MM Livestock Co

  (Wildomar, California)
It just makes sense.
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My story of a Hill Shepherd

This is a short story about my friend Seamus, who taught me more than I will ever fully realize. I was working Tweed one morning several years ago and was really getting frustrated with him because he wouldn't come in and hold a single. An old truck had pulled off to the side of the road to watch my repeated failed attempts and I didn't give it much though until the old man stepped out and with a strong Scottish Burr said, "Girl you're gonna sour that dog and its YOU that's wrong, Not Him!" He walked across to where I was, patted Tweed on the head and with the quietest voice said, "Come Son, let's show her how to help you." He got Tweed back on his sheep and had him holding for a perfect stranger in just a matter of moments. I was shocked! Tweed would never work for anyone else until that moment. Then the lecturing began! Do this stand there, be quiet woman! He taught me to trust my dog, to think of him as a partner rather than just a pet, and how to get the most out of us as a team. I learned to "feel" my stock rather than work them. My Tweed is an old dog now but can still work the farm flock and Seamus said of our Grace. "Don't let anyone but Anna start that dog! She's too good to foul up! He went home a few years ago for a visit and at 95 decided to stay and work the hills of his youth. I talked to him almost every day until today. When his daughter called to tell me "Whisp came in without Da." She and her husband went up the hill and found him, at 97 sitting by his dogs tending his flock with his pipe still warm in his hand. That's the way he would have wanted it. He's helping the Lord tend the flocks now, with quiet grace and firm yet gentle understanding. 3 young dogs will be coming here in a few months, Whisp and Lass will stay to work the hills. I will take good care of them my friend and trial them as you would have wanted with honor, dignity and respect. You too will. Be able to learn from Seamus, Many of our sessions are recorded as well as several hours of rememberings of a Scottish Hill Shepherd. Meg

Sheepin the Shop, OH sh....!

As I was pouring my coffee I looked out the window and saw woolie behinds at the door of the workshop. UH OH! That's where Oscars veggie starts are and someone left the door unlatched! Emma (as usual) had pushed the door open and gone shopping with her friends! They only got into the chicken feed (rolled oats, alfalfa, molasses, sea weed, barley, and sunflower seeds.) and one tray of lettuce. It must have been a sight, 1 round woman and a border collie convincing big old ewes to leave the buffet and GET BACK OUT to the pasture! Tweed convinced them though and disaster was averted. Emma has a knack for opening barn doors an if you don't put a snap or lock through the hasp she's in. We take her to schools and nursing homes to visit so she has a misguided sense of entitlement. It is so fun to walk in to a nursing home with a sheep instead of a dog. Many of those people just light up! We have started video taping when these folks tell us their stories of growing up on the farm or what it was like before WWII. This is living history and needs to be preserved for future generations. Get your parents and grandparents to tell you how it really was back then. Tape it! We need to keep this knowledge available. And to think, my journey as a historian started with a sheep! Once our new site is up you will be able to watch these interviews and stories on line. Until then give us a buzz and come say hello. 951-259-2072. Meg
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