Saturday, July 10, 2010

Catching up: Milly

The next addition to our farm was Milly (Millicent Vanilla Cupcake di Cavalli), a 7-week old Old English Sheepdog pup. She was adorable and we fell head-over-heels-in-love with her right away. I knew that I wanted to raise, breed, and train sheep herding dogs. I always thought I wanted Border Collies or Australians, dabbled with the idea of Icelandic sheepdogs, but then with further research decided on OES's or "Bobs". We had had a couple of them years ago and knew that they were great dogs. I found from my research that they are soft-eyed" herding dogs...meaning they do not use intimidation-by-staring and they do not become agressive or bite when the sheep don't mind. Instead, they bump or push. They have an intimidating bark and are good watch-dogs, but will not attack. They are great with kids and make wonderful pets. Their down-fall is their hair. However, that hair makes them very hardy in rough winter conditions, and, IF you sheer them twice in summer, you do not have to deal with grooming for about half of the year! We set about looking for one to buy, but were amazed at how difficult it is to find them. Many of the people we contacted had sold all their pups already, often even before they were actually born! We were also amazed at how expensive they were! Yikes! The up-side was: if they are tht rare, and that easy to sell...high end investment, but high end profit as well. Eventually we found a lady in north east Iowa who still had three females available (only because she was just starting out and had not started selling them on-line yet). The puppies were only a few weeks old, so she sent us pictures, we chose one, sent in her our deposit, and waited. On May 11th 2010, we drove to Greg's old hometown (Burlington, Iowa), to meet the lady and pick up Milly.
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