I’m getting in early with the Happy New Year’s – there are some benefits to being in Australia (eastern edge of the eastern hemisphere)! Have a safe night and best wishes for 2015 . . . . .
ahhhh, who am I kidding? This is just an excuse to tell you another story about Merlin.
We were down at my mum’s farm over Christmas and I decided that it would be a good time to get him desensitized to sheep. He’s a city dog (and for good reason, as you’re about to find out) so is fascinated by sheep. “Fascinated” in the sense that he loves to bound towards them at full speed then chase them as they scatter wildly. A lot of this is just because they’re new and exciting so I thought it would be a good idea to spend some time wandering around the paddock (on lead) near the sheep to get him used to them.
I let him have a run around at the far end of the paddock to settle him a bit. All good so far. Then I put him on lead and we started walking around close to the sheep. He was reasonably good (for a first go) until . . . . . he suddenly starts shaking his head a lot and tilting it to one side. A sure sign of a grass seed in the ear. I have no idea how he got one while walking around calming on lead in short grass, when he didn’t get one while tearing around in the long grass further down the paddock!
This was Saturday evening. What is it about Merlin, vets and non-business hours?? There is no after hours vet in my mum’s town. The nearest is three towns away. I was not going to take him in that night but we did take him across the next morning. Being Sunday, we still incurred hefty after hours call out fees. Merlin was quite calm about it all so I was beginning to wonder if there really was a grass seed in there. Turns out there was, and quite a nasty one too! At least we didn’t go all that way for nothing.
We also combined the vet visit with a trip down to Walpole to pick up my friend’s dog and see some tall trees and art works, so it ended up being quite a lovely day out.
The funny part of this story is what we did next. This is the second grass seed Merlin has had in his ear while staying down at the farm in summer. I was not going to let this happen again! I also was not going to stop taking him outside. Instead, we needed to find a way to pin his ears down to his head. A stocking seemed a likely solution.
Here are some pictures of Merlin running around the field like a proper Irish Setter, and of him learning to ignore sheep, all while sporting a stylish stocking offcut which made him look either like a very demure young lady with a scarf, or a war victim with a bandage around his head. I thought it was funny, hopefully you do too. It was effective though!
$200 vet visit vs free but slightly silly looking old stocking. I’ll take the stocking any day!!
(In case anyway wanted to see the sheep a bit more clearly, here they are: