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Denise Wall

A hard day's work

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Since it's raining here in NC (finally!), I was going through old pics and thought I'd post some working shots of real work. This is a pictorial essay, not great photography. It was very windy and dusty so I didn't use my best equipment. Plus, I was working too so I only snapped a shot here and there.

We were trying to gather a group of 1,000 ewes from a spread in ND with 5,000 sheep total. They're normally in bands of 1,000 spread out over this vast property. After hours on horseback, four wheelers and gators searching unsuccessfully for the group, they finally went up in a plane to locate them. As it turns out, they had gotten in with another group of 1,000, so for reference this is a flock of 2,000 sheep.

In the blanket of sheep pictured below, there were three dogs working gathering and directing the sheep to the gate. There's one dog visible on the middle right. I don't know if it's my dog or not. Note the large crevasse in the front of the shot. The terrain was quite rough in places. We were using four wheelers and gators but only the dogs could get to the sheep in many places. So much for four wheelers taking the place of dogs...

[img]http://www.pbase.com/cdwall/image/79881681.jpg[/img]


Here's a closer picture of my dog, Mick, from the scene above:

[img]http://www.pbase.com/cdwall/image/79881704.jpg[/img]


This is at the main facility where the dogs were pushing the sheep into a pen area to where the sorting chutes were. I think we were using two dogs for this. Mick is the one in the middle.

[img]http://www.pbase.com/cdwall/image/79881778.jpg[/img]


Here's Mick waiting for the sheep to be released after they're been worked through the chutes so he can take them back out to the field:

[img]http://www.pbase.com/cdwall/image/79881821.jpg[/img]


On the way out (Mick lower right):

[img]http://www.pbase.com/cdwall/image/79881962.jpg[/img]


Taking the sheep down the road back to the field with the help of a gator. This was around a half mile to a mile away but the sheep were happy enough to go back so I think Mick was the only dog we used:

[img]http://www.pbase.com/cdwall/image/79882018.jpg[/img]


The sheep finally back in the field at sunset:

[img]http://www.pbase.com/cdwall/image/79882077.jpg[/img]

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Oh, wow! Thank you for the glimpse into the real work that these dogs do. It amazing and wonderful. I could look at pics like this all day. Great shots!

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Thanks for sharing Denise. I have never seen that many sheep in my life!!!! I bet you had the time of your life.

We are still learning to use our camera. We are going to Oregon at the end of month which will be a great time to practice...also taking pictures of dogs/sheep as we will attend one day of a trial while we are there!!!

Again, great shots...it really gives you an appreciation for these dogs.

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Wonderful pictures. Great. Thank you very much for sharing us. I never worked so much sheep with my BC`s.

I really love to see herding dogs at work.

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Now this is what I call real work! Not just fo fun. Gives me goose bumps. Amazing. Thank you. Thank you.

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Thanks, Denise, for taking the time to share these wonderful photos with us.

Best wishes!

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Denise -

Absolutely breathtaking! Thank you for sharing them. What was the purpose for gathering the large flock? Once they were put in the chutes, were you vaccinating? Or sorting them for something? I would love to be able to work a group of that size.

Jodi

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Wow, wish I could have been there!

Some day I want a farm like that. OK, now I just have to go win the lottery...

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Guest pax
I'd like to meet those dogs. What guts they must have.

Thank you for posting those.

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NICE!!!
Anna

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Great pictures! What a lot of sheep! Mick is a very cool looking dog and he looks great working the sheep.

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Those are really great pics, love to see dogs doing it for real, good job!

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Denise, those pictures are amazing. I am in love with Mick.

The last picture is my favorite. That is the life, peace at the end of a hard days work with a good dog.

Thanks so much for sharing. It made my night.

Katelynn

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Very very nice. Thank you for posting them.
( Could anyone could tell me what a gator is.... ?! )

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Hey Denise,

I'm jealous. Renee and I had fun moving 250 sheep from the novice field to the open field for the top 20 day at Bluegrass; 1000 sheep sound like a great learning experience for both dog(s) and handler(s).

Mark

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[quote name='Zoe' post='128358' date='Jun 4 2007, 06:52 AM']( Could anyone could tell me what a gator is.... ?! )[/quote]

Thanks for asking this...I wondered, too. I figured it's some kind of off-road vehicle thingy?

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Gators.......here you go:

[url="http://www.deere.com/en_US/ProductCatalog/GC/category/GC_UV.html"]http://www.deere.com/en_US/ProductCatalog/...gory/GC_UV.html[/url]

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A gator is the John Deere version of the Army "mule", basically a small utility vehicle, two seats up front and some sort of bed in the back. A more practical version of a 4-wheeler as you can haul stuff in the bed, etc.:

[url="http://www.deere.com/en_US/ProductCatalog/HO/category/ho_gatorho.html?src=2"]http://www.deere.com/en_US/ProductCatalog/...orho.html?src=2[/url]

J.

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Thanks to all for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the pics.

Jodi,

The friend I was visiting bought 100 of these sheep so we brought them in, sorted off which ones she wanted, ear tagged them and took them to her place.

The next day we wormed them and gathered 350 others in groups from various places, wormed them and returned them to their fields. Again, Mick worked a pretty good part of a day. Mick was bred for a hard day's work and you can really appreciate a dog like that in situations like the one in the pictures.

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Thanks J&Co and Julie, that's exactly what I pictured a Gator to be. We use a mule at work for Parking Enforcement, so I am familar with those.

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