They were born from different mothers but they had the same father. Two little sisters so very different but in many ways so alike. One was to be a great show dog, but she didn’t know this yet, the other to be a loving pet and therapy dog. One day a woman came to see the pups and she had to decide which would be the best for her. The little black girl had the sweetest face and the look of a show dog. She was fluffy and adorable. She really was stunning. The other little girl a pretty red color just sat there in the middle of her litter and watched every move the woman made and her eyes never left the woman’s face. She just took in every word and action and her eyes showed that she just understood all that was going on and being said.
The woman loved them both but couldn’t make a decision. She went home to think about the two sisters, to decide which would be the one for her. It would be wonderful to have a beautiful show puppy and to have the opportunity to become the owner of a famous show dog. The woman could not get the other little girls eyes out of her mind. There was just something about the way she looked at her and took in all that was going on around her. Now this seemed to be a puppy that would be able to connect with people and give love and joy to those in need. This pup also seemed to be so tuned in to everything around her, which the woman felt would be an easy dog to train and a joy to live with.
A week’s time went by and the woman couldn’t make up her mind. As it was to turn out the breeder of the two sisters decided that she would keep the little black puppy and turn her into a show dog. So now the decision had been made for the little red girl to go live with the woman who really wanted a pup that would be easy to train and one who loved people.
The decision being made, the little red girl was to go to her new home and she would learn to become a therapy dog. She would be trained to go to nursing homes and hospitals to visit the elderly and the sick and children who were sick. She was to have a wonderfully fulfilling life and would be a great joy to many.
The day she came home she was given her own little crate and bed in the kitchen, a place where she would be safe and a place where she would start her training.
The little red girl whose name was to be Ree started training by learning to walk with a collar and lead on. She was given these awesome treats which encouraged her to walk with her new owner. It really was fun and it was especially fun to run in the leaves and play chase with her new friend.
This puppy had such personality and loved to give hugs .She was truly going to be a great therapy dog. In the first month that Ree was in her new home she started to learn to be housetrained, to go outside to go potty. She learned to go up and down the stairs that led to the back door. But most fun of all was going on lead to learn to sit and walk properly. Ree just loved this training time; it was more like play time for her. In no time whenever she saw the leash come out she would just jump for joy and almost turn herself inside out, she couldn’t wait to go out to work. Ree was smart and learned quickly, in two months time she was sitting on command and walking nicely next to her mistress .She often wondered how her sister was and if she would see her again. Her sister who was now called Muffin was to become a show dog as soon as she was old enough. In the meantime her owner decided she needed some basic training and asked if she could come live with Ree for a few months. Ree was so excited when she learned that her sister was coming to stay with her. They had been such good friends and had such great times playing together.
Muffin came just before Christmas, what a wonderful gift for Ree. They were so happy to see each other, they romped and played and chased all over. Muffin was given her own little crate and safe place too. She would soon start training the same as Ree. Only Muffin would not learn to sit, only to walk on a lead and to stand and watch the treat that was held out to her. That’s how she would learn to become a show dog.
As the days went by the two sisters grew into beautiful young shelties and became very bonded with each other. They were inseparable; whatever one did the other followed right along.
One morning they were to start on an adventure that would change their lives forever. It was a chilly, frosty morning when they went out after a long nights sleep. They went into the play yard and saw that the gate was open. Now this was very unusual, the gate was never left open. Ree and Muffin looked at each other and wondered what they should do. But being young and very inquisitive they went over to the gate and poked their noses out and slowly continued through the gate into the yard. The yard was only a few feet from the woods and a rushing creek. They were just too curious to turn back and with happy barks they headed for the woods. There had been a light snowfall that evening and their little feet left tracks in the snow. If anyone discovered that they were missing they would be able to follow the tracks. As they scampered through the woods they barked and rolled in the snow, then jumped up shook off the snow and took off on a run. What a ball they were having. Such freedom they had never experienced. It was wonderful. As they ran they were getting farther and farther away from home and they did not pay much attention to the direction they were taking. They were headed to the swamp on the other side of the woods, where there were small creeks and ponds and all kinds of marsh grass growing out of the water. They seemed to realize the change in the land and they skidded to a stop right on the edge of a huge pond. Boy, that was a close call. Had they fallen in the pond the water might have clung to their coats and started to freeze and then they might not have been able to climb out of the pond. Ree and Muffin stood at the edge of the pond and could see their reflections in the water. They started to bark at the two shelties looking back at them, not realizing who they were. They looked at each other and smiled, this sure was fun.
Off in the distance they heard this bleating noise, what could that be, this was something they had never heard before. They decided to investigate. Ree found a path around the pond and cautiously headed down the path, Muffin was following closely. The bleating sound grew louder and louder and they began to run towards it. It sounded as though someone was in trouble. Ree and Muffin would stop and listen and then run as fast as they could towards the sound. There ahead of them was another pond and in the pond was something that looked like a huge white piece of cotton. As they moved more cautiously towards the object, it started to bleat again. Ree and Muffin both dropped to their bellies and began to creep slowly to the edge of the pond. The little creature turned its head and with pleading eyes asked them for help. As they crept closer they could see the little creature and it sure looked like a sheep. The poor thing was soaking wet and her wool had begun to freeze into little icicles. Ree and Muffin instinctively knew that they had to help the sheep get out of the water and soon or she would freeze solid. What were they to do? Muffin who was to be a show dog and Ree who was to be a therapy dog had no idea even what a sheep was, let alone how to help her out of the pond. This was a delimma. These little sisters had to think and to think fast in order to save this poor sheep. Ree continued to creep on her belly to the edge of the pond and as she got closer the sheep bleated even louder. Muffin followed her to the edge of the pond and stood there looking at the sheep and being the braver of the two sisters took a step into the water. As she did the sheep moved a little further away, and as the sheep turned to move away Muffin grabbed her tail and held on for dear life. Ree seeing that Muffin was going to need help inched down over the edge of the pond and grabbed onto Muffins tail and started to pull. As Ree pulled Muffin she dug her claws into the bank and backed up as fast as she could, Muffin held onto the sheep’s tail with all her strength so that as Ree pulled her back the sheep started to move back too. Ree backed up over the edge of the pond and soon had Muffin onto the edge and the sheep was almost out of the water. Ree struggled and kept her claws dug into the snowy dirt and slowly backed further, now Muffin was totally out of the water and the sheep’s back feet were on the edge of the pond. They were going to get her out and then what were they to do with her? She needed to quickly get dry. As the sheep came up over the edge of the pond they could see that she was only a baby sheep and she was terrified and shaking with cold. Ree and Muffin decided they needed to try to find their way home and bring the baby sheep with them. In all their haste to explore they didn’t keep track of the direction they ran in and now couldn’t decide which way to go. What were they going to do?
They turned and headed in the direction they thought would take them home. As they headed back up the path they nudged the little sheep to keep her moving and so kept her warm. Whenever she slowed they would both get on either side of her and with their noses encourage her onward. Soon they came to a path that went off to the right and they were not sure which way to go, did they come from that direction, was that the way home. Muffin moved ahead and chose the path to the right, Ree stayed behind the little sheep to keep her moving. As they continued on evening fell and the temperature dropped. The little sheep’s wool was beginning to freeze. They had to find help for her. Muffin too had little icicles forming on her legs and her tail. She continued to trot on and the sheep and Ree followed. The trail started to go up hill and wound around through the pine trees and at the crest of the next hill there was a light in the distance. Ree and Muffin could not tell what kind of light it was. Their natural cautious sheltie instincts took over and once again they lowered to their bellies and started to creep slowly forward. As they moved closer to the light they heard a menacing low growl and saw this collie lying near the light. He was a big black and white fellow with a large head and a plumed tail. Ree turned and circled back to the little sheep and gradually pushed her forward. On the other side of the light there were several other sheep that were trying to graze through the snow. Some were pulling up small tufts of grass and others were quietly lying and chewing their cud. The person who sat by the light, which was warm and comforting, turned to see what his collie was growling at. There at the edge of the fire were two small shelties and a little sheep whose wool had frozen into small icicles. He told his collie to hush up and walked over to Ree and Muffin. He quietly asked them to come to him and they did with tails waving. The little sheep came with them and let out a loud bleat when she saw the other sheep. A big ewe lifted her head and answered the little sheep back, it was her mother and the man thought she had been lost for good. His collie had been attacked and injured a leg and had not been able to keep after the sheep as he usually did. They were all stranded on the top of the hill with night coming and the cold was settling in. He asked the shelties to come and lay by the fire and warm themselves. What two lovely little dogs he thought to himself. They must have experience with sheep as they were able to save the little sheep and he could see that she had fallen into a pond and they had saved her. Maybe they could help him take all the sheep back down the hill before the wolf that had attacked his collie came back. He called to the shelties and told them what had happened and hoping they would understand some of his commands and help his collie move the sheep.
He put the fire out and picked up his staff and started to walk around the sheep. The sheep lying down got up and they all stood and just watched the shelties. Ree and Muffin were not too sure what was expected but they watched the collie walking on three legs, gingerly move around behind the sheep. Ree and Muffin followed and then just naturally started to nudge the sheep and they began to move. As they headed down the hill with the man in front, the collie behind and Ree on one side and Muffin on the other, they were being watched. Ree began to scent the air and the hair on the back of her neck stood up and she started low growls. Off to the right of the flock there were several pairs of green eyes staring out of the night. A wolf slowly fell in behind the flock. Ree turned and lunged and slashed at his legs, the wolf backed off. Ree took up her position again beside the flock. What a brave sheltie, her natural instincts just took over and she knew she had to protect the flock and their little sheep that she and Muffin had saved. At that instant another wolf lunged at the collie and only having the use of three legs he was not quick. Muffin heard the scuffle and charged back to the collie, snarling as ferociously as she could and went towards the wolf. The wolf did not expect another dog and tucked tail and ran. So they proceeded down the hill toward the shepherd’s farm and the safe barn where the sheep would spend the night, warm and protected. When they reached the barn, Ree and Muffin went up to the man wagged their tails and said their good-byes. The man tried to get them to come into the barn for the night but Muffin had seen another path that headed in the direction of home. Ree and Muffin turned and headed into the night.
The path did lead in the direction of home and with any luck they would be back before dawn. They did not realize that their people would be frantic with worry about them. As they got closer to home they could hear people calling their names and asking them if they wanted cookies. When they heard the cookie word they took off at a gallop down the path, past the pond where they found the sheep and into the woods, past the pond that bordered their back yard. The gate was still open and they charged through it and sat at the back door. Their mistress was just coming out again to go searching and when she opened the back door there sat Ree and Muffin as if nothing had ever happened. If only they could talk and tell of their adventure. They were scooped up and hugged and loved and also lectured about leaving the yard. Ree and Muffin were so excited to be home.
They would now go back to their training, Muffin to be a show dog and Ree to be a therapy dog and maybe they both might learn a little sheep herding.
A Fun Story