In most of our farm photos there is always one female who is almost always included, Peggy the Sheepdog. Peggy is just over 12 years old and has spent almost her entire life on the farm. She knows every nook and cranny on the farm and is our constant companion. She is incredibly intelligent and seems to know exactly what we are talking about. For example, if we have finished feeding the chickens in the morning and are deciding what to do next, Steve may say ‘ let’s check the polytunnel ‘. Peggy will run ahead of us and go straight to the polytunnel, these females always seem to know what us males are thinking! She will follow us everywhere, but if we have to leave the farm for a short while we just tell Peggy we will see her later and she will walk away from us and not follow us…clever dog!
One thing you may notice about Peggy is that one ear is raised whilst the other is flat. This was the result of a minor operation that Peggy needed some years ago. She had a small growth at the base of her right ear which had to be removed. This resulted in the nerves to her right ear being damaged which meant that she couldn’t prick her right ear up again. This does not seem to bother her in the slightest but we feel that it gives her appearance that little bit of extra character.
Although Peggy is an extremely friendly dog toward ourselves and always loves a cwtch, she is also a very valuable guard dog. Like most dogs her sense of hearing and smell is far more advanced than we mere humans and should she sense a stranger is in the vicinity the hair on her back stands up and she begins to growl and then will bark constantly. This has been very useful to us on a couple of occassions when we have had unwelcome visitors to the farm and Peggy pre-warning us has enabled us to remind said visitors that they are on private property and they have left without any problem. Peggy is definately an outdoor dog and rarely comes into the farmhouse, she prefers to sleep outside in the barn so is always on guard for us. All in all Peggy is one extremely useful dog to us and we all think the world of her.
Peggy has been on our farm for so long that not only does she know every nook and cranny but she also knows all our animals too. We find it a great help to ourselves to have a dog who doesn’t disturb any of our animals. When we go into the fields with our Hereford cows, Peggy is always with us but the cows are used to her and so are not concerned when she is with us. Likewise with our chickens, Peggy doesn’t bother with them and they know her and are not bothered by her. Despite her age Peggy is still extremely active and seems to be able to run all day. She has a good mixed diet of the usual dog food available, we give her the occasional egg which she loves and when we eat our lunch when we are out in the fields working then Peggy is always on hand for any titbits available. Our business is run as a family, when someone joins the business then they become part of that extended family. This provides a wonderful environment to work in where everyone feels part of the business and that their job is important. This certainly applies to one of our favourite family members..Peggy the Sheepdog!!