Thursday, July 26, 2007

Breakthrough!

Behold, the fingers of a happy shepherd! Today after schooling my horse I gave the lambies a bit more hay and sat in their pocket pasture with them. They wanted the hay enough to come fairly close, and I scootched a bit closer so I could reach out and touch them now and then. As usual, Braveheart stood his ground better; he's aptly named, I guess. I slowly and gently scratched him a bit here and there, until I finally found his "sweet spot" -- his chest, between and just in front of his front legs. When I scratched there, he stopped chewing, lifted his tail a bit, and "that look" came over his face. As I kept up my ministrations, the tail started wagging, and the eyelids started drooping. I let him rest his chin in my other hand. If I stopped, he went back to eating; if I started again, the trance returned.

In the meantime Brava kept eating all she could reach without getting too close to me, tolerating occasional scratching. Rubbing her chest brought no reaction. I kept searching. Then, when I was able to reach her belly, it happened. While she never wagged her tail, all the other manifestations of a blissful trance were present. I rejoiced in the breakthrough, knowing it will only get easier from here. Is there anything more satisfying than winning an animal's trust?

Oh, last night for dinner we had pasta tossed with onions, garlic, *zucchini, *yellow crookneck, *three kinds of basil, and *gold cherry tomatoes sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with romano/parmesan cheese; deviled eggs; and homemade raspberry ice cream (*from the garden and pictured above). Summer's fine dining begins!

That's it for now at . . .

7 comments:

shepherdchik said...

Oh YUM!!

Tina T-P said...

Oh, I want to come to dinner at YOUR house!

Isn't it just fun when the sheep get that "eyes rolled back in the head-boy that feels good" look on their face - and maybe the tail wags just a little - congrats on your breakthrough! Big smile! T.

Nancy K. said...

Those are not only the fingers of a happy Shepherd....they're the fingers of the Shepherd of HAPPY SHEEP!!

Lauren said...

I second Nancy's comment, happy shepherd = happy sheep and visa versa. Congrats on making the bond.

Now I am just wondering if I leave now could I get there in time for dinner. Homemade raspberry ice cream, be still my beating heart!

Kathy L. said...

I'm coming to YOUR house for dinner! Your creation sounds wonderful!
(Help! I'm being held captive by my DH who does cook on occassion...but I'm getting tired of pizzas and grilled cheese sandwichs or take-away...Bless his heart!)

Kathy L. said...

And the happy sheep attest to your care of them...happy sheep = happy shepherd, and visa versa!

Karen B. said...

So Michelle, do you know if other sheep breeds seem to go into that "state" when being petted? I have a few that do that-back arches, the whole works-just wondering if that's a Shetland thing only. And how wonderful that you do dressage, I love it.