All In

Dixie is sitting at my feet, chewing on a real bone from a roast that was probably served 20 years ago.  I have no idea where she found the bone, but I’m not questioning anything.  When you have a five-month old border collie, peace and quiet is very suspicious and rare.  I think she wants to be a woodworker of some type when she grows up; perhaps then she can replace the chairs she’s chewed through.  All in all, she’s been a great puppy.  I’m still waiting for her to get old enough to read the training books I purchased for her.

If you follow me on FB, you might remember Chaney, the little lamb abandoned by her mother.  She is doing great, and is best friends with Dixie.  I’m not sure if this will create an identity crisis at some point with Dixie, whether she’ll be plagued with conflicting loyalties at some point in the future.  Probably not – she’s smarter than most humans I know.

Chaney started off life with Dixie barking at her, since they were both in the house, separated only by a screen door.  Chaney now hangs out with the other lambs that are in the special care unit.  These lambs need a little extra help, close attention and care.  They are doing fine, though many were near death when I brought them in.  Parasites are the bane of the shepherd.  And there’s also that thing of sheep looking for ways to die.  Believe me when I tell you they’re resourceful in that department.

Right now, I’m working on the basics with Dixie, like “come,” “sit,” “stay,” and “would you cut that out!”  She’s smarter than I am.  Those of you who really know me realize that’s not a high level of attainment.  About two weeks ago, I realized how well she had trained me to play hide and go seek.  At 3am.  She’s also a superior litigator – “did you really mean ‘no?’”

Today’s the Fourth of July.  We have a lot to be thankful for as citizens of this nation.  Right now, we seem very divided about a lot of things, but that’s not that unusual.  A good reading of our history will show that we’ve rarely had consensus.  We are a nation of people born of other cultures.  We value different things, and in so doing, those values will clash from time to time.  However, there’s nothing wrong with a good debate, if only to get some things out in the open.  Harm is done when neither side is willing to listen to the other.  A little humility can go a long way….

Dixie is learning to listen…and come.  And I’m learning that an old dog like me can still learn a few things too.  I know so much less now that I’m in my fifties than I did when I was in my twenties.  I hope to know even less in a few years.  It’ll only mean that my world has grown.  And by that time, Dixie will be taking care of the sheep.

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