Tom is one of the few if not the only three legged sheep dog competing in three sheep dog trials. He comes from a long line of purebred working border collies. He broke his left hind leg tearing around with other young dogs at twelve months of age. His boisterous nature and tolerance for pain lead to loosening of the metal plates and then bone pins so the fracture would not heal and the leg was amputated. If he noticed he was a leg short he never let on, so we continued training.
Ideally a handler should be born in a shearing shed and be suckled like Romulus and Remus by a Border Collie. I started at 68 years of age and Tom is my first sheep dog. His main impediment has been my lack of experience and inability to remember the commands AWAY (anti clockwise) and COME BYE (clockwise). It is a testament to his bidability and drive that we recently won an Encourage Class and then come fourth in the higher level the Novice at the next trial (beating 60 other dogs).hen awarding his ribbon the judge remarked "He only has three legs but the heart of a lion!".
Tom along with around one hundred and eighty dogs will be competing in "The Greg Prince National Memorial Trial" held at Hall, ACT Wednesday 14 to Sunday 18 March 2018.
Contributed by Bill Chalmers