On a five acre property on the edge of the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York we live in a 19th century farmhouse. There's me, Francis Groeters, my wife, Diane Greenberg and two Icelandic Sheepdogs, Brynja and Galdur.
My first dog was a border collie cross I adopted in Davis, California named Tasha. Shortly after adopting her I was offered a post-doctoral position at the Research School of Biological Sciences of the Australian National University in Canberra. Tasha was sent to live with my parents in New York and I headed off to Australia.
At the field station where I carried out a portion of my research, the caretaker owned a pair of Kelpies to help him with a small herd of cattle. When the pair had puppies, I couldn't resist and become the owner of a black and tan female puppy, Kai. She was the second herding dog I had owned without a herd to tend, destined to be a common theme in my life. Kai became obsessed with herding frisbees and I spent about 1/4 of my time in Australia throwing a frisbee to her. She moved with me to Hawaii where I played frisbee with her in a park by the ocean. She never did figure out when she had had enough frisbee herding and needed a water break that she couldn't drink from the big body of water next to the park.
Then came a few mixed breeds, but herding breeds were always at the back of my mind. When it was time to look for a new dog I was thinking Hungarian Mudi. But then I came across the Icelandic sheepdog and Brynja, shown as a young pup exploring my mother's garden in winter to the right, joined us.