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View Diary: Oliver, the Old English Sheepdog (44 comments)

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  •  Just yesterday (11+ / 0-)

    I was at a "Wool Festival" In Estes Park, Colorado (near Rocky Mountain National Park) , featuring Sheep, Goats, Llama, Alpacas, Suris and so forth, and one of the features was a demonstration of training Herding Dogs, especially Border Collies.

    It takes a few years of patient training to produce a reliable dog, but they are fantastic. I learned that not only do they respond to hand motions and voice, but also to whistles when they are way out, for commands like "down", "count" (check if all the members of the group are there), "herd" (bring them to me), etc. They are very much autonomous if need be, and out here in the west with coyotes and other predators the sheep know who their protectors are and several sheepdogs will team up to create a boundary to protect the flock and skillfully manage to get them back to the barn. A good dog pack...

    And the best of them learn how to "nip' gently with their teeth at the hindquarters or legs of reluctant 300lb rams or ewes that don't obey their orders...

    But the Sheep need to get comfortable with the dog. If a new dog is introduced, the "alpha" sheep will wonder "Who is this newbe???" but after awhile thay get a relationship going and the sheep accept their new "manager" and they all work together.

    So, somewhat like Labrador retrievers or sled dogs (I love Malemutes and Huskies) it's a breed that just loves doing what it does so well, is expert at it, and just wants to be able to do it all day, and then have love and attention when they're done and off duty...

    And this is so far from "fetching a stick" it's no comparison...

    Quite amazing .... and very intelligent dogs ...

    Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

    by blindcynic on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 08:48:10 PM PDT

    •  They are indeed...and I used to enjoy our Borders (6+ / 0-)

      immensely, although we did have Spaniels too, and some other breeds.

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 09:50:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I always click on your diaries (7+ / 0-)

        as a long time pilot (very long time) and enjoy them very much, but talking about dogs is good too!

        Now if I could  just get flight students to learn like border collies, it would all be good.....

        Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

        by blindcynic on Mon Jun 10, 2013 at 10:42:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You would have to be careful how you used..... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aunt Pat, whaddaya, RiveroftheWest

          the word 'down', or you would find your student flattened against the cockpit floor!  :)

          'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

          by shortfinals on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 03:31:23 AM PDT

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          •  Yes, I learned a long time ago (3+ / 0-)

            when approaching the pattern with a new passenger, not to say "we're going down now....."

            And having done some product liability work in court, you don't say in court "that pushbutton on the handlebars? That's the KILL switch....."

            And if the engine "dies" on final approach to the "terminal", I'd just say "hey, no worries, I'm a glider pilot too  - watch this, you'll love it !!!"

            Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

            by blindcynic on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 03:02:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This made me laugh...a lot! :) n/t (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest, Joy of Fishes

              'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

              by shortfinals on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 09:14:32 PM PDT

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              •  Thx ... (3+ / 0-)

                I really like your series, even though it has nothing to do with electing more and better democrats, if there are any...

                because you write to a passion, airplanes, especially old but worthwhile airplanes... we couldn't have a 787 dreamliner without a gypsy's a long and tortuous logical trail,  isn't it???

                We couldn't have a United flight 232 without extreme aeronautical knowledge, or a Glider (and F-4) Pilot Chesty Sullenberger saving 100+ people.

                So people who fly themselves don't know flying history, how it was hours and hours of boredom interrupted by moments of stark terror and all that....

                So here's a strange link. I'm a sports car racing driver, 40+ years, one of my heros was Graham Hill who I saw at Watkins Glen US In 1965, maybe 1966, US GP, in the BRM H16. He died In a plane crash in England flying an Aztec-D PA-23 Twin in fog (bad Idea). only a few years before I took my Multi and Instrument check ride in the same type airplane..   PA-23-250...(successfully, I might add, toughest check ride ever, instrument approach with a dead engine). I didn't connect this until I read his biography, updated just after his death.

                Somehow, even a F1 driver with lightening reflexes (well, I had those too) couldn't escape  a problem scenario. I learned a lot from that thought for the rest of my life.

                So, I'm a sailor too. The message I gave to my children (and it applies to pilots too) is

                "A superior sailor is one who uses his superior judgment to stay out of situations requiring the use of his superior skills..."

                says it all , I thinks

                Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

                by blindcynic on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 12:01:01 AM PDT

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                •  My brother is the sailor in the family.... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Past Commodore, Barry Island Yacht Club, South Wales - I'm the one that gets sick in 6" of bath water (but never in the air, strangely)

                  My last ride in an Aztec? In the right hand seat of a PA-23 of Trent Aero, taking photographs of these two aircraft - this sortie generated the cover shot for the book (LOTS to tell about this sortie, one day!)


                  I do try to alternate between 'aviation/non-avaition' diaries, if I can........

                  Smooth landings!


                  'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

                  by shortfinals on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:17:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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