July 22, 2006

Field Work

In an article in the Canine Chronicle, Chris Robinson asks "Are you suited for field work?" commenting on the experiences in store for those who, after a few years of conformation, turn to field work with their hunting or herding dog. I quote a short excerpt:

Another herder I know had the misfortune of running her dog on a clear, crisp morning when the dog was more than a little fresh. In fact, "wired" would probably be a better description. After starting the outrun barely under control, her dog in a fit of total joie de vivre burst through the herd of sheep which, in turn, set up a wild run. Delighted at the opportunity, the dog tore after the sheep and turned them right back at her handler with the sheep on a dead run. The handler disappeared under a sea of sheep which meant the dog could no longer see the human she was fetching the sheep to. So, she proceeded to circle at top speed tightening the sheep over the prone body of her handler. Making the incident that much more humiliating, friends, and in this case that word should be used advisedly, videotaped the entire show. On the video, every now and then a hand appears from the depth of the sheep whirlpool and faint cries of "lie down," fortunately without the expletives, can be heard on the audio portion of the tape. The handler says she never did get all the stains out of her clothing and the black-and-blue marks on her body, all in the shape of a sheep hoof-print, were quite spectacular for days after the event.

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