From the desk of Hamish Braeburn Moy, Esq. and Herding Extraordinaire (almost)
Last week, my person told me that she was taking me to a special thing called a "clinic" to learn something new about the sheep. She said we were going on last Thursday, but then Thursday came and went and we just did the same things as usual. Playing, eating, sleeping. I thought it was yet another example of the person's breach of contract.
This morning, I curled up for my morning nap (see Exhibit A above) when what happened? The person ate breakfast early while the other person was doing normal morning walkies. I thought my person was just being a wimp who didn't want to do walkies in the rain. But then, she started loading some items in the rolling living room--her phone, our water bucket, things like that. She was wearing her rain clothes and rubber boots. Then, she called me--only me, her brown boy. Even though it was really early, she put me in the car and we drove a long, long way. Past both of the normal places where we go herding, so I couldn't figure out what was up.
It turned out the clinic was TODAY. And it was at a completely different place than I'd ever been to. Even though it was cold, rainy and awful, I got to work on putting the sheep into the pen. This is what it looks like (this isn't me--these are famous British dogs in the 1940s--but it's the same exact thing even today). The pictures come from the Border Collie Museum.
As usual, it's up to the dog to be smarter than the sheep and the person. But, we also have to listen to the person, even when they don't know what the %$*# they are doing. In fact, this seems to be the dog's lot more often than is really reasonable, but I guess that's the price we have to pay for food, beds, dog toys and sheep. And of course belly rubs.
I did pretty good, even though I did chase the sheep all around twice (which is not so good). The first time, I was a true nut, but the second time, I got my head back together and remembered my self-control. That second time, I also ended up with a pretty fine pen and all the people clapped. All in all, I got to work at the pen four different times and acquitted myself nicely (and naturally made my person look far more competent than she is).
All in a dog's day, I suppose.