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How many of those on here who work their dogs on their own stock were born to the life?

Of those who came later to it, how did it come about?

 

Pam

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Just curious, but why do you ask? I would imagine the only folks who "were born to it" would be folks from the UK like Alasdair MacRae, Tommy Wilson, Jack Knox, and so on; that is, "imports" from your country to ours. There may be a scant few folks who were raised in the sheep ranching life out west, but the sheep industry isn't exactly huge. Probably you'd find more folks "born into" the cattle rancing side of things, with or without dogs.

 

J.

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To answer, I was born in Brooklyn and raised in suburbia by an animal-loving mother, who supported my inherent love for animals. I went to university in upstate NY and a whole world was opened up to me, of nature, agriculture, and beauty - and I met my husband there. We haven't lived in a town since 1974, and it's way too crowded where we live now.

 

I wasn't born to it at all but have kind of eased into it a step at a time - dairy goats and chickens (and living in the midst of a beef cattle pasture); dairy heifers and humane veal; a couple of sheep for meat; horses and a pony; stocker calves; and a cow/calf herd. The dogs (stockdogs - Aussies and Border Collies) didn't come along until relatively lately in the progression.

 

My husband comes from a bit of a farming background (not livestock but truck farming and hay production) but the need for the soil and the stock is deep in his soul.

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I was born in a greenhouse...well, nearly. I was a bit unexpected, arriving early for the one and only time in my life. My grandparents and parents were selling off the dairy herd and moving to a commercial greenhouse operation as a retirement business for my grandparents as as a business for my parents. It turned out to be at least as much work as farming I do remember toddling out to the end of the lane with my mother and Ring to bring the cows in for evening milking. There was always a Border Collie for the dairy cows. There were also goats, pigs, and chickens even after the dairy herd was sold. I had a lovely black hen named Hattie for a pet when I was small and some really nasty but very beautiful bantams. I don't recall any sheep.

 

My father died when I was ten and the greenhouse trickled to a close as a commercial operation as my Mom went to work for the state health dept., but the farm persisted, selling off hay crops, leasing the pastures to other farmers for heifers. I had horses growing up and there's always been a Border Collie. The land has been in our family since the early 1800s and it will go on through a family trust. I'm headed over there right now to give the boys a good run before Robin goes off to class tonight. It's a very special pleasure to see my two running through those fields where generations of good dogs before them worked and played. Even today we use the greenhouse to raise family vegetables. And my mother, who is 86 in a few weeks, will be planting lettuce in the greenhouse. :rolleyes:.

 

Born to the life? I'm genetically programmed to garden, whether I really enjoy it or not. I love the country and animals . If I lived on the farm instead of four miles away, I'd have some sort of stock animals (probably sheep because I love wool and goats are a pain in the neck most of the time). I'm thinking of a way to connive a few "summer" sheep, selling them off in the fall but that will require a great deal of cooperation as far as fencing and a stock watering tank...putting them in the barn at night and so forth....and I believe life isn't complete without a Border Collie beside me.

Liz

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Probably as many as who were born into agility and obedience training. :rolleyes:

We moved onto sheepdog training because me and our first dog got bored with obedience and agility; during our first year of exposure to sheepdog training I found it more complex and a more enriching experience with my dog than obedience training and agility (training and competition). As the years have past I have found it even more enriching.

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Guest echoica
I was born in a greenhouse...well, nearly. I was a bit unexpected, arriving early for the one and only time in my life. My grandparents and parents were selling off the dairy herd and moving to a commercial greenhouse operation as a retirement business for my grandparents as as a business for my parents. It turned out to be at least as much work as farming I do remember toddling out to the end of the lane with my mother and Ring to bring the cows in for evening milking. There was always a Border Collie for the dairy cows. There were also goats, pigs, and chickens even after the dairy herd was sold. I had a lovely black hen named Hattie for a pet when I was small and some really nasty but very beautiful bantams. I don't recall any sheep.

 

My father died when I was ten and the greenhouse trickled to a close as a commercial operation as my Mom went to work for the state health dept., but the farm persisted, selling off hay crops, leasing the pastures to other farmers for heifers. I had horses growing up and there's always been a Border Collie. The land has been in our family since the early 1800s and it will go on through a family trust. I'm headed over there right now to give the boys a good run before Robin goes off to class tonight. It's a very special pleasure to see my two running through those fields where generations of good dogs before them worked and played. Even today we use the greenhouse to raise family vegetables. And my mother, who is 86 in a few weeks, will be planting lettuce in the greenhouse. :rolleyes:.

 

Born to the life? I'm genetically programmed to garden, whether I really enjoy it or not. I love the country and animals . If I lived on the farm instead of four miles away, I'd have some sort of stock animals (probably sheep because I love wool and goats are a pain in the neck most of the time). I'm thinking of a way to connive a few "summer" sheep, selling them off in the fall but that will require a great deal of cooperation as far as fencing and a stock watering tank...putting them in the barn at night and so forth....and I believe life isn't complete without a Border Collie beside me.

Liz

 

Great story Liz! Thanks for sharing :D Interesting and very visual.

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Born to the life? I'm genetically programmed to garden, whether I really enjoy it or not.

 

Isn't that funny? My mother's side of the family has this same gene.....put us anywhere near dirt and we are digging a little hole and dropping in a seed. In the past few days I have talked with both my mother and her sister (almost 80 and 81) and we had all been doing the same thing that day.....walking in the garden using a stick to lift leaves off of things to see what was coming up!

 

*Sorry for the hijack!*

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Isn't that funny? My mother's side of the family has this same gene.....put us anywhere near dirt and we are digging a little hole and dropping in a seed. In the past few days I have talked with both my mother and her sister (almost 80 and 81) and we had all been doing the same thing that day.....walking in the garden using a stick to lift leaves off of things to see what was coming up!

 

*Sorry for the hijack!*

 

Gardening and dogs are the secret of a long and happy life. :rolleyes:.

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I agree! But I have to add cats to the combination too! :rolleyes:

 

I hope you didn't type that in front of the dogs!

 

I'd have to add appreciating nature for what it is into this equation. Something about the natural world always makes me feel grateful to be alive.

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I was born in suburbia too but would always bring in stray animals and hurt farm animals that my great uncle would give me. I'd fix them up and bring them back to the farm.

Always had dogs growing up but only border collies I saw were my G-uncles on his farm. I don't think he ever used them for anything but they were always around.

 

I got my first exposure with livestock when Jazz my oldest dog bit a neighbor kid and the neighbor Dad told me I needed to get that dog into "herding" as it wasn't really a bite. I was horrified that my dog had bit anyone so off we went to find someone to teach us how to work livestock.

Got that first start in suburbia too. Right in the middle of St. Louis County behind a huge hospital.

That was all she wrote...I was hooked. Traded a neighborhood house within a year for a small hobby farm.

 

Never did other things with my dog(s). Never had the chance. Tried working stock first and nothing compared.

 

NO...I take that back. Jazz and I took up roller blading when she was about a year old. I'd do that again in a heartbeat but have never lived close enough to pavement to do that on a reg. basis again.

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I was born on a farm when things were changing alot in agriculture in our area. Mom and Dad had moved up to Wisconsin from Illinois to a 100+ acre farm to raise produce, they had migrant workers come to plant and harvest, they trucked the produce down to the Campbell soup company with their own truck. Dad told me that when Campbells stopped taking produce from small farms, he went to town to work, the old AMC car plant in Kenosha and went to growing corn and soybeans. When I was about 2 years old Dad purchased a small restaurant in a tiny little town, Bristol. He would juggle running the resturant, working at AMC and planting/harvesting, eventually the neighbor inquired about renting our farm land. At that point all our farm equipment aside from the tractor, a big green Oliver was sold.

 

To begin with the only animals that we had were barn cats and one dog, Lassie a collie, always matted and full of burrs, she lived outside. Each year she would go to the vet and have her hair all shaved off. As I got to the age of being able to participate in 4-H Dad would let me acquire different animals. First it was a horse, I remember Dad clearing a corner in his steel shed for a stall in front of one of the sliding doors, he set a t-post into the ground and hung two old wood ladders and used twine and wire to secure the ladders. That was Sundance's stall, a couple of years later he built a lean-to off the end of the barn just for the horse. Dad was not a horse fan, he really didn't want one on the farm, growing up while playing with his cousin he witnessed his cousin's death. While playing they ran around the barn spooked a draft horse, one kick to the head and that was that. I always knew that if Sundance ever hurt me that she would be gone, went so far as to hide the fact that she kicked me once, telling dad that I fell on a rock while playing down at the river in an effort to explain the bruise on my ribs. Many years later Dad confessed that he learned through my expirences with horses that his cousins death was not the fault of the horse, previously he had blamed the horse.

 

Each year I had a different 4-H project one year it was ducks, another sheep, then a herford beef steer. I also would go to the neighbors dairy farm to help with milking chores, in exchange I was able to show a dairy calf as a 4-H project. If it wasn't for 4-H I doubt that I would have had any expirence with animals.

 

A fond memory was one year after Lassie died, hit for a final time by a car, my parents and myself went to the St. Martin's Fair, there I found a gorgeous snow white female Spitz and a really cool nanny goat, Dad gave me a choice, each were $75.00, the goat or the dog. That next year was my first participating in dog obedience classes and that was the first year that Dad ever allowed a dog to live in the house. But, she had a bed next to the kitchen table and was tethered there at night so as not to roam the house.

 

Over the years the horses kept me focused on cattle, team penning, cutting and working cow horse. One year my full time job was to take manage a barn of 25+ broodmares and 125 head of calves that were brought up from down south. The owner elected to save money and purchase them un-preconditioned, I learned alot trying to keep them alive and healthy while they were being used for twice a month team penning competition and practice. I left that job to work full time for a Warmblood breeder for 3 years.

 

When I met Wayne he had ACD's, we secured the sheep for training purposes and the Border Collie's followed. Looking back my focus has always been training, showmenship and later breeding. I won many showmenship awards in 4-H and even was invited to the World Dairy Expo one year, not a big deal for someone raised on a dairy farm, but pretty big for a crop farmers daughter. Up until my life went to the dogs I was showing horses, my last time out was a AQHA Ranch Horse Versitility Class. I guess you could call it the retirement run, my little mare and myself cracked out the reining pattern of a lifetime, that one final run felt the way I always dreamed. I have not shown a horse since, and really doubt that I ever will, I have to confess that I have lost my nerve and fear getting hurt. We still ride now and then, but I don't push the envelope anymore. Funny how your life can change course.

 

Deb

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NO...I take that back. Jazz and I took up roller blading when she was about a year old. I'd do that again in a heartbeat but have never lived close enough to pavement to do that on a reg. basis again.

 

Sorry for the tangent, but I love that, too! I've done a decent bit of roller blading with Maddie, but I really want to give it a try with Dean.

 

I don't live super close to an area with proper pavement, so I have to go out of my way to do it, and we all know how that goes when there's a lot on the plate already.

 

I really love rollerblading with dogs, though. :rolleyes:

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My great grandmother ran a fulltime farm all by herself and raised 13 kids- five of them weren't hers. Her grandson, my dad, grew up there working the farm and left to get a college degree with his four sisters and lived in a rural area, but did not farm until I came along, the baby of the family. I got involved in 4-h, by the time I was fifteen had enough sheep to buy a used truck and stock trailer when I sold my culls. We added more acreage and registered Herefords. At 17 I got my first border collie. Have had them and stuff, including 87 chickens right now, ever since. Don't trial much and get tired of feeding and checking on animals in the dark by flashlight, but I wouldn't trade it. So I wasn't born into it, but I managed to drag an entire family (including a mother who was born in New York) into the farm life. Amazing how you'll spoil the little one, isn't it?

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I really love rollerblading with dogs, though.

Best weight loss program I've ever tried. When we quit Jazz and I were up to about 10 miles almost daily.

I'm starting more scheduled school during the day in the fall, there's a bike/walk/whatever path close to the school. Maybe Dew and I can start up. She could wait in the car while I did classes then off to rollerblade. Believe it or not, I used a flexi lead when we did. If things went bad, I'd just let go. Geesh I miss that!

 

Sorry for the off topic chat!

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I was born in Boston..as far away from the country as you can get..:rolleyes:

it wasnt til I was 10 or so and we moved to NJ that I developed a love of livestock..and that in turn developed into a love of the working stockdog.

I cant imagine not having land of my own teeming with life..and as someone said, my stockdog beside me. :D

 

My husband was born and raised on a working cattle ranch..he always had stockdogs..blue heelers though.

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