You know you’re in the provinces when the front page of the local paper has a report on the annual sheep and cattle dog sale.
Friday’s Ashburton Guardian story, headlinedTop dogs bring the big bucks, noted that dairy conversions have taken their toll on the number of stock dogs for sale: 122 in 2006, 94 last year and just 51 this year.
A five year old heading bitch, Queen, sold by Amberley farmer Neil Evans gained the the top price of $5600. The top huntaway made $2000.
The report finished with an explanation for the uninitiated:
A heading dog has a natural instinct to circle silently and widely around stock to bring them back to the handler, whereas huntaways are trained to drive sheep away and are characterised by their loud bark.
There are some of both breeds in politics 🙂