Stock Dog Ying and Yang

If you have followed this blog for any length of time it is not news that I am deeply fond of stock dogs. After all, one lankly stock dog was the reason we converted a crop farm into a grass farm and started raising sheep.

It is easy to write that you love a thing but it is far deeper task to aptly describe why or how deeply.

Photo by Cathy Bishop
There are all the usual reasons for liking a good stock dog - they make your day to day work simpler. They save you miles. There are tasks that a single person would not accomplish with out the help of a stock dog. They are necessary company for a lifestyle that entails great amounts of time spent alone. They laugh with you and at you. They are free in spirit.

They can also be frustrating and easy to misunderstand. Their built in work ethic make young stock dogs a challenge to live with. They can make your life more difficult on occasion, such as this morning, when Cajun put a ewe and her lamb into a slough - twice. After proudly using him to sort sheep at the clinic I attended this past weekend, I was not expecting action like this from him and this morning’s fiasco stung a little deeply. Yet writing about it now makes me love him a little more too.

And that’s it.

That way of liking and disliking, of easy and hard, the Ying and the Yang. The switch from exasperation to appreciation and the place in between, is why I love these dogs. Because they are not easy and they don’t come with a manual (thank goodness) and no matter how many clinics one goes to I’ll never have them all figured out because figuring them out isn’t the purpose.