According to my social media sites, every farm on the entire earth seems to already have cute farm babies running around except me. My girls are still waddling around like grumpy, uncomfortable beach balls demanding more food. A later breeding season seemed like a good idea last fall, but now I miss having baby lambs in March.


“I’m hungry, ShepherdPerson! I need more food!”

Nova is also lobbying for more food, even though I’m still not sure if she’s pregnant. Despite my best efforts, she hasn’t let me see if she has an udder, which is the best indication of pregnancy. As far as her girth, she’s not anywhere close to being as bulgy as Princess and Lady, but she’s much bigger than Duchess.

Being bigger than Duchess may not mean much though, Duchess is unusually narrow through the ribs and hips, while Nova inherited Princess’s big, well-sprung rib cage. Princess almost always looks like she could be pregnant, while Duchess didn’t look pregnant at all right up to the moment she delivered twins.

Nova’s hypothetical and unconfirmed lamb has been given the designation Schrodinger’s Lamb for the time being.

Meanwhile, as I study my pregnant and possibly-pregnant ewes, the weight of Disapproving Stare from the yard has doubled. Echo agrees with Watcher that people ought not go through gates without their collies. Especially if there are strange hoof-stomping creatures on the other side.


“Why did she shut the gate before we could follow her? She shouldn’t do stuff like that! There’s a lot of horns and hooves in there!”

“I don’t know, I’ve been trying to train her not to for years! She must come from a stubborn breed.”

Mira is just miffed that she doesn’t get to be a dog.


“Mommy, why’d you bring in another dog? I TOLD you, if you wanted another housepet it should be ME!”

I keep reminding her that Watcher knocks her down and plays too rough, but she always forgets. I think her preferred solution would be for her to move into the house and Watcher to move out, anyway.

Watcher is mesmerized by his new friend, and has pretty much glued himself to Echo’s hip while Echo explores every corner of his new yard.


“Why are we going this way? There’s nothing over here except grass!”

“But it’s grass I haven’t sniffed yet!”


“Told you that way was boring! This way’s more exciting, I think I left my frisbee somewhere ahead!”

“What’s a frisbee?”

Watcher keeps bringing all his toys to show Echo, but Echo’s not sure how to play with most of them yet. Watcher has been enthusiastically trying to teach him the rules of “fetch” “tag” and “keep away” but since Watcher’s own grasp of the rules is a bit muddled and tends to mush the three games together, Echo is justifiably a bit confused.

Watching Watcher try to teach Echo to play reminds me of that episode from the original Star Trek where Captain Kirk defeated the aliens by making up a card game on the fly with rules so complex and contradictory that he shorted out their brains.


“Frisbee is the best game ever! See, I hold the frisbee, and you chase me and try to take it, except sometimes I hold the frisbee and chase you instead. Be sure to change directions at random every three strides or so, and sometimes it’s important to jump on each other, no matter who has the frisbee at the moment. The best part is when a human throws the frisbee for us to chase, but the most important rule of all is never to let the human take it!”


Poor Echo, he’s trying really hard, but he’s going to have to develop a lot of imagination pretty quickly, taking playing lessons from a dog that still regularly sleeps with a metal bowl on his head.


10 thoughts on “Scrutiny

  1. I love those two shots of the dogs in perfectly matched strides. I used to think smooth-coat collies looked so odd (we had a dearly loved rough-coated black tricolor when I was in middle school; best dog EVER), but after following your blog for awhile I’m beginning to WANT one.

    • Aren’t collies the best? They’re great dogs. Honestly I don’t know if I could handle the grooming of a rough, though, so I’m glad there’s a short haired variety.
      The short coat does throw some people at first, ever since we got our first smoothie I’ve occasionally run into people who insist my dog must either be a crossbred or a “shaved” rough (even though a smooth’s coat is still several inches long, hardly shaved) because there’s no such thing as a short haired collie. Kids recognize it right off though; our first smoothie was a sable like Echo, and every time we went to the park or the vet’s office we’d hear little kids calling “Lassie! It’s a Lassie dog!”

  2. Schrodinger’s Lamb – that’s fantastic! Could be “Schrodo” for short. Or “Schroda.” I know, sounds like Frodo, which makes me think that the maybe yes/maybe no lamb can’t be “Precious” – that’s Mira!

    I think you’re going to have to re-name Watcher to “Shadow.” Or “Clingfilm.” I wonder if Echo will tire of the Adoring Presence.

    • After a while he starts giving Watcher looks like “Dude, personal space!” But Watcher usually gets distracted by the sheep or remembers a toy he hasn’t shown Echo yet before Echo can get too annoyed by his hovering. 🙂

  3. Echo has swapped places temporarily eith Watcher: he’s watching everything all the time because it’s new, while Watcher is his echo 🙂

    That picture of Miss Dainty: she poses beautifully. Can hardly see her as a mama.

    Bet you have lambs very soon. Laura Lough’s ewes are expecting in April. When we sheared Lana, her mother and I were positive we felt a baby kick a little hoof!

    Very best,

    • That’s funny about the dogs, you could see it that way. 🙂
      Dainty Miss Mira isn’t going to be a mama for at least another year, I don’t want to give her any more disadvantages!
      My first possible lambing date is in about a week, so it shouldn’t be too much longer!

  4. That was funny, Schrodinger’s Lamb, although mostly for us and NOT for you! I too find the short/smooth haired collies to be ‘odd’ at first. I have a friend who has Farmhouse Collies…different again. Echo will ‘get’ it, he is smart but just confused at the moment 🙂
    Lambies………..come on babies!!

    • Farmhouse follies, you don’t see those often! I remember thinking the smooths looked odd when I first saw one as a kid, but I’ve lived with them so long now the massive coats on the rough collies look strange to me. 🙂

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