We acquired Molly our working Border Collie from, would you believe it a pet shop.
I first saw Molly the Border Collie in the shop window at Garden City, after thinking she was so cute, and I knew Ellie would fall in love with her when she saw her. I thought to myself if she is still there after a week I would tell Ellie about her.
Every day I went past her, I would pause at the display window and have a look at her. A week had gone by and Ellie and I fronted up at the store.
We ended up taking her home.
Molly grew up to be a short haired working border collie.
Some days we would look down the hill and see all the cattle in a bunch, and then eventually you would see Molly walking around them herding them together.
Her working dog instincts for wanting to round up stock was very strong.
My only experience of her is that she ate, lay around, licked me when I least expected it and had to be called back from working the cattle in the paddocks.
Little did I realise how much training Ellie had been putting into Molly, when I was at work.
One day we got a call in the late afternoon from the neighbour that some of our cattle had crossed the river and were in his place.
He had no yards for us to herd them into, so we called the neighbour next door to him and made arrangements with him regarding the cattle.
All we had to do was get them into his place, he would bring them in when he was mustering and give us a call to collect them when they were in the yards.
Ellie suggested that I take Molly with me, she gave me some commands to use.
Come, push’em up, go round, head’em off, bring’em back and hold’em.
I had to go alone as Ellie was 6 months pregnant with Cyanea.
After a short walk and crossing the river via huge river gums which had fallen across the river. I made my way into the neighbours place. They were located in the paddock fronting the river.
As I wandered through, I soon found all six of them. On seeing me they took off as Brahman’s do. As it was thick scrub they vanished. I said to Molly “Head’em off girl” and she too vanished into the scrub.
I came across a fence line and had no idea where the cattle were or if Molly had found them. I took a chance and headed towards the neighbours boundary.
I thought to myself, “just great, we’ll be here for hours, running around in circles and if I don’t find them I will have to come back with the dog tomorrow.”
As I circled the perimeter I soon came across Molly holding the cattle against the fence. I called her to me then told her to push’em up. Then she took them along the fence line, towards the boundary gate.
One made a break for it, and I said “Molly, Bring’em back!” As I sought to keep the remainder grouped together and moving along the fence line.
She swiftly headed the beast off and brought her back to the group.
Herding wilful cattle can be very stressful.
On seeing the boundary gate, I told her to hold’em, which she did with ease. I circled widely around, opened the gate and then re-positioned myself behind them again.
“Ok Molly” I said,” Take them through” We once more cautiously moved them, as the gate was not located in a corner, which would have made things easier.
We paused them at the opening, allowing them to see the way through, circled the herd, then one moved through followed by the rest.
I quickly shut the cockies gate.
Much to my relief the whole process did not take a half hour to do.
I had a greater appreciation of Molly, respected her working abilities and saw her as a great asset to us. Never again would I think of her as a useless lazy dog.
That night she had extra helping of food for all that work she did.
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