If you’ve been patiently waiting for lots of exciting farm updates over the last few weeks, I’m afraid there haven’t been many, hence the lack of posts!
Iona and I had a couple of weddings to attend (both a week apart), so we decided we would make a holiday of things and spend some time down south. The first wedding was in Essex (which I managed to miss after making myself violently ill, not on purpose, by ingesting a large amount of Goldenhoof while running the sheep through the foot bath), so we spent a few days there in a wonderful B and B called the Ransomes. The B and B had a fantastic garden, a karp pond, two working labradors and some quail, all of which made us feel right at home, and was run by a lovely couple were fantastic hosts. If you are ever looking for somewhere to stay in that neck of the woods I can highly recommend!
After our few days in Essex, we packed up the car and headed across to continue our “holiday” in Gloucestershire. We spent a week there, and I genuinely think it was more tiring than if I had stayed on the farm! Having both previously lived in Gloucestershire and having friends and family all living in the surrounding areas, we took the opportunity to catch up with everyone. Combine this with all the driving, starting my Masters degree and the two weddings either side and we were absolutely knackered.
Now, I won’t be boring you with all the details of our holiday, don’t worry, this is all leading somewhere.
While down South, I got in contact with Television’s most famous farmer, Gareth Wyn Jones , about adding a new face to the family. I’d been thinking about getting a sheepdog pup for a while, with the view to train it as a working dog to help me here on the farm, but we didn’t really have the amount of sheep to make it worth while. With plans to increase the flock in the near future and an increasing amount of off-farm shepherding and stock work, I felt now was a good time to think seriously about getting a pup, while I still had the time to dedicate to training.
As this would be my first ever working dog, let along my first attempt at training one, I knew I wanted one from good working stock. Luckily, I noticed on Twitter that Gareth had a batch of puppies.
— Gareth Wyn Jones (@1GarethWynJones) May 17, 2015
Gareth had been a source of inspiration and admiration for a long time, and having read his book and watched his TV shows I knew I would struggle to find a pup from a better background. Iona and I were very keen on getting a bitch, based partly on the fact I’d been told they were easier to work with but mostly just on our personal preference, and luckily Gareth had one left, so it was agreed we would make the detour in to North Wales on our way back up to Scotland. I’ve been very lucky to chat to Gareth on a few occasions for some advice, so it was nice to actually pop in to Llanfairfechan and put a real face to name. Both Gareth and his Dad were on hand to show us the pup, her parents and share some tips and advice and we couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome after an early start.
Another pup gone 😓 pic.twitter.com/motiy9I7ne
— Gareth Wyn Jones (@1GarethWynJones) May 25, 2015
Sheepdogs tend to have short, one syllable names to avoid confusion when giving commands, so we’ve decided to call the pup Non. I wanted a good Welsh name, so Non fit the bill perfectly!
She’s settled in well and, despite trying to eat everything in sight, she’s really well behaved. She even fell asleep in the vets when we took her for her jags!
Despite being so young, she’s already walking to heel, responding to calls and has even shown an interest in the sheep, which makes me very hopeful for the future! She’s a real firecracker, bright as a button, and comes from a fantastic pedigree so I just know she’s going to make a great working dog. She’ll be keeping me plenty busy over the coming weeks, months and years so I’m sure she’ll be making plenty more appearances here on the blog.