Dog attack..

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Grudgingly I  answered the buzzing phone.  It was too early for a friendly call & I was rushing through the morning hoping to grab every spare second I could to spend with my visiting sister - these visits are much too brief.
"Hello" I began... as I listened trepidation filled me - I could feel my stomach drop as our neighbour hurriedly relayed his message " your bottom attack....sheep down.....looks bad".
Desperately I hung up the phone... my mind numb, searching for what to do next.  That paddock held our beautiful young cross-bred ewes.  The ones we were fattening up, the ones we planned to get into lamb, the ones we were hoping to help pay off the farm a little quicker....

I dashed the children to the van (the only car available). As we sped down the driveway I described to my sister the phone call - the little our neighbour had said.  We drove onto the highway that borders the front  of our place & then around the dirt  lanes to the very back paddock.  As we drove over the rise I could see what our neighbour had described - there were sheep everywhere - wool was taken, patches of flesh were showing.  
I stopped in the back lane & jumped the fence.  Tentatively I searched amongst the ewes - looking for death - for those that weren't going to make it the day.  Thankfully there was none that I could in my inexperience describe as "doomed".  There was sore sheep, limping sheep, blood was covering many of them & the patches of flesh exposed....  but they were all able to move themselves.  
As I returned home I silently thanked the Lord that it was no worse.  That He had spared them all so far.

I rang Dave to tell him about the attack- I tried to describe to him what carnage I had seen - how our beautiful ewes would never look the same, their fleeces downgraded for this years shearing.  

He rang our friend the vet who advised us on the best course of action (it is wonderful having a nearby neighbour, who also attends church with us who is a vet - such a fountain of advice for us city folk).  Antibiotics for the effected, various sprays to prevent different types of flies & just watch & pray that they would recover.  

After going separate ways to pick up various medications, we met that afternoon.  Having an extra adult on hand was wonderful as we took the motorbikes & Sel drove the ute full of children & supplies.  We slowly rounded up the sheep being careful to take it slow - aware that many of these lambs were very, very sore.  Zai was on the back of the ute, holding any that were too slow to make it on their own.  Metre by metre we drove them through the length of  'Harrisons Strip', up the hill of  'Millers Cascade' & into the yards - few had the energy to run.  
Bessy  "visiting" with some of the well lambs!!
Once yarded we put them into a run & went over each sheep thoroughly checking for any damage - any spots where the brutal dog had had his fun.  We injected antibiotics - for someone who had never injected animals before, I am now an expert!!!  We sprayed the sprays, we sorted the worst up into the shed & we let the rest go - another day on the farm, another first experience for these ex-city folk!.  
Photos mainly by Ellie with a couple by Aunty Sel
***This actually happened in early January, but because of the dog problems I didn't want to post about it - this has now been rectified although we did have our small flock of "pets" attacked before our neighbour had to bring in the police - he had lost almost 100 sheep from this one animal.***

Another part of our story here at Sunnyside!

Joining up with (a day late again..)

Have a wonderful day


Marsel said...

How horrible...we experienced that (but on a much smaller scale) on my childhood farm...glad things weren't worse for you. How are the affected lambs doing now?

Smilie girl said...

Oh no. Not a good experience. Hope they are doing ok now.
You definitely aren't a city chick anymore.

Homeschool on the Croft said...

Oh what a horrible experience, but how terrible for your neighbour who lost all these sheep.
I'm amazed, as someone who lives with sheep and dogs.... What kind of dog was this? Is this a common occurrence?
So glad things have been sorted, and hope that never has to happen to you again. I echo Marsel (above)... how are they now? x

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Oh, Renata! The minute I saw the photo on the Barn Hop, I knew it was at your place! I'm so sorry!! But thankful, too, that you didn't loose any! What a blessing that was in the midst of a trial!

When I was in high school, I lost my show lamb to my own dog and a neighborhood mutt. I don't think my dog would have ever attacked the lamb on it's own, but because of the pack mentality that took over when running with another, they did the unthinkable. I still have a vivid picture in my mind of that poor sheep (I won't go into details because it's too much gore, but it was still alive when I found it - better if it had just died quickly!). So I lost both my dog and my sheep that day because once a dog gets a taste for blood, it's all over. We sent her to live with someone who had no other animals on a very large acreage where she couldn't harm other animals.

Hope your sheep are now well recovered and grazing peacefully!

marcia at Child in Harmony said...

Oh dear, how awful! I got chills reading it. It's so hard to have any of our animals hurt.

happy day!

Jenn said...

Oh wow that is horrible. I'm glad the situation has been taken care of and that you didn't lose any sheep.

Saminda said...

SO sorry Renata! :( That must have been a horrible thing to go through. So glad it wasn't any worse. You really are a true farmer, you know?! xx

Cassandra-ann said...

Terrible stuff, Renata, i am so thankful that none were killed. I am just waiting for a dog or a fox to attack ours, as a lot of people walk their dogs right past our sheep paddock. I was doing some research a while back and discovered that alpacas are great flock protectors, we were actually considering getting a couple of a to protect them but that idea kind of fell by the way side for some reason, Maybe when we get some new sheep we will look into it again.... anyway i hope your having a great week!
Cassandra xx

Quinn said...

So sorry to read of your troubles Renata! I read it this morning after a night when the coyotes woke us and caused a bit os anxiety. I spent the rest of the night with dreams full of vicious dogs.... and then saw this. LOL

So many things to be thankful though in your tale though. I'm glad for you that there were no deaths.

Rachel~ At the Butterfly Ball said...

Oh Renata, How horrible! I am sorry that you had to go through that! At least the dog was finally stopped! And thankfully you didn't loose any.

P.S. I learn all kinds of new words from your blog! "Ute" for example... that one had me scratching my head for a minute as we don't use that word here in the USA. I just googled it and now I know... "pick-up truck" in these parts! hehe!

Gayle @ TrainingOlives said...

Those poor, sweet babies! I'm so glad that you had the situation taken care of. How awful that your neighbor had to lose his sheep in order for the dog to be dealt with, though. ;(

I was so glad to see you over on my blog today, my friend! I think of and pray for you often. I'm so sorry to hear that you've not been well. I'm hoping that you heal fully soon.

We are doing alright here. We are moving to a house soon (been in an apartment for 6 months), so that's good. I'm trying not to get discouraged about the *other* thing. ;) Just alot of talking to God. Patience has never been my strong point.. haha!

I need to type you a nice long email soon. Much love to you, dear!

debi9kids said...

OMgoodness. How awful!
I'm so glad your sheep were spared. How sad for your neighbor.
Glad to hear it won't be happening anymore.

Anonymous said...

What a terrible experience for your poor sheep! Thank God, things weren't worse :-)


Anonymous said...

I am happy to hear it was not worse. I think having the children home and not knowing what you were to find when you got on scene would make me more nervous.
Usually one dog will not attack but as stated above when pack mentality strikes there is no turning them back.
On the positive side, you got experience injecting and nursing and can feel more confident you can handle the next thing - hopefully only small scrapes .

Jill @ The Prairie Homestead said...

Oh no! What a horrible thing- seeing your animals hurt is such an awful feeling... Thanks for sharing your story at the Homestead Barn Hop. Hope they are recovering well!

blessedmomto8 said...

What kind of dog attacked? HOW SCARY! Glad it wasn't more serious!

Helen said...

Not such a great farming experience - I hope all the lambs are recovering now. It is really interesting to read about your life on the farm and what you guys experience.

Kath said...

How heartbreaking for you and those poor sheep!! I hope they all recovered with your loving care!!!

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