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Meet Our Sheep: Fezziwig

Updated: Mar 20

Fezziwig is everyone's favorite black Shetland! After a small break with Cambridge and Lavender (whose names were just fine as they were), he continues the trend of Dickensian names. And Fezziwig is just as jovial and friendly as his namesake, young Scrooge's employer from A Christmas Carol.

Fezziwig and Dodger were an unplanned adoption. I was at a county fair to help a shepherd friend transport sheep home after the fair was over. The next grouping over was a few pens of pygora goats, and then all of the Shetland sheep caught my eye next to them.

In talking with the breeder, I learned that there were a couple of young rams that she was interested in removing from her breeding program because of their horn shape. This is quite normal, as horn shape is genetic, and if a ram's horns grow too close to their face, this trait can be passed on. Pocket and Cambridge were both the same way, and we had their horns trimmed early on.

Another woman had made an offer on these two boys, so the breeder said I could have them if the other woman didn't show up. She did not, so we put them in the back of my friend's covered pickup, since my trailer would be full of her sheep, and home they came!

Fezziwig is a thinker. He watches and learns. He also gets very excited when the trailer is open because he knows that going to a show means getting all of the attention he can handle! In the pen at a show, he is the one spending all day where fingers of all sizes can scratch and massage him all over. he has even learned that if he hangs one of his horns on a rung of the pen, he doesn't have to hold his own head up to look awake.

Fezziwig and Dodger have also made an appearance at some goth shows on account of being all black! They were a huge hit at Dark in the Park in Pacific, WA for their charm and Fezziwig's regular baaing (which all of the vendors learned to answer).

At home, he actively competes for attention over treats. if you're not paying attention, he will put his front hooves on you like a dog to make sure you know he's there. He also tried to charm the girls every fall. He has been wethered ("fixed") like the other boys, but he is convinced of his romantic prowess and pesters the ewes until Uncle Cambridge pushes him away. In the same vein, though Pocket outweighs him by80 lbs. or so, Fezziwig is convinced that he can overthrow Pocket to be the next flock leader.

Though Fezziwig's fleece is usually a mess of vegetable matter (he really loves collecting all of the blackberry vines and whatever else he can find), it is worth the time spent for processing. As he has gotten older, he had developed a beautifully shiny grey-black fleece that is a joy to spin and felt.

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