January 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, Molly

Bill Fosher on the dog that changed his life:

Old Molly just keeps on keeping on. She turns 105 today, if you buy the notion that one calendar year is seven dog years.

Just a few weeks ago, I thought she might not make it to this milestone. She suffered a major seizure, and had a hard time coming out of it. But come out of it she did, and bless her heart, she paces up and down "harr-ing" for her dinner every night starting about two hours before feeding time.
Bill is the owner/moderator of the invaluable Sheep Production Forums. He doesn't write much, but when he does, it's good: for my money, he's one of the best writers on dogs, and ought to write a book about shepherding. You can read On the occasion of Molly's 15th birthday at Bill's Edgefield Sheep blog.

Companion dogs are wonderful. My pit bulls are fantastic dogs, and I've loved all of them at least as much as I love my collies. But the bond with a working stock dog is different, and very special. Stock work is like a crucible. Treats, praise, comfort and predictable conditions are burned away, and what's left is the essence of a centuries-old working partnership: instinct, resolve, communion. I'm not saying you have to have been out there counting on your dog in the middle of the night with fences down and the rain blowing sideways to understand what I'm talking about --- but you have to have tended stock with a good dog to know.

Happy Birthday, Molly!

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