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I loved this story about Rose. I don't have a working dog but the story really resonated. I think those of you with working dogs will especially appreciate both the story and the telling of it. Terrific writing. Enjoy.

I've included the beginning of the story here. Go to the Slate site to finish it - link below.

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/rural_life/2012/08/jon_katz_s_border_collie_rose_a_newborn_lamb_and_a_blizzard.single.html



The Story of Rose
A border collie and a newborn lamb in a blizzard.


By Jon Katz|Posted Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, at 12:05 PM ET



I came to Bedlam Farm with my sheep in October 2003, days ahead of a relentless winter. I wanted to breed the sheep, have lambs, perhaps sell some of the wool to weavers, send some of the sheep to market. I didn’t simply want to be a gentleman farmer. I wanted the farm to be a real place where real animals lived real lives.

A friend helped me track down a sheep farmer in Massachusetts who had a breeding ram to sell for $200. Good papers, health certificate from the vet, and the father of some proud and beautiful offspring.

The ram came in November. He was unloaded from a small, rickety trailer, and Rose escorted him right into the pasture. He tried to butt her once or twice and then gave up and ran.

The sheep farmers reminded me that the lambs would be born in February, if all went well, and that I would need to be prepared with lambing pens, heat lamps, and hay. To be candid, it is close to insane to lamb in February in upstate New York. I would not do it again.

I had done my homework and had arranged for all of those things, but still, I was not even remotely prepared for the brutality of the winter or the challenges of lambing. That winter was one of the worst on record. One storm after another, finger-numbing subzero cold, and snow on the ground until April. The farmers told me that was what winter used to be like, but it was not like any winter I had ever seen in my previous lives in Massachusetts, New York City, Texas, or New Jersey.

I had my medical supplies, syringes, medications, tail dockers, vitamins, supplements, lamb’s milk, iodine, pens, lamps, straw, hay, heated water buckets. I had towels and extra flashlights.

The first wave of lambs came three weeks early, in the middle of the night and in the middle of a blinding snowstorm. I had believed I had plenty of time to get the ewes we thought were pregnant into the lambing pens I had built in the barn.

I remember sleeping in bed upstairs in the farmhouse and being awoken suddenly by a cold dog nose against my arm. Rose had hopped up into bed and was whining. She only did that when something was wrong. I had learned the hard way not to question this but to get up and follow her....

(continued in link above)
 

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Jon Katz has written a number of books about his dogs and life on Bedlam Farm. His earlier books were largely about his first Border Collie, a troubled dog named Orson. Katz candidly discusses some of the more distressing aspects of having dogs, like what to do when you've exhausted your training and medical options with an unpredictable dog. His books are compelling and I recommend them highly.
 

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Although I think Jon Katz is a disingenuous jerk (based on what ended up happening with his first BC), I did really like this article. Thanks for posting!
 

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Jon Katz has written a number of books about his dogs and life on Bedlam Farm. His earlier books were largely about his first Border Collie, a troubled dog named Orson. Katz candidly discusses some of the more distressing aspects of having dogs, like what to do when you've exhausted your training and medical options with an unpredictable dog. His books are compelling and I recommend them highly.
Except he never really did. He never addressed the dog's issues and was incredibly stupid about managing the dog. Who in their right mind goes in to play on the computer and leaves a reactive dog loose and out of sight with strange workmen? Idiot. Reading "A Good Dog" was like a primer for how to create a biter.
 

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Except he never really did. He never addressed the dog's issues and was incredibly stupid about managing the dog. Who in their right mind goes in to play on the computer and leaves a reactive dog loose and out of sight with strange workmen? Idiot. Reading "A Good Dog" was like a primer for how to create a biter.
Yes, this, exactly. He acted like his dog's issues would magically fix themselves, and the dog paid the price.
 
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