Saturday, June 06, 2015

Roy the Sheepdog

(Now that we are home I was able to edit this post and add the short video of Roy herding the sheep.)

I wish I could post the video I took of Roy yesterday.  Given that it takes me 15-30 minutes even to get to where I can post an entry to this blog there's no way I could upload a video.

We drove about 1/2 hour to Joyce Country Sheepdogs.  The roads narrow and countryside beautiful.  Joe Joyce does sheep dog demonstrations and we attended the 11 am demonstration.  Roy, a border collie, is 12 years old and is the "head dog".  Watching him work at his age makes me feel guilty I take the elevator instead of the stairs.  Joe has a number of working dogs including one black terrier that is used for going after the foxes.  Foxes are a problem in the spring with all the newborn lambs.  He also had 3 border collie pups.  Of course, I fell in love with Tip.  Tip is the youngest (3 months) and it was hilarious watching him with the other dogs and the sheep.  Joe gave us the background on his dogs and the purity of Roy's line.  Also interesting to know was he makes more money selling one of his pups (all over the world) than he makes on selling his sheep.  He also said the sheep aren't raised for the wool but for the meat and the  lamb must be 1 year or younger.  Anything older is considered "mutton" and isn't worth as much.  I would have thought that all the sheep we have seen were there for the wool but that isn't the case.  The use of synthetic materials has reduced the cost and demand for wool.  The government subsidizes the farmers for the sheep they raise. I really only understood about half of what he said, it was freezing cold and I was glued to the dogs...especially Tip, the puppy.  Tim was very happy that Tip wasn't for sale.

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