Monday, 8 May 2017

Working in the mountains

Bear and I are now living the dream of this trip. We are out and about with the sheep in the Alb as Georg moves them from one pasture to another.
The rains have been slow to come and the grass has not had enough sunshine to grow high yet.Typically Georg would expect to cross his mountain territory three times in a season. We shall see how it goes this season.
Bear has a work day then a rest day. It is a good rhythm for me too, although I have a bit more to do with the sheep. I sometimes check out the sheep on the off day or even help Georg move a vehicle/cross a road. Georg is easy going. He lets me set the tempo of my involvement.

A feature of this wandering shepherd lifestyle that I had not quite factored into my brain is the effect of this movable feeding on my inexperienced dog. As well as learning new tending skills Bear has to learn to cope with an ever changing environment. Each time out he is in a new place. It blows his mind. The steep hills, the common lack of defined borders and a large mob of very vocal (the lambs), mobile grazing sheep are new to him. It is nothing like home. And it certainly is not a reassuring environment for him.

But he looks forward to working and each session he shows growth. Bravo Bear.

And I am loving it too. Its challenging just to find my way around. Everything is within walking distance of our starting point of course but it is around corners and behind trees🌲🌲🦌🌲🌲 I am finding I have a lousy sense of direction!!

Here is a taste..

Georg is in Magerkingen with Zora, Yukon, X (featured) and Dana (Bear's working partner and a real sweetie) on the one brilliant sunny day we have had.


*****those tending people reading this will have noticed that I am always showing Bear along a reasonable border. That is because I am not in a position to photograph (yet) when we are doing other exercises eg corners, pen entries, open ground. Bear still needs help and I am somewhere near him encouraging/instructing.
But in all honesty this is not really about Bear alone. It is about the total picture of a shepherd's working lifestyle.



  1. Hadn't checked the blog for a week or so. Found a Russian novel. A German saga. A visual and aural masterpiece to rival Eisenstein... Rodgers, Hammerstein and Kostal. A bit concerned that you have been low on protein, but remember there's a lot of nutrition in an olive. It must be a delight for the mountain villagers to see the sheep and lambs arrive as welcome harbingers of spring ... even though it seems to take some time to decide to stay. I think Georg is really going to miss both of you when you leave. And Bear is going to require a new level of activity and responsibility.

    1. Re your question about duplication.....who knows!!!
      And re your literary references.....thank you. Although spoken with heavy irony they still bring up excellent comparisons.
      And Bear needing more when he returns is so true. He is really stepping up now. He is starting to get the big picture and understand the situation more. He is not stressing so much over the little things.

  2. Why do my comments always get published in duplicate?

  3. Alexa love the pictures and love that Bear is coming along so well. The article in the German Shepherd Club magazine was excellent too. Bear did mention in the article how much he was enjoying life in Germany. Sounds like you are enjoying too.

  4. wow!great photos. the rhythm of daily life for a shepherd ,her dog and sheep certainly shines through.lovely writing.i am very pleased for you both. cheers.john

  5. I am loving your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible experience with us!!!

  6. You are living the life Girl! So glad you are keeping us up to date!