Is this one of the best rural photos of the year (even decade)?
It was snapped earlier this week by Pahiatua farmer and Federated Farmers member Nick Perry and has already been seized on by media as a compelling shot.
This is how Nick described what happend:
While crossing a culvert on farm I heard a bleat from beneath me and thought ‘bother there’s a lamb in there’. Knowing full well extracting the lamb might involve getting wet I put off the decision until later in the day. But the bleat was still emanating from the culvert that evening so I selected my two most experienced working dogs, a huntaway and a heading dog, and explained the situation to them.
The simplest way to get the lamb out, I reckoned, was to chase it out with the huntaway.
Murphy knew the lamb was there (his ears were going round and round like radars and his eyes were sticking out on stalks) but throwing him in the deep pool at the end of the culvert didn’t produce results. He looked at the culvert then looked at me – “Health and safety Boss, I’m not going in there.”
That left Pip (whose entire being is focussed on bringing sheep back to me). I threw her in and off she went. The cast out would not have earned many points on a dog trial course but she worked the lamb back to my end of the culvert where I was able to get a good grip on the lamb’s ear.
At this point I was still dry but lying head down at 45degrees on the edge of the drain. Pip at this point sensed job done but the only way she could get out of the water was under the arm that was holding the lamb. If you have ever cuddled a soggy doggy you will understand that I ended up getting wet.
End result – one happy lamb and a heading dog who thinks it was all just another day at the office…..