Say It With Your Body

“Lean on him!”

That’s what Gordon Watt used to say when I was working my young, excitable dog, Zac. It has taken me years to understand all that was bound up with that tiny bit of advice.

Gordon Watt (r) demonstrates how to get a dog in the “zone” with body language. Photo by John

We just completed […]

Another Snowy, Character-building Gordon Watt Clinic

It happened late last April. It happened again this Halloween. Our semi-annual Gordon Watt clinic here at Heatherhope Farm is getting to be the kind of thing that builds real character. It was in 1895 that we last had an October snow like this—with three or five inches of the stuff and a good stiff […]

Sheepdog Demonstrations 2019

Sheepdog demonstrations show what working dogs can do. Photo by Sandi Scott

For all of human history there has been a bond between people, land, and animals. The Creator God has given us to each other. In spite of the industrialization of agriculture we all feel the need for to feel part of this circle […]

Springtime Sprouts

Life has been happening fast at and around Heatherhope these days. Back in the hay field the alfalfa and grass that Chauncey II and III (or is it III and IV?) planted a couple of weeks ago are just minutely popping their little sprouts above the ground. We are eager for the rain that the […]

Triplets Born As First Lambs of 2018

As I write this there is still a dusting of snow on the ground, but spring and new life are heralding the Easter season. The purple finch is singing it’s boisterous song just outside the window. And we are in the full swing of lambing season.

We had no births the last two lambing seasons […]

Gordon Watt Clinic Set For April 26-29, 2018

Gordon Watt works with Rich Kane in previous visit to Heatherhope.

The November 2-5, 2017 sheepdog clinic with Gordon Watt has come and gone. It was marked by terrific learning by all the handlers, progress by all of the dogs, and way too much hilarity on the field and around the meals. It is a […]

Fences With Gates

The center of our philosophy and our theology here at Heatherhope is our belief that God gathers and Satan scatters. If you have an allergy to God- and Satan-talk, then at least consider this basic notion that we all share a need to belong, and there are forces at large that discourage and encourage the […]

There Are Two Kinds of People

“There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who divide everyone into two kinds of people, and those who don’t.”

I put this in quotes because I’m sure I heard it somewhere before. I Googled it and found lots of funny and not so funny ways of playing around with this common, very human […]

Winter Pounces

Advent is perfectly placed in the liturgical and meteorological calendar. It provides a natural faith lesson. Jesus says, “Stay awake! Be ready!”

This was a winter arrival to test readiness. The sheep were grazing on lush grass right up to December 3. Then winter pounced like a deep darkness burglar on December 4. The weatherman predicted […]

Weeding God's Garden

Whose Dominion?

We just turned over from spring to summer. Everything is growing. It is a time to test my resolve to respect God’s dominion and consider my own.

I go out, armed with my tank full of 2,4-D strapped to my ATV, my sprayer wand in hand. It’s not hard to fancy myself seated high in […]