We had a bit of excitement here at Boston Lake Farm last night: Greta Grub woke us up with her distinct howl. (She sounds like a cross between baying hounds and a wolf.) Usually Greta spends the night outside, guarding the farm. She had managed to disappear, though, last night when Clancy and I switched off the lights to go to bed. Once in a while she eludes us by sacking out under the dining table, and we forget she's not already outdoors.
Around 4am Grub sounded the alarm, from inside the house. Sufficient to wake the dead, if you ask me. Clancy and I were bolt-upright and coming to as Sally vacated her post on the staircase landing and raced to Greta's defense. Grub continued to howl while Sal added an occasional low-keyed woof of support. Meg bounced off the walls of her dog crate; whining with despair over not being able to lend a paw to this full scale alert.
Clancy looked out the north window by the side of the bed. Groggy as he was, he caught a glimpse of small lumps moving about the yard in the moonlight. Sheep were out. Ugh.
I pulled on some clothes and plodded outside to the grain bag sitting on my front porch. (I know...how redneck is that?) I was a bit apprehensive that the adult rams might be out. They had been pounding on each other the past few days, and I really didn't want to meet one of them in the dark. Thankfully, I could see both of the pale big boys still in their paddock when I stepped out the door.
As soon as the grain bag rustled, two fat little ramlings galloped around the corner of the house like Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Not having any idea how they escaped their electronet, nor willing to investigate at 4am, I decided the dog kennel would be an adequate pen for them. Parker and Arvada followed quite willingly to the kennel. I shut them up with their grain and tied extra twine around the lower part of the door. After a quick trip to the barn, they had hay as well.
By that time, Clancy had joined me outside and he was filling the outdoor wood stove, which is very near the kennel. Once the crisis was over, we stood still for a minute to admire the black sky filled with gorgeous stars and a brilliant quarter moon. The ground was covered in thick frost. Everything was diamond and silver. We would have stayed out longer but it was very chilly. And neither of us was fully awake.
Back in the house, Greta got her pats of reward for being such a great snitch of disorderly lamby conduct. She wanted to go outside to check things out for herself so we locked up after her and went back to bed.
As the household settled back into silence, I was so grateful for my dogs. All three are nothing but mutts. They take their roles very seriously, though. They are valuable members of this family.