Next time you are browsing through the TV channels and find yourself on one showing something to do with Sheep Dogs; and are tempted to simply flick past to the next channel, presumably in search of anything more exciting, hold fire.
Trust me, even if you were in too much of a hurry to be lured by some pleasurable mental tickling from say Stewie Griffin , pausing before pressing that button will be worth at least a good-ten-minutes of cool television.
Totally, and while the rest of England was today awash with gossip surrounding the midget throwing antics of the England Rugby Team in Kiwiland amidst some leaked footage, which the usual media suspects were blowing out of proportions, I found myself staring in amazement at the modestly titled World Sheep Dog Trials, which sadly wasn’t getting as much coverage as the midget throwing crew.
It seems livestock guarding dogs are in fact a thing of wonder, requiring a bit more than just ordinary skill to commandeer. The brilliance and extraordinary nature of this vocation is possibly matched in complexity to the maneuvers of say stuntmen in freestyle motorcycle stunt competitions, the likes of Redbull X-fighters. And before you label my observation extravagant, please show a You-tube clip of a Sheep Dog in action to a non-cricket fan, and ask them where they would rather take their date /object of lust to (if the two so happened to be the only choices on offer on the planet): The game they can barely stand or a competition of several dogs rounding up sheep?
There’s even a glossary of commands, like a unique and separate language which “handlers” are supposed to use to control the dog (although I have serious doubts as to the extent/how widespread this pseudo-dictionary is in use). For example Lie Down means stand still; Come bye [“Bye” not
by] means move around the sheep in a clockwise direction, and the obvious one, That’ll do means Stop and return to handler.
And finally I like what the TV channel broadcasting did with the show. There was a commentator and sport commentary, you know the usual banter, but this time operating from a barn, all minted with their kit and mod-cons, hay, wellies, tweed, and the whole Shepherd shizzle. Priceless.