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 […]

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 […]

Post-Sheep-Handling Thoughts on Olympian Spirit

The great 19th century Danish-Lutheran philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, wrote scathingly of a certain bishop who was called a “faithful witness of the truth” at his funeral. Kierkegaard thought that faithful witnesses, or, what he would also call “knights of faith,” were people who suffered gravely for simply standing as individuals against the crowd–for standing up […]

Saving 254 from Death by Bloat

            It had been one of those busy days–even a rough day—so Connie and I felt sufficiently sorry for ourselves that we got carry out Chinese food for dinner. We got up from our meal and I saw that telltale sign of trouble: a Ewe was grazing near the lane back to the barn—on the […]

Prayerfully Gathering with Spot

February 2, 2012

                As an apprentice sheepdog, Spot has had a tumultuous work history. With the help of the insights from three of the very best sheepdog trainers in the world, Bobby Dalziel, Aled Owen and Gordon Watt, I have understood that I taught him well to bite sheep. I trained him on sheep that […]

Dogs Show Their Stuff at Carol Stream Dog Fest

The dogs of Heatherhope put on a herding demonstration in Carol Stream, Illinois, at the CSBarks Dog Fest. Fighting stubborn ewes they showed how to gain the sheep’s respect. Each dog has its own […]

Our New Sheepdog from Scotland

Straid Nell is the newest Border Collie at Heatherhope Farm. She came from Ayrshire, Scotland, very near where Robert Burns wrote his first song about “Handsome […]

Mister Frodo Sir

Mister Frodo surrounded by the ewes who trust him. Photo by John

Frodo is gentle of soul and strong of will. Frodo is fearless in fending off threats to those he is bound to defend.

The Frodo I am speaking of is our Great Pyrenees guard dog. He was so unimaginably cute and fluffy as a […]

Naper Settlement Demo Defies Heat

Crowds brave the heat to enjoy a Heatherhope herding demonstration at Naper Settlement. […]

Trials and Tribulations

Competing at sheepdog trials robbed John of energy and shrank his world. He learns not to rely on drugs, but on spiritual work to counter these […]