Friday, December 04, 2009

Sheep, Sheep and More Sheep



In Central Utah, where my grandparents live, undeveloped land is abundant. The open land is perfect for raising live stock like sheep, cattle, and turkeys.




My grandfather has been a sheep herder his whole life.




I have wonderful memories of visiting his sheep camps.  Foremost in my mind is eating friend mutton and homemade tortillas;  playing with the herd dogs, riding horses, checking for newly born lambs and enjoying a world that seemed so different from the one I inhabited.





Somehow I've gone my whole life without knowing that a part of every herd is a guard dog.  I'm telling myself I didn't know about guard dogs because they are always out with the herd and as a rule are NOT people dogs. So, why would I know about them?  But, that's not a very good excuse.  The real reason I never knew is because I've never asked my grandpa for details about his life work.

This trip I found out about guard dogs because we "met" one that was actually a people dog.  He loved us, and to tell you the truth, I kind of fell in love with him, too.

He let the twins ride on him.  He had perfect manners, and I didn't even have to feed him or take care of him.

  



He was a perfect gentleman, but most importantly, he taught me a lesson.  It's amazing the knowledge we can obtain if only we ask.  I didn't let up with the questions this trip, and I'm glad.

14 comments:

Frau said...

I think until we are adults or parents you see the world different. Before it may not have been of interest or even a thought. But now that you are older,wiser and have children the idea of passing knowledge and interest in others lives in a more detailed way is important. Possibly for the fact life is short and knowing the stories are important. I keep trying to ask my mom about her childhood cause it's interesting and either she can't remember and doesn't want to she is tight lipped!Have a great weekend.

Susie said...

It is nice to have a place outside the city to visit isn't it? Especially when it is family:-)

Evonne said...

That looks like a beautiful place! I never knew about guard dogs either. Thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

You really had a great time on your trip.. That is so neat to see all of those sheep(s) and hear the stories that follow.

T Rex Mom said...

We have a lot of sheep herders here in Idaho too. I'm always amazed by all their hard work. And the sheep dogs are really impressive.

Some also keep llamas - keeps the predators away. I never knew that.

Peterson Family said...

Angie,
I started working on my family tree in 1993 shortly after my mother passed away. I tell everyone who will listen to start documenting stuff NOW while you still have those people to ask. I think this might be a good place to start...

glitterbygrammie said...

I was raised on a cattle ranch in colorado. Hard work but fun at the same time.
Your grandfathers dog looks like an Anatolian shepard. They are quiet and good natured but will protect to the end.Any good dog will do that but these dogs are huge.
My sister still runs a ranch in colorado. Not cattle but Alpacas. she has 4 of those gentle giants.They will let the kids ride them and lick their faces and the next minute be ready to take downa bear.
I guess this isn't much of a comment. Just the picture took me back home.

Melissa said...

I'm amazed those sheep survive on that barren land. I guess the sheep in NZ should count their lucky stars.
Yep good time to be asking questions and writing it down for journal, unfortunately people don't last forever on the earth.

Casey's trio said...

So cool that your kids got to experience so much of their great grandfather's life and work! I bet they loved every second of it!

Shannon said...

Sounds like a perfect pet!...if only:) THat is a gorgeous dog. What a beautiful place you have to visit. It truly is an entirely different way of life!

Justine said...

How frickin' awesome to be able to say that your grandfather is a sheep herder! Not many people can say that. And aw, that dog is adorable!!!

The views are just stunning. I wanna go back to utah!

Justine :o )

CC said...

Your grandfather is a sheep herder! How cool! It's a combo educational trip/"lets see the grandparents and get spoiled trip!

Jaysi said...

These pictures are really beautiful!! What a treat to let your kids be a part of something you enjoyed in your childhood!

Stu Pidasso said...

I interveiwed my aunt with 15 prepared questions to try and get some family history. SOme serious and some fun questions. Try it next time, you will be amazed at the stories you get from your grandpa.