National Geographic : 1958 Aug
Seeing Eye's fee of $150 for the first dog, board, and training falls far short of actual costs. The blind applicant pays the fee him self, in small installments over years if necessary. Nobody else may pay for him. "The idea is to make him assume some re sponsibility himself," Werntz explained, "to spur him on to make his own financial way in a seeing world." Rare is the letter from a graduate to the Seeing Eye that does not include an eloquent tribute to a four-footed guide. One sightless writer summed it up, "Blindness has at last come out of the tin-cup stage." Dogs Aid the World's Herdsmen Since man first domesticated livestock, he has recognized the worth of a dog to guard and move his flocks and herds. This task has molded a variety of herding dogs. The rough-coated komondor protects-and even resembles-the semiwild sheep of Hun gary's wind-swept plains. Half a world away the agile kelpie shuttles flocks across Aus tralia's outback. For centuries the stumpy Welsh corgi, favorite of Britain's Royal Family, has nipped at laggard cattle's heels. So have Germany's Rottweiler, a remnant of Roman invasion; France's Briard; and the Low Countries' Bouvier des Flandres. Even the Russian Laika breeds tended reindeer herds long before a mongrel by that name won fame as the first space dog. But the most worked shepherd's dog in English-speaking countries is a canny little Scot known as the working, or Border, collie.* I was reminded recently of an English physician, Johannes Caius, who in 1570 wrote the earliest treatise on the dogs of Britain. Of the shepherd's working partner he said: "This dogge either at the hearing of his masters voyce, or at the wagging and whistel ing in his fist... bringeth the wandring weathers and straying sheepe, into the selfe same place where his masters will and wishe ... wherby the shepherd reapeth this benefite, namely, that with litle labour and no toyle or moving of his feete he may rule and guide his flocke, according to his owne desire, either to have them go forward, or to stand still, or to drawe backward, or to turne this way or to take that way." Doctor Caius's dog may well have resem bled today's Border collie, traceable to the Scottish-English frontier more than three cen turies ago. And aside from whistling through 216 his teeth rather than his fist, Carl Bradford An Obedience Class Meets in a Theater of Wooster, Ohio, might well illustrate the old writer's remarks. This specialist in sheep research at the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station has happily joined his work with his avocation-breeding and training Border collies. I watched, amazed, as Bradford worked the black-and-white pride of his kennels, Roy, with a flock of ewe lambs. Bradford first scattered the sheep out of sight behind a low rise. Then, with a snap * See "Sheep Dog Trials in Llangollen," by Sara Bloch, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, April, 1940.