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Why I own a border collie...

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  • Why I own a border collie...

    At least in part..Baxter Black sums it up pretty dang well..

    Im sure this has been shared or seen before, but conjures up exactly what a BC is..I feel it's worth sharing..

    Sums up my border collies, espc my Fletcher, very well.

    by Baxter Black
    Just a word about one of the greatest genetic creations on the face of this
    earth . . . the border collie.
    Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able
    to leap tall fences in a single bound.
    The dog that all sheep talk about but never want to meet. The fur that
    legends are made of. Makes coyotes cringe, sheep trip the light fantastic
    and eagles soar somewhere else.
    Invested with the energy of a litter of puppies, the work ethic of a boat
    person and the loyalty of Lassie, they ply their trade on sagebrush flats,
    grassy fields and precipitous peaks from sea to shining sea.
    “Away to me!” I command. They streak and sail, zipping like pucks on
    the ice. Black and white hummingbirds, in out, up down, come by.
    Sheep. With head up, one eye cocked over their shoulder asking directions.
    To the gate through the race. Mighty dog moves behind the bunch
    like a towboat pushing barges around a bend.
    And heart. Do they try? “Just let me at’em, Dad!” Stay! “C’mon, I’m
    ready!” Stay! “Can’t you feel me hummin’? Listen to my heart, it’s
    purrin’ like a cat! I am primed! Aim me, point me, pull the trigger!”
    “Away to me!” It makes me feel like Robin Hood. He leaves my side
    like an arrow.
    Workin’ dogs is like manipulating a screwdriver with chopsticks. Like
    doing calligraphy with a plastic whip. Like bobbing for apples. Like threading
    a needle with no hands. Like playing pool on the kitchen table.
    There are no straight lines in nature. Only arcs. Great sweeping curves
    of sight and thought and voice and dog. Always having to lead your command
    about a dog’s length.
    Sheep bunched like logs on the river. Dogs paddling in the current,
    always pushing upstream. A ewe breaks loose. Then another. Another.
    The log jam breaks. Dogs and sheep tumble about in the white water.
    Calm again, they start back upstream.
    Border collies. Are they truly smarter than a chimpanzee? Cuddlier than
    a koala? More dedicated than Batman’s valet?
    Can they change course in mid air? Drag Nell from the tracks and locate
    the missing microfilm?
    Yes. I believe they can. They are the best of the best, the epitome of
    ‘above and beyond the call of duty’. Head Dog. Top Gun.
    I salute you, for man has never had a better friend.

  • #2
    That was good, but the first time I read that I thought he forgot at the end, that is also the reason most of us don't need/have border collies.

    We used to raise and train them with a friend that bred and handled and won trials at the top with them.

    As a PSA, so the general reader doesn't get ideas, border collies are, like all dogs, individuals, you can find all kinds of temperament in them, but they are a dog that requires a minimum of physical and mental exercise and providing that doesn't fit with many of our human lives today.


    • #3
      Oh yes. So true! Especially while they're young.

      I love them, though. My girl, at almost 18 months, is FINALLY starting to settle down...and I have her littermate coming to live with us this weekend

      I must be a sucker for punishment ... but I wouldn't have it any other way
      "Show me the back of a thoroughbred horse, and I will show you my wings."


      • #4
        Bluey is right. My first dog, border collie/golden retriever cross. Have had 2 other crosses since then. I jokingly/seriously say I am too old for a full-blooded one......but I love them in theory......


        • #5
          Bisous was half border collie half chow. Not only was he beautiful, he was intelligent, intuitive, kind and had excellent judgement in all matters. He was a superlative being and I miss him every.stinking.day and I expect to, until I die. I adore my current dogs but I dont believe there will be anymore after this bunch passes.

          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


          • #6
            Love the soliloquy. Thanks for posting it.

            We got our border collie as a pup. He died 3 years ago at age 15. I miss that dog everyday. He was smart, sweet, handsome and only minimally OCD, thank heavens.

            And even though I'm an old fart and nowhere near as energetic as I was almost 20 years ago, I will have another BC someday. Because they are, indeed, the best of the best.
            "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
            the best day in ten years,


            • #7
              I love watching working dogs work, especially BCs.

              My first dog has an adult living on my own was a border collie black lab cross. Best.Dog.Ever. He even had his own fan club.

              and as much as I love my current dog, I have to agree with other posters that said there is something extra special about BC's.



              • Original Poster

                I had heelers before my border collies..and I honestly couldnt imagine my life without at least one border collie..I am pretty active..that seems to help keep Fletcher and Kate happy enough..although some stretches when we have rain and they cant go outside as much, alittle BC OCD comes out...

                I just loved how Baxter Black wrote what he felt the BC was..I read it and I can SEE Fletcher working..


                • #9
                  I took advantage of the sunny afternoon to go work my flock with the boys. Nothing like the joy of a working dog.....They LOVE it more than anything....

                  No, they aren't for everyone, but once you have one (and live to tell about it), you will never want another kind of dog.... nothing compares.....

                  I do give people stern warnings when they say they want one though..Lots of people love my older dog and say they want one.......and I've talked a few people out of them......
                  Turn off the computer and go ride!


                  • #10
                    Bravo! I'd never read that before, but it's fabulous. Thank you for sharing it!

                    Border collies are so much fun! Zappa, my sweet, beautiful departed boy, was such a lover and so calm. A complete aberration! He had the intelligence and intensity, though--just no drive. Smart as a whip and so mannerly as soon as he learned what was expected of him. A wonderful trail companion and my partner through many a weary mile. I miss him terribly.


                    My current boy, Loki... well, he's aptly named as he's brought the chaos with him by the bucketful! He's got insane drive and tons of energy. In his first six classes of Agility training, he's catching on faster than anybody else in the class and is really focusing that energy well. I think I may have a future Agility rockstar on my hands. And he's an intrepid little explorer, too. Came across country with me and loves exploring the mountains and deserts out here, too. And the most snuggly dog I've ever seen, too.


                    Much love to the border collies! And love seeing the other BC pictures and stories on this thread.
                    The Western Adventures of Loki, a Florida Swampdog in Los Angeles


                    • #11
                      i love BCs...i love the look, love to watch them work...the whole herding thing leaves me with mouth agape every.time.
                      the way the human and dog interact is just amazing...and their personalities seem soooooo lovable......

                      thankfully, i AM smart enough to know this is not a breed i am ever to own........i could never do them justice...

                      although, i was gobsmacked to meet a BC art therapy dog.....i had heard of it, and had to meet in person....the owner did therapy at the agency where i worked....
                      i never would have believed a BC could be so calm and quiet in it's youth, but this dog was terrific.........she got another one from the same breeder, and brought it along as a pup, to learn the ropes from the older dog..........never a problem....


                      • #12
                        We've owned 6. They are the best, and Baxter Black has summed up my feelings for them. The only only only reason we don't have another one is due to the abundance of other people's livestock in the fields surrounding our property.
                        And, they are the cutest little fuzzy furball puppies I have ever seen.
                        Our first border collie, Peg, stared down a ram at 3 months, according to her breeder. I can believe it.
                        Here's to you, Peg, Fleet, Penny, Bailey, Morgan, and Kelly. You are sorely missed. I am tearing up as I type this. I can't imagine anyone owning livestock without owning a border collie. Still the #1 smartest dogs in the world.
                        Ours were not hyper, either.


                        • Original Poster

                          This morning, Fletcher got up and helped me move a ewe and her lambs (one of whom was limping due to being stepped on by another ewe) into a jug..I swear the dog knows when we've got a job we need to do..he was espc attentive this morning to what we were needing to do...he is not happier then after he's worked.

                          Speaking of therapy dogs..both Fletcher and Kate passed their TDI test last year..(stupid me never sent in the paperwork though to officially register them as therapy dogs!)..the evaluator commented on how both of them would be stellar therapy dogs. Kate is a snuggler...Fletcher snuggles, but he is also active enough, the evaluator said he'd be very endearing to, perhaps some of the older people, who mabey grew up on farms and had a border collie..