Thursday, October 28

The shepherd, sheep and the dog...

It is difficult to imagine Himalayas without the shepherds and their flocks. At lower heights of Himalayas, any trekker will meet them. These friendly shepherds suddenly make us realize us that we are not alone in the trek! Hence, it is glorious to spot them. In fact, they might wonder what is there for us to trek up 17000 ft. high! After all, the mountains are their playgrounds and we are just foreigners out here. 
They also tell us how closely man and his animals live for each other!

These sheep are very much a part and life of Himalayas and we look shy-strangers !

Most Shepherds will have 2 to 3 Himalayan sheepdogs with them. It is so gorgeous to observe these power-packed working dogs running around doing their job. Basically, they are a potent breed and are strong-willed like the mountains.  Often, a single shepherd easily tends 500 or more sheep with the help of these dogs. They are also well domesticated and intelligent. Nevertheless, they are stubborn too. 
When they guard their flock, they can be ferocious. 
Himalayan sheepdogs are excellent family dogs and most people I met keep one at home. Because of their ‘watchman’ tendency, these dogs are very sensitive and outgoing. Because of their best scavenging ability, these dogs (as a pack) can survive even in the wild.

As a dog lover on a mountain, I will cherish this one golden moment. 
Seeing this sheepdog near his flock, I called him and breaking his breed norms, he rushed to me. 
I could pet him for a while. Well-build, shaggy and handsome, he was around 60-70 cm tall. 
I noted his healthy coat, strong feet and his hairy tail. 

Soon, hearing his master’s whistle and he left me for his flock. 
As he was speeding away, I was very much a content person. 


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