Business in the U.S. Odd & Bizarre Jobs: Shepherd

About odd jobs and bizarre ways to make a living in the United States, being a shepherd.

Unusual Ways of Making a Living

Shepherd: The 23-year-old daughter of a wealthy California family works 18 hours a day, accompanied only by her horse, dog, and 30-30 rifle, tending sheep in the Colorado high country. Her main duty is moving the herd of 2,300 sheep to new pasture daily, but she also doubles as veterinarian, treating the sheep for maggots and mending wounds. At night she sleeps under the stars, armed with a rifle to guard against coyotes and bears. It's lonely, tiring work, but she wouldn't trade it for any office job. "There aren't all the little hassles," she says. "Being alone lets you get your thinking together." She also says that women shepherds are in demand. "Other ranchers have asked me to work for them. There's not much muscle involved in this business, and ranchers seem to realize gals are more reliable or conscientious. A lot of the old sheepherders are retiring and no one seems to want this job."

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