Summertime Shepherd

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In a previous post I talked about high summertime temperatures affecting sheep. Those same temperatures affect the shepherd. Shepherds need to take care of themselves during the high temperatures of the season.

A friend advised me one summer, “If the shepherd is sick, the sheep will soon be sick also.” Their meaning is I need to take care of myself. If I get sick, who is going to take care of the sheep? If the sheep are not taken care of, the sheep will get sick.

People stress in the high summer temperatures as well as the animals. According to the CDC, the signs of heat stress are: tiredness or weakness, heavy sweating, headache, cool and pale skin, rapid heart rate, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps and fainting or passing out. If a person experiences any of these signs, they need to get to a cool place, drink water and use damp cloths to cool the body temperature down.

Heat stroke signs according to the CDC are: high body temperature of 103 degrees fahrenheit, skin that is hot, dry, red or damp, fast pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness. People who are experiencing heat stroke, need to be cooled down and seek medical care.

Shepherds always have work that needs to be done. I work outside in the early morning. If I need to work during the heat of the day, I work for short periods of time 10-15 minutes then go inside to cool down. The humidity of the climate I live in makes it easier to be heat stressed, as the sweat does not evaporate and cool the body.

A saying my dad was said when we were outside in the summer working or enjoying an activity, ” Water out, put water in.” Meaning when you start to sweat, drink water. Replenish the water in your body.

Summer temperatures are here. Take care of yourselves so you can continue to care for the sheep.


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