"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Dog Named Boston

Another of my favourite drawings, isn't the simplicity great.

As mentioned in the last post our sheep handling skills improved beyond belief with the acquisition of an Ag-Bike and a sheep dog.

Boston surveying his kingdom from a vantage point.

Julie’s dad out of the goodness of his heart, or perhaps because he had no desire to have a marathon runner as a daughter, bought her/us a Honda Ag bike, this was to prove invaluable in our sheep herding endeavors, as our woolly friends were very soon to find it was much faster than they were and it was being guided by a far superior mind.

A farming friend who had heard some of our stories (pre motor bike) took pity on us and gave us a beautiful black Border Collie-Kelpie cross puppy, we named him Boston, (soon shortened to Boss for obvious reasons) after the serial detective Boston Blackie, Boston was introduced to sheep at a very young age which is the right thing to do with a working dog.

Boston trotted alongside the motor bike with his boundless energy, he was never at home riding on the back as some dogs are, perhaps he just didn’t trust my riding ability? he had a very competitive nature and I’m inclined to think he just wanted to be able to run free.

On a daily basis we would have a race down the driveway to the mailbox, a return trip of a bit over half a mile, if I beat him to the mailbox, as I usually did, he would stop where he was until I started back towards home then take off lickety split and with the headstart often beat me home, we both enjoyed this ritual a lot, he NEVER tried to race the bike any other time only to the mailbox.

While neither the Honda or Boston are visible in this picture just look how well behaved those sheep are so we are there somewhere!

No matter the reasoning he did come to think of the Honda as his mother I believe. At a quite young age he began to question my directions to him, when I sent him around the mob of sheep in a certain direction he would sometimes look at me quizzically and proceed to head of in the opposite direction, he obviously thought he knew more about herding sheep than I did, most times he was right too the instinctive ability of these purpose bred dogs is legendary. With Boston's help Though I was learning.

There were times however that for reasons of my own I wanted to do something different to the obvious with the sheep, at times like these we would come into conflict with me yelling at him to do as he was told and him generally ignoring me.

One day after heated debate about his parentage I roared of on the Honda to do the job myself, Boston followed along and I noticed that each time I turned the bike he would automatically head there too, It didn’t take me long to figure out that if I let the Honda give him directions he followed them very well.

So was born a very good team of man, dog, and Honda, just the slightest of change in direction were noted by Boston who then interpreted them into messages to guide him in his duties, often he seemed to sense the changes perhaps by the difference in the sound of the bike as it changed direction but the visual observations were unmistakable he would pause almost as though asking a question before moving on.

Crazy would have stood no chance against the team effort!!


Dave said...

I'd seen a sheepdog demonstration in Ireland once, and was amazed at how intelligent these dogs are.

Sounds like everything is under control now Peter!

Merle said...

Hi Peter ~~ Good story. I am glad Boston taught you how to round up sheep or move them. They are really smart dogs/ Take care, Cheers, Merle.

Pamela said...

I enjoy going to the Cattle Dog trials that are here every spring...
But I've never been to a sheep dog competition.

Big Dave T said...

Man, that's a lot of sheep in the picture. And all in a bunch too. You don't see anything like that in Michigan.

I've seen sheep-herding demonstrations here in town with a border collie. Sometimes he'd get a little too excited, though, and take a nip of one of the sheep. That's a no-no, I gathered when I saw the reaction from his handler.

Jim said...

Hi Peter -- You are doing great with those 'true stories.'
You could write several volumes of memoirs if you keep this up.
Or is that what you are doing?

Adi loves to run alongside our golf cart, even better than she likes to ride in it.
Dogs are smart and pretty good manipulators too.

Walker said...

Well I guess the sheep look behaves after you turned one oif them into lamb chops lol

But I would still have bet my money on Crazy.

Great Stories

Val said...

I so admire sheep dogs. We went to sheep dog trials in Castlemaine last year, so interesting. Love the photo!

Cliff Morrow said...

re:your previous blog. I loved the story and the 'crazy' story. I'll have to admit I've been involved in virtually the same thing on different occasions only with hogs and cattle. Same dumbass however.
In my 57 years here we've only had one dog that did anything useful except for a cocker spaniel that would guard the gate to keep the cattle in. However he would also guard the sorting gate and keep cattle from going thru it that you wanted to go thru it.
Boston sounds like he was a good dog.

Karen said...

That is a great story!! I didn't realize how smart sheepdogs are.

Have a great day!

Lee said...

Smart dog, that Boston. What a great name for a dog! :)

gledwood said...

Hi I am on a cybermatic tour of Australia today ... great blogs you're keeping here!

I'm going to put your poetry blog in my links... I used to write the odd bit of poetry from time to time ... it's posted fairly recently in my blog - 2 sonnets - if you want a look ...

I'm at http://gledwood2.blogspot.com
if you want to drop by. You're most welcome. All my other stuff is linked via there.

See you again

Take it easy

Gledwood "vol 2" ...

Jeanette said...

Hi Peter,
Boston's one very smart dog.