Doing the Puyallup

Doing the Puyallup
We did the Puyallup- as in showed our Shetland lambs there- 2 ram lambs and 3 ewe lambs. It was an experience but exhausting to me. I don’t know how people do it. There’s the packing and preparation which took one full day and then, the loading up, driving down, finding where to go, unloaded, getting the pen ready and then finding the camping spots. I went down first and then Tom brought the camper van down after his work through Seattle traffic, and we had to set up the van. That was just the first day!

The second day- Friday- was show day. I spend a lot of time trying to get the straw bits out of the wool- which is an impossible task. I watch a fair amount of the sheep show to try to figure out what we were supposed to do. We finally showed at around 6 PM after everyone else for the day. My sheep did well except Monty- our black ram lamb refused to walk in the pen and had to be dragged. No major events and the lambs did well in their categories.By Saturday I was tired and my back hurt. I tried to watch the show and help out as well as staying in the pen, answering silly questions and picking the straw out of the lambs’ wool. Then we got dressed up and participated in the Lads and Ladies’ Lead where we wore wool clothing and led our sheep in the pen- trying to promote wool. We did well in our competition although my lamb Moni would not cooperate. She wouldn’t standing still and wouldn’t lead and flopped in the saw dust for comic effect. I was humiliated but somehow won the competition. They even gave me a 7/10 score for halter training- go figure. Then Tom went home to take care of our farm critters. -leaving around 9 p.m., and Rae and I enjoyed the Fair (she more then I since I was so tired). We had an Elephant Ear each and went to bed.

Sunday I spent with my family. My mother and step-father came at 10:00, and we enjoyed the fair and some of the demonstrations- Mutton Busting and Draft Horse Driving. Sunday at 6 PM was the final sheep show. Moni once again was incredibly uncooperative. It took me forever to get her to the show ring and then the show was just about to start- everyone was already there. She wouldn’t lead into the pen so I started to drag her and she flopped in the saw dust after I had just spent 3 hours getting the 3 lambs all cleaned up. I was completely humiliated and picked her up and set her in her spot and proceeded to try to pick all the dust covering her fleece. The judged noticed that my ram lamb Hemlock was getting a bloated rumen from the alfalfa he was stealing from the bales placed by my pen. Also he pointed out a different sheep with pick eye in the show ring- great! My dad showed up just in time to see me make myself look ridiculous. My friend Rae did take care of the other two better behaved sheep which is good- I don’t know what I would have done otherwise. The next very large sheep took off jumping and almost landed on me and Moni- I was quite scared and was on my knees so couldn’t get out of the way. So not only am I looking ridiculous, my back is killing me and I’m tired and hot but my health and my sheep’s health are potentially affected. After the show I walked around the Fair with my father and friend until late.

I couldn’t sleep that night and was even more tired, dizzy and nauseous the next morning. I came a little later- had coffee and a scone and tended to my sheep. I went to the sheep exhibitors meeting where we were told halters won’t be allowed anymore at the Fair. I don’t see how anyone can lead a Shetland lamb without one- you’d have to walk on your knees or bend 90 degrees at the waist- my back hurt just thinking about it. I sat around talking to some of the nice sheep people there at the Fair and then took my tack out to the camper van and got it ready to leave. Tom came at 4:00 after work through awful traffic and we got in line to pick our sheep up. We picked up our sheep with the help of Dave and Franna and were on the road home by 5:30. We made it home by 8:00 as it was getting dark. We got the sheep unloaded into a pen where they will have to be quarantined for 2 weeks to make sure they didn’t pick up any diseases at the Fair.

All and all I don’t think I’ll do the Puyallup sheep show anymore. It was a hard experience although there are nice aspects- some of the people are just great and my sheep did well (except Moni). I had to miss 3 full days of work to do it, and I worry about harming my sheep and flock in the process (as well as my back). I bought a shirt saying I survived the Puyallup and that’s about how I feel now. I just hope I can still enjoy going to this Fair as I have most every year since I was a young child. This is the Fair where I first fell in love with goats and then sheep so I do have very fond feelings for it.

2007-09-12 04:29:49 GMT

Comments (4 total)


Donna, I think you’re too hard on yourself! I will be showing my own sheep for the first time this month, but have helped others show their sheep at several other shows. There’s always a “flopper” or two, and no one thinks anything of it. I AM nervous about exposing my sheep to “bugs,” but I remind myself that lots of other people do it and their sheep survive (with quarantine being a given). Wish me luck — and some fun!

–Michelle McMillen


2007-09-12 17:36:24 GMT


I think I should have waited a few days to post- now I’m feeling less embarrassed and down.. Oh well. Thanks for the words of encouragement and enjoy your show!


2007-09-14 04:48:36 GMT


Hi Donna – wow, that make doing the Skagit fair sound like a cake walk! I don’t see what they have against halters – how else would you keep the little buggers from heading off for parts unknown?

John is looking forward to getting Moni – He actually put the sprinkler on the pasture tonight in an effort to get some grass up by the time she gets here. Tina

–Tina T-P


2007-09-16 05:31:03 GMT


I fro got to mention- since I spent A LOT of time with Moni picking hay bits out of her wool I noticed that she has horn buds! I’m not sure if they’ll develop into true horns or not but I thought John might be excited about that. Moni’s doing well in her quarantine but will be grateful to get on a pasture again!


2007-09-16 16:07:48 GMT

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