Faithful blog readers may recall that our bellwether, Dunkin, was lost last May. After shearing, he stayed with our yearling ewes at the Badwater pasture, some 40 miles north of our lambing grounds, near Dixon. Except that he didn’t stay. He disappeared, and we assumed that he was trying to trail himself down to join the ewes and lambs. We looked for him along the trail, requested that the trappers look out for him, asked our neighbor to keep his eyes open when he flew his plane to check his cattle, and even wrote an article for the local paper, in case someone spotted him. After a couple of months, we gave up and assumed that he had either fallen prey to coyotes, or perhaps to a human with a taste for really fat mutton.
A few weeks ago, Pat came home and said, “I have really good news! Dunkin is in Joyce’s pasture”. Our neighbor Joyce lives right on the Savery Stock Driveway, and strays often collect up in her pasture. Pepe, Dunkin’s original patron, went to collect Dunkin and bring him home. Joyce’s employee, Percy, said that Dunkin had been there for a couple of weeks. Dunkin was probably 50 miles from where he had last been seen, in Badwater.
Pepe was furious, because Dunkin, who had a fresh paint brand (a Banjo) when he was lost, was wearing the brand of another sheep producer. He had even been earmarked, which was surely an outrage to Dunkin. He apparently escaped and found his way to Joyce’s. Dunkin is very happy to be home, hanging out with his sheep, dog and human friends, and we are glad to have him home.