1 Shep

Near the base of the Rocky Mountains, on the high plains of Montana, the grass grows plentifully. There, in the 1930s an old man whose face was deeply carved into wrinkles from years of being in the sun and wind, worked with his sheepdog. They tended a big flock of sheep and sometimes didnt see another human being for weeks. The dog with his lively eyes and thick matted hair that protected him from the elements was good at what he did. Tirelessly he trotted his seemingly endless rounds making sure the sheep stayed together, always on the alert for predators such as wolves or coyotes. When it was time to move the sheep to fresh pasture, the dog seemed to know with only a nod, whistle, or sweep of his masters hand, exactly what to do. Several ranch hands working on horses would have had difficulty accomplishing the same tasks the sheepdog did easily.

Shep 2

Once Then an illness that had been slowly progressing laid the old man low and he could no longer rise from his bed. He needed medical help and the nearest place to get it was in Fort Benton, many miles away. When he was lifted up on to the bed of an old farm truck, the dog jumped up beside him and stayed by his side for the long trip. When they got to St. Claries Hospital a couple of workers came out and carried the old man in. The dog tried to slip through the door to accompany his master in the hospital but a nurse discovered him and blocked his way. The sheepdog or Shep as he would later become known to the people living in Fort Benton, lay down near the hospital door, and kept a close watch on it. He didnt want to miss his master if he should leave.

The old mans illness was the last he would ever suffer for he passed a way. When his family was contacted back east they asked if his body might be sent to them on the train. Hospital attendants carried his body to the train station. Shep saw what was happening and followed along. Shep didnt understand his master was dead. When they placed the mans body on a freight car, he thought he better go along, and tried to jump up through the open door, but a railroad worker prevented him, and then slid the door of the railroad car closed. With a puff of steam the train pulled away leaving Shep behind.