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TRIALING AND TRAINING
DOG FIRST AID
MADE IN THE USA
SHEEPDOG HERDING LESSONS
In the last several days, we have been battling wasps and their nests. This year, they seem to be everywhere! Two in the barn, one in the dove cage, then today two out at the back corner of the property. And they nailed me! Right on the lip.
My friend Roland and I, along with his Jessie dog and my three girls, all went out to the back end of the property to check on some sheep pens that we built last winter. Since I am hosting a sheepdog fun trial next month, Roland thought we should walk down there and check the pens out and make sure that everything was fine.
We needed to open the pens up and let the sheep eat down the weeds, as they had gotten high. As I was opening the last gate, I noticed and commented to Roland, that there were all of these bugs flying around. I never once thought that they could be wasps. Before I knew it, I had gotten bitten, right on the lip. What a time for this. So I told Roland what had happened, and started walking back across the field toward home. Man, this bite hurt.
So when I got to the house, I put a napkin with lemon juice on it and applied it to my upper lip. After several minutes, the pain subsided, thankfully. Though I had a fat lip, I was going to live.
Some dogs, especially herding dogs, like to chase bugs. They can get themselves into trouble by doing that habit. About 20 years ago, I had gotten a new Aussie mix puppy. And when I let her out in the morning to relieve herself, she started coming back with bumps all over her face. I took her to the vet, and he really didn't know what was going on except an allergic reaction of some kind.
The next day the same thing happened. I was really starting to worry about my little dog! Then the third day, I decided to go out with her. I stayed back along the house, so I would not influence her behavior. I saw her wonder up to the grape vines that I had planted the year before, and was messing around them. Later she came back inside and her head was covered in bumps.
I started walking around the yard following where she had been, when I saw what the problem was. She had been getting into a beehive. Apparently a swarm of bees had landed on the grape vine, in order to establish a new colony. That was a bad location for a puppy-only a foot or so off of the ground.
The following day, I let my puppy out into the side yard to relieve herself, so she couldn't encounter the bee swarm. She came back inside looking the way that she should, no bumps on her head.
And the following day, the swarm decided to move on, yeah!
I know of many other dogs that snap at flies or actually try to work (herd) them. Might be the case of a bored dog or one that has so much energy that they don't know how to expel it, so they just work, anything, even bugs.
I got my revenge on the wasps, and they got nailed with wasp killer. We needed to go out there and check on things, because it would have been a mess with herders getting bitten next month. Yikes!
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