Once again, sheepdogs imitate life and I learn the lesson that, sometimes, life doesn't manifest exactly as the dream....but it's still great.
I got a call from the sheep boss last week asking for some help with a flock of sheep over on the coast. See, the shepherd had a baby and that baby has him wrapped around her little finger leaving the sheep boss desperate for company....well, okay, truth be told desperate for some dog work. When he called to ask about the gather....I envisioned a slope of green grass allowing for a big huge outrun from my Gypster. Or maybe a flat big field, sheep scattered, grazing pastorally as if just waiting for their cab ride home; either scenario giving Gyp some much needed work and experience. "Sure, how about Sunday!"
We got to the field after winding our way across the coastal mountain range that protects our valley from winter storms, the fall rain I have been praying for starting the day off cool. The sheep boss informed me the sheep were right over that hill there, and my job was to gather while he and his sidekick started making the catch pen. "How far back does the field go?", I naively inquired. "Oh about a half mile or so, you'll see 'em"....could I hear a smirk in his voice? So Gyp and I broke up over the hill...meeting a small flock of ewes on the road Just as the thought tickled my brain that it was my lucky day.....the wise and crafty ewes high tailed it, as far as a docked tail can be high, running in the other direction; me, hoping they were headed back to the mother flock. The field lay before me, a tributary off the ocean to my left and marsh grass taller than my waist covering it entirely, broken up only by blackberry bush hills and sheep paths. Not a ewe in sight but heck, it was raining and cool...a good day to get my 10,00 steps in. Gyp and I picked a sheep trail that would lead us up and around.....and as we tromped I felt like I was hunting with my Gramps as a young girl....spooking out that which we hunted....although this day it was sheep and I took the leadership Gramps role while Gyp was my wing girl.
I died to a lot of thoughts that day....honest nests, ground yellow jackets, bears, as we settled upon a newly laid pile of berry scat by the body of a dead ewe. Bears must be opportunistic as well as hunters.....me, hoping the bear was full because Gyp and I were not interested in being an appetizer and meal on this fine, cool Sunday gather. And so it was that we walked the entire meadow and drove the flock of ewes and the seven new born lambs that were on the ground that day to the catch pen.
On the way home, Gyp and I stopped for a well deserved skinny caramel latte, I knew we had done well. It might not have been what I dreamed of, but it was a job that needed done and so we did it. As I scruffed her ear, I was thankful for this little dog that was not running open just yet. She can work without me worried about any trial in our near future.
And so indeed, sheepdogging imitates life......days where it is not the dreamed of living turn into something special; memories created from the magic of getting it done.
Seize the Day!
Spot March 2017; Listening; Hearing
15 hours ago