2002-03-08 01:37:40 (UTC)

Leftovers and Border Collies

I'm still cooking too much and that results in leftovers.
I'm so used to cooking for six people and more than half of
those teen-age boys that it's hard to remember to reduce the
amounts and number of things I cook and bake. There are
only four of us now and with Gavin's schedule he's seldom
home for regular meals. This means we are once again having
leftovers to try to reduce the backlog of food still in the
refrigerator. I should think of this as a blessing. Less
time cooking means more time for quilting!

We are also having leftover winter weather. This morning it
was hailing and snowing which is odd weather for us for
March. It didn't stick, of course. It's too warm for that.
It's still cold outside but the skies are now mostly blue.
I've had a fire going in the fireplace all day and I'll keep
it going all night too.

One of the short mystery stores I read last night included a
border collie and there was a brief discussion of the
commands used. This intrigued me so this morning I googled
"herding commands" and found serveral websites with
information on the terms and their meanings. Here's what I
come by- turn left or go clockwise around the sheep
away or way to me -turn right or go counterclockwise around
the sheep
right and left- always the dog's right and left
come by- turn left or go clockwise around the sheep
walk up- move towards the sheep
get back- move away from the sheep
there or down- stop and wait for next command
lie - crouch and move slowly along the ground and thus
become less threatening to the sheep
here- move toward the handler
look back- turn around and go back for more sheep behind him
easy or steady- slow down
fetch- bring the sheep to the shepherd
on your feet- get on your feet but don't walk
that'll do- stop working and return to shepherd

I love border collies but they're far too energetic to keep
as family pets. They're bred as working dogs and working is
something they just must do. I remember when Shep, an
Australian Shepherd, was just a pup and how endless his
energy was. It was lucky I had four little boys who loved
to run and play with him. Shep was lucky too. No. I won't
own one. But I love to look at them riding in the backs of
the farmer's pickups with their intelligent eyes and their
tongues lolling out. Ocasionally I'll have the chance to
see some working in a field as I drive past. I've been
known to just stop the car and pull over to the side of the
road and watch them working for a while. Just like a tourist
even though I've lived here more than twenty years. In
June, at the Pionner Picnic, there may be some sheep herding
trials this year. If there are I'll go.