Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

Last night Dad and I took Herbert, Remington, and Garth to The National Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa.  They are going to be breed representatives for the Shetland breed.  I hope they behave….

All the way there, Herbert was jumping up on the window ledge of the back windows of the van to look out (seriously guys, he loves to travel!).  We got there at the allotted time and after getting all the paperwork out of the way, we went to unload the boys from the back of the van.  And the back of the van was locked.  Herbert, in all of his jumping up and down, had managed to manually lock the back doors.  Which of course we couldn’t get the key to unlock.  Now normally this wouldn’t be a big deal.  It’s a big, older cargo van, so just walk to the back and unlock them right?  However, Dad had gotten a really great idea and set-up a barrier with plywood and ratchet straps to keep the guys from getting all over the interior of the van.  Which I now needed to get over in order to unlock the door.  So as I try to maneuver myself over this unsteady, sharp, and splintery obstacle, I found myself (not for the first time since getting sheep) wishing that I did yoga.  I managed to scale the Great Wall of GMC without getting splinters in any… delicate… areas.

I am then faced with the sight of Remington’s halter being awkwardly worn on Herbert’s chest.  Somehow Remington had gotten his halter off his face and Herbert decided to try it on!  Wrangling a halter off of the wrong part of the wrong animal and onto the correct part of the correct animal took a few more moments of van bounciness with Dad looking through the dusty back window more and more perplexed.  Finally I get the back door unlocked and everyone unloaded and into their pen a few feet away from the back of the van.

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After we got the boys settled into their digs for the next few days Herbert was, of course, trying to chat-up all the ladies while the other boys were simply trying to avoid everyone.  I got the signage out of the truck for them and then filled-out some paperwork.  As we were getting ready to leave, Herbert gave me a worried bah.  In the past when we have gone to events, I have usually been around.  This is the first event that I am not taking part in anything other than the Hall of Breeds.  I went back and gave him a little pep talk and gave scratches to the two boys who like them.

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Folks have asked why I tend to take this group to events.  Well first, Herbert is Mr Social and LOVES being where all the people are.  I try to make sure to put a sign up with his name on it so that people will talk with him and interact as he knows his name and really loves being scratched and petted.  Remington is mostly tame like Herbert, but he sometimes still gets shy.  But this usually doesn’t last too long and he will be talking to folks in no time.  Garth isn’t a very social creature, but he sure it pretty!  And the three of them together make an excellent tableaux of colors of Shetland sheep.  I figure that if an animal is not standoffish or frightened, they make better representatives of the breed.  The reason that I did not include Alanis in this group is that she is so much smaller than the boys and they just push her out of the food.  Also, because she is so little and friendly, I am worried that someone might try to just walk off with her at an event that I don’t know the folks at.  I think that if someone other than me tried to walk off with one of my sheep at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival, it would suddenly get louder than when my flock of chickens has spotted a predator.

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If you are going to The National Cattle Congress, please stop by and say hi to Herbert and the guys.  I know how much they love to meet new people!

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