This weekend I had the fortune to go to my very first "stock dog trial" in a little town just north of where I live...Kendalia, TX. The event took place on the old Noah ranch...a homestead rich with history. Close to 90 border collies competed by running a course where they would drive a set of five lambs through gates, around a post and then "shed" out two lambs from the group...then would gather and pen them in a matter of nine minutes.
I was mesmerized by the entire event. I was even more impressed with the intensity of the dogs waiting in the wings to go do the job they were bred to do. They didn't see it as drudgery...or hard labor. It was their passion. They were chomping at the bit to get out there and get the job done.
I talked with several of the handlers while we collectively watched the dogs compete. They told me that the passion and the ability to herd sheep was part of the DNA of this breed. Even as puppies they will eagerly run out to a group of sheep to begin the herding process...not fully sure of what to do. But, with time, training and mentoring...they soon become dogs with the ability to compete at the highest level.
On the drive home I began to think...there's got to be an analogy in all of this as it pertains to each of us in our daily lives and what we do... So, I asked myself the following questions:
Am I bred to do what I do...or is there something I am always dreaming of doing or being?
Am I chomping at the bit to start each day or am I waking up thinking..."Oh no...another day."?
Do I experience deep-rooted joy in what I do or are my days a spattering of happiness here and there?
Maybe it's time for a little "come to Jesus meeting" with ourselves to see if we are truly in the profession when need to be. It's never too late to do what you were bred to do. Some of the best stock dog herders were ones that were rescued by someone who gave them their life back.
For those of us who KNOW we were bred to sell...isn't it fun?