LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for FARMCOLLIE Archives


FARMCOLLIE Archives

FARMCOLLIE Archives


FARMCOLLIE@LIST.UVM.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

FARMCOLLIE Home

FARMCOLLIE Home

FARMCOLLIE  August 1998

FARMCOLLIE August 1998

Subject:

Re: [HERD-L] SOAPBOX: Prince, an old farm collie

From:

[log in to unmask]

Reply-To:

Farm Collie Breed Conservancy and Restoration <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 5 Aug 1998 09:52:08 EDT

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (107 lines)

I received permission to forward the following from the Herders-l list:

<< Subj:              Re: [HERD-L] SOAPBOX: Prince, an old farm collie
 Date:  8/3/98 10:30:26 PM Pacific Daylight Time
 From:  [log in to unmask] (R. Lincoln Keiser)

 I've been kind of inactive on the list lately, but I thought some of you
 might be interested in hearing about a dog I ran into in Michigan when I was
 there two weeks ago. This part of Michigan - north of Ludington and south of
 Traverse City - is a kind of time warp. Near the lake it's like a resort
 area of the '50's - beaches miles long, warm water, few people. But as soon
 as you get away from the lake you find beautiful rolling farm land -
 pastures and orchards hidden among woods and forests - and villages and
 hamlets with names like Chief, Brethren, Kaleva, Copmish. Here you can still
 find family farms; some are even centennial farms, i.e., in the same family
 for 100 years or more. You find small farming communities of Amish and
 Mennonites as well. We go there to our summer cottage near the shores of
 Lake Michigan for two weeks every summer with our two aussies Jake and the
 Cisco Kid. It's great to get away, but the dogs and I miss working our
 weaner calves.

 It's hardest on Cisco. As long as he works every day he's a wonderful dog, a
 bit intense, but biddable, and with a very sweet - even gentle -
 disposition. But when he doesn't work he gets difficult to live with. He
 gets hyper to the extreme and tries to chase everything that moves -
 runners, rollerbladers, byciclers, and his favorite enemy, UPS trucks. He
 can drive you nuts! Runs on the beach and even long swims help, but only to
 a degree. They don't take the place of working stock.

 So I asked Wink Somsel, a long time friend who lives in the area, if he knew
 of anyone with some cows we could work. As it turned out he has a brother
 Dick who owns an 80 acre farm in Brethren. Dick raises hogs and cattle. The
 cattle (some beef, some dairy) number roughly 40 head. Dick said I was
 welcome to come out to his place and give it a try, even if he wasn't
 around. But, he said, he had one cow with a calf that tries to run dogs out
 of the field and one 900 lb bull that he would love to get into his barn. He
 also had 6 weaner calves that would be just about right - if I could
 separate them from the rest of the herd. So I thought I would give it a try.

 When we got there I found something else, a 1500lb Bhrama bull that Dick had
 negleted to tell me about, and two dogs - one some kind of a golden
 retriever mix who was tied on a chain and the other...well, a dog that
 looked like he could handle himself around stock. This dog was running free.

 Dick's truck wasn't there, but since the weaner calves were a little
 separate from the rest of the herd I thought we might be able to separate
 them enough more to give Cisco a chance to do some herding and so decided to
 give it a shot. Cisco and I entered the pasture accompanied by Dick's dog
 who immediately started working the entire herd. But Dick's wife came out
 and called the dog into the house, leaving the herd to us.

 It was a short lived and very sobering experience, a definite reality check.
 As soon as Dick's dog was in the house the 1500 lb bull came trotting right
 at us, accompanied by a couple of angry looking cows. They looked to me to
 be clearly unhappy with our presence. Cisco made a quick swipe at the bull,
 but when the bull turned to look at him, split as fast as he could right out
 of the pasture. I thought at this point that discretion was definitely the
 better part of valour, and made what I hoped was a more dignified retreat as
 well. So ended our "session".

 A few minutes later Dick pulled up in his truck and invited me into the
 house, which gave me a chance to ask about his dog. The dog (Prince was his
 name) was a 9 month old "collie" that Dick had bought from an Amish farmer
 who lived about 20 miles away.

 And I could see a collie resemblance, although Prince looked different from
 any rough or smooth collie that I had ever seen. For one thing his build was
 different. He was rangey, not blocky as many rough collies appear to be. And
 although his coat was of a typical collie color, it had a different texture.
 It was shorter than the rough collies, but longer than the smooth collies I
 have seen. And it was kind of curled. His nose was collie-like, but not
 extremely pointed. His ears were semi-pricked. And he had a kind of
 confidence and toughness about him that indicated a dog happy in the dirt
 and dust of an old time working farm.

 Dick said he hadn't had the time to do much training with Prince, but that
 he didn't seem to need it. (I didn't ask him if Prince had been to puppy
 kindergarten since I knew that would get me laughed off the place and there
 wasn't an obediance class offered within miles.) Prince just seemed to know
 how to make himself useful without specific training.

 And so Dick pretty much gave him the run of the farm. He was never tied and
 he never ran off the place. And even if Dick wasn't around Prince took it
 upon himself to make sure things stayed as they were supposed to be. For
 example, when the hogs escaped from their pens and wandered onto the road,
 as they did from time to time, Prince brought them back to their proper
 location on his own. Dick felt better about leaving the farm if something
 called him away when Prince was around to oversee things.

 Dick suspected that Prince was not a pure bred collie. The amish didn't keep
 pedigrees, prefering instead to breed a useful dog to a useful dog
 regardless of anything else. So Dick thought that Prince might have some
 blue heeler in him and possible some other kind of farm dog as well (what we
 would call an English Shepherd perhaps?).

 It was a pleasure to meet Prince - to see first hand a dog so focused, so
 centered, so calm and so confident in what and who he was - a plain dog for
 a plain job. It was a lesson in what we've lost with our closed registration
 books, our fixation on purity of breed and our obsession with pedigree. And
 it was good to know that there are still places out there - small, out of
 the way places to be sure - where the kind of dogs our ancestors bred still
 exist.

 Linc

 ----------- >>

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

March 2021
November 2020
October 2020
March 2019
January 2019
October 2018
March 2018
April 2017
December 2016
November 2016
July 2016
December 2015
August 2015
February 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
October 2013
September 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LIST.UVM.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager