Puppy Update: 1 year

The “puppies” turned one this week! Here are some of the highlights of their first year:

Both collies participated in a Herding Instinct Test in April and performed very well. While we have not had a chance to get any more formal training, we brought home two new lambs that weren’t keen on going to the barn at night, so we started letting the collies help us get the sheep into the barn. Both dogs were eager to help, and were quick to pick up on what we were asking them to do. Unfortunately, their eagerness means they often over-run the sheep. Both dogs in the pen at the same time seems a recipe for disaster, but even having the not-working dog outside the pen seems to increase the energy level too much for my comfort, so we’re going with one at a time for now.

Kep & Findlay have shown a great interest in “helping” with the chickens as well. They do not seem inclined to harm the birds, but their energy can get out of control and has, on more than one occasion, led to the “rolling” of a hen. I have deliberately asked each dog for help with the chickens from inside the pen one time. For a while few of our birds insisted on “roosting” under the chicken house instead of inside it and since we needed to move the house the following morning, I needed all the birds inside. I was able to get three of the four inside by myself, and Kep helped me catch up the straggler. He was definitely excited but really seemed to be listening to me. On a second occasion, after a chicken refused to cooperate following a chicken-house-move, I took Finn by the collar and walked with him behind her, saying “Easy, easy..” His presence alone was enough to gently encourage the wayward hen to return to the flock.

After losing a few chickens late last summer, presumably to airborne predators, we have not lost another since the boys have been on full-time duty. We did have an accidental chicken death in the fall when one of our younger hens left the pen and ran into the barn. All the dogs chased her and she got squeezed between some old barn boards and the stone wall. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but it was our 12-year-old dog, Hickory, who had the last contact with her. After getting Hickory out, I was able to send Finn into the tight space and encouraged him to “get the chicken.” He brought her out just far enough so I could grab her and I asked him to give her to me. He dropped her at my feet. While Kep & Finn are probably too old to be considered for full-time chicken guardian duty, they have done an exceptional job keeping our chickens safe from outside the pen.

The collies have separately or as a team, killed, retrieved, scared off or otherwise annoyed: 5+ moles, 1 groundhog, 1 squirrel, skunks, coyote {twice}, deer, hawks, crows, vultures, bears {suspected}, owls {much to my chagrin} and 1 tom cat. They have proven to be useless against mice, so far. 😦

Kep & Findlay have been wonderful with our dogs and our children. They are still a little too interested in our two outside cats, but don’t bother the indoor cats at all. Finn is the more sensitive one, reacting like his feelings are hurt when I’ve reprimanded him. He also doesn’t like to be touched from behind. He’ll ask for space and hasn’t shown any true aggression, but he really, really doesn’t like to be brushed or have his nails trimmed. In fact, he’ll put his mouth around my hand {or the comb I’m using} to dissuade me from grooming him. Unfortunately, his very, very thick coat tends to get matted and is constantly full of burrs so we’re working on it a little at a time, trying to make it a positive experience for him… Kep, on the other hand, lets me comb his entire body and trim his nails. Finn’s coat is also much thicker than Kep’s, and I do prefer Kep’s easier-to-maintain coat.

Kep is more biddable, probably because he has bonded more closely to me. Findlay is not nearly as willing and in fact can be a bit of a bad influence – he is much harder to recall and tends to run off {a bad habit he learned from our older dog, I am sure}. While I know focused training could help with some things, Finn often looks right at me when he’s disobeying, as though daring me to get angry. He just doesn’t have the instinct to “help” that Kep has. Fortunately, we have a lot of space, so when Finn runs off he’s usually still on the farm, but he does chase the car off the farm {I have to put him in his kennel now when we leave} and has recently started going next door to bark at my neighbor’s penned hunting dogs. Kep chased us for a while – I could tell he wanted to stay put but was persuaded by his brother to disobey – but seems to have grown out of it. Kep almost never misbehaves if Finn is not around.

Findlay is an absolute love when you’re not messing with his fur or feet. He “hugs” and is an incredibly gentle “kisser,” just barely touching you with his nose, and always with a closed mouth {unlike Kep who is an exuberant and toothy kisser}. Finn has never met a stranger, which makes him a great greeter on the farm. In fact, one of our biggest challenges has been keeping him away from our rental cottage – he keeps an eye on the doors and makes a beeline whenever he sees someone step outside. Finn will run up and waggle all over the guests while his brother is barking his head off. It’s a bizarre scene to be sure…

Bottom Line: We have decided to neuter Findlay and leave Kep intact. It was always our plan to choose one of the pups to breed, and I think Kep is a more complete package – at least for what I’m looking for in a farm collie.

Our plan for the next year: 1) Get more sheepherding training and practice and 2) Find a female to start a family with 😉 We’ll definitely have our hands full!


Two pups on one rock

Two pups on one rock

Kep {2 Months} and C

Kep {2 Months} and C

Puppies {2 months } and Hickory

Puppies {2 months } and Hickory

Two Puppies at the Bonfire {3 Months}

Two Puppies at the Bonfire {3 Months}

Finn {4 Months} and O

Finn {4 Months} and O

Kep {7 Months}

Kep {7 Months}

Kep & Findlay {8 Months}

Kep & Findlay {8 Months}

Red Wing Roots Music Festival 2015

RedWingLogo3The kids and I had an amazing time at Red Wing Roots Music Festival this weekend. It got off to a rather rocky start but improved dramatically once we were finally settled in at our campsite.

The morning of our planned departure I received no fewer than 14 yellow jacket stings. At 6:45 am. It was awful. One of our Old-Time Scotch Collies, Kep, alerted me to something near the sheep/chicken pen, so I put on my boots and went with him to check it out. I never got my eyes on anything when suddenly I felt as though I’d been shocked by the electric netting around the sheep/chickens. It seemed like a plausible explanation because I was standing only a foot or so away in very dewey grass. I concluded that my fence was in perfect working order when, instead of finding relief by walking away, I continued to receive sting after sting. I have no idea where they came from, but they got me and Kep multiple times. Apparently, the only downside of Bogs Boots is that they trap bees. And while farming in a skirt offers great climate control {and is super cute}, the rollover waistband of the particular skirt I was wearing that morning trapped a bee inside which stung me on my hip. Ouch. Oh, and one got caught in my bra. Not awesome. I took some Advil and Zyrtec and felt “better.”

Sweet Kaya Girl

Sweet Kaya Girl

Unfortunately, the day did not improve. We had an appointment for our 13-year-old Golden Retriever, Kaya, for 8:30am for some routine-ish blood work. She had been a little “off” for a day or two, and we thought we’d take a quick peek to see if anything stood out. The veterinarian did a full physical on her, and of course the technician weighed her. The tech said she was 70 lbs. Since I had spent 1-2 hours brushing her just two days before and noticed how bony she was, I was instantly concerned. My girl has had her bouts with….fluffiness…but this was different. Farmer Tripp reminded me to ask for a urinalysis to go along with the bloodwork, and when the doctor returned to the room with the ultrasound machine in-hand, I knew something was wrong. On the screen was a 5-6 centimeter mass on my girl’s spleen. You can’t tell much else from the U/S, so he recommended going to Roanoke for a more in-depth U/S, an aspirate {where they suck up a little bit of the icky tissue to see what kind of mass it is} and radiographs. Our quick morning visit had already stretched to over an hour, but we hopped in the car and headed south. We got to the VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine Roanoke Referral Clinic around 11 am and dropped her off for an hour or so. The doctor there was in constant communication with me and with Farmer Tripp {a veterinarian as well}, and before we finished lunch our worst fears were confirmed. Kaya had cancer in her spleen, her liver, and her lungs. Suffice it to say the prognosis for a 13-yo Golden Retriever with cancer in three organs is nil. We left hoping we would have “days to weeks” with our girl. I was in shock. I was terrified. I was heartbroken. And, to make things 10 times more awkward, I had 2 full-weekend passes and a 3-day camping pass to the Red Wing Roots Music Festival. Not going meant giving up over $300 in ticket costs, not to mention letting the kids down. I thought about just staying home, but knowing we’d only be about an hour away, Farmer Tripp encouraged me to take the kids, and said he’d let me know if anything changed.

So we went. We came home and packed the truck and headed out. We were, of course, about 5 hours later than I’d hoped to be, but I figured it would be easier to get there in the dark than get the kids motivated early enough in the morning to get there before the music started at 1pm. Turns out I was right, but still….

The directions on the festival’s website were incorrect, so I lost about 30 minutes backtracking around the beautiful countryside before arriving at the gate at 9:00pm. The lovely gate attendant told me that they had stopped checking people in at 8pm. I told her I figured there would be a cutoff but since I found nothing about a cutoff on the website, had forged ahead anyway. She apologized for the “confusion” and said we could camp in the parking lot. Um, sorry, hun, but I have my two kids in this truck and we’re going to camp in the spot we paid for. “Let me see what I can do…” Fortunately, the powers that be finally decided to shine a little light down on us and we were granted entry to the park.

Setting up went about as well as setting up a tent in the pitch black with no one to help you can be, but I managed. We finally got in bed around 11pm.

We woke up bright and early and after breakfast and a few campground neighborhood introductions, made our way to the festival. For the next 3 days we enjoyed music and food and made lots of friends – even some from our hometown. The festival takes place at Natural Chimneys Park in Mt. Solon, Virginia, and aside from the amazing beauty of said natural chimneys, there’s a bold, beautiful river running through the campground that the kids {and I} got to enjoy. It was crazy, crazy hot and humid the entire time, and it rained a lot, especially overnight Friday. I didn’t think I’d mind the rain, but since I broke the tent while setting up Thursday {d’oh!}, there was a big section of not-quite-taut tent wall that collected rainwater and the floor {and sleeping bags, and pillows, and clothes} inside were soaked in the morning. I was surprised to find I was okay with that – after hanging my sleeping bag to dry under our EZ-Up shade – and kept rolling. The kids complained of the heat, and complained of being bored. In fact, I thought I would have to send them home Saturday. They wished for more toys/activities/games/whatever. Thankfully, they made some friends and ended up having a blast. They even cried when it was time to come home Sunday evening {in the rain, of course}.


Our first show of the weekend…Mandolin Orange ❤


The best way to beat the heat at Red Wing

Two kids having a sweet drink on a hot day. <3

Two kids having a sweet drink on a hot day. ❤

Some kind of super hero...

Some kind of super hero…

My little fashionista...

My little fashionista…

Hula Girl

Hula Girl

ENO Hammocks saved our weekend....

ENO Hammocks saved our weekend….

Momma, O, Sara, Sarah, Aoife

Momma, O, Sara, Aoife, Sarah


“You mean I can keep it??” 🙂

My favorite performances: Mandolin Orange, Sara, Sarah & Aiofe, Punch Brothers, and The Wood Brothers.

We met folks who drove from Wisconsin {17+ hours}, Canada {14+ hours}, and Chattanooga, TN {7+ hours} for the weekend. And we met folks who lived in the town of Mt. Solon and got to go home every night to a clean bed and a shower…

Having been to only one other music festival previously, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Red Wing. There were some things that definitely bugged me {bad directions, camping in a farmer’s corn field full of thistle and poison ivy, super-tight performance schedule, no musician’s workshops} and some things I really appreciated {lots and lots of families, amazing line-up, fantastic food vendors}. I heard the “premium” camping sold out in 10 minutes, so I’ll definitely try to get a site next year, but will probably settle for Z-Lot again, and see how the 2nd time goes. I’ll also be keeping an eye out for a pickup truck camper, travel trailer, pop-up or camper van so we can stay a little drier…maybe.



Scotch Collie History

Many of you already know our dogs, Kep and Finn, are Old Time Scotch Collies. However, it doesn’t seem I’ve shared what makes them so special to us.

We were extremely deliberate in choosing the farm dogs for Owl Moon Farm, and came across this breed in August, just after we moved to the farm. The wife of a colleague of Tripp’s has a breeding pair of these dogs, and is committed to reviving the breed. Old Time Scotch Collies {or, Scotch Collies, or Farm Collies, or Farm Shepherds} were once a dime a dozen. They are featured in agricultural works from 19th Century Europe:

Sheep Gathering in Glen Spean - Richard Ansdell 1872

Sheep Gathering in Glen Spean – Richard Ansdell 1872

Collies circa 1890

Collies circa 1890

And many, many photographs (and films!) from the early twentieth century in the US and the UK:

Collie helping with the sugaring - 1940

Collie helping with the sugaring – 1940

Beatrix Potter and her companion, Kep

Beatrix Potter and her companion, Kep

Known for their loyalty, biddability, and teachability, Old Time Collies were relied on for every job on the farm. They helped protect the livestock and children; they hunted rabbits, mice and other varmint; and of course, they helped the shepherd move his stock from place to place. They performed those duties in the Old Country, and the Scotch-Irish settlers brought them to the New World when they immigrated in the mid- to late-1800’s.

But, as the family farm started to decline, so did this once precious breed, and these well-rounded, dependable dogs were nearly lost. Luckily, there were a few breeders remaining in the late 1900’s that decided to rescue and revive the breed. There is a lot of history involved, so if you’d like to read more, I encourage you to visit Old-Time Farm Shepherd.

Our breeder was one of those folks that remembered having collie dogs around on a grandfather or uncle’s farm and committed to resurrecting the breed. Our pups are a result of that effort and we couldn’t be more pleased. Knowing that we are working side by side with a breed of dog that can likely be traced back to my own Scottish Highland ancestors…. Well, I get goosebumps every time I think about it.


Herding Instinct Test

Here’s a link to the video my son made during our Herding Instinct Test yesterday. I was so nervous leading up to it, but both boys really were phenomenal. Turn the volume up if you want to hear the trainer’s comments, or down if too much barking gets to you…

We tested at Keepstone Farm in Berryville, VA with all breed trainer, Susan Rhoades. We plan to do some more training with both boys and would love to take them to an AHBA trial or two this year. Stay tuned!

Puppy Update :: 6 Months!

The puppies are 6 months old! They are just about as tall as our Golden Retriever and definitely bigger than our 30-pound hound mix, much to his dismay. They play with both older dogs, and seem to be much more gentle with the Golden {she’s going to be 13 in April and can be a little grouchy}. She doesn’t chase them around, but they jump around her, nipping at her while she “barks” at them. I’ve tried to catch it on video but haven’t gotten it yet. The hound {he’s 12 this spring} seems to like being with them, but he still enjoys his solo “hunting trips” and lounging around in the warm house. They play a similar game with him, but more aggressively, and sometimes I’m not sure if the old guy really likes it, or is just a good sport.

They have learned to “back up” so I can open the door and “wait” when I open the door so they don’t go rushing in ahead of me, knocking me down. They sit for a treat. They do not come reliably when called {especially if they’re after something}, or stay for that matter, but they definitely know “leave it” which I use for just about anything I want them to leave alone. Chicken scrap bowl, on the ground outside the pen? They’ll just sit and look at it. Toys, indoor cats, shoes – they’re generally really good about leaving what we ask them to leave. But the outside cats? Not so much. Plus, Kep is a counter surfer and Finn likes to run upstairs when {he thinks} no one’s looking and eat the cat food. The kids say both dogs have a bad habit, but they’re not bad dogs. I totally agree, I just wish I could get them to quit!

Mountain Wave McCaulay "Kep" :: 6 Months

Mountain Wave McCaulay “Kep” :: 6 Months

We got our sheep last month and the pups were CRAZY for a few hours, barking and carrying on, but gradually they got used to having the girls around and now they walk down with me every morning and even to check on them. We haven’t let them in the paddock yet and don’t intend to until they’ve started some training at around 10 months. I’m still looking for somewhere local to get them started if you know of anyone…

My biggest question right now is – what next? I used to bring them in at dinner-time and keep them in their kennels for the night, but I have been letting them back out at night for the past few weeks, to get them used to being outside at night. Not overnight, but just till I go to bed. Generally, they bark and bark and bark off an on until about 10:30 when they relax and usually sleep on the front porch {which is off the living room, where I usually hang out in the evening}. We lost our only remaining original hen last week {the one that hatched the eggs!}, and another one today, and both times the pups were inside. SO – when do I leave them out for good? I fed them on the porch today, so I wouldn’t be tempted to kennel them for too long, but they don’t have a dog house yet, so they’ve been doing their regular snooze/play/chase thing all day without a solid nap. They seem tired. I left them in the fenced front yard when we headed to town for an hour today. {They often chase me or Tripp down the driveway when we leave, so I figured leaving them in the yard would help get them used to “staying” without the risk}. The pups and our hound mix were in the yard when we got back and seemed totally fine {and thrilled to see us}.


Mountain Wave Findlay “Finn” :: 6 Months

I am really looking forward to working these dogs this summer. We still talk about whether or not one {or both?} will ever be an “inside dog.” They are just so nice and loving and sweet – it’s hard to imagine them living outside 100% of the time! We spend a lot of time outside, so we get to be with them often but it’s just not the same. When they are inside separately, they will often lie down in whatever room I’m in and just hang out – it’s so dang sweet! When they are inside together they rarely sit still… Findlay seems to be a little more high strung and paces. But, I used to think Kep was the more active one, so who knows what personality will ultimately stick!

Either way, we are all so in love with these dogs. I’ve always thought I’d have a Golden forever and ever, but these boys are so darn smart, and they barely shed… I may be rethinking my earlier promise…especially once we start breeding… {OvO}

We have sheep!!!

I remember the day (weekend?) I finally realized just what it was I wanted to do on our farm. I’d been through all sorts of ideas: CSA, dairy, broilers… Nothing really fit with what I was looking for, until I was chatting with a fellow Ladies Homestead Gathering member about knitting and livestock when I finally realized what I want to do on our farm is SHEEP! I’m an avid knitter and I love caring for animals, so of course I should raise sheep!

So almost immediately after finding the farm, I started looking for sheep. Tripp and I decided that two pregnant ewes would be the place to start. I had my heart set on a pair of Romedale/CVM ladies, and once we learned that the largest breeder on the east coast purchased our Scotch Collies’ brother we knew we’d found our source. After a few months of emails back and forth with Marie at Marushka Farms about caring for sheep, and then exactly which animals would fit us best, we picked up our girls this weekend! I cannot fully express how excited we are to have our first two sheep on the farm!

New hay Feb 2015

Rose and Flower

Puppy Update :: 10 weeks

McCaulay {Kep} and Findlay {Finn} came home Saturday September 13th. They were excited to be in a new place and exhausted by the end of the day. Mom slept on the couch with them in a kennel together, hoping to take them out as soon as they whined to use the potty. Unfortunately, they whined a lot that night. Luckily, no one peed in the kennel. Mom slept on the couch for night #2 as well, but that was the last time – mamas need more/better sleep than what can be had on our couch with two whiney puppies by your side… The pups spent the next few nights on the screen porch, and only had one or two accidents overnight. {The screen porch is directly below our bedroom window, so I could hear them and let them out as soon as they whimpered.}

A few nights ago Findlay had the hardest time falling asleep and it was 11:30 before he finally settled down. For a few nights, the pups had been sleeping in kennels in the playroom {it’s starting to cool off here at night}, and were doing really well from about 7pm to 6am. But that night, Finn just wouldn’t quiet down. I’d let him out of the kennel and he’d go outside and just lie down on the patio. I started to worry he was refusing to sleep indoors! I tried putting him on the screen porch but he just kept pushing on the door {bang…bang…bang…}. Even though I really really didn’t want to, I offered to let him sleep outside. He was barking {for the first time ever} within 10 minutes. Finally, I moved his kennel out to the screen porch, locked him in, shut the house door and hoped he’d be quiet. He was. But at their 2:30am potty try it was really chilly out there, so I brought his kennel back in, only this time I left the door from the playroom to the porch open. I’m thinking he was just getting hot because he’s at least twice as furry as Kep. Knock on wood – he’s been sleeping fine every night since then {in his kennel, in the playroom, with the house/porch door open}.

The pups don’t seem to enjoy their inside time very much – at least not when they are together. We can’t let them have free run of the house because they are chewing EVERYTHING. Kitchen towel, rugs, couches, table legs, EVERYTHING. So I put up a gate to confine them to the kitchen only {cookbooks, the island, the recyclables…} but they still don’t want to relax, so they often head back outside. Outside they wander around the yard, wrestling, digging for voles, chewing on tree roots… They stay very close to the house and as long as Hickory doesn’t take them on any adventures, they very rarely leave the yard without a person.

I take them for a walk every morning, to practice their leash manners. Even though they are primarily farm dogs, they will have to leave the farm from time to time, and I need them to be respectful even when restricted to a 6-foot leash. I usually take them one at a time, so they can focus on me, down to check on the “animals” {just chickens right now} in the field and in the pole barn. Right now they are walking “okay” on a leash, and prefer eating chicken poop to actually checking on the chickens, but they are getting much better. I have had puppies before, but never a pup that I expected to do any particular work, so I’m flying blind here – I think they’re doing great!

One last thing – I’m amazed at how different their personalities are. I have had dogs my whole life, and I know dogs are different, but there is something fascinating about seeing two litter mates behave so differently. Kep is needy, and affectionate, and very bidable. Findlay is incredibly smart, but a little stubborn and more independent. Just like with my human kids, I am trying not to “label” them, for fear of creating a self-fulfilling prophesy situation, but it’s hard not to. I am eager to see how their individual traits serve them as they move into their roles as working farm collies.

Food: They are eating Taste of the Wild Puppy. It’s available at Tractor supply and the price point is good – plus it’s grain free! They’re getting between 2 and 3 cups/day. I measure a cup in the morning, give “a little” at lunch time, and then measure a cup for dinner time. I feed them in their kennels 100% of the time.
Sleeping: Right now they are sleeping in separate kennels side by side. Of course I thought having them face each other would be “better” but it actually made them whine/bark more and more, as they fed off each other’s excitement. Placing them side by side means maybe 10 seconds of whining then quiet; when the sun goes down, these boys are hungry and ready for bed. Lesley {of Mountain Wave Farm} suggested keeping them indoors until about 6 months of age, while they get potty trained and learn their family, so I have a few more months before I have to come up with a plan for that…

A rare moment of kitchen peace...

A rare moment of kitchen peace…

It really is a small world…

Long story, but neat {at least I think so}.

Today I called Miss Utility for a power line marking ahead of a satellite TV installation. The customer support rep said BARC Electric would be out between now {10am} and September 18. When we got home from our errands this morning, there was a BARC Electric truck on our road, doing something with the power lines that cut across our property. I leaned my head out the window and asked if they were here to mark the power lines. “No, ma’am, that’s another truck.” Oh, I said, well, there’s this wire that runs near the barn from this line {pointing directly overhead}, it’s green, appears to be grounded, but doesn’t appear to “go” to anything. Do you know what it is? He said he’d come have a look.

A few minutes later this {enormous} power line truck comes up the driveway. Two guys get out and explain that that line by the barn is there to maintain the right of way for the power company, but that there is no power to the wire. Someone before us had power in that barn, and a transformer on that pole, but now nothing. I will have to call the engineers and see about getting it hooked back up. Oh, I said, feeling dejected. I want the line to be nothing so I can pull it down, but also, something, so I can turn the lights on in the future barn… Anyway…

“Do you know how to get into that field over there, the one with the power poles?” Sure, there’s a rock crossing down below that last building – are you going to take that {gigantic} truck over there? “We’ve done it before!” Alright then… But hey, since you’re here…I have another question. There are a few places around the property with wires just sticking up out of the ground. Three places, actually. The lines appear to be dead, but we can’t figure out what they’re for or where they go… Can I just cut them off at the ground? “We can cut them for you, ma’am, if you want us to.” It’s really no problem for me to do it, I just want to make sure it’s okay to cut them. So, they back their {I mean, HUGE} power truck around and head down the driveway. He give me a “You mean, this one?” hand signal from 200 feet away, so I walk on down to see. Yes, those are the ones. “Hey,” the other guy calls out, from 20 feet away, “here’s a bunch coming up right here by the {guest} house!” What?!? {That makes FOUR places} “Ya, and what’s this giant PVC pipe here, by the barn?” Um…. He pulls it up – it’s empty. It’s at least 6 inches across, with a nice big PVC cap on top, and the hole goes at least 18 inches into the ground – but there’s nothing there. No wires and no visible tunnel or anything. Um…? So ya, there are wires like those two sets there, one in the field and another in the barn – any ideas? “They probably tried to run ‘private wire’ {that means, homeowner installed} from the {guest} house to the {“activity”} barn, to avoid putting in a separate meter. Down the hill? Now, I’m not sure about that…” Oh, well, don’t cut them then. I guess I need to do some more research…

Here’s where the story gets good!

I heard the guy ask Caden if our dog {Findlay} was a Border Collie. He told him no, he’s a Scotch Collie. So a little while later the guy asks me. “What kind of dogs are those?” Scotch Collies, I said. “Oh, I used to breed Border Collies.” Really? Do you have sheep? “No, but I used to work with them for a few people. Do these dogs herd like Border Collies?” They do, but you know how Border Collies are always…”on”? These guys are known to have an “off switch,” they are also reliable as homestead guardian dogs. “So, a good all-around dog?” Yes, exactly. In fact, there’s this farm down the road that has sheep and collies, and I’m hoping to get in touch with them about training these guys… “David Clark and his wife Cheryl? Ya, I know them. They’re great people.” Ya, that’s them – do you think they’d help me? “Definitely, I’m sure they’d be very helpful. We’re from over in Bath County and there’s a lady there {insert name here. I’ve already forgotten…Maybe her?} that’s a world renowned herder…” I didn’t know that! Isn’t there a guy in Highland County….what’s his name, Mc-something… “Ya, McCaig, I used to work for him. Man, it’s a small world, isn’t it?” Yes. It sure is. And I am absolutely thrilled to

Mountain Wave Kelsey, dam to our two pups. Herding Instinct Test

Mountain Wave Kelsey, dam to our two pups. Herding Instinct Test