Even on my best days, there is always a chance that a cylinder (or five) is missing in the firing-on line-up. Lately, after the stressful few weeks leading up to Juno's death and then that sneaky flu, I am lucky if one cylinder has the moxie to stand up and be counted. A varying degree of mistakes are made - some irritating and some rather heart-stopping.
Case(s) in point: Two weeks ago, I came home and went to let the dogs out. But, wait. There are sheep in my back yard. Thank goodness the gate on the deck was latched. The dogs were left to pee on the deck (The Pepperoni obliged immediately, while the other two at least looked guilty), while I rather calmly (or so I hoped), sauntered out and tried to nudge the boys back through the gate THAT I HAD LEFT OPEN. Also, luckily, Apria was still within the confines of the fence, having not sensed that there was a small opening that the Fat Boy (Linden) had squeezed through. I got crazy Norman in the back part of the paddock and then lured Fat Boy in with a pan of grain, then had to go through a series of open/close/herd with Norman. Whew.
Four days later: Wash, rinse, repeat. Same scenario. Same GATE LEFT OPEN.
This past Monday? While I was busy ignoring my 'head cold', I went to pick up taters at the local farm (some for me, some for the local food pantry), came home and let the dogs out into an (apparently) empty back yard. Two seconds later, Lovey dashes to the left and Norman rockets into sight, trying unsuccessfully to vault his rotund self over the fence. Scrappy didn't notice and The Pepperoni, having sized up the new kids, turned a blind eye. Thank goodness Lovey listens to me. I got the dogs back on the deck and, because SOMEONE HAD LEFT THE SAME SHEEP GATE OPEN AGAIN, all three - sheep and llama - were out. I ignored Apria in the front yard and worked on the sheep. I am now an expert on sheep and blind llama psychology. Ignore them, turn your back on them and pretend with every fiber of your body that you are NOT going to head to the barn for grain. If they have any inkling at all, that you are heading for the grain barrel, you don't stand a chance, they will run you over and rush the barn. I managed to pull it off and get all three back under lock and key. I have written "LOCK THE DAMN GATE" in black Sharpie on the gate itself. Next step is a tattoo.