One step forward. Two steps sideways.

Greetings readers. Frodo here. I am here to report about the Beatnik’s return to herding. If one would call it that. It appears he has suffered from his lack of sheep exposure….to the point where this was SOMEWHAT similar to his first exposure to the wooly wonders. Except this was probably a tad….worse.

But instead of reporting a completely dismal outing, let’s look at the bright points. First, it didn’t rain. Second. It didn’t rain. Third. It wasn’t too hot. Fourth. It didn’t rain….

In reviewing the short video footage taken by her highness, and after hearing her observations, it does appear that each time they go, his excellent instructor does make it more challenging for him. For example- the first time they were in a small pen. The next time the pen was larger and she used the big flag to direct him. The third class, she didn’t use the flag. This time, she added a series of fences within the enclosure- to teach him to be more aware of where he was going and to keep him moving outward around the pen.

Her highness would like to emphasize that their instructor has the patience of Job. I mean she is REALLY, REALLY patient. She waits for the Beatnik to THINK – rather than completely pushing him to do something. And her highness was fascinated to watch his wheels turning when he had to figure out how to go AROUND the fencing – and how to NOT cut across the pen and go right at the sheep. He also needed to be reminded about proper manners with sheep – especially now since they aren’t wearing their fluffy wool coats.

Yes- watching the wheels turn ever so slowly is very interesting . Very interesting. And VERY slow. But they ARE turning- and despite the fact that progress was just slightly faster than a slug crossing through molasses, he never quit trying. And even after one rather raucous attempt to chase sheep recklessly, when the instructor had to firmly but fairly admonish him, he bounced right back, wagged his tail and said “OK, now what?!”

So we don’t have any exciting video to share – probably because her highness spend most of the time with her hand covering her eyes – and just peeking through her fingers.

But the instructor did say that he IS interested, and he does have drive. He doesn’t have much self-awareness of body position- and he did have one crazy run which left both a fence on the ground and the instructor on her knees. Yup – it was the typical Beatnik-in-a-china shop move.

While the Beatnik was taking down fences, the instructor’s Border Collie was squeaking to get in the pen to show the Beatnik how it’s done. She ended up being sequestered in the barn – but she just HAD to see what the strange looking beast was doing with her sheep….

I should also mention that he DID sample some sheep morsels on this outing too. And while during a decompression break, when they went for a short walk in the field, he also attempted a good old fashioned roll in the sheep poo. “Attempted” being the operative word.

So it was a very eventful morning and he he clearly still has LOTS of work ahead of him. But as long as the instructor is hopeful, they’ll keep on trying. The great news – no two or four leggeds were injured. AND the Beatnik was treated to a nice bath when he got home. Better him than me!

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

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