What you describe in Jacob is exactly how Abby is. The first time she
saw my tiny little goats, I had them gathered around me. And the first
time I let her herd them, she brought them to me and I walked them to
their barn. It is as if she has this emblazoned on her brain that the
right place for those goats is either gathered around me or near their
barn. She just doesn't think anything else is right!
I had to work on it daily, much like you described. I just constantly
told her it was okay and to let them go where they wanted. I have
actually seen her stop herself. She would just naturally start to bring
them in and then act as if she remembered that she should let them roam
Last weekend, I was in my hammock that is between two trees on the
outside of a thicket of small trees on top of a knoll which is
approximately in the middle of my land. The goats were only about 50
feet from me, browsing for blackberry vines which had sprung to life
after recent rains. Two goats quickly looked up and stared toward the
western fence line. Abby and Casey, my collie, made a beeline to the
very area the goats had looked. They both barked and it is serious when
they bark because they are both quiet dogs. Abby ran to the goats and in
what seemed like about 5 seconds had them all under and around my
hammock. I felt like I was in a boat bobbing on a sea of goats. The
dogs remained very intent on whatever was going on at the fence line.
The goats made no effort to leave me. They've learned that it is a waste
of time to go against Abby's judgement. So, they decided to take a
But, although she has learned to give them some space, she'd really
prefer that they stay close together under her watchful eye.
This would be a whole other topic, but when I watch Abby on her land and
with her animals, I always think of the periodic discussion on watching,
herding or guarding. She seems to do it all. And such a pretty little
thing to get so much work done.
You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com
Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]