The relationship between man and dog is a unique and beautiful part of our shared evolutionary history.

Dogs have been a part of our lives for millennia and our relationship with them even predates settled agriculture. As we have grown to become companions, their presence has had a deep impact on the way we live our lives.

Image: Border Collie running through water

Source: Pixabay

Today we celebrate a remarkable and arguably beautiful part of the human/dog relationship, sheep herding. This artform is a truly incredible example of our complex relationship with these treasured companions.

We begin with a unique view of sheep herding. A perspective that is breathtakingly beautiful…

The art of the sheepdog…

So, how do dogs learn to herd these massive flocks of sheep? How does the kind of incredible interspecies communication necessary for these feats come about?

To find out, we take you to Kerry, Ireland to watch a masterful farmer and his remarkable dogs expertly work together. I first saw this video a few months ago, and since, I have found myself thinking about it whenever I reflect on the beauty of our working bond with dogs…

Herding from a new perspective…

I have watched this video several times now and always find myself transfixed!

I’ll leave you with one more unique view into the world of the sheepdog. If you aren’t prone to motion sickness, here’s what happens when you combine a GoPro with the skills we have been celebrating!

Seeing connection in our world…

Since seeing this collection of videos, I have seen a shift in my relationship with my own dog. I appreciate far more the unique connection I have with her. And sure, she is nowhere near as well trained as the dogs in today’s videos, but now I look into her curious eyes and recognize the importance of our shared evolutionary bonds.

Her ancestors and my ancestors depended on one another, and that is a remarkable connection to feel every time she runs into a room.

Whether we look for connection in the eyes of a pet, the eyes of a loved one, or even the eyes of a stranger, it’s important that we never underestimate the importance of that bond.

Recognizing our connection to other beings is the first step to answering some of our most challenging questions for the future.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”-Victor Borge

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Notes:

  1. “Hill Country Farming.” YouTube. Tim Whittaker, 08 Dec. 2015. Web. 26 July 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BSI3aKtvXk>.
  2. “Brilliant Sheep Herding Demonstration Using Border Collies.” YouTube. Bob Hinson, 31 Dec. 2011. Web. 26 July 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpjP3mxv21s>.
  3. “Sheepdog Cam, with the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition.” YouTube. Voteforbear, 11 Dec. 2012. Web. 26 July 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1gqt4dCiMo>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—yoga lover. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV