(Inter) National Hug A Sheep Day!

Today is Hug a Sheep Day! I think there’s some other minor holiday that falls on the same day this year, but it’s not sheep related so it’s obviously not very important.

Getting pictures for Hug a Sheep Day was problematic; most of the time I just take pictures of whatever the sheep happen to be doing at the moment, so trying to take pictures of them doing something specific (such as letting me hug them) is a bit difficult. Also, I don’t generally take selfies, so that’s not easy, either. Also, most primitive sheep don’t like to be hugged in the first place.

I planned just to plop Mira in my lap and take a few shots, she’s used to that and she’s usually pretty cuddly. Today, of course, she decided she was not going to cuddle, she was much too big to sit on Mommy’s lap. She’d rather investigate my pockets. Apparently somebody told her that lambs get lots of crunchies on the last day of October. Well, they may have said “kids” and “candy”, but really there isn’t that much difference.

“Are there crunchies in this pocket?”

Fortunately Neo is more friendly than any self-respecting dam-raised primitive sheep has any business being, and when he saw me giving Mira attention he ran over and demanded his fair share of hugging.

“I like hugs! Although if there are any crunchies in that pocket, I won’t say no…”

His mother Lady sighs in the background, remembering how hard she tried to teach him not to be so friendly with that sketchy ShepherdPerson.

“But ShepherdPerson gives me hugs! And scratches my chin! And feeds me crunchies! I like ShepherdPerson!”

“Where did I go wrong with you?”

Mira, meanwhile, steadfastly resisted any gestures of affection and continued to rifle through my pockets.

“Are there crunchies in THIS pocket?!? Seriously, where are my crunchies?”

And Neo continued to ham it up for the camera.

“I love Hug a Sheep Day!”

Princess doesn’t mind being petted occasionally, but feels that hugs are too much like being restrained, which is almost like I’m saying no to her or something, so she very firmly refuses to be hugged. And taking selfies is far beneath her dignity.

Nova doesn’t like to be hugged either, but I did get a selfie with her. Well, sort of. She climbed up to stick her nose in my pocket and I took her picture when she looked up. She’s touching me and my chin is in the frame, therefore I say it counts.

“There HAVE to be crunchies in ONE of these pockets!!”

And that’s about as close to hugging as the rest of the flock wanted to get. Barney is usually pretty comfortable with hugging, but lately he’s been in an almost perpetual game of ring-around-the-tree-stump with Duke, and that’s a game I’d rather not join in on.

And yes, everybody did get end up getting a few crunchies this morning. I usually reserve them for bribes or bedtime snacks, but it seemed appropriate to indulge in a few extra treats, both for Hug a Sheep day and that other minor holiday.

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7 thoughts on “(Inter) National Hug A Sheep Day!

  1. Kids and Candy, ah yes. Those pictures were wonderful. They are really SO sweet, yes, I know I don’t have to chase them etc etc etc but Really, they are. I’m sending a hug your way, try that out on them………haha

  2. I always enjoy your photos! You have far friendlier soay than I do. I have 2 ewes who will happily eat out of my hand but not get closer than that, and one lamb who will snuggle and actively seeks out affection from me. I was hoping the other lambs would follow her example, but so far they still don’t trust it. Just wait until I have to take them away from their mamas before breeding in another few weeks!

    What do you use for treats? I’m thinking I need something slightly more motivating than oats and barley for those extra special times. . . .

    • I tamed mine by taking a camp chair and a book into the small pen with them and just ignoring them until they got curious enough to make the first move and approach me. When they started coming towards me I’d gently toss a few treats towards them, gradually bringing them closer until they were comfortable eating from my hand. It took a long time and a lot of patience; it was over two years before Duchess would eat from my hand!
      As far as treats go, different flocks tend to like different things, but the treat of choice around here for everyone except Jeb (who only likes sheep feed and whole corn) is Chex cereal, aka “crunchies.” Only the plain corn flavor, though. If I offer them any other flavor they just make faces and knock them out of my hand. I have finicky sheep.:)

      • I have been doing a very similar approach since they arrived. I’m glad to hear 2 years to get comfortable isn’t unheard of! My sheep have been here for about 15 months now. Oddly enough, the most stand-offish ewe is the one who gave birth to my friendliest lamb!

        I will have to try Chex. So far every treat they’re “supposed” to like, according to the Internets (apples, carrots, turnip greens, etc), they’ve not only turned their noses up at, but acted horribly offended that I even offered such unappetizing fare. So I hear you on finicky sheep! 🙂

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