Having a bum lamb about the house is a bit like having a 2 year old. They are everywhere at once and everything they find goes right into the mouth. Thankfully, I have my dogs for baby sitters. Beauregard and Huckleberry are very protective of her. And she adores them. Which is a real blessing, considering what happened over the weekend.
It was late afternoon and some friends came to visit and have dinner with us. It was Chelsea (whom I helped to fix her chicken pen) and her husband, Joe. As this was his first time to visit the farm, Joe wanted to walk to the barn to see the sheep, and I foolishly let the dogs and Bea come along.
If you remember from my blog about sitting on the porch at night, I mentioned I heard a fox in the woods. Well, its a big gray fox. He ran right up to the fence one morning and took my favorite hen right in front of me. Beau went wild, and has been wanting to go into the woods ever since. And that is exactly what happened. One moment Bea and the dogs were with us, the next I looked around and they were gone. Vanished! I didn't know Beatrice could move that fast, and I never imagined she would leave me and follow the dogs.
We ran back to the house just as Greg arrived home from work. I could faintly hear Bea bleating down in the woods, so Greg and Joe crossed the fence and went after her. They were gone nearly half an hour, but came back empty-handed. Now, we knew we had a fox down there, and our neighbor who we allow to hunt in our woods has seen a bear down in the hollow. I saw a big bobcat cross the road just at the edge of our property a month ago, and we hear a pack of coyotes nearly every evening. So the big dark woods are just loaded with predators who would like nothing better than a little lamb for a snack. And being farm people, we are realistic, and gave Bea up for lost.
We made a pretty gloomy dinner party that evening. Every so often, Greg would go to the door and call for the dogs, but without much hope. All of this happened around 4 p.m.. It was dark by 5. Around 7 p.m., Greg made one more trip to the door and suddenly dashed out of the house. Across the field just visible in the light from the front porch he could see an amazing sight: Beauregard and Huckleberry were coming across the field with Beatrice between them. They were walking slowly and protectively by her. Huckey left them and came running to meet Greg as if to say “We're home and we've brought her back,” but Beauregard never left Bea's side until they came into the yard.
That was one tired and hungry little lamb! And my two heroes were praised and petted and given treats and everyone slept in the house that night. Beauregard is half German shepherd and half Great Pyrenees, so the herding/protecting instinct is very strong in him. But Huckleberry is half Basset Hound and half terrier, so he is usually torn between napping and bouncing. And while I believe that instinct played a big part in this adventure, I also believe that God looked down on a little lost lamb in the big dark woods and told the two big dogs to take care of her and see her safely home. After all, He is well-known for seeking lost lambs and returning them to the fold.