Well, we are finally back on this time zone, and the experience in the UK and Ireland still seems a bit surreal. We learned so much and I have been busily trying to write down all the lessons. I have been working my dogs with new eyes, and with a greater understanding and appreciation for what each dog brings to the table, instead of lamenting what they are missing. There were many dogs I saw across the pond that did beautiful work. Although the dogs had flaws, they were brilliantly handled.
The humidity in Ontario has been unreal, and is still limiting the amount work we can do with the dogs. Dyna is being watched closely to see if the Joe x Dyna breeding comes to fruition although realistically we won't know for a few weeks.
New life on the horizon and I think about the intertwined lives of sheep, sheepdogs and guardians on a farm. The end of an era is coming, with old Border Collies and guard dogs who have grown up together reaching their elder years. It started while we were away.
Sadly our best guard dog, Frodo, a Maremma, passed away while we were in England. He was a loyal dog and fantastic guardian that never left his charges. He stopped eating and then one day left his flock to a younger apprentice and went off to quietly pass on without ceremony as Mother Nature intended. He curled up in the tall grass to keep watch right until the end. I suspect he continues to do so even now.
We would've liked to have paid him our respects, but Frodo wouldn't have wanted a fuss, so I suppose things have played out as they should. Good-bye Frodo, you were a great guardian and special dog and we will miss you.
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