The End of an Era – Mel

Mel lying on the grass looking happy

So sad to report that Mel died yesterday

One day I’ll write a page in memory of Mel. She’s probably the greatest sheepdog we’ve ever had the privilege to know and work with.

A truly great sheepdog who passed away yesterday
Mel’s “yampy” (quirky, carefree) look, that we loved so much

Mel’s daughter Carew was far easier to control around sheep, and was definitely easier to stop (I couldn’t actually get Mel to stand still with her four feet on the ground until she was four years old) but Mel never, ever failed to get a job done. She was also largely responsible for teaching me how to train Carew!

If I chose one of the other dogs to do a difficult task, a glance in Mel’s direction as we left the yard would reveal a knowing “you’ll be back” look – and sure enough, when I returned, fuming because the job had gone horribly wrong and there were sheep all over the place, Mel would be standing by her gate with that “told you so” expression we saw so often.

Photo of Mel lying on the grass
It was an honour to work (and play) with this great dog.

Once in the field, Mel would demonstrate a perfect understanding of the task in hand, and the previously impossible sheep would be totally respectful and do exactly as she wanted. This doesn’t happen by chance.

Indeed, one day soon, I will write a tribute page for this extraordinary dog. I’m not in a suitable place to do it now. The memories are flooding back but I’m too emotional to commit them to the page so for now, I’m making lots of notes.

Clos-up photo of Mel. A truly great sheepdog


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