I Don’t Like Dogs
This isn't a "I don't like dogs, I love them". This is a genuine admission. Well sort of. I often tell people that I don't like dogs and that is mostly true. I think a lot of people believe that to be in this sport that you have to be a dog person. Or even better a dog nut. I'm neither, at least in the traditional sense. I look at dogs much as I look at people. I like people a lot, I like being around people, interacting with people, and working towards common goals with people. What I don't do is hug everyone I meet. And I certainly don't need to look at pictures of people all day. Now take those previous statements and replace people with dogs. I feel that people believe that to truly like dogs you have to want to pet them all the time or look at them all the time. I find that relationship superficial. I like to take a highly intelligent dog and build a relationship with that dog. I like to try and pass on knowledge I have in this complex task of stock handling. I like to show them what good manners are and how to be a productive member of society. See I'm not a dog person in the way of being a pet person. My relationship with my dog is far more important than some companion I pet while I'm on the couch or take strolls with down the street. My dogs are my partners. They try to understand me and I try to understand them. They don't need to please me like I'm some evil over lord but they should want to work with me. I'm hooked on that. One of my favourite moments is feeling you and your dog totally synced. You both understand the job completely and are working together to accomplish it. I've had those moments during training and I've had those moments while working. I love my dogs but that's because I've taken a good deal of time to build a relationship with them. A relationship that is far deeper than what anyone has with their average companion. So to circle back, I don't like dogs for the sake of liking them. I like dogs for the relationship I have. When I like a dog, it's far more integral to my life than a mere pet. They represent my livelihood and how I can provide for my family. And the best part, they don't have to. They don't owe me anything. Sure I feed them, shelter them and give them companionship. But their ancestors had all that in wild packs. They work with me out of love for the task and trust enough in me to do it my way.