As a puppy I fitted in to my new home very quickly. At the beginning I was on my own but in my first Summer another puppy arrived. I've never seen anything quite so funny. Her name was Fleur, well that was funny for a start, then there was her shape, short legs, a long body, very long ears and she always looked sad even if she wasn't and she had a very funny accent. She said she was a Basset Hound from England. I'll let her tell you about all the fun we had and the mischief she got me into!!!
Now I was growing up and was getting impatient to start work. I sometimes went with the Boss to check on the sheep but just as I would be about to go and round them up she would call me away. I didn't understand what the problem was until the day she said we were going to "school" for ME to learn to work with sheep. It wasn't me that needed lessons, it was MY SHEPHERD who didn't know what to do!!!!!
I must admit the first day was a bit scary. She gave me a pill to calm me down for the trip in the "metal box"[ I still hate them now] but I think she should have had one aswell. When we arrived at the "school" I had to wait in the "box" all morning, apparently the Shepherds were signing up for the lessons[I knew it was for them!] And talking about their dogs and their experience. There were lots of other dogs in their "boxes "but they were all those black and white collie types so I was going to stand out, but I didn't mind. I was confident but I don't think she was judging by her face when she came to fetch me!!!!!!
We went into a field to start the lessons. All the other Shepherds were males and the collies were sniggering amongst themselves. "Have you seen the size of that bitch[me] and she's so old[2 years] and her Shepherds a female, oh this is going to be fun to watch." They [the dogs and shepherds] were all waiting for us to make fools of ourselves.
The first task was the RECALL, well how simple is that, or so I thought. But only the second Collie to be tested, a male with other things on his mind and a totally ineffective Shepherd, took off and kept running. He was put on his lead when they finally caught him, how embarrassing. I had a little smile at that. Then it was our turn. I could see how nervous she was, all those males looking at her, waiting for a mistake, waiting for me to run off. But of course I didn't, I went straight to her and waited for my next command. That kept them quiet. After that we were given a bit more respect.
As the weeks passed she was really getting the hang of the commands and we had just started working with small groups of sheep. She was still a bit nervous about letting me work but I was beginning to enjoy myself, atlast I was doing what I had been born for.
Then DISASTER STRUCK.
Our flock of sheep where attacked by MARAUDING DOGS, and they became terrified at the sight of any dog, me included. They started running for their lives as soon as they saw me. I tried to reassure them but the trauma they had suffered was too great and they would't listen. She said I had to leave them alone until they had recovered. No more fun for me. It was a long time before she was able to let me help her again.
I think Number One is going to tell you all about those TERRIBLE DAYS as I didn't see what happenned to them.