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I suppose it's more an aspect of time of year than of human-adjusted time, that by the time I got home early twilight provided enough illumination to feed teh Horses, close the gate on the Night Pen (goats had pretty much put themselves in), and then feed the Border Collie Bros. Spent a little time with each of them for an exchange of headstrokes, earscritches, and face licks. Well, they licked my face, and received the headstrokes and earscritches.

I'd eaten before leaving Hospital while waiting for the network to come back up, so didn't need to fix dinner at home. Fed the Feline Furies and watched some tube, though I couldn't tell you what I watched, then toddled off to bed.

This morning I took Houdini with me for morning rounds. Considering how little actual training we've provided our border collies, they can be, and are a joy to watch sometimes. He stood to one side and back from the gate to Night Pen when I opened it, then continued standing and not moving as the goats began filing out. Night Pen is what I referred to earlier as Maternity Pen; hard to call it that anymore as the kids are all getting bigger and moving about with the whole herd now.

At any rate, he held that position until all the goats cleared the gate, then when the stragglers started to swing wide towards the drive lane he flanked them and encouraged them to move along. They streamed past me heading for the paddock, with a few other (earlier) stragglers starting to stray out wide on the opposite side, and Houdini crossed behind me to repeat the flanking maneuver over there. Responded immediately to my simple call of his name to hold back, then stood at the gate to paddock while I caught up with the last feed bucket.

Just that; flanking maneuver, herd dog stretched out to clear the outside of his charges and turn them in the correct direction. Absolutely One with his purpose.

We sat together briefly in the open gate to paddock before distributing the last bucket of feed so I could tell him what a good dog he is.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 1st, 2007 12:31 am (UTC)
what they know, how they know it, what they do, how they know to do it, and why they do it, cannot be explained.

I'm just glad they do.
Jul. 1st, 2007 11:42 am (UTC)
Oh, bits and pieces may be explained. But the gestalt? It's a mystery.
Jul. 1st, 2007 04:32 am (UTC)
Borders are brilliant, even for dogs, if they are given enough work and attention. And I think some of their instincts do serve them in such good stead. They are so eager to please their Boss!
My daughter adores her Max.
Jul. 1st, 2007 10:10 am (UTC)
Fantastic work with Houdini - I love watching dogs do what they were bred to do.

Jul. 1st, 2007 11:53 am (UTC)
There is something very Zen about it, that being is embodied in what we do as well as who we are and without that duality we are incomplete. The Bros definitely get very anxious if, say due to extreme weather, we don't at least make rounds daily. Watching dogs doing what they're bred for brings a completeness to us all. And yes, that includes even those breeds rather deliberately bred to simply be companions.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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