Bailing is underway and there is a scare as elderly sheepdog Tilly is lost for 36 hours at the farm on the M62

It feels like it’s been quite some time since we last saw Paul. The wonderful blue skies and sunshine have kept him busy in the fields at Farnley Tyas, mowing, raking and baling whilst trying to clip sheep.

Elderly sheepdog Tilly goes missing for 36 hours after gates are left open
Elderly sheepdog Tilly goes missing for 36 hours after gates are left open

Carting and wrapping bales usually into the early hours of the morning means he tends to grab a few hours sleep at his mum’s, leaving John-William and I home alone. I don’t mind admitting that I get a little bit spooked without him.

The two house dogs start staring into space and growling at imaginary things, the house creaks and groans even louder than usual and you can usually guarantee the alarm goes off, just to really scare the life out of me.

Paul’s old sheepdog likes to sleep on the doorstep under the porch in the summer, curled up, ready to pounce on any unwanted visitor. The reality is that at her age, she’s more of a trip hazard now than a guard dog, but for some reason I feel more reassured when she’s there.

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    The two dogs that live in the house would not be so easy to get past. Despite being vertically challenged, they have an alarmingly powerful bite followed by an eye wateringly painful grip as they lock their wiry little jaws onto your leg.

    Or at least so I’m told by the many people who have unwittingly entered our house before I’ve had chance to secure them.

    If anyone was successful in getting past them, the copious piles of discarded toys, Classic Tractor magazines and general clutter would definitely leg them up.

    Paul ended up missing our first show of the season at Harden Moss. We didn’t take any of our own Woodlands as Casey was judging, but he’d been looking forward to watching and catching up with friends.

    Despite being somewhat green around the gills due to his 30th birthday celebrations the night before, Casey did a good job of judging, awarding the overall champion to an aged ewe belonging to a local breeder.

    Our old dog Tilly gave us quite a scare when she went missing from the yard last week.

    Now retired, she stays close to the house, just pottering about. Unfortunately the good weather seems to bring out a fair share of idiots who like to pay a visit to the farm, usually leaving behind crates of beer and rubbish.

    When we returned home one evening, sheep were everywhere and gates wide open, including the yard one that keeps Tilly from wandering off. She had vanished and despite hours of searching, could not be found.

    Once out of the yard I knew she would get confused and not be able to find her way home. I tried not to think of worst case scenarios and frantically started ringing round local vets in case anyone had brought her in.

    Thankfully, after 36 hours missing, we found her. Hungry and completely lost we brought her home for some TLC.

    It’s a sad state of affairs when every gate on the farm has to be padlocked and even more cameras put up just to keep these imbeciles out.