Thursday, October 28, 2010
Hazards on the Herding Field
Caeli and I moved the sheep into the pasture where I planned to practice penning. When hearing the “Away” command, she circled counter-clockwise. But in mid-circle, she saw one of three hens that were roaming the pasture. Her path and mind wandered from the sheep to the chickens. “Lie down,” I commanded, imagining flying chickens and feathers if she tried to herd them. "Away," I said again. Again she focused on the sheep. But, before I could breathe easily, Trick the Cat, sauntered out to the field. As she passed, he pounced her and bit her back leg. She ignored him. She was focusing on sheep, sheep, sheep. Until she saw those chickens again. “That’ll do,” I said, wondering if the herding book had advice for practicing with meddling chickens and cats in the field.