Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Jack

A couple of weeks ago, I got the latest and last--at least for now--addition to my little flock of lambs. He's a little four month old Southdown wether, and just as sweet as can be. He was a bit thin when he arrived as he was recovering from a bout of diarrhea due to having recently changed pastures.

He's settled in now and putting on weight. Unfortunately, his introduction to his new home wasn't all that pleasant. It was late when he arrived, so first thing the next morning, I marched him out of the sheep stall and straight into the wash stall. Three hours and a bottle of shampoo later, he had the cleanest rear of any of the sheep. All I can say is that he's a forgiving little fellow as he kept coming back to me to get a treat--I use little bits of grain for treats--and let me dry him a bit more.

Maa-Maat behaved toward him like the spoiled little brat she is. At first, any time he would get close to her, she'd come running and maat'ing to me as though she was afraid he may touch her. Over the last two weeks, she's relented and even lets him follow her around a bit--not much, but anything is an improvement over all that drama.

As for Merlin and Rachael, they aren't all that keen on him, either. The best that can be said is that they tolerate him. They don't seem to mind his eating beside them, but if he gets separated or lost, neither one of them will answer his cries. I usually go find him and show him where they are. The behavior carries over into their stall. Merlin, Rachael, and Maa-Maat all sleep cuddled up together, but every time I look in on them, Happy Jack is over in his corner just smiling to himself.

Personally, I think the world would be a far better place if everyone had a little Southdown. There's just something about that smile. My theory is that no matter how angry or upset or worried you may be, all you have to do is spend a few minutes with a Southdown and all your problems just melt away.

12 comments:

  1. Thank-you for visiting my blog..especially because in so doing I looked yours up and what a treasure ! Yes, you captured a bit of the 'soul' sheep have...and I especially enjoyed the story about your sheep caught in the blackberries. I know exactly what you're talking about !

    So often just taking the time to watch my animals causes me to reflect on things in a different way, and usually gives me a regained sense of perspective. Then, there are those times pausing to reflect on my animals turns into rescue missions ( blackberries ?) that take me on a whole different turn of events ! KathyB. thanks for the name idea, it is under consideration!

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  2. Your little southdown is adorable! I agree that they have the best smiles :)

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  3. Hi, Pamela! Thanks for stopping by my blog! And yes, all those Northern European Short-tailed sheep have some of the same blood and attributes! Isn't that great! :) I love that I don't need to dock tails, etc.
    I agree with kathyb - your blog is a gem! And I hope to visit much more often!
    It's nice to meet you,
    Kathy @ Sheep Thrills Farm

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  4. I followed you here from your comment on my friend Kathy's Sheep Thrills Farm (we have Shetlands and a lot more in common). Can't wait to take the time to go through all your posts and get to know more about you and your critters!

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  5. Thank all of you so much for the lovely comments. What is it about sheep people? They have to be the best around!

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  6. That little boy is SMILING....that's the sweetest thing I've ever seen. I want him to come live in my barn...I'd totally cuddle with him at night! :-)
    So, everyone here but me seems to know about "Southdown" - is this a type of sheep that is known for their smile?

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  7. Thank you, farmgirl_dk. The Southdowns are a very interesting breed. And yes, that smile is permanent. 99.99% of the time it's just too adorable, but there's that 0.01% of the time (usually when he's standing and staring at me) when it gets a little creepy.

    Happy Jack is a regular Southdown rather than a Baby Doll breed so he will be fairly large--probably as big as Maa-Maat the Tunis. He is absolutely too sweet for words. Loves everyone and everything and never has any little temper fits like some of the others (Maa-Maat and Merlin, I'm talking about YOU!)

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  8. I just have to say thanks for visiting my blog and leaving comments or I'd probably have never stopped by to visit. And how sad that would have been! :)

    Your Southdown is so sweet, but can you imagine him standing there holding a gun pointed at you, still wearing that huge smile. Creepy!

    I love your animals :)

    ~Lisa

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  9. Logan really wants Southdown. I'm not sure yet what sheep breed we'll go with.

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  10. Twinville: Yes...a shotgun wielding southdown would be major creepy....(laughs) When I was researching the breed, I fell in love with the shots of a single sheep smiling. But! When there's a whole flock of them looking at the camera and smiling. Yep...a bit creepy.

    Christy: My southdown wether lamb is very, very easy to handle. He's not spooky (like the jacob ewe lamb) or headstrong (like the tunis ewe lamb)...just really sweet.

    Of course, it could be the difference between wethers and ewes as my other wether is very sweet, too.

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  11. Happy Jack is the cutest little thing. If he doesn't adjust to all those others you can just ship him to me. What an adorable lamb.

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