|All Original Photographs from Archives|
|Today's Version of Fox Hunting (without the kill)|
Wrote James Rebanks in The Shepherd's View: Modern Photographs From an Ancient Landscape <http://amzn.to/2on8Afy>:
You simply can't be a proper shepherd without a sheepdog.
They are an indispensable part of a shepherd's life. Several times a day I need to catch a sheep, or move some sheep from one field to another. If you've ever tried to move half-wild mountain sheep without a dog you will know that a man can't run as fast as a sheep, and they will simply cease to move as a flock and will break away in all directions until you are left cussing and yelling, and jumping up and down like a maniac. On the fells where we farm, two hundred people couldn't gather the sheep from the crags, cliffs, and moorland that they range across.
The sheepdogs are an extension of the shepherd's mind and arms. They can climb up the crags and work semi-independently of the shepherd. They can make their own judgments about going back further in any direction if they see sheep the shepherd can't. They can work in torrential rain, snow, wind, or any other conditions. They can "hunt" across ground covered in scrub or bracken and find sheep. They can run much faster than man or sheep, and for much longer.
And crucially, they instill in the sheep the flocking instinct because wolves and sheep evolved together, so the sheep behave themselves and gather into a flock that is manageable and controlled. All that is good about a sheepdog is based on the instincts of a wolf, their wild ancestor, channeled and controlled through selective breeding, training, and discipline into something productive and useful. They are the ultimate low-tech solution, and they do it all for a little praise, an occasional pat, and a bowl of dog food.
|Livestock Guard Dog|
|Ursa keeps Thanksgiving dinner out of the road.|
The fox hunt - it's wonderful. You're out there early in the morning and riding behind the huntsman and the whip. The best thing about hunting is just to hear the hounds when they get the scent of the fox.
There is nothing better than the formal old fox-hunt on a cold winter day - joining with 140 to 160 others on opening day at Golden Bridge on the New York line or at Midlebury and Litchfield.
Running down a fox can take up to 90 minutes, an entire hunt four to six hours - ridding the area of pesky foxes.
The terriers don't run with the hounds. You just carry them in that little sack I wore. When the hounds ground a fox you can take this terrier out and send him into the fox hole. He chases the fox out of the place and then the hunt starts all over again. Whisky will stop when you call. You pick them up and sack them again. It's quite a trick to getting them used to the riding and jumping and everything else.
- Don FournierBut it seems the role of "dogs at work" goes beyond that limited ontology.
One may imagine that if groups were designated today, based on real world experience, some different choices may have been made. Two groups could be added to more completely sum up dogs at work today.
1. The GreetersThese dogs are assigned to the front door of an establishment to greet people with a wag, if not a cart. They must be egalitarian good-will ambassadors, and also happy to relieve customers of scraps of food before they enter the store.
|Abby, greeting visitors at Rock Paper Scissors,Wiscasset, Maine|
|Benny, the Eliza B. Jack Russell|
|Winston at J. Alden|
|Dogs are welcome at Treats <http://treatsofmaine.com/>.|
|Bode, Greeter-In-Training at the Framing Shop|
2. The Co-PilotsThese dogs take on the complex role of assisting the primary operator of the craft. They may alert the driver to other dogs. And they may guard the vehicle when the driver is gone. Unlike the egalitarian nature of the Greeter, the Co-Pilots are chosen for loyalty.
|Samantha Taking Point|
Some co-pilot dogs may specialize in boats.
|Schooner performing launch duties.|
OverlapThe problem with the taxonomy - as is the problem with any taxonomy - already is how many dogs fit in both categories. Panels of experts, probably academics, will have to make tough calls, when dogs could be classified as either/both Greeters or Co-Pilots.
|On Windjammer MARY DAY <http://schoonermaryday.com/>|
|Belle Takes Over|
|Pete on the Job|
|Pete's Job is Done|
Supporting dogs at work can be done in many ways.
|Many homes and businesses leave out bowls of fresh water for passing dogs, including this beach route home.|
|The Door at Orvis|
|Remembering Spot at Owls Head|