Monday, 20 August 2012

Sheepdog Trials and Neverland

Sunday – August 19, 2012

We again spent a great day in Kirriemuir in Angus.  This morning we attended worship at the Old Parish Kirk in Kirri to enjoy Malcolm leading worship.  His sermon title?  “If Jesus had been born in Scotland, would he have used (scotch) whisky for communion?”  Fantastic title and even better sermon to follow.  After worship, we headed out to something we never thought we’d have the pleasure of seeing – a sheepdog trial by the hotel up Glen Clova.  The joke, of course, about whether or not the dog was found guilty was not lost on us.  Actually, the trial was amazing.  Here’s generally what happened:

You go out to a huge field with the spectators gathered on the grass at one end (about 100 people and waiting participants) and a group of sheep in a pen waaaaaay over on the other side.  The shepherd and his or her incredible looking dog step onto the field by us.  On the map here you can see the general layout of the field. 

The local competitors from the Glen were spirited, but not nearly of the same caliber as the regional shepherds and shepherdesses.  The really talented callers and dogs got through the course with a sense of order.  The locals?  Hilarious.  One guy was just great.  His dog went sprinting off into the wrong field and chased the sheep with him.  Another watched the sheep jump over a fence and exit the area.  Another guy was screaming obscenities at his dog in a very disorganized fashion.  These people made the trials for us.  It was an beautiful afternoon with good people, great food and drinks, and some really entertaining local color (or colour, depending on where you’re from).

Dog doing it's job
After the trials we made our way back to the Neverland playground.  This time, there were dozens of kids running around on the playground enjoying the sunshine.  Bryce came back to us after playing alone for a few minutes and said no one would play with him.  We told him to go back out there and ask someone if they would like to play and see what happens.  He went up to the first little boy of equal height who looked at him up and down and said, “Sure.”  Bryce jumped up and down and ran back to us saying, “He wants to play with me!  He wants to play with me.”  Meanwhile, the friend headed into the playground so we told Bryce to hurry up back over to him.  They played great together for the next hour.  It was pretty funny to watch the little Scottish boy chase after Bryce yelling, “Friend!  Friend, come back here and play!”  They chased each other around and had a ball.  At one point, Bryce came over to us with a bag of Hula-Hoop crisps that his friend gave him.  We told him to give them back to the little boy but the friend said, “That’s all right.  I hate those crisps anyway.”  Bryce then responded, “Hear that!  I can have them!  I can have them!” 

I wish we could all make friends that way.  Denali has had similar experiences here in Scotland.  You walk up to a total stranger and say, “Hey.  Want to play with me?”  No fear.  No nervous anxiety.  Just an honest way of saying, “I’m willing to introduce myself to you and play if you’ll do the same.”  Way to go, kids.


  1. i'm picturing the end of babe for the sheepdog trials. have i got it right? love the posts! what an adventure!!

  2. Thanks, Lauren! I think you nailed the "Babe" reference. It was a pretty fantastic afternoon. The sun was shining and the dogs were incredible out there. That's a sport I could get into. Rachell keeps saying we should bring a Scottish sheepdog home with us. It works for me for about 2 hours. I'd love to have the dog for two hours...until it starts shedding, needs to be walked, cleaned up after, or it breaks something. Ugghhhh.... that sounds tiring to have a dog. I'll say this - if we ever have sheep, we'll get a sheepdog.