The Latin is from Virgil and says, “Fortune smiles upon our first attempt.”
Here I’ve collected some photos and videos of the border collie puppies’ first attempts to herd sheep.
I picked up Dubin on St. Patrick’s Day and here we are just a few days later at my birthday dinner at White Fence Farm. Apparently this sheep was unimpressed with Dublin’s predator stare, and I can’t blame her, he was so damn cute I’d run toward him instead of away from him too! He’d have to wait another two months before his real first time “working” sheep (because you have to call it work even when it’s play, them’s the rules!).
Yes, you did hear that right. My father puts down Dublin and says “Now listen, I’m hungry, so go get me a sandwich” and later, “Chris, why don’t you try this at the singles bar.” Heh.
This was also young Celeste’s first time seeing sheep, mere days after we got her. She had just turned 9 weeks old. This was also the first time she had a new heavy collar on so she spent a lot of time trying to scratch at it, much to our amusement. The cuts are where she ran out of frame into the shade to work on getting her collar off.
I also took my camera to Mercury and Gemma’s first exposure to sheep but since I was no longer a complete idiot around sheep, my instructor had me take the pups into the ring instead of me watching her do it. Thus my humble little camera was left perched on a chair.
It’s amazing to watch that light go on when they first realize that they have power over the sheep. You can see it, they are rather carefree and oblivious, looking around like this is any other dog park except with smaller pieces of poop on the ground, and in an instant it’s BAM, the instinct kicks in and it’s a different life from then on.
* * *
If this post made you think and you'd like to read more like it, consider a donation to my 4 Border Collies' Treat and Toy Fund. They'll be glad you did. You can subscribe to the feed or enter your e-mail in the field on the right to receive notice of new content. You can also like BorderWars on Facebook for more frequent musings and curiosities.
* * *