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Matt Mundell's book, Country Diary was published in 1981 by Gordon Wright Publishing, Edinburgh, Scotland. Mundell wrote 23 chapters wherein he put forth some of his experiences and recollections from his 14 years of gathering material for articles in The Scottish Farmer. Some excerpts from the book regarding "beardies" are retyped below.

In the first chapter entitled "Silent Tracks," page 16, the author discussed dogs working cattle:

"Beardie dogs—probably brought up in croft kitchens as so many drovers dogs were—were popular among the drovers."

In the fourth chapter entitled "The Long Gather," page 35, he wrote about one of the gathers that he attended.

"Ernie MacPherson and Archie Campbell had cleaned the tops of sheep at the back of the mountains. Old hand Jimmy Waddell and Donald Beaton had taken some of the weight of the ever-enlarging flock along the bottom. Between them, coming from either side, seven others with brown dog, blue merle, beardie and hunter had tidied up the face and the rocks, leaving Lechdain's three mile stretch denuded of stock. Well, almost."

On page 36, he further wrote about the "hunter." One was descibed as a beardie:

That worthy, Kit Reid on his own ground, fitted in below Ernie, combing the high pads with one of the country's most colourful dog squads including blue-merles Cora and Corrie and the grey Rock on his first-ever gather and A.W.O.L. at the end of it. He would come back no doubt later that day. Kit had with him too, as well as these Skye-blooded rarities, the tough red beardie collie Rhuardh with the blood of Mull. The hunters have value untold on days like that on the uper rims of rock, scree and gully.

In the ninth chapter entitled "Clan Macpherson," page 73, he wrote about Andrew Macpherson:

"Andrew is a Strathspey man and in his early teens he was one of ten-shilling a week shepherds of that airt who took on the droving of hoggs across to airts such as Banffshire for wintering. Strathspey was then the land of the half beardie—"good all-rounddogs"—and there were few trials collies."

Note: Mundell defined "hoggs" as young sheep between weaning and their first shearing.

In the eleventh chapter "Skywards to the Dogs," page 81, he discussed trialing:

"The Huntaway is the specialist noisy dog—now in the UK—without which the huge spreads of rough, bush, back and hill country of New Zealand could not be mustered. Their role too is at yarding work be it at mart, wool shed or freezer works where they bound along the back of the sheep to clear jammed pens.

They possibly originated with the beardie dogs of our own rock-dotted north-west Scotland, going out with early settlers and being developed and tailored to their new environment by the likes of the McIntyre family, one of those decendants, I met at the New Zealand event."

In the thirteenth chapter entitled "JEK's 'Highland' Jaunt," page 94, he wrote about the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston. He quoting one of the attendees:

"A bricht-skinned cheviot, a wyce half-beardie wi' spunk and biff, and roon-heidit well-spread crooks—it's a' that a' man needs. Which reminds me a'll hae tae be gettin' nearer hame."

In Chapter 22 entitled "Strangers on the Hill," page 162, he wrote about other types of stock dogs:

"But the Huntaway is not alone in breaking the domination of the smooth, medium and rough-coated Border Collie for my tramps amid hill men have many times brought the pleasure of seeing able beardies—the bewhiskered, hair-faced, long-wooled collie strain—and also stumpie-tails, merles and even a full-blooded Australian Kelpie. Clever workdogs all of them.

There is a tale they tell to this day in the long glens splaying out from the Big Cheviot about the coming of the working beardies to this airt where the rolling hill ribs fuse on the Scottish-English border.

Dealers, they will tell you, were up in the north to buy renowned easy-fattening cattle beasts from the Highlandmen. They took a fancy to a dog, a beardie which had been spotted working at one homestead. And, as dealers, they were liberal with their offers. But the owner would not sell.

The beardie mysteriously vanished from his Highland home. Today around Yetholm, Wooler and other townships where the dialect of the Cheviots is spoken, there are still working beardies. Strange country for them when one considers some of the snow drifts of winter and the effect it has on long-coated hill dogs.

But there are ways to beat it too. Some rub the dogs' legs with vegetable oil.

From high-lying Calroust cottage at the top of Bowmont Water near Yetholm the beardies once went out right to the English border at 1,800 ft. For twenty years they were at the heels of Robert Brown the former head shepherd there. they also followed at the hooves of his garron during his shepherding rounds.

Mundell defined "garron" to be a small type of horse. He continued:

Robert tended some 1,100 ewes, 300 hoggs and the rams on hirsels totalling between two and three thousand acres when he had the post at Calroust which was later to be filled by the McMorran family, one of the best known in the sheepdog trials business locally and nationally.

An attractive member of Robert's collie team when I was at the homestead in 1971 was the ten year old merled Craig whose progeny could be found in many Border homes and as far afield as Speyside, Inveraray and Wiltshire. He was bred in the Framlington direction over the border in Northumberland and it is thought his forerunners could be linked to the Rogerson's Betty blood. At work then, he was accompanied by the blue beardie, Shep.

I often wonder what befell a youngster which was shaping well at the time, the half-beardie, Rob. "I like the half beardies," said Robert. "With the full beardie you have to wait on them and be patient before they are ready to train for work but the half-beardie comes on a bit quicker."

Craig was a powerful dog, good for cattle work and at dealing with trough-fed hoggs. His master reckoned the beardies would never baulk at any work and had tremendous 'eye'—the unseen power of domination and authority a collie holds over the sheep he is working. A regular demand for progeny of his dogs was credited to their ability to pass on power and force when handling sheep."

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