The Beauty of Cooperation--The Comedy of Competition

Last weekend the dogs, Betty and Nell, and I, took part in a sheepdog competition. Though the kind of sheepdog trial that we partake in does indeed test almost all of the skills of dogs and handlers that are called upon in practical flock work, I find myself almost always having to check myself when […]

Herding Dog Demonstrations, 2017

Our Border Collies will show how stock dogs help farmers at  demonstrations throughout the year.

Several times a year we load up some of our sheep and our Border Collies and travel to festivals to put on demonstrations. They are herding dog demonstrations, but much more. As the dogs amaze the crowds with their focused […]

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 […]

Meet and Greet the Lambs June 6

Heatherhope Farm invites everyone to “Meet and Greet the Lambs 2015” set for Saturday, June 6, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

We have 50 sheep on hand with 19 of them being lambs born the first few weeks of April. The very last one born has a nervous mother who isn’t too good at nursing […]

Herding Dog Demonstrations for 2015

We invite you to join us for a herding dog demonstration where you will learn about dogs, sheep, wool, and human teamwork. That sounds like a lot, but it’s true.

 

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

 

The first thing you will notice is […]

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 […]

Surviving Winter

            This morning, March 12, 2014,  we awoke to a one-inch covering of snow and a temperature of about 25 degrees. The wind chill probably brought it down to about zero.

            Not bad. We pray it may be one of the last blasts of winter, but by this time we are hardened.

Drifting snow has eaten […]