Stock Dog After-Buzz

Today we dug out from two days of snow. This morning the flock was nestled tight into a slough bottom, surrounded by snow deep enough they didn’t want to move out.  The market lambs and rams needed a couple of bales; a common and regular chore that took three times as long to complete. The old chore tractor gave us all sorts of trouble before we got it going, and the bales sunk into the soft snow rather than rolled. We had to dig out of waist high snow to get into the shearing shed which I started doing by shovel since it didn’t look like the tractor would be of help. This last task was not a regular chore nor done to house any sheep, but rather so that myself and few friends could work stock dogs this afternoon. The long morning of chores and snow moving was so worth it.

Before we knew it the morning was the afternoon and people were arriving. Half a dozen people came out and we nestled ourselves, our dogs and a few sheep indoors, escaping the wind and deep snow. It was an exceptional afternoon of working dogs.

Maybe it was the crisp air, fresh snow and bright sunlight after a stretch of several days of grey skies and blowing snow but each person seemed to be glad to be out doing something with their dog. There was a feeling of being present and in this together, and supporting and laughing.  Each of us seemed to be aware and intentional in working our dogs and the dogs responded ten fold. It isn’t always like this when working dogs, either alone or working with a group. But when it is like this, it feels a bit like magic and I feel the after-buzz for a long time.