindy out to dinner 1-2 times a week .... just because we appreciated her letting us keep our sheep at her place & the hours of help she gave me.  I added it up, on average I was spending just short of $450 per month, just to work my dogs. 


Seriously, am I insane? 

It would be cheaper to lease pasture, buy my own sheep and feed them myself.  Heck the cost of the gas for one month would pay for the pasture & two round bales.  And if I could find a pasture close to my house and maybe share the responsibilities of care with a 'partner' (think co-op) it would cut the cost in half. 

So, we did it!  (insert happy dance here)

We have been blessed to find landowners nearby who raised sheep for 10 years and now want to travel & enjoy their retirement.  They are knowledgeable about sheep and have the perfect facilities for us to lease.

Everything lined up - we took a big leap of faith - thus begins a new chapter in our life...and a hell of a lot less driving. 

Meet our new sheep.  Clun Forest, four ewes and a wether, they will arrive next week. 

The dogs will be so happy.  My husband is $$$ relieved.  All is well with the world. 


julie said...

Oh yay, so happy for you! And just a tiny bit jealous. ;-) Good luck with it, and happy training!
My dogs have been working on Clun Forests for about a year and a half now - more recently Clun Forests and Soays - and they're great sheep to work with!

Karen said...

Oh good for you! The partnership sounds great, and look forward to reading about your new lifestyle:)

Leanna said...

How awesome for you!!!

Shedd Rescue Pack said...

Hi Carol:
Happy to hear of your new "sheep farm". Will you have more little lambs? We borrowed 5 sheep to eat off the front half acre and woke Tuesday morning to find newborn twin lambs. With two more ewes ready to drop some babes soon. Nothing cuter than bouncing lambs, well maybe BC pups. Enjoy the new space.
Vicki at

Janet said...

Congratulations! Cluns are very nice sheep; you will enjoy their personalities.

Una said...

Yea - your dream come true! Congratulations!

The Sprollies 'n' Border Collies said...

Wow, your own flock! How wonderful! I may have said this before, but welcome to the clut!

Mack and Murph said...

This is amazing! What great news. We are soooo happy for you! Enjoy your new lifestyle. We can't wait to hear all the new adventures this brings. Some things are just meant to be...

Mack & Murph

Laura Carson said...

Congratulations! I don't know any PB Cluns but the few Clun mules that I know are really nice sheep. Good personalities too. Best of luck to you - you deserve it!

BCxFour said...

Thanks everyone! To add to my sheep accumulation...I bought 3 Romneys this morning too! I am going to put them with the clun ram we are going to buy. Should be a nice cross.

Yeah! Fun, fun, fun!

Monique said...

Go us!

BCxFour said...

I know....this is going to rock!

RYKER said...

This is so a fairy tail! Now I can live vicariously through you!