Whiskey’s First Day at Work

Last week, I took Whiskey to work with me (after asking, of course). I expected he’d be excitable, but manageable for an hour or two, but he stuck it out for the whole thing. He had his moments, but he handled himself really well for the most part.

The power was out at work all day, so they were running everything off a generator (cheese storage, well, milking pump, etc). The problem is that their generator isn’t big enough for everything that needs to run at the same time for milking, so the power had to be moved around. The first thing I did when I got to work was learn about all of the switches and which ones were for what and when to turn them off and on (“and make sure you don’t forget to turn the cheese cooling switches back on!”). Whiskey spent that time in the truck. However, while I put the cans together, Whiskey got to meet and hang out with the other dog who was there (also Whiskey…). They seemed to get along fine, which was nice because I know the other Whiskey doesn’t go far and one thing I worried about with taking Whiskey was that he might decide to go exploring.

After the cans were put together, Whiskey (my Whiskey) and I went to get the milking herd from the field. I let him take himself out, but I took his leash so we could walk back to the barn together. When I opened the fence to drive the animals to the barn, they were very curious about him and he wasn’t sure what to do with them. The walk back was one of the less fun parts of the day. He shifted between sniffing the slow sheep (which was ok) and yip-barking at them when I tried to encourage them to walk faster. I told him that was inappropriate, but he looked like he wanted to tell me he was just trying to help.

Back at the barn, he kept me company for a while during milking, but the screeching of the guillotine gate (at the bottom of the ramp to help keep things moving in the right direction) really irritated him, so he went up and sat in the truck for the rest of that job. He thought washing up after milking was really boring too.

I think his favorite part was taking the animals back out to the field. Since I lead the animals out, I took his leash, but thought I’d try leaving him off it and he shocked me at the way he just led us all back out to the paddock. He didn’t bother the animals, he didn’t make any wrong turns, he didn’t get overly excited. It was like having Bear (one of the farm dogs) go with me, but it was Whiskey, who had never done this before.

Once we got to the paddock, I had to tie two of the posts together (we use electric net and they were a little bowed in the middle) and Whiskey just stood and watched over the animals like he knew what he was doing.

Unfortunately, this week was a disaster. When I arrived, Eddie (the guardian dog at work) was out and he took an instant and violent dislike to Whiskey and Whiskey wasn’t shy about telling Eddie what he thought about that. Since I was the only one there, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get them apart, but fortunately, neither of them seems to have gotten hurt. After that, Whiskey was way too amped up to behave himself, so I called Tony to take him home. One of the guys told me there was a place I could put Whiskey, but he would have been there all alone for hours and that didn’t seem fair. So he went home and that was a good thing because the rest of the day was a disaster. The power was out again; the vacuum pump went out, so I and the guy who works Sundays with me had to milk the last seven animals by hand; and we couldn’t get the well to work. Hopefully, next week will be better.


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