Keeping pet sheep

What have you learned from keeping pet sheep? An unusual muse!

We’ve learned that sheep can be caring, altruistic, loving, protective and far more sensitive to mood than some people! They are more intelligent and sentient than many people realise. Although I lived in London for most of my adult life, I grew up in the country, with sheep, cows and horses for neighbours. However, it wasn’t until we met one sheep in particular – Rosie – that we really got to learn how fascinating, intelligent and interesting they could be. We bought about twenty-five to save them from going to market, from a farmer who became a good friend. He taught us a lot about them. His sheep seemed to be real characters and most of our flock were related. We had three generations of the same family (Rosie’s mother and son). They would congregate to appoint a new leader when a leader had died. They would refuse to enter a truck until the leader decided to go first. There was a peacemaker, an inseparable couple (unrelated), a comic, an attention-seeker, a rebel (who would intimidate a sheep dog into running away), a ‘Tai Chi expert’ (a ram called Brucie who saw me doing Tai Chi and decided to copy me), an adventurer (who decided to check out a nearby church and take a friend with her just as the congregation was about to arrive)…and then there was Rosie, who would take a a whole book to describe.