K9 Playtime Therapy

Zac protects the tennis ball as Hector and Betty urge him to give it up so that the game can go on. Who takes care of whom during the pandemic?  These Border Collies provide much needed inoculation against boredom and depression.  Photo by John

Emmaus: The Way of Faith

My wife and I have done herding dog demonstrations with our Border Collies for many years. On those occasions countless people have come up to us, told us that they had some sort of a dog who might have herding instincts, and they would love to learn how to train and handle them. My consistent […]

Abbie's Death Leaves a Hole in Our Hearts

Yesterday we put down our beloved Abbie. It has left a big hole in our hearts!!

Of course, if you are part of the human race, you have already flinched, because you have the pain stored in every cell of your body. And, if you are among those who share with us a special fondness for […]

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 […]

In Memory of Cap

In Memoriam

Cap ABCA 240965

Born 12/25/2003

Died 7/11/2018

By John Seraphine

As this is being written there is a newly empty kennel at Heatherhope. Our remaining six Border Collies, Bilbo the guard dog, and Connie and I salute our beloved Cap as we pass that empty space and remember the magnificent […]

The Animals Teach Us Advent Expectation

‘Tis the season for expectation. Pregnant waiting. Yearning flavored with confidence. Confidence born of experience.

Advent has always been a favorite time for me. Of course, as a child, it all led up to that moment when we drove home from Christmas Eve pageant, past the colored lights on the homes and along the runways of […]

Gordon Watt Sheepdog Clinic Nov. 2-5

Gordon Watt, 2016 Reserve National Champion of the U.S., Handler of the Year of the Wisconsin Working Stock Dog Association for 2016, World Sheep Dog Trials Champion of 2005, returns to offer a four-day handling clinic here at Heatherhope Farm, Thursday, November 2 through Sunday, November 5, 2017.

We have seen Gordon help handlers of all levels make […]

Waking Up Alive

Autumn is a time for awakening on Heatherhope Farm. Photo by John

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Surely, not if He tried, could God have poured out more awakening on me this very morning.

My back was indeed hitching with stiffness as I rolled to erect, and shuffled to feed the cat, and pull on my trousers and […]

Handling the Primal

“I want to hold her,” Connie pleaded with me.

 

She rolled up her shirt and undershirt and took puppy Number One from me. An hour or so before I had called to Connie, “We’re losing her.”  

Puppy Number One is so small lying on Abbie’s foreleg. Photo by John

 

 

Tiny, black, with just a half of a […]

The Beauty of Blue Collar Dogs

 

            For me there is no greater thrill than seeing a sheepdog flat out working on a farm. It evokes the very magnificence of all honest labor done pridefully.

            I must say that watching Border Collies gather a flock across the massive hills of the Borders of Scotland or the steep crags of South […]