So many landlords turned me down, it started to feel like a curse when I had to mention I had dogs.
It took a while, but I found a house to rent half-an-hour’s drive from Fairspring. She jumps for joy the moment she sees me — she can reach my full height and will easily clear a 6ft fence. He is very intelligent and I can trust him to do anything — whether it’s bringing in the big aggressive male sheep (known as ‘tups’) or gently catching a baby lamb who’s become separated from its mother.
At the far end of the field a white lamb lies prone, the mother not far away. The ewe looks fit and well, though, and will make a good mother to an orphan lamb, so I open the trailer and make pathetic-sounding ‘meh-meh’ noises to lure her inside.
Back at the sheds, Alfie, my youngest collie, then plays his part in the drama.
Sometimes I think my dogs understand me better than any human can — they know instinctively when I am sad and in need of an affectionate nuzzle, or when a little fooling around is just what is required to distract me from my troubles.The farmer planned to drown him saying he was too heavy to ever be fast on his feet. Alfie, who is six months Roy’s junior and built like a lurcher, is the goon in the team: think Scooby Doo with the brains of Homer Simpson.He is obedient to the last, though ‘obedient’ can be another word for ‘stupid’.After skinning the dead lamb, I slip the fleece jacket over an orphan of a similar size and introduce the ‘reincarnated’ lamb to the mother.I often wonder what my life might have been like if I’d had a brother (I’m the eldest of three daughters).