If you've ever done penning or sheepdog trials, you will laugh, cheer, and shed a tear over this little herding dog with heart and NO handicap!
by Genny Haley 2006
A crazy little border collie pup that herded cars
Barking, she’d race out and chase their wheels
Didn’t have the sense to know what’s sheep and what was tires
S’long as she was nippin’ at their heels
Long story short, she missed one day, the score – car 1, dog zero
Vet said amputation’d be the best
Didn’t slow her down none, but instead of superhero,
She decided she’d herd sheep like all the rest.
Trained her to obey commands, by voice, or hand, or whistled,
But in Queenie’s soul an inner fire burned
You put some sheep out in a field, Queenie’s hair just bristled
A’quiver with desire that can’t be learned.
Winter storms would pound the coast, lightning, rain and wind
Sheep, they’d scatter, running in alarm
Queenie’d crouch and circle, comin’ closer, closin’ in
Until huddled, Queenie’d head ‘em to the barn.
Took her to the sheepdog trials in Boonville at the Fair
Apple, wine, wool growers and the rest
Competin’ for blue ribbons, excitement in the air
All displayin’ what they do the best.
Those sheepdogs were in finest form, herders’d trained ‘em good
To get the sheep through gates and chutes and penned
Though Queenie’d gotten on in years she gave it all she could,
Saved her finest hour for the end.
Stands were packed with spectators, everyone was quiet
Then a whisperin’ spread among the crowd
“Lookit that 3-legged dog, damn, ain’t that a riot. . . “
Soon they weren’t laughin’ quite so loud.
Queenie lit out on command, crouched and slowly hopped,
Had ‘em herded through gates 1 and 2
Circled wide and waited – sheep by now had stopped,
Tryin’ to figure out what that damn dog would do.
Queenie gave her “stink-eye” stare to remind them where they stand
“Don’t even think about it,” as she’d creep.
Her every move hypnotic, “You are under my command—
For I am Dog, and you, God knows, are sheep.”
That 3-legged dog got 3 sheep through the chute and in the pen
In record time that ain’t been beat in years
We took blue ribbon, Queenie ‘n me, got the flock home again--
I still can hear that crowd break out in cheers.
Now Queenie’s dead these thirty years and time’s turned many a page,
The sheep are gone -- I’m about used up
But never underestimate the wileyness of age
Or a crazy 3-legged border collie pup.
This poem is fiction but is based on a true event. I was one of the spectators. It was the first sheepdog trial I attended and there was a 3-legged dog that took first prize. It was something to watch, and obviously, was quite memorable.
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