By Dorothy M Mitchell
Key Themes: Mental Health, Fiction, Breakdown, Tragedy
This is the story of Ben the useless Border Collie!
Well thatís what his first owner Gwyn Thomas thought. The sheep farmer had suffered a mental breakdown at the time. He had lost his wife in a terrible accident, causing him to almost lose his mind! His daughter Belle had also been involved in the tragedy,
having her arm so badly injured it had had to be removed. Ben had been her pet, but he was also supposed to be a sheep dog, helping his mum Floss to take care of the large flock.
Unfortunately, Ben had been born with a weak back leg, making it almost impossible for him to control the sheep. He was ok on a straight run, but when it came to turning round his leg let him down, causing the poor dog to fall over. It always upset him, but there was nothing he could do to alter the situation try as he might.
This heartwarming tale is full of danger and love, it tells of many hair-raising happenings. Read about Benís mum Floss, and
Nellie the Golden Labrador, and Peggy Owen who are all so
important in the telling of this lovely tale. They are definitely the loves of this Collieís life!
Please read and enjoy the riveting, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, heart warming adventure ĎTo Lead Us Home.í
About the Author
Dorothy M. Mitchell was born in a small Yorkshire village just before the Second World War. She remembers vividly being in the air raid shelter as enemy bombs rained down on nearby Bradford and Leeds, the night sky red from fires burning below in the cities and the sound of aircraft above very frightening. She started work in a cotton mill at the age of fourteen before moving to Evesham in Worcestershire at the age of sixteen with her parents. She maried at eighteen, has two sons and seven grandchildren Dorothy was diognosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of thirty seven, suffering many relapse and a few near nervous breakdowns.
Belle held her breath, she was just finishing her breakfast, she couldnít believe what she was
hearing. Her dad was in the yard talking to Mr. Walker from the next-door farm.
ďThe dogís useless Burt, absolutely useless. Heíll never make a good sheepdog, moreís the
pity! I had hoped that a pup of Flossís would follow in her footsteps, the best Sheep Dog I
have ever known! But no! It wasnít to be, the weak back leg means Benís fine on a straight run
but no good on the turn and I canít afford to carry any more dead weight. Heís a nice enough
dog Burt, Iíll give you that but nice doesnít pay the bills. Besides, with all the sheep trials,
taking Floss here there and everywhere, I just havenít got the time. The farm doesnít run itself
you know Burt.Ē
Belle heard Mr. Walker say something about keeping Ben for breeding but her dad had said
ďI havenít got the time or inclination for all that besides, how do I know that the dog wonít pass
on the weakness? No the dog has got to go, and thatís all there is to say on the matter.Ē
Belle heard Mr. Walkerís gruff voice, pleading with her dad. She liked Mr. Walker. He always
called her TinkerbellĒ.
ďThe lass will take it hard Gwyn: you know how she dotes on the Collie.
You will break her heart if the dog is sent away, and you know how she is since the accident;
losing her mother and her arm canít be easy for the girl, she loves Ben. He was her comfort at
that terrible time. Donít do this to her Gwyn there must be another way round this manĒ?
Belle heard her dad groan but Mr. Walker carried on pursuing his argument.
ďDonít take out your own heartbreak on the young girl for pityís sake Gwyn.Ē
Belle heard her dadís voice change.
ďItís no good you trying to change things Burt, Iíve made my mind up. Heís going tomorrow
evening, Glynloyd Kennels are taking him.Ē
Burt Walker trying in vain to make Gwyn change his mind said:
ďI know things have been hard for you since Miriam died in the car smash; it was one hell of a
shock, but think of your daughter for pityís sake man. She is ten years old, and to lose her
mum and most of her left arm canít be easy for her; and now you want to take her pet, you are
asking too much of the lass.Ē
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 29 March, 2012.