I began herding
when my first Shetland Sheepdog, Pascha, was introduced to livestock at seven
years of age and proved to have a natural desire and ability to work. I had
learned of a trainer who gave classes about 1-1/2 hours' drive away, and signed
up with Pascha, who at the same time was finishing his advanced AKC obedience
Tricolor Sheltie Cailie soon followed in Pascha's footsteps. She went on to become HCh. WTCh. HTCh. Northlight Ceilidh, HTD III-s,d, HRD III-s.
Their daughter Shaela (HCh. WTCh. HTCh. Northlight Shaela, HTD III-s,d, HRD III-s) also proved to be a keen herder, as did their other daughters and sons -- Piper, Selkie, Penner, Molly, Banner, Ricky, and Tess.
Shaela's daughter Minka is a keen herder -- here she is working Shetland Sheep. Minka's daughter, Lacey, is shown with rare Shetland Geese.
HTCH. HCh. Northlight Milenka,
HTD III-s, HRD III-s, ATD-s,
with Shetland sheep
HTCH. HCh. Northlight Color Me Wild,
HTD III-s, HRD III-s, ATD-s
working Shetland geese
In addition to working sheep, ducks and farm geese, Minka and Lacey have also done some wild goose control work in Bay Area parks and schoolgrounds. All over the country growing numbers of Canada geese have decided to forego migrating and have made themselves at home on golf courses and the lawns of city and corporate parks. Herding dogs are being used to shoo the geese away from the parks and golf courses, which can be severely damaged by the grazing and wastes of such high numbers of geese. Another of my Shelties who worked as a "Branta Canadensis Migration Facilitator" was my late Mara, a lovely bi-black:
Northlight Shadybrook Mara, HX, ATD-s, HRD III-s, HTD III-s|
Also helping out on the goose patrol was Border Collie, Tex (WTCh. HTCh. Sea-Lite Tex, HTD III-s,d, HRD III-s,c). Tex was owned by Pat and Leron Jensen, but I trained and handled him in herding.
My late tricolor Rough Collie, Chelsea, began her career with ducks as a pup. She especially enjoyed working large flocks of sheep, the more the better. Like Mara and Tex, she is greatly missed.
|Northlight Paragon Crystal, HX, HRD
My first German Shepherds predated my involvement with herding but were wonderful companions and horseback riding buddies. Richter accompanied me everywhere when I rode my Palomino mare, Queenie. Steppenwolf (Wolf for short), who came later also enjoyed the horses. He would help move them from field to field, and when we went riding, took the "point" position out front, leading the way. He loved water and would swim out into the middle of the pond to take a drink! My present German Shepherd, Falcon, enjoys working the farm geese and is also a keen scooter dog.
Queenie & Richter
Falcon with his gaggle
Another activity I enjoy is carriage driving with my Welsh
Section B Pony, Meadowlawn Penny. Pascha learned to be a "coach dog" or carriage dog, as did my
first Collie, Shasta.
I draw and paint pictures of animals. These drawings are of Cailie as a puppy
and my Welsh Cob, Robyn, as a foal.
Off and on I have kept ducks for herding practice, and on occasion I have
supplied eggs for the creative people who are involved in the art of egg
decorating. Duck eggs have a sturdy shell suitable for carving and decorating.
I've sent eggs to Texas to be transformed into Ukrainian pysanky.
I'm also a fan of foxes -- a favorite foxy site is Fox Forest
And since I became involved with herding I've gotten to know a lot of sheep,
including Lambie, a Suffolk ewe, who would steal your sandwich if you weren't
careful, open gates and barn doors, and sometimes turn the tables on the dogs
and chase them. Lambie could also turn into the Invisible Sheep. The
Invisible Sheep would stand like a rock while the other sheep were being
gathered, knowing that there were some dogs who came out for herding practice
who didn't want to tangle with the mighty Lambie so would go along with the ploy
that she just wasn't there. Such dogs would carefully round up all the
other sheep but leave the Invisible Sheep behind until the handler pointed her
out -- Lambie didn't quite figure out how to make herself invisible to people.
Another site brought
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