Bronwen's gone to a new home in Gloucestershire where she'll have a much larger flock of sheep to look after
Training and selling sheepdogs is all very well, but, when it comes to selling a dog that you're very fond of, it can be an extremely difficult decision.
For a long time we felt that Bronwen's sheep herding skills were wasted here. During the summer we have around thirty five sheep, and through the long winter months we restrict it to twelve because there's so little grazing at that time of year.
I've often talked of Mel and her daughter Carew as being clearly the two best sheepdogs we've ever had, but my goodness, Bronwen gave them a “run for their money ”. Admittedly she didn't work with Carew's precision, but on the other hand, rather like Mel, she had much more “push ” than Carew. She would get the job done in half the time!
Bronwen's speciality was working in the yard.
She stood no nonsense from aggressive ewes and became an expert at pre-empting an attack with a swift nip on the nose.
She could also be relied upon to stay at the back of the yard and push the sheep through the sorting race in an orderly fashion. Unsupervised!
That takes a lot of courage.
Fortunately for us, Bronwen produced a litter of puppies with our Oliver before she left here.
She was a really good mother, even though we rarely saw her actually looking after, or feeding her pups. She always seemed to be at the front of her pen, looking out for any chance of working sheep. but the puppies thrived.
We kept no less than three of Bronwen's puppies for ourselves because we're so impressed with them. That speaks for itself because we're trying to steadily reduce the number of dogs we have
We'll introduce you to Bronwen's puppies Daphne, Ducie and Frank in due course. Of course, we can't keep all three for very long, but we'll train them to work sheep and then make some hard decisions later.
We already miss Bronwen's herding skills. Her sister Scylla has taken on the mantle of number one sheepdog because poor old Kay's not really able to work at a distance any longer. She's fine when she' working close, but appears to be unable to hear commands when she's more than about fifty yards away, so Scylla's doing all but the most skilled work these days.
Scylla is certainly learning about flock work quite quickly now, but she's got a long way to go before she gets to Bronwen's standard.
We also miss Bronwen's amazing skills with frisbees and balls! Some of her catches were simply so spectacular that at times we worried she would injure herself.
We wish Bronwen every success - we know she'll do her very best for her new owner, and that she'll be very well looked after. That's a very big consolation.