Monday smile – Sheepdogs

I hesitated at length whether to post a Monday smile this week, following the events that have reverberated all around the world. However, as some have said, humour can and should stand fast in all circumstances. So in that spirit…

SONY DSCLast year, a 72-year-old man from Greytown, New Zealand failed to persuade a judge that his 10 Pekinese lapdogs had been mustering sheep on his family farm.

Under local dog control laws, any dogs registered after 1 July 2006 are required to be microchipped by their owner. Working dogs are exempt. The maximum fine for not doing so is NZD 3000.

John Edward Phelps was found guilty of 10 counts of failing to microchip the nine Pekinese and one Jack Russell by Judge Arthur Tompkins following a defended hearing in Masterton District Court.

South Wairarapa District Council brought the charges after Phelps repeatedly failed to provide evidence that any of the animals were working dogs.

Giving evidence, Phelps said the dogs had been working sheep on their 48-hectare property since they owned them. “They assist in the moving of the stock … Some people might see them as lapdogs.”

During cross examination, Phelps said they were trained by him to help round up the sheep and bring them to the shearing shed.

He provided the Court with photographs showing the small dogs on his quad-bike.

Judge Tompkins said that in the 2000-year history of the Pekinese breed they had never been used as working dogs. He said Phelps’ claims were “nonsensical and artificial” because of the breed’s “diminished” size and physical constraints.

Credit: The New Zealand Herald.


2 thoughts on “Monday smile – Sheepdogs

  1. The events of recent days should teach us that a little good humour goes a long way. Hats off to the millions who participated in the march in Paris and elsewhere. Their good peaceful humour was contagious. Smiles are relaxing since they require the use of fewer facial muscles than frowns. Medical wisdom has it that laughing is a healthy exercise for the entire body and soul. A sense of humour should be the required seventh sense!

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