SUFFOLK DOGS MY DOG & MY WORK MATE Who doesn’t love watching sheepdogs at work, marvelling at the amazing bond between dog and handler? Ed Thornalley is chairman of the East Anglian Sheepdog Society, covering Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, which fosters and promotes working sheepdogs, to help better manage sheep and livestock. They run sheepdog trials and offer training clinics. Ed has been involved with sheepdogs for about 30 years and has three border collies Nasher, Jamie and Pepper. “Nasher is kind and thoughtful, Jamie is enthusiastic, a real tryer but lacks brains, while Pepper is a bit of a free spirit. “In terms of working ability, Nasher has a lot of natural talent but can sometimes be a bit lazy. Jamie lacks a lot of natural ability but makes up for it by trying really hard, and Pepper, who isn’t fully trained yet, has a nice amount of natural ability.” Ed got started with sheepdogs when he left school. “With no experience of sheep or dogs I got a job on Elveden Estate. I was sent to work with the sheep, and one of the shepherds there, Will Grey, took me under his wing. “As a shepherd, it would be impossible for me to do my job without my dogs helping. They work sheep far more capably than I can, and I have the utmost respect for them. They are with me all day everyday, so they are my friends as well as work mates. Suffolk: July 2020 23
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