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 May 11-14

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, May 11 through Sunday, May 14, 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 […]

Upcoming Herding Demonstrations

Connie and I will take our sheep and dogs to a number of venues during 2014 to do sheepdog herding demonstrations.

Betty, the youngest dog we are using in our demonstrations this year, keeps her focus. Photo by Amanda Martin.

We are delighted to share the wonders of these talented dogs and to explain how sheep […]

A Test of Wills before Bedtime

Before bedtime we always give our seven sheepdogs one last run around the farm to do their business.

Last night it was rather typical weather for this winter: about 9 degrees Fahrenheit and a sharp wind of around 20 mph, so I was bundled in Muck Boots, long underwear, fleece-lined pants, wool shirt, down vest and […]

Gordon Watt Dog Handling Clinic

Gordon Watt of England will return to Heatherhope Farm for his third sheepdog handling clinic here, Thursday and Friday, November 7 and 8, 2013. Approximate times for the clinic are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

Eight working slots are now filled, but auditing slots are still […]

The Healing Power of Dogs and Our Prayer in the Press

Louisville, my team, was on the floor, locked in an epic battle with Michigan for the NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship. It was a glorious struggle, but the competition was so keen that, by halftime, my heart was racing.

            I was, after all, in the middle of my own dramatic struggle against the powers of […]

The Glories of Glum and Sheep Keepers New Year

            Lots of people complain when clouds and rains come. They think it dreary.  Not me—especially when we have endured the long, hot, dry summer of 2012. I complained when there was not a cloud in the sky for days and weeks on end and the grass stopped growing when spring rains didn’t materialize and […]