In the 80's when I was growing up in Scotland I don't remember too many reality tv programs being on the box. Back them there were no shows depicting the lives of rich American housewives or shows that locked up a dozen strangers a house, but there was One Man And His Dog. The concept was as real as it gets. You take a group of sheep, one smart border collie, and a man (usually older) with a long staff (stick) and a whistle who stands in the distance as the dog brings the sheep into the pen within a given time slot (hopefully). As a young, young boy I was glued to the tv. I was amazed at what those dogs could do, from afar, just from a few whistling calls of control from their handler. The older I got though the more I started to think that it was nerdy and wanted nothing to do with watching it.
Now though that I am about to take my wife to the Soldier Hollow Classic here in Utah on her return from California at the beginning of September, I have a a whole new respect for those dogs and handlers. Especially now that I have a border collie of my own who doesn't like to stick around when on a walk and instead likes to run off the beaten path and meet the neighbouring dogs and will not respond to any of my calls or whistles and I have to go scampering off in 100 degree weather to fetch him.
I might have to get myself some tips.