G’day, I’m Jet, a Border Collie/Kelpie. I live on a farm in Tasmania.
Today was a good day.
It starts in the usual way with me and The Boss heading over the back to check the nets on the vineyard. Sometimes a bird gets in and we have to chase it out. Sometimes after a windy night there might be a dozen birds to chase which is great fun.
I’m not sure why The Boss doesn’t enjoy it as much as me on those days, he starts calling the birds the same names as the sheep when things don’t go well. Anyway, there aren’t any birds in the nets this morning, so I just have to bark at some Currawongs sitting up in a gum tree watching us.
We do a lap around the hill and have a look over the sheep and lambs and head back to the house for breakfast. The Boss is in a good mood and lets me dart in and nip the toes of his boots for a while as we walk back before he growls, “that’ll do”. It’s a game I play with him.
After breakfast, instead of heading back over to the vineyard to do stuff, we head down to the paddock where the lambs have been for the past few days. This usually means we are going to move them so you can imagine my excitement!
Sure enough when we get close to them The Boss says “away” and that is all I need to hear. I feel like I can run flat out for ever on mornings like this. I hear The Boss saying “steady”, so I ease back a bit just to humour him and gather up the lambs and push them up to the gate The Boss is heading for.
Instead of opening the gate, he tells me to “hold” while he does something with Fone. He often seems to do stuff with Fone. Then he opens the gate and I push the lambs through and hurdle the fence and go around the back of them in case we were taking them to another paddock.
Sure enough we are! Not just the next paddock, but the one after that! The Boss opens the gates while I hold the mob. I push them up to the next gate. When it goes well, he just says “good boy” occasionally, or “stop” or “steady”. Hey, I’m a sheepdog. I know sheep.
When we get them into the last paddock he says, “that’ll do”. I know he wants me to stop in the gateway, but I can’t help creeping forward just a bit. “Stop”. I stop. I can creep just a few more steps, it won’t make any difference. “Stop!” I stop. “Good boy”.
We close the gate and head back up the hill the vineyard. I give him a few playful nips on the toes of his boots, and he gives me a grin. I give him a few more nips and some playful growls. “That’ll do”. That’s okay, I’ve moved some sheep, that’s the main thing!
We spend the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon in the vineyard. The Boss does stuff with the vines and Fone. I dig a few holes, wrestle with some old prunings and steal some of the black bunches on the vines when he isn’t looking. They are getting quite sweet.
I have a snooze in the shade under the vines.
When it’s getting close to knock-off time, I go down the row to where The Boss is and tell him. “I know” he says but keeps doing stuff for a while. I tell him again. “I know”. He packs up and we head back to the house.
Usually we do a couple of jobs around the house before he fills up my feed jug and we go back to my yard. But today he sits down on the seat on the verandah where we sometimes have a cuddle.
He has been in a good mood with me all day, so I give a couple of the cuts and scabs on his hands a really thorough licking.
It doesn’t get much better than sitting up next to The Boss giving a few nasty scabs a good licking. He smiles down at me and says, “Happy Birthday Jet”.