Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hills

I come from the Illinois prairie. Flat green land created by the ancient glaciers, as far as you can see. But like many, I am drawn to the hills. Part of my fascination with the sheepdogs has to do with the connection with the land that comes with them. Without sheep, no sheepdogs. Without land, no sheep. Some types of sheep are just made for hills. It's what they are about. Some sheepdogs are made for hills and it's what they are about too. I am told that Spot is one of those hill dogs.


Hill dog Spot on the top of the field of dreams

Once upon a time I was told that Chiefie was the ideal hill dog; it is too bad that I was too green in my sheepdog career to fully give him the chance to develop. Regardless, I thrive on my occasional experiences out on the land when working dogs or going to or from working dogs. I'm also told over and over, that "hills make a dog" and I truly believe that phrase as I've seen it happen with all of my dogs, not just Spot, as they grew into their work.

If you look closely there is a person and two dogs on these hills. One of my very favorite places. :)

I have started PT this week for my leg issues. I was given a questionnaire to fill out before my interview with the therapist which was to evaluate just how affected you are with your physical issues. One of the questions was about whether you could walk a mile or not. I answered yes. I can walk a mile. At least I can walk a mile on these fields in the photos. :) I probably wouldn't like to walk a mile on pavement but I could if I had to. Would I hurt afterwards? Probably. At least when I am walking on these hills it is for a good purpose and something I am working hard for. It makes me want to keep up with my PT assignments so that I can better enjoy these hills and the dogs.

Flying Mule posted this video about Hefting in Scotland which is a short piece about land management and sheep. I found it extremely interesting and it is what gave me the thread to tie this blog post together (which I have been thinking about for a while but couldn't come up with a theme).
Watch it. It's good. :)

Hefting in Scotland

If you watch the video then look at my photo above with the tiny person in it with the two dogs, it will look very similar to what is in the video. The main exception being, of course, that the land is green in the video and it is brown in the photo. But, the sheep trails are the same, whether in Zamora or in Scotland.

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The Boyz at Carmel, our favorite place