Until I kept sheep, I had assumed they were skittish, not very bright, and lacking in individuality (only because I was a 'Townie' and had had no contact with sheep).I have been amazed by their personalities, intelligence, and, often loving nature. Had I ever thought sheep to be sentient beings?...probably, but not to the extent that they are.The way that they clearly have their friends,can quickly learn where food/escape routes are, mourn their dead etc. has taught me another life lesson about assumptions not based on observation.
I had known of the intelligence of elephants, dolphins etc. and have always loved and kept dogs, cats etc. I have assumed cows and pigs to be 'quite bright', but the impression always given of sheep was that of a nervous and rather stupid, but loveable, furry lump. These lovely animals I now know can learn their given names quickly, know who they can trust, recognise faces (sheep and human) after even a long period and are generally bright and responsive.
Keeping chickens, too, I have observed how they, too, are much more capable than I had thought (not to the same extent as sheep, of course).
Though I might have been missing Lily more than she missed me, I am SO glad to have her back with me.