Rose had to maneuver through the donkeys—two of which were dying to clobber her. She had to deal with the ram, too, who came off the trailer charging at her. She raced around and grabbed his privates, and when he groaned and grunted, ran around and nipped him on the nose. She spun him around and around for five minutes—keeping an eye on the donkeys and the sheep—until he ran into the middle of the flock of ewes and hid. Then she ran over and nipped Lulu on the butt, staying away from Jeannette and the baby. She gathered the sheep and the ram and moved them into the next pasture. In a few minutes, everyone was calmly munching on hay or grass.
Rose comes from Colorado, from a herding line. Her favorite spot—when she is not working, which is her favorite thing—is to sit in the garden, rain, cold, snow or sun, and watch her sheep. She sometimes seems lonely to me. I think there is perhaps a price to pay for letting a working dog work: A working dog can't be a pet, at least not in the conventional sense of the term. She does the things I need, but few of the things that often please us most about dogs—snuggling, playing, tagging along, making friends with dogs and people.
Often, I will look out and see her blanketed in snow and ice. When I drive the ATV, the other dogs like to hop on the back rack and ride with me. Rose always runs ahead. When we walk in the woods, she is always in front, alert for chipmunks, birds, squirrels, or deer. When kids walk up the road from school, they line up to pet the dogs. Rose never comes up to say hello, and they never look for her.
I have asked about 200 people which of my dogs they would like to have. Only two have mentioned Rose.
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals
The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team
The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad
Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
I’m 25. I Have $250.03.
My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
- NSA Is Letting its Chief Technical Officer Work 20 Hours a Week for a Private Company
- After 13 Years of U.S. Occupation, Afghanistan Opium Production Is at an All-Time High
- The Pennsylvania Fugitive Sniper Is Still at Large After 39 Days
- Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to Five Years, May Only Serve Ten Months
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?