Newspaper Archive of
Cloverdale Reveille
Cloverdale, California
August 6, 1980     Cloverdale Reveille
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August 6, 1980

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Page 4 - Wednesday, August 6, 1980 The amazing sheep dogs Text By VIVIAN MENICUCCI Photos by Janice Corny I, was Lord Byron who wrote and had engraved on his Iombstohe. "A man's best friend is his dog!" The friendship between man and animal has continued to grow with great respect throughout the cenluries as man has increased his knowledge. It was Lord Byron who wrote aboul man's best friend but it isfrom the words of men like Si Francis of Cloverdale which will inspire generations to come with ;heir understanding and respecl for the perfection of a very unusual art form, the sheep dog trials and demonst rations. Ill Si's own words. "Dogs, like all living things, have somelhing In teach man if he is paying attention. Anyone can *each a dog obedience or ,he fundamentals, but it is a gift. an ar. to understand. niotivae and communicate wilh an animal." Sheep handling has played a major parl in the life of Si Francis and he is totally ddicaled In ihe art of sheep dog raining and handling. Because of his love for the art he is also dedicated to the cause of ',he Redwood Empire Sheep Dog Association. as are i,s .Iher members. Their .contributions. working, helping each other. ,caching and sharing knowledge has brought the demonstrations to their presen, day level of ex- cellenve and there is no doubt of i,s importance for the fu, ure. At one time dissen- sion and poor sportsmanship nearly caused Ihe ruin of the RESDA Bul fortunately, according lo Si, "We wea,hered the storm and , uday we have a membership , ha, shows and trains dogs for .he spot's. There is integrity, a.d, here is great pride in the in,elligence of the animals." The first meeting of the sheep dog owners took place told was held at 8 p.m. on l"riday , he 5ih of December. t:vt7, a. the Lambert School ,n Dr Creek Road. Heald- sburg Officers lhen elected were President Lev Beebe. .*('re, ary Barbara Foster. Vice President Frank Thrall, Treasui'er Sara Tucker and the Board of Directors were Wayne Foster, Leonard Bla , ('lyde Ledfor and Tom Bax.e,' Sara Tucker was ac ually elected to office on Pebruary 27. 1948. Warren Hiehardson was made an h-norary member. The rules and regulations ,,I he (rials have changed a h, .hrough the years but the perfecting continues. It is [ascinal ing to watch the skills ,,f .he performers as they go hr,ugh their routines. Everylhing is regulated and controlled at the demon- s.ra.ions and there is a required course to follow, We went out to the Francis' ranch in observe his dogs g.ing through a trial run. He was kind enough to share his ime with us, Al first I didn't see anything, including sheep, the field appeared to be emPty. But, when Si gave a command, all of a sudden here were six sheep in front of us and the dogs were ready to go. Trim. a champion Border Collie, like the pro he is, went through a run without a hitch. One of the photos shows Trim holding a flock of sheep completely controlled and- settled. They know they have ,o behave. It looks easy but it is very demanding on the dogs because the sheep spook easily and scatter. A good dog will keep the sheep "'sel lied" while moving them. Looking like a double ex- posure. Old Lace and daughter, Belle. worked the sheep ,ogether. Old Lace. queen of the ranch, proved whal a good mother and ,eacher she is by letling her child ,ake the forefront while she covered in Ihe background. Seeing lhe remarkable perfection of ,hese animals a work one w,uld almost assume the handler wasn't needed. The dogs are so professional they don', need ,o be laid whal in do...,hey know whal in do. Si Franeis is truly a master a* his lrade and one cannot accurately describe the beautiful confidence and rust in ability thal exists belween he and his dogs. Si says the dogs have "had the smarts" all the time bul ihe ability of the handlers has increased through the years• "'The champion dog of fifteen years ago would have a hard .inle "'placing today " Now. , hrough select ire procedures. breeding and lraining the dpgs have become highly specialized. They are ranch dogs who love the water and swmnning and hey are hal meant for the backyard. Si "shows" his dogs m a very serious illanner. He believes m showing hem ,o ,heir best abilily and i', is his JnienlJon ,o promoie alld encourage he inerest of he younger generation who will perpetuate he arl form hrough i he Redwood Empire Sheep Dog Associaiion Anyone who has seen or participated in a ;rial un- derstands lhe exchenien and fascination of the fans When he dogs are going ,hrough their runs. the true fan can be heard whispering en- c.uragemen . "'Keep 'era moving, keep era moving." Trim, the champion Border Collie in action, shows his ability to control and settle the sheep. Home free: Penning, is worth fifteen points. Is the HIGH COST of Cooling Becoming "UnBEARable"? BEAT the Heat wlth TRANSPARENT Mylar Window Shadesl 89.5% of the Sun's Heat Back Out the Window... without losing the view. Stop heat Glare and fading of Furniture & Carpets. See them now at. Cloverdale CABINET & LINOLEUM 119 N, Cloverdale Blvd, 894-2334 ,o every animal in he com- petition. Throughout the stands whispers of, "The sheep are stubborn and they know the difference in the dog right away .... It isn't her fault, she's doing everything she should! "The dog just educated the sheep righl there, she has 'era walking now Comin' from behind hey can'l see her." One uf he demon seraiors who was having difficulty and Continued on page 5 ,i has an official course simulated on his ranch used for teaching and workshops. Trim is going through a trial run. Looking like a double exposure, Old Lace and daughter. Belle. lets Belle work the sheep together. Good mother that she is, Old Lace covers. "Some dogs are so good they even make the sheep look smart" Mutual respect & understanding between animal and handler are two necessary ingredients I II Dr. Edward F. Johnson CHIROPRACTOR • Personal Injury . Full Spine Technique • Insurance Cases • Phisio Therapy n Workmen's Camp. = Applied Kinesiology = Medicare • Nutrition 109 S. Main St., Cloverdale For Appointment Call g94-3608 Office Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9-6, Sat 9-12 Illl EE I g, do the work while she stays in "SONY" % Frisbee and • I0 Pack Tape Case When you buy 3 HFX- 90'minute High Quality Premium Cassette Tapes for lust $82S Si Francis. Old Lace. Belle and Trim seem to be discussing So drop in. It's the perfect time to enjoy 'Full Color Sound and take advantage of these Red Hot promotions. 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