(WordPress and my lovely hosting provider ate a nice long version of this post, and I really need to get to bed, so you get the shorter version. Fortunately I am ALMOST ready to move off of this provider.)
I know, I know, it’s too early for me to declare a dog of the year: there are still 20 more dogs I haven’t even posted yet to consider. I don’t care. I’ve made my decision: Pepper is my dog of the year for this year.
Some background: Autumn and I were out hiking in Briones Regional Park, out near Walnut Creek. It’s a nice little park, pretty steep, with a bunch of cattle roaming through it. People like to take their dogs there to go for a nice long walk, or in some cases run. I’ll be showing some pictures of another dog (a first-time breed for the blog) from there later this week.
We came around the corner, and we saw a woman and a dog. And saw the woman’s dog abruptly take off into the hills, and saw the woman yelling at him to come back. And saw the dog achieving what was obviously a lifelong ambition:
I would like to add that, according to the woman, this dog had never herded any actual livestock before in his life. (Children? Maybe. Other dogs? Definitely.) But he sure did her proud, even if she wasn’t 100% pleased with the performance. He herded the cows right around the corner and out of sight, and maybe 30 seconds later he came bounding back down the hill, looking as happy as I have ever seen a dog look in my life.