04 September 2007

That'll Do, Pete

So much to blog, so much to blog.

I moved into my new house Saturday morning, and I am in LOVE with the kitchen. The whole thing was remodeled in May, and it's so pretty.


The kitchen is mostly set up, but I haven't had a chance to unpack the rest of the house, because Saturday evening I went to Laughin' Night at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival and I spent all of yesterday at the Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Championships.

Border Collie Herding Ducks

Let me just tell you about sheepdogs, and by sheepdogs I mean border collies. They're fantastic. Don't call me this week unless you want to hear all about how smart border collies are and how cute they are when they herd sheep (or ducks) and how you ought to get one and some sheep and start a farm, possibly in Scotland, and invite me over to watch your dog herd sheep. Seriously, they're so great. And when they compete the announcer refers to them as "sheepdog athletes."

Sheepdog Athlete Herding Sheep into the Pen

The competition was four days long, and we attended the last day when only the top 15 dogs were competing in the Double Lift. In the Double Lift, the handler stands at a post and sends the dog (the sheepdog athlete) up the mountain to bring back eight uncollared wild sheep. The dog brings the sheep down through a set of gate posts, leaves the sheep, and goes back up to a different spot to bring down eight collared wild sheep through the gate posts. Then the dog takes all 16 sheep around the right side of the handler and through two more sets of posts before herding them into the shedding ring, a circle marked out on the grass. Once the sheep are in the ring, the handler comes over and helps the dog separate out five of the collared sheep (this is very difficult because the sheep get irate when they're split up) and the two of them herd the five sheep into an 8 x 9 foot pen without ever touching the sheep. A-MA-ZING.

Red Oliver in the Shedding Ring to Separate Collared Sheep from Uncollared Sheep

Sheepdogs respond to voice and whistle commands that are mostly the same worldwide. We were sitting close to the fence, so we could hear the handlers giving the voice commands. Let me just tell you, sheepdog voice commands in a Scottish brogue are the best ever, especially Away to me, girl. Yeah, translate that one into a brogue for yourself and feel the joy overtake you.

The program for the competition has biographies of the dogs and handlers, and one dog, Gyp, was described as "kind to all sheep." That desciption struck me as terribly amusing. I could just imagine Gyp inviting all the sheep in the neighborhood to his birthday party, even the nerdy sheep that no one else wants to play with. Gyp is so kind. He shares. He's a giver.

I have about twelve more things to say about sheepdogs, but I'll save them until I get the pictures of the competition from my friends who remembered to take cameras, unlike me. Now I have to dash off and work on the house and get ready to go to IKEA this afternoon with my sister and her kids.

Seriously, though, people. Sheepdogs.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been having blog withdrawal since your last entry. It seems like a long time ago. Your kitchen is gorgeous. Enjoy.

Toe blog: My bandaid came off during yoga. Mom

Kirsten said...

Ahh sheep dogs. I live with two old english long haired sheep dogs (although their hair is cut really short right now because of summer months) and every now and then I feel like I am being herded.

Love the kitchen! What a dream to have one all to yourself.

Annie M. said...

You are so funny. I have had MBC blog withdrawls too! I am glad the move went well. The kitchen looks nice!

MBC said...

Mom--Glad to get a toe blog update.

Kirsten--It IS lovely to have the kitchen to myself. Sometimes I just want to lie on the floor in there and feel happy that the dishes are all done and I can eat EVERYTHING in the fridge.

Annie--Thanks!

Emily said...

I hope that when you went to IKEA (never mind the fact that you drove right by my house without so much as a parting glance) you got the hot dog special.

Even if you hate hot dogs, you should eat two of them (plus drink and chips) for $2.50. I love me some cheap hot dogs.

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