5 December

The Joy Dog

by Jon Katz

I call Fate the joy dog. She is overlooked, sometimes, I think, because she moves so fast and is so restless she is hard to photograph. She is Maria’s dog, mostly, and I don’t see that much of her all day.

Fate’s gift to us is her enthusiasm, her joy of life. She loves to go out to the sheep, she loves to go for walks, she loves to ride in the car, she loves to sit with us by the fire.

Every time someone gets up to go to the door, Fate is overjoyed, she gets up and rushes to the door as well. She is incredibly well behaved on our walks or rides, she is strategically disobedient when it comes to leaving the pasture or nosing open the back door when she thinks no one is looking.

She comes when called except in those moments when she thinks she can  get out to the sheep, and she pretends not to hear. She is a perfect match for Maria, the two are always setting off into the woods to think or walk.

Fate knows a lot of words – “ride,” “car,” “pasture,” “eat,””post office,” “sheep,” “hay,” etc. She is not permitted on the sofa, so there she was lying there and sitting still – rare – long enough for me to get her portrait.

Fate never really took to sheep herding, but she took to being a great family dog, her enthusiasm for the world is contagious, and she finds joy every single day.

Her passion for running around the sheep in circles has drawn a wide and enthusiastic following, people come from miles to our Open Houses to watch Fate run around sheep to no particular purpose or end. I often think people have more fun watching Fate not herd sheep than watching Red herd them.

She also loves to run around the yard with Bud, digging up lost bones, wrestling, running back and forth.

Fate is a beautiful dog, and has a beautiful heart to match. Tonight, she was in a cooperative mood, she let me take her portrait.  I told her to get off the couch, and she did.

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